Monday, April 2, 2007

St.Aidan Reunion(Part 1 of 3):It started with football and ended with football!!

"Aiyo!the heat,the heat.."Kamalesh in the background,slumped on his knees and wishing he was in Tioman or something.
Vicky saying "enough is enough"..on his way to a solo effort.

Hips dont lie,folks.30 minutes in,and the hands on the hips dance continues...

Fuyoh....the samba begins

Crouch on a hat-trick, and Liverpool demolished Arsenal 4-1 on March 31st

"Siva,there's going to be a football match organized before the reunion.Involving some Bahau guys". That was all that was needed to send my pulse reeling.Jeeva had opened a can of worms inside my head.Images of me writhing in agony,swollen shins,bruised ego,broken bones.They all came flooding back.I mean I must go down in history as the only guy who dislocated his shoulder on a badminton court (actually more like my whole arm came off from its socket).Let's see now...I've had five fractures,4 broken bones including my nose,torn all the ligaments and tendons in my thigh,ankles and knee. Not a bad record...but not an accomplishment that I'd want to add to,no thank you.

But, old habits die hard.There we were, 4pm in the blazing sun,on of all places, St.Aidan's school field.Each one warming up,and trying hard to put up a macho act in front of each other, waiting for our 6-a-side match to take place.I knew most of the guys..Jeeva,Kamalesh,Vicki,Vimal and our very own version of Jamie Carragher,Viji.5 minutes of a kick-about and I was already panting,with my tongue almost seeking medical aid on the grass.Mannnn...was I so out of shape??? brain fact it was a unanimous decision between all ten toes and fingers. 20 minutes later, we had a whole bunch of old boys joining us, and after splitting the team, we got into full gear.
Let's put it this way..the car only went into third gear,before reversing and dying down to a slow painful death . But...this wasnt a Spartan field.Heck,it was footie..and before long, we had out-done the opposition by 4-1.There were no swords exchanged, but more like stumbling bodies, wobbly legs and some super cool samba jiggy by the guys that would have made Ronaldinho proud..or puke!!!Viki was like a German tank, Vimal was the "ice-cool" ladies man, Jeeva was roughing it up like an army general, Kamalesh was like the Steven Gerard of Sentul , and Cikgu Prakash packed in more energy than all of us combined on tongkat ali.Viji was crowned Man of the Match since the opposition proclaimed that all he did was sit in front of the goal and put his body in front of the ball.The tactic worked for us, and he huffed and puffed to a well deserved "non-existing" award. I must say we all stretched every muscle in our body and even ones we never knew existed.It didnt feel that bad trooping off the field. But the sun had left its mark on us...we were like fried turkeys re-fried,but we didnt care.It was so damn humid,and all we wanted was our 100 Plus,and a cool shower.

We had a choice between stripping off and using the old school taps to wash-off.But that would have been cruel to the rats,cats and dogs of Bahau.They didnt deserve to die horrible deaths watching us in our birthday glory.Instead,we hopped over to a small hotel beside the school.It was only RM 30 for an air-cond room, and that would do for a shower at least.Our eyes popped and jaws dropped to the floor when we saw the state of the hotel room.Pulau Jerjak prisoners would have had much better lodging and the bathroom was like from another "Alam Flora meets Indah Water" planet.We tried to shut our brains to stop ourselves from conjuring up sleazy images of past residents of the room...but it just wouldnt go away.But..let's not go into that.I promised Vimal I'd spare everyone, graphic shots from the room. forward to after the reunion.Kamalesh,Viji and myself were franticallly looking at our watches.7.50...good lord..10 minutes of the Liverpool-Arsenal game was already playing.Either we sped back to our respective hometowns to catch at least the last 15 minutes of the game, or find a restaurant with a TV showing the match.Cikgu was our saviour. He got us fast to a nice Cafe (I think it was called Nine after Night) where the match was projected onto a white screen, which was,unfortunately upside down.All that mattered as we cringed our heads sideways, was that "Liverpool 1, Arsenal 0". Yes!!!

The guys got their beers, and we all tucked in hungrily over our nice chicken chop dinners, which I must say,was pretty decent. But the pace of the game on the screen distracted our munching mouths to engage our arms in victorious punches as Crouch notched up another two goals with Agger bagging the other for a memorable victory (no..wait..wait..more like bazooka-ing the hell out of Arsenal's fortress). Pity there werent any Arsenal fans among us, and even the Man U supporters were happy enough to see a Liverpool victory.It was a great way to end such an eventful day. After the game, We shook hands,bade goodbye and went along our own ways.Each promising we'd keep in touch, and with the hope that we could organize another game during the 50th year anniversary event in October.

As I drove past the old school field, the night air filled me images of the times I used to run around the field when I was a kid.I remember the late evenings when i used to practice kicking the ball into the open goal.I'd imagine myself as Ian Rush, and try to score from 40-50 metres out, to the thunderous roar and applause of phantom audiences. I remember all the sports meets,and the sprint events I took part in.I remember once when I was 7, I challenged my mum around the 200m bend, and she beat me flat.I remember trying to fly a kite in the glorious wind, and failing miserably.I remember the whole field was once flooded,and yet, we stubbornly tried to play football in it. And even the girls joined in too, (mind you, this was way before movies like "Gol and Gincu and Bend it Like Beckham")

Where have all those fun days gone to?
It only took me 30 seonds to drive past my beloved old school field, but it brought me back 30 years in time to a place where so much happened.To me it wasnt just a field, it was more like an ocean of memories...and I'm thankful that I got to at least swim again through its everlasting tide.
p/s the following day, it was noted that many of the battered soccer warriors became very religious people.Legend had it that many of them were found sprawled on their beds, clutching their sides groaning "Oh, god!Oh!god!"

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