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Feb 21, 2012

Cricketalicious Shivraatris

Good Night Ladies and gentlemen. 

Well... wait... this isn't how it sounds. Even though in normal parlance it would seem so, there are times when what time of the day it is hardly matters. Giving job interviews during the placement season, attending a business fest, getting the stage ready on the previous day of a major event, getting things ready during your sibling's wedding, and many more such occasions are good examples of it.

While the above are memories each and everyone of us had nights to remember, this night long ago used to be a night full of passion, intensity and vigor. Night to remember, full of passion, where am i headed, eh? If its not about sex, then in India it has to be about cricket.

I am talking about how spirited the nights of Maha Shivaratri used to be, just some 8-10 years ago. The locality where i stayed, then used to be a hotbed of gully cricket. A compound hexagonal in shape yet looking like a huge square, it had coconut trees on the left within two arm distance(my size :P) of one another, an open well on the extreme right corner and a depression of 4 feet just after the playing square. Yes we had a proper bowling square of 22 yards, that's where I learnt my trade of fast bowling running in from the toilet end. The boundaries in operation were 2d and as many as you ran. So the deal was that if you happened to pierce the field and ensure the ball got out of the compound after pitching within, you were assured of 2 runs declared. If you happened to hit it out of the compound you were given OUT. 

If you are wondering what's all the fuss about, you only have your lame, boring childhood to blame. Ask any kid what his passion was while growing up in Bangalore or for that matter anywhere in India and getting anything other than cricket for an answer, would be like finding a dead black ant in a bowlful of sesame seeds. 

With such already existing craze for the game, the pinnacle for us used to be the Shivratri night out or 'Jaagarane' as its called in Kannada. It was not joke after-all, we played for the Maha Shivratri cup. Cricket here was so popular that it brought a lot of people to our road striven locality. On this day especially, there used to be so many players in the field that you even had teams with substitutes after the 11 members and the number of teams ran up to as many as 4-5 in the best Shivratri nights. And then there was my best buddy lakki's house, from where there was a constant supply of water and other refreshments not just on the festival, but every single day we set out to play. I have this Those-were-the-best-days-of-my-life feeling right now.

We shreevaishnavites don't celebrate much of Shivratri due to statutory purposes at home, but i have never again felt the joy of tying shoe laces by 9.50 PM in anticipation of 10PM. While the larger purpose of the night out on a shivratri was to pray the lord and seek his blessings, we only prayed the lord to help us win his cup. Passion, Intensity, Vigor, Aggression. 

And there is now, 21st February 2012. Its so easy to stay awake all night, I don't even have to try. Isn't this post an example ? Har har Mahadev. 

Good Morning!!!