A Complete Winter with Badminton
Photos: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
Thanks to cable TV and Hollywood, with winter, we subconsciously expect a snowy background by the windows, a white Christmas with jingle bells ringing all over and of course, the beautiful clothes that we would get to adorn. However, the truth of the matter is that we live in Bangladesh, where we shiver and pack ourselves up with warm clothes at 12 degrees. We have our own winter and Christmas specials, not to mention delicacies and the colourful shawls that one would wrap around with saris, tees and fatuwas. Winter in this part of the world, as in all over, is a haven for young people who love experimenting with clothes, colour and vibrancy!
Of all the winter elements, my favourite would be the sudden rush to build courts and play amateur badminton. Sure enough, in every area and colony, as I write this, there are tournaments taking place. While the young organisers in their respective areas try to sit down and draw up some rules for the players and competitors, crowds of uncles and aunties brush up their serving and running skills to beat their younger opponents.
This winter war between the old and the young dates back to decades past, before privatisation had touched our hearts and we were happy with just one TV channel, allowing ourselves to stay aloof from the rest of the world. “I was married at the age of 19,” says Ferdousi Begum Runu, a school teacher in Chittagong. “It has been 21 years! But I still remember when I entered my husband's home. I was a Badminton and Table Tennis champion at school and then and there I knew that my playing days were over. My in laws are a joint family and I was terrified, especially because of the many responsibilities that I had to take up. But eventually, my nephews and nieces came to my rescue. We have a lawn that is big enough to accomodate a 100 people. In the winter that I was married, my nephews and nieces built a badminton court for me and got me to play with them. I 'smashed' almost all of them! Since then, I have been in charge for the winter sport in my in laws' and we have tournaments between the elders and the youngsters every year. This year, we even have a prize for the winning team. As the years go by, the family is getting bigger and this tournament is getting all the more fun!”
This year, the number of badminton courts has clearly increased. The youngsters are taking over all the spots they can get their hands on – the roof top, local park, garage, the small space in between the main gate and the building and even the empty plot next to one's home. Some even dare to play on the streets – wait for cars to pass by, starting with their amateur game then after. These makeshift courts can be found everywhere now!
So, will there come a time when Badminton will topple over cricket and become the next 'sport-religion' of the country? Who would be the next Shakib Al Hasan of Badminton in 2032? All this and more on the unpredictable Bangladesh – yet to come!
DID YOU KNOW?
Photographer and painter Alexander Mikhailovich Rodchenko was born in St Petersburg to a working-class family. When Rodchenko decided to become an artist, he hadn't had any exposure to the art world. He drew much inspiration from his early influences, which were mainly art magazines that were available to him. In 1910, he began studies under Nikolai Feshin and Georgii Medvedev at the Kazan School of Art. After 1914, he continued his artistic training at the Stroganov Institute in Moscow. At this early time in his career, he began creating his first abstract drawings, influenced by the Suprematism of Kazimir Malevich, in 1915. The following year, he participated in "The Store" exhibition organized by Vladimir Tatlin, who was another formative influence in his development as an artist. Rodchenko's work was heavily influenced by Cubism and Futurism, as well as by Malevich's Suprematist compositions, which featured geometric forms deployed against a white background. While Rodchenko was a student of Tatlin's he was also his assistant, and the interest in figuration that characterized Rodchenko's early work disappeared as he experimented with the elements of design. He utilized a compass and ruler in creating his paintings, with the goal of eliminating expressive brushwork.
Information Source: Internet