bigpicture-final SEEKING A SAFETY NET: Last month, life threw a curveball at K. Krishnamma, a former national-level basketball player who works as a cook at a school in Kerala’s Alappuzha district. The floods left her homeless, but the 53-year-old sought solace in playing basketball at a relief camp. As her family’s sole breadwinner—she has three children and an ailing husband—she is determined to score points off her hurdles. Helping her is Team Rebound, a group of 400 former basketball stars that will give her ₹3 lakh.

Life, not an easy game

Life in a relief camp of Pattanakkadu, Ambalapuzha, brought forth the basketball player in Krishnamma. Her beautiful dribbling and perfect scoring earned her fans. But, life is not a fair game. The recent flood fouled up her life. The water had dunked the walls of her house so hard that it could fall anytime soon.

The 53-year-old Krishnamma trained in basketball during her school days in Punnappra Aravukadu School, during the 1982-86 period. She contested three times in the state-level mini basketball championship. She was even selected to the national-level, but could not participate in it due to health issues.

During the flood, while she and her family were on their way to the relief camp, their boat overturned. Krishnamma lost everything—including her identity cards and bank passbook. Now, she has to start everything from scratch. Her husband, S.S. Prakash, is a heart patient who has been undergoing treatment in Alappuzha Medical College. They had lost Prakash's treatment documents, too, in the flood. His angiogram has been postponed, now, as the family could not afford the expenses.

Krishnamma's elder son Manu sustained a leg injury after coming back from the camp. Maneesh and Midhun are her other sons. The money Krishnamma earns as a cook in Thakazhi Shivashankarapillai UP School is the only source of income for the family, now.

The future looks bleak for Krishnamma. She has no way, but stay on the court and fight the game that life throws at her.