Sunday, 20 January 2013

Cricket Camp

This was a wee while ago now, but a few local groups similar to Freeset (i.e. with a heart for the women + children who live in and around Kolkata's red-light districts) organised a weekend of cricket for the children! A few coaches from the UK came over to show the kids a few skills, and basically just give them a weekend of fun that will keep them smiling for a good amount of time.

We handed each of them a brand-new tee + cap to make it official, and the whole lot of us marched with all of the equipment down to a local park.

Usually I don't get a chance to really spend an extended amount of time with the children at Freeset, mostly just a few cuddles in the morning, so a whole three days of being in the sun with these beautiful kids truly meant the world to me! Also, these ones were older (late primary to early teens) than others I get to interact with, so it was interesting to try and communicate with them! Now I understand why my parents always asked me to slow down when I spoke - these youngsters loved to speedily relay a few sentences my way, leaving me only with a confused look, and only one word I picked up.

These few days were the closest I have come to the Indian love for cricket, and it was very heart warming especially to see that the girls were quite keen to participate in what would normally be considered a men-dominated sport in this country.

It was also a great chance for me to get snap-happy (in fact, I was asked to come along for this reason especially), and they all absolutely loved to wrestle over the spotlight - although once there, it was sometimes difficult to ruffle up a smile out of them... I don't know what it is, but most people I have encountered here that are Indian nationals tend to hold a neutral expression. Secretly, I love this; it's a change from all the fake smiles, poses, and expressions that are all too easy to come across whilst browsing Facebook or the web.

Apart from being nearly attacked by a snarling dog, and having one too many young men spectators watching my every move, the cricket camp was such a valuable experience. The teen girls I became close to have definitely taken pieces of my heart with them.

I feel like half of my heart will be left here. At least.

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