The Artful Dodger

My college classmate Joe is a head full of pictures. He can draw, sculpt, design, think outside the box… Kind of person who keeps the class egroup provoked with invitations to think (which is not inviting to many), stoke purpose of life kind of discussions… Were he a cloud, he would have rained in color… Here’s a recent mail of his… just a lil story… a pickle of pictures… enjoy


I just recalled an event in school this morning. Wonder if I had written about this before. Age being what it is, one can’t be too sure!

Sebastian PA was  the most talented ‘Dodger’ I have ever seen. He could dodge anything from a ball thrown at him while playing ‘kings’,to  people lunging at him to ‘SAT’ him or arms shot out to him to take the basket ball away from him. He was as flexible & as unpredictable as water drops on a yam leaf. In a flash he would outwit even a quickest amongst us and slime off much leaving us fuming in fury and humiliation.  But before he hit the basket ball scene seriously ( to being a Madras university player eventually ) he was someone who didn’t give a #@*^^#  to being in a basket ball game or playing it. In fact most teams would not take him as he was forever faking throws, making fools of attackers and laughing devilishly to go past them effortlessly. Those days he was more interested in just that than in netting the ball. Eventually he was taken in by WA John and soon he was playing seriously ( or was he? i am sure he still was devilishly laughing at all of us inside!!).

The incident I am to describe took place before his transformation into a star basket ball player. We were in the 9th or so and a Kabaddi match was on under the watchful eyes of WAJ. It was an unbalanced team with weaklings like me, Sebstian, Patrick, Wilfred Pinto and so on against the likes of Izam, Arthur James, Harikesh, Aslam, Chandramohan and other muscular entities of our time.  We would get picked up like praying mantises by Aslam and gang, as we went in praying ‘kabaddi,kabaddi..please don’t break my haddi-haddi… kabaddi kabaddi”.  And when one of them would stroll in mumbling the same mantra (without the prayer of course) no one would dare grab a leg or torso for fear of losing a tooth and ending up in their court as he strolled back ! Eventually everyone in our team got out except for ….Sebastian PA.

So there it was people – a scene to behold as a shaky and visibly worried Sebastian alone Vs the muscle unnis of the school waiting to tear him apart like chicken in a KFC factory ! Every one was laughing at the chances this skinny lad had against the collective might of half a ton of Bournvita bred muscles. I was laughing too as he stood at the line before entry into their side of the court. But something inside me told me things are not going to be as predicted – not with Sebastian! I must admit that WA John did tell him “Go in!! Be brave “.

I remember seeing fear in Sebastian’s eyes as he stood there waiting to go in like a fly into the Venus fly trap. And then he made his move! As you all know, he had to reach a line drawn inside the court before he can get back for it to be a genuine attempt. He seemed to have decided to run straight in, get caught as safely as possible and end the agony of anticipated certain death. But the ‘Dodger’ in him took over I think. For what happened was simply stunning! He went like a rocket without a stabilizing tail fin. He just wove in & out between the arms reaching out to grab him as he held his hands on his head protecting it, crouching, ducking and evading instinctively as he went straight in to this maze of clutching arms and muscled fingers ready to clasp on. Everyone made contact with him in their attempt to grab him once at least but each one of them lost their grip on this Dodger of Jwalagiri. And before anyone knew it, he was out from their midst having zigzagged in & out of that zone beyond the line and was back in our court!

There was disbelief at first. Then there was this roar of celebrations from us skinnies that drowned the usual protests from the muscle brigade. But WA John would have none of the protestors! He declared all of them out except for Devadas or Eugene i think… We were all in and i remember Wilfred and his brother Patrick catching their lone little member as he came in. We won!!

And thus ends the legend of Sebastian PA against the Muscle Unnis.

Moral of the story: Even if your chances at something are as bad as the formation of life in the primordial soup, take heart in this story! Be brave & go in.


One Response to “The Artful Dodger”

  1. shival Says:

    AWESOME story…Enjoyed every bit of it..Brought a lot of smile on my face.

    Thanks much :).

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