‘Son’dry Sports

Rachna Singh
Saturday, 11 November 2017

We are trying, but to get Ronaldo to personally come down to coach him, is a bit of a stretch. We suggested Messi, but he turned his nose up and said ‘bleurgh’. I was shattered. Was I being a good mother? Was I a failure? Did I deserve to live? The thoughts were so torturous that I had to call my GuruMata that night to ask her to send me some calming reiki. 

My eleven-year-old brat is a sportsman with a million dreams. The only problem is that he pursues one sport per dream. With that, we are running out of sports commonly known to mankind. 

Not only does he engage in multiple sports, he dons every possible role within each. For instance, he is striker, defender and goalie in a regular football game. Sometimes, he is the goal net too. We, as parents are doing our best to support him.

We are trying, but to get Ronaldo to personally come down to coach him, is a bit of a stretch. We suggested Messi, but he turned his nose up and said ‘bleurgh’. I was shattered. Was I being a good mother? Was I a failure? Did I deserve to live? The thoughts were so torturous that I had to call my GuruMata that night to ask her to send me some calming reiki. 

The sports-star-in-waiting also needs sports gear. We are currently funding such an assortment of shoes, t-shirts, shorts, bats, clubs and balls that it is becoming increasingly difficult to put food on the table. In fact, we don’t even come to the table anymore fearing that a new demand will be tabled.

I have learnt that a different type of footwear is needed to score a goal, another type to defend it, and a third type to protect the goalpost. Since he is good at all the stuff, I wonder if they give him time to change shoes during the game. See, he has all the needed footwear: that I have made sure. In fact, he is the Imelda Marcos of the sports-world. As a consequence, I am on the road to becoming M F Husain.

Then we have the bags: different bags are needed to carry equipment around. There are cutesy bags for footballs and huge ones that look like body bags for golf. They cost a lot. And sadly, the wear and tear on these bags is more distressing than listening to Inzamam Ul Haqq say ‘The boys played well’.

Consequently, I have cut back on bags for myself and currently, carry one with Rajshree Pan Masala embossed on it. I continue to brave impending poverty hoping that one day my son will be in the Indian team and will be the brand ambassador of Rajshree Pan Masala. Then, I will buy all the bags I want. Maybe, even launch my own line of bags. I think I will do a Modi-bag. It will have a mitr’O’-shaped hole at the bottom.

I feel he’s already a star. But, the coaches bag to, sorry, beg to differ. They tell him he has “potential”. Which they tell all the other kids too! Like potential were a nose. They tell him to work harder.  

Where is the time for that? Do they know how long it takes to pull those long football socks up to the knee? Or to put on electroplated waterproof anti-fog UV professional swimming goggles?

(Bestselling author Rachna Singh is a sit-down commedienne)

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