Venue: IIMA Tennis Courts, 2 am
A floodlit cricket match, going on between two teams on the hard tennis courts. I was fielding at the edge of the court. Quandi hit a cover drive, in my direction. However, it was moving away from me. Since, it was a close match, the spirited gully-cricketer in me, who has grown up watching Rhodes, Gibbs, Ponting dive around and glamorously stop the fast moving ball, momentarily got inspired, forgot that he was a paunchy, unathletic, muggu, bespectacled waste and dived for the ball.
This is not the lush Lord’s, this is the hard tennis court. Small birds were flying and chirping around my head, a la Tom and Jerry. I had directly landed on my jaws like an aeroplane whose front tyres refused to come out.
Now I looked like Anil Kumble in two ways. Firstly, I dived and still let the ball go through me as if I was ‘hollow man’ (or Anil Kumble at gully doing Namaskarams to the ball. Don’t tell me you don’t know about his fielding style!), and then I had a bleeding jaw. The match stopped immediately. But the blood didn’t.
My chin was bleeding profusely, for a second it looked like I had a red ‘goatie’. I was not feeling anything in the lower teeth and jaws. I was barely muttering. Everybody converged around me and looked at my chin like seeing a live biology specimen. Soon, Lifty took me to Amrit, who was a doctor. Till then, I had a belief that it was just a scratch. But when I was about to leave the tennis court, I started to panic a bit. What if I had broken my jaw? What if my teeth had become loose? What if I am unable to speak after this? Lots of insane thoughts muddling my mind!
Amrit suggested I should get stitches on my chin. Me and Lifty left for the hospital immediately. On the way to the hospital at 3:15 am, we saw an autorickshaw and a bike collide and skid, a scene straight out of the final scenes of a typical ‘action’ Bollywood movie, where vehicles are tossed around aimlessly to show the effect of bombs exploding and the hero walking next to them unscathed. But here? I was already numb, both physically and mentally. I thought, “Whose face did I see first, today morning? Main usko maar daalunga kal!”
When we reached the hospital, I was rushed into the casualty ward. The doctor looked at his watch and gave me a smirk when I said I was injured while playing cricket .It was 3:30 am. The he saw my wound and talked some technical stuff which I had no idea about. It reminded me of my mother’s face when I used to explain nanotechnology to her. Then, slowly, the tailor, err..the doctor went abouot stitching my face. Whenever he was pulling the thread out, it felt like he was pulling my imaginary beard. (‘goatie’)
Finally, the job was done, and me and Lifty returned back to campus.
Next day: My request on the institute message board for requesting movies