Gali cricket as it is popularly known.. who in his childhood in north Kolkata has not played it? LOL. North Kolkata offers us numerous “galli’s” or the by lanes as we all prefer to call it… a place where every kid wants to be the next Saurav Ganguly, North Kolkata’s congested and narrow by lanes provide heaven for the cricket lovers.
I donot remember playing much of Galli cricket myself, but my lane used to be the pitch of the Das bari (house of the Das’s) kids, the marwari kids from the floors above in my apartment.. Avik, perhaps my first friend of my life.. and they used to play cricket. I hardly joined them.. but when ever I did – I had great fun.. I asked few of my friends of my age (20-24) about their experiences..
Priyabrata laughed his entire experience off… he remembered how his friends used to make the bricks, their wicket.. and how it fell when someone was bowled out.. He remembers how his mother used to scold him when he was late 🙂 Shounak recollects his friend, who was never satisfied with a 6-ball over… and always kept asking for more… Swaroop found the fights funny, when the batsman refused to leave the “galli” in the other wise umpire-less match 😀 The best story shared was by Soumyo. His friend’s heroics with the bat, after noticing an extremely hot chick noticing him bat… had won, the otherwise lost match!
What was common to most of my friends experience was – breaking of some glass pane… and the run, they had to, to save their skin.
A lot experiences can be shared, how we in our childhood used to run away, hide and play.. fight for our survival on the batting galli, how the small injuries brought the entire match to a halt.. or the exhaust and falling asleep when it was time to study or specially how the pasher barir kakima used to scold if we made excess noise… Many of my age like me missed it.. Many younger to me misses it due to stringent schedule of their academic life… But this shall be a nerve of the people of Kolkata.
Photograph : Anirban Saha Photography.