So lately I have been hanging out at the cricket ground every weekend. The main reason was of course the T20 championship that Viv was playing, and T20 is the only kind of cricket I seem to have the patience for nowadays. However, knowing how restless I can get when I'm jobless and how much I hate being useless, I have found myself a multitude of things to do.
I'm a one-person cheering squad.
Cricket is not a very popular sport in Singapore and not a lot of people turn up to watch the matches. Often, it's just the players and if they're lucky, a member or two of their families. I have often found myself to be the only supporter in the pavillion when Viv's team is fielding. But that doesn't deter me. I sit with the mushtandas of the other team and clap and cheer for mine ignoring their "How dare you?" looks.
I help the scorer.
By now, I know almost all the players in Viv's team, even the 12th man. So when the scorer yells out "Bowler's name, please!" I am usually able to help, together with confirmation from the 12th man.
I help out in the training.
I can bowl at the speed of 65 miles per hour. Erm, using the bowling machine I mean. Yup, I can operate the bowling machine and even adjust the speed and what not. Ha! (By the way, that machine is one dangerous piece of shit.) So I have helped Viv train at the nets. Viv and I have also been having a ball with this shapeless ball he ordered from some Australian cricket website. Check it out, the ball bounces in the most unexpected ways and is used by wicket-keepers for practice. I also prefer it as it hurts my hands less than helping in the training with a regular cricket ball.
I take care of Viv's team's valuables.
These valuables can include anything from kits to kids. There was this time one of his teammates got his fancy digital SLR camera and tripod to the ground. Before going in to field, he put me in charge of the camera. And oh, his five-year-old son too. I'm proud to say that although I had a real blast with the zoom feature of the camera, and got a beautiful shot of every wicket taken and every 'wicket almost taken', I did not - I repeat - I did not lose the kid. *proud grin*
Then there was the time some random team was going to flick one of our team's bats which was lying there. This bat is black on one side and has a really cool logo. I've never seen a cricket bat look so cool. In fact, if Batman was indeed "Bat"man, he'd be carrying this bat. So this bloke was examining it and then asking around if they knew whose bat it was. Then he asked his teammate if there was space in his kit for the bat. I glared at him so hard he quietly put the bat down and left.
I am the official eavesdropper.
When Viv's team is fielding, I listen out for all the things that the opposition says and tell him everything during the break, including strategies, comments, gossip (of course guys gossip!) and what not.
I build relationships.
I am the official behen/bhabhi of his team. Recently one of the guys came up to me ask me, "Didi, aap mera ring rakhoge?" The best part was how he sought Viv's permission before he approached me with the job. :)) Then there was the guy who went and complained to Viv that "Yaar, bhabhi ne mujhe pehchana nahin!" the day I was so busy with the camera I had no time to wave to any of my devars!
It was probably because of my presence at the ground the last few weekends that caused a sudden spur in my interest in cricket. And it also brought a cool piece of news my way. Viv told me that I had got an invitation to join the Singapore women's cricket team. The jaw-dropping factor was not that Singapore has a women's cricket team - of course they do! I've often seen them train when I go to the ground on saturday mornings. The jaw-dropping factor was that they invited me of all girls to join the team.
"Hahahahahaha!" I finished the laughter bit first, before continuing. "That would be awesome. Do they know that I have no idea what the difference between a bye and leg bye is?" I asked Viv.
But then Viv said something really simple but really cool. He said I could learn all the things I don't know. Suddenly I felt all geared up. I could train hard and become really good. It would also be a way to stay really fit. I could travel with the team to other countries and represent Singapore. Even Viv's cheeky warning "You'll of course have to cut those long fingernails if you want to play cricket." did not deter me. (I'm a seasonal bimbo, not a perennial one.)
But then, like all sudden good things, this one came with a catch. Training and matches would take up entire weekends, and I'm not ready to sacrifice my book-writing.
Looks like it's true - one lifetime is not enough to do all the things you want to do.
Next life mein Batwoman chhudaayegi sabke chhakke!