Thunk, thunk, thunk, goes our badminton racquets. The body gets warm, the face flushes with sweat, the muscles ache, but I like it, this activity of the body, a game, a game, after such a long time. I am playing after a long time, that too, because I have a badminton partner these days, no make that two. It's better to play a game than just walking in the morning I realise, it gets the body in tone, in shape.
Sitting hunched as I do for long periods: in the office, at home, in the train, I had developed a shoulder pain - could be spondylosis (wrongly called spondylitis by all concerned. People, people it is spondylosis.). I was alarmed. I used to get cramps in hands, I couldn't lift much weight, a certain stiffness around the shoulder and neck. All part of the process called ageing. One thing we all ignore is that we all grow old, we are growing old all the time. In Anupam Kher's wassit serial he asks a child if she would die one day. She answers, "I will not die, only old and infirm people die." Poor girl! We put heavy pressure on our bodies and take pride in thinking we can take it, and more. This is a wrong notion.
True, I was a wild one, putting in 84-hour weeks (yes in Saudi Arabia) and even more elsewhere. I think people like me are an exploited lot. I have worked for private organisation that exploited me and my talents and left me feeling hollow and useless. The hollow man! A certain fear and foreboding made me go through it all thinking of my family, my son's studies, the various debts I had to pay.
Well, all that used to be. Now life's a lot better now that I am playing a game, a sport. I used to be a sportsman. I led my house in the school inter-school championships, I represented college in football. However, after quitting college I had never gone back to sport. Now, all that has changed thanks to Masood and Mahesh, my badminton partners these days. The body feels a lot better these days.