As published on April 17, 2012 at 8:41pm.

The sun was setting and Somu had only an over left. He had to bat his best to win this match. Monu was taking his long walk to begin the first bowl of the over. Seven runs from six balls. Somu had to run for every ball. Even then he needed one more run. What should he do? Should he attempt for a two? Somu was tensed, for the last time he did, he was run out by Monu. Monu was too fast for any spot on that empty parking lot. “God please give me a free hit, or at least a wide ball. Please, please. I’ll pray for ten minutes in the evening. Please”, prays Somu.

Monu was at the end, ready for his long run before he bowled. He saw only the stumps behind Somu. He was going to hit them with his fast ball. He was determined to set them flying no matter what, and show Somu he was the better cricketer. The small parking lot was their grand stadium. The air was intense. The world seemed to halt to see their match.

A bit far, watching two kids play, stood two people in their thirties. They were dressed in formals, light coloured shirts and well ironed dark pants, with well polished shoes. It was the twin brothers Somanath Chatterjee and Mohit Chatterjee. They looked like gentlemen, burdened by the world. Deep inside, they both wanted to get out of those red-neck formals and play a match of cricket. But their shiny red ties and the new expensive shoes rooted them to their place. So they stood there doing what they have learned to do, criticise other’s joy. At their hearts they both felt the very same urge to let go, but neither told the other, for they both live a world of lies.

Somanath and Mohit are ‘Sales Executives’. Day over day, they spend hours luring new customers to buy their products. Lying was no new thing to them. They did it 24×7 and now the lie is their life.

They weren’t born as liars. But the world made them so. It began after college with their neighbor’s question “Did you get First Class?” “Yes” they lied. They were ashamed to talk about all the back papers they had. Afraid to face questions, they sought jobs. One place where mouth matters over marks was Sales and they began their career as ‘Sales Representatives’. At least then, they could say they had a job. But who knew that the world of lies was only starting.

Life kickstarted into a jet pace from there on. Promotions, incentives, bonuses, all kept them busy. Before they knew it, Somanath and Mohit were standing in front of the Gynaecologist’s consultancy waiting for their child’s check-up. Their wife’s sat inside, while they both waited in the parking lot. They stood staring at their younger reflections from the past, Somu and Monu, playing at that very same parking lot, like nothing else in the world mattered. Wonder when life moved from those muddy trousers of freedom and joy, to those red chains that hung around their necks!

Note: A story that came to me, when I saw two guys wearing formals in front of a Gynaecologist’s house, watching young kids play cricket.