Last weekend, a younger cousin (male) of mine and I were enjoying a game of Lawn Tennis, well he was and I wasnt… Thats because I lost all my stamina in the first game itself and by the second one, I was in no mood to run! My complacency and gaucherie soon got the better of him and he commented

Kya ladkiyon ki tarah khel rahi hai… dhang se khel na!! (Why are you playing like women? Play properly!) 

My first instinct was to go across the lawn and bash him blue with my Tennis racquet. And yet I found myself standing there with an I-know-what-you-mean kinda smile on my face! I knew exactly the meaning behind the supposed sexist statement he had passed.

When I was growing up, I was into all kinds of sports – my preferred choice being outdoorsy types! They rejuvenated me like nothing else could.

Until 8th Standard, almost all the girls at least tried to give their best to whatever we were playing – usually DodgeBall or ThrowBall – {have always loved my school, but I will always grieve the fact that the sole volleyball ground in the school was property of the boys, so we had to content ourselves with games like Dodge-all and Throw-Ball}. Nevertheless, it was fun playing those games!! I used to hate missing schools, specially on the days when we had Games period.

Come 9th Standard, girls were not girls anymore… they were turning into women! That led to a marginal decline in their willingness to indulge in any kind of sports/games. Most of them were more into their looks than even their books!😛 Moreover, playing sports is so “manly”! D-huh!! The ones still interested were a tiny lot… who did not have a team big enough to play anything.

Come 10th Standard, Women were either into their studies, looks or discussing about guys! No one had the time or even the inclination to play any kind of games. Games period was no fun anymore! This wud very often depress me as I really looked forward to it

Come 11-12th Standard, Games classes in schools were spend solving assignments/studying/sleeping!

Some women themselves have created a mould where-in they themselves are not interested in any kind of sports. They consider it un-feminine for some reason. Bull shit.

And yet again, some want to do well but the stereotype that prevails in the society, prevents them from doing so. The state is quite sad! Movies like Chak De further highlight the kind of responses women in sports get from people around them! No one wants to take them seriously… its almost as if no one is convinced that they will do well!! Who knows India probably lost a promising Tennis player in Ruchika Girhotra, thanks to the lecherous head of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, retired Director-General of Haryana, SPS Rathore. He killed not one, but two promising Tennis players of India.

When it comes to sports, women are doing better by the day… but we still have a loooong way to go! Hopefully, we will be given as many opportunities as men to do well.. even in sports!

Amen!