It was after the Diwali break, that I came back to my studies. While leaving the college that day to the flat, I met a person, whom I recognized as our senior. He gave a smile and asked me to join the trainings for the University Sports Meet. I was convinced before this meeting, that the trials I gave went in vain, as I never heard or seen this guy for so long. But then it was for real. He picked me from Tilak Nagar in his car, and took some other too on the way to the ground at Rohini Sec-5. We played and I was not that good at the lifting position, so I subsequently lost that role to another better person. I was moved back into defence lines.
The tournament started, and we got booted up on a right foot. We won first and then second and then third match. And moved up the ladder. But the fight got more competitive. We faced some tough fight from the best colleges. But made our way to Finals. Our college girls team also were in finals but they lost. The final was ruthless, it was going neck to neck. And there was need to get lead into the game. Finally our attackers proved some elegance and went like a firebrand after 2 sets. It was achieved, the tournament and with that the Sports Meet gold medal. It was great to pose for the team picture that was sent for the college magazine. The toil went rewarded at the end thus making it a happy ending.
This time it was tough to decide to go for it. As it was a crucial year of 2007 when board exams were nearing. To go for it, will surely make studying for pre board exams very difficult. But took a leap of faith, and like the previous year cleared open trials to get into the training camp. This time members were less and the training period also was reduced. Apart from that everything was same, far flung sports complex, the quiet roads, the big enclosure. On the pretext of a lie, that the training ground is closeby, I was able to get permission from the family to join the camp. Again the wrath of December winter was same as earlier.
The ruthlessess of warming up session didn’t change either. And there were known faces meeting up again from the camp of ’06. The guy from K.V. OFD was not there this time though. The final day arrived, and with it arrived the announcement of my name, selected in the final squad. We didn’t get kit this time on the spot. But I was more than happy. The national championship of ’08 took place in Nagpur. Was a great experience of representing the state. Missed first three exams of pre board though and failed in one miserably.
It was a great feeling to clear the open trials for the Junior Volleyball state team. And to get an opportunity to join the camp with 30 odd members squad, from which only 12 will make it to the final team to represent the state, at Vijaywada. But it took a big toll on us, driving to the sports complex 11 kilometers far from the heart of the city, into the quiet outskirts of the town. Adding to our woes, was chilly winters. Returning back during night after the training, required hell of courage to face the cold. The complex was scattered over a big area. And had beautiful enclosure that contained 4 volleyball courts. The warming up sessions only were so tiring. And that followed by smashing, lifing/raising practices. There were very good players beside us, so it was a tough fight
And after some 20 days training at the camp, the final day came. For my disappointment, I was given very less time on the ground of action. And was called off quickly. But still I gave my best and was having hope to get selected into the final squad. The announcements of the successful candidates started in no time. On the spot, the chosen ones were given the whole kit (Jersey, Lower, Shoes). I always dreamt of wearing one. But fate didn’t give the chance to accomplish the dream that day. It was a heart breaking day. Went home, didn’t speak much. It took few minutes standing alone on the roof, to eventually burst out in tears. The failure always is unacceptable, even if you are not good enough.
It was our second attempt to reach DIS and convince them to organize a volleyball match with our team. It looked a desperate move. Yes, desperation to judge our playing abilities and where we stand, by playing with a stronger team. A team that is funded big heartedly by their management, stood taller compared to us. Also our coach was adamant on having this match happen as she has trained them too, previously. That attempt bore positive result and we started warming up on the volleyball ground cum basketball turf. The match went well and we gave our best to even try to stand up erect in front of the mighties.
We lost 2-1, but it was worth playing to see our follies and pros. The best part was the refreshments served at the end of the match. It was a very generous and kind gesture from the DIS management. The flavored milk and rusk were an ultimate combination to satisfy the hunger arose post match and a true refreshment after a hard lost sets. In the future we had an opportunity to face them in All District championship, but it was averted fortunately or unfortunately.
It was accidental that Simr got enrolled for the Volleyball training of 2006 school summer camp. He showed promising stuff at the cricket training during PT classes. And consequently, was invited by the PT Instructor, to go for cricket trials after school, indirectly through a new friend who encompassed in various sports activities and represented school at several occasions for one or the other reasons. He got a chance to bowl, but failed miserably. It was evident that he was not made for this Indian popular sport. But this was the beginning and soon he felt to give a try to volleyball which as a matter of fact, he never played in his whole life.
So, the summer camp started, and it was really crowded as all the enthusiasts for different sports were collected under a single roof. When most of the guys and girls were expecting to get a hands on of their sports on the first day, it went in contrary. A run from the school to the parade ground was organized for warming up.It was hard and tiring during the time when May had departed and mighty June was coming strong without ever warming up on its first day. It was the first lesson, a start of the long journey, he was about to initiate that opened the door of various experiences he would be going through over the next few years.
The concept of warming up was very well designed, as can be seen the next day when there was a considerable amount of reduction in the population compared to the first day.