Sigh of Relief

It was already late. There were only few minutes left. I had to catch the train. I would be waiting for another one hour, if I miss the train. Because the next train would leave from the central railway station only after one hour and I was in a hurry to go home soon. I started running desperately. Fortunately, I got on the train before it started its first move. Ohh.... I sighed.

As it wasn’t peak hour, the seats were empty. I sat on near the window seat. I would always like to sit near window. It's really nice to view outside from the train moving.

Before I think how I got on the train. I realised, ‘oops! I forgot to buy the ticket’. So, I had to get down at the next station to buy and it would take some time. It means I would miss the train. Waste of effort.

The train was nearing the next station. To my surprise, it stopped at the half of the platform. And the compartment, I was in, was right opposite to the ticket counter. I got down and ran to the counter. There were about four persons before me to buy. The train still didn't move.

Then the train started moving again. It was my turn to buy the ticket. I’d kept enough change. So it didn’t take much time. By then the train had reached the full platform. After collecting my ticket, I had to run again to get into the same compartment before it moves. It was my challenge to get into the same compartment. My effort was not waste. I could get on the same compartment. Ohhh..... I sighed once again.


With Me

It wasn't a nice day for me. The night went off without having a nap. I felt tired and was off the work. Unfortunately, no body was at home on that day. That thought made me to feel even worse. I was left alone. I felt bored a lot. While thinking how to pass the whole day and how difficult it would be, being alone, I fell asleep.

When I got up, it was almost evening. I felt hungry very much. I found a pocket of bread and tomato sauce in the refrigerator to ease my hunger. I felt better after having completed my late lunch. I wanted to find a companion and I went out for a walk.

The day was becoming nice evening. The Sun was moving to the other side of the Earth. It was a long, wide and straight road with a couple of curves. There were big trees on either side of the road. With beautiful and colorful flowers lying on the corners of the road, they looked beautiful. Flowers were almost in all the colors of the rainbow. With nice breeze, I couldn’t ask for even more than this. The road took me to the beach that’s where I would spend my weekend evenings.

As it was a weekday, only a few people could be seen. Some shops were wayside, having variety of items, looking for their best buyout, four of five couples sitting very closely without allowing even air between them, and the children were playing on the shore, a crab, which was thinking if it could go into the sea or the shore, nothing took my loneliness away.

I asked the God, why he'd left me alone. Since there was not much noise, for the first time, I could hear the sound of waves, deeply. Actually, it seemed that the Sea was trying to speak to me, the waves was trying to come to the shore, near to me.

The sea was so blue with white bubbles on its surface. It tried to save its bubbles on the shore. How many bubbles could it save? I wondered. But no bubble was on the shore could survive. They burst once they reached the shore. Was it teaching any lesson for the human kind? Those who are earning a lot without having time to realize what the life was? They are restless. They end up having nothing in their history. The sea didn’t seem to give up. It tried again and again. I felt if the waves were trying to come to the land or was it trying to touch me? Yeah! I’d finally found that it was trying to speak to me something.

Though I came here many times before, I was unable to hear it. I'd been a deaf all those days. Now I could listen to the sea. It asked me not to feel, for being alone. It said, it would help me to make me to feel good and asked me to come there whenever I felt so bad. I asked the sea, ‘you’re also alone, and how can you help me?’ It said, ‘I am not alone. There are so many species in me and I’m spread all over the world. I have so many friends around me. All you need is to just feel their presence’. Yes, I realized that I wasn’t alone; I had so many friends around me. The trees, the birds, the mountains, the sky and the air, I could hear and speak to them.

The sea said that the God hadn't created man alone. The words, it spoke out were the real boost for me. I felt being amid of the world then, surrounded by the nature. I’m no longer alone. Here they are, they look at me, and they speak to me in their own language and I’m able to understand them. They care for me and they would always be with me.


Behind the Stumps

My family had moved to a new rented-house. The rented portion was on the right side of the main house. It was cool place as there were so many coconut trees around the house. There was an empty land right opposite to our house. So, we could get cool breeze especially in the early morning and in the late evening. The empty land was covered with green grass. It was nice to have a view of the greens in rainy days by sipping your coffee.

I was then thirteen years old, reserved and quiet boy. I wasn't an outgoing person. So, my siblings and I would play only indoor games with the house owner's children. Later I was introduced to other children on the street. We started playing outdoor games on that empty land. We were very happy playing outside. I mingled with them easily.

I would think why they cut all the other entertainment programs for the sake of telecasting Cricket live on the Television. I would feel bored whenever the Cricket played. I couldn’t understand its rules and didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t realize Cricket was the game that every Indian loves to see even sacrificing other things. But after my friends taught me how to play and included me in the team, I got interested into it so much.

The game didn't need much space and costly kit. We used to play on the street itself. It was really fun playing on the street and hitting the ball into the houses and broke the window glasses and the street lights. Whenever we broke the window glass we would hide in a few seconds and there would be no sign of play on the street. After some time, when we find no people complain we would get together one by one and try to break other windows. Even a small stick, a tennis ball and a strong wood as bat was enough for us. We would usually start with four or five boys. As the game progresses, many would join with us. Sometimes, we divide ourselves into more than two teams.

I'm proud to say that I was the opener in almost all the matches. Though I wasn't a big hitter, I would stand till the overs end. I score singles, doubles and occasionally boundaries. I could bowl spin as well. My spells were turning points in many matches that would change the game in our favour. Some times, I'd been behind the stumps as well. Being a wicket-keeper is fun and the only man can screen each and every ball.

I always wanted to lead the team. But hardly did I have the chance. Of course, being a captain is privilege to any one and I was no exception.

As the years pass, we're groomed to be a semi-professional team. We start competing against many teams. Irrespective of the results, we never stop playing the game. We're not a state level team. But we enjoy being even a street-level team.

Our audiences are the people nearby houses and some trespassers by the ground. We're proud to show our talent and enjoyment and to be a representative of our street.

We find it difficult to get money to buy bats and balls. Their cost can't be affordable. We share the expenses. Each one of us contributes as little money as we can.

I can't end this article not mentioning about a team. They're the next street boys. They compete with us many times. We can count their losses easily rather than their wins. They can afford only one or two games to be won. But they never give up. They keep playing with us. Hats off! for their perseverance.

Bernard Shaw once said about the cricket, “There are eleven fools playing and Eleven Thousand fools watching them". Cricket may not be a game that needs more physical activity. It may drive us to waste a whole day or five days. But it's all about fun. Above all it unites the people and helps to maintain a good relationship and keeps the national spirit alive.

Here, in India, we believe cricket is more than just a game, a religion that doesn't mind whether you're a Hindu, Christian or a Muslim and no caste at all. It says, “Be proud to be an Indian, a good audience, a cricketer even at street level.


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