I stood right there ….right there in front of the goal post, watching in amazement as Prateek shoveled the ball over the helpless goalkeeper of IT BHU..and the next thing I remember is that we were running all over, shrieking with joy …It was as if we had won a war…I had been waiting for that moment for more than two long years now…After a minute or so the whistle blew..Finally a victory.. Our first win in the last so many years and one that shall silence the good -for-nothing gossipmongers for at least a year ..What a nerve wrecker match it was…especially with all the hell lot of jeering going on from the BHU side (especially some of the gals consistently shouting “Sir 1 number chahiye” ; jersey no.1 being me!!).
Today, I can’t stop being proud as I see my silver medal gleaming in my laptop screen as I type this post…
Physical fitness was one of my top priorities as I entered BITS and it could not have been better achieved without hockey. A hockey striker fits completely into a description of an alpha male. Athletic, quick and loaded with stamina… After one and half month of gruesome practice I found myself in extras for my first BOSM(Bits Open Sports Meet) .It was due to a couple of horrific injuries (our captain being one of the injured with 8 stitches on his lips on eve of BOSM)that I finally got to get into the field. In every game I found myself panting and helpless .The SBMJC guys were a class apart. The only significant contribution I think I made in that edition of BOSM was missing a half chance against BHU.
In the second year our practice sessions resembled more of a nazi military camp. The work out was really gruesome and our skipper (who was our goal keeper) unrelenting. The only relief being watching the volleyball girl’s team practice. This BOSM turned out to be particularly frustrating as we were not able to score a single goal. Although, our defense managed to put up a brilliant show, the other two teams were simply way better than us.
Every BOSM leaves a huge impact on every participant. With a lot of memories to be cherished later and a lot of physical pain to suffer(which is invariably the case with me…got smacked with the opponent’s stick on my fingers this time round J).This is what happened after BOSM in 2nd year…
Maheshawar ! Mahesahwar! Maheshwar! I shouted for a pass as he dribbled his way through the defense and he casually pushed the ball towards me. It was an usual pass but was destined to have some unusual consequences on my Bitsian life at least…as the ball struck my ankle ,blood oozed out from as it had hit an old injury and I winced in pain .This was to render me immobile for at least a few days.
Sometime later that week, I decided to open the burly ES1 text book. I had taken a make up for test 1 due to an injury while playing in BOSM that (2nd) year. As I lifted the book a sheet of paper fell on the ground which on a closer look turned out to be the hand out and somehow these words caught my eye (”ALL NOTICES WILL BE PUT UP ON FD2 NOTICE BOARD ONLY” ) and I realized that I had committed a grave foul (that too inside the D !!!). It so turned out that I had missed my make up test while I was in the field. Actually I had been checking for the notice on the EEE notice board for the past so many days and the test was conducted when the reinjury had rendered me immobile.
It also seems opportune to me to mention my heated argument with my roomie (Teka) after the hockey team suffered a humiliating defeat from BHU. Ranging from stamina, libido to commitment towards the sport, it culminated into a challenge of defeating IT BHU in the next edition of BOSM. I am too glad to mention that we finally managed to get the better of BHU this year.
The situation with hockey is quite peculiar. Unlike the other sports which people generally pursue since their school days, many of us learnt how to hold a stick here in BITS. Getting proficiency in hockey is believe me, not that easy as there are multiple skills to be learnt that require regular practice and perseverance. Be it basketball, football or volley ball, they involve direct contact with the source of impact (hand or feet) and the ball but in hockey there is a instrument of impact which you ought to master first. Even if you master your skills well, hockey being the fastest team sport requires a hell lot of coordination and control.
The reasons for the not so spectacular performance of our team are not too difficult to seek. First and foremost is the perennial and burdensome test series that makes it too demanding for the players to be regular. Until and unless we guys somehow manage to play round the year nothing substantial can be achieved. Also the game requires a lot of stamina which cannot be built overnight. Real time practice can only be had if we have at least 22 guys on field .That is a huge number for a game on verge of extinction elsewhere. I feel that our practice needs to be more specific ; specially we need to work on our forward line because these people require both speed and skills.
Hockey has made me realize the fact that something can go wrong even after your putting the very best of efforts. I learnt to drain all my anger, aggression and anxiety in the field itself .I particularly enjoyed altercations with the cricket and football guys who used to encroach upon our field .This ,I feel is the chief reason of my characteristic cool temperament. The hockey field is the only place on this earth where I have literally shed both my blood and sweat. And I deeply wish that this shall turn the silver into gold next year…
PS: ”Go BITS GO” was our war cry during BOSM 2009.