My First Love!! Nobody ever forgets their first love! Ask any teenager about her first crush and you’ll get the quietest of them start gushing a dime a dozen. I strangely missed that part of secret crushes and infatuations. Those silly ‘Flames’ played on the last page of all school notebooks never made too much sense to me. How anyone could be so lost in daydreaming about their current ongoing love interest skipped me completely. Until on one otherwise insignificant day it happened to me, and I fell head over heels in LOVE!! Gone was my former lazy self. My mom didn’t have to scream her lungs out to wake me up anymore. Getting to and spending time with my new love gained much more prominence than snuggling under the blanket on winter mornings. Even Hrithik Roshan was relegated to the background. But to be fair, I wasn’t the only one smitten. It’s just that I was late to the party. The whole nation was mesmerised by it and if you haven’t got it yet, let me save you the suspense (if there was any to begin with), it was ‘Cricket’. My love affair with this sport started quite accidently. I bunked a boring lecture and decided that time could be better spent watching a cricket game on the college campus and gossiping with my girlfriends. The team did not have enough members and I was asked to fill in for the open position. I knew the sport well enough because I had a TV and I lived in India. But playing the sport was radically different from watching it. I was hooked!! Cricket became a part of my daily life. I loved every part of the routine. Warm ups are the great way to flex your body, mentally get ready and help yourself cope with the injuries and bruises during the course of play. Our warm ups started with Jogging around/sprints, followed by core stability exercises and then focusing on techniques that doesn’t exhaust you early. The sessions were rigorous and it took a while to climb up the ladder being an amateur player. Results finally showed up when I reserved a spot to represent myself at the inter school competition. I’m not sure if it is just my feminine side peeking out, but one of memories I treasure the most till date is the day I was handed my first cricket kit. The feel of those amazing pair of gloves, batting pads, light weight English willow and kookaburra bats and the genuine leather cork balls was out of this world. Investing my hard earned and saved up pocket money on a Nike sport shoe and the Adidas track pants was a no brainer. I wasn’t just sporting the amazing cricketer look that day, I was in the midst of the action. The memories of day still give me goosebumps. I can even now feel through the adrenaline rush I then had when the audience roared across the stadium in support of both the teams. I guess this was as much a moment of pride for any player like me who is playing for the first time at competition level. There were some spectacular show from different teams which participated and we managed to secure the bronze in the competition. After several years of following my passion and my special affinity for the sport, I had to bid adieu to the world of cricket since I was moving on to a different phase of life. The moment of departure was bitter, but like they say ‘The next best thing to a good time, is the memory of it’. I still have those now under sized shoes, floppy hat, the batting pads, gloves and the Adidas pants to cherish forever. Even though I didn’t go pro, my inclination towards sports still remains. After all keeping aside what I had given to the game, I took away much more!!
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