The Tug of War…March 08, 2006
The sports day last year heralded a pleasant change in the sports History of National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur when the guest item was a tug of war between the female faculty vs. the girl students! That day, as usual, the announced guest items were—a tug of war between the male faculty and the male students and a musical chair event for the female faculty. But this time we ensured that we were properly listened to and as that day i.e. March 08, 2006 was being celebrated as International Women’s Day so our wish was granted and first time a new freedom was given to our gender, albeit grudgingly! Now started the real show!
I was to lead the team but wearing a saree made me really difficult to focus all my energy and vision on the thick rope that we had to pull. And I was out of shape as well because of sitting more in front of the computer than doing some brisk warm-ups! We needed some words of advice from our male colleagues but in the overall din that reigned all around such advice got lost. With zeal to give our best we all lined up with our best foot put forward on the ground. With saree palla and dupattas tugged tightly and with high heeled sandals put aside we looked life valkyres—so we thought us to be. It gave us so much of strength! But our opponents—young pretty girls, wearing track suits or jeans and sports shoes, were all bouncing with energy. And then the hostel food had put so much energy in their veins that they seemed to bubble with stamina. The show started. All the participants were as excited as were the audience. But the audience seemed to back up the pretty young girls instead of the aging teachers and who could blame them for taking sides with the fairer of the two? At one time we were just an inch away from the deciding line but someone in the back-up line giggled and that did the trick. We lost the tug of war that we had almost won. The last second misgiving!
Were we sad on losing the game? No. Not at all. The loss had been our biggest victory as we had won for all women of the Institute something that they had long desired to have. An opportunity to compete freely irrespective of the gendered entity that we possessed! We had won the war though having lost the battle.