Saturday, August 12, 2006

this used to be my playground

Well, Why is it that most of my writeups are nostalgic in nature?? I really don't know but, thats what comes to my mind when I start to come up with something. Nothing to make it mundane, tho...

Its as early as morning 7:00 and I just realise the Sun is beginning to fall directly into my eyes, I am still dreaming about me hitting a century while playing for my school and suddenly I hear 2 distinct fading voices in the background which goes like "Prashanth, Prashanth....." . I am still under transition to the real world, sooner to which I hear 2 more voices "Bega bat togondu baa". We are all set to continue the previous day's match on the Shankar Mutt ground, the place which used to be my playground !!

I have no time to laze around cos I need to freshen up and rush towards the ground. We lost a ball the previous day, so we need to rake in the moolah to fetch a good ball...Deepu was always a go getter when it came to purchasing a new ball. He in his Hero Ranger was as quick as Lance to go to Ranganatha stores and do the needful. Meawhile, the pitch is getting ready with 2 wickets on one side and 2 bricks on the other :-)

We are 7 of us with one guy who was not out the previous day has gone missing, and hence there is a unanimous decision to call of the match and start a new game. As always, I am the undisputed captain and just when I am about to choose my team, this naive player Kanti yells in the background " naanu joker".. the only reason is he getting a chance to bat for both the sides. One guy has to pass this comment "nanmaga batting saaythane". But all of us instantly again agree to it because it hardly used to take 3 balls to get him out.. Both sides put together, this guy could hardly play one over :-)

Now for the rules...
1) Joker is the umpire (Neutral umpires existed since then)
2) No leg side runs
3) Full toss outside the ground is Out ( I don't know who came up with this rule)
4) Single side batting
5) First ball Grace ( by request only)
6) No bowling for the joker
And for the most hilarious ones...
7) No wicketkeeper ( Batsman has to run and get the ball if he misses)
8) No batting korging... ( Slang for desperately seeking to bat)

The game has already started and after a while, the ground is filled with many other teams from Basaveshwaranagar, Kurubarahalli and Nandini Layvote (phonetically). I totally forget where our team is batting and where our pitch is. I remember once that Jeeva ( the star bowler) when fielding took a diving catch which was worth watching a replay. But, unfortunately, there was just one mistake he did. The ball he caught was hit by someother team and was supposed to be a boundary. This team happened to be the Kuruabarahalli Cardinals and the captain from their team came up to Jeeva and ask a polite question "Nin a***n yaako catch hidididdu??? innondsala heege maadidre kai kaal murudubidtini " Jeeva is feeling totally low and all we can do is only console him.

The match is equally poised now and could be anybody's game. Kanti, the joker is batting and 3 runs are required to win in 1 over.. All eyes are on him. Jeeva is bowling at around 90 miles an hour and with an aquiver stance, Kanti is nervous. He swings the bat and somehow makes contact with the ball and tries to go for a run. The ball is well fielded and thrown directly at the stumps and there is an appeal for run out. I don't need to explain what happened for the next 10 minutes. Each player is giving his own replay version of how Kanti made/didnot make it. Few minutes later, the capain from Yeshwantpur Yankees approaches me and says " Hey, Wicket yethi jaaga khaali maadro.. pitch nammadu". His command over his local language, his gait and physical appearance made us quietly vacate the grounds and contemplate on having re-match the next day !!!