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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Goa Diaries: Beach Football

In the morning, it was time for frisbee. Two of us made good company as I explored various facets of frisbee in sharp sea winds; and miserably failed in making sense of any new styles.

At the end of the evening when the water had just started to turn grey, I again made my way to the beach: however, this time I was along with 10 other people and now was time for some football. There is no better place to play football then on the beach during low tide. Even grass field is no comparison. The sand which had sea upon it only a few hours ago is smooth and clayish which allows rapid speed of game; and it is soft enough that if you fall on it during a rough header – you fall with a soft thud.

And there, as a part of the shirtless team, I scored a goal; and there has been no goal I have ever scored in a more pleasant wind than the one which I scored then. Infact, I have never been injured without a hint of pain, as happened then (which suddenly brought the game to a halt). Even though my entire toe was smeared in thin red coating of blood, shining against the background of sparkling sand; and apparently my toe-nail had been broken - there was no pain. As if the winds kissed my toe to make the pain go away. Some Savlon and cotton later, I was ready to head to the swimming pool. It partially satiated my craving to swim in the sea, which was forbidden (it’s monsoon!).

It rained pretty much the whole of the day which followed, and even from a distance we could hear the sea gurgling. By the time it was evening the rain stopped and the sky cleared out for the first time (and the last time) of my week in Goa. There was nothing much to be done the whole night, except working towards the case presentation in the morning; nevertheless I managed to steal an hour to swim, including a little time for a steaming Jacuzzi.

The fourth day of my stay in Goa saw the end of my training and beginning of the party and guess how did it start: by listing down the agenda and time schedules for the next three days (welcome to the world of structure). At around midnight we went to the beach which looked even more mysterious in the weak drizzle. The sand was just perfect for making some castles and royal bridges and so on, much jibed by my colleagues. While coming back we had to take cover under umbrellas for it had started to rain hard, and it was then that we understood the real worth of IIT education. So this is what followed: Harsh winds made the umbrella in my hand wobble and go sideways as a result of which it flipped and its shape changed from convex to concave when seen from the top side. And thus the aeronautical engineer from IIT Bombay stepped up and displayed a fine display of his engineering abilities, by trying to push the cloth of umbrella against the wind to get it back into the shape. We made him stand apart and watch how by pointing the umbrella against the wind we could automatically get it back into its original shape, much to his dismay and embarrassment.

Next evening was time for some serious football: with almost 14 people a side trying to score goal in a goalpost half the size (in all 3 dimensions) of a normal goalpost. It was raining, there were mud pools in the grass as a result of which the ground became amazingly slippery. And then we were playing without our shoes. The amount of times when people tried to take just that extra step to reach the ball and ended up with their back on the ground and legs in the air, and an expression of how did I fall smirked on their faces. The amount of time when it was just an attacker and a goalkeeper and all that the attacker ended up doing was to fall on his 2 feet, 2 hands and his poor back. The amount of time when people tried to jump attempting a header and instead ended up being in a pile of similar people was all too scary and funny at the same time. With some sheer luck I was in the team which had some amazing strikers and defenders, and with some similar sheer luck I was present near the goal post (and so were around 20 odd people), and on sensing something about to happen I ran towards the goalpost and just when I was trying to stop to see where the ball was, I found it passed in front of my legs: And that all I had to do was to extend the leg without falling, and that I did that and thus scored the first goal for our team. Soon enough we scored another 4 goals and had a lead of 5-0. Some players changed and suddenly the defense of the other team became too strong, in fact on one occasion our midfielder tried to pass a long ball into the D but the ball found one of their bulky defenders right on his legs, and such was the power of shot that the ball again returned to the midfielder who again took a shot and it again hit the defender squarely on his legs and again returned to the midfielder who again took a shot and again found the same defender and the same portion of his legs but this time ball went out of the ropes. A little later, the game ended and we won 5-2.

After football, I decided to spend an hour walking far and wide on the beach; and for the first time - all alone. The sea had receded far-far back; so I traveled a good distance before I reached the waters. There were huge waves rising just near the shore; but in totality it was so quite that if you didn’t look towards the sea, you wouldn’t even believe that there was a sea which you were standing besides. If you ever felt weird on seeing a great storm outside your glass pane but not being able to hear it because of the glass pane: it was exactly the same feeling, except that there was no pane which made the entire thing weird.

The waves curled unto a great height and crashed: and yet they made no noise. It was absolutely silent. It was tickling to look at the sky, wondering about the thick cloud cover, closing my eyes and feelings the breeze, and just looking away from the sea towards the pine trees; and suddenly feeling the water go under my feet with such speed that it made the tickle travel up my body and suddenly throw my shoulders into awry.

That night the party had just begun...


  1. Very well written Man.... :)
    U can borrow my football shoes... I don't use them anymore....
    How is it going there?

  2. So now the blog posts are also titled "Diaries"! :P

    Anyways, nice read it was. :)

  3. @ Malkiat - thanks. What is the size of your shoes?

    @ Surbhi - on popular demand :)

  4. Nice set of posts (the Goa ones). Poetic style of writing you have.

    Pedant corner: One of the dimensions in a football goal is pretty meaningless. You just need two to get going on with :D