Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I hit the ground hard, and my head bounced violently off the concrete floor, as the American football player who'd been the reason for me hitting terra firma watched me with a bit of concern. It was my mistake, really, I should have realized that while, in theory, helping the sole Indian girl teach a gang of 200 foreigners the amazingly docile and gentle game of Kabaddi looked like a good idea, in practice, it was rather unadvisable, especially when the group of a hundred foreigners also included some hefty, tall men, apart from a lot of good looking girls. Especially since after teaching them, I couldn't very well not participate, and after participating, not quite take the lead and show them how it's played.

So after the explaining part was over, and it was time for a bit of action, I went into the ring, and well, tried to play the game. The next moment that I remember was the one I described in the beginning. From being the guy who showed them how to do it, to being one whom everybody was looking with the look usually reserved for a quadriplegic, was a rather rapid transition. And boy, it hurt. Not just the bit that my leg was so badly hurt that I could not walk later that evening and could just about hobble around the next day, but because of the realization that a mere casual tackle from that bloke had caused so much damage.

But, I guess I'll take it, for the gang loved the game (so much for it being looked down at in India as uncool and a 'rural' game!). I was in Krakow, Poland, for a couchsurfing meet, and we were picnicking in a small garden. Afternoon was turning into evening, and half the crowd was satiated with gallons of beer and all kinds of food, and wanted something new. And that's when Oindri, the Indian girl who started this stuff came in. It was kind of a tough end to my participation in the proceedings, but then it was looked upon as the highlight of the afternoon by many, so that's fine.

I wonder whether just over a year and half a month ago, I would have, ever, in my wildest dreams, dreamt of me teaching Kabaddi to a group of around a hundred foreigners from around a couple of dozen countries, in a small, unkempt university garden in an east european city which, to be frank, I had never heard of before, and having the time of my life inspite of almost being taken out of circulation.

Life can be the stranger than any, any, any fiction you can think of.

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