15 January, 2021

The Path Of The Rikishi

She’s an oddity. Her craft, a mystery. What is it about her that feels ‘real’ somehow?

Apoorva Salkade
The Path Of The Rikishi

It’s a breezy April evening at the Oval Maidan. This whole participatory journalism thing’s starting to sink in as I stand across from a determined-looking Hetal Dave, crouched in mid-sumo squat, waiting to attack. Who? Me! I’ll try anything once, be it wrestling a sumo wrestler or marriage. The fact that the first is happening prior to the latter is indicative of how unpredictable my life choices have been. But I’m cautious. She weighs seventy kilos, I weigh more and am taller, the odds seemed stacked in my favour. I like to think I pick my battles well. Besides, this experience is going to rank right up there with babysitting a python and that one time with... never mind. Before the credits finishing rolling in my head, she’s off, heading right for me. Me with my Mary Janes sliding easily along the once firm, now damp muddy patch I stood on, the sprinkler system having plied the ground into a mushy consistency. And all I can think of are my shoes. Sudhir Dave, Hetal’s dad, isn’t impressed. It’s...



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