Sunday, 8 July 2007


Makes the victim's body break out in boils.

This is not the first time that I am the target of nasty comments by virtue of my sex, and this is not the first time it is happening on the basketball court. I have always been very tolerant of remarks and it has always worked – it invariably dies down. But today I reacted rather differently probably because the nature of abuse was quite different.

I come form an engineering college in Tamil Nadu where half the college thinks the girl is bad if she plays sports, a bitch if she is the sports secretary and a slut if she wears shorts while playing. I have been a forerunner as a subject of all three schools of thought. Having faced issues like that, I thought I was seasoned enough to handle any kind of comment, so much so Ratanjee was a cake walk.

What hit me today was the attitude towards women that men show. If I could conjure magic, I would have casted a Furnunculus! at them. A couple of local boys play in the XL court. Superb players, shallow morals. No sexually explicit abuse, but just the attitude that a woman cannot play as well as a man does. Lecherous onlookers or the spate of frustrated words have never swayed my concentration in the game. But when players on court throw attitude at your face that says. “Come you bitch, let’s see what you can do…” it hurts my ego. I hate to admit it, but it does. They had a little joke running amongst themselves, dangerously flirting with the limits of sexual abuse; the poor bastards thought I didn’t know Hindi. It might have been different had it been a girl who said it. I would have fought it out fair and square. But the “ghaati”ness (as adi would put it) of these local bastards intimidates me because I know that I just cannot do anything to prove my basketball skills against the physical prowess of a guy.

A Freudian slip, or parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory or physical action that is believed to be caused by the unconscious mind. I played a terrible game today… let every pass go, every basket was an air ball and I am supposed to be the basketball captain.

The healthy, mature ego translates the demands of both the id and the super-ego into terms which allow admission of them without destruction. This is constructive acceptance. But what happens when the ego breaks? A Freudian slip is it?