Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Great Cricket Match - Part I

Your eyes rest on the countenance of a sufferer. A sufferer who suffers – terribly. Yes, dear readers, I am down with a severe case of writer’s block. This is illustrated by the fact that I have spent the last two hours trying to compose a Statement of Purpose in support of my application to a B-school, and what I have written thus far is–

I have been greatly interested in management ever since I chose to study Computer Science at the

Very rummy, all this. But what I find even more distressing than the fact that I may miss the January 31st deadline for my application to one of the few good B-schools that may condescend to call me is that I am unable to get myself to write a line to post here on my blog.

It was therefore a moody, despondent self that trawled through my hard disk, more out of sheer boredom than anything else. It was then that I chanced upon this story I had written years and years ago. So, till I recover from this debilitating disease, I have decided to post this up on my blog in parts. So, I present a never-before-seen piece, penned by a younger, less lissome schoolkid named Siddhu -


It was the Physics hour. It was not among the subjects in which I was good. But then, the subjects in which I could claim to be proficient were few and far between.

So, as was my usual practice, I looked sleepily onto the blackboard and slowly began to see that, by some freak of nature, there were two of everything. I could see not one, but two people talking about the important role Netwon’s third law would play in our futures.

It was when the teacher began to delve into the depths of inertia and other things I couldn’t care less about that I felt something running up and down the small of my back. I initially suspected it to be the work of a pesky mosquito, but with the logical mind that is the hallmark of a Warrier I deduced that mosquitos do not frequent classrooms at two in the afternoon. I then put it down to my imagination, for stranger things have been known to happen in the addled minds of Physics students. A few minutes later, I received a blow on the side of my head.

I could not put this down to the effects Physics have on young minds. For never before in written history had a Physics lecture caused sharp pain on the side of one’s head. Itching, maybe, but pain, no, not even a lecture from that acknowledged bore, my principal, could do that. After thus concluding that there was a human hand behind the blow, I turned behind to face Sujit.

‘What do you want?’, I asked, sounding aggrieved.

He stuffed a paper into my hands and told me to turn towards the blackboard before our long suffering Physics teacher took at a dekko at the small of my back.

My curiosity was aroused. The whole cloak and dagger process of exchanging notes in class excited me. I began to imagine myself as a RAW agent making contact with his mole in the Pakistani establishment in front of Pervez Musharaff. It was then that it struck me that my teacher would look rather like Musharaff if he would wear an Army cap. I was beginning to wonder how exciting it would be if it turned out that our teacher were actually Musharaff. At that moment, the second blow struck exactly the same place the first did. This time I did not turn back, for the teacher was answering a query of a first bencher – a first rate blighter who asked them unrelentingly though he knew the answers anyway.

‘Look at the paper, dammit’, hissed Sujit, reminding me of the snake who played the hero (or was it heroine) in that Sridevi starrer the name of which I am presenty unable to recollect.

The paper contained something written in Mahendran’s unmistakable scrawl. It was a scrawl that had sent many a teacher to the friendly neighbourhood opthalmologist. I struggled to read it, after first determining which side was up. It had something to do with a proposal for a inter-section cricket match. An inter-section cricket match! I could not figure out what an inter-section match was, and considered all kinds of interesting possibilities before I realized that he was referring to a match between our class, 9th C, and 9th B.

I brightened up. It had been a long time since we had played such a match. I wrote down a few lines which would inform Mahendran of my support and patronage for any such endeavour. I also told him that my services as Captain of the team were also at the class’ disposal. I passed it along with the panache’ of one who has been passing notes since playschool.

The next message from Mahendran informed me that the back benchers’ union, led by Mahendran, was not interested in handing the captaincy over to my able hands. But it welcomed me onto the team as long as I would bring the stumps along (and rather ominously, it seemed to me, the team seemed to be willing to dispense of my services otherwise).

I sometimes suspected that the stumps I possessed had more to do with my being a regular member of the team than my cricketing skills. But I generally dismissed these thoughts as unfounded. The next paper tossed at me gave me the date for the encounter. It was the next Saturday.

Saturday arrived and there was not a cloud in the sky. But then, clouds in the Chennai sky are rarely seen, as the skeptics among the readers may comment. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day for cricket and the temperature was a pleasant 41 degrees. As we sweated our way onto what served as a pitch to hit the stumps in (always a difficult process which involved emptying a water bottle onto the earth to make it more receptive to the stumps), we noticed the captains ‘walking out’ for the toss. As they walked towards the pitch, there was a small commotion and the chap who had conveniently appointed himself captain of the 9th B team was dragged back to the trees by the side of the ground. The real captain, a plump fellow named Sanjay Anand, huffed and puffed his way to the pitch where our glorious leader, Surendra Babu stood in wait.

To read the exciting conclusion of this tome, and the beginning of the great Cricket match, tune in tomorrow at

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