Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Basketball Diaries

Lately I have been playing a lot of basketball. Well, “a lot” is relative. compared to the EVERYDAY of about 7 years ago, today it is 3 days a week. And I can feel it in my legs if I play 3 days consecutively :-)

Mostly its at the IIT courts (lit up at night), and maybe once a week at the French school, courtesy Jeremy.

I have managed to find a group of ex-IIT guys (about 5-8 years junior to me, mind you) who are still passionate about the game, and, more important, have the time to come around every evening. We usually play against the current IIT team, and manage to beat them about 9 times out of 10. At times we also get some of the better Delhi club players, so its always a exciting and challenging game. The feeling of returning home after a tiring game is priceless.

We even managed to get some IIT-D uniforms made for ourselves (the last one i owned was about 10 years ago), with our names.

But I think the hidden reason I go there so regularly is to feel the camaraderie that comes by belonging to a team. I have come to realize that this is what I crave for, this is my favorite high. This is what i enjoyed most at IIT, and at i2 : being around people who are good at what they do.

I have a theory about this. In these kind of teams/institutions/groups, where everyone is competent and can be trusted to do their part, you avoid the petty bickering and politics that plague normal organizational units. Instead of looking for ways to cover your ass in case anything goes wrong, people tend to take calculated risks, leading to innovation, and more importantly, a great working atmosphere.

Okay, enough sociology ! (I did take that as an optional course at some point of time). I have also had some excellent drinking nights with these folks, a crucial element in any male bonding scenario !  Its a great occasional contrast to the slightly more civilized (read cultured) life I have been living for the last few years. And of course, I love the bit of respect and deference I get by the virtue of being older to them. They (sometimes) actually listen to what I say ;-)

And although I am still playing some golf, I feel that I still have some years of basketball left before I take that up seriously.