We were a bunch of friends studying in school in the same class. School was fun and life was much simpler then. Major hurdle would be completing homework which we would anyways handle as we were motivated enough to get our hands dirty on the playground after finishing off our homework asap. We loved Cricket and given an opportunity(Saturday second half and whole of Sunday apart from evenings on weekdays) we were seen only on playground playing cricket whether it’s scorching heat, pouring rain or shivering cold. We only knew we had to win matches somehow (albeit cheating in some instances 😉 ) and thus win bets for extra chocolates and ice candies. Rest didn’t matter for us.
Gully cricket was common pastime in my society as it was in many localities during early 90s. And we had teams from one locality playing against team from other locality quite often in tournaments. Ours was a good team and out of around 10 teams we even were champions once during one such tournaments. Gone are those days were we used to sweat it out in the sun, get drenched in the rain and never get tired enjoying the game to the fullest unlike today were we are busy playing only virtual games on mobiles and elsewhere.
Now life is complicated with less time and more work/worries/pressure/expectations etc etc. Almost everyone we meet looks dissatisfied and no one seems to be happy/contented. In order to relive those golden memories,we friends decided to meet up at a common place. Some of our friends were settled outside India, barring those others who made this great dream cricket team along with some of the other friends decided to meet at a friend’s flat in Bangalore. Some of the friends joined from Mumbai and Chennai, I was based in Pune and most of them were settled in Bangalore. It was a long weekend for most of us and we decided to complete our pending work well in advance to make us available for this weekend meet. We were glad that everyone could make it.
After a tiring overnight journey,upon reaching Bangalore,I called up my friend where everyone was supposed to meet up for brunch. I did knew his exact home address but for the fact that it was at a exotic location some 5 kms diversion from Bannerghatta Main Road, couldn’t locate his flat. Upon calling him,I was told to wait at a landmark so that he could pick me up to his flat. As I was waiting,I saw a car coming towards me,4 of them with their faces covered seated on the car. As it stopped in front of me, everyone (except the driver), came towards me and caught hold of me forcibly and pushed me inside the car. I couldn’t believe what panned out as it happened suddenly. Was I kidnapped?? Holy shit!! Yes, I was kidnapped in an isolated place.The road was clear and no one seemed to be passing by to get any outside help.My mouth was covered now after being threatened and told to hand over my RayBan,iPod, smartphone and wallet. However their voice sounded familiar and while handing out my wallet, I forcibly removed cloth covering the face of one of the guys. As I had guessed right he turned out to be our batting opener who used to get out first almost every time. On the other side was our fast bowler Shoaib who looked fearsome with his pace and look. The one driving the car was our captain, a middle order batsman who used to capitalize the start given by top order batsman and take us to the driver’s seat quite often. Beside the driver was our mystery spinner Phirki (mastermind behind this act)who used to spin the ball both ways and even deceived me this time with his googly by drawing me in front and getting me out plumb to make us laugh about it later.
As we reached our friend’s place still laughing about this incident, we were greeted by rest of our team-all rounder Golu(everything was round about him) who would also be our gol keeper oops wicket keeper, Little Master(another opener Sachin look alike), twins Waughle brothers and power hitter ShaktiMaan.So it was about time to party. The host aka Phirki had prepared Chicken Biryani along with some veg delicacies for vegans. No one cared about IPL which was coming on TV but went on to share their cricketing memories during school days. Stories started with imitating strange batting stances of our friends,the level of cheating we managed during a game to get an extra ice cream, how we innovated new ways to loose a match which should have been won quite easily, how we managed to run after breaking noisy neighbor’s glass window,argue for hours about a potential run out without replays, complain about stomach pain or anything of that sort just after getting out to avoid fielding under a violent sun etc etc. Topic gradually changed to school in general with stories related to first crush and subsequent crushes 😛 (We were stunned after hearing some confessions. I think I need to write separately sometime later on this topic 😉 ),how we tricked our teacher to get more marks, about the person we hated the most in school,how we managed to write the exam after getting panic attack when the paper which was leaked didn’t show up during the exam, tricks we perfected to copy during exams,unique characters with some strange and peculiar habits in school,imitating our teachers and some of our fellow friends, misadventures during tuition classes, big fights among our friends for silly reasons,school picnic stories etc etc. Now stories slowly changed to current scenario like how f**ked up our boss was if not our job,how some of them maintained their girlfriends so successfully and it ended when marriage topic cropped up. We argued whether marriage was start of a new beginning or beginning of a new end, how life changes with marriage blah blah blah. Some of our players were clean bowled(read married) and others including me were proud to be not out.
The next time I checked my watch, it was 8pm and it was time to leave. Never realized how time flies during good times and we had helluva good time.
Until next time,be good,do good and keep smiling 🙂