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.
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.