Sunday became boring. It seemed lifeless. Plus we started to notice the effects of the absence of exercise on our abs! It was decided then: we started to gather information about the Mahatma Gandhi Institute football grounds, which was 2km from the field we grew up playing on. The reason we wanted to stick to that region is simply because it is equidistant from most urban agglomerations (from Port Louis to Quatre Bornes) and the Sunday morning micro-climate there is the most ideal one for football practice in the island.

The conditions to use the Mahatma Gandhi Institute football grounds were: we had to be residents of Moka/Saint Pierre, had to be a formally licensed team and had to address a letter to the administration of the Institute. But more importantly, there were no fees. Even though we were neither residents of Moka/Saint Pierre nor a formally licensed team, we managed to obtain some documents that allowed us to use the field for a period of 3 months.

It was then that we realized the seriousness of our situation: during the one-year span we didn’t play football, we lost most of the faithful football friends we had. They were no longer interested/motivated to join us in this new chapter. We had to look for other players. Gathering around as much as possible, we managed to unite a meager 8 person team. It was better than nothing and we started with a 4 v/s 4 run-outs on Sunday mornings. We never imagined our Sunday mornings would come to this.

One day though, a group of players asked if we would have a match against them. They were a bunch of “Hare Rama Hare Krisna” lads… in football gear! Given our situation, it seemed… God sent. We played against them and agreed that we should meet up every week for the match. It soon became a regular feature. Our Sunday football was alive again and we were enjoying it. But as all good things come to an end, it lasted us only three months. Our permission had expired. And when we tried to update it, we were told that we should pay for the football ground here as well.

The Mauritian bureaucracy does not like people practicing sports, it would seem. We were back to square one.