Posts Tagged ‘bordeaux’

A disturbed mind

There’re happy times in life. And then there are happier times (in view of the optimist residing within me), which make the sad times look more crappy (the antagonist to the optimist). Life being full of ups and downs, or twists and turns, or compressions and rarefactions (for the geeky), or strained and relaxed (for the normal folks), things really haven’t been smooth around me (like duh)!

First it begins with happiness, butterflies in my stomach, and I’m celebrating, spreading happiness, thinking optimistic about everything. And then there’s the part where life plays a bitch. The source of my happiness disappears, then the world starts debating (thanks to my spreading my happiness). A set of people mock me, one bunch can’t believe it, one bunch choose not to believe it, and the rest of the world’s just ridiculing. There’s one idiot who’d sympathize, but managed to time when his laptop would get screwed, making him non-communicate-able. Aaagrh! I’m so angry that I could beat someone up! I hope this would ease my mind. Rest in peace, anger.


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Collision course

Sometimes we’re on a collision course, and we just don’t know it. Whether it’s by accident or design, there’s not a thing we can do about it.

On a thursday morning like any other in Bordeaux, three ticket-inspectors were chatting in the lobby of the Pessac railway station; a 15-year old girl was trying to finish her homework due that morning. At the same time, I was taking a shower before leaving for work. Meanwhile the girl had finished her homework, and put on her coat to leave, while the ticket-inspectors were discussing the prospect of France winning this year’s football world cup. By now I had gotten out of my dorm, and sprinted to the tram-stop outside my building and barely managed to get into the tram that was leaving as I jumped in. The girl was now halfway from her home to the bus station when she realized she had forgotten her bus membership card, but didn’t bother going back to pick it up because she was already late for school. The ticket-inspecters were still discussing football, smoking their cigarettes outside the entrance of the Pessac railway station. The girl was now in the bus, and the bus departed. Although she did not have her bus-card in hand, she didn’t bother purchasing a ticket just for the day. The tram reached the terminus near the same bus terminus as the bus left the place with the girl inside. I ran towards the bus, but it had left and the driver obviously didn’t notice a mad man running towards it. It was then that I decided to outrun the bus to the next bus stop. I ran down the nearest road,  wondering if at all it would lead me to the next bus stop. While I was on it, the bus was stuck at a signal outside the Pessac railway station. Just before the signal cleared, those ticket inspectors standing near it decided to get in. In the meanwhile I was finding my way to find avenue Curie, where the next stop was located. The bus paused for an old lady to cross the road, while the ticket inspectors inside were arguing with the girl without her bus-card, and I was still running towards av. Curie. I finally got a glimpse of the bus turning into av. Curie. The bus driver tried to vouch for the girl, but the ticket inspectors had to ask her to get down at the stop.

If only one of the things had been different: if the girl had finished her homework earlier, if she had remembered to take her bus-card, if those ticket inspectors didn’t bother getting into that bus, if the tram I travelled in had reached later, if that girl had bothered to buy a ticket for just the day, if I had not bothered running to the next bus stop, if the bus driver hadn’t paused for the lady to cross the road, the bus would have driven by, and I would have had to watch it just leave again.

But life being what it is: a series of intersections of people and incidents, out of anyone’s control, the girl did get off at that bus stop, and the bus waited just long enough for me to get in. And as I walked into the bus, panting and my legs begging me to give up, I looked up and muttered merci.

Yes, I have shamelessly copied the narration style from The curious case of Benjamin Button. And here’s the irony in the incident: there was absolutely no necessity for me to rush to work that morning. It was a plain whim, which made choose a mad-chase to the next bus stop over waiting another 15 minutes for the next bus. But I must admit, the first two seconds inside the bus made all of it totally worth it!

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That’s football indeed (at least as far as I’m concerned)! In the middle of my facebooking and running around and cooking and of course, working, I have finally managed to make new friends – notably ones of my own age group. So there’s been a bit of partying, and finally – some football! 😀 Almost two hours of running up and down the field, a couple of falls, one brilliant corner, three shots on target (What? Seriously?! They were all to the keeper’s hands though) was more than enough to exhaust me. The kind of game I’ve been used to in the past eight-nine years is very different from how people play ball here in France.

So here’s French football vis-a-vis Indian football. No no, I am not talking about the national team – we all know how good the Indian team is. I’m talking about football at a much lower level – the streets, the schools, the playgrounds. My first love with football began in middle-school. Yes, that’s right before high-school and that’s how we address it in Vidya Mandir. And if you’re from Chennai, you’d probably know the state of school grounds. They don’t have grass, and the mud is pretty red – making your white canvas go a dark shade of brown and your mom go mad at you for having made it a mess. And when it rains in Chennai . . .

The ground isn’t very big either, and it shrinks every year at a rate directly proportional to the increase in the student population in the form of building-extensions. The only times we’ve been to a football ground per se was when the school booked St. Bede’s football ground for our inter-house tournament in high school. That is somehow not the case in Bordeaux – when I went to play, there were 4 football fields back-to-back, with neat grass, proper goalposts, and boundaries drawn, there was a room for changing, and when the clock struck six, practice started.

The weather, of course is more conducive for playing I must admit. But come on! When you’ve the right spirit, you can pretty much play anywhere. And it’s not just limited to football: there’s a huge indoor stadium that’s filled with people and games. They run on a tight schedule: tennis from 4 to 6, basketball practice from 6 to 8, badminton from 8 to 10. There are clubs where they learn mountain climbing, and what not?! You’d find more people out there sweating their fats out, quite contrary to the average Indian teen who’d be licking a good ten rupee softy at Spencer Plaza or an equivalent.

Now after all that shilly-shallying, here’s my point: sport needs to be encouraged in our country. Not everyone gets a view of how well it’s promoted outside our nation, and I’m lucky to find out. I completely agree with Krish Ashok on his view on Indian sport, when he said “bring back those 3 PT hours.” So burn as much fat as you can, stay healthy!

Gawd I knew I sucked at concluding passages, or writing passages at all. My apologies for the not-so-fine structure, but I hope you understood what I meant.

Update: After the first comment, I happened to realize there’s a website for Indian football. Maybe it needs more publicity to catch fire! If you agree, you might want to vote here. So keep clicking! 🙂

Note to all feminists: It so happened to be that there were only men where I went to play football. I would like to emphasise that my title to this post does not imply that I have something against women playing football.

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