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Thursday, May 28, 2009

THE NOSTALGIA OF GULLY CRICKET AT SVGNSS LAYOUT- A TRIBUTE OF SORTS...

Lemme give this post the cliched blog post starting -

"It was one of those days.."...naah...ok..lemme change it..:)

Ok ok...I had a nice nap in the afternoon from 2.30 pm to......hmmm...when I woke up it was 5 pm...so I guess you can pretty much call it a slumber :)..anyway...I had to go look up an apartment..yeah..it's the time of the year where apartment hunting is not quite uncommon...So..I stepped out of my house....(which is as infrequent as the "Amavasya" / "New Moon" :D )
yeah..after coming here...I've ended up becoming a full-time indoor person....staying alone within the four walls of my room...almost 24/7...except when I've to go to class or lab...

So..I stepped out...the weather, for a change, was BEAUTIFUL...not too hot...not too cold...so pleasant...not much of the hot sun....as expected, it reminded me of Bangalore....and then...much like probabilistic networks...it was a network of various beautiful things in my once-happy life which my thoughts covered...one such "node" in this network - a pretty beautiful node...was GULLY CRICKET...

This was the route my thoughts took...
Pleasant Weather -> Bangalore -> Perfect setting for gully cricket -> my 11th and 12th grade days -> the area near my old house in Basaveswaranagar( a beautiful locality in Bangalore, India), intersection of 2 lanes, very less houses on the road side, barren land  (click on the hyperlink..you'll find SVGNSS Layout..and in that..you'll find "The place we played cricket" ) -> it would start at 4.45 pm sharp...and go on till 6.45 pm in summer...and in winter...till 6.15 pm..(because it used to get dark pretty early)..

What a time it was!! Who even cared about exams, homework, tuition and other stuff !! What a LIFE it used to be!! That was LIFE !!
We might've forgotten to brush our teeth on a particular day, But THERE WAS NO WAY we would have forgotten to play the daily game of gully cricket on that day!!

For the minority of you who do not know what gully cricket is, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backyard_cricket

Gully cricket has its SPECIAL fun side, which no other game can have....
  • First of all, your range of strokes is highly limited...
  • People of ALL age groups play the game..right from kids who are shorter than the cricket bat...to their fathers..and their fathers..:) and so on..
  • I dunno how common this rule is...but when we played, we used to have a rule that if a person hits the ball into a house, he would be declared out...and if the ball miraculously came out of the house..he would be safe...
  • Abiding by the "spirit of gully cricket", as we used to call it, the bowler..(technically speaking...thrower) is not supposed to throw the ball at an insane speed...quite similar to baseball....else..a FAST APPEAL..:D..will happen..
  • Gully cricket contributes to at least 50% of the fights between people in the neighborhood..:).....especially...rulings of run outs..:D..because there is no third umpire...Man..those words are resounding in my ears...- "ehhh ...OUT !! hogo le...ilvo..chance aae illa...clean aagi reach aagidheeni !!!"
  • Gully cricket is the only game..to the best of my knowledge (apart from card games :D)..where there is a JOKER..[:)]..a JOKER is an odd-man out who plays for both teams!
  • Gully cricket games are usually of 6 overs/8 overs..
  • And yeah..last of all....a chick/babe/attractive aunty/dovvvu :D...causes a great deal of distraction..to the game...:D :D :D...
Anyway, like I said...we used to play everyday from 4.45 pm sharp....everyday...at 4.30 pm..I would take out my bicycle.(BSA Streetcat)...go around the neighborhood outside everyone's house..and shout their name aloud...till they came....and there used to be at least 16 people...by the time it was 5 pm..

Every game used to be so brilliant...That was BLISS...seriously...
But the BEST OF THE BEST DAYS...were on "tournaments"...which would be played during festivals...i.e. there were 2 festivals which would be celebrated annually in our neighborhood on a grand scale - the Ganesha Habba and the Kannada Rajyotsava Habba ..

The first ever tournament was for the Ganesha Habba 2003..
This one had just 2 teams....Myself and Pavan were the captains....It was my luck, I ended up having a really really strong team on my side...anyway...these are the people who used to play Gully Cricket..

I m gonna cover them...in the order of their houses...as one enters the neighborhood
  • Adesh...aka...Adi - was a schoolboy then...:)...
  • Siddhanth..aka...Sidhu..:D...was a kid...BUT THE MOST HILARIOUS ONE...
  • Pavan ....Lost every game he captained :P :D...hehe...lolzz..But he was an all-rounder..As far as I remember..he used to try to go for sixers when he saw one of his many crushes( girls as well as aunties..:D :D :D lol ) walking by...:P...and in the process..ended up getting out quite a few times..:D... Shares the record along with me...for hitting the max. runs in an over...30...i.e. 5 sixes back-2-back...the prev best was by Sriharsha...4 sixes back-2-back..
  • Sriharsha - he was the DADA of the neighborhood....all-rounder again..
  • Nishanth - he was like Rahul Dravid...classy batsman...who would've scored a lot of runs before you even realized it...He could also bowl well..He was always a prized catch for the team he got into...
  • Vinay - Played just 1 or 2 games...
  • Asif Khan - HATS OFF TO THIS GUY !!! UNDOUBTEDLY..THE MOST ENTERTAINING PLAYER EVER !!! GULLY CRICKET WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN WHAT IT WAS..WITHOUT HIM...HE'LL BE REMEMBERED FOR TOO MANY THINGS.....holds a RECORD of sorts..for conceding 43 runs in an over...and then...when he was an umpire, he changed a "wide-ball" decision into a "no-ball"...as he was busy ogling at ladies playing throwball :D :D ..ROFL..can't stop laughing!! :D...n of course..."1-dicky"..."2-dicky"..:D :D..whenever the ball used to go to the "mory"...."wicket IKKU maga illi"..:D
  • Myself - Used to be a leg-spinner who could also bat..at times...Used to be a captain 99% of the time...and win 50% of the time :)...btw..I PROUDLY HOLD A RECORD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD - The person who has broken the maximum number of window panes(3)..and has escaped each time!! :D :D...i had a thing for window panes..:D...even a sweep shot of mine went high up and broke a glass!! :D
  • Sagar - Never played often...BUT..was a classy player..
  • Varun aka Uppi - was the joker most of the time..in the context of gully cricket..AS WELL AS LITERALLY..:D...His "Bellary jail" and "breaking the water tank" jokes will remain famous for eternity :D :D
  • Arjun & Nakul - Kids..brothers...who contributed little..to the game..they soon moved out..
  • Raghu,  Big man...could bowl and smack the ball into another galaxy..played only tournaments
  • Karthik - Used to be the only left-handed batsman in the neighborhood..aggressive player..like Gilchrist
  • Preetham aka Bailey - Didn't play too often...but was a pretty good batsman..who publicized the "slow ball" as his weakness...:D :D...
  • Rajiv - Played occasionally...
  • Deepak (Kanneer) and Pradeep - Brothers...who made a huge difference to the game..Pradeep, in particular, was AWESOME...he was an asset to the game..he was the first choice among kids..whom captains would go for...and yes...He was FAR BETTER than his elder brother Deepak / Kanneer :D..who would shed tears more often than not...for e.g....if he had to play in the hot sun....hehehe...lolz
  • Preetham and Goutham - kids...brothers...who hardly played a few games..
  • Harsha (Scope :D) - played just 1 tournament I think...he was often seen going on his Bajaj Street...wonder if he still has it :)
  • Rohith, Again..another big man..played only tournaments
  • Madhu, ..its better I say less about this guy :D...he played very few games though... 
  • Murla...mainly a bowler..who could smack the ball hard...when required...
  • Sunil (MSN) ...Used to be the MASTER of sweeping..all his runs in his gully cricket career have come from sweep shots :D
  • Mohan Uncle...A great cricket enthusiast...used to play quite often...
  • Pradeep Uncle...David sheperd..:D...famous for his umpiring
  • Jai - Another famous guy...who became famous after Asif's joke - "naanu neenu jai" :D :D
  • Naveen, Used to be THE BEST player..the VERY FIRST CHOICE WITHOUT HESITATION..for any captain..
  • Nikhil...was a schoolboy then...
  • Shanu..kid...
  • Harsha (Bond /Blonde) and Preetham ( Chikk Preetham)...Clearly the Mark Waugh-Steve Waugh of our neighboorhood....both of them had good cricketing talent..
  • Srinidhi - Better left unsaid..:D...used to play occasionally though...
WHEW!!! I guess I've pretty much covered all of them..:)..
other characters from outside the neighborhood..who used to play - 
  • Kaddi..aka Vasanth :D...
  • Sometimes....his brother...Lokesh....Oops! Sorry..Shivu :D :D...ROFL !! :D :D
  • Sunil and Krishna (Harsha and Preetham's cousins)
  • Sripal aka Mendri Pal...:D :D
  • Prashanth aka Punnu...
Some distinct memories are..the first tournament...Ganesha Habba..
I chose to bat first...:)
5 overs ...score...:D....9/5...despite having the strongest batting line-up one could ever think of :D
I came into bat...along with Sunil (MSN)..
10 overs...score...54/5 :).....a respectable total..

I opened the bowling..
1 over..score...1/3...(yeah..nearly missed a hat-trick :D)..

That game was my best performance ever..:D...and of course..the other main reason for us winning...was Pradeep's umpiring..:D :D...which Pavan will remember for ever...:D..hehehe..lolzzz...

Then..the Diwali tournament :)...
THERE WERE 3 TEAMS...THIS TIME....Captains were Pavan, Naveen and Asif Khan...
pavan's team..as usual got eliminated :D....Asif Khan played the innings of a life time!! :D...to get his team into the final... :)...but they lost in the final....our team won :D...

I missed out on the Rajyotsava tournament...which Asif Khan's team won...

Whew!!! 
It is very sad ..that...in all those years...there was NOT A SINGLE PHOTO TAKEN...of this blissful activity....The only images...are there in our minds...reminding us of all the bliss....and they shall continue to be so...for eternity....

Times've changed so much..life has changed so much...Each one is in different parts of the world....We've grown up....Men have become uncles, boys have become men, kids have become boys!! 

I only wish..and pray to God...that...SOMEDAY in life...all of us ...get together...and go to that delightful cricketing area...and play a tournament...:)
and experience "HAPPINESS" again..:)


11 comments:

NOLFE said...

Dude How could you not comment on Asif's super dialog!!!! NACH NAJANE AAGAN ... COMPLETE IT MAN....

Also I think u forgot to mention ur nickname :P :P :P :P :P AMBROSE!!!!!


But overall AWESOME MAN!!! AMAZING FUN!!!! GREAT POST!!!!!!

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@NOLFE who i think is pavan :)

Thanks man!!!
OH YEAH..I 4GOT THOSE DIALOGUES !!!

n my own name!! :D
thanks for reminding!!

Sindhuja said...

U kno wat? u shud organize ur old gully cricket team once again for a "reunion" of sorts wen u come down here for a break. Am sure you will find it extremely hard, but even if 30-40% of the original players turn up, it will be totally worth it!!

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@Sindhu -

yup...That is on the cards :)

bhumika said...

Hey nice post.. :)

Thats really nice...

Does remind me of my days as a kid... :P was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun... :)

bhumika said...

Hey nice post.. :)

Thats really nice...

Does remind me of my days as a kid... :P was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun... :)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@bhumika - thanks :) ...haha..u played cricket too ??

Suman Shivashankar said...

Awesome stuff man. I'm tempted to put up something similar to your post in a blog of mine now. Super! Loved it.

-Suman

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@suman - thanks :)

naveen said...

Nice one daaaa..... remembering all that we had in such a short span of time.... hope we will get back to this again and start creating such wonderful memories again...

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@naveen -

sure..someday ..we will