Tag: Past

The long lost fireflies

Growing up, electricity was always kinda playing hide and seek with us, especially during nights, in my hometown. Power outages were a regular occurrences and part of everyone’s lives. These outages were more frequent during Summer season, cause of increased demand. Though, I am pretty sure that the number of households with air-conditioner, would have had been very few in those days (at least in my hometown), the distribution generally does not depends on the needs of one city. Other than the increasing demand, I am sure the production and output of power would have been less than the normal demand of the days. It has been like that in India, as long as I can see in the past. A gap in the supply and demand!

But, this post is not about the power situation in India. Not about, the production, supply, and demand of electricity. But, this post is about recalling those summer nights, when electricity was out, and we used to sit outside in the lawn, under the moon and stars. As soon as the power went out (it was almost a fixed time, every night), we used to pull folding chairs outside, and then sit and talk. The neighborhood used to come alive during those power cuts. You could listen to conversations going on, across the boundary wall, shrill cries of babies getting irritated due to the heat, sharp noise of children trying to play and have fun in the night, under the light from stars, moon and candles or emergency lanterns peeking from the open windows of the houses.

Those days, fireflies were quite common and present everywhere. At night, as kids, you could enjoy the faint yellow glow and marvel at those flies. It amazed us as kids. I remember, we used to catch few of them between the hollow of our palms, and then peek through a slit between fingers at the yellow glow. At times, I remember, catching a few of them in glass jars and then doing nothing but staring at the yellow tail. As soon as it was time to sleep, even if the power did not came back, most of the times, we used to release the trapped fireflies back to nature, their natural habitat.

It’s been ages, since I saw a firefly. The same way, it’s been ages spotting house sparrow. The fast change to climate, must be causing changes to the ecology on the whole, which has disturbed the eco-system for many birds, insects, animals. I am counting on seeing the fireflies once again, sometime in future!

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The love of Cricket and superstitions

Even though, I am not a fan of IPL, and neither a die-hard fan of a team, that I follow the matches, I at least make sure to remain updated or try to watch it when Sachin plays. And so, today, I was actually hooked on my laptop, watching MI vs CSK. Sachin misfired, yet again, and I left it at there, and stepped outside to the market to get few things done.

My brother, on the other hand, still remains a cricket lover, though, for him too, 99% of the time, it starts and stops with Sachin. He is rooting for MI, this season (like always), and so he had his interest in the game. When, we were strolling through the market, he noticed the match on TV screens inside an electronics store (It was a showroom for LG). He was ecstatic, when he saw that CSK has lost 2 wickets for 9 runs, and needless to say, he asked me to wait for a couple of minutes, so that he can continue watching it. I relented, though I was not that willing to. And then, the very next minute (actually less than that), another wicket fell. I could see the smile on his face. Then, I asked him to come along, and we left. 

Once inside the mall, we simply walked up to the top floor, where there is this big electronics store, thinking that the match must be coming there too. And it was. Needless to say, my brother stepped inside the store, and I stayed outside (since I could see it from the outside too). He went in, and they changed the channel 🙂 , but as soon as he walked out, they again changed the channel back to the match. He went back in, and saw two more wickets going down. When he came outside, he told me that, one of the salesman asked him, if he is looking for something, to which my brother replied that, he is just interested in the match and score. Surprisingly, the salesman happily said that, he can continue watching it (the salesmen in that store, usually are not this friendly).

We strolled here and there, few more showrooms (just electronics store), wherever he can see the glimpse of the match and keep a tab on the score. Then, we stepped outside the mall, and sat for sometime, outside the mall. He was constantly checking the scores on my smartphone (he still carries the normal Nokia handset). 

Since, we had nothing else to do, we decided to head back to the flat, and try to catch whatever was left of the match. On the way, he felt hungry, and we decided to eat something at Bikanerwala. While sitting there, I realized, that we can try watching the match on YouTube. I did not know, whether they stream live content on mobile or not. They do (and why wouldn’t they?). So, we witnessed the fall of last 2 wickets in HD quality on my phone.

During this part (where we were watching the match on phone), I recalled an old superstition, which I (and my brother) used to have, when India was playing. When a wicket, used to fall of the opponents, we quickly took notice of the room and everything – like the pose we were sitting in, the object we were holding, maybe the water, which has just entered the food canal and not gone down, or the crossed fingers. I even used to notice whether right leg is on left or is it other way round. And after this quick analysis and note taking in the mind, we used to (kind of) hold our positions, and try replicating everything, for next deliveries  thinking that the wickets would fall OR if India was batting, praying that the batsmen will hit another 4 or 6. 

So, when 9th wicket fell down, and the CSK batsmen, started hitting the ball for runs, I told my brother, that he better not watch it live, as the wickets are not falling, and CSK is scoring runs. He obliged my request. And I quit YouTube application, and just refreshed CricInfo website, to check the score, And right then, I saw that the 10th wicket has fallen and MI has won. I quickly (and excitedly) told my brother about this, and switched on the YouTube app. There is delay of 1-2 minutes in YouTube feed of the match, so the wicket taking delivery was still to be shown. We were able to see that delivery from Pragyan Ojha, and were happy that it was Jadeja who got out :).

So many memories of the old days came back, just from that one episode of the funny things which we used to do. I would love to write about some incidents from those days, some day. 

I still remember the amount of Mountain Dew, we gulped, watching World cup finals, at Abhinandan’s place. I had the last sip in my mouth, which was nothing more than few drops, not yet ready to gulp down, before that last hit by Dhoni, which gave us the World Cup.

Ahh, Sports and Superstitions. We all have them, and I smile looking back at things I did.