Kabbadi Story

I love baseball and sniper games; in fact there is no other sport that I enjoy so much. When I joined college for my master’s degree one of my dreams was to make it to the university team. It was then that I met Crystal. She was not in my class. On enquiring, I found out that she had joined for the master’s program in History. And she certainly was a girl worth enquiring about.

From day one she was the talk of the town or should I say college. All the boys were drooling over her and all the girls regarded her with raised eyebrows wondering what the boys saw in her, though it was quite evident.

She was a stunning beauty, with her hair as black as a raven, perfectly chiseled features and a heavenly figure. She was cheerfulness itself, and whenever a boy accosted her, she would buckle over in giggles and chuckles. That was the best part of her- she was not conceited.

When she walked, all the male eyes in the college moved with her, when she stalled, they froze. I think everyone in the college was vying for her attention. Competition was tough. I was by no means the most eligible suitor in the college. There was the muscle hunk Burt, the college Romeo Ronald, and the goldmine Greg, and all had their eyes on her. I didn’t stand a chance.

She made my life miserable. Never in my life had I been so smitten by a girl. The more I tried to remove her from my thoughts, the more I found myself thinking about her. She had really bowled me over. I don’t remember ever being shy to speak to a girl before; on the contrary I enjoy the company of girls. But when it came to Crystal, I just couldn’t muster up enough courage. My legs turned to water, my throat went dry, and my words froze in the air. So Crystal didn’t even know that I existed.

Then one-day lady Luck smiled at me. I was sitting in the cafeteria sipping on some iced tea. Crystal was seated at the next table with a couple of her friends. Our chairs were back to back. Yeah, I might as well admit that I had chosen that table and seat seeing Crystal sitting there. At least I could be close to her, even if I couldn’t speak to her.

Her voice rang out, full of life and joy, sheer music to my ears. But wait! What was she talking about sports? I couldn’t believe my ears; we even shared the same tastes. But she wasn’t talking about baseball though. I pricked my ears and listened devoutly.

“Of course I enjoy sports”, she said “its just that I’m not really into the more popular sports. I prefer something more exotic. Have you heard of the game called kabbadi? Well, that’s my current favorite. In fact that was one of the reasons why I chose this college, I heard that there was a kabbadi team here.”

Enough! I was out of the cafeteria and speeding to the coach’s room. I met the coach and told him that I had changed my mind, it was not the baseball team that I wanted to join, I wanted to join the kabbadi team, whatever it was.

The coach looked at me as if had lost my marbles.

“Son, you know what you are talking about, don’t you?” He peered at me over his glasses.

“Yes, I’m sure, please put down my name in the kabbadi team.”

“Well, I suppose I might as well do it since we are short of people as it is.” Said the surly coach, who to me now looked like Cupid himself.

Never in my life had I heard of Kabbadi before, and I hadn’t the foggiest idea how it was played. But that was beside the point. Crystal and I would be playing the same game, and that was all that mattered.

The next day I waited anxiously in the play ground and finally she appeared dressed in a red tracksuit, and looking as attractive as ever. I turned my eyes away from her, as I didn’t want her to see me gaping at her.

The Cupid coach made his appearance and so did the other team members, most of them girls, great! There was not much competition here.

I listened as Cupid explained the rules of the game. Kabbadi seemed like an interesting game. There were two teams of seven members each. As luck would have it crystal and I were put in opposite teams. I hadn’t even said “hi” to her yet, though we had smiled at each other a couple of times.

When I heard the rules of the game I felt glad that we were in opposite teams. The teams took turns in offense and defense. The objective of the offense team was to enter into the opposite teams boundary and to try and touch the members of the opposite team and then to get back to the home territory without getting captured. The defense team at the same time would try to over power the person from the offence team who ventured into their territory.

The game started and our team was on the defense while Crystal’s team was on the offence. When Crystal’s turn came I had a strange experience.

Here was the girl of my dreams trying to touch me and I had to avoid her. On the other hand I had an opportunity to catch her and overpower her if possible- so much like the affair in real life. But when the opportunity came to catch her, I suddenly refrained from touching her; as a result she touched me and ran thus fetching her team a point.

The coach was furious when I saw that I had deliberately avoided capturing her.

“Listen young man,” he began “if you are such a gentleman then I suggest that you sit on the pavilion and watch the game” The others laughed at me. But when I looked at Crystal, she was smiling back at me, not a mocking smile, but a smile filled with warmth.

Later when the session was over she came up to me and said, “ hi, you’re nice, my name is Crystal, I would like to be friends with you.”

I couldn’t believe my ears, but it was true. From that day, Crystal and I were good friends. I certainly adore her, I don’t know whether one day our friendship will blossom into love, I certainly hope so, but for the time being I’m contented being her best friend.

Baseball, what’s that? Give me kabbadi any day!