Cricket at the Oval

Pictures of folks playing cricket at the Oval Maidan in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag
Its a long tradition in South Mumbai ~ come Sunday morning the boys head out to Oval Maidan with whatever gear they can scrounge around. They stake a tiny sliver of a pitch, drive stumps in the dusty field and play some cricket. The pitch (and cricket) is a social leveller; the quality of your gear is immaterial, its how you connect – bat to ball. Three stumps is a luxury and bells are definitely not needed. Who needs shoes and pads? A tennis or simple rubber ball will do. As kids I have even played with layers of paper crumbled hard and held by rubber bands. When you are all sweaty and exhausted, grab some limbu paani or ganna juice on the way back home. Another beautiful Sunday! Continue reading “Cricket at the Oval”

Rajabai Clock Tower

Under its gaze
Childhoods were made.

Give us a ball
any ball
cricket ball
tennis ball
rubber ball
torn ball,
block of wood,
a pebble
or a wad of paper
held by rubberbands

Dribble, dribble
push, shove, fall
scuffle, scuffle
scrapped knees
dirty shirts
torn shirts
arms on each other shoulders
sharing Ganna juice
one by two
limping back home
way past our time

O what fun.

The Mumbai Courts besides it
© Arun Shanbhag

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