Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sports Day!

It was Sports day in Abhay’s school yesterday and though a regular feature in most schools here, it was Abhay’s first in his three years of schooling. Though  sports has been an integral part of the American culture, with kids being introduced to team sports at an early age, I did not come across many pre-schools in the US observing something like a Sports day! Whereas in India, every little school celebrates a Sports Day even though we aren’t a sports oriented culture! Anyway, since Abhay has never been the athletic type, we didn’t think he’ll enjoy sports day as much. But we were wrong and one of those rare moments when we were glad to be wrong! Abhay was all smiles during the obstacle race, or at the march past, or while dancing to a Goan Folk song or when receiving a medal as did his classmates who were all declared winners at Sports Day! In other words, who wins and who loses – who cares? We only care if they have fun! J

Speaking of sports, I recently discovered that Abhay is completely clueless about the most famous team sport in India – Cricket! So much so that on seeing the illustration of a boy swinging a cricket bat on the cover page of a book, he exclaimed that it was a game of baseball! So I turned to “Cricket” a little book on a big game by Sandhya Rao and the illustrations in the book are nothing but photogrphs of everyday Indians playing cricket. It’s a hot day with cool breeze when a boy hears the sound ‘Tthokk and Lo and Behold …it is a game of cricket! Any time of the day or any time of the year is time for cricket. Any place, be it narrow lanes or broad streets is the place for cricket. Anything flat will do for a bat and any object round will serve as a ball. It does not matter if we are small or we don’t run as fast, cricket is a game that can be played by anyone, anywhere and any time!   A bilingual tribute to the Indian sport that transcends age, gender, region and economic or social strata! As I read this book, I asked Abhay if he will play cricket in the future, he considered the question for a moment  before he replied “I can try”!

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