Outside my window, below on the ground, the Basketball players.
In the mornings I awake to the drumming of the ball on the concrete floor
And to the yelps and shouts of children playing basketball.
Lifting the curtain, through the haze of the mosquitoe net,
I watch them, lithe, graceful
Jumping and running like antelopes in the savannah.
Dribbling the ball, they run to and fro
Across the court, turning, twisting, ducking
Swiftly passing the ball, faking a throw
Blocking, trying to snatch, moving like cats
On a hot tin roof and then leap and lift the ball to the basket
Some bounce off the board, some slip neatly through the net
Only to be grabbed and loped again and again.
Alert, agile, acutely aware, the eyes of the children
intent on the game, playing to win.
How wonderful it is to be young, boundless energy, radiating health
Happiness and pleasure in playing a game!
Games, how many, of how many kinds, yet to play and to win
Some to lose, some to be remembered, some to be forgotten!
Slipping the curtain back, I turn around and stand still
Listening to the cries and laughter of the players
And to the thud of the basketball like the thudding of my heart,
Thudding, bouncing, thrown, captured and released to the air
Until the final whistle blows, until the sun sets and
Darkness envelopes my life.
******** Balachandran V, Alleppey, 29.09.2011