When I was around two years old and didn't understand much about tv, I used to cry whenever family switched it on. I would rather call it howling. And it was weird, for the moment the channel played commercials during the break, I used to become quiet and watch the ads with a lot of interest and concentration. The moment any serial/movie/match started, howling started too.
As a great relief to my family, this phase didn't last long. I started ignoring television like every other thing one dislikes. I never watched any cartoon or a serial. Grandparents always forced me and my brother to watch Ramayana and Mahabharata. At times I watch Mogli and Potli baba ki as brother used to watch those series, but that's about it. I never developed any interest in the television programmes.
The first complete series I ever was I dream of Jeannie. And after that - bewitched. There was a reason for that - to avoid tuitions. I hated studying. Well, who doesn't. But I was way too lazy to study anything. And for that purpose, I used to pay attention in the class so that I wouldn't have to read the same thing again at the time of exams. Studying one thing and studying the same thing again in tuition was an absurd idea. And doing homework was never ever an option - forget compulsion. I was always punished for not doing homework in school.
Thus I had practically nothing to do the whole day especially during vacations. Somewhere in late 80s, one of those summer vacations when I was in my home town and didn't go to visit my maternal grandmother, I happened to watch a tennis match. I asked my neighbour about the rules and how it was played. I found it interesting as well as confusing. But it was any day better than those headless serials and cartoons. This is how my tennis following started.
I was too young then to even know that one has to have favourites to enjoy the game even more. When I learnt that, it was Samprass Era. He was on top then, winning everything that came his way - except the French Open title. I was never a fan of world best people. I always preferred dark horses, for I considered myself to be one too. Thus I started following Agassi. I will cut the crap short about my followings after that in men's and women's tennis, but my current favourite is Nadal. No, not because he wins, but I fell in love with his game when I saw him play in 2003 or 04.
Being an Indian, your love for cricket is as natural as taking first step or saying those first words. I don't remember which sport I started watching first - Tennis or Cricket; but the order really doesn't matter. I love both equally. My love for cricket was so much back then that Dad and I used to watch even the test matches between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. And that annoyed mom a lot. We even used to watch the repeat telecast of the matches India won!
In late 90s, I started following football. It started with watching English Premier League. It started with Manchester United. They taught me football. I learnt each and every move, rule, foul watching them play. That made me support England too in the world cup. It was for players and not for the country that I started supporting England. I swore by Beckham, more for his game.
And today I see so many people follow and support these games. And they call it men's forte. I just smile at them, for I know how much I have seen and known about these games. Each and every technical detail to players' bios - everything. But that's fine. I laugh at their assumptions secretly, I don't fight. It's useless to. But when a discussion happens about a game or a player, after knowing about what I know about the same, they do get that I know more than they had assumed I'd known.
These days I can't watch each and every game, or follow the seasons, but I try to watch as much as I can. I try not to miss the crucial games. Online streaming has made life much easier. I can switch the tabs while working, and my uninterested family doesn't have to bear with Euro 2012 matches too. Sports are the only thing I love to watch and follow. I can watch matches all day if given a choice.
Such a long post. Ignore it, it's going to be boring for you anyway! But it has to be here for my love for sports; for I breathe sports.