Talespin Children

In it to win it?

What do you do when your parents are way more competitive than you?

Esha and her friends were sitting under the shade of a banyan tree in the University Campus Club. They were discussing the Annual Sports Day. The seniors had asked them to come up with ideas. “This time let us have a new event,” said 13-year-old Esha.

“Dangal between our dads?” asked Irfan, a year younger, who considered himself to be the smartest kid on the block.

“Very funny,” Esha snapped. “Why not a relay?”

“We have one every year!” Irfan said.

Esha ignored him and said, “The relay I have in mind will be different. Each team will be represented by a family. For instance in our house mummy, papa, my kid bro Sid and I are a team...”


“I can’t imagine my papa running, but it sure will be fun to watch,” squealed nine-year-old Avanti.

“But suppose a family has only three members,” asked Jai.

“They can ‘adopt’ one child for the purpose of the race.”

“But Esha, how will you ensure the teams are evenly matched?” asked Irfan.

“Why should they be? We are not indulging in cloning. This is all just for fun isn’t it?”

The others nodded and Irfan shrugged. Esha and a couple of others put up their proposal to the seniors. After a lot of debate the parents agreed. Entries were invited and eight were received.

A semi-final relay was held and the final four were short-listed — the Naidus, the Chaddhas, the Mondals and the Mehtas.

They began to practise for the big day.

* * *

The day of the ‘FamRelay’ dawned.

At the appointed hour the four teams took their positions. It was decided to start with the lady of the house, followed by the man, then the first child and end it with the younger one.

The whistle blew and the participants took off. The entire campus was there cheering their respective teams.

Mrs. Naidu was the first to exchange the baton.

But, the lead was squandered by Mr. Naidu as he dropped the baton and lost valuable time in handing it over to Ramana, who was a minute older than Reena. Gradually the race got more competitive with shouts, shrieks, yells and whistles filling the air. Some cheerers even started running along to urge the runners to perform better.

Finally, it was the last stretch. Reena, Sailesh, Pinky Chaddha and Badal Mondal were in the fray.

As the baton passed and the four kids started, the spectators noticed something different.

Reena who was in the lead was walking, Sailesh who was second was jogging, Pinky placed at number three was running and Badal who was last was sprinting.

The Naidus were yelling to Reena asking her to run while the Mehtas were screaming at Sailesh to sprint. Pinky and Badal’s parents too were jumping up and down shouting themselves hoarse.

Twenty metres before the finishing line all the four kids had drawn level. They held hands and ran forward, breasting the tape. They were surrounded by four angry sets of parents firing questions at them.

Reena who was the eldest said, “Whoever did not reach the tape first would have been blamed by his or her parents. So we thought we should all win. And that is what we did.”

“And anyways, as Esha didi said, this race is just for fun, isn’t it?” Badal added, and the four of them exchanged high fives.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 1:43:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/in-it-to-win-it/article19522959.ece

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