Nats and Sne walked across the long stretch of the field. They were welcomed with claps and loud cheering! This was a customary welcome for Sne as she came in every morning all the way from the east side of the queen of suburbs...Bandra! Sne plunked down her belongings including her school bag (with her school uniform neatly folded inside it) and her lunch basket! Nats walked over to a bunch of three grinning girls...Ninu, Jac and Glynn standing with hockey sticks in hand. The minute she was approached them they started an animated discussion of whether Boyzone outdid Backstreet Boys! Thats one discussion they could never tire of! Suddenly Sne heard a whistle blow..."Come on girls, enough of this fooling around" It was Saby Sir giving his customary dialogue that indicated that it was time to start practice! Saby was truly passionate about Hockey and even played for the organisation that he was working for. He was extremely dedicated and didn't let the often giggly teenage girls lose track of the goal!
Practice began with all the warm up exercises and then of course the dribbling, hitting and passing! It was interesting to see how Saby changed the structure of the practice sessions to keep the girls on their toes! Ninu was selected today to lead the practice session. Ninu was the oldest team player (not in age but experience!...she was playing since class five! She was good at the game and very often the team captain too! Most of the girls recognised her strengths and looked up to her as a leader..a natural leader she was! "Hey Nats stretch properly or else you will get cramps in the goal and even a "lallu" will score a goal" Ninu said looking at Nats trying to avoid this stretching exercise. Saby looked at Ninu approvingly and was happy that she took the game so seriously! A star performer she was in his eyes!
After all the hitting and running and joking it was time to end practice as the clock struck 8am..it was time for the girls to head back home, freshen up, change into their uniforms and return to school. "I wish I lived close by yaa" Sne told Jac who was in her division too.."I hate not having a bath after practice and changing in the loo here..stupid school can't even give us locker rooms man!" "Yeah man, I don't know how you do it...you can come over to my place sometimes you know?" Jac said kindly and thus began a new bond of friendship...One of many in this wonderful team!