I must confess, this was my first ever Polo match. Having waited for winters to catch a game, the sudden horse influenza played spoilsport. Nevertheless, the spring season just began and Satya and spent last Sunday catching the finals at the Jaipur Polo Grounds (JPG). It was a brilliant sunday, all sunny and bright. The JPG is actually on an extension of the Air Force Golf Course, so the greens are marvelous. Lush expanses of well trimmed grass stretch from side to side. Golfers in their weekend best quietly teed off from the sides, even as the match continued in full swing. A whole lot of foreign nationals, some with the Delhi tourist map clutched in their hands; old Army veterans and regulars occupied the stands. We seemed to be the only first timers. As the match began, Satya and I spent played the guessing game – rules and ways of Polo. It was pretty exciting. We understood enough to know that eight men (4 in each team) were chasing after one ball in full gusto, while attempting to stay mounted on their horses, to get the ball inside the goal post. That was simple. Thinking of it, most games involve chasing balls, individually or in teams :).
The horses were the star attractions for me. Absolutely beautiful. Groomed and well fed, their every stride a picture of grace and speed combined. As each horse waited to be taken to field, their handlers lovingly brushed their coats and smoothened their mane. As I learnt, at least 40 horses are required for one match. Players change horses after every chucker (meaning one round lasting 7 minutes). Watching them as they galloped around the field in large strides is a sight I will come to watch again and again.
To add to it, I begin my riding classes tomorrow. Excited 🙂