Saturday, April 01, 2006

An unimportant post

Since I have joined the company I am currently working in, the predominant form of entertainment is Table Tennis (or as the Americans know it Ping-Pong). I don't consider myself the expert in it, given the fact that I have not had much chance to play TT before. But I am at getting good at it pretty fast.

Being a popular entertainment here the table is almost always busy and playing a singles game should be considered a windfall, and a double's game doesn't improve your skills very much. I play with colleagues who are of varied talent. District champions to learning-to-hold-the-bat. I find that there is so much variety in the way one can approach a ball, be it while serving, returning, smashing or blocking. The key is to develop a varied skill-set and to know what to use when, and do it consistently correct. I have a friend-cum-roomie, who in my observation neither has a varied skill-set in the game, nor is conventional. But he is surprisingly correct, and consistently so. The win-loss ratio between the two of us is already heavily tilted on his side. During the last two days it only got worse for me. I lost 3-4 yesterday and 0-7 today. It didn't really bother me till we finished the games. But now that I am alone, it is humiliating. It completely clouds my mind. Thoughts like,

"There a few instances that I pulled back from behind to level, only to give it all away".

"The fact that he has been playing longer than me doesn't help. I have been playing long enough to start winning. After all, I do have some skills that I have learnt".

annexes the mind. The mind refuses to relinquish the thought and move on to more important things to do. On the contrary, it only compounds the problem. Now I don't feel like doing the more important things to do. All of a sudden, I feel like I am doing a useless job, I reject the evening plans to roam around because, all of a sudden, I don't like the city anymore and want to go back to Chennai, and I get unreasonable when friends play a harmless prank on me.

This post is as unimportant as the game of TT itself, but it has undone what the loss in TT has done to me. Well the humiliating defeat will stay on, but at least it kept me reasonable. I don't feel like I don't want to go back to the TT table and pick up the bat anymore. Maybe I will lose another series 7-0. But what the hell, that’s just a droplet, if my life is an ocean.


anand said...

Badri in Matrix style:

You already have made the choice. All you have to do now is try to understand why you made it?

:)) romba thathuvama iruka???

EdMcGon said...

Badrhi, is table tennis to become your life's work, or is it merely a pleasurable game with which to pass the time?

I faced a comparable situation with bowling. I took up bowling in a league one night a week when I was a little younger than you are now. I eventually started bowling two nights a week, and my average was up to 165, which was better than most people in my leagues.

But then I hit a plateau. I was not getting any better, or worse. I got frustrated by my inability to improve. I realized to get better, then I would need to bowl three times a week. But I did not want to dedicate that much of my life to bowling, so I gave up the sport entirely.

If I could not get better bowling as much as I was, and I could not enjoy bowling at my current level of accomplishment, then there was no point in pursuing it any further.

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