(As told and discussed by Harsha, Bharath, Hanu and sanjay)
Bangalore once was extolled with play grounds all over, one such ground which still exists in the heart of the city is our own MCG- err! ‘Malleshwaram Cricket Ground!” Fortunately this ground has survived all the “Road-Widening projects” “The Metro- Rail Projects”, “Underpass”, “Flyover”, “New Bus Stand project” etc etc uff! what not? Probably one of the oldest ground in Bangalore, our MCG err! or MSG (Malleshwaram Sports ground) has been a instrumental in invoking ‘the Sport’s man’ feeling in thousands of people even today!
As we sat right on the steps of the MSG, having 2 packets of parceled “Hot Masala Dosa” from the opposite, old, yet refreshing and delicious CTR hotel, MSG was soon the topic to discuss! The ground submerged under the artificial lights still had the peak load err! I mean to say “Still had thousands playing!” All those 100 cricket balls and 2000 cricket bats! which occupied the incessant “Cricket pitches” never caused any confusion for the players! gosh! If one had to test his concentration then play it out at MSG and find where is your Cricket ball! or you might even try to follow your game while fielding! Ah! don’t forget the protocol, the senior or so called “The more professional players” always had that edge to get the central pitch!” ‘They are known to be playing for renowned teams’ as they claim and every other team gets their share of the ground as per the same protocol! It is the dream of every player to occupy and stand in the center pitch one day! or even compete with the central team huh! Do not forget the local teams! who occupy their part of MSG any intruder is literally shot! “Namma Adda/pitchu guru” they shout claiming it as their ancestral property and why not? their grandfathers too played on the same field!!
Ah! Beware of small teams which are formed by the “Next-Gen” crowd! for them the wicket can be anything! say from a rubber tyre to a single stone! well recession does matter when you are young! and if there are no stones then it is much more easier, three lines on the wall and there you go! you have an international stump! it has its own advantages also; yes! you don’t need any keeper! which means you have one extra player to filed! voila!!!
Co-operation and co-ordination is to its heights! come to MSG you will witness it! every cricket pitch has its own boundaries! one pitch’s boundary is another pitch’s batting wicket! and yet there is no confusion, “guru Ball pls!!” is the most common line you hear next to the shouts of “OUT!!!” the players here dont mind passing out the ball from the other team coupled with 2 to 3 lines of irritation, anger and frustration for the timely intervening of an external entity! but at the end of the day it is all “Part of the game” and this is “Sportsman ship” ya right!! Each game has its own rules and regulations! and dare to break those rules, you will be debarred from MSG for rest of your life! controversies galore! and umpires are usually blamed for everything! yes even if the ball is lost! the umpires are questioned in a ‘High-level-committee meeting!”
The real talent is to guard your ball from all the “Potential ball loosing sources” be it a manhole, drainage or even the main road traffic! The nearest fielder has to have a distance vision to spot the last traces of the ball before getting lost! it is here the other people also come to your rescue if you are lucky! and wait!! if you think MSG is all about cricket then read further! our MSG also has a basketball ball court and 2 goal posts for foot ball! Normally these guys are termed a bit “sophisticated” compared to our “Cricketing boys!”, the basketball and foot ball guys are known to wear all the “fancy-nike shoes” with “sweat guards” and “funky t-shirts” and yes coupled with “cool sports wrist watch and a sports water bottle” Our cricketing boys on the other hand are contended with a “BATA slipper” and a pair of coins for the toss! Well after all it is game!
Controversies rise when our cricketing boys try to avoid the bouncing football or basket ball with their bats! Quarrels arise and subdues after signing a peace pact! Amidst all these if there is still that quarter inch space left then it is normally occupied by our “Volley ball guys” who usually use the Footballs “Goal post as their net” and also the father’s who teach their little ones the “first cricketing lessons” with big dreams of finding a potential “Gavaskar” or “Tendulkar” in their children! well no one teaches bowling ah! something to be thought!
Also watch out for all those aunties who learn their first steps of driving in our own MSG with a huge hopes of driving on Bangalore roads yet again adding to our misery!
The pavilion or the steps around the grounds is usually occupied by vendors who make merry by selling ground nuts, pani pooris, also you can find romantic couples! yes you can find even couples in MSG, tender coconut vendors!, retired elderly people thinking their times of MSG, depressed people for some fresh air, vegetable vendors and ya right! people like us who relish their CTR dosa and talk about MSG!