You know when they ask you in interviews “What is your most embarrassing mistake” ? Well I always lie and mutter something that I think they want to hear and a false cringe on the face to add dash of believability into the whole story. It’s false. That is not my most embarrassing mistake. The most embarrassing mistake I have ever done in my life happened before I was even working. I think this was in the 90s.
It was the days life was simpler. Mom had her wits with her, before Dementia stole her memories and I could talk with her and dad was still alive. Out of all my school mates I guess I was one of the privilege few who had enough money to join a sports club after school. It was something like paid tuition for badminton. It was called “Pioneer Badminton Club” and we had a coach that taught us badminton. We played mostly during the weekends on “proper badminton playing skills”. Coach was this like older guy who was very passionate in badminton and read many books on the subject. He was like the authority in badminton for me. We played in this really spartan place which could easily be used a sauna on hot days and it had another name called the “Green House”. Although it was town area but it was situated in a kind of rural part of town so we got to experience what it was like playing badminton in a place situated almost like in the middle of a full blown jungle.
The place was owned by this family who also played Badminton at this place. 2 girls and a guy. They were really good too. I used to have a crush on the older sister. She looked demure and slender. I liked her and she was part of my boyhood fantasies. Anyway, back to this story, they are only the co-stars of today’s story. The main actor (protagonist of antagonist depending on which side you are staring this tunnel from) is the older brother of the family who played both the part of the senior patriarch of the family. He is a truck driver and he is one of those guys that really look the part. Picture an older Chinese guy with the steely gaze of Ironside, not to mention his fiery temper and you will be in the same ball park as me.
Anyway, I used to practice Badminton with a whole bunch of other guys at this place every Saturday and Sunday and the coach used to come to my house to pick me up. Although it was hot and sweaty, I welcomed the change of pace and scenery it injected into my bored teenage life every week. There were four courts in this place and usually 2 of the courts would be used by our club. We had like almost 40 students at one point so this guaranteed that there will always be some guys who are not playing or training at one time. Those of us are who are “benched” in these intervals would gather outside the court and bond with each other as only teenagers knew how, calling each other names and playing stupid punky pranks on each other.
It was a idillic, simple and happy life. Funny how the Little did I know that pretty soon all this would almost come crashing down right in front of my eyes.