74 not out!
Well, if you are a cricket player, and that too a batsman, with 74 runs to your credit already, the onlookers would all love it. Wow, great going, indeed, they will think and the commentators will be describing a lot. I am unfortunately not a cricket man. People won’t therefore ask ‘will you make a century?’ In terms of age, I feel I have already made a 74, somewhat too fast, for the years have moved fast after retirement. May be less of activity, having nothing much to do, and perhaps idling too.
I will perhaps be a player,staying at the crease itself, and perhaps scoring one run (in one year), that too without playing and without even running.
If people ask me, ‘would you try to hit a few fours and sixes?’ my answer would be, ‘well, I was on all fours in my early childhood (which may have been applauded too by at least my parents) but as far as sixes are concerned, I can only say I on many occasions find myself in sixes and sevens.’
‘ Do you wear pads?’ ‘Yes, a knee pad for each knee and, of course, an iPad now for me which I do not know could really be an eye pad for my bad eyes.’ ‘What about helmet?’ ‘What, he’ll-mate! Are you indirectly saying go to he’ll?’ ‘ Do you have regular net practice?’ Answer: ‘Yes, of course, now that I have an iPad, I must practice on the net’
‘ You must have been able to play all sorts of balls?’ My reply would be, ‘well, so far I have ‘played’ (faced) almost all types of balls – googlys, yorkers, bouncers (perhaps too often to rattle my head)’ full toss, every type. And, occasionally when I have to howl (sorry, bowl), I too used to hurl some bouncers.’
‘How do you find the umpires?’ My answer, ‘well, there is the first umpire (the family doctor)’ the second umpire, the physician (both generally nice and both always cautioning me to stay within the crease, in terms of diet etc,) the third umpire (TPA of the health insurance provider), whom I have to be careful about.’
‘Who keeps your scores?’ I answer a bit hesitatingly, ‘ Score? I have already mentioned how slow I am. But though I do not celebrate my birthdays, the scoreboard automatically reflects the correct score at that point of time. And of course, the bank which pays pension to me has to keep the score accurately (to know that I am a senior citizen), to release my paltry sum of one-third pension, fifteen yeasts after my retirement, and now additionally for doling out the extra pension. (to compensate for the soaring medical bills)’ every five years hereafter.’
‘Any m a n o f the…………?’ ‘Well, I can guess what you are asking. At one time, I w a s a ……. ‘ ‘come on, congratulations, any way.’ Well, I was a m a n, I was a m a n…..(hesitatingly) hunting for a match. (don’t laugh).’
‘Would there be any problem by which you will have to get retired hurt.’ ‘ Oh no, don’t you see I am already retired and getting hurt because of various health problems. But still have to bat on.’ ‘ You said bat on?’ ‘ Oh sorry, I meant bat(tling) on.’
‘ Well, at least now you can say you know enough of cricket and you also play well.’
‘ Thank you, I understand life is a long enough innings and you should never feel an innings defeat. Of course, the game has not ended and if at all someone has to give me out, it will only be the fourth umpire, who only looks from above – the Almighty.’ ‘ Are you afraid that he will raise his hands?’ ‘ Not at all, since I cannot see him, as he is ‘up above the world so high’ (I won’t say like a demon in the sky, for I respect him a lot) and will not raise his finger, he will only point his finger down towards me and make feel ‘how I wonder what you are’ – only others would silently mutter what an innings (?) which has now ended.’