Category: Fiction

India And Cricket

My Dear Cricket,

I am so excited to finally write to you. My hands seem to be shivering. Do you have any idea about how big you are in our country? You are compared to religion here. And everybody knows religion is India’s fuel – without it our news anchors would have nothing to talk about.

I became a fan of you when I was a kid. Well, what is a fan exactly? When I was four, I watched you on TV with my dad because whenever there was a match on, he used to sit in front of the TV and not leave it till the DD National jingle came on after the last bowl was bowled. I remember watching matches on Sunday morning. The only reason I got up was because my mom would fry pakodas and leave them in front of my father while he watched the game.

Love for you exists in the whole of our family. My uncle loves to comment about how much a batsman would make, but quickly shushes someone else up if they say anything. My mom is a bad omen. Whenever she enters the room and says something negative about India, a wicket falls. My sister often pushes her out of the room.

I remember the World Cups. There used to be preparation a week in advance. Everyone would make predictions. I peeked into the drawing room, my father talking to his friends fiercely debating about Kapil Dev’s history and Sourav Ganguly’s present. I only had eyes for one – the New Zealand captain. I did not much know the game in the beginning, but he looked incredibly handsome to me (I couldn’t even pronounce his name properly). I stood in front of my mirror and practised what I would say to him when I grew up, finished school and flew to New Zealand.

The fever for gully cricket overtook me, too.Somehow, I liked fielding as much as everyone else in the ground hated it. I liked standing near the boundary (marked by slippers of the players) and viewing the game in all of its glory. The bowler would run up, twist his hand in a way that I haven’t been able to understand yet (I never could bowl – still can’t) and the ball would fly to the other end of the ground. There would be a lovely sound (this is still my favourite part of gully cricket and my one complaint with cricket on TV) – thwack! – and the ball would fly, as gracefully as a ballerina in a pink tutu.

Winter mornings were especially hard. I remember hurting my hands catching the red ‘rubber wali’ ball. It was heavy and hurt like hell, but I was unwilling to concede to the boys who had accepted me as one of their own. They even let me bat. I was decent at it. I remember I once scored 32 runs, and it was one of the happiest mornings of my life. Until the dirty ball landed in the bucket which contained white school shirts washed with Surf Excel. I gingerly took out the ball, stuffed the shirt on top towards the bottom, and my mother never found out what I had done. When the craze for Harbhajan Singh was at its height, I tied my hair up like Sikh people and asked my mom to take me to meet him. She was surprised. She just laughed, and I was left puzzled.

I miss you, though. Stupid thing to say, right? How can I miss you when you are still here? But have you never felt it? Missing someone even when they are around? Wishing things would be the same as they were? Nostalgia has set in. I am sorry, cricket, but you have changed. I was never one for tests (I would sleep off in my father’s lap, ketchup from the pakodas still on my lips), but I enjoyed ODIs immensely. When you started T20s, I felt a little betrayed, but I watched them in the beginning. It was fun, definitely. To see the sixes swishing and the fours gliding. But as soon as the novelty wore off, I felt betrayed. It was nothing compared to what I felt when the IPL started. I felt as if someone was intentionally tarnishing my childhood memories. I still refuse to watch the IPL or read news about it.

But, as they say, once you love, you never really leave. When I am in college,I don’t watch you enough. Score updates through a phone application have taken the place of sitting through the match, watching even the ‘Fourth Umpire’ on DD National. But I still love you. You are a part of my childhood that I have carried into my twenties, and I am glad you’re still here. But when I see kids play in the lane beneath my balcony, that old yearning to field comes back to me, and in that moment I’m my little, happy, careless self again.You were and will be am important part of our country’s pride and memories.

With love and warm wishes,

-An Indian Kid

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Women And WhatsApp

You extracted her number from a certain WhatsApp group and in boxed her. Or maybe you ‘inboxed’ her in Facebook and due to your incessant pleas, she finally gave up and gave you her number. Or you may still have gotten it from one of her friends. She may also have given it to you personally.

Hello beautiful, you look awesome was your opening gambit. The next moment you were trans nighting chatting on WhatsApp and that’s how the relationship kicked off. Not that she has feelings for you, no, that’s the nature of women. They will even chat with their girlfriends, something which is rare about men. Quite a strange way of dating nowadays where relationships start just like bowel movements with no foundation. Before you know it, you are head-over-heals in love with each other. Not that you are the first one, she just added you to her presumably long list of boyfriends. You just got a share from her and if you are lucky enough, you get the largest share depending on the depth of your pocket of you or how beneficial you are to her, something she have not told you.

That’s or has been the nature of women. Men have been known to cheat and it said that this nature is inborn of them. This does not therefore mean that women have no other men in their lives apart from their partners. If having many partners at the same time is cheating, then women are the worst. The difference is only that these relationship are platonic, while men main objective of cheating is basically sex, women are different. They assigned different roles to the men in their lives.

There is this man who is her classmate and who is very smart. She will befriend this one for academic purposes. This is the one she will sought when doing assignments and also during exams to explain a certain mathematical concept she never understood, in class because presumably she was busy chatting WhatsApp with yet another man. This is the guy who she will make sure has gone through her assignments before handing over to the lecturer.

There is also this cute and tall guy whom she goes out with in the weekend. This is the one she will talk about when she is with her friends discussing their boyfriends. This one may not be that financially stable but his charms and humour just sweeps her off her feet. He’s such a good company to her.

There is also this guy who meets her needs. This one is settle and a bit older than her. She will turn to this one if her phone ‘accidentally drops in a pool of water and needs a repair’. He is the one who recharges her phone after she sends a ‘please call me message’. He is also the one who will send her expensive gifts during valentine and take her to expensive dinner in a classic hotel. This guy be even having a family but so long as he is catering for her financial needs, she doesn’t care.

A guy may neither posses none of afore mentioned characteristics but that doesn’t mean that he’s is useless to her. So long as he is not disabled. He will be the one whom she will call when the bulbs suddenly goes off or and she wants it replaced. He will also be responsible of repairing a leaking roof and delivering charcoal. When the gas cylinder goes empty, he is called to make arrangements on how it will be refilled. When her vehicle gets deflated in the middle of the highway, she calls him.

Women will have a way of naming all these men in in her phone book. For instance the last guy may be named something like ‘Mr Ranbeer’. However unlike men who may confuse and send a text to the ‘wrong’ guy, you will never find a woman doing that. She plays her cards well and you may never get to know about it. That’s how mysterious they are.

PS: It is a complete fiction.Any resemblance to any particular ‘woman’ should not be treated as offensive.

PPS: No Offence Meant. 😀

The Farmer And The Potter

Two men lived in a village
at different ends
whom God loved dearly.
One was a potter,
the other, a farmer
who planted his crops merrily
and tended them
day and night, sweating with toil
as his own progenies.
Once, the sun shone brightly
and angst felt the farmer
while the potter rejoiced.
He made some vessels,
moulding them with love.
He then placed the tender pots
in the sun
and looked at the sky.
Worry overcame him
when he saw some clouds.
The farmer took a sigh of relief though.
Both men went to pray.
The farmer wished for rain
to save his yields from thirst
and the potter wished for sunbeams
to make his earthenware dry.
Both of them put their trust on the Almighty
and retired to their houses
peacefully.

Cocoon

Look around you
for an abundance
of sigh and terrific proof.
Embrace a refreshing
effervescence in this
moment, arriving whole
and altogether new.
Come alive in pure
love’s transformation
invigorated by a
chosen and heroic truth.

That Little Extra Step

There is much more of the world to get my friend, beyond what you can
Just keep believing, walk that extra mile each time to travel the span
Sky seems so dark, keep looking and you will see that little star twinkling far away
Look farther, the light of that shooting star may guide you on the way
Not a sound around, keep listening and you will hear the sounds of night
Listen some more, you may hear the counsel of your own heart giving you might
The food smells wonderful, smell some more and you will get the whiff of that spice you so like
Smell harder and the nostalgic memories of your childhood may strike
The taste of success is so sweet, more of it will surely please
Taste some more, “Success is hard work” is what you will realize
Touch the sands, stretch a little further and you will touch the wave
Reach out some more, you may be able to touch the horizon that you so much crave
You very easily feel anger and at times even some sympathy
Allow yourself to feel and you may even feel a little empathy
There are so many wonderful things waiting to be discovered all around you
Every time you just had to take few more steps, who know?

Voices In His Head(Part 1)

The voices in his head were very distinctive. He could hear them as clearly as if they came from one standing right next to him. They were so loud that he had to cover both of his ears. It was terrifying for him to hear what it is they were saying to him. Clear instructions of how he was to take his life. It was bad enough that those around him did not believe anything he told them. Right from the time he had first heard the voices and told his family and friends what it was he was hearing they had all taken it as some sort of a joke.

Yet Paul was so certain that there were people that were communicating to him in his mind. Sometimes the voices were calm and talked to him in normal tones. But at other times they shouted so loudly that he had to shut them off by tightly placing his hands over ears.

At other times he found humor in what it was the voices said. There was even a time when he had heard them hold a very funny discussion and he had found himself unable to hold back laughter. Only when he was bent over laughing so hard had it occurred to him that those around him did not share the joke with him.

He had decided then that it must have been meant for just him to laugh at.Paul would wake up sometimes to hear whispers around him in the dark of the night. At such times he would hold his breath and pretend to be asleep so that he would listen to what it was that was being said about him.It was funny how these voices always talked about him when not addressing him directly. They seemed to be obsessed with him and his past especially. At times they would discuss some embarrassing incidents in his childhood and would taunt him till he begged them to stop.

One time he had woken up to hear an ongoing discussion about his relationship with his parents. He had heard the voices say that they were not his real parents as he was adopted. They had gone on to say how that explained the fact that he could not get along well with them as they viewed him differently from their other children.

This had changed his relationship with his folks as from then he had decided to be more careful around them. It seemed the voices were always warning him of imminent danger thus he regarded them as his good friends.They had even gone ahead to tell him how the people who claimed to be his friends did not have good intentions towards him. They only wanted to find a way to get him killed they said.

And so he had become detached from many of his friends because either way none of them seemed to understand what was going on in his life. On the contrary the voices seemed to always be on the lookout for him. Thus he had got to trust them and to take everything that they said to him as Gospel truth.

The instructions on how he was going to take his life seemed a little difficult for him to perform. He thought out every detail of that which he was supposed to do. It brought terror to his mind but then the voices kept reassuring him that it was the only way he was going to find peace from the ones that kept pursuing him in life.

They had even gone ahead to describe in detail how life would be on the other side for him.No more would he have to look over his shoulder in fear of people keen on attacking him. If there was anything he longed for it was peace of mind. He wished that he would just live a life with no threats from those around him. He longed to find people who genuinely loved him unlike his parents who he had gathered were not genuine at all. He wished that his siblings were not as conniving as the voices confirmed. It seemed to him that all those around him were all after him and if what the voices said was true then he found no meaning staying around such mean people.

He would take a chance at the happiness they promised him. The voices said that life would be perfect on the other side. With no threats to him and surrounded by people that genuinely cared about him he figured that life must be better on that other side. The journey to that other side would begin by following the clear instructions that the friendly voices had issued out.

He needed to find courage to walk right into the path of a moving truck.He must not fail on this mission, the voices had said. He was to stand by the road side, pretend that he meant to cross over to the other side and on seeing a huge struck he was to walk right into the highway in its way.Not to worry as the voices would be right there with him and would nudge him on at the right time.He had spent the day before going over the details to executing the plan.

So engrossed was he that he had not even found time to get out of his room that day preferring to stay in and hold numerous conversations with the voices. At one point he had even enquired if there was going to be any pain involved but the voices reassured him that the transition would be so fast it would be over before he knew it. He considered this as very worthy advice coming from them.

He stood by the huge highway with others waiting to cross to the other side. Everyone else was bent on getting across safely. But he was on the lookout for a huge truck that would come shuttling down and help him get to his destiny on the other side. He was well prepared for the journey too.It had been quite a while standing there but he patiently waited to hear the voices give him the go ahead. At last he heard them. On looking up he saw the huge truck coming downhill fast. The voices seemed to be outdoing each other telling him to walk across the road. They were so loud he did not even think about it but did just what it was the bid him do.

Behind the wheel of the new truck was an elderly man on his way to deliver some urgent goods. He was behind on time but this new baby would get him there on time.He was enjoying driving it as he sang along to some country music from the stereo. It was while going downhill that he saw him. The young man seemed intent on making it to the other side of the highway for he suddenly sprang onto the road without warning.

The truck driver braked and missed running him over by inches.Paul woke up to hear familiar voices hurling abuses at him. How could he fail after all the instructions they had offered him? What had been so difficult for him to do?

They kept shouting at him and he made several attempts to offer answers. None of his answers seemed to make sense to them and they continued chastising him on his lack of commitment to finding happiness on the other side.The truck driver stood over Paul with several other people who had seen the young man walk right into the way of the oncoming traffic.

He like others tried to make sense of what it was that had led the young man to make such a grave move. In his experience the driver thought that the young man lying sprawled out on the ground was not of sound mind. He wondered what it was that bothered him to the extent of wanting to take his life. He was overcome with pity for the young lad and decided to get him help.Hurling him to the passenger seat beside him was easy as the lad seemed to be in a daze oblivious of all that was going on around him.

As he restarted the engine with his new passenger, he knew that this was not an easy task he had taken on himself. But he just had to make those deliveries first and then he would take time to come up with a way to helping the young lad snap out of whatever it was that bound him. It was not a mere coincidence that he carried in his truck foodstuff that would feed hundreds of mental patients at the hospital.

He was going to mention the incident to the head Doctor there and see if he might figure out how to help the young lad.It was the kind face of a stranger that looked back at him.Lying stretched out on a hospital bed Paul had been holding a deep conversation with the voices.

The truck driver and the Doctor had watched him wrestle unseen people and heard him shouting back at the voices. It was when he came to his senses that he found the two looking down at him as he lay on the hospital bed.He hoped that he had somehow made it to the other side and would find peace at last. He was almost sure he was in the right place.