That noise not only shattered the glass into pieces, but also had me shrugging my shoulders in dis-belief. The bowler raised his eyes brows to signal that we need to run and hide before that strict owner of ground floor apartment would make an appearance to take a stock of his damage. His one agenda was to give us, his peace of mind. Of course, we knew he would do that for sure, it was the 3rd glass of that year to have given away to pieces. A few pieces already on the windshield of the car parked below his window, leaving a big hole surrounded by the wooden framed window, which held a thin glass, just minutes ago. I was batting on 33 and the breaking of glass in that summer of 1997 meant, I had not only to run for cover but a lesser important fact - I had lost my wicket. Just like a hit wicket in the game of cricket, well in this case quite literally having hit someones property. Unfortunately, I had hit the most vulnerable portion in our compound, which couldn’t even held on to the impact of that yellow tennis ball, used most for gully cricket then on tennis courts in Mumbai, those days.
In spite of such unforeseen events, it was still worth playing sports back in our childhood days, we knew that only meant going underground for a few days, (not more than a day or two after all even the owner’s son was a part of the spoilt gang), also by then the glass would have been fixed. Those days the heat didn’t matter to us, exams were just over and we were yet to hear the much coined term of “real feel” showing two different temperatures on the smartphone. So we played until someone’s mom would shout from the window instructing us to wrap up the game, that it’s well past one, the signal for lunch time. The mom’s shouting was for sure “real heat” back in those days and the wickets were called off without a second thought.
I am sure a young reader & let’s say the “Millennials”, a term well coined will surely not understand these feelings, as for this generation, games only mean the ones on the smartphones or on their tablets. I am sure they have heard the shattering sound of glass breaking before but only on one of those online games that too under the influence of some high decibel speaker. How would they know the real sound of a glass being shattered or the soft chip of the bat touching the ball only to be in the safe hands of the wicket keeper?
Each day when we take a stroll around, we see the new generation surely on the streets, but with both the hands on their phones playing some games, chit chatting or on a popular social media app with headphones silencing the call of their nearby friends. The observation is something similar for kids in the back seat of their cars only engrossed in those electronic devices, contrary to the scenic beauty we enjoyed as kids mostly on Sundays which was the family day on the back seat of that white coloured Premier Padmini. Without making my article sound like an essay on ‘Science: A blessing or a curse’, I would want more youngsters to play some real games on the playground, after all I am still young enough to show off my leg spin tricks or for that matter hit a smash on the shuttlecock just over the net (and not the internet !!).
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