Tag Archives: frisbee

Operation Blue Star

At the beginning of every frisbee session, we warm up, throw a little bit, and then split into teams. I had forget to teach these kids the most essential aspect of the sport: team names. Josh and I are the captains, my guys choose to be called the “Buckets”, because I have a bucket on my shirt.

Josh tries to advocate for his team to be called “Gulab Jamun”, an Indian dessert that he’s obsessed with. The kids weren’t having it. They all synonymously choose to be called team Blue Star, and we both didn’t really think too much of it.

In the late 1970’s, a man by the name of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was gaining power in the state of Punjab (where my family is from). He had long been a missionary for Sikhism, advocating for people to rid themselves of alcohol, drugs, and other vices. As his popularity grew within Punjab, his thirst for power grew as well. He attempted to gain power legitimately through formal elections, but when he failed, he became increasingly militant.

He began assassinating  those who opposed him while terrorizing the citizens of Punjab. He was so powerful within the state that there was little recourse. He continued to amass weapons, and took shelter at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest temple in the Sikh religion.

Operation Blue Star took place on June 3, 1984, as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian military to storm the Golden Temple and remove the separatists. The operation was succesful, Bhindranwale was killed, but because the operation was held on a Sikh religious holiday, many of the civilians who were trapped inside were also killed.

While it was successful, Sikhs around India considered the entry of military personnel into the Golden Temple to be sacrilegious and a desecration of the holy site. Sikhs within government resigned their positions and gave up their government awards.

A few months later, on Halloween of that same year, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh body guards. Rioting in the streets resulted, as Hindus massacred Sikhs, especially within Delhi. Shops were ransacked, houses burned to the ground, and many were killed. The first places targeted were the gurdwaras, Sikh religious sites, to prevent them from collecting there and mounting a defense. Some have alleged that the ruling party supplied voting lists to identify Sikh citizens and businesses, and hence were complacent with the killings.

So maybe the kids think military operations are cool, or maybe they are Hindus and don’t really care for the Sikhs, I’m not really sure. All I know is that Buckets won and Blue Star lost, and that sort of religious tension and animosity is irrelevant on the field.

Frisbee Session #2

About 10 or 11 kids showed up this past Sunday, with all of them failing to bring water. Josh and I brought a little bit, but it didn’t last long as the kids were running hard.

I’ve been a bit hesitant in terms of how much teaching I should do. I don’t want them to feel as if they are coming just to hear me talk, so for the most part we just play.

We discussed what a travel was (when you move while holding the frisbee) and some of the kids are starting to call it. They call more travels than they stall count (is you are unsure of what stall counts are then you must be a complete loser). Some kids try harder than others. One kid doesn’t believe in defense, and usually just cherry picks the endzone so he can catch the score. He also loves calling travels. He weighs roughly 60 pounds is around 16 years old. I am unsure of whether this kid will ever hit puberty.

3-4 kids showed up that had never played before, so at the beginning of our “frisbee class” as they like to call it, we did names and they all said their favorite hobby. One kid is apparently a poker player millionaire, a lot of kids said they liked cricket, and then we got to Sahil, by far the best of the bunch.

“Hello my name is Sahil, I used to like cricket, but now I like frisbee.”

Either its the game, or I’m a god damn genius. One cricketer at a time, I will eventually convert them all.

Josh and Arvil set out to make Indians the greatest frisbee players the world has ever seen

DSC_0284

Mostly clad in 50 rupee sandals and the latest in designer jeans from Giorgio Armani, we had our first group of frisbee proteges. Today was the first day of the beginning of the greatest dynasty the sport of ultimate will ever see. Ranging in age from 10-18, these kids run like Ochocinco, throw like Brady, and have the intestinal fortitude of a man raised on the water of the Ganges.

Josh and I have been working with a local NGO called Manzil. Here is the link. They are essentially an after school program for poorer children, the sons and daughters of the cooks, maids, and drivers of New Delhi. They teach a variety of subjects, including English, Math, Dance, and Computers.

We’ve gone to attend some of their higher level English classes that aim to help kids with their spoken English. We have been mainly sitting in and listening, but hopefully in the future we can act as facilitators, as their role is to bring the kids a topic that can provoke a good discussion.

While I have been going to these classes, I have been recruiting kids for frisbee. Today was the culmination of those efforts. We met at Manzil in Khan Market, and then walked over to Lodhi Gardens, which is one of the nicest parks in Delhi.

After we found a good spot, I unleashed the frisbees from my bag, and they went wild. Frisbees were flying everywhere, I got hit in the head more than once, and they were loving it. I explained a few basic rules, set up a make shift field with bags and frisbees, and they started playing. While it wasn’t exactly pretty, they were having fun and learning very quickly. Some of the older kids were actually pretty athletic.

The kids were also very smart. After only 30 minutes of playing, they started learning basic strategy, like short passes are better, and the importance of working together as a team in order to score. We played a game to 10, and after a grueling double-game-point win by my team, I thought we were almost done, as it was getting dark. “Let’s play another game to 15!” They couldn’t get enough.

I eventually brought in some difficult concepts like giving high-5’s after your team scores, and lining up after the game and giving the other team slaps. Next week I will introduce the flick, and talk about spirit of the game (my specialty).

We played until well past dark, and all agreed to meet next Sunday for session #2 as we come closer and closer to frisbee supremacy.

DSC_0291

Fashion in India

The choice of clothing here in India is quite remarkable although most Americans would be in agreement that it is far from practical. According to weather.com the average temperature this month in New Delhi is 93 degrees, if this were the case in Boston I’d be wearing a lax jersey, free-balling mesh shorts, and rocking some Tims. In Delhi the common man deems jeans and a button down business shirt appropriate even when outside is near dessert temp. Shorts are a rarity here so much so that when we went to go play Frisbee with Kaku (Arvil’s cousin) he changed from his short sleeve shirt into a long sleeve button down and chose to stay in his jeans.

Everyone is sporting the long and long - it was 99 degrees

Everyone is sporting the long and long - it was 99 degrees

Another fad that is popular in the Delhi streets is wearing imitation designer shirts and pants, it doesn’t matter whether you are working a construction gig or the corner fruit stand, chances are you are probably rocking a fake diamond studded shirt overflowing with snakes wrapped around a skull or a heart … or whatever other helpless graphics are printed on Ed Hardy shirts. Just like at an ego filled guido-esq bar, Ed hardy is everywhere, including this one particular shirt that reads “Born in the streets” and Affliction shirts which read “Afflication”.

Take a look at these designer imitations for example.

I don’t know who was in charge of designing these euro trash jeans but for some reason they thought that placing the gold wash on the upper butt and on the back thighs would be a genius idea. If one were to wear this at a bar in Framingham (ie. Pepperonchinis) they would be shunned, but for some unfathomable reason this kid probably has friends that look up to him solely for his jeans.

Josh is a Baby, Modeling, and Indian Fashion

As Josh told you, we went to go play frisbee. What he didn’t tell you was that he lasted about 2 minutes on the field. As he was getting dominated up and down the field by Bruce 1 and 2, he managed to roll his ankle. I came off to console him, and to give him a tissue to wipe his tears. That’s what good friends do.

Frisbee isn’t for everyone, as the physicality can sometimes overwhelm those who are not athletic. Especially in a game like Delhi pickup, where the players are composed of old fat guys (tie-dye bandana included), 7 yr old girls, a kid with only 2 fingers on each hand, and Michael Cera, things can get intense! Josh falls into this category, but he gets an A for effort. He is used to playing games primarily for little girls and Canadians, badminton and hockey.

Indians have a great sense of style when it comes to athletics. They combine practicality with a strong, always present desire to look good. At our pickup game, there are probably 10-15 spectators at each game. I think the appeal is two-fold. 1. White people. 2. We are playing a crazy sport they have never seen.

Here is an example of some typical athletic wear. These guys were just watching us play, and wanted to borrow a frisbee to mess around with. Gucci sandals, Ed Hardy button downs, and Armani jeans, these guys are ready to play hard on the field and party hard in the club.

Indians playing B

We also met my cousin Kaku today. He is on my dad’s side, and is the cousin who is closest in age to me. When we were younger, our sole activities were lighting firecrackers, and playing video games. We would sometimes throw firecrackers at pigs, which is funny.

He is a male model. Often in this blog, we joke, we kid, we tell complete lies. This is not a lie. He has modeled on the side for Kingfisher and Armani. He has “walked the ramp” as they call it here and has done runway modeling. He is a god. The industry is cutthroat. Billions go in, only a few come out. I’ve introduced Kaku to Rithlal, who will be mentoring him as he attempts his navigate his way to the top.

Kaku

Kaku

Anil uncle was wearing a polo shirt today. They have enlarged the little horse to a big horse because sometimes its tough to recognize that it is a polo shirt. Also, if you are behind Anil uncle, you will be completely unaware of the brand of his polo. Ralph Lauren himself devised a solution.

DSC_0001-1

Intent to Pop

Intent to Pop

His ring tone is Encore by Jay-Z and Linkin Park. He has never listened to rap music in his entire life. When I asked him where he got it, he said, “This is a very popular Dominican song that my Dominican friend put on for me. It’s very popular over there.”

I like pointing out to Josh whenever there are white people in India. He gets so much attention, I thought diverting it to the others would be good idea.