The death-defying league
March 9, 2008
There’s a certain homey feel to this ground, the one at Panchkula. It’s the openness of everything, the nakedness of everything. In two hours we’ll know how it looks on television, but right now the stands are being swept, Neha Dhupia’s dancers are practicing on a stage for this evening’s entertainment, the guards are meandering between seats. There’s a group of women cops pointing to press box and bitching. One can tell. The giant screen is flashing bright pictures of flowers and landscapes.
On a practice pitch where batsmen take turns clobbering the ball, one knocks a delivery into the seats, and miscues the next one. You know how these bloody miscues are. This one flies up and hangs there, above Ajit Wadekar and Dean Jones, before descending, with increasing velocity. For a moment, no, more than that, it looks like Wadekar RIP. It misses, of course, otherwise I’d be breaking a story on Rediff right now instead of writing for my astounding readership of five. It raises a puff of dust a few feet away from Wadekar, before an overenthusiastic volunteer throws in a return that shaves the back of Wadekar’s head. And the man’s still there, in conversation so deep he’s oblivious to all this. And no one’s telling him. Nice. This reminds me of several scenes from Mr Magoo.