Thursday night. I had gone to sleep quite early thanks to a darned headache. I heard the landline ring. Irritated again that people call to the stupid landline rather than to my mobile (technology has grown, wake-up folks!), I got up and picked up the call. It was Bachu, my roommate, all excited telling me that if I don’t want to miss Sachin’s 200 better come fast to Shyam’s house (we are a TV-free home, you see). So I get dressed quickly and run to our very own homely sports-bar.
There’s some excitement going on in there as I reached. Sachin has reached somewhere around 170, Bachu is yelling trivial anecdotes about Sachin, Tony’s not combing his hair or looking at the mirror and even Shyam’s not playing TF2! That was when I knew this was going to be something special. So I took a seat and joined in. As soon as I sat down, Raina gets out. Hmm.. I thought I brought my bad luck with me. Boy! Was I right.
The game was taking interesting directions; with Ravindra Jadeja keen on taking singles every last ball of an over and not giving the strike to Sachin; when I first noticed an unlikely visitor in the kitchen. A pretty big rat; let’s say the biggest I have seen; not that I have seen many. I announced our royal visitor to the other friends in the room; and the usually cool Shyam all freaked out. “Oh! Its going to bite me when I’m sleeping. I’m going to get swine-flu and stuff”.
So we decide to fight this guy. And by chance it got trapped inside one of the plastic carry-bags lying around. The rest of the party wanted to kill the rat; but I somehow found a bit of compassion towards the animal and convinced them not to do it. Since the rest of us had an excuse that we didn’t have shoes on; we assigned the task of capturing the rat in the bag to Tony. Naturally the rat gnawed away the other end of the sheet and was on its way to its next hiding place.
Meanwhile in TVLand: Tendulkar has no chance to reach 200; but India can still win. If only Mr. Jadeja gave some strike to him. We are all in a dillema now whether to watch the TV or mind the rat. Every 3 balls or so, the little guy would peep out from its hiding place and as soon as we make the slightest of movements; it would go right back in. This hide and seek continued for a while… and then the unthinkable happened … Tendulkar got out!
While we were mourning the departure of Sachin, our hero peeps out from his hiding place and runs right into the sink drain. Sensing the kill, the brave Tony Thomas strides in for the final act and closes the drain with a mosaic tile in pure ‘Quick-Gun Murugun’ style. That’ll do, we all thought. Shyam runs out to get something to seal our hero shut. But alas before he reached, the little guy, amasses all the power he has; slides out the tile; rushes out; and winks at us proudly for the effort (ok it didn’t; but then.. you get the drift na?).
The Indians are sinking to deeper trouble; while the rat is still playing hide-and-seek with us. Finally we managed to trick it to go back to the drain. Everybody quickly swings into action and we trap that darn rat finally. Victorious we set our focus back on the tv set. India may have lost by 3 runs and Sachin may not have hit a double-ton; but we did win our chase against the rat!