Sunday, July 2, 2017

Rainy runs

For we lived for the rains. Not that cricket on the terrace was not fun any other time of the year but the monsoon twist was its ultimate variation. The fundamental "fun"ness of football in the rain is frequently referred to but rain & cricket do not sound like compatible partners. Yet if the grass and the mud is left out of the party by having a concrete "ground" on top of apartment buildings, who's to stop magic from happening?
The "stadiums" at Gayatri Flats had good drainage for the most part barring the little mossy puddles at the corners. A sprint to those parts of the arena usually ended with a skid and a thud but when juveniles wilfully courted physical damage, a burst of stomach straining collective laughter was all the medicine needed. The long straights of the terrace A-1, the perfect symmetry of B-4 and the long square boundaries of A-3 - everyone had their favourite grounds 4 storeys further above the already quiet roads of (then) small town Bharuch.
Past these terraces, only a 10 minute walk beyond, the waters of the Narmada were already turning muddy under the influence of silt borne out of lands Madhya Pradesh onwards by the rain. The Arabian Sea was close enough to Bharuch and the river could have easily chosen to not make so much of a fuss about this rain. But it would still manage to swell with flood waters every year. Me thinks it did that only to provide entertainment for fellow citizens of Bharuch, who would dutifully gather at the edges and gaze on its turbulence as if they planned to stare it down into normalcy sometime soon.
True that the river absorbed most of the rain but we did our bit too. Soaked to the bone, shivering half in cold and half in anticipation of that one-tip-one-hand catch that could seal the match, we were unmindful of the grumbling clouds and their steady deposit. Washed clean as it were of any other roles responsibilities and requirements, we fought, we focussed. A cheap bat and a rubber ball, conquerors of syllabi & tuitions & time tables, architects of concrete memories.


Ankur Yadav said...

It was the best of cricket, it was the worst of cricket..

Roy said...

:) True that!