Monday, January 17, 2005

Are you game?

About nine -ish each evening the bean bags are strategically positioned to save the telly and the sound boxes in the hall. The doors are pulled. A stool is summoned. Light at one end switched off. A plastic bat is harnessed and a tennis ball dug up, & a group of gentlemen in their late twenties, not to mention shorts, gear up for a quick game of cricket.

I am sure that each one of us has some unique experience to tell, but for me & SA its about out thinking your opposition. For SC, ostensibly, it is extinguishing any chance I have of furthering my lineage, which is probably a good idea in the whole scheme of things anyway. Each one of his deliveries, projected from his super height & hurled with a great deal of sidespin, is targeted to pitch, gather ample turn and bounce, and end up with a soft thud a few inches below my waistline. You should see him beam with endless joy, but since we are friends & all that he stops short of doing cartwheels & happily lends me a cigarette afterwards.

SA, like I said, sets you up. He showers you with bouncers so that your feet grow roots & then suddenly there is ball turning away from you at which you play like Ganguly - play the most inelegant stand n deliver cover drive & get a solid nick. Embarrassment & sheepish smiles follow. General happiness all around. Chu**** Saala & the like, you know.

Then there those searing yorkers that he unleashes. Just when you are happily checking out if your head is still attached to your neck & wondering if the next bouncer will end it all, comes this yellow trace of a tennis ball , your weight still on the backfoot, & violently shakes the stool behind you. Sometimes, if your reflexes are fast enough & you think you are beginning to read this trick, you can bring your bat down fast enough & crush your own toes. That is adding injury to insult.

MG is probably the most complete cricketer amongst us. SA has the most guile, besides being a very safe pair of hands. SC, like you might have figured, is absolutely fatal when bowling & suicidal, like you might not have figured, while batting. He continues, though, to be a champion of perseverance. And, VH has not been around lately.

And me, well, I am still hanging in there. "Shaken, not stirred!", as James Bond puts it.


Usha said...

sounds like great fun to me...but er...correct me if I am wrong, didn't cricket used to be an outdoor game???

Souvik said...

Yes, it still continues to be one. But its just that nice bit of release in our otherwise routine lives...


Swapnil Deopurkar said...

Indoors is still better than what it is in my house.
A verbal game.
First ball
Me: Sachin is god.
Roomie: He never plays when needed
Goes on and on for hours.

Huckleberry Finn said...

I got so used to hearing the indoor cricket stories, I almost forgot it was an outdoor game!
When SA told me he got hit by a cycle while playing cricket, my eyebrows almost reached my hairline and I said: "So someone rode a cycle through your house?"

jeff dandel said...

Egad. How about billiards on the floor? Visit me at

ManojG said...

Me 'complete' huh? Makes sense perhaps, cos my style is more-or-less 'completely' flawed -:)

And, nobody would want to be the telly box, which fields at short cover nor the showcase at short mid-wicket. Those gems that leave from the meat of the blade...oh mama...poor inanimate things.

Vaish said...

Ok, i TOTALLY enjoyed reading that! :)