Summer Days...

Have been telling myself to write this post since the beginning of April. Like so many important and unimportant things, I have been putting this off as well.

I live near the court complex. May be a good 40 meters. On weekdays its a mad rush. Traffic is hectic and court premises are teeming with hordes of people, bat (wo)men, and khaki (wo)men. Sundays are wholly different matter. Hardly anyone on the road or the court complex. On these deserted days, the grounds inside court are taken over by kids of all ages. Several groups of kids play cricket all day. If I happen to pass by, I watch them play for sometime from afar. Its always fun to watch them play. The concentration on their faces, the dejections, the elations, the nasty schemes etc. Above all, I feel nostalgic about my own summer days.

My childhood was spent in a rather sizeable family. In addition to it, lots of other relatives lived closed by. So, as kids we always had company. During the beginning of my boyhood, my best friend was a distant uncle who was just 3 years elder to me. I tagged behind him all the time.

When I finished KG, my family decided I was ready to play cricket with the big boys. Got myself a cricket bat, Kidmate. It had a blue sticker! Armed with it, I tagged along with Kunji Maaman to play with his friends. Several kids there of all ages. Almost all of them elder to me by 2-4 years. I was not very comfortable there mainly due to the fact that I sucked at the game. Batting was poor, Bowling was...well lets say I barely managed to land the ball anywhere the crease, fielding was pathetic. So, invariably I was the last man and I fielded at deep 3rd man, far away from the action. They used to call it "bye". May be that 3rd man position just crept into my life as well and turned me into an outsider!

Life wasn't very pleasing to say the least. One day, my cousin, who lived nearby came to our house. He said he had a bat and ball too. We could play. That kickstarted a long standing friendship and brotherhood. Both us used to play on all the weekends. One day at his home, the next day at mine. Just the two of us.

Our match format was like this:

We pick a team each and play test cricket or one day cricket as we feel like doing. We will bat and bowl as each team member and write scores as seen on TV! This meant that we had to bat and bowl with both hands. It was great fun and to add to the fun we made the obstacles to score the runs as fielders. Srilankan names sounded really funny then (still do!), so we named them all srilankan. The wall which blocked the on drives was known as Mathilaanda Varnaweera (it was a patchy, colour faded wall) and the Kalyanasoungadhikam tree (the flowers smell real good!) was called Puspakumara.

I came up with innovative ideas to spruce up our games. We played with specialised elevens, like Spinners XI, Lefthander XI, etc. We had several stadia as well. At my house, we used to play in the short stairs with a big tyre as the wicket, in the corridor inside the house, and a deserted piece of land just nearby. At his home, we played in house yard. During summer vacation, this became a dialy affair. Playing all day from morning till evening, taking a break for lunch and rest.

My cousin used to go to his fathers place once in a while. During that time, my main hobby was to go his house and read all the back issues of Poompata. I had Balarama at home and read Poompaata from his home, but I had a backlog to cover and I did it during his absence.

A major gripe with vacation was that my vacations started on April 20 and ended on June 20. I was the only kid from my area to my school. All the other kids had their vacation from April 1st to May 31st. This meant that I lost around 40 days! Now that I am thinking about this, I really wonder how I did all the things that I did!

Better stop now...feeling sleepy...will continue this!

in the next post: Rockus describes about his exploits with wheels and business!