The Incident of the Heckling Spectator

The Incident of the Heckling Spectator

Posted by nag.rajan on Sat, 2008-03-15 02:36 in

Here, I start the process of reminiscing old events and stories with one of my favorite topics and places... Cricket in Madangir (South Delhi), my childhood and teen home.

This will also form a basis for the upcoming stories as most others also happen in this part of the world, and with mostly the same set of people.

The background
When I was in the 11th/12th standard, I didnt know much about IIT and other entrance exams, even though I had taken up Science. I had changed sections when I chose science. Nothing new there... everyone does. But I was from Xth-E, and not many friends from that class had made the same choice.

Hence, I had no good friends in the new class. Since my parents were engineering illiterate, they had no idea about IITs and entrances. The classmates had no idea that I didnt know, so they never told me... and the teachers just expected that everyone knew, and they never bothered telling. Also, I hated asking questions to which I didnt already know the answer. And by the time I decided to ask, it was too late to ask such a stupid and obvious question. Was like being too late to say "Hello".

While everyone was busy preparing for the entrances, I had no idea what's going on. Why are the students around me taking tuitions and coaching, I used to wonder. But of course, I never did anything about it. I thought they were crazy to study so much when things were considerably easy.

This gave me a lot of time to spend with my local friends to play cricket. I spent almost all of my time outside school with this gang of gully cricketers. I would run back from school, not to my home, but to the small ground (1600 sq ft) near home and check out if someone's playing. If so, I would play for about 2-3 hours until thirst and fatigue told me that I had skipped lunch and was playing in the sun, or my mom came looking for me. If I am not too thirsty, and mom came too early, I would convince her that I will be home soon and would continue playing until she came back for me again an hour later, this time with a jhadoo (broom). Its amazing that she took this bait more than once.

I always went home to eat lunch/dinner as demanded by my mother... else she would beat me in front of friends, an activity which was extremely embarrassing in Madangir. Also, eating in the ground was not such a good idea. Its difficult to bat or bowl while eating. Since I was never at home (unless I am eating or sleeping), my school friends could never reach me on the phone.
A typical phone call from a school mate was answered thus -

Caller : Can I speak to Rajan?
Mom : He is not at home.
Caller : When will he be back?
Mom : No Idea.
Caller : Where has he gone?
Mom : No Idea.
Caller : Is there a way to contact him now. Its important.
Mom : I dont know of any.
Caller : I see...
Mom : You do? If you see him, let him know that I am looking for him.

And it was not just me who was like this... bad company affects. Almost all the gully cricketers shared this mad passion about cricket. On the weekends, when there was no school, we used to have the whole day for cricket. We would normally have 1-2 cricket matches on a saturday, play from 5:30 am in the morning until the fading light in the evening forced us to abandon play. We had Sunday as a rest day when we just play in the small park and go for practice.

In short, it was a very passionate group of people, hence the apt name of the team "Passion Cricket Club". The captain of this team was lovingly called "Bhaiya". It wasnt until an year later that I found out his real name - let us call him Mr Baldev for our purposes.

Enough of the background knowledge... off to an incident.

The Incident of the Heckling Spectator.

One of the things that attracted us the most was the local cricket tournament in the neighboring locality. It carried the honor of being renowned as the winning team for an year and the grand prize of 5,000 Rs, a big deal for us at the time.

We entered the tournament during the summer holidays after 11th standard final exams. The excitement of playing in this tournament gripped our hearts, dreams and imagination. In the buildup to the tournament, we literally used to eat, drink and sleep cricket all the time... start practicing at 6 in the morning, play until 5 in the evening and then discuss strategy until 11 in the night, when our parents would drag us all to bed.

When we registered our team for the tournament, the guy writing down the team name didnt understand the word "Passion". He put it down as "Fashion cricket club". He also thought that we were not enough fashion savvy to carry that name proudly. Of course, the organizers were not the most english literate people we come across.

In one of the league matches, which was not going too well for our team, Baldev was fielding near the boundary, watching the proceedings with a grim look on his face. A half drunk spectator was lying in the grass nearby, and seemed to have enough interest in the match to call up to Baldev with a shout ... "Are bhai, score kya ho gaya?". Baldev, being preoccupied with the match, replied "Pata nahin".

"Achcha, over kitne ho gaye?"... "Pata nahin".
"Kam se kam yeh to bata de ki wicket kitne bache hain"... "Are bhai pata nahin. Chup karo"

"Tumhara kaptaan kaun hai?"... "Main hoon"
"Abe kaale, tujhe kaptan kisne banaya. Kuch pata to hain nahin tujhe. Kaisa kaptaan hai tu... Kaale. Jhoot mat bol"

Baldev was blacker than normal, and took it a bit personally. He was probably preoccupied with coming up with a good retort when the ball was hit towards him. He was slow to react and misfielded the ball to concede a boundary... the drunk man was in fits of laughter, which enraged Baldev further.

Now, it so happened that there was a guy called "Kaale" in the team who was fielding near Baldev. So when the ball was hit between the two fielders, others shouted... "KAALE, running end", "BHAIYA, running end". (field the ball and throw to the non-striker's end)

The drunk spectator quietly asked "Tera naam Kaale hai?"
"Nahin, chup ho ja bhai".
"Saale, tu hi kaala hai, tu hi hai kaale... Kitna jhoot bolta hai tu, kaale"

Baldev changed his fielding position.
Later, we lost the match and Baldev went looking for the drunk spectator along with the whole team. He blamed him for the loss, but the heckler wasnt to be found in the grass at his usual place.


saale tu ki kaale hai. ROFL

Posted by khirbat (not verified) on Mon, 2008-03-17 13:56