Once while I was studying in school, I was playing cricket with friends. I was batting, and one ball bounced and hit one of my eyes. My vision of that eyeball was blurred. For next three days, I could not see well, and I did not tell my parents too. I thought this game is dangerous because the ball is very hard. And also I felt that to get a chance of bowling or batting or during fielding one has to be attentive and be spending lots of time waiting for the chance. Even among friends, those who own the bat, the ball would sometimes bully and get more time for batting or bowling, and others need just to spend time fielding. There are a hierarchy, oppression, suppression and many things a weaker person could face in the team games. Therefore the other game which I liked is Table Tennis. I found so many advantages while playing the game. The ball is small; one will never get hurt. It is an indoor game, and one can play anytime. The place required is less and maintenance is very less. The grounds need to be maintained with grass and lots of water is required. The movements are quick, and decisions are very fast. In one’s life, this game might also train in taking quick decisions and respond too. Improves eyesight with so much exercise watching the ball movement. And it is an individual sport and fewer politics in getting into a team. The so many other advantages that I am learning even now.
There was a Table Tennis table lying in one corner of the school. We never thought about it. Our junior Mr. Srinivas (the tall one), knew the game. He some others with some knowledge requested our Physical Training teacher and got it placed. We saw they were playing and the game interested us. With friends sometimes visited the recreation club of Survey of India next to our school building. We started playing table tennis with the bats and balls available there. Mr. Aravindan, my friend, gave a piece of a bat without a handle. One day we both went to Beerappagadda, Uppal and got the handle made by a local carpenter. Now I have my own bat. Some of our classmates, Narendra, Aravindan, AM Prasad, T. Srinivas and some of our juniors started playing table tennis in the school. There was only one table, and we were many. We need to wait and sometimes fight for a chance to play. Soon we friends got addicted to this game especially during the 8th and 9th class. Sometimes we used to play late in the evening until the time the school doors closed. But we were not satisfied, wanted to play move. Some of us found a secret door and way to enter the school and play the table tennis. There used to be a door at the far end, connected to a corridor. By keeping the bolt open, it appeared as though the door is closed, we would enter the school again by pushing the door. Another approach was by jumping over the partition at the stair which was connected to the second floor. Once entered, without anyone to disturb we used to play till late in the evenings. One of the reasons for going home late was we usually would not get the bus as all the buses were full of all the children used to come out of school at the same time.
After school, next two years I did not play. I joined for my graduation degree in PG College of Science Saidabad. This college had an excellent sports room and table tennis too. Soon, I started playing. When I was in the first year, I even fought with my seniors once as they were not giving me a chance. They said that you have two years to play and you can wait. My obsession with this game started increasing, used to play even in the university hostel. My immediate senior Mr. Arun Kumar became my friend, and we both used to play a lot. In this college, the classes were few, as most of the students rarely attended the classes, so I had lots of time playing the game. Soon, I became a good player and started beating everyone in the match. In my game spinning the ball was my favorite. At home, I used to practice the spin of the ball on the wall. During the first year annual sports, I won over my seniors including the seniors who fought with me too. They accepted and appreciated by interest finally. Now my confidence increased, I was dreaming that I could become a state or national player. I requested my father to give money for buying a GKI bat. Now, I was feeling confident of my game. I found that YMCA at Narayanguda is the place where many state players practice. I went and took membership there for playing Table Tennis. On day one, I was waiting at one of the tables; two girls were playing. After some time, one of the girls gave me a chance to play. I had more confidence in my defense and spinning. But with the least score, I was defeated. Now, I was shattered, as I thought, I am a good player. So, I gave up going to the YMCA but continued to play the game. Mr. Arun Kumar, took me to the Osmania University campus to improve our game. The university was about ten kilometers from our college. I was first time introduced to the “Lounge” at the University, which was in the basement of the Osmania University Arts College building. This place had Three Table Tennis tables and few carrom boards to play. It was like a den with full of smoke from the cigarettes. Some of the students while playing the games also smoked. We together especially played doubles with so many players and improved our game. Also used to visit the Lounge of the science college which was opposite of the Geology Department. This continued until the end of third year happily.
Again when, I joined the Master of Science in Geography ie., after two years, our college was in the Arts College building of Osmania University. My classmate Mr. Chandrapal was also a good player. So we both used to play a lot in both the same lounges again. Recently, again I started playing Table Tennis. I met my classmate, Mr. T. Srinivas, again here and we often played the game. I never lost my interest in the game. This game helped me especially to take decisions without wasting much of my time.