My father never once played catch nor kicked a ball with me. Neither did he take me to a game. Never once. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have a sport—he had always loved cricket. Although he overran any cartoon programming or documentaries (I loved those) with a steady dose of cricket, he never took the time to teach me the nuances. What’s an inning? What’s a six? What’s leg before wicket? Those were all cricket terms and I had to learn them on the fly because my father never told me what they were—I mostly watched as he yelled at the TV. It was good training. It taught me to research before depending entirely on someone to hand you the answers—a good trait to have as a solo traveler it would turn out to be.
Besides, I had fallen in love with football and was so in love with it, I shed my first tears that had nothing to do with being disciplined when I was 9. It became clear then that my dad and I were so far on opposite ends with sports that it would never bind us in the cliched way it did other fathers and sons. Our bond would not come through cars neither. He worked as an auto mechanic and despite dragging me with him to work on cars, I wasn’t a fan. Waking me up in the wee hours of the morning just for me to hand him spanners and torque wrenches all day certainly did not help matters.