Jul 8, 2008


It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. Kids of all ages, and from all backgrounds, playing cricket on the road. Mother is overseeing the garden. Daughter is giving her company.

Bang! Thud! Whoosh!

A green bolt from the blue whips through the air, hits the compound wall, ricochets from there, and in one swashbuckling move, sweeps Mother's favorite plant off its feet.
The breathless sapling bends in double, and becomes a hybrid creeper.

Mother is furious. She commands daughter to confiscate the weapon of this destruction. Daughter scrambles amidst the brambles, and finally emerges with a 'Ah-ha, Gotcha' look.

The little and not-so-little fellas crowd near the gate.

"Ball, aunty", one of them says.
"Balla vathu, keelavathu" (doesn’t need translation, and doesn’t have one. Merely added for rhyme and emphasis.) " Onnum kedayathu. (Nothing doing.) ", Mother retorts.

"Where is your house? Bring your parents. “, Daughter adds, just in case, some of them in the motley gang didn’t understand the vernacular.
"Sorry Aunty", apologises one.
"Pleeeeeeese Aunty" , pleads another.

Mother and Daughter are stoic. No relenting this time. This has gone too far today.
"Yarukavathu adi patta , enna pannuve?" (What will you do, if someone got hurt?)Mother uses rhetoric.
Heads lowered in shame. Or supposed- to- be shame.

Just then, father seizes his commercial break, and tears away from the TV. He had been fidgeting in his chair, in two minds. Whether to miss a ball in the India-Pak ODI or to put in his two cents in this altercation of serious concern.

Seeing Father finally realize his responsibilities, Mother gives a wide smile. Daughter is confused, and looks up, searching for any rain clouds. This event demands a thundershower from the skies.

Father picks one tiny tot, with a cricket bat that towers over him by inches. "Hey You", he begins in typical Class of 1960's English. Mother eyes glow in expectation. A long sermon is definitely due to follow. Those brats deserve every bit of it.
Daughter debates mentally, whether gray can look white, still craning her neck towards the heavens and concludes that it is an optical illusion.

Father straightens his shoulder, and gathers height. Makes him more intimidating, Mother beams.
Father clears his throat.
"Don’t you know any other shot? Why do you keep swinging in one direction? You are not a good cricketer if you play the same shots. In the real field, they would have real fielders. Not this Aunty, who can’t catch hold of a balloon placed in her hands. You should play a variety of shots. Next time, keep the bat straight, Man. Straight Drives make a Gavaskar."

Father triumphantly glances at his clan. Clan throws back a murderous look. Daughter stops craning neck. Those clouds are indeed white.

"Bring the ball and give it to these fellows. They needed someone to tell them how to play", Father orders and marches back to his throne in front of the TV.
"The Maharaja has spoken, go do his bidding" Mom mumbles. As daughter hands back the tennis ball to the smirking lads, Mother reflects aloud "God only knows how many windows your father must have broken, in his younger days. Only guilt can prompt such a show!"


Shrinath said...

That was a refreshing (not to mention funny) change from the stuff you've been posting these days. Thank You. :)

Karthik B.S. said...

Naanum neraya kannadi odachirken! :)

EnGeetham aka "My Song!" said...

For cricket ball, any time! I vote with your dad on that. Or else, you would not be supporting a tradition that has been handed over from one generation to the other; if the kid was not given the ball, he'd have gone with the impression that its the norm and when he grows up, he'd do the same to others !!

Nakshatran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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