Still standing

These are not buildings with architectural significance ! But then, like every other building they hold in them a history. A tale. Perhaps two.

These were used as car garages. Many many years ago. In these ‘sheds’, as they were called, many an Ambassador or a Premier Padmini would stand. In the company of a slew of bikes. All from the housing colony over there.

And so these sheds shielded those vehicles that were owned with great pride. Sometimes to get people around. Many other times, to just keep up with the Joneses !

There were a motley crew of incorrigible kids who thought of this ‘shed’ with greater affection. For it was part of their life for most of their day. And dreams too.

These are snaps that were clicked a few months back. For at the side of these ‘sheds’ do you see those ‘stumps’ drawn.

Cricket !!!

Yes. Those three vertical lines, topped with one horizontal connection ? They were drawn with charcoal. A bowler of any merit, in the local community of local kids, gunned for those stumps.

The boundary was the road. The sixers meant broken glass panes. Tennis ball. Wooden bat. Teams. Matches. Challenges. All there.

There was no third umpire. There was no umpire in the first place. As kids, things were sorted out, mostly in a jiffy. Arguments. Fights. Sometimes walk outs. All would happen. But the game had to go on.

Kids didn’t play for honour or advertisements. Every kid played there, for cricket was life. Cricket was fun. Cricket defined. And cricket helped connect to other kids.

Many years later, those garages still stand. No longer are cars parked inside. They still stand though, with perhaps a thousand memories. Of kids, who live adult lives elsewhere.

The garages still hold evidence of their creativity. Of their ability to sort out things between themselves. And move on to the next match.

And perhaps those garages wonder, how different these kids grow up to be. With degrees in the pocket, jobs and routines as life. Treating cricket as a spectator sport. And somewhere, living life by rote.

Does this remind you of a different time. When passion ruled. The possessions were few. The heart was light. Losses never mourned. Fights were resolved. Smiles prevailed.


Give me some company, will you. I’ll get the bat and the ball. We’ll have a heck of a match. And more importantly, a heck of a time.

You see, the stumps..they are still standing.

19 thoughts on “Still standing

  1. What do you say about a bunch of kids, playing in a narrow alley leading down to a lake; a residents car is parked between the batsman and the lake and is considered stumps; The owner, about to go somewhere, decides to walk it instead of driving, and a postman coming in to deliver a registered letter, waits with respect while a three foot nothing, runs back and forth desperately, bat in hand, mouthing a commentary involving, of course SRTendulkar. Then stands , hold out his bat at the exact angle, but to the postman, who applauds and slips in to deliver his letters.

    Circa 2008.

    The Garages have disappeared. But the running continues….:-)

  2. You made me rewind memory when I learn to paddle bicyle with the help of such garage. It was on high. I roll-down the bicycle while sitting on top of it And easily I learnt the art of paddling.

  3. Kevin says:

    Yup, the stumps are still standing. How many folks dont have memories of times spent playing cricket with a makeshift set of stumps. You did not mention the classic ‘I’m going home and I’m taking my bat’, only to be back later or the next day with everything forgotten. Yes, indeed those were the days… This post really brought back a lot of memories for me.

    Yup, the stumps are definitely still standing.

  4. I am thrilled to see this.

    Can’t believe that those three lines are still standing.

    I still remember…

    – the huge noise that is heard when a ball hits the sheet.

    – individual garage owners shouting whenever thy hear the sound.

    – our replies saying that our bowling is not yet there (in terms of speed) to rip through the metal sheet to hit the vehicles parked inside.

    – the balls that were bowled so wide that hit the adjacent garage and the bowler getting rediculed.

    – the glassses that were broken (including ours) in the colonies. a pull shot that would have fetched a six in a ground.

    – we hiding for ground when the glasses breaks down. There will be not even a single soul the next second. Ceasefire zone.

    – the intrusions on to a road stopping a speeding vehicle.

    – the ball that gets carried away by the vehicles that pass by.

    – hours of non-stop live cricket (from window) when we are grounded in our rooms.

    – colony tournaments.

    – the odd lovers on parked cars when the cricket action dies.

    – I can go on and on… but I leave it to you to probably blog on each of these topics in a more interesting manner.

  5. Rush says:

    i can imagine u picking up ur bat and each one coming forward picking a role and making a team and yes!!! going for it.
    You are truly a team player…i miss those days!!!

  6. sujata says:

    Lets play!!! I get to bat first always else I sulk, so ready?n am all for those good times kavi!!

  7. cyber gipsy says:

    /**And perhaps those garages wonder, how different these kids grow up to be. **/ Some kids, now adults, may be batting on a sticky wicket (of Life !). Some must be resorting to all kinds of gamesmanship and pressure tactics, to achieve success at any cost. Some, when ever Life is not fair ( which is often), must be grumbling, ‘ This is not …cricket!’ Some handsome hunks may be bowling lot of ‘maidens’ over ! For those of us who crossed 40, Life is a ‘ T-20’. Fewer overs left, asking rate ‘ of life’ high!
    LESSON : Those who played lot of ‘maidens over’ when the going was easy, are bound to stare at impossible targets and higher required rate ; having wasted ‘balls’ earlier ! Some took calculated risks, and pulled off the impossible. Some grew up and hit the right spot early in life and some, sprayed themselves all over ! Some went over the top and some, clean bowled all ends up ! Waiting for the next innings, if any, Life has to offer. Some older boys retired, and started a second innings ! Some were great team players, while others, great lone-rangers. Some were ‘ caught behind’. Some sledged their way up!Some often went to temples, churches, mosques and fire-temples and shouted, ‘ HOWZZAAAT UMPIRE!?’. Cosmic Umpire Unmoved !
    Some fended off, the nasty bouncers of life bravely, while others pulled with contempt ! Some took their time to play themselves in, and gave a decent account of themselves.

    CONCLUSION : After all, it’s a ‘ball’ game ! With wide range of possibilities ! And a compressed form of life.

  8. manuscrypts says:

    Great read..and images 🙂
    i think this would’ve been a boon!! sometimes we were blackmailed by the guy who brought the wickets. he always wanted to bat, if he was given out, he’d pretend he had to go home, with the damn wickets!!!!

  9. Neha says:

    wow kavi…amazing pic and write up…me too miss my cricket days…always used to cheat when got out, cos i hardly used to get to bat…my childhood friend , hamesha yeda banake he used to take the bat first n play for good 40-45 minutes…

    whenever I read ur posts, I go back to my good old days n start my own stories…aah, you must have realised tht by now…thank you for tolerating always :))

  10. Never looked like a garage. Lovely post as always.
    O playing cricket with no umpire n our own set of rules was really fun. Those day were full of fun ..wonder where i lost them!!

  11. Aparna says:

    Where I grew up, there were no garages, as there were no cars. We had to do with a stack of bricks as wickets. Underhand bowling was allowed, so was ‘one drop one hand’…meaning a ball that bounced but was caught using one hand was considered to be a genuine catch and the batsman was given out. Sigh.Those ‘lawless’ days! Will they ever come back!

  12. Onkar says:

    So beautifully written. We have all had this type of experience, but to put them in words is not easy.

  13. Lou says:

    I never played cricket, but your lovely story of childhood games still took me back to my own youth. We were so carefree, and we could play for hours with few props. No video games, no electronics, the trips to the toy store were very far between!

  14. Kavi says:

    Ugich Konitari : I can imagine it. Especially after looking at the place myself, today ! Cricket somehow runs. In the blood. And across parked cars too !

    Ofcourse, Sachin Tendulkar rules ! 🙂

    Hobo : All of us, have our hard tapes. We perhaps have to rewind more often ! Cricket helps !


    Kevin : Ofcourse, ‘Taking my bat’ was so common. I am guilty of doing that a few times as well. That was until the other kids came with their own latest bats !


    Those were the days. Werent they !

    Kamal : I was also thrilled to bits to spot these lines over there. For they are atleast a couple of decades old now !

    Each of what you write rings a familiar note in my mind. Life then was very different from what it is now !!


    Rush : Wouldnt it be wonderful for us to get together for a cricket match…hmmm. maybe someday !!


    Sujata : You sulk too. Ok. We have company. And some competition. Sure. Come on in. We’ll play some good cricket. And rediscover the children in us !

    Cyber Gipsy : That perhaps is what they call as ‘pop philosophy’ i think. Pretty effective too.

    And this was awesome. Your metaphors qualify. Perfectly !!


    Manu : Thank you !! Indeed for us, that issue came up with the bats and balls !

    Neha : Thank you ! Tolerating ! No way. Always enjoy your comments for they connect me to a different time too !


    NR : Thanks for the comment !

    Aparna : We used them too. Those bricks. And those umpire-less days were super duper fun indeed !

    Who can ever forget the one-pitch matches..where one-pitch catches were allowed !

    Onkar : Thank you ! 🙂

    Lou : Yes. No electronics. Just the land and sky. Ofcourse three stumps and a cricket bat !


    I get particularly nostalgic of those times

  15. B& W photos always awaken my sense of nostalgia. And the grass crowding the front of the gates have their own poignance.

    But the stumps still standing seem to say, life goes on.

  16. a m says:

    Beautiful post, Kavi!

    Let’s go play some cricket 🙂

  17. Neha says:

    you have not visited my blog since log Kavi, so one award has been crying out loud to be accepted…hope it gets to see you soon 🙂

  18. HaRy!! says:

    o i luv the play…real pity have to play it very professionaly here nowaday..i mean so much clapping and very sullen , now yur write is full of memories…nice pics btw!


  19. sanjeev says:

    Thats a deadly wicket Kavi! I remember gunning for that myself. Deadly because you get pulled to the square-leg, you practically lost the ball in the snake-filled shrubs. Interesting, those three lines can bring back so much stuff!

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