On every Sunday, I used to make a point that I would go for the jogging in the field nearby my apartment. The field used to bustle with different kinds of people. Old and young were the essential part of the milieu of the field. After burning my excess fat (that I used to accumulate in the restaurants and office canteen the whole week) I loved watching kids play cricket on a bench. Watching them play their game would give me enjoyment that even watching the professional game didn’t give. It was a real fun watching them. I also used to play cricket in my college days, so watching any form of cricket was always on my to-do list whenever a match is on.
There used to happen other things also between my gasping lungs and the kids’ cricket match. Many grandparents used to bring their grandchildren to the park. And while grandparents kept themselves busy deciphering the shlokas of ‘Geeta’, kids enjoyed themselves with the swings there.
As I was relaxing, a boy from the cricket match came to the place where I was relaxing and sat beside me. He was also panting, drenched in his own perspiration. I observed that though he was away from the game, his eyes were transfixed on the match that was going on.
“Why aren’t you playing? Tired?” I enquired.
He didn’t answer.
I didn’t prod him further, and pretended as if it didn’t matter even if he didn’t answer. I had observed his dejected face but didn’t want him to feel that I knew that he was sad.
“My bowling is bad…I gave too many runs in my last over that is why my captain told me to go out of the match in the middle of the over,” he informed me after being mum for a minute or two.
And I was thinking that their game was for fun.
“Is there any serious match going on?”
“Yes, it is a match between Block ‘B’ and Block ‘D’ of our society.”
“What kind of bowler are you?”
“Oh…we lost this match…my mistake…they will never play me again.” He didn’t answer my question but got up and moved towards his team-mates.
The sun was getting sharper with its rays so I also decided to move.
Next Sunday morning, I again went to the field as usual. I had completely forgotten the interaction with the kid last Sunday, but when I saw him practising, the conversation came back to my mind. I saw him trying to bowl leg spin but I judged from a distance that he was not gripping the ball properly. He got hit for a four. He was crestfallen.
Since it just seemed a practice session, I went up to him and tapped on his shoulder and said “Can you give me the ball?”
He looked startled but gave me the ball. I taught him the niceties of gripping the ball for a leg spin. He practiced it and mastered it after bowling for two overs. He was really quick to pick. Then, I taught him the flipper and googly for a leg spinner. He found it difficult to conceal the ball for a googly and a flipper so I told him that mastery on these two things will come after a lot of practice and hardwork. I took a promise from him that he would practice on all the arts of the leg spin bowling.
I was away for three Sundays from the city owing to my marketing travels for the company I used to work with. When on the fourth Sunday, that I was available in the city, I went to the field again. After, doing my usual round of jogging. I sat at the bench where generally I used to sit.
I started watching the match and when the lad came to ball he scalped two wickets in one over. After the match ended he had achieved 4 wickets. His team won and he was adjudged man of the match. I felt happy for him.
As, I was going out of the field, someone pulled my t shirt, when I turned back, it was the lad.
“Thanks uncle! It is only because of you that I could bowl so well in the match today.”
“Hey that is all your hard work dear. Enjoy these moments of success… but never stop practicing.” I told him and moved outside of the field. He again joined the gang of his friends.
P.S: This is a creative account!