Till my twenties, I was skinny and tiny. Thanks to my personality, people never took me seriously in sports. I was terrible at it. Who doesn't love to play? I still wanted to play, stay in the ground. Win or loss didn't matter as long as I played the game.
Till my 7th class, I was never encouraged to take up any sport by any teacher in various schools. Till 5th, there was no pressure to be at best in any thing we do. We enjoyed playing. All of us kids used to play. In 6th, we used to play different games. We even tried rugby once,(in our own, kids style)
Till 8th, I only remember children ridiculing me and also teachers leaving me out as I don't look strong for sports. For the first time in 8th class, I was given a chance to play cricket. I was thin and small but, I was enthusiastic to play. Sudhakar, my P.E.T teacher took me into the team and let me practice with all ninth and tenth class players. I was terrible still, I was allowed to either field or keep. Once, I was given gloves to try out keeping. I managed to catch the balls but, with the kind of speed the balls were thrown at, my hands used to get hurt, despite wearing gloves.
At last, I'd given the opportunity to bat and bowl in the practice session. There was sympathy but, atleast I was allowed to try out for once. I enjoyed those times. I remember going to tournament with the team. We won a few games but, we lost the quarter final. I never aspired to play in the tournament. The sheer experience of being twelth man in the team boosted my confidence at greater level.
I changed my school and place and attended Camford English High School in Chittoor. Here, we had Sharath sir as P.E.T sir.
His encouragement made a difference in my life. I was short and basketball is not for short people were the usual comments I receive from friends, family.
You don't need to be tall to play the game. Short people can also play the game. said Sharath sir who encouraged me to visit the stadium and play at the court. I used to go daily to the court and learn basketball. If not, for his encouragement, I would have never picked the basketball.
There were so many kids who were good at it. I spent half of the time, swelling my fingers as I receive the ball in a wrong way. I was also taken to Mountain Climbing competition.
I fought with Dad and went during the Dussehra Times. I was the tiny one again. Along with Bharat, Kiran Raj and another friend we went to Bangalore. I never went out with my friends. Dad never allowed. That was the first time, he allowed after doing a lot of fuss. I won consultation prize in the mountain climbing.
That competitions, that outing gave a lot of exposure and morale boost to do things I love. I don't need to be good at it. I can always learn and be good at it. I learnt then.
In my engineering college, I joined basketball team, thanks to my perseverance. I was not good but, I was ready to learn. I got into the team but, I couldn't win a place in the main five as I never put enough efforts to reach such excellence. But, playing the sport, it taught me a lot of discipline and alot of other things in life.
If not for Sharath sir, I'd have never dared to pick up any sport as I only hear these word, "You're short and tiny. Why do you want to play. Go sit and watch T.V."
Thanks to all the teachers who encouraged me to try out rather than asked me to give up.