When Teja got a SMS that said, “Meeting at 6.30. See you then. The Poets”, I said, “Hmmm! I didn’t know that about you.”
He said, “It’s the name of our cricket team.”
I didn’t laugh. It’s a silly, absurd, sweet name for a silly, absurd, sweet lot that meets for net practice 2-3 times a week. The rest of the week, they spend calling each other, groaning over their aches and pains.
Teja is forever rubbing liniment on his joints and patting cold compresses over them.
One night before practice, Teja asks, “Why don’t you come along too?”
I say, “For what?”
He says, “The ground is really nice. You could jog two rounds, and come back home. It would be fun.”
I say, “What time?”
He says, “6.45.”
I say, “Morning?”
He says, “Yes.”
I say, “Ha, ha”, turn and go to sleep.
He says, “Plus you’d meet everyone.”
I deign to snore.
So Teja brings the lot over for breakfast. Now while I enjoy making huge, special lunches and dinners, for friends, family, neighbors, Dhanno’s friends and sundry souls, anyone who expects breakfast out of me, usually gets banged on the head.
But this lot is so cheerful and excited after their practice, all boys again, dirty, sweaty, hungry, tired. And I can do nothing else but laugh with them, and get them something to eat. Teja makes khatta-meetha upma and I make them tea.
Anyone who wants to play with the Poets is welcome. Bring your own liniment and cold compresses along. And your own breakfast. Perhaps I will go one morning, and take some photos.