Curiously, people around me give me the puzzled look, when I say I like playing a game. Folks around (especially in India) still assume that playing something is an activity that can only be associated with kids. “Even looked down upon!”.
How often, I have seen people raise their brows when I tell them I like to play badminton. Frankly, I’ve even lost count. Or gotten so used to this sequence that I reply mechanically, along these lines.
Them: So, what do you do on weekends.
Me: Well, there are many things, but one thing is certain … I play badminton in the morning.
Them: ugh… (pausing to digest what I said)… So, do you like play professionally, like state level or something.
Me: No, I’m not so good (or dedicated) at it. I just shoot some with friends. Like passing of time. No professional training 🙂
Them: Ah…. (and the topic shifts to more elderly stuff). So have you tried this new Beer.
Anyways, the beer seems like a great conversation starter. For me, however, all beer are the same so I go like “naah … I do not like beer”. And it pretty much slaughters the conversation (and stomps on its carcass). I guess I get branded as an immature imbecile.
So, anyways, back the point. What makes me get up, grab that racquet and knock a few. Well, I could think of a few.
- It is great physical activity. As it is, my daily activities don’t leave much room for me to exercise the muscles, so I give my entire body, a chance to loosen up, and feel alive. I mean, I agree to “I think, therefore I am”, but I also believe in “I move, therefore I am happy.”
- It requires me to be spontaneous. Ever finished something just in the nick of time? That is a very relaxing feeling. Now, playing (successfully) a return to a killer smash, or a far fetched shot.Very relaxing indeed.
- It teaches me to be patient. (Wow, ain’t that like opposite of what I just said). There are some skills, that just don’t develop overnight. Like developing a nice serve. It’s through the process of trial and error, and a lot of reflective thinking. Nothing short of a well calculated scientific experiment.Well, inching closer to a player look up to is a very satisfying feeling. But it doesn’t happen in a day. May take months, or years (yeah, there’s a chance it might not happen at all 🙂 ).
- It’s therapeutic, like meditation. Allow me to explain. All the time during the day, I use my head to decide, contemplate and plan, for most of the things which are tangible or even hypothetical. Even when I’m not working. I mean, who doesn’t think, worry at times, and get stressed out. But, for those 15 minutes or so, Every thing ceases to be. As clichéd as this may sound, but for that span of time, I stop being an ideal worker, great son, nice brother, good friend. All I become is this machine, and out to decimate my opponents (or yea, save my ass from being blown away 🙂 )