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Grandparents

with 4 comments

There was a village amidst the mountains. Total population would not have been more than couple of hundred. It was like a family living in harmony since generations.

Witness to all these years was a banyan tree. None knew exactly how old it was. Prevalent folklore varied its age from thousands to millions of years. All sorts of carvings could be made out from its trunk. Some looked prehistoric, some recent. The tree was so spread out that it acted like a city centre. Everyone hung out, celebrated festivals under it. It was an integral part of village life; a group of happy populous.

One morning people woke up to something. It was a windy day alright; but apart from sand and dust, there was something else in the air. Thousands of banyan leaves were flying around. Whole village soon gathered underneath the tree. It had lost half of its leaves overnight. The freshness of the morning soon turned into realization of a shock.

The tree was dying. The suddenness of the situation was more than anyone could handle. Ladies started weeping. Men could hardly speak. They prayed, pleaded with their Gods. Every avenue possible was explored but to no avail. It was two weeks when the last of the leaf was seen. It was now a dead wood. The life was not the same anymore.

Suddenly the sun seemed hotter, rains heavier and stars aplenty. Years went by and the tales about the age of the tree changed into tales about existence of it. People started to live indoors. There were no community gatherings anymore. It was like the societal fiber just vanished, the thread broken, the elastic snapped.

Similar is the impact of elders in a home. Grandparents we call them. No one knows how old the grandmother is. She was born this old, with wrinkles, for all we know. Nobody knows from where the wisdom of Grandfather comes from. He is The Britannica for all we know.

They are the root that symbolizes the family and keeps everyone together. Once they leave, the sons/daughters become a self existent entity. The family gatherings become less. The circle of life springs into action. Each of those offshoots starts their own family, become old to be called grandparents themselves. The vacuum remains but the life moves on.

Soon number of trees cropped up under the dead root. The city centre was vibrant again. The banyan tree gave way to multitude of trees. New fruits and new flowers; New pours and new showers.

Cricket and my Grandpa

with one comment

A: “Sachin plays for himself. I better, he stops playing”
B: “Hey! What are you saying? He is a great match winner”
A: “But don’t you think he is old enough to be pensioned?”
B: “He is still scoring tons. Isn’t he?”
A: “He is past his prime”
B: “Yeah with average of 50 during last year! I think your mind is sub-prime”
A:  “Go to hell”
B: “You go to hell”


A: “Coffee?”
B: “Ok.”

This is what a cricket discussion in India sounds like. A general discussion suddenly gets focused on Sachin and from no where rival gangs sprout up. Pro and anti Sachin sentiments start flaring. Swear words and curses are thrown all around. Then there is truce. This cycle repeats itself day after day.

My earliest encounters with cricket date back to my Grandfather. He was a great cricket enthusiast and even greater Sachin basher. I reckon he lost a bet or two coz of Sachin and he remained pissed off with him forever. “Out ho gaya. Yeh bhi nahin socha ki mausa ji ke paise lage hain”, I remember him mumbling when Sachin got out stumped while chasing against NZ. Above statement is a classical example of raw humor of the oldies. It relates the player who got out to my grandmothers family. So the loss is blamed squarely on the player and my poor old grandmother. I tell you, these oldies can be quite cruel sometimes. The trick lies in not being over smart with them.

He was not a fan of what we call the purest form, the Gavaskar style of cricket. He adored Windies team of 70-80’s. “Lala, kaalon ka aakhiri khiladi bhi aata tha toh chakka maarata hua aata tha” (Even their last player started off with a six). The only Indian player of old about whom I heard anything positive from him was Kris Srikkanth. “Jab who ballebaaji karta tha toh bazaar soone ho jaate the” (Streets got deserted when he came on to bat). For all those who say that oldies preferred Tests to ODIs here’s the last salvo. “Are yeh paanch din ka khel humse nahin dekha jaata. Ghanton baithe raho, ek bhi chowka chakka nahin lagta” (Not a single boundary is hit for hours).

From the current era Jayasurya and Afridi (Afriki for him) were his favorites. Indian team was the most unreliable team as far as he was concerned. “Are inka koi bharosa nahin. Lanka ke khilaaf 200 kuch banana the, saala aaya raam gaya raam shuru ho gaya, aur sab ke sab 78 run pe simat gaye. Mausaji ka nuksaan ho gaya”.

I think T20 would have been the best format for him. Sadly it was during his last years that T20 got popular. It would have been wonderful to watch IPL with him. However he took off even before season one.

Regardless of what people are saying nowadays, I can never lose interest in and ODI game. I have grown up with it. It’s like a ritual to me. And of course it has memories of my grandpa. I remember one of his favorite quotes. Whenever Azhar played well, he used to say, “Captaan hai koi naayi ka launda thode hi hai” (He is not a commoner, he is the captain after all). So it goes for the ODIs.

Written by arpitgarg

November 13, 2009 at 7:07 am

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