Dec 17, 2012

Ping Pong

A fierce battle was going on between the two opponents playing ping pong, an activity organized as part of Friday Afternoon Club meeting at the International House.

"What is the score?", I asked one of the audiences who seemed to have watched the game from the start.

"9-10 serving", he replied, his eyes fixed towards the game.

The game had attracted quite an audience who were cheering for every point won. After all, no one knew both the players well to take a side.

I joined the crowd and decided to cheer up for one of them simply because he was closer to me than his opponent.

"You play well. Do you play ping pong often?", I asked him between the game.

"This is my first time", he replied.

"Where are you from?"

"India. In my country we call this game as table tennis", he replied. "I had watched the game often in TV during Olympics or Asian games, but haven't played it before".

His opponent's service came too fast that he did not have a chance to make a contact. "10-10. Play for two points", an audience who took the role of a referee announced.

I shifted my position and move towards his opponent. He had scored an important point to even the game. Two more services like the last one will surely make him the winner of the game tonight.

He was as tensed as the other player who had just lost a point and was ready to break the service. He relaxed only when he heard a loud cheer followed after the Indian player losing yet another point. 

"Good come back", yelled the crowd in support.

One more serve and the game was over. I moved closer to the other player and asked him where he was from. The Indian player conceded his defeat, walked closer towards the winner and shook his hands when the winner said, "I am from Pakistan".

There was a momentary silence between the players which was broken sooner than it formed.

"Good game", the Indian patted. "Thank you! You played well too. Can't believe it's your first game!", his opponent replied.