Friday, April 21, 2006

The School Playground

It resembles a battlefield at times, full of adrenalin charged youngsters running around everywhere trying their best to put the ball in a net or a basket or trying to snatch it away from the person who has it. Aggression reigns supreme, battle cries of 'pass the ball' echo everywhere, deliberate nudges and pushing is the norm and so is the good natured camaderie after the game is over.

This is the usual scene I witness everyday when I drop my son for his basketball lessons, last two days I was feeling lazy and didn't go for my walk / gym, so I just sat and observed the various games in progress, counted the planes that flew over my head, watched the dust rise up and settle down and observed big ants on the ground who very smartly avoided human footfalls and hid in cracks.

During all these aimless observations, a few kids caught my attention. Three girls were playing with a ball, passing it to each other standing quite close to each other. A very simple sort of a game for girls of that age I thought but they played it with a lot of enthusiasm and counted failure points for each dropped ball. After a few minutes of idle watching, I realized that one girl seemed different and all the other girls kept encouraging her. "Throw harder", "Catch it", "Very good", "Well done". On further observation I realized that she was a special child, circumstances or God had deigned her to be different from all other children.

It was heartening to see these girls accepting her 'differentness' and welcoming her into their own world with open arms and having a merry time together. There is hope for the future after all...


Albatross said...

If only we can carry on with the childhood innocence all through the life !

There was another use of school playgrounds that I came across during my college life. There was a school near my college which was used by us college folks for fights after school hours. You would frequently see a group of college buys beating a poor looking guy over something or the other in late evenings. The reasons varied from girls to college elections. I was also a part of the major one that happened over a girl :)

It's always a pleasure to read the varied topics you can write on. All I find myself doing is posting comments ! If only I can post something on my own blog :)

indianpeppone said...

Ahhh... the games, the fights... bliss.

AS albatross said, lets hope they keep it up when they hit 16-17.

Sandeep Meher said...

any marathi readers here? read 'shala' by milind bokil and all childhood memories will coming rushing. for english readers, 'five point someone' by chetan bhagat may offer somewhat similar experience.
but ichatteralot, your observations were really good. i like sitting in one corner and observing the different characters around... but yes, kids are special.

Ankit said...

its nice to hear tht those girls were encouranging the special girl.

but u described playgrnds very well playgrnd gives u great memories to cherish ..let it be the volley kick goal or the backhand drive for one moment u feel like a star

ichatteralot said...

@Albatross: I agree, another good part was not having to think about tomorrow. I forgot about that aspect of a playground, I did at times see many boys fighting - never knew such fights were over girls as well! Thanks, all you need is a quiet moment and notepad open - I like notepad because it has no frills and is the balnkest screen I can get! You will feel like filling up that screen with words - try it!

@Indianpeppone: Now thats a very problematic age! I am dreading the time when my son reaches that age.

@Sandeep Meher: Thanks for your suggestions, I am learning Marathi with my son but I dont think I'll get to the book reading stage soon! Thanks...

@Ankit: Personally, I hated playgrounds - my games teacher always asked me to do 5 rounds of the fields as I resembled a potato sack. She only found me suitable for shotput!

rishabh_flop_ruler said...

Ah the playground. Lovely memories. Getting pushed around by seniors, winning inter school tournaments, trying to impress the females by pointing your bat at them when scoring a fifty,getting punished by the PT teacher, leading your HOUSE in the march past. Feels like a totally different world, though its hardly been 2 years.
The attitude of the girls is remarkable. Its interesting to note that, would the guys have responded similarly? Coz their sport required more stamina and energy and a lot of running around, where as in school, mostly, girls just play to pass their time.

ichatteralot said...

@Rishabh: You may have a point, I dont think boys would have been patient with special kids. Now that you say it, I remember - being a house captain was a BIG thing :)