Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.
In the words of Heywood Broun, Sports don’t build characters, they reveal it.
After graduating from high school, for the first time I along with my friends from school planned a ‘football reunion’ of Mayo alumni. This match was between Mayo-X Imphal and Mayo-X Kolkata.
As expected a WhatsApp group was created within minutes and players were added to it. The excitement to play a football match and to meet other alumni was unimaginable. There were posts of practice sessions shared. There were names given to tough defenders like ‘The Wall’ and the banter kept the group alive.
So the days went by and so did three months. Finally the day arrived when all of us from Kolkata met at the airport to fly to Imphal. The flight was full of conversation involving football and how we play the game. Need not I remind you, that it was a ‘social’ event and although we knew our seniors and batch mates, we still were from different part of the country.
We were received by our school friends and then taken to an excellent hotel ‘The classic Grande’ whose General Manager was again my senior from school. The hospitality was excellent and I did not see one member of staff not smile through out our stay! They were so warm and they made us extremely comfortable.
We made our way to the Football ground ‘KAGO’, which is a 6-a-side ground with artificial turf. The sun was on its way back. The clouds along with the hills and a light breeze was the perfect setup for an excellent football match that followed.
After an hour of a competitive game, we went back to our hotel and had an hour before we had to meet for a social party. We went up to the venue and believe me, post match, the players and the visitors had a different vibe. We had something in common apart from being from the same school: FOOTBALL! The hall was buzzing with laughter and everyone from unknown to the known were sharing a different bond today it seemed.
I have made friends at school, university and through common friends. I have made friends from sport! Those socials, where a sport is involved is different altogether! A sport reveals characters, and when you share a sport, most of the time you will realise that you share similar characteristics!
I am grateful to God and my parents that I was a part of such an amazing school.
I would also like to extend my gratitude to the fellow alumni from Imphal who made it an absolute delightful weekend for us!