The colour purple...

A friend of mine, well, he's not my age or anything, and when we were younger, the age difference and the height difference was considerable, which meant he played with the bade-log on the big ground with no grass while I played with the chote-log on the smaller ground with lots of grass. So this friend, if i can call him that, after spending a chunk of his life abroad is back to India for a small stint. He has been posting all the old, non-digital pictures of us from the different holis we have spent together in our colony through the year.

I had never seen these pictures before - only few people like this friend of mine, had the jigar (or guts) to bring their camera, which cost a bomb to the holi event, with water balloons flying everywhere and each speck of gulal posing a threat to the over all well being of the camera. And since we werent the best of buddies or anything, I had never seen these pictures.

The pictures are from different years and I thinks that is what makes them so special for me. I am not there in most of the pictures. I had always been a shy kid, and even today, I would rather be behind the camera than be in the front of it. There is this pic with me in it - Boys from the colony are sitting with their backs against the garden wall, there's this one guy with his face all purple shouting, there is another friend pushing someone, then another mischievous one pulling at the collar of another - and there's me, sitting in a corner with a couple of feet distance from the main group, with only so much holi colour on my face that suggested I was involved in the colour throwing, smiling shyly.

Now, our colony bears a ghostly town look. There is a building that is not inhabited by anybody - it just stands there in oblivion, reminiscing in its glory days when it used to be the most lively building thanks to its inhabitants who were at the forefront of various committees which were responsible for organising various festivals in the colony.

I am one of the last ones still left in the colony among those purple coloured people in that picture. In fact, the only one, I think. I was wondering what would I do differently if I got a chance to go back in time - Will I be sitting closer to those guys coloured purple?

If I could only be one of those guys who called all others to play - and not - as it were the last guy to come and the first one to leave. If I could stay behind on the ground, talking about weird stuff we saw on cable TV in the 90s, like Undertaker's coffin, and not worry about the unit test that was always around the corner. Would I do it? Would I be one of those guys?

Now, sometimes on lazy afternoons, I want to do nothing more than just go out to the ground and hit a few sixes out of the park. It is a lot easier now that I have grown bigger and the park looks like it has shrunk. I have an itch everytime India wins a match, I want to just go out and be that person who calls the others to come down and play. But sadly, now, none of those guys live here. A different set of kids live here - but they never ever play. I am not very proud when it comes to cricket. I would very happily enter that group of kids the average age of which is close to 13 and demand a game - but they never play! I dont know what they do all day! But they are never on the ground playing.

I still very fondly (and proudly) remember that game where I first hit a half century. Sure, the boundary line was only 40 yards away, but it still remains one of my fondest memories. I know those days wont come back -  We will never have matches that schedule to start at 10 in the morning -The afternoons will never be so crisp, the evening winds never so strong. But I hope some kid comes down stairs and calls me to play cricket. For this time, I wont be the last one to come and the first one to leave. I will be one of those guys coloured purple.

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1 letters to the editor:

    Oh yeah, 1990s were the best!! Nostalgic.
    I can never forget Milind Soman in Captain Vyom, used to be one of my favorites in DD....Hmm
    About the current kids, I got quite a lot of cousins, who either sit in front of the TV and watch cartoon again and again, if not, they are fixated on to their laptops playing games. They don't go outdoor because it is sweaty and dirty. :)