Thursday, 29 May, 2008

Trials, tribulations and twists

My ankle throbs as I type. Okay, the throbbing stopped in the morning, but what the hell, that was a good opening sentence.

It was a crater that did it, a dent on the surface of the PNT ground in Anna Nagar, as I made an overlapping run down the left flank. One moment, I was calling for the person with the ball at his feet – I forget who exactly – to pass the damn thing to me, the next I was hobbling back towards Pommie in goal.

“This time, it’s the left ankle,” I said with a grimace.

I’ve twisted my right ankle three times.

The first time was at Soma (Somasundaram ground, in T Nagar, behind North Usman Road), when we were kicking the ball back and forth before the match actually began. I landed heavily – I can’t land any other way, built as I am – as I passed to some chap with the outside of my foot, my foot crumpling underneath the rest of me as I fell.

I sat on the ground for a long time, and felt rather faint.

Later that night, my ankle was strapped up in crepe bandages and a painkiller stuck up my backside. The X-rays didn’t show up any damage, even though my ankle had swelled like a bhatura just before the finger-poke.

The next time was at Soma again, a week or so after the first time, when I clumsily stuck my just-recovered foot out to tackle someone flying down the right wing, and ended up landing awkwardly again. This time, I regained my balance as I fell, and it didn’t hurt so much; until the next day.

The third time was at PNT, and this time, I played on after it happened, hobbling about uselessly and getting in everyone's way.

This most recent twist, the left ankle, didn’t hurt after the first couple of minutes. I managed to run around as usual (which equates to a cross between a dodo and an orca, according to The Wats, who has a way with metaphors, or alliterations, or transferred epithets, or whatever else) and made a couple of interceptions, a couple of memorable passes – the best of which went to a chap on the other team who called opportunistically for it – and a few nifty off-the-ball runs which nobody, including my teammates, spotted.

Playing football after nearly a year; it was pretty darn – for lack of a better adjective – awesome. Considering I begin work on Monday, I’m unsure when the next time will be. And I haven’t played cricket for a long time either. Just as I imagined a week-long orgy of underarm matches, Rajesh Madhini tells me his doctor’s barred him from playing sport for two months – thanks to fluid in his knee or the lack of it, I’m not sure which.

At this point, I’d like to end with a little verse about knees and ankles, but since I don’t know any, I request someone else to come up with one, or pilfer someone else’s, and call it their own.