Nitesh Ralhan

Nitesh Ralhan

Abey Chal na out hai…Yaar main nahi khel raha Tikka cheating kar raha hai…Abey mar mar bowling end…O pure 20 rupay lagey hain mere…batting puri loonga

Do you hear all this…Hmmm reminds us of the days we used to play cricket on streets 

One tip, one hand. Only off-side” rules, 3 body touch out.

It revamped its rules based on how much the neighbor was a pain-in-the-butt and hence hitting the ball directly in their compound was out, what side of the road had higher probability of traffic nuisance, as if traffic was a nuisance and not the actual game being played on public property.

But once the rules got defined and refined, the show was on. It use to go into dark hours of twilight, in thinning lights, until the symphony was broken by a shouting Mom of one of the ’studious’ players. Arey O Tappu ghar chal abb shyam ho gai hai…pappa aate honge.

One of the other reasons for an end of the game would be a broken window of a not-so-sporting neighbor. A khadoos Buddha and in all likely hood, a bald oldie, would stop the game by his ruckus over a broken window. So much so that by the time he came out of his house, shouting, all the players would have vanished from the scene and the only concrete evidence of someone playing cricket was the small tower of red bricks which masqueraded as a wicket. And that so called wicket would be standing tall and only helping in making the guy’s face go red like them.

Cricket also became an excuse for some wacky activities which included impressing a neighborhood girl. Some over enthusiastic fielder in the sleeps (yeah, we use to have sleep position too) would make a seemingly simple looking catch into a Jonty Rodhes diving supple stunt just to impress ‘her’. She wouldn’t even notice. His many fake dives for a simple catch would not even invite a nod or a hello after several weeks. In most cases, the girl wouldn’t even know the guyz existence. These stories would begin and die on the cricketing field itself.

Street Cricket in Old Delhi ..

Street Cricket in Old Delhi ..

Every one of us would definitely remember the days we played cricket on the streets, the days when we thought we could be another Tendulkar, the days when playing cricket in 45˚C temperature was just normal, the fights with friends over someone being out and yes the samosas and coke with the money from a rare won match, and what not.

Here it is…Bright sunny after noon, weather quite humid –  nearly 80%… Today is the opening day of the elite cricket tournament. Teams participating are Block A lead by Tikka – yeah the same cheater, slightly thicker than a berry in complexion and Block B lead by lieutenant’s son Ambuj –  always in mellow dramatic mode – he seems to be a result of some secret fantasies of his father.. LOL !

To be continued.. ;-)

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