Cricket’s les­son

Alive - - Contents - by Ro­hit Bansal

Neha I’m call­ing it a day.’

‘Yeah. It was quite a hec­tic day for you Akash.’

I smiled at her as I washed my hands thor­oughly with Det­tol

soap, took my stetho­scope rest­ing on my shoul­ders and kept it in my bag. Af­ter hav­ing missed scor­ing a cen­tury of pa­tients by five in my OPD, fol­lowed by ne­go­ti­at­ing a role of tough in­vig­i­la­tor for mock MD fi­nal exam and check­ing the an­swer sheets, fol­lowed by tak­ing grand viva of stu­dents who were about to be­come post grad­u­ates in a month’s time, it was long but a very sat­is­fy­ing day for me.

‘You re­mem­ber its In­di­aWest Indies semi-fi­nals to­day!’

‘I can for­get to breathe but not this.’

It gave her a good laugh. Every­one in my hospi­tal knew that I was a diehard cricket fan. I had even missed my con­vo­ca­tion for at­tend­ing a One Day match in Feroz Shah Kotla ground, for which my Head of Depart­ment teases me even till date.

‘For me don’t for­get to bring a choco­late, if In­dia wins’.

‘Sure!’

Dr Neha was my col­league in hospi­tal and we had a good work­ing and pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship. I checked my watch, it was 8.30. West Indies had given In­dia a very chal­leng­ing tar­get of 202, which by any means was a mam­moth to climb in a T20 match. ‘Vi­rat Kohli must fire on all cylin­ders to­day’, I thought.

Ihur­ried past the hospi­tal gate and took an auto to the near­est metro sta­tion. I was con­stantly up­dat­ing my­self of the lat­est score us­ing a cricket app in mo­bile, ra­dio be­ing ab­sent in i phone the match was get­ting close as In­dia lost two quick wick­ets in two suc­ces­sive maiden overs. West Indies was on a song but Kohli was still out on crease.

‘Bhaiya how much?’ I asked the au­towala.

‘20 Ru­pees’

I quickly picked change from my pocket and paid him, got my bag scanned at the se­cu­rity check and took metro to Dwarka. As usual it was fully packed but luck­ily I got a cor­ner seat.

Sit­u­a­tion on the ground was get­ting tenser ev­ery minute and I was re­fresh­ing the app ev­ery four-five sec­onds, al­though it takes a good at least two min­utes for a ball to be bowled and get­ting re­flected in the app. Sud­denly, the metro crossed a poor sig­nal zone and my in­ter­net gave way. Those were slog overs with 12 runs needed in the very last over. There was no way I was go­ing to reach home and watch it live.

Take this.’ Per­son sit­ting next to me, who was sweat­ing heav­ily and stink­ing like any­thing, of­fered me one lead of his ear plug. He had prob­a­bly ob­served my des­per­a­tion and was him­self lis­ten­ing to the live ra­dio tele­cast of match on his phone.

I was hes­i­tant at first, scep­ti­cal of any pos­si­ble ear in­fec­tion, then took it. Smile in­stantly re­turned on my face. Both of us heard ball by ball com­men­tary as Kohli hit a six and In­dia won with two balls to spare. We both jumped on our feet, to the very as­ton­ish­ment of the by­standers. He soon left the metro at the next sta­tion. I could only see him dis­ap­pear­ing in the thick of crowd, even be­fore I could thank him or ask his name.

It only gave me a con­tent­ment of how cricket still unites peo­ple across all walks and that good­ness al­ways pre­vail, be­hind happy trail of mem­ory. I was surely go­ing to buy choco­late for Neha next.

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