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As such I am no cricket enthusiast really, but then this match in question involved India and Pakistan - a match that gets treated like a war, and which invariably moves out of the stadia to each, and every household in India (and I’m told, in Pakistan as well...!).

Well, somehow, throwing some creative excuse, I managed to leave the office just in time. Planning to pick up a couple of beer cans on the way home, where I was to watch the match, I reached my Bullet in the parking lot, and lo! I was destined to be greeted by a flat tyre there! Prepared not to waste any time, leaving the bike parked as such, I hurried out, hoping to get hold of some three-wheeler. It only turned out to be more evasive than I had ever thought, especially with a self-imposed curfew around. The match had certainly begun... and I was still in the middle of nowhere!

Suddenly, a cycle-rickshaw appeared on the scene from somewhere, dropped his passenger at around twenty-two yards (I’d already started thinking cricket!), and before he could ask me anything, or refuse to carry me, I was sitting pretty on it. Ten minutes’ ride and I was at a crossing where I could hope to get an auto-rickshaw.

Giving a tenner to my rescuer, I practically jumped out, and sprinted (like a fielder) towards a three-wheeler passing by.

The driver turned out to be nothing short of any Ambani! Judging well the business opportunity, he quoted a fare that was even more than double. But then, did I have a choice? When we reached the market, close to my home, I was pleasantly surprised to see no rush at the wine shop. Unmindful of anything around, the manager was glued to a small idiot box, concealed somewhere in such a manner that I couldn’t even take a glimpse... Excitement mounting up, I quickly requested him for a couple of chilled beer cans, and he handed over the same to me as if he was literally obliging even a regular patron!

Jumping on to the ‘chauffeur driven rath (chariot)’ waiting for me, quite like Arjun, I asked Lord Krishna to guide and take me home! Finally, alighting at my destination, I extended a 500-rupee bill towards the driver, who just refused to accept that for Rs 120 that we had agreed upon, “Change nahin hai, Sa’b!” (I don’t have change, Sir). I searched all my pockets, wallet and bag frantically... then looked around on either side of the road that seemed so deserted as if no one had ever walked on it. No neighbour in sight either... Thanks to the match! Hoping to find some change from within the house, I rushed upstairs. Change I did not find, but no sooner did I enter than I realized there was a power cut! I came down totally disappointed, cursing myself (more than DHBVN – Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, our electricity supplier) for not being as inverter-intelligent as all my neighbours! The Saarathi (charioteer) could guess that I still had no change...“Aap 500 ka note de do, main balance de ke jaata hun!” (Give me the 500-note, I’ll go get the change, and return the balance).

Even an hour later, there I was, sitting in the balcony, with a not-so-chilled beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, still waiting for the power and the powerful driver...



Mohanjeet Kukreja (eMKay) is a Pharma professional, holding a master's degree (M. Pharm) from University of Delhi; and nurtures writing as a passion. He loves to write poetry and stories about various aspects of life.

Books to his credit:

"Abhivyakti...Ek Kavya Sankalan": a wonderful, maiden collection of poetry

"Mangadhant" (Hindi Short Stories): A collection of stories

Within and Around” (Short Stories): A concoction of twenty-one beautiful stories

Four Pillars Five Stories” (Classic Short Stories): This collection is an English translation of five classic Hindi stories

"Khayalaat - Chand Ghazlein": A beautiful collection, of fifty-one meaningful ghazals


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