Sunday, September 07, 2008

A game of hardball


My uncle and his friends used to play ball. My uncle and his friends used to play ball on lazy summer afternoons. My uncle and his friends used to play ball on lazy summer afternoons at the Green Garden club grounds.

OK, OK, enough. What I'm driving at is, my uncle and his friends needed to raise some cash at times, to write off and replace a tattered old ball. We all did. In fact this could be the story of my own life too. Only I didn't have the one of a kind friend like my uncle did. But I get ahead of myself.

Well, my uncle and his friends would go dig into their saved pocket monies and put their athannies or whatever it would take in those blissful times, into the common kitty. Off they would march to the Unique Variety Stores, to purchase the the finest soccer ball of the day, a size 5 fake Adidas.

Then, after the dust had been sprinkled down on the Green Garden soccer field, and the battle lines been drawn, the territories marked, and the ball about to roll (I could talk in cliches till the cows came home) and there was but a bated breadth between the whistle and forty-four feet engaging in combat, from somewhere a shrill voice of discontent would spring.

It would later become clear, that Poltu kaku had had some tiff with people in the group over the choice of the color of ball, or his wish to play in the center forward position in his team, or simply that he wanted to have golgappa on the way back from Unique Variety with the leftover cash, which he was denied. Intricacies of the discontent need not be gotten into, for all that mattered now was that Poltu would not allow getting the game under way. Not one inch, any which way.

"What do you want now, shithead?" the big bullies glared down at him, but the puny Poltu would glare back with equal force. "Give him his athanni back and kick him out of the football field", somebody would proffer. But Poltu was by now squatting on the ball in the middle of the field and he would have none of it.
"Shove your athanni, who wants it? I want my share back."
"But that's all there's to it, that athanni was your share, ghonchu!"
"No, I want my share in this ball. I want a slice of this."

I really don't remember how my uncle and friends got out of it with their balls intact, it was such an old story. But I'm certain violence was not an option. Poltu's dad was the school headmaster and his elder brother was in the NDA.

I guess Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Bhattacharya and many other well-meaning people of Bengal should go ask my uncle and his friends.

Update : Looks like they did, this morning.
Update 2 : But then, did they learn the secret technique after all?

2 comments:

narendra shenoy said...

Partho, this is seriously deep! Enjoyed!

Partho said...

We live for your approval, sire!