Friday, October 8, 2010

Of Bats and batting.

This has been one batty week.

Today early morning we had an unusual visitor. It must have been around five am. I was working on my laptop when there was a knock on my door. Young Tony’s mother appeared pretty nervous.

“ There’s an animal in the sink in the kitchen.”

I was surprised. We live on the second floor. Which animal could possibly enter the house.

As I went inside the kitchen, I closed the door behind me so as to not allow this visitor to enter the house.

At first he looked like a frog. I picked up the broom and thought I would pack him in a paper bag and drop him in the park. But as soon as the broom touched , he let out a gentle squeal and then spread its wings. I almost jumped out of my skin. There lay a cute baby bat all furry and vulnerable with both its wings spread.

It was still alive. So now how on earth was I supposed to see it off?

The bats traditionally have poor eyesight. They navigate themselves by a process called echolocation whereby they emit sonar waves and navigate according to the echo they receive from any obstructing object.

I know very little about bats. But the baby looked very delicate. I was afraid that I might hurt it. So I tried some gentle prods. But the baby stuck to the basin with its wings. it was almost like it glued itself.

I tried all I could but it just wouldn’t move. I went and brought Tony’s encyclopedia. Maybe I would get a clue. As I sat on the floor adjusting my glasses, I suddenly saw two dust pans inside the closet. Eureka! I got a brain wave. Maybe I could somehow pick it in the pan. It was plastic, so wouldn’t harm the baby.

I tried using one. But the baby was adamant. The wings just didn’t lift.

I thought maybe I could lift both the wings together. Then the bat would be helpless. So I took both the pans and gently eased it below both the wings at a time.

The bat squealed once, scaring me again. They have a very sharp pitched voice. Did I hurt it?

After a few minutes I tried again. Gentle yet firm. Suddenly I succeeded. The baby was now trapped between both the pans. It screamed again. But now I knew. It was more of a cry of frustration.

I opened the door of the balcony and released it. It flew away with one graceful flutter.

That reminds me of another dominating bat, this one on the field. Will we soon forget the sublime and mellifluous batting of VVS Laxman against the onslaught of the resolute Aussies? It was an innings of great character, courage and theatre. It has brought viewers back to cricket. It was such a tense match, I must consider myself lucky to have survived the excitement.

Unfortunately VVS is the most underrated batsmen. I remember Alan Border’s comment when he was dropped once. “ Wow ! You must be truly having an amazing batting line up to drop such a player.” But then our selectors play their own little games. These games are definitely not called Cricket.

Just like the CWG officials. Those corrupt men understand the psyche of the Indian people. Give them a spectacular and dazzling opening and closing ceremony and play on their patriotism. No one will really worry about the silly games!

Sweeten the bitter pill. Its easy to swallow .Corruption will bury itself in one of the big gaping ditch still left uncovered from the sham called construction.

. No wonder no corrupt politician is ever punished. I can hedge a bet on that.

Next week is Manipal again. A snag in the vehicle made me cancel today. Got barely five working days before the festival of Dusehra.

Going down to the wire! Hope the good man doesn’t finish last.