To do that ... I happen to write!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Evening Games

Images by Novacaine

Vijay stole a glance every now and then to look at the clock which hung on the wall to his right. The slow ticks of the clock were making him impatient. He tried reading his book which said something about king Harshavardhana but the pages just dissolved in front of his eyes. The words and sentences seemed to float and ere long his eyes got all watery. He again looked at the clock, only to quickly dive his head back into his book lest his father would notice him. He was sure that his father would not appreciate his longing to go out and play.

Eons later it was 5 PM. Vijay rubbed his eyes, stretched his limbs and tried to get away from his study table as nonchalantly as he could...

"It's too hot outside", said his father curtly.

Vijay knew that the best policy to deal with his father was to agree with whatever he said.

"Yes dad", he replied.

And he walked outside his room without an air of hurry. He then went to the kitchen and made some noise with the earthen pot, as if he was drinking water. Though without doubt he was the least thirsty person on the planet at that moment. His mind had a singular focus: to get out. After having made the sound - he waited with bated breath. No sounds came from the other room. Apparently either his father had dozed off or were contently reading the newspaper. Slowly, he moved towards the main door of the house. He opened it in the smallest possible angular steps, yet it creaked. He stood still for a few moments, listening intently, before continuing to open the door. His eyes widened with joy as the door opened; and then he tip toed out of the house. Infact, he was holding his breath untill he was 3 houses away...

Vijay couldn't stand still as he knocked on his friend's house. He stretched his legs, twisted his arms, exercised his neck by rotating it round and round and did some deep breathing. He knocked again, a little louder this time. A screechy voice came from inside which told him that Aayush was not at home. This made him a little worried. He nervously lingered at the doorway for a while, and then retreated with heavy steps. Vijay had talked to Aayush only a few hours ago, and Aayush had said that he would be coming to play. 'He must have gone to Tanmay', Vijay thought; and the proceeded to Tanmay's house.

Vijay would generally shout Tanmay's name to call him then ringing bell. For otherwise he felt awkward when Tanmay's parent would open up the door and then he would have to ask them to call Tanmay. But today he felt his throat chocking. He reached out for the bell and rang it for a trite. He stood still. Nothing happened. He again pressed the bell, a little longer this time; and yet no one opened the door. He looked around. Everything was quite except for the little bells on near the gate which chimed upon being touched by the cool wind. He slowly tried to pull the front door and just as he'd thought - it was locked.

Vijay's heart started to beat fast. He knew, he just knew, something was wrong. Two of the most regular players, who would not miss the evening games without telling him, were missing. Something was not right. Either they must have both gone to Aadi's house; but even so - before going to Aadi's house they should have surely come to him. This thought suddenly made Vijay angry. He started walking in short and fast steps towards Aadi's house where he heard some voices. As he came nearer the voices grew louder and then he heard his voice. He froze. He felt as if someone had clubbed him and drained the entire blood out of his body.

Only a few days ago he was ousted from the team: ostracized, unanimously; for he was not a nice person. He used to constantly abuse people. He would constantly lock horns with Vijay. He was a one man show. Vijay told this to the team; and everyone agreed. The next day Vijay told him to leave. Vijay smiled at recalling the incident, he felt like a real leader then...

He snapped back into reality as he saw everyone coming out of Aadi's house. Talking loudly, they walked straight towards the field, without even casting a single look towards Vijay. As if he had an invisibility cloak over him. Crestfallen, and speechless: Vijay followed everyone to the playground. The team was decided. Generally, it used to be Vijay who decided the team, but today when they chose the team they conveniently ignored him. He wanted to beat each of those who were present that day to death, but he somehow calmed his rising rage.

"I will be in Aayush's team", he announced, however, nobody took note of him.

The game started. Aadi passed the ball from the centre to Manas on his left who gave a long ball to Aayush on the left flag, who dribbled it past 2 defenders bringing the ball near the D. Vijay stood at a perfect cross: shouting for ball. It would have been a beautiful goal. Cross and goal. But instead Aayush took the ball to the right of the D from where, suddenly shrouded by defenders, he passed the ball back in the center to Manas who dribbled it in the D, again on the left. Vijay shot pass the defenders coming on the other side of the D: all alone - one neat pass to Vijay and it was goal. But Manas continued to dribble and took a clumsy shot; which was 2 times wide and 2 times high...

The whole team retreated back to the other side of the field. Everyone retreated but Vijay. He just stood there, looking at the goalpost: glistening with the rays of setting Sun. The game started again. Everyone started running towards the other end of the field as Vijay slowly started towards his home. His eyes red with indignity, swollen with tears: his mind filled with images of the setting Sun...


  1. Been there, done that.
    And, well-written. :)

  2. nicely done ... worth a shot in some good short story competition. i believe all kids throughout the world can connect with this as also some elders who can see the symbolism.

  3. @ Hedo: So what's your story?

    @ Kinari - Nahh :)

  4. Happens too often. Tch tch. I think as a kid I must have secretly hated all kinda "leaders" of play groups

  5. Sigh! I've been a Vijay once.