So it was that over a few months I managed to come up with a weekend routine involving tennis in the mornings. It took some time convincing a hapless colleague to play with me, with promises of training him. Once it started the ‘routine’ status fell on it within no time. Playing tennis in Bangalore is no small matter. Getting proper courts is not a simple thing.
The one in ‘The club‘ which falls conveniently between my place and my colleague’s place is at best a normal flat land with some tennis court lines drawn on it and a hole-y net gracing the middle. There are two such ones and usually one of them has lines missing at parts which we usually extrapolate from other sides. Considering the good old age of 30+, we have less fights over where the ball fell and if the extrapolation is wrong. Of course, some days even the court gets slushy with water from the previous night’s rains, but we gamely soldiered on, deciding to train instead of having a game when the conditions were less than ideal.
Later I learnt that that place was also used as an overflow parking lot! Which usually left deep tyre marks from where balls would shoot up or down at random. But the worst was reserved for the end. The court disappeared completely, replaced by a massive pandal-ish roof erected on poles. Thinking that it might be a year-end thing, we went away only to realize a few weeks later that it was actually permanent! They promised to finish the court below, but only one instead of the two which is bound to increase contention!
With no courts in hand and needing some activity, I found the lake near the house almost complete. Well, just a path around it and water in the lake. Being not heavily frequented, the lake is now home to a variety of birds. Herons, Moorhens, Coot ducks, swallows, ducks are seen frequently. When lucky a couple of white-throated Kingfishers can also be spotted. The distance around the lake is a decent 2.5 Kms and I barely manage to complete it in one go. No goals yet, just enjoying the run.
Coming back to tennis courts, it reminds me of times when me and Shankar squeezed ourselves(Opening in the fencing!) into National College Basavanagudi’s court and used to play for hours without interruption. Later, the maintenance guy found us when I was playing with Shankar’s bro and Praveen and after a huge fight where he confiscated our racquets and we had to pull it out of him after much pleading and ego-massaging, we put an end to that place!
Those years were spent looking for courts. The one in JP Nagar club was well maintained except that members got higher priority and we usually had to share it with someone or play ‘half-court’. Once we even played in an open private court which was being converted to some building with construction workers milling around preparing for the digging up of the place.
It’s easy to crib about the lack of tennis courts in Bangalore, but considering the rate at which even cricket grounds are disappearing it’s not much we can do about it I guess. But the hunt continues to find a court. Sometimes, even looking up on google maps to scout for something from the top!