Sunday, January 22, 2006

Gentleman's game ladies please excuse !

Saturday morning and I am greeted with the sight that most women in India dread! That of the menfolk sitting glued to the TV watching cricket! I can see the usual Saturday family card session vanishing into thin air. Getting my Dad and brothers to abandon the TV is as impossible as Cauvery water sharing, which brings me to the topic of this post "CRICKET".

No,no...this is no girly rant against Cricket. I love Cricket...but only when India wins against Pakistan. Other times I hate the game that makes millions of wives into temporary widows, children into temporary orphans and sisters into ballboys er...ball girls or whatever it is that younger sisters are called when they have to go fetch the cricket balls that brother and friends hit wildly into neighboring Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Indian Ocean.

I was introduced to cricket at a very young age. My elder brother and friends used to play cricket at the paddy field near my house. And I was the official ballgirl (if there is such a term). And for all my troubles I was rewarded with ice cream at the end of the game. I quite liked skipping after the ball, picking it up and then skipping back to the field after I had chased a butterfly and the batsmen had made their 18th run and were looking desperately to see if I would get back and give them a break.

One day after the opposite team had made about 765 runs, both teams met for a pow wow and it was decided by mutual consensus that when I ran after the ball, it would be counted as a Four and no more. This put paid to runs being accumulated like Sachins injuries.

Now you might wonder why the guys put up with me at all. On weekends my Mom would take off for her weekly shopping trip and my eldest brother had to baby sit. He did baby sit, but as he always says it does not matter how you do the job as long as it gets done. So I was taken to the cricket field along with the other equipment and made to run after the ball if the ball went outside the boundary line. Of course Mom was none the wiser and I kept my mouth shut partly because of a very numb tongue after my 6th ice cream.

Second brother soon got into playing cricket and realized that additional human resources in the form of younger sister was a good idea than running around looking for the ball and getting all hot under the collar. He was however unsuccessful in garnering the available human resource because the human resource had to be fed and would keep wandering off with the ball. This made him mad and he withheld the promised Ice Cream after one match. Human Resource went and squealed to Dad and that was the end of further fielding resources for second brother.

During the course of my glorious innings as ball collector I learnt quite a few cricketing terms.

F**k!!!! means "if I wasn’t watching that gal I would seen that the ball was headed towards my middle stump!"
A** h**e means,"how can you hit me for a six you a** h**e?!?!"

Such colorful terms were very educative for an 8 year old and soon Dad and Mom were called for an emergency PTA meeting. Dad was relieved that it was nothing serious when he heard the Teacher say with a pained expression "You daughter said F**k when the Crayon fell down and broke."

Mom was however horrified and soon the three of us went through a refresher course in English language.

Mom: What is the exclamation you would use when you are angry?
Elder Brother: Damn?
Mom: hmm ok, but I would prefer if you said, “This is so inconvenient”
Elder Brother: Sure

Mom: Ok what would you say when someone swears at you?
Second brother (smirking): What do you mean by 'swear'?
Mom: er...I mean like the language you use in the cricket field!
SB: Ok, I will say, “This is so inconvenient?!”
Mom: Good!

(Muffled and uncontrollable giggling from the students.)

Mom: And what will you say when your crayon falls down the desk?
Me (on the defensive): I dunno.
Mom: You mustn’t use bad words ok?
Me: Ok. But dad says it’s ok if I don’t say it too loud!
Mom: #*@&*%$&+%$$# (choicest Malayalam epithets)

This brings me to another incident involving Dad:

Ms Michelle: Your daughter pinched Chithra yesterday.
Dad: Why did you pinch Chithra?
Me: But dad, she pinched me first!
Dad: (shocked) I hope you pinched her back real hard !!

Dad was declared persona non grata in school after that.

To come back to our narrative, it is Saturday morning and after a long time, the gender balance in my house is at a level. With my brand new sis-in-law we are now three females vs three males. My mom calls herself a Golf widow and me a Golf orphan, and today my brand new sis-in-law got a new name ‘Cricket widow’. After watching the guys in disgust for half an hour, I did the kindest thing I could do to my new sis-in-law. I took her to Forum for an expensive shopping spree. It will be nice to see my brother’s expression when the Bills come home to roost. thy name is woman!


Ar Ar Ar Arrrrr said...

Am I first on this post...


Cant believe it :)

Ar Ar Ar Arrrrr said...

You daughter said "F**k when the Crayon fell down and broke."
I started using F* word only when I was doing my graduation....

You sure have a colorful history to talk about your cricket-memories lady!!


Anonymous said...

Great men think alike. In my house my mom is the greatest cricket fan. When there is an Indian match, we all have to eat out and bring her "To go" boxes from restaurant. As long as I can remember, she has remained a loyal Indian fan. Well, that still makes me a cricket orphan like you. Five years back I was so frustrated that I became a Pakistan Fan. The new status quo is that I no longer watch cricket because of some monstorous man-handling by some Indian fans after an India-Pakisitan match.

Mind Curry said...

i think as younger siblings, we get to have a great deal of advantage in terms of education (academic and non), perks and what not. i am 5 years younger than my brother and had a great time hanging out with his friends since playschool. maybe thats why even now i usually have people elder than me as good friends. excellent writing as always.

Sujit said...

Till now I have used the word F***,

Well, criket is fun.. But not any more lost enthu.. now into all sorts mix up learning all games.

-Poison- said...

ur dad seems to b a smashing great guy!!!

btw i am a certified cricket hater...cant stand it these days...or even days before that

Whoosh 2 said...

u were at the forum today.. I was at the forum the whole of today!!!!

and, nice to hear those "good words".. was a good refresher course.. ;)

ജെയിംസ് ബ്രൈറ്റ് said...

Your dad is wonderful.
Excellent post.
When the live telecast of the cricket is in the tele, people forgets other things!
Every country is sports mad!
In the case of India, it is cricket.

Unknown said...

No elder bro or sis to teach me 'stuff' so had to go find out from books, movies etc...But I did inspire an entire generation of cousins with my language while playing cricket!

Scoot said...

hey!great post...thanks for the laughs.;-)
I hate Tv hoggers during the!!

Jina said...

hahaaaa..i think ur brother can be now named shopping spinster...

Fleiger said...

Not fair. At least watching cricket match is not a whole pocket (or hole-ip-pocket) worth timepass.

Anyways, what will Mandira Bedi think of all this anti-cricket propoganda after she has done so much for cricket?

Jagan said...

and u really knew f$%^& when u wer 8 years old ..? ha ha ...ur bros made sure u learnt everything . sweet bros :) . i didnt hav a kid sis to spoil her :(( .

quills said...

Hello silverine, your post brings back memories of me being ball girl for my bro and co. :) The bribe in my case was an outing with bro to the movies and chance to play in their team as the "12th man." :)Good one as always.

Geo said...

>>Saturday morning and I am greeted with the sight that most women in India dread!<<
And ignorant me thot it was another roach.

>> Getting my Dad and brothers to abandon the TV is as impossible as <<
...expecting a gal to pick a top without taking her to each and every garment shop of each and every mall of the town.

>> Other times I hate the game that makes millions of wives into temporary widows, children into temporary orphans <<
On an average cricket is telecast for say max 30 days a year. What about the quality time spent by the women folk crying in front of the Saas Bahu serials on a daily basis? Do we have the results of any research conducted on the temporary widowers and temporary (boy) orphans of India?

>> I quite liked skipping after the ball, picking it up and then skipping back to the field after I had chased a butterfly<<
Toooo good... still rolling on the floor =))

>> because the human resource had to be fed and would keep wandering off with the ball.<<
Rolling rolling rolling rolling =))

>> Dad was relieved that it was nothing serious<<
Same like my dad, who once came for a PTA meeting (as his colleagues dragged him in) and he didn’t even know which class I was in. Thankfully he knew my name :_))

>> Second brother (smirking): What do you mean by 'swear'?<<
I swear I am a big fan of this dude :_))

>> thy name is woman!<<
At last you understood this... *sigh of relief*

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hope and love said...

i used to love cricket.. but now i hate it..
after india lost several times miserably to pakistan my hear gor fed up with being repeatedly broken and i decided to hate the team..
my elder son is a loyal pakistan team fan and my younger one a loyal indian team fan..
u can imagine the situation in my house during an india pakistan match.. the younger fellow is very sensitive and the elder one keeps irritating him..

Praveen said...

nice to know you are a cricket fan and became one at a very young age :), and iam not sure of any term called "ballgirl" existing in cricket either :) said...

silverline :

never had much interest in cricket expect on some occasions when we were to stick to home and not many kids around. Else, soccer was the first love.

BTW, nice vocabulary in such an early age. Did you progress much since then :D


crumbs said...

hey i like they way u write!hilarious!
u kw at hm its a full fledged 3-way war for the wants her soaps, bro wants his axn, n i want my star movies.usually we fight it out between us, but wen cricket's on, well dad jus refuses to let any of us within a km of the well! n i never tried takin ogg shopping but.thanks of the ideA!

Whoosh 2 said...

Hey, there is a tag waiting for u at

Enjoy maadi :)

Matter of Choice said...

hehehe...good introduction to the silverine family huh? so did ur sis in law make big b sleep on the sofa???

u shuld soon write a blog abt all the sweet words that u learnt in childhood :)

silverine said...

@arz00n:Yes, I do have a colorful vocabularic history :))
@MM:That was so funny lol
@mindcurry: True, having a dozen or so guys in the house also made me damn confident with guys.
@Sujith: I have dropped the word long time back :)
@Alexis and Poison: My teachers made it clear that he was not welcome at PTA meetings because he would swell with pride when he heard of all my misdeeds.
@whoosh: The refresher course did reform my language :)
@dreamslittle: In my house everything comes to standstill when cricket and football is being telecast!
@Maya cassis: Thanks girl! :)
@Ursjina:That is a very innovative name indeed!!! :))
@Fleiger: Yes, her contributions to Cricket is immense. See thru sarees, skimpy blouses and an amazing ignorance of all things Cricket :))

silverine said...

@Benny: I am afriad I didnt understand your comment :)
@Jagan: But you had an elder sister to spoil you right? I did learn a lot of colorful language due to bro's and co :))
@Vikram:a bill that runs longer and faster than Shoaib Akhtar
LOL that takes the cake :))
@Geo: Namichu!!!! For once i am speechless. ^:)^
@Quills: 12th man was funny lol. So we have another ex ball girl here!!!
@HnL: Two guys in the house makes it just like my house. I pity you :))
@Praveen: Fan? No I dont think so, but the Ice cream was tempting :))
@ATG: No, my progress was cut short very prematurely :))
@moontalk: Actually both bro have their own TV's but then the guys like to sit together and watch TV in the hall :))
@Whoosh: I did see the tag when I visited your blog today. Seems difficult :(
@MoC: If I blog about the 'terms' I learnt in childhood, then someone may flag this blog as objectionable lol

Wanderlust said...

Hi myself new to this blogger world but I somehow found humour to be lacking in most of the posts .Urz is definitely an exception !!! ha ha ...real good stuff ....
Why not throw up some stuff on K-Series widowers as well ???

kickassso said...

heck, im a cricket fan during india - pak matches too, or any photo-finish match at that! the thing is, suddelnly hordes of people accumulate around the tv set at my bus stand, and I'm made an unwilling supporter:(

btw, at least my parents never , EVER come to pta meetings! thank god for that

Anonymous said...

ushuu full on cricket chick and all. too bad ur career ended with takin the ball bakk to brothers. else u could have gone for indian cricket team. chindi kaas they make and u would have become a comentator in DD. then we could have watched u on tv hopin that the match starts soon.

so cool ya, u used off F word when u were so so little, if i used then, my parents would have sold me to the gulf for some oil. gone case i would have been.

Rahman said...

Thts a F*%*in' punishment your bro had to go thru' after the match!! :))

The elderly camel said...

Delightful :). “This is so inconvenient” was quite hilarious. Did brother break out of it?

Anonymous said...

ey....can i marry your second brother? & you can take me also to shop at The Forum everytime there's a cricket match!!! Wheeeee...

silverine said...

@amitabha: K-Series widowers :p Now that would be an interesting post to write about :)
@Kickasso: Even I like to watch a match if the end is thrilling. I am surprised your folks got away with it. I thought it was compulsory for at least one parent to attend PTA meetings!!
@Dalda: I would have made a really good Mandira Bedi clone for DD cos I dont know much about cricket :p
@1.168: he he yes :))
@the elderly camel: No they didnt, though they refrained from such language at home, mostly because I would pick them with amazing speed!
@Anonymous: Sure you can marry him as there is no laws against that and I will def take you shopping on a Cricket telecast day :))
@aashik:Well.. I am in such a family :)

Ashish Gupta said...

thank gawddd I hate cricket - 10 years down the line, my wife would not sit on a PC and curse me on her blog! (though I love football :P)

reg. the whole post I'd say to everyone his/her own. but one thing is for sure - I love you dad :D *stupid grin* said...

Silverline :

You have been tagged :)


Anonymous said...

gee thanks...yaaieeey! what a happiness it'll be to have a sis-in-law like u!

PS: i think u were my senior in college.

Arti Honrao said...

I read this post at night around 2-30 or 3. All the while I was smiling bcoz I did not want to wake up my mom, but when I reached this part --->>
Me: Ok. But dad says it’s ok if I don’t say it too loud!
Mom: #*@&*%$&+%$$# (choicest Malayalam epithets)

I burst out laughing n my mom woke up n asked me to shut down my PC ;))
So commenting now :D
You are too good

Always adding smiles to faces ... may u get many in return


silverine said...

@Ashish: My Dad belives in 'an eye for an eye'. My mom believes in 'turning the other cheek'. I guess that's the norm in most homes unless your Dad is a Gandhian lol
@ATG: I will take up the tag.
@Anonymous: Why don't you leave a name?
@Akansha: Thank you :))
Always adding smiles to faces ... may u get many in return That was so sweet!!!

kickassso said...

Even I like to watch a match if the end is thrilling.

so do i, by the end of the match, the male bonding in the bus stop is so thick, i cant but help be happy/jeering

call it like, call it stockholm syndrome:P

Jagan said...

my elder sis is a bit too strict ..and my parents , tho iwas the younger one , never even pampered me :(( whtever my sis said was the rule and i ended up knowing the colorful language thru my seniors in school .

silverine said...

@kickasso; Watching a match with a crowd has it own charm :)
@jagan: So sad :( *hugs*

Lost in trance... said...

i keep trying to imagine the crayon scene...n every time end up laffing....reading ur posts in the office aint good for me..rock on!

silverine said...

@blufrogtribute: Your mom rockz!!!
@lostintrance: I got into a lot of trouble because of my language courtesy my brothers. The best part is I didn't even know the meaning of those swear words!! :))

hotICE said...

I am serious cricket hater!!! lots of reasons for that though!!

but must give a high 5 to your dad!!

Anonymous said...

u r gud young lady!.. i luved this post of urs :)

silverine said...

@hotice:Nice to see you back :) Yeah my dad rockz!!! ( the teachers didn't think so he he :p)
@Anonymous: Thanks *hugs* :)

silverine said...

@moontalk: You are welcome! Your post on the documentary was a real eye opener. It's a pity many people don't know the real facts.

Pradeep Nair said...

Cricket is "educative" in many respects, not just learning to be a "gentleman".

Srinivas said...

Oh well, its all in the game! This was freaking funny :p

silverine said...

@Pradeep: You said it!!!
@Srinivas: Thank you :)
@Supremus: LOL I pity your friends. It will be davastatingly irritating! :))

deepthi said...

I am amused. Great writing, Silver!

പാപ്പാന്‍‌/mahout said...

I am catching up on the old posts. This one was real fun. I would guess a little bit of ol' Gerald Durrell has rubbed off on you, the way you describe *your* family.

silverine said...

@Deepthi: Thank you :)
@Mahouth: Writing about my family is the easiest thing to do because all I have to do is write down events as they happened. In fact somebody wrote to me some time back asking me to write a book on my family. I wrote back that if he could give me a guarantee that the book is a best seller I would do it as I am bound to be disinherited after that :))

Sriram said...

You daughter said "F**k when the Crayon fell down and broke. lol!!! With my ten-year old sister around I have a tough time muffling all the expletives :D
Boy, I wonder if the teachers in her girls-only school mind her "Faa" or "Oh Sheesh". I still can't bite back my dammit however :(