Tuesday, February 22, 2011

He ambles along our square

He ambles along our square

Everyday at 4.30 in the evening we play football at the field in front of Shankha’s.

Earlier, there would be a gang of two entire football teams with something like 22 players playing, chasing after the ball, practicing passes, dribbling, playing matches. But now, these days, there are just 5 or 6 of us running around in this rocky dusty yet large football field of ours.

You can find grass patches here and there, but at very few places; so it really hurts our feet every time we run over a rock or if we fall down and skin our knees. In spite of all that, this is our everyday spot, our own playground.

I must say we are pretty regular. We try to make it a point to give some time to “play” every single day. There are times when we turn up to play late and there are days when we skip playing and instead bicycle around the campus. However, everyday without a miss, I find one boy, medium height, striped shirt with trainers on, with his father at our playground. Everyday. It’s been a year. Almost.

He has misty eyes and his stance is sluggish, controlled and disabled. He holds on to his dad’s tailor-made cotton pants and takes one step at a time, traveling the length of the field while watching us play.

I wonder what he thinks of because his eyes say so much. They stare as if they are themselves pages of an open book, sucking all the spirit life has to offer. I know he thinks different; not the usual same way we do. I wonder if he feels the same way as we respond to emotions. I think he has bigger ideas in mind.

The way he clings on to his dad and the way his dad has this protective arm around him, although he does let his son try to walk without any assistance, makes me wonder if it’s that hard for him to go on as it looks?

Everyday while we are busy playing our game - cheering, celebrating, hi-5 ing after every goal, swearing on God’s name how awful we play after every mishap, I turn behind and watch this little friend talking to his dad, walking like he does and also being the most attentive spectator of our silly small game.

I have never talked to him and I also have no idea what situation he is going through; but every time I bid him a ‘hi’ or ‘bye’, I feel like I make him much happier because the way he smiles his warped smile – it is the cutest thing in this world. Moreover, the way he says a sloppy ‘bye’ to me, tilting his head to one side, with his mouth drooling all over is the purest form of love!

I think he has lots to offer and is a spirited little soul and tomorrow when I’ll watch him go, treading slow and careful measured steps, with his endless thoughts blurting out from his twisted mouth, I will deeply crave to sometimes take a break from my game and walk with him and hear his mind out and laugh with him about the things he feels are funny, and get scared at ghosts and will love to hear about the great War of Independence in 1947 when the Indians got freedom, from his dad.

Till that day, I will keep on staring and wondering….

Shambhobi Bhattacharya

{Wrote this yesterday. This was an instant thing I felt. Hope you like it.}




  1. Very interesting write up, the way you explain how he tilts his head to say a sloppy Bye. His smile is spreading here too. Very interesting read.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  2. Ur comment made me smile as well. Thanks for stopping by =)


  3. why do i feel i know this guy :) and if it is the guy i think it is, then i know exactly what you feel. it's a beeeautiful piece and it made me smile. :)


  4. You know this guy. Comes to our school with his mom. :) Thank you ria. Means a lot.

  5. like i said it's too hard to describe this with words.... agree with Antara... it does make you smile...

  6. Is it that boy who has a sort of differently abled gait...a Class 6 boy ??

    And this really made me happy....I always see him and feel how much he tries to come out and also marvel at his dad..everyday he takes him out :)

    Nicely written Prohori :) !

    1. I think you're right. Yes, that fellow is so damn inspiring. :)

      Thanks again man.

  7. awsome cheletake srsly onek bar dekhe6i notice korini


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