So, my house has become a den for all kinds of sports equipment. When I was staying with R we had amassed a number of sporting items in our house. We have assorted racquets (Tennis and Badminton), a basketball, a racing cycle, a carrom board, darts and of course the mandatory cricket bat. But then both of us were really..er..whats the polite word for it...er..there is NO polite word for it, just spit it out...lazy.
So we had one basketball session all the way in IISc (Some 30 kilometres from where I stay) at 10 in the night - awesome fun by the way, TS was also there and we shot a lot of hoops and generally had fun exploring a campus and the campus life that we've left behind (sniff), one badminton session outside our house, a few ipod-attached-to-the-ears cycling trips. Of course the indoor sports fared much better with numerous carrom matches and tournaments and of course the ever present dart games.
But that was the extent of our indulgence in sports. Most of the time we preferred the on-TV variety of sports. (Which was great for R because he has the metabolism of a 5 year hyperactive kid, but was a bit of an issue with me, because my metabolism seems to be inspired by some particularly geriatric 70 year old.)
But since moving in with RB all this has changed. AK and RB go swimming or cycling every morning. Yes Ladies and Gentlemen EVERY freakin' day at 6 am! I have been actively avoiding meeting their eyes when they return tiumphant and bronzed after yet another strenuous swim or with wild stories of their adventures when they cycled half way across the city and then nonchalantly cycled back again. All this time i had been, in sharp contradiction , lazing around either reading or blogging or chatting or plain watching TV. After a point in time I had to admit that pretty soon I would be referred to in polite company as 'that tub of lard' and more advanced unmentionable names in impolite company.
Thats when I decided to do something about it. I've always wanted to play good tennis and fortunately I found a willing partner in a colleague of mine (my boss actually, so it helps with the appraisals as well (evil grin, rubs hands). According to my calculations I have to start losing to him in another couple of weeks time to get a really good appraisal rating).
So with the help of R's racquets I started going to play tennis every weekend morning. We blundered and we floundered, but we stuck to it.
We watched tennis coaching videos and realized they were trash (well, not all), but we stuck to it. And now I am proud to say that we play quite well.
I still remember the first time we went to play (screen takes a sepia tone here, signifying nostalgia). We were hitting roughly 2 % of balls right, the rest were getting lodged in the net, flying out of the side courts or mostly just sailing over the far back-grill. And we played one set and were panting like we'd just been chased down by a voracious cheetah or had conquered a particularly irksome cliff.
The next weekend things deteriorated, if that was possible. 1.86% balls in the playing area; sharp, shooting pains in a small muscle below the third rib ( http://swappinglives.blogspot.com/2007/12/weekend-exertion-and-maggi-thoughts.html ). And yes, we collapsed after one set. I had to drive back and I seriously thought it was going to be too much for my 26 year old bones. But we still stuck to it. If i'm proud of one thing, it's that inspite of numerous distractions that could've been cited as reasons to avoid the early mornings on Saturday and Sunday we've missed play only once in more than two months.
By the third weekend the body was moving more smoothly and we managed to play a nice and gentle three setter.
And today, I came back from playing two matches, four continuous sets (Yes, I won both matches in straight sets :). Played for three and a half hours with a short break in between. And this was after I went for a jog in the morning. And since i've come back, i've had no inclination to collapse and sleep for hours on end. This weekly sport has made me regain some of my earlier stamina.
Ok, this was the awesome part (Yes, it was long, meandering, took too much time to get to the point. So?...shoot me!)
The flipside is that RB pops off to sleep at 9:30 while watching tv in the living room every evening, sitting on a plastic chair. He just nods to the side and I have to dive to catch the remote control before it hits the floor. I spend more time watching with peeled eyes for the remote to fall than the actual stuff running on TV. But then again, thats hardly a loss considering the trash that comes on TV. Also, on Friday and Saturday, I make it a point to sleep early so we can go and get the good court early.
So what in effect this does is, our household has become a early-to-bed-and-early-to-rise household. 10:30 and a somnolent air pervades our house and light snores can be heard emanating from everywhere.
Sigh, gone are the weekend-nights of yore when friends kept dropping in and hours stretched into hours as potent liquids were consumed and poultry across the city shuddered in their feathers as Friday evenings approached. I can't even remember when people came over last without a celebratory reason (Christmas, New Years etc.) Even PR hasn't come for a long time.
Is the domestication complete? Have we become 'kushal grahinis' (expert housewives)?
Not quite - plans are already afoot to visit the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe in Bangalore next weekend.
Not this weekend though, I have to get up early tomorrow !!!