Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Unsung Hero

I always like to ride slowly along that road. Especially after a heavy breakfast. Like all the roads around here, this one is also well covered by lush green branches of tall, grandfatherly tress. And the trees are now in full blosom. The weather was ideal for a nice leisurely ride and I was all go for it. I like to ride my bicycle with hands taken off the handle and mind concentrated on all heavenly things except for the material matters happening around the street. But this particular day was an exception.

The morning had started to lose its cool charm and had almost surrendered to the blazing sun. An ideal weather for the game of cricket, I was wondering. As I approached the small ground near the primary school, I was not at all surprised to find a vociferous group of youngs enjoying the game of cricket. I was in no great hurry and further slowed down. The game must have reached a decisive situation for everyone was very sincere about everything concerned with the game.

And then I witnessed something that I will always feel lucky for my presence there at that moment. Well, for people who are not cricketingly inclined, I would describe it as a fantastic catch that won one of the sides their match and the story ends then and there. But I just can't leave it at that. That was the most exquisite of an atheletic movement made by a human which I have watched happen right there in front of my eyes.

The ball was firmly struck. Firmly enough to bring the batsman well-deserved four runs for the worth of the shot. But destiny had something else on its mind. I would not describe it as an impossible feat; but that doesn't take away any credit from the little fellow who took the catch. The Little Fellow, in a desparate attempt for his team flung himself in the air and how! His body parallel to the earth, eyes stuck on the motion of the cherry and mind possessed by the desire to achieve - he was all set for the big prize. Everyone was struck with awe for a moment, even the crows on the trees paused their meaningless chatter I guess. And then the ball was in his outstretched hands the next moment. It was done!

His mates pounced upon him and their world was full of cheers and hurrays. Sweet is the sensation of achievement, isn't it?

If I had a hat on, I would have thrown it in the air myself. My eyes twinkled with a great, inexplicable joy. I looked around me. Unfortunately nobody seemed to have noticed what had happened in that split moment. Everything was in its place. The crows continued with their unfinished business. Auot-rikshaw continued along its path spitting out greyish, unhealthy smoke. Ladies walking hastily only raised their eyebrows pretty much in disagreement with the increased level of noise from the field. A middle-aged woman, with her back to all the cricket action, finished watering her lillies and went inside her house.

The moment of great deed went unsung by the material world. I continued peddling my way along the street...