Twenty-three men including my static Module Leader and electrostatic Project Leader rampaging the field more or less summed up the activities of Sunday morning. Frayed tempers in place of shipping orders, fouls in place of cursors, penalties instead of defects, cuss words instead of staid remarks and free kicks instead of time-sheet entries were the order of the day. It rained and they played on. Sometimes, its seemed that ball willed itself to get stuck in the mud after every two meters, yet resolute in their determination, to make it move, they went on and on.
I wouldn’t blame them of course. It isn’t everyday that a bunch of part young, part middle-aged, part pot-bellied and part washboard abed, part in shorts and part in Bermudas, part in spikes and part barefoot, some balding and some sporting pigtails motley group of software engineers abandon their PCs in favor of the lush, green, wide open spaces. Welcome to the Annual All-Matches-In-a-Day Football Tournament.
There were the obvious concessions given to our players. They weren’t exactly professionals so, behold! Each match was played for twenty-five minutes, (ten minutes a side) During the five minute break, they gulped glucose prepared lovingly by us – the only four women who cared sufficiently for our year end appraisals to prefer the football ground to the cozy comforts of the bed on a sleepy Sunday morning.
Well, we women pretended to enjoy, we groaned when they missed goals, clapped with joy when they did not. We cheered whenever we thought there wasn’t sufficient noise on the field and gasped when a fight broke out between two hotheaded colleagues. We served water, and glucose and lunch and let the guys know that it was their day. I finally felt like an archetypal Balaji Telefilms Bahu. We pretended to get embarrassed when the men took off their shirts after the match, and felt nothing with all the sweat, muck and mud all around us.
And when our team lost, we wept copious tears. After a day full of histrionics, when I couldn’t take it any more, I begged D to atone for all the horrors and do the one thing that would make us feel better. We went shopping!!!