Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Week in Nosta-Land

I went to play tennis with one of my tennis mates last Saturday in the evening. Even though we told the receptionist we were there to play tennis first she only gave us one ball…I’m not exaggerating! My mate asked for balls and the lady handed her one ball. We stared at it and looked at her. She didn’t find anything wrong. Some of the basketball team players were around and they howled with laughter. Even they know one can’t play tennis with just ONE ball. Finally after my mate pointed it out that we needed more than that she said fine go wait on the court and she’ll send one of the worker ladies out with some balls. We walked out there and found the court dark. No lights were on. We waited. My mate was annoyed. She said she’d go back in herself and ask the lady to hurry things up. I had brought a few balls so I decided I’ll practice my serve – in the semi-dark. I could see enough to do that. I got out my racket and began to walk to the center of the base line. Mid-step a wave of nostalgia hit me like a thousand tons of brick.

Being on the semi lit court (there was a bit of light from the parking lot outside the court) so reminded me of the days when I was younger and used to play baseball with my brothers and neighbor. We used to get so wrapped up in our games that we would play straight through from 10 or 11 in the morning till after dusk. We’d literally play till we could no longer see the ball to pitch, hit or field. Made me smile remembering how seriously we took those games.

I watched as the tennis ball I had thrown up, preparing to serve, came down and connected with my racket. It didn’t make it over the net. I waited too long. I couldn’t help but remember the first time I had gone to the court and found it semi dark. I had gotten there exceptionally early considering my friend wasn’t to show up for another hour or so. It was then that I figured out how to do the slice serve. We had a lot of fun that day.

I after a few successful attempts to get the ball over the net my tennis mate still hadn’t returned. I suddenly had the wild urge to capture the court in its semi-lit state.

(My hand shook a bit as I took the second picture and that's why it's blurred.)

By that time my mate returned with the balls and someone to turn on the lights. As usually it was a lot of fun. We played a total of 21 games (that would be 3 sets and 3 games). Though I had a lot of fun, there was still a distinct hollow feeling - something was missing…

Monday evening I had tennis practice. I sat on the bench outside as three girls were having their lesson with the coach. I watched as their balls flew every which way on the court save a few that actually made it to or in the general vicinity of the illustrious red cones. The world around me spun as I was taken back to Nosta-land. I remembered the days when another three person group used to go two evenings a week. On good days that group laughed and shared jokes quite a bit. Of course in tennis there are always bad days that one just has no control over and on those days that groups’ balls could be seen flying over the high fencing onto the other court and sometimes even going out of the courts completely. Fate had it that the group would be separated. One of the members became sidelined with an injury and got busy with work, life etc.. The other two members stayed on and were joined by a new member. Over the period of a few months the third member of that group was changed a few times. The void of the injured member was never filled even when the group was complete with 3 members.

In the end only 2 members remained. The coach went off on a month long vacation and that would be the end of those last 2 members as a group. One got busy and the other considered going and playing elsewhere if not give tennis up for a while. The coach returned and caught wind of that and offered one of the members a spot on the club team. Not finding any place else to play, being nagged to accept the offer by someone else and enticed by the prospect of paying less than half the normal price of lessons, the member accepted the offer.

After the first team practice, that member only found 2 of her new team mates tolerable and sorely missed her old group. With each passing practice she hated having accepted the coach’s offer more and more. After one particular practice that member decided enough was enough and to hell with being on the team or paying less – there was just no point if one wasn’t having any fun. In her opinion it was better to go back to being a normal member so she could join her old group mate. The night before the member decided to inform the coach that she was formally quitting her former group mate informs her she’s giving up tennis completely. How things turn out…

There’s a tennis tournament coming up. A real one with prize money and all. Even though it’s not that much money it’ll still be fun cuz I’m sure everyone is going to be giving it their all. The competition will have singles and doubles matches. I’ve been wanting to play doubles for a while. It’s loads of fun. After being declined by the first person I asked whom I would have felt honored to play with I found some one willing to pair with me. She at first worried that she wouldn’t do so well and that she would cause us to lose (the same reason the first person had for declining) but then she understood what I tried to explain to the first person. It doesn’t matter to me whether we win or lose (It’s pretty rare anywayz when I decide to get seriously competitive..) the most important thing is to have fun out there. Of course we’ll try to win but if we don’t it’d still be fun to have tried. We’ve been practicing for it.. Saturday we played pretty long. Lol of course I had hell to pay for it in school the next day. Monday after team practice which consisted of an hour and 15 mins in which we played 8 straight doubles games, I stayed back and played 10 singles games with my rival. I think my rival might be having a temporary bad tennis week, I beat her 6 – 4 which is totally unheard of. I have NEVER beaten my rival before. I might get a game or two out of her 7, 8 or even 9 or 10 game wins but I never beat her in the final outcome of games. I think I may be finally gaining some control over where my balls land. Some where around the 50% region.

I better get going.. I have my work cut out for me before tennis tonight.

1 comment:

Bookworm said...

I miss the court :'(