the embarassment of xill-e-ilahi


when after a bout of typhoid in the eighth grade which costs you one quarter of your body weight you are reduced to a mere seventy five pounds and manage to lose arm wrestling bouts with almost all the girls in your class, not to mention the boys, you can still wiggle your way out of it without too much permanent damage to your reputation. you are, after all, only 13, the class clown and still something of an invalid. besides you’re taller than most of them and still growing so there’s room for hope.

twelve years down the road, only three inches taller but more than a hundred pounds heavier, twenty five but looking closer to 32, a potential loss to a five foot, 21 years old, rosy cheeked ms prettyfeet (who happens to be nursing a sprained wrist) across a ping pong table would have been too much to bear. and that too when it was the first time she’d held the paddle in her life and there were four witnesses literally rolling on the ground with laughter. fortunately i won 21-19.

unfortunately, given the handicaps she was facing, that has to be termed as a loss.

in my defence, its not as if i’d ever propogated any delusions of athleticism. my interest in sports has largely been limited to detailed observation and analyses of good cricket, good wrestling and maria sharapova. and while in my youth i did have a certain fondness for the red clay track, i was never a roger bannister. also, well maintained tresses and flushed cheeks have always been a distraction. and when twinkling eyes make contact with mine, an i-know-what-you’re-thinking smile hovering on almost crimson lips, i just begin to think here is the goddess that will subjugate me

the sound of an orange ping pong ball hitting plastic lenses is not merely smack! – it smacks of embarassment.

in elementary school we once got an assignment that required us to knit a ten inch by ten inch square of wool over our winter vacations. the teachers said it was a good way to improve hand-eye coordination. i took the easy way out and coaxed my grandmother to do it for me. i bring this up simply because it was what came to my mind as i missed five serves in a row. who said the past doesn’t come back to haunt you?

nikalna khuld say adam ka suntay aye hain, laikin
barey bey aabru ho ker teray koochay se hum niklay

(i’ve heard of adam’s expulsion from heaven
but i lost a lot of face before i left your area)


9 Responses to “the embarassment of xill-e-ilahi”

  1. Heyy whats up…nice blog…thanks for coming around…hope to see you around often…laters.

  2. thanks back. and likewise. 🙂

  3. errr, werent u just able to save face 😛 isi baat per khush ho jao! n yes, past always haunts..isliay present ko acha banao 🙂

  4. 21-19 is not exactly saving face when she’s got a brace on her wrist. something going in my favour though is that it turns out she was pretty much an allround athlete in school – even if she never played tabletennis – and has something of an aptitude for these things. 😛

    she is also pukhtoon so i can always claim she’s an idiot savant and the long standing akhrote theory will hold me up.

    i also now know better than to break my golden rule and flirt with her – i do not want to be on the recieving end of a sandal thrown by a former baseball pitcher. thank god office people don’t read blogs…

  5. This was supposed to be a me returning your visit to my blog thing. But I be genuinely glad I be returning your visit to my blog. Lol. Okay im sure that didn’t make much sense.

    And btw, a win is a win. by whatever margin and to whatever gender 😛

  6. oh it made sense. it made sense. just like the double “i” in extinct. it smells good.

  7. oh and thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  8. by the way, i had fun during typhoid.

    and it’s table tennis. please. and a racket, not a paddle or a bat or any other convoluted expression you may have.

  9. yes i know. and i would have used the same terms. but “table tennis table” sounds wierd. and i wasn’t sure if its spelt racket or racquet.

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