In the long past days we were seated in a niche at the foot of the viShThA-parvata with the chaturtha and the feral brAhmaNa. The chaturtha was caressing his rAmapUrIya asiputrikA while SS polished the handle of his hasta-nAlika. They were happy that they had made a great impression among the striyaH with the display of their shastra-s. We had settled down to waste our time over gulikA-krIDa – just watching it not playing it. Those days the game of gulikA-krIDa was enjoyed over 5 days, but nowadays it has contracted to a game of few hours, with pumshchalI-s and mahAnAgnikA-s thrown in good measure. In many ways we have to be thankful that this form of the game did not exist on the TV in our days. We were starved for gulikA-krIDa and saw at best few snippets. That was bad enough. Can we forget that day? We were not even in the game – our dismal Hindu senA had been routed in the preliminaries by the mlechCha-s, though, before reeling out, we had inflicted a crushing blow on the Mohammedans. A great a battle was going on TV between the Saxon crusaders lead by Martin Crowe and blood-thirsty green-robed Ghazis with their ranks swelling with the many savages from the Khyber. In course of watching this gripping encounter we suddenly realized that our physics exam was supposed to be going on in some forbidding hall at the college. In panic we mounted our ashva and rode towards the samarA~NgaNa like amarasiMha galloping on the ramparts of the turuShka fort at Agra. We got in 40 minutes late, only to be accosted at the entrance of the hall by a fierce marATha yelling some nonsense in mahArAShTrI. After some effort a light-eyed brAhmaNa friend came to our aid and helped us to get into the hall after repulsing that rapine marATha. In the remaining hour we had to tackle a whole maze of Newtonian mechanics and electronics which rather strained our already stressed cranium. We still wonder how we broke that vyUha on that fateful day which featured a battle much like that between ghaTotkacha and ashvatthAman on the 14th night after the fall of jayadratha. We had already earned some censure for dropping out of med-school. Now, pulling the plug in physics would have buried us in true ignominy. A few years later the muni was showing signs of being worse than us. I could not but help commiserate with him, despite the rising wrath of the elders in the household, when he triumphantly declared: “Exams may come again but a match like this will not come again”. Now this abbreviated gulikA-krIDa lasting for a whole month with all the gossip, including the fake IPL player, could have been fatal had it played out in our days. However, the muni and I would probably think we were very prophetic for our self-contained entertainment till my last evening on the shores of jambudvIpa was this abbreviated form of the game.

This entry was posted in Cricket, Life. Bookmark the permalink.