cric tales

a guy wakes up on a nice, Sunday morning. it’s around 9 and quite late by his usual standards. (he gets up by around 6 every other day.) it’s a holiday, so who cares anyway. he has a vague recollection of the third cricket match being played in the India v/s NewZealand series. (cricket is his favorite sport by miles, coming second only to procrastination.) something inside him asks him to go, check the score right then. “but i’m not addicted to cricket anymore”, he reasons with himself. so, en route to the little TV set he owns in his bachelor pad, he changes his mind and goes to the kitchen instead.

the resolution stays firm for a couple of minutes.

by the time he’s finished with his glass of water and puts the tea on boil, he goes to the other room and switches the TV on. it’s a peculiar equipment. this Tele Vision of his. almost a toy, he got it second hand in some distress sale, just for fun’s sake. he has never used it much apart from holiday morning cricket matches and some distressing, urgent news on the government broadcaster’s free-to-air channel. for ‘real’ TV watching, he prefers his parent’s home, whenever he goes there. rest of the days, his laptop kills time nicely.

am i rambling again?

anyways, the TV comes to life. hmmm. the Indian team is batting. something inside curses him for wasting golden hours every holiday morning. “there is so much to do on a morning like this, when you don’t have to go to the office, go for a walk, exercise, read poetry, check the neighborhood, watch cricket matches,” scolds that something inside. more hmmm. “but why is there no picture on the screen?” and Sachin is playing. hmmm, with a tinge of rapidly swelling joy. Sachin is not out, still playing and has already made a century. joy goes for a dive, and panic sets in. “why o why this damn TV is not showing any picture?”

somewhere inside the house the tea is still on boil.

things get desperate by now. “the stomach is troubling, the tea is on boil, Sachin is scoring boundaries after boundaries and this god forsaken TV set… no no, this sweet little TV of mine is not showing any picture. where is the vision in television?” for the next few minutes, the TV is treated like a proper human being. gets spanked on various sides with varied degrees of force, coerced into good behavior like a turbulent toddler, worshipped like an angry god who has taken avatar just to be appeased by mortals, talked to in endearing terms like a childhood buddy… even emotions reserved only for the to-be better half are brought into force… but to no use. almost teary-eyed, the guy goes to the kitchen and fetches his morning chai.

by now it is about half the quantity is should have been.

another, shorter round of treating TV like a toddler, friend, deity, lover, follows. no use. by this time, one flat mate, bleary eyed, staggered walk, comes across to greet him a very good morning. “what good morning yaar, sachin is playing and this TV is not working. a radio would have been better than this.” a quick shift of the eyes and a short mood assessment later, the room mate explains to the guy that the TV has been like this for quite some time now. “its picture tube is damaged. by the way, if you hit it hard on the sides simultaneously, it comes to life. we make it work like that only.”

fighting his hurricane like anger creating a low pressure area in and around his mind, the guy asks his room mate, “what?”

“yeah”, the room mate replies. next, he tries his hand at spanking the wretched thing but finding no breakthrough, he asks for a matchstick. our guy’s eyes light up. “maybe, he knows a trick or two. after all, it is they who have used this TV more then me. maybe, i’ll be able to watch some part of Sachin’s innings finally.” the guy runs inside an grabs a matchstick from the kitchen. clinging on to that thin, wooden black-headed splinter of a fire lighting equipment, he hands over his life (well, almost) to the room mate.


the room mate lights his cigarrete from the empty matchbox in his hand. “what was that for?”, the guy asks. ” thought you were going to do something to the TV!” bleary eyed, staggered walk, the room mate cautiously walks away, “i was up whole night, you know. i heard you and thought you would sure have a matchstick. needed to light up this cigarrete. have to go to the loo. what’s the score, once again?”

dejected, depressed, de-illuminated, the guy sits down near the now audio-TV. Sachin is still playing, and till the time he’s on the crease, the rumbling stomach, the cold getting colder tea, the desire to get back at the room mates… the whole world can wait.

it was a nice, cricket-filled Sunday morning when Sachin scored his 43rd one-day century.


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