This story dates back to my school days when I was in sixth standard and I was poor in outdoor sports. Actually, without the need to create suspense, I have always been too poor in outdoor sports. In fact, had outdoors been a subject, I would have failed with the minimum marks every single year.
During the Annual Sports Week, everyone was encouraged with a clause of near compulsion to participate in the games. I too joined in. The preliminary qualifiers were on and winners of last years filled the crowd with ample expectation. I might have participated in many events which had all the same results, but I remember two of them.
I folded my pants and tried to bring in some feelings of being a sportsman, which I failed. I couldn't even imagine of being one for two concrete reasons: one, I didn't actually play sports, and two, we didn't have a cable connection until 2008. So, even if I were given a chance to imagine being a sportsman, I couldn't really connect to anyone except Sachin Tendulkar on DD National, who didn't play long jumps and running races.
The first event was the long jump. Like every other athlete, I chose to have my tempo built from a long running length. The whistle was blown and I started running. I felt like I was running fast and when I reached the decisive line, I jumped. It was not leap of faith; rather it was a leap of the entire fat my body carried at that moment. I landed safely. The result was less than 2 metres. Fail.
After receiving consolation appraisals from the crowd, and encouragement for participation, I proceeded to the next event in line: the 400 metre race. I had to complete the circle four times. The whistle was blown again and I started running. The air was too cold. Really! And I felt like a parachute, airy and lazy. By the time, I covered two circles, the other three had finished their third lap and were about to cross me again. I was, therefore, disqualified due to a sluggish run.
I huffed and puffed like an old moped, and sat down tired. The day ended, and I didn't find people so interested in my poor performance. I was happy. I, therefore, decided to go for the sack race qualifiers, but I realized that it was in the sub-junior category. Feeling grown up, I quietly joined the spectators with my pants unfolded and shoes on!