Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The presence of cricket

In my new neighborhood in Brooklyn, I was able to sample the pleasures of chancing upon a cricket telecast in completely unexpected fashion. I strolled out to the corner grocery store to pick up something to drink before settling down for a day's work at home, and walked in to see two Pakistani youngsters staring towards the ceiling with rapt attention. I followed their gaze upwards to see a television - mounted high on a wall bracket - showing the Abu-Dhabi game. I didn't stick around too long, and quickly completed my transaction (with their absent-minded participation) before heading out. Not having access to the sights and sounds of a cricket game has always held back my reconciliation with the US; it was the one thing that made my stay in Australia more centered and nourishing; even if I won't go to a grocery store to watch a game (lack of seats, bad viewing angles, shopkeeper impatience all rule against that), just knowing the game is out there, part and parcel of people's daily routine in this 'strange land', much like the radio commentary of yesteryears was part of mine, is an oddly reassuring thought.

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