"Have you ever been smiled at by a random kid on the street, in a way that would brighten up not just one day but days? I was, by about 50 of them, together", says Rashi Jamuar as she puts up her first post on the Magic Bus blog. Pilelo!
In our Magic Bus t-shirts and donning sports shoes, we were at Shivaji Park for the finals of the Barclays Cricket Tournament. Suddenly, I wasn’t the face of Magic Bus, Magic Bus was my face. The teams who were all prepped for their final matches were being energized by one of the trainers. They looked determined and more so, happy. This was my first experience with these children at the event but they looked at me like they knew me in their growing years. Well, I’m a part of Magic Bus, so technically, it’s true.
After the initial round formalities, rules and introduction, the bugle called. The match began. The two finalist teams – Kalwa and Bhandup took their places. Kalwa won the toss and decided to bat first. With a score of 42 runs in 20 balls in 5 overs, Kalwa emerged as the clear winner of the tournament. Bhandup displayed great team spirit and sportsmanship throughout the play. The kids’ enthusiasm was so contagious; our guests from Barclays cheered themselves hoarse.
“Aaraam se khel, out mat ho!" (Play carefully, don’t get out), shouted one of the team members of the Bhandup community. “Ye mast khelti hai, aaj maloom nahi kya hua hai" (she usually plays a good game, there’s something wrong just today) quipped the little one when we asked if one of the only 3 girls were good players. This bowled me out (so much for my gender equality; the kid’s unbiased comment got me thinking if some of us needed their training sessions too). The spectators were amazed at the dignity with which the losing team accepted the result. And some of us were still trying to get the complex rules right, which the kids knew on their finger tips. I’m still wondering if I would ever be able to play cricket without fouls as per their regulations. The little ones were the dignified grown-ups and the grown-ups; the kids!
Barclays, the sponsors of the tournament, were all smiles at the prize distribution ceremony. When they gave away the medals, certificates and the trophies, there was pride in their eyes. As always, we were overwhelmed but the kids! Trust me, you had to be there to believe their dignity and poise while stepping up to receive the prizes. Some could easily out-do a b-town celebrity with their calmness, at having won the competition. The paparazzi or the weather didn’t make them nervous or tired, to add on.
Relishing every bit of the high-tea the players along with their cheering spectators boarded the Magic Bus, ready to take them back to their daily routines. It was just another day for them and an event for us.
So this 21st February 2012 afternoon couldn’t have been better, packed with energy, sports, aggressiveness, enthusiasm, entertainment, sportsmanship, team-spirit and fun!
And, by the way, did I mention? It might have stopped a lot of us from stepping out of our little comfort zones in homes or offices, but certainly couldn’t affect these kids in the least – it was the hottest day of February in Mumbai in the last 47 years!
More coming up soon. For further information, please write to Rashi.