Women playing silambattam the best must watch

PARSHATHY J NATH soaks in the atmosphere at the Isha Gramotsavam, where 10,000 people from rural Tamil Nadu participate in traditional sports

For a few days now, every evening, 80-year-old Nagamani from Gobichettipalayam has dashed back home after a day of looking after her goats, to make it to her throw ball practice with her younger teammates. She has strong arms, a radiant toothless smile and a great throw.

“Winning and losing is immaterial. We are here to have a good time,” she says at the Isha Gramotsavam held in Coimbatore.

Nagamani swears she has never played ball before and, but for the Gramotsavam, would never have known she was so good in sports!

The women find this a great break from the routine. “Most of us are in our 40s and are home-makers. We wait for the evenings. Our husbands help us in the kitchen. They also accompany us to the grounds,” says Hemlatha.

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