|12th July 1999 - Page 4|
Bindis and Aussies
serves you right!
Mrs. Sonia Dhingra, Mrs.Sumita Mukherji and I were invited by Asia Education Foundation to visit Australia this summer. This visit was organised as a part of their endeavour to promote Asian studies in Australia. Though we visited schools and universities to learn about their education system, we also spent a lot of time going into the classrooms and teaching them about India and answering questions.
The warmth and curiosity with which we were received wherever we went will remain a very fond memory with us. Not only were the people friendly but they were also eager and curious to know more about India. We visited both private and government schools and had to face a barrage of questions about our bindis, our clothes, Indian children.
There was a great demand for bindis by both boys and girls and luckily we had taken them in plenty.
We also told them Indian stories and did some art work with them.
We visited four cities in Australia and in two places had to stay with a local family. It was an interesting experience and a good way to get first hand experience of the Australian way of life. In Brisbane I stayed with Chris Walker and her family. Her sixteen year old daughter Andrea has sent a poem (published below) written by her which she would like to share with the children of Vasant Valley. Australia is a beautiful country and the people very warm and friendly but we came back feeling very proud to be Indians and teachers in Vasant Valley School.
" This is just a practice match for us, we will win easily", "My boys are unbeatable", "We are not scared of the Australians". These quotes belong to the world cup final losing captain, Wasim Bhai. I say Bhai in order to show my extreme respect for him. He was without a doubt the best captain at the beginning of the tournament. He took a group of raw, fresh individuals to the world cup and produced a team that outshone even South Africa in the early part of the tournament.
That initial spell was, however too good to be true. An air of overconfidence set upon the Pakistan camp. Even in this the captain led from the front with irresponsible remarks probably the cause of there pathetic final display.
Before the India- Pakistan match at Old Trafford Akram said "This is just a practice match for us, we will win easily." I have to say their victory came quite easily indeed. A captain with that kind of overconfidence deserves to be taught a lesson. The funny thing is Akrams overconfidence set in after his teams loss to minnows Bangladesh!
The same attitude was seen before the final, he even made a statement saying that the Australians were not mentally tough. Hey Wasim Bhai they just played two of the most nerve racking games ever played in the history of cricket, and came through with flying colours.
His opening of his mouth led to a world cup final loss by 8 wickets putting up only 132 in the final.
What can I say Wasim, they say overconfidence is the biggest sin in sport, so I guess it serves you right.
Poems written by Andrea Walker (see above)
The Old Man Down The Road
I pass his house
He smiles back.
I think my loving gesture
Warms his heart.
I hope it does
He seems lonely.
But hes not there.
There is no smile back.
My smile drops,
Unaware of anything
Where he is gone,
Or what has happened to him.
I never see that old man
I pass his house
I hear the giggles and see the smiles,
As they try to do a plie.
Their backs arent straight nor bottoms tucked in,
Even their heels are not kissing.
Was I really that clumsy once?
I wonder if they really do have potential.
But, the concentration on their faces,
Tells me that they are determined to try anything.
"How cute," everyone tells me.
Their persistence will take them far.
They look at me as if a princess.
Yet I know they are dreaming,
Because I once dreamt too.
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