Wave transformation

Remember, when we were kids, and the evening game of cricket or I-spy or Pittoo or kho-kho or whetever neared its end, when the Sun, despite its soft-corner for children, was no longer able to remain in high-office and plunged behind the trees or whatever was in the horizon…

And  we being kids, and life being magic, would somehow squeeze some light out of the darkness and continue playing, the game itself taking a surreal dimension, with much drama and emotion churned in those extra twilight minutes….

And then finally, when either the ball was lost, or some other natural inhibitor (angry parents, some kid injured, or some house window broken) happened to happen, the game came to a natural halt…

And with a last whooop, the kids would wave each other a big “BYE” and run in different directions, in a rush to reach home,  have lots and lots of water from a ‘mutka’ or ‘suraai’ and settle down for some pretense of study / homework and wait for dinner….

All this came back to me suddenly yesterday, when I was driving past a sub-urban locale outside Bangalore, a place of modest means…a place where the local school had a small building and a big playground (when was the last time you saw such a one in the city?),where one could see old play-fixtures like monkey-ladders, and groups of kids playing soccer, cricket and a few other games in the same field.

And I wondered about the kids of the metro. Where is the place to play? When was the last time they could have an evening of outdoor games and wave “Tata, Bye-bye-cheerio” at end to friends?

Maybe, today, one still does see the jerky “bye-bye” wave where the hand is kept in front of one’s chest…but that in comparison to the old-time above the shoulder full-hand wave of TATA, is like comparing house-fly buzz to the flight of the falcon…

Time’s trucker has gobbled up that sky-wave of ‘Tata’. That truck of India, which has displayed a very industrial constancy of purpose…The truck that blares the horn, and pushes you off the road as it rattles past you, it’s smoke-spewing backside sporting a skull-and-bones sign and the proclamation “Burey nazar waaley, tera muh kaala” (Oh you of evil eye, may your face be blackened) and the other one “OK TATA”…


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