Sunday, November 05, 2006

My First Time

No, NO NO!! I am not putting up the details of my first sexual experience up here. For starters, it isn't something I'd put up on a blog, and for another......well let's leave the other alone for now, shall we ? Anyway, the above describes what means - or should mean if it doesn't - as much to a young man as his first amorous encounter. The latter involves soft classical/boy band music, a girl/s built on the lines of hopefully Scarlet Johannson and/or Rachel Bilson, some really awesome line to pull about one feels about her or what he/she did for her and a nice secluded spot to work off the mutual melding of emotional and physical highs. What I'm about to describe involves a complete stranger (and in my category, a male), music playing in one's head alone on the lines of "Blood in My Eyes" and/or "Eye of the Tiger", a good deal of locomotion from place to place, and a lot (I mean lot) of kicking. Yep, that's what I'm talking about. My first taekwondo sparring duel. In short, my first post adolescent fight.

When we're kids, fights are simple. I'm pissed - I fight. My brother is pissed - I fight with him. The guy who didn't get his turn to play Contra is pissed - we both fight him. I hit, I get hit, somebody cries and an adult comes around to chide us all for being 'childish' - sometimes that adjective can have violent connotations.

But when we're adolescents, fights can get serious. I mean, for starters people run around a good deal, and its harder to catch them - you look and feel stupid chasing some guy around the place. Secondly, this is the stage when you can seriously hurt others. And lastly, at this point the adults might turn out to be cops. So what with one thing and another, I hadn't been in a fight for a hell of a while. I'm referring to a fight in the strictest physical sense - I've had hundreds of spats and arguments.

Not that I'm Rambo or Rocky or one of those dudes from Highlander, but the absence of violence has somewhat taken a toll on me. All said and done, nothing really beats a fight, a physical opposition, when you're at loggerheads with someone. Nothing toughens you up more. Had I been more of a fighter, I might have taken a more proactive stance with my tennis game. Had I been more of a combative type I might have been more aggressive and effective as an enforcing prefect. And so on and so forth. All said and done, I've been a wooss for the past 5 years or so, and that's because of no fighting the previous decade.

So anyway, my woossiness manifested itself upon the announcement of the tournament. My initial thought was to flee the Club, the University and possibly the Country after that. It didn't help that the Club instructor told us all we had to participate, and that he started sparring practice in class with the black-belts for everyone (I am a humble green. Grasp the situation). Considering my performance at the no-contact practice, I could only shudder in horror at what the real thing would be like.

Fast forward a month. My better self, which manifests at possibly the stupidest times, caused me to pay the 15$ entry fee in advance, from which point I was forced forward by the reproachful glances my family would give me if they knew I spent 15$ on nothing. Better spend it on a beating.

And so came Saturday. I got up, dressed, and prayed to Ganesha with an intensity that had last come during the JEE. Proceeding to the Sports Hall at Purdue, I waited through the initial formalities and forms demonstration. When the time came to be counted among the Yellow/Green belt students, the queasiness that had been a sort of background sensation, now began to claim the limelight of perception. I was queasy and queasier, till I recognized the particular nature of this queasiness. It was something I'd experienced before my first elocution contest, and which I still feel before any presentation or debate. It was/is a kind of nervous energy. Nervousness. Not fear. Not fully. Half of it is, yes. But the other half is, well, excitement.


This is starting to sound like a standard Literotica S&M plot where a girl screams at being whipped, but then decides she likes it. But it's true. It has been a long time since I had a fight, and confrontation being so wholly new, I was scared. But it being new, I was also excited. I'm gonna kick somebody proper. And that was good.

I didn't win any medals. Two lousy rounds and I lost. But fuck I was in a fight. A FIGHT. I took on somebody and I came out. And more importantly, I wasn't scared of another round. Which revealed something to me - something about winning or losing. People, including myself, judge winning and losing by the prizes that are available for handout, and who finally gets them. This sort of thing extends to everything in life, and it's empty, it's false and it's the cause for so much internal conflict.

Winning is the warm sense of joy, that lifts you from the ground. It lifts you when you're on that podium with the prize, knowing you're numero uno. But winning is also the sense of insight that tells you why you're not on the podium; the knowledge together with a certain pique that kind of wash you over like an ice cold shower, with a warm determination to be there next time. Losing is simply not knowing what to feel, cuz it means you were never into the game to begin with.