Sunday, July 30, 2017

Anjali - The Girls Team Won!

Anjali was at Rishab's house this afternoon for his birthday. These days there is a lot of girls versus boys stuff going on in their class and the competitive lasses are giving the guys a run for their money. The girl's team normally comprises of Anjali (the voice and the energy I figure), Mansi, Apurva, Divya, Snigdha, Rida and others. The boys team typically starts with her best friend and arch rival Harsh, Rishab, Yashwantt, Kartikeya and others. Not a day goes by without a boys- girls fight or a competition. Be it kabaddi, kho kho, debate or whatever.

So by the time I went to pick her up, the children were animatedly playing a game of cricket. Before I realised what was happening I was swamped by Anjali. 'We won Nanna,' she said. 'I am the wicket keeper and the captain and the girls team won.' Harsh was looking a bit lost and he said, 'But I still have to bat.' But the girls shouted him down (with help from the umpire who was Rishab's father) that the rest of the batsmen were out and he cannot bat alone.

Girls team 39 all out in 5 overs. Boys 29 in 3.5 overs. Harsh conceded the match, shook her hand and said 'Congratulations Anjali.' There was plenty of whooping, some boys wanting a revenge match etc and then we headed back.

That's when I got the full blast of the victory in the car.
'We won Nanna. The girl's team won. I was the captain of the girl's side. I am so happy. We won. Divya should be the woman of the match. She got three fours in the last over. You have not seen her. Very good at sports, very athletic. She hit three fours. Very good (full on appreciation). I got eight runs. One four. But okay. I did not bowl. Thought the others will do a better job so gave it to Mansi. She can bowl very fast when she puts her mind to it.'.

And then came small nuggets about how she went about it all.
'It was not planned as a boys versus girls match. I was made captain because Rishab wanted to play against me. He was captain of his team. I could have picked Yaswantt after Rishabh picked Harsh. But I saw Yaswantt trying to hide his face so I won't pick him. He is good but what's the use of having someone who does not want to play for my team. He will play for the other team. So I decided to pick Sahith. Then Rishab picked Yaswantt and Karthikeya and Varun. And I picked all the girls - Mansi, Apurva and Divya. At least they will play for the team. Sahith is sportive. He will play for the team even if it is a girl's team. So I picked him.'
I could not agree more.
'I don't know if I can choose like that but that's how I felt,' she said.
I told her she did well and that it is important that she must choose the right team before embarking on any mission. 'Then they will give their best for the team,' I said. She was happy.

'We batted first. I opened with Sahith. In 2 overs we were 25 for 1. Sahith was bowled. I got 8 runs. Mansi got some runs. When Divya was going to bat Harsh was making jokes and she was laughing. I told her to focus. I told her she could crack jokes after the match and that she should now shut her ears and become deaf to Harsh because he will keep talking and distract her. Divya batted very well and hit three fours and we got 39 with extras etc. Then we all went to eat snacks.'

She continued.
'Mansi bowled the first over. I said I will keep wickets. In the third ball I got Yaswantt run out. Then Apurva was not ready to bowl the second over. She told me that she did not know how to bowl etc. I told her that she was good, that we all knew she was good and that she should just tell herself that she is good. I made her say it aloud that she is good to herself, three times. Then she bowled a beautiful over and got two wickets.'
Wow. That's pretty good motivation. Making her team mate believe in herself and telling her how to go about it.

'While I was doing my wicket keeping one neighbouring uncle came. He saw me and he was saying 'Wow, a girl is doing wicket keeping. She is like a female MS Dhoni" he said. I was so happy to hear that. Then that uncle asked Rishabh's father what my role was. Rishabh's father said "she is the captain". That uncle was even more impressed. 'Wow! Captain also when there is a boy in the team (Saahith had joined the team by then). We must encourage this. She is playing like Mithali Raj" he said. I was so happy. Dhoni is good but when he said Mithali I was so proud. Girls no. I got Yaswantt run out in the first over, easy. Saahith was like 'I cannot bowl etc.' I told him to focus and bowl that's all. For a moment I thought I should bowl then I felt I don't bowl as well as the others so I did not.'

It went on and on in that vein with some brilliant little stories about how it happened.
'But we won Nanna,' she exulted. 'You won't believe how happy I am. We beat the boys.'

When the excitement abated a bit she asked me when I played my first match and what happened. i don't remember much but I told her it was not as dramatic as this.

Anjali repeated the entire story in great detail to her mom and her cousin Pooja. It's almost two hours since then and she is still going around whooping at home 'I won, I won'. To celebrate the moment she played 'Chak De' loudly on the computer and then 'Baadal ke Paaon hain'.

Wow. What energy. What enthusiasm. I loved her captaincy, picking the right people for the right reasons, encouraging her players and trusting them to do the job, not hogging everything and letting the ones who are doing a good job do it. I think all her resources contributed and her happiness at their success, her admiration of their their skill is obvious. Her happiness as being compared to MSD first and then even better, with Mithali, put her on top of the world. In  fact she said it as much - 'I feel like I am on top of the world. And the jounral entry of the match starts with - "This feeling is just unbelievable to explain."

Wonderful. Good show girls. Go show them. And good show skipper. Good stuff.


Girija said...

Wow. Felt like as if I watched an IPL match. Congrats to Anjali.

Harimohan said...

Glad you enjoyed the cliff hanger Girija. The Girls Team Won! :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome article.