T’was the NBA finals – San Francisco Giants vs Cleveland Rainbows or something. There was much excitement in the neighborhood, entire families were agog watching the match. Pizzas were ordered in, for though the athletes themselves had to keep fit, there were no such demands on the audience. Some Indian neighborhoods went all out and had samosas, chaat and tea for basketball viewing. Living in California, I could take a walk, far from television, and still figure out the direction of the match when I took a walk. Loud cheers meant SF Giants basketed a ball, and moans meant the C Rainbows did the same.
The last few minutes of the match was tense judging by the tension emanating from the Television areas to the street. Right enough, I headed home to find a certain clamoring for my presence. The children’s faces were shining with excitement and so it was that I got to watch the final 5 minutes of the match. What with the replays and the fouls and the drama and the penalties, the final 5 minutes took a goodish twenty minutes to watch.
After the match was done with, commentators tripped over each other in rehashing the match, the personalities that drove the players, the flaws that seemed to have surfaced. I moved off towards more pressing demands on my time like watering the garden, getting dinner going etc, musing all the while on the whole game viewing experience.
I was never one who enjoyed being plopped passively in front of the television, and spent a good part of my childhood not knowing the difference between a 4 and a 6 in Cricket. Blasphemy. I know. All I knew was that there was a major din every time there was a 4 or a 6, and since this happened multiple times during the day, and for several days at once, I did not really see the point. The brother did his best, since he spent many mornings lovingly polishing his cricket bat. He shook his head at my cricket-ry ignorance, but loved me all the same. What is with boys and cricket?
The basketball match seems to have left a mark on the toddler in the house too. After the match was done, there he was, using his blue football and trying his best to throw it into the clothes hamper. Not just that, I noticed a certain skip in his step, and every move was complicated by the ducking and falling in vague angles that seemed critical to the ball-into-hamper process. The commentators seemed to have made an imprint too. For there was a live commentary going on, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Stephen Curry, far from calling it a night after an exhausting match came to the old home to play with the son.
When Stephen Curry passed the ball, the son took it and on the way to the clothes hamper skirted a chair, deftly avoided me walking to the kitchen, dunked the ball into the hamper and then fell spectacularly.
His doting grandmother congratulated him on scoring a goal.
“You don’t score a goal in basketball Paati. “ he said shaking his head at such foolishness as he picked up his blue football again.