Yesterday I was so amazingly bored that I stood outside and stared at the street adjacent to my house for quite a few minutes. The street was completely empty but so many memories came flooding back. It was like in those films where the protagonist looks at a street which is empty, begins to reminisce and there's the flashback. The street is suddenly filled with people. Pretty cool, eh. Well anyway, I started thinking about the days when my friends and I used to play cricket on this very same street every day of the week a few years ago.
The tree would be the stump and the Onyx dustbin would be the boundary line. Those were such wonderful times and our lives were so simple back then. We would go to school, play cricket on the street, finish scribbling our homework at 8 am the next day and then rush to school. Street Cricket was our only past-time and so we took it seriously, very seriously. Like in any movie which involves a flashback, there was this guy who used to cheat all the time. He would get bowled and say that he was bowled of a wide and so he was not-out. It was sort of like the Obi Wan Kenobi-Anakin Skywalker story. This guy was the first person to call me to play on that street, he was sort of like a mentor. Soon more people started to join us and we cut him off because no one could stand this guy's cheating. So the mentor and his so called ‘student’ became enemies, except in this case the student was not the evil one.
Like I said, we took our hobby very seriously and anyone playing havoc with the rules passed down to us by our fore-fathers needed a wake-up call. So, to make sure that there were no more discrepancies in our cricketing laws, we created a Street Cricket Bible with all the rules explained in our own words (e.g. If you are called by your mother to drink milk while you are batting and you leave the crease without taking the permission of the bowler and if you get run out, you must not cry.) and we also planned events like charity matches every Independence day. Unfortunately no one sponsored any of our matches and so we couldn't make any contributions for charity.
It was now that our lives became a lot less simple. We had unknowingly created a Street Cricket Council (SCC) and we were too young to be dabbling in petty politics. But that's what happened and before you knew it, there were two separate factions fighting with each other for the possession of the street at 4 pm after we had drunk our milk. We fought, we made up and we fought and made up an this continued until one faithful day when Douglas Marillier of Zimbabwe defeated India single-handedly by playing shots that could not be found in any Cricketing book, not even in our Street Cricket Bible. Young minds can be very impressionable and one of my friends, going for Cricketing glory played a 'Marillier scoop'. The ball hit a lamp in the Colony President's (you might remember him from this post) house and unfortunately, the lamp broke. With that, our cricket playing days in that street were over.
No other street was good enough and soon we went our separate ways. Yesterday, like so many days in the recent past, the street was empty. But I realized that one broad strip of tar had meant so much to me. It was like a pensieve for me, filled with memories, good and bad, but luckily most of them were alright.