Normally when I write my blog, I write my piece first and then figure out the title (like how PR people are used to writing). But today for the first time, I knew my title before what I was going to write...
A few days back while chatting with my friends, a sudden idea to play badminton sprung up. So after all the logistics were worked, out, we managed to find 2 'suitable' days to play. We also decided to keep it simple, and start playing at the court in our complex (though it's not the standard court size). We promised ourselves that if we manage to sustain, then we shall venture out and play at a 'professional' court.
And so we got going. The first few sessions were tough. Thankfully most of us are at the same level, so the sense of achievement when you play is high!
For me personally, this game has a special spot. Most people wouldn't know that I was part of the Maharashtra (under-14 category) team when in school. It saw me travel to play tournaments (in those days, travel meant by non-AC sleeper class, some times unreserved too). But it probably gave me my biggest high. I wasn't the greatest in studies, and the feeling to excel (even if it was in a sport), was a great morale booster. I still remember craving for my 'first' Yonex racquet. I had to wait more than two years as it was out of reach for me (financially and geographically- Yonex wasn't available in India those days).
The three years I played 'serious' badminton, taught me some good lessons of success and failure. The agony of being alone at tournaments (with no family around) and hiding the tears after losing was never easy. In hindsight, those experiences probably toughened me up.
My departure from the game was equally painful. A torn ligament, with clear instructions from the doctor to stay away from 'strenuous' physical activity for a year, took me away from the game. I still recollect the train journey I took from Pune-Mumbai (all by myself), after injuring my foot at a tournament at the National Defence Academy (Khadakvasla). Throughout that 2-hour journey, I had tears (for losing out) and bigger fears on what the future holds for me. I hadn't seen anything beyond the sport in those three years.
But like everything, life is always sorted. A few years later, all this just remained a memory. While talking to my 7-year old and telling her how excited I am to get back to the game, I think she could see the glow in my eyes. Of course, she still can't believe that I had to wait for two years to earn my first Yonex racquet!