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Monday, February 27, 2006

Further adventures of Ponty Manesar

You can't keep a good Ponty down. The series that started here continues, so here are some more adventures of the noble Ponty Manesar that young Jamie Alter and I conjured up in Baroda. Needless to say, these are utterly fabricated.

* * * *

Ponty is bowling to the great Australian, Micky Monting. Monting waits in his crease as Ponty runs in, the air as thick as desi ghee with tension. Ponty jumps in his crease and moves through the delivery motion. Monting steps on the front foot, then freezes in bewilderment. No ball has emerged out of Ponty's hand.

Ponty turns around and appeals madly.

The umpire isn't amused. "What the fuck are you appealing for?" he asks.

"The ball," says Ponty, imploringly. "Can I have the ball please?"

* * *

As a team-bonding exercise, Duncan Fletcher decides that the team should play basketball. Ponty has never played basketball before. Nevertheless, he rushes out manfully onto the basketball court. Then the ball is thrown to him, and he just stands there, unsure of what to do with it.

"Bounce, Ponty, bounce," shouts Shaun Udal.

Ponty keeps holding the ball and starts jumping up and down.

* * *

Ponty sees that a number of Indian players have started restaurants. He starts one as well, in Mumbai's five-and-a-half Bungalows area. It's called Urban Patka, and the lentils there are called uDal. (Reference.)

* * *

Ponty loses his place in the side because his room-mate, Shaun Udal, complains about his appealing in his sleep. The official broadcasters for the series take him on as a commentator, though. His first assignment is to do a pitch report before the first Test begins. Ponty walks out to the middle with a key in his hand.

"Let us see how hard the pitch is," says Ponty to camera, "and how the cracks in it may develop." He bends down and sticks the key into a crack. It slips from his hands.

"Oh bloody," he thinks. "Oh blooda. I can't lose my key like this. How will I open my suitcase to change my patka?"

So Ponty digs a finger into the crack. Ah, he feels the key. He curves his finger against it and tries to push it out. But the crack widens, and the key goes deeper.

He slips in a second finger and digs frantically, trying to get a grip on the key. The key keeps slipping deeper and deeper. A third finger goes in, and then his hand starts creeping in. Soon his entire hand, up to his wrist is in the pitch.

No luck.

Ponty realises that he has a hardback Samsonite that he cannot open without the key. His patkas! He starts digging madly, and soon his entire arm is in the pitch, upto the armpit. He feels ticklish.

Then he manages to grab the key! He pulls it out and stands up.

There is a huge crater on the pitch now, on a good-length spot. Everybody looks at the pitch in shock and horror. Then they notice Ponty. His arm is raised above his head, holding the key.

"Found it," he cries in delight. "I've found my key."
amit varma, 4:38 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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