Cricket, Facts and Fiction, Ooty, P U Krishnan, Short Stories, Tellicherry

When you look back

Once in a while, it is nice to look back. The canvas may be big enough to choose what you prefer at that particular time. I do it now and then to while away my time. Now, it is about my college days. It started with a one-year pre-university, followed by a three year degree course. There was just one college in my native town as against several high schools in and around the town. Naturally, admission for the eligible high school students was limited. Fortunately, I got admission card a week before the due date, though some of my friends were in the uncertain waiting list. But since my dad was away and arrived on a day after the due date, I was late by a day. I carried a letter from my dad addressed to the principal. He read the letter and wrote a negative reply in green ink, ‘sorry, this cannot be considered’. I was a disappointed but to my pleasant surprise, he said after a while, ‘your father’s name seems to be a familiar one….by the way, is his initial P.S?’ ‘Yes sir’, I replied. Immediately he struck down what he wrote earlier and took out the red ink pen and wrote, ‘admitted’. The principal was all smiles when he said, ‘I don’t know whether you father remembers or not but I still remember that event. He was junior to me by two years but in an essay writing competition in English he got the first prize and I, the second prize’. I got the full details of this event when I reminded my dad of this.
I was in for a mild shock the next day when classes commenced the Malayalam professor, a tough guy, told me point blank, ‘while I was talking about changambuzha [a poet] you were watching the basket ball match… I won’t allow such diversions in my class… mind it…’ Thereafter, I was careful.
Another tough man was one of our English professors… I was not in his good books because I used to be a late comer. But he too had one weakness… cricket! That was my weakness too. He had seen me in nearby tea shops and college canteen listening to cricket commentaries. [At times, I used to skip classes]. One afternoon – the first ‘hour’ after lunch, I was on my way to my class to attend his lecture. One seeing me, he called me aside and said, ‘you don’t have to attend the class today. Go to the restaurant and let me know the latest score. That Hanif Mohammed is still there… India’s victory depends on his wicket…’ I wasted no time. The restaurant was crowded. All were waiting anxiously for the umpire’s decision to appeal for LBW against Hanif Mohammed. ‘there’s a loud appeal’, I heard those heart-warming words from the commentator, ‘yes, he is given out’. In an hour or so, India managed to win the match and I won the heart of the professor!

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

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