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Archive for April 13th, 2010

“Kabaaaadi, kabaadi, kabaadi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabadi,kabadi, kabadi, kabadi, kabadi, kaabdi,kaabdi,kaabdi,kabdi,kabdi,kabdi, kab-i,kab-i……huuuunnhhhh”.

“OUT!!!”

I LOVED this sport!!  Correction. I LOVE Kabaddi!!!

Being a champion kabaddi player myself 🙂

I was introduced to this wildly exhilarating sport at the age of 10 years. Played it seriously for another three. Even broke an ankle in a serious standoff wherein the opponent team’s lead player was a giant (5’5″ and close to 70 Kgs!!! Poor girl was just 12 years old at the time. I was 13 🙂 ).

I had no sympathy for the giant (delicately named, “Sona”)  after she fell on me headlong and twisted my ankle under her immense weight. Surprisingly, while I lay prone on the ground, the twisted ankle didn’t hurt one bit. My entire attention was focussed on getting the hulk off my chest so that I could breathe. It was much later that I realized my foot was of no use!!

Not to mention, the amount of ridicule I underwent for weeks later. Sample this :-

Me limping towards classroom after rejoining school. A teacher comes up and asks, “What happened ?”

I say,”I twisted my ankle”.

She,”Ohh!! YOU are the one on whom Sona fell?? HAHAHAHA……..”.

Sheesh!!

It was worse when I used to see little kids pointing at me and giggling uproariously 😐 . I could hear whispers of “Sona gir gai uspar” everywhere I went!

As for miss Sona, well, she was smug as a cat that’s licked the cream!

I never crossed her path for the rest of my stay there!!

Ahh…..those were the days!!

( Srividya, if you are reading this, do you remember that match?? You had a swollen toe, if I remember correctly…Did Sona step on your feet then? I miss those days when we were in the same team 🙂 .Baddy , kho-kho and Kabaddi just weren’t the same after I left Udhampur 😦  )

Anyhow, I fell in love with kabaddi the first time I took part in the annual inter-house sports competition. I was a rookie and the team didn’t have much faith in me . I was taken in at the last-minute because another player had fallen ill. I was 11 at that time and extremely high-strung at the thought of making it to the team 🙂 .

Half-way through the game,there came a time when all the team members from my side were out and I was the lone member standing. And then came the opponent team’s lead player on my side.

It was the height of suspense. I was a mite compared to her. She knew it would take her just a few seconds to hit me and run back. I cowered to the corner most boundary of my side and waited with bated breath.

As her arm came descending to touch me, I acted impulsively and dived for her legs. We both crashed down. She tried to wriggle out of my grasp, but I wouldn’t let go. Held on for all my might. The girl was a pro and didn’t stop crawling till the mid-line. I summoned the last of my strength and hauled her back as much as I could.

And that, dear friends, made her lose her breath.

She was out.

And one of my team members was back in our side. Together, we brought back a couple more.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win that match. Lost by a measly score. But I had a new standing in the team’s eyes. The Sports teacher approved of me now (where earlier, I had to BEG him to let me play!!)

Its fun to relive those moments now. And yeah, when I meant “Champion” player, I didn’t really mean that I took part in inter-school or inter-regional competitions. I term myself a champ coz I made it to the house team (ok, so my standards weren’t high enough. Big deal!! Go on, judge me!!).

And every time I read news items like these , it makes my heart fill with pride.

This is OUR sport.

This identifies us. Barefoot, the mud soft and cool under the feet, dressed in shorts and t-shirt, crowds cheering from both sides, holding hands with team members.  The rugged way in which we collide, grapple, struggle, wriggle, all the time  rolling around in the mud, how could we not enjoy this extreme contact sport?!!

 How come we don’t promote this game anymore? Do schools have Kabaddi courts anymore? Why do we entertain cricket and hockey and basketball and all such western sports that take precedence over the sport of our country?

Why be ashamed of it?

How many of us even know there is a Kabaddi World Cup ? Did any of the news channels repeat our win as “Breaking News” ?? Does anyone know the names of even a single Kabaddi player from our National team?

Mostly “No” , right?

More’s the pity 😦

I love kabaddi…..and am just waiting for the kids to grow up.

Then we’ll have some fun with this sport 😀

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