Street Soccer

 

During my two weeks in India, I was able to take two afternoons to myself to walk the city and make photos. A short-term trip doesn’t allow much time for building relationships, learning stories and developing images that tell those stories in ways others can connect to. Throughout the whole trip, whenever I had an opportunity, I would be snapping pictures and grabbing street shots as we were traveling to various sites. These two afternoons allowed me to slow down a little bit, but not much. As I was walking down one alley to get back to a street I had spotted earlier in the day, I came across a group of boys playing soccer. Two bricks in the middle of the street marked their goals, and the ball they used was closer in size to a tennis ball than a regulation soccer ball. I started taking pictures, but after a minute or two, the boy who was clearly the leader of the group picked up the ball and came over to me. I was worried they were going to be upset, or that they would start asking questions I wouldn’t be able to answer adequately through our language barrier. Then he smiled at me, dropped the ball at my feet, and said “play.” He didn’t have to ask twice. I slung my camera onto my back and jumped into the game. My athletic abilities have never been anything to write home about, and this instance was no exception. I tried hard, but my clumsy feet struggled to hang on to the tiny ball. I got a few good shots in, thanks more to the generosity of my opponents than to my own footwork, but I couldn’t ever get past the quick feet of the goal keeper. He managed to block every shot I sent in from a distance and steal the ball from under my feet whenever I got too close, all the while throwing in sharp dance moves worthy of a Michael Jackson or Usher music video. We drew more than a few strange looks from passersby, and upset a handful of drivers making their way through the alley we were obstructing, but none of that really mattered in the midst of our excitement. It was a good game at the end of a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

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About David Anderson, Jr.

I'm a wandering pilgrim anchored in the Baptist tradition, tossed about by the anabaptist current. I am a minister at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church and a recent graduate of Campbell Divinity School. I am the husband of a beautiful woman, and the father of a blond-haired boy. I am a work in progress, struggling to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. View all posts by David Anderson, Jr.

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