Back in the days when I was younger, fitter and more competitive, playtime meant physical activity of a competitive nature on the open ground opposite my house in Sanjaynagar, Bangalore. I still fondly remember the days when me and my friends used to wait for the summer vacations or Pooja holidays at our respective schools, as this meant that we could pretty much spend the whole day in the ground playing cricket or football, depending on which World Cup was playing on our TV screens. Right from perfecting the in-swinging yorkers and that lovely ‘Sachin-esque’ straight drive to dribbling past defenders and scoring that lovely goal, our days were spent in perfecting these elusive pieces of art from what we saw on TV.
And when it was either too hot to be playing outdoors or raining outside, then the group would immediately shift the action indoors and play games like Business (Indian version of Monopoly), carom, Scotland Yard or some such random game to while away our time. Once the first computer arrived home, our indoor games comprised mostly of FIFA 97 or other First Person Shooter games with each of us taking turns after specified time intervals.
The three of us, who still remain close friends, retain very fond memories of those days before life caught up with us and we had to focus on more ‘important’ things like college, assignments, entrance exams and the like.
Even at college, my concept of playtime continued with weekend basketball, cricket and football outings on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Although these were less competitive than earlier, I still retained that hunger to win and enjoyed a good physical workout more than ever before.
However, it was only when ‘work’ officially began after my graduation that ‘playtime’ as a concept took a backseat making only occasional appearances in the form of cricket practice or football in those offshore team outings at resorts across South India. But then, these were hardly competitive and were more indulged in for the ‘fun factor’ rather than being serious in nature. ‘Playing to win’ was done only within the four walls of an office now rather than out there on the playground.
It was only a couple of years ago, when my daughter started walking, did ‘playtime’ make a serious comeback in my life. However, it now involved her playthings like rattles, dolls, toys that drummed, etc. Playing with her to try and improve her hand-eye co-ordination and other similar exercises continue till date and I hope she will deem me ‘friends’ enough with her for a while longer when I introduce her to badminton on the streets and other similar physical activities.
However, for now, I have to content myself with taking her to the children’s’ park in the neighborhood and supervise her coming down the various slides and helping her swing to and fro there.
I am sure all of you readers have fond memories of your ‘playtime’ from the years gone by. Go on, use the comments section to regale the rest of us with these stories.
This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to write about what playtime means to me.