Selection Day: A Novel PDF EPUB ↠ Selection Day:

❮PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Selection Day: A Novel (English Edition) Author Aravind Adiga – Blackswantea.co.uk Selection Day THREE YEARS BEFORE SELECTION DAY Eighth Standard Ive got news for you Tommy Sir And Ive got news for you Pramod You see when I was twenty one years old which is to say before you were evPDF / Epub Selection Day: A Novel (English Edition) Author Aravind Adiga Blackswantea.co.uk Selection Day THREE YEARS BEFORE SELECTION DAY Eighth Standard Ive got news for you Tommy Sir And Ive got news for you Pramod You see when I was twenty one years old which is to say before you were ev Selection Day THREE YEARS BEFORE SELECTION DAY Eighth Standard Ive got news for you Tommy Sir And Ive got news for you Pramod You see when Selection Day: PDF or I was twenty one years old which is to say before you were even born I began working on a history of the Maratha campaign at the third battle of Panipat It had a title the soul breaks out of its encirclement Because I felt that no truthful account of this battle had ever been written All the histories say we Marathas lost to the Afghans at Panipat on January Not true I mean it may be true we lost but its not the true story Tommy Sir there is a younger brother too He also plays cricket Thats my news Pramod I am sick of cricket Talk to me about battles onions Narendra Modi anything else Dont you understand Tommy Sir You should have seen the younger brother bat today at the Oval Maidan You should have Hes nearly as good as his big brother Darkness Mumbai The bargaining goes on and on And you know just how good the elder brother is Tommy Sir You said Radha Krishna Kumar was the best young batsman youve seen in fifty years Fifty Pramod there hasnt been a best young batsman in fifty years in the past fifty years I said best in fifteen years Dont just stand there help me clean up Bend a bit Pramod Youre growing fat Behind glass and steel behind banks and towers behind the blue monstrosity of the Bharat Diamond Bourse is a patch of living green the Mumbai Cricket Association MCA Club in the heart of the Bandra Kurla financial center Floodlights expose the clubs lawns on which two men scavenge I ask you Pramod since you insist on talking about cricket what is the chance of elder and younger brother from the same family becoming great cricketers It is against Nature You distrust sporting brothers Tommy Sir Why Mistrust Pramod Pick up that plastic for me please A master of English cricket and grammar alike Tommy Sir You should be writing for the Times of Great Britain Of London Sorry Tommy Sir Sucking in his paunch Pramod Sawant bent down and lifted a plastic wrapper by its torn edge The younger brother is called Manjunath Kumar Hes the biggest secret in Mumbai cricket today I tell you The boy is the real thing Chubby mustached Pramod Sawant now in his early forties was a man of some importance in Bombay crickethead coach at the Ali Weinberg International School runner up in last years Harris Shield Head Coach Sawant was in other words a fat pipe in the filtration system that sucks in strong wrists uick reflexes and supple limbs from every part of the city channels them through school teams club championships and friendly matches for years and years and then one sudden morning pours them out into an open field where two or maybe three new players will be picked for the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team But he is nothing if he cant get Tommy Sirs attention tonight No one knows what the real thing looks like Pramod Ive never seen it How can you tell This Manju is a real son of a bitch I tell you Hes got this way of deflecting everything off his pads lots of runs on the leg side Bit of Sandeep Patil bit of Sachin bit of Sobers but mostly hes khadoos Cricket sponsorship is a brilliant brilliant brilliant idea Now you can make it twice as brilliant Gray haired Tommy Sir taller and wiser than Coach Sawant kept his eyes on the lawn After thirty nine years of service to Bombay cricket they make me clean up like a servant Pramod After thirty nine years You dont have to clean up Tommy Sir You know it The peon will do it in the morning See I know Manju the younger brother is the real thing because if hes not then what is he A fake And this boy is not a fake I promise you Having completed a round of the cricket ground Tommy Sir had started on a second trash hunting circle within the previous one Pramod the idea that the boy has to be he bent down examined a stone and let it drop either real or a fake is a very Western piece of logic He moved on Do you know what the Jains say Pramod Seven varieties of truth exist Seven One this younger brother might in fact be the real thing Two he might be a fake Three the boy might simultaneously be the real thing and a fake Four he might exist in some state beyond reality and fraudulence that we humans cannot hope to comprehend Five he might in fact be the real thing and yet exist in a state beyond our poor human capacity to comprehend Six Tommy Sir Please I know what I felt in my heart when that boy was batting I know My dear Pramod Hockey is Indias national game chess best suits our body type and football is the future Two old stumps lay in their path Tommy Sir picked up one and Sawant pretended to pick up the other Football has been the future for fifty years Tommy Sir Nothing will replace cricket The two men walked the rest of the circle in silence and then Tommy Sir holding the stump against his chest started a third tour of the ground He spoke at last Pramod the great George Bernard Shaw said They havent spoken English in America in decades And I say about Indians We havent played cricket in decades At least since Go home now I am very tired I want to hike near Mahabaleshwar this weekend I dream of mountains Pramod Sawant fighting for breath could see only one piece of uncollected rubbish a white glove lying in the very center of the ground Clenching his fists he raced Tommy Sir to the glove and picked it up first A bit of Sandeep Patil meets a bit of Ricky Ponting You should have seen the boy today Are you deaf Tense muscles extended Tommy Sirs high forehead In Sunny Gavaskar lost the ability to leave the ball outside the off stump and since then weve been playing baseball and calling it cricket Go home He snatched the glove from Sawant Walking to a corner of the ground he let the rubbish spill from his hands in the morning the peon would move all of it into the storeroom As Sawant watched Tommy Sir got into an autorickshaw which began to move Then as if in a silent movie the auto stopped and a mans palm shot out and beckoned Loaded now with both men the auto left the Bandra Kurla Complex for the highway and then turned into Kalanagar where it stopped outside a mildew stained housing society Suffering Sawant to pay the driver Tommy Sir got out of the autorickshaw he looked up at the fourth floor of the building to see if his daughter Lata had left the lights on in the kitchen despite his telling her for twenty two years that this was against every principle of Home Science a wonderful subject which they once used to teach young women in every college in this country Tommy Sir pointed at the sky over his housing society The full moon was balanced on a water tank Pramod On a night like this you know the young people in Bandra just go crazy Out in the Bandstand those boys and girls walk all the way out onto the rocks sit down start kissing They forget that the ocean exists Slowly the tide comes in Higher and higher The old man raised his fingers to his collarbones All at once the young people stop kissing because they find themselves sitting in the middle of the ocean and they start screaming for their lives He paused Pramod what is the younger ones name Manju I knew youd agree Tommy Sir You believe in the future of this country Ill tell the visionary I mean the other visionary Pramod Sawant Now listen to me One this visionary of yours is probably just a bootlegger Second I like Radha Kumar but I dont like his father The Chutney Raja is mad I met him six months ago remember Now I have to deal with him twice over Thats the only negative point I agree The father is mad Tommy Sir blamed the full moon over the water tank for what he said next How much Sandeep Patil For nearly forty years now a tall gray haired man with small eyes had been seen at maidans school compounds gymkhanas members only clubs and any other place where boys in white uniforms had gathered All through the cricket season either at the Bombay Gymkhana or at Shivaji Park or at the Oval Maidan Tommy Sir would be watching hands on hips brows corrugated and yelling Greatshot Bow ling Duffer When he was angry his jaw shifted A boy scores a century in the sun comes back to the school tent expecting an attaboy from the great Tommy Sir but instead a thick hand smacks the back of his head Whats wrong with a double century He had broken many a young cricketers heart with a sentence or two Not good enough for this game son Try hockey instead Blunt Tommy Sir was given to the truth as some men are to drink Once or twice in the season he would take a batsman after a long and productive innings to the sugarcane stand on such occasions the boys stood together and watched with open mouths Mogambo Khush Hua Tommy Sir is pleased Not his real name obviously Because Narayanrao Sadashivrao Kulkarni was too long his friends called him Tommy and because that was too short his protgs called him Tommy Sir Like a Labrador that had been knighted by Her Majesty ueen of England Ridiculous He hated the name Naturally it stuck On the day before his marriage in July he told his wife to be who had arrived by overnight train from a village near Nashik six salient points about himself One this is my salary statement read it and understand I am not a man meant to be rich in life Two I dont believe in God Three I dont watch movies whether Hindi Hollywood or Marathi Four likewise for live theatrical productions Five every Sunday when Ranji Harris Giles Vijay Merchant Kanga or any type of cricket is being played in the city of Bombay I will not be at home from breakfast to dinner Six one weekend a year I go to the Western Ghats near Pune and I have to be absolutely alone that weekend and six point two because seven points are too many for any woman to remember before I die I want to discover a new Vivian Richards Hanif Mohammad or Don Bradman Think about these six points and marry me tomorrow if you want Afterward dont regret I wont give divorce Educated man literary man man of many allusions His column on the traditions of Mumbai cricket was syndicated in sixteen newspapers around India Artistic man cultured man self taught painter His watercolor interpretations of black and white photos of classic test matches had been exhibited to universal acclaim at the Jehangir Art Gallery a few years ago Said to be working in secret on a history of the Maratha army in the eighteenth century Possibly the best talent scout ever seen in India Thirteen of his discoveries had made the citys Ranji Trophy team including Speed Demon T O Shenoy bowler of the fastest ball in the citys history plus during a six month stint in Chennai in the s he had uncovered two genuine rubies in the South Indian mud who went on to scintillate for Tamil Nadu cricket On his desktop computer were testimonials from nine current six retired and two semi retired Ranji Trophy players also signed letters of appreciation from the cricket boards of seventeen nations And all these people whether in Mumbai Tamil Nadu or anywhere else know the same thing Head Coach Pramod Sawant knows Somewhere out there is the new Sachin Tendulkar the new Don Bradman the one boy he has still not found in thirty nine yearsand Tommy Sir wants that boythan he wants a glass of water on a hot day Thereopposite Victoria Terminus Disappearing Manjunath Kumar ran down the steps toward a tunnel the black handle of a cricket bat jutting like an abbreviated kendo stick from the kitbag on his left shoulder Threesteps before he reached the tunnel Fact Stranger than Fiction Place a glass of boiling water in your freezer next to a glass of lukewarm water The glass of boiling water turns into ice before the lukewarm water How does one explain this paradox The eyes bulged in his dark face suggesting independence and defiance but the chin was small and pointy as if made to please the viewer a first pimple had erupted on his cheek and the prominent stitching on the side of his red cricket kitbag stated Property MKs o Mr Mohan Kumar Dahisar In his pocket he had fifteen rupees the exact amount reuired to buy peanuts and bottled water after the cricket and a folded page of newspaper Fact Stranger than Fiction Place a glass of boiling water in your freezer The smelly cacophonic tunnel was filled even on a Sunday morning with humanity hunting in the raw fluorescent light for sports shoes colorful shirts and things that could entertain children Fact Stranger than Manju worked his way through the crowd Mechanical toys attempted somersaults over his shoes To catch his attention two men stood side by side and slapped green tennis rackets against tinfoil setting off sparks Electronic mosuito killers Only fifty rupees for you son How does one explain this paradox Only forty rupees for you son In the distance Manju saw the flight of steps leading up to Victoria Terminus One half of the steps lay in twilight There must be a lunette over the entrance of the tunnel clouded over with one hundred years of Bombay grime Thirty rupees is as low as Ill go even for you son But the upper half of the steps glittered like Christmas tinsel Emerging from the tunnel and about to cross the road to Azad Maidan he stopped Manju had spotted himthe boy whom he saw every Sunday but who wore a different face each time The average cricketer Today it was that fellow staring at the footpath as he dragged his bag behind him Wearing a green cap and stained white clothes Fourteen years old or so Talking to himself missed Missed by this much But the umpire blind And mad too From his side of the road Manjunath grinned Hello average cricketer This was the wreckage of the first match at Azad Maidanthis fellow who was half a foot shorter than he had been at am who was blinking and arguing with the air cursing the umpire and the bowler and his captain and their captain and growing shorter every minute because he knew in his heart that he had never been meant for greatness in cricket Hauling his kitbag off his shoulders and lowering it to the pavement Manju unzipped the bag and extracted his new bat He held the black handle in both hands and gripped tight And waited The average cricketer removed his green cap and raised his head and the eyes of the two boys met Manjunath Kumar showed him how to drive through the covers He showed him how to attack defend and master the red cricket ball After which like W G Grace he stood with his weight on the bat handle And then stuck his tongue out and rolled his eyeballs Across the road the green cap fell onto the pavement Good bye to you Prince Manju waved to the average cricketer and good byePrince Manju turned to his left then to his rightto all average things I am the second best batsman in the whole world Stop right there We were talking about you last night I said stop The silhouettes of the Municipal Building and the spiked dome of the Victoria Terminus struggled against the morning smog and the air in between them was scored by cable wires Blue smoke rose from the garbage burning in a corner Between the buildings and the burning garbage stood a fat man trying to catch Manjunath like a football goalie Come back boy Come back at once With a grin Manjunath surrendered and walked back to where Head Coach Sawant stood Did you hear what I was saying I said we were talking about you last night We means two people So who was the other man talking about your future Ask me Instead of which Manju drawing a hand from his cricket bag showed the coach something What is this Sawant asked as the boy handed him a disturbingly large page of the Sunday newspaper Please sir What is the answer Sawant took the paradox in both hands His brain struggled with high school physics and his lips with Newspaper English place a glass of boiling water in I have no idea Manju No idea at all Take it back Manju the coach said why have you brought this to cricket Is there no one at home you can show this to What about your My mother is away on a long holiday sir As Manju folded his precious piece of newspaper and tucked it into his cricket kitbag Sawant studied him from head to toe like a man wondering if he has made a bad decision Tommy Sir was the other man talking about you You know what it means if he takes an interest in a boy But Manju had flown Hey Manjuboy Come over here Twenty other young cricketers stood around a red stone roller with Tiger written twice on it They had been waiting for him Chutneyboy Look at the chutneyboy come running Chutneyboy who wants to be a Young Lion Come here It was a court martial A boy was holding up one of those new phones that were also tiny television sets and Manju was told to stand on the stone roller while the circle tightened around him As Manju rose above the circle of white Sawant hands on his hips walked around the stone roller for a better view The boys were making Manju watch as a woman reporter aimed a mike at a tall teenager handsome enough in every other way too but whose eyes cool gray clouds were like a snow leopards Chutney Raja Thats what they call your father Manju Chutney Raja You heard them on TV My big brother is a Young Lion Chutney Raja SubJunior All youre good for is your science textbooks What do you know about batting Thomas today Ill hit you for three fours one after the other Then Ill hit you for three sixes What did you say about my father Hes a Chutney Raja And what is your father then Your brother is Chutney Raja Junior That makes you YOUNG LIONS Join us in the uest to find the next generation of sporting legends You can see from these images that Radha Krishna Kumar has grown up in what some would consider less than ideal conditions at the very edge of Mumbai His father is a variety chutney salesman whose main business is his sons In his own words We have a family secret which makes us superior to every other cricketing family in the city of Mumbai There is a secret blessing given to my son Radha by the Lord Subramanya who is our family deity Secret from God Shit Your father really is mad Ashwin I heard that Two fours Mr Mohan Is it really true that your son got Sachin Tendulkar out in a practice match or is that just a story There is a saying in our language he who steals a peanut is a thief He who steals an elephant is also a thief This means we do not lie in matters big or small Radha Krishna clean bowled Sachin Tendulkar with his fourth ball This is true This really happened Shut up Chutney Raja SubJunior And why is your brother called Radha Isnt that a girls name Radha Kumar has the status of a superstar in his neighborhood We spoke to his neighbor Mr Ramnath seen here in front of his ironing stand Dahisar was famous they used to shoot films here before the river became dirty The moment I saw Radha when his father brought him here over ten years ago I told my wife this boy will make Dahisar famous again YOUNG LIONSMONDAY PM REPEATED ON WEDNESDAY Follow us on Twitter Enough Flailing his arms Manju scattered his tormentors from the stone roller time for real cricket at last SubJunior Get ready to bat O Champion of Champions A drumbeat had begun at the far end of the maidan Padded up helmeted and swinging his bat in circles over his head Manju walked up to the crease At noon he was still batting Manju Kumar had kept his word to the bowlers punishing each one of them in a different way for what they had said about his father and about his brother having a girls name lofting Thomas over mid wicket driving Ashwin twice through the covers and cutting pulling and flicking the others Pramod Sawant stood arms folded across his chest and watched Manju passing over the boys dark eye heavy face pointy chin and solitary pimple and then over his shoulders and biceps to settle on the crucial part of a batsmans body In Australia they bat with their footwork In India we do it with our wrists Manjunath Kumars forearms in action made his coachs mouth water Dark and defined cunning those forearms were broader than the biceps they were a twenty five year old mans forearms grafted onto the body of a four foot ten inch child they were forearms which as they petted coaxed and occasionally bludgeoned the hard red ball to the boundary made Head Coach Sawant remember with a shiver the muscular man in black shorts who had come to his village with the traveling circus three decades ago Thereshirtless on the floor of a suare foot box of brick Home Manjunath was back in the one room brick shed divided by a green curtain where he had lived since his father brought him and his brother to Mumbai nine years ago Pressing his palms against his cheeks the boy went over the newspaper once again One theory relies on the Lake Effect which is seen in the cold countries of northern America His cricket gear lay around him and he was stripped to his waist Manju saw shadows moving in the blade of light beneath the closed metal door of his home His father was outside answering the neighbors uestions When is Radha Krishna coming back Does he think he is too big now to talk to his own neighbors On the table there was dinner made by his aunt or possibly great aunt Sharadha The world was in order except for one scientific paradox A uick crust of ice forms over the lake keeping the water underneath it liuid all through winter Similarly when lukewarm water freezes a thin crust forms on top In a glass of boiling water in contrast evaporating steam stops the A clattering noise made him look up A vermin cavalry went galloping over the corrugated tin roof Rats rushing toward the flour mill in the center of the slum Manju turned on the television and increased the volume Reaching far behind the television set he picked up an instant noodle cup filled with dark mud in which two horse gram beans planted forty eight hours ago had sprouted New life fathered by Master Manjunath He looked at the tender shoots paternally spilled big drops of water from a glass into the pot and then returned the life bearing cup to its hiding place behind the TV The final image of the days episode flashed on television the cadaver of an American man lying naked on a green dissecting table under a cone of hard white light before the screen went black and the credits rolled Manju looked down at his own body That thing had started againhe was hard It was happening all the time now sometimes even when his father or brother were in the same room He lay down and pressed himself against the floor He wondered what color his cock had become under the pressure of his own body and then he felt that it was liuefying under the weight and spreading an icy liuid all around him Now he found himself on a frozen lake He was not alone here Beamed from the CSI inspection table the foreigners cadaver now lay in the middle of the lake Promoted to the elite suad of CSI Las Vegas Agent Manjunath Kumar Grissom crawls scraping the surface of the ice with his right toenail inching nearer and nearer to the naked dead body that he must retrieve but when he is almost there click crack the surface of the lake starts to break under him Whistles and cheers explode all aroundRa dha Ra dha for a Young Lion has just returned to the slum but Manju who must now go out and smile for the neighbors is still on the floor trying to crush his hard on An egret flew in from the river and watched the boy who lay above a well watching a turtle It was an open well the kind that still exists in a suburb like Dahisar raised three inches from the ground and covered by a rusty iron grille and as he lay facedown on it Manju watched something beneath the waters skin His legs made a V on the checkerwork of the grid which creaked as he shifted his weight Through its interstices he shone a pen torch down on the black water He lanced his beam of light around the well There Splashing out of the black water it came curiously to the light a dark and domed creature its limbs paddling fast Manju turned his pen torch off and put his face to the cold grille His heart beat hard against his rib cage which beat in turn against the metal of the grid In a few hours he would have his chemistry class He knew a surprise test was coming Which of the following is used to make bleach AHydrogen BHydrochloric Acid CSodium Phosphate DChlorine Please please help me O God of Cricket and also of Chemistry From the depths of the well a cool draft tickled his cheek the boys imagination transformed it into a breath from a range of blue mountains He felt his hair blowing in the breeze the mountain air of the Western Ghats Each summer the family went back to their village Taking the train from Mumbai to Mangalore they then got on a bus that carried them over the hills and toward the shrine of the God of Cricket their family deity Kukke Subramanya past trees with red leaves and little streams that skipped a heartbeat when a schoolboy leaped into them past waterfalls shrouded in waterfalls until they reached a temple hidden deep inside the Western Ghats where leaving the bus and standing in line for hours moving past burning camphor and sharp temple bells past a nine headed painted snake the protector Vasuki they finally came to the silver door frames beyond which lit by oil lamps waited the thousand year old God of Cricket Subramanya Remind Him my sons We cant offer Him much money So remind Him monkeys One of us should become the best batsman in the world and the other the second best Mohan Kumar had his own way of reminding God As he did each year he rolled bare chested over the hard granite floor of the temple rolled from one side of the wall to the other and then back again until his torso was lacerated and the secret contract was renewed in his blood Are you licking yourself again No Manju said Just watching Get up Manju didnt And now Radha lowered himself beside Manju and there were two bodies lying on the old metal grid over the well Lets go He must have woken by now Radha said Manju pointed the pen torch to a spot below them Its that turtle again Shes the mother Maybe Lets go home He may hit you again if hes in a bad mood Manju It is the mother Im not going till you agree that it is the mother I cant see it from here Manju Im showing you Im showing you Radha the Young Lion was suare jawed tall and muscular and was sometimes mistaken for Manjus uncle though there was just a year and a month between them He strained to see through the grating to where his younger brother was directing the pen torch beam See The mother Do you agree Then we can go Wait Manju Point the light over there I think theres oneThe pen torch moved A second turtle was discovered It raised its head toward its two human observers How fascinating it seemed to be saying to see the turtles that live in that bigger darkness up there Done it lost interest in the boys and sank back into the water Do you agree Thats the mother Then we can go Manjunath Kumar pressed against his brothers body the warmth sharpened his senses Suddenly a new turtle came into view its body angled toward the light jaw wide open a rim of gold glistening around its shell Manju youre wrong Thats the mother Its bigger Ive hidden it behind the TV Manju whispered What My biology experiment I want full marks in class this time Two months ago his model fighter jet plane a project for his physics class left on the dining table had mysteriously vanished after he had put four days of work into it Hes going to find it anyway and then hell throw it out Manju Come We have to go Hes woken up by now I want to watch the turtle Manju its not that morning I want to watch the turtle Manju its not a checkup morning his brother said Dont be afraid Radha poked his brother in the ribs And if you dont come now Ill show him where youve hidden your science experiment The brothers looked at each other for a moment then both bodies sprang from the well and ran Their father had already folded up their cots and propped them against the wall forming two isosceles triangles his own cot was on the other side of the green curtain Next to the dining table stood a metal almirah which c.

Omplained of its years of ill treatment in a rash of rusty patches and livid scars leaning on three of its sides were seven cricket bats Old Sharadha relative of some kind aunt or great aunt polyglot remonstrator in Kannada Hindi and English the only woman to have entered their home for a decade perhaps longer neither boy can remember exactly when She left was cleaning the stove and last nights dishes Standing before the mirror on his side of the green curtain Mohan Kumar was painting his mustache a grooming procedure that could take a uarter of an hour He turned around with his dye brush and looked at his sons Were you looking at girls again Naked girls bathing in the morning No Appa We were looking at turtles Boys Mohan Kumar said closing his eyes and restraining his anger If you are looking at naked girls half naked bathing girls tell me I will not punish But dont lie What were you two looking at Emerging with a pitch black mustache Mohan called his second son to him held his chin and turned his face from side to side Theres blood in your cheeks Manju That comes from hormones You were looking at girls werent you No Appa When Mohan Kumar raised his hand his palm rotated ninety degrees to the left and vibrated like a man having a fit just as he was saluting Manju cringed and readied himself the blow fell on the right side of his face In ten minutes the boys were in school uniform and had packed their cricket bags They stood at attention while Mohan slid his fingers into the bags to check their contents And then closing the door of their home behind them the family Kumar left for cricket practice When they passed the tire repair place with the sign saying PUNCHER SHOP Manju stopped and shouted Wrong thats wrong uiet Radha said But when he looked at his father Manju knew that he wanted him to continue He was proud of his son smarter than everyone else his age in the slum Do You Want Pan Card Manju raised his voice Pumpkin Carrot Banana Shapes Fruit and Vegetable Salad Decorators Pandal Marriage Birthday Experts Everything in English is written the wrong way and I alone know But Manjunath Kumar worlds second best batsman knew something muchimportant than how to spell English correctly Manju knew how to read other peoples minds It had come to him like one of those special things that some children can do like being able to move your ears without touching them or curling your tongue up as if it were a dried leaf or flexing your thumb all the way back If he let himself be still Manju could tell what other people wanted from him And he could complete their sentences for them He knew that this secret gift this mind reading power had come to him from his mother Her long elegant nose her ravishing smile her way of looking at him sidewayshe remembered all this about his mother This too her sitting on a sofa fixing her beautiful smile on her visitors all the time rubbing the silver coin embossed with the image of Lord Subramanya that hung from her marriage necklace as if it were an amulet that read minds for her She could always say what her guests wanted to hear and she pampered them with flattery after flattery till they left her with their egos refreshed and glowing as if they had just stepped out of a hammam and then one day she read his fathers mind and vanished That is what saved her from being killed by Mohan Kumar Manju was sure of it That is why their mother had never come back to see Radha or him even though she must have heard they were famous She was so scared of her husband she had forgotten her sons Right now reading his fathers mind knowing what he had to do to give him satisfaction and pleasure Manjunath kept shouting in English while Radha who did not have his brothers secret gift protested Didnt you hear him Shut up Manju Manju did shut up but only because of the grinding noise and a cloud of particulated flour produced by the wheat mill It was a tyrant of blue pipes and funnels the most famous object in the slum which brought even people from good buildings to Shastri Nagar every morning The noise and choking white dust temporarily pacified the youngest Kumar but then he began again Internet Gaming Cyber Mahesh Cafe Manju shut up I told you I know English too but Im not showing off Following their father the boys had passed the shuttered shops of their slum and through a cardboard WELCOME TO OUR HOME arch The gift of a political party was painted blue and covered by the beaming disembodied faces of city statewide and national leaders at least two of whom were serving jail sentences a fact which only heightened the impression that they were so many medieval criminals whose grinning heads had been hoisted up above a city gate An observer from a distance however might well judge that the faces on the blue arch were so many genies gathered there to perform friendly magic for the family Kumar now appeared to be walking on water The slum had grown at the very edge of Mumbais municipal limits For most of the year the Dahisar River was a rock filled sewer lit up by egrets and the flutter of a paddy bird returning to its nest of twigs A series of bricks spaced two feet apart in the water formed a makeshift bridge Their father had hoisted his cycle over his head and the boys followed him step by step as they crossed over the river and into the rest of Mumbai At the stationget in get inMohan pushed the slow cricketers and their bags into the fast train Hurry hurry Miss this train and there wont be space on the next one Itll be rush hour Yes I know theres an empty seat but you cant sit down Manju All three of us will stand I dont want anyone sleeping in the train and yawning during practice A thin tall gap toothed child went about the first class carriage offering or threatening to polish shoes for five rupees each Mohan Kumars shoes were polished for free As he worked the gap toothed child looked up at the father of cricketers Young Lions Young Lions Young Lions Young Lions Young Lions I sell uniue chutneys Mohan told one passenger after the other Twenty four chutneys for each hour of the day You like mint We have mint Garlic We have extra garlic Chilli hot chilli green chilli sweet chilli mango rainbow one hundred percent vegetarian Manju leaned his face to his brothers shirt and dozed against his body At Bandra the family Kumar got off and walked along the pedestrian bridge a grid of inverted Vs that zigged and zagged yellow and metallic over the swamps and green vacant fields of east Bandra The sun burned the wet earth reflected and the two brothers knew they had to run Down the yellow bridge in the direction of the Kalanagar traffic signal Radha surged Yee haah Manju wanted to touch his brotherIve caught you Ive But to his right he surrendered a yard to his brother he saw fields of water lilies and right beside them newly rutted mud roads on which men fought to move their motorbikes He caught up with Radha and they ran past security guards playing with their lathis and a cluster of Muslim youth with their feet dangling down the bridge Because their father was now invisible behind them Radha turned to his brother and Sofia At once both of them skidded to a halt Spotty Neck Sofia Putting his hands on his hips Manju turned his lower lip inside out while Radha just a year older but so much wiser smiled Everyone saw Young Lions on TV He touched his brother on the shoulder Youre the brother of a Young Lion Which girl in school do you like By way of reply Manju said Shut up because their father was coming up behind them The three walked down from the bridge and went into the suburb of Kalanagar An ard car painted in camouflage drove past them they had reached the Matoshree compound home to the most important man in Mumbai Surrounded by sandbags a machine gun unit guarded the home of Bal Thackeray permanent boss of the city They passed the guns and roadside canteens serving hot breakfast and then the Kumars stood before the Middle Income Group MIG Cricket Club Making his sons wait by the gate Mohan Kumar negotiated with the security guard We were on the TV Young Lions Were here to see Tommy Sir doesnt come until ten oclock He told us nine oclock We came all the way for him My boys shouldnt miss a days cricket practice Cant practice here the guard said Down the road Where they found a rubbish dump and a patch of ragged green beyond it Radha and his father took the ragged green Manju strapped on his pads near the rubbish one eye on the big holes in the ground Rat holes Tightening his calf muscle Manju raised his right foot on a low brick wall to double check that his pads were fastened Going down on his haunches Manju now launched himself over the rat holes Master Kumar Rat Tamer jumped up and down underground rodents shivered While doing his jumps Manju turned himself degrees to see his father lecturing Radha The bat is touching your toes Radha You wont be able to drive cleanly Manju saw the irritation on his brothers face But the Man had to be obeyed and Radha readjusted his stance From a distance Manju gripped his bat and waited Radha Kumar attacked Manjunath Kumar imitated The ball had flown from Radhas bat to a distant corner of the wasteland and Manju took off until his father announced He who hit it will retrieve it That is the rule So Radha raised his bat sucked his teeth and ran after the ball Radha Krishna Kumar meant to honor his end of his fathers contract with God Two years ago God sent his living viceroy Sachin Tendulkar to meet Radha at a practice match at the MCA grounds Sachin stood at the wicket and Radha was tossed the ball by Tommy Sir The boy who had let his hair grow long like Sachins and had watched Sachins videos especially Perth and Sydney at least times each spun the ball right past Sachins forward defensive stroke and into his stumps Well done sir Gods viceroy said and as everyone clapped made Radha the gift of his own batting gloves At the age of fourteen and a half Radha was now conscious that his fathers rules which had framed the world around him since he could remember were prison bars He saw the red cricket ball inside a thicket of wild grass and thorns Getting down on his knees he put his hand into the thorns Why must a boy not shave till hes twenty one Because the cut of a razor makes hormones run faster in his blood And why must a boy not drive a car till his father allows him to Because indiscipline will destroy anything even a secret contract with God Drenched in sweat and his fathers mad theories Radha seized the ball and threw it back at Mohan who had already started stepping back to catch it Radha admired the method the textbook correctness of his fathers pose Before teaching his boys Mohan Kumar had taught himself the science of cricket But when the ball landed in his palms it hit the flesh and bounced out and Radha smiled and became a year older I told you not to come He hates fathers Radha and Manju saw Pramod Sawant their head school coach half walking and half running toward them pumping his arms Mohan Kumar summoned his boys to his side and put his arms on their shoulders as if posing for a group photo Theyre my children I made them he shouted back and neither you nor your Tommy Sir is going to steal them from me Coach Sawant clacked his tongue Steal them This boy loves you Mohan If anyone says a bad word about his father Manju will murder them But for their sake you must leave now Tommy Sirs plan is visionary Mohan Kumar pulled both his restless sons into his body Why must I leave My sons always play better when I am watching them Ive never heard of a cricket scout who doesnt like fathers But Coach Sawant reached over and sueezed Mohan Kumars right shoulder Do it for your sons Mohan After a moment Kumar let go of Radha Part of any Bombay school coachs job is to declaw the parent and gently prise from his grip the boys who will contribute to the greater glory of Bombay cricket Sawant smiled pointed at Manju and made ingratiating contractions with his eyes both your sons Mohan And you must go now More of Mohan Kumars rules for his sons Cricket Rules Same as Life Rules Keep your head absolutely still Play straight Do not loft or hit across the line before the time is right Hoard Hoard runs on top of hoarded runs Food Rules No Chinese noodles potatoes fried or otherwise or junk food No oil no ghee no sugar Green bright vegetables rich in antioxidants If I ever catch you Radha eating dosa at that dirty stall near your school Ill wake your skin up Golden Proverbs Learn your proverbs boys For instance A thousand maggots in the cow dung patty but theyre all dead by sunset Interpretation Whatever your worries theyre gone by six oclock Thats not a very true proverb by the way Heres oneOn its way into town the kings white horse turned into a donkey Think about the meaning of that my boys If both of you fail in cricket boys the three of us will have to sit outside Dahisar station and beg for our food But if you really want to understand the life that waits for you as adults this is the only proverb you need Big thief walks free Small thief gets caught How to Talk about Your Father with Strangers There is a chutney mafia in this city run by men called Shetty and they are determined to crush your fathers life Do not discuss any aspect of his past or what happened to your mother with anyone Twilight was her favorite hour Manju remembered coming home screaming Amma Amma only to find their hut empty because his mother was outside in the strange light walking in circles by herself Thinking by herself Planning something by herself Perhaps planning to leave him and his brother and run away Manju breathed slowly Brilliant sunlight all aroundbut he was sitting next to his brother and shaded and protected by Radha Krishnas bulk he was free to dream He kept his eyelids half closed until Radha said Manju this is all bullshit Total bullshit Manju opened his eyes wide looked around and nodded before he knew what his brother was talking about That man is never going to give us any money Manju Its a waste of time Lets go What do you say scientist Forty minutes had passed since Head Coach Pramod Sawant had brought them over to the club so that they could be shown to the visionary Who was apparently the man in the red T shirt with the logo that said Manchester United Gold Key Challenge Supporter A dozen boys from Ali Weinbergs cricket team had been summoned to the MIG club and were sitting in a circle on the lawn and they watched Tommy Sir and the man in the red T shirt describe languid circles around them That was all the two men had done for three uarters of an hour Leaning back to eavesdrop on the two men as they passed Manju instead heard his brothers voice say Scientist You know what Im thinking of right now Shes got a spotty neck Manju elbowed him away but his brother kept whispering Spotty Neck Spotty Neck All at once in both boredom and desire Radha stood up and began dancing as he sang Spotty Neck Spotty Neck Radha was the leader of this group of boys one day he would be captain of their cricket team The other cricketers joined him Spotty Neck Spotty Neck shes got a spotty neck Tommy Sir and the rich man in the red T shirt took no notice The boys became louder and louder as Radha swished his hands like a bandmaster before the swaying singing cricketers Only one boy Manju observed was not obeying Radha While the other cricketers wore regulation school caps this fellow had his own cap monogrammed in gold thread with the initials JA He had small alert eyes and a beautiful nose hooked and swooped which looked as if it had been made to order Full black sleeves worn under his cricketers white T shirt rendered his arms sleek pantherlike and he was rubbing them in alternation as if getting ready The moment he smiled sickle shaped dimples would cut into his cheeks Manju was sure he would see the dimples today because the last time he and this Mister JA had been close together the rich Muslim boy had not smiled That was after their match with Anjuman i Islam Dusty and sweaty the cricketers had waited in a ueue by the sugarcane stand a reward from Coach Sawant for winning the match Manju had stood right behind Javed The Muslim boys neck glossy with sweat was shaved bright below the hairline When seen from behind his thick neck conveyed an impression of hidden strength as it expanded into his shoulders The ueue had moved in starts and the sugarcane machine had made a tinkling noise as it crushed cane Before drinking his juice Javed had lifted his ice cold glass to the sunlight in an exaggerated flourish that Manju thought might have been meant for his benefit then as Manju observed the powerful throat pulsed and swallowed the juice in one continuous motion Now from opposite points of the circle of white their eyes met Enough of this shit Manju started and then realized he had not said it Javed Ansari the Muslim with the majestic nose had risen up to his feet making his black panther limbs even longer Enough of this shit he repeated Radha Kumar stopped singing took a step back and sat down Now the fellow with the commanding nose was in a very deep voice chuckling U ha U ha U ha Manju drew closer to his big brother Radha was not doing much better With an open mouth he saw the black panther limbs come closer and closer to him and his brother Choosing a route between the Kumars on his way out JA put a hand on Radhas shoulder and nearly kicked Manju in the face as he raised one huge shoe after the other and left the circle of passive white Ansari Tommy Sir shouted Come back You sit and wait with the others But the boy had left the circle and was not returning He kept walking to a car its door already opened for him by the driver Slam Engine on car gone He didnt need any rich mans sponsorship A magician came thirty years ago to a village in the Western Ghats with an elephant Not an elephant that did normal work like moving logs with its trunk or pulling down trees no It had a secret power the magician said He left the creature in the village suare and walked a hundred feet away from ittoo far for it to hear him People gathered around the magician Young Mohan Kumar was one of them Whisper a command for the animal into my ear the sorcerer said any command Mohan Kumar went up to his ear and whispered Roll on the ground like a baby And thenwithout a wordthe sorcerer just looked at his elephant which got down on its knees and thrashed about the ground kicking up dust everywhere Raise your trunk and roar three times Again without a word the magician forced his elephant to roar Three times Mohan watched with his mouth open That massive beast with all its muscles was helpless It obeyed the brain waves of its master it suffered the enchantments of his black magic When he went back to work Mohan a thinking boy had looked around at the other farmers toiling in the wheat fields and realized We are nounmanacled than that elephant This was a truth about life he had never forgotten even after he had left the village and come by train to the big city Only recently Ramnath his neighbor in the slum observing that poor Muslims were becoming revolutionaries in Egypt and Syria and kicking out their governments and presidents had whispered Maybe the same thing will happen in India eh Mohan Kumar had smirked Here we cant even see our chains After being forced by Coach Sawant to leave his sons at the MIG Cricket Club Mohan had returned to Dahisar mounted his bicycle tied two stainless steel containers of chutneys to its side and visited a Mysore Sweets an Anand Bhuvan and a National Hindu Restaurant before cycling down to Deepa the restaurant bar near the Dahisar train station No one bought a thing from him Heaving his bicycle over his head he walked over the Dahisar River on the all but submerged bridge of bricks then slammed the bike down and cycled through the cardboard WELCOME TO OUR HOME arch shielding his eyes from the gaze of the grinning politicians past the broken homes and little shops until he got to his own where the sight of his neighbor Ramnath pressing white shirts with a stupid industriousness was so unbearable that he went to a tea shop for relief He suatted by his bicycle and blew on the hot tea He seethed Tommy Sir thinks he can cut me out of my own sons future I know what he is telling that visionary investor about me He is calling me a chutney salesman A thug A peasant An idiot When he got angry Mohan Kumars right eyebrow rose up rakishly which highlighted the comic element in his small and mustached face Looking at his glass of tea he delivered the speech he wanted to give Tommy Sir but had had to desist for the sake of his sons Other parents pay tens of thousands of rupees for cricket coaches but I a penniless migrant to Mumbai am the pro gen i tor of pro di gies Mr Tommy Sir I say these words slowly why So that even a man of your mental capacities may understand them Here are twowords pronounced slowly for you Amoxicillin Azithromycin Do you know what they are Do you know how to prescribe them I do I have taught myself medicine and pharmacology Mr Tommy allegedly Sir Where were you when my sons fell ill Where were you when they needed someone to sit by their side and record their temperature every half hour Mr Tommy When my Radha becomes famous and glorious Ill call the reporters to the MIG Cricket Club To the very place where you humiliated me And Ill have my press conference right there Even in tea there is no peace today The moment Mohan Kumar began sipping the legless man had to make noise on his flute in a corner of the shop This legless fellow performed every morning in the train station and came here afterward Holding up his glass of tea Mohan Kumar looked at the flautist Brother Have pity on me Think how much I have suffered in life Please stop The flour mill began its rumbling giving off pungent fumesit ground red chillies in the second shift adding burning eyes to its customary noise pollution Mohan Kumar kept looking The legless flautist kept playing Until the father of champions put his glass down walked over slapped the flute out of the mans hand and returned to his spot to pick up his glass only to find that his phone was ringing It was the boys cricket coach and he said Its payday Mohan Congratulations But where is Coach Sawant Three uarters of an hour had passed and Mohan Kumar an aureole of sweat on his back had pushed through the crowds around Bandra train station and returned to Kalanagar walking past Matoshree for the second time that day to find a tall gray haired man whom he recognized from his one previous meeting nearly six months earlier as the man who hated all sporting fathers Tommy Sir waiting at the entrance of the MIG club along with a stocky middle aged man wearing a wonderful red T shirt Gone with the other boys to school said Tommy Sir without smiling at Mohan Kumar Im Anand Mehta The man in the T shirt who smelled of cologne stuck his hand out Just seen your boy bat Very impressed When he smelled the rich mans hand Mohan Kumar was overcome by shame He almost cried Forgive me he said refusing to touch the perfumed flesh For my wet state forgive me For my lateness forgive me No problem mate the rich man said slapping Mohan on his wet back My wife Asha says if people sweat it means theyre honest Can you read my T shirt Manchester United Gold Key Supporter I have a cricket academy near Azad Maidan did Tommy Sir tell you Last year I was happy to escort at my own expense seventy six of the brightest young cricketing bodies in this country under the age of fifteen to Bowral New South Wales home of the one the only the eternal the infinite Sir Donald Bradman where in addition to a master class conducted in the Dons own town the boys also enjoyed a sumptuous meal of Aussie lamb wrapped in brown pita bread Australia is the reality principle in cricket Tommy Sir otherwise we Indians would think we were good at this game Am I right or am I right Come in come in lets eat and do business They sat in the cafeteria of the MIG club and a waiter came for their order Nothing for me Tommy Sir said Order Anand Mehta retaliated Order samosas Like many others of his class in Mumbai Mehta gave an impression of dogged and uncerebral strength A small suare forehead held tight by close cropped hair expanded into a powerful black brush mustache over a stone crusher jaw a white fold of fat at the back of his skull broadened down a thick neck into a wide chest and wider paunch whose width he exaggerated by letting his shirt hang loose His fleshy palms had clearly done no hard work and yet he seemed to sweat a lot His English was international he drew his phrases eually from the American British and Indian dialects and had acuired the democratic Australian habit of calling everyone around him mate Halfway through each sentence came a pause in which he stared at a corner of the ceiling with an open mouth as if just then realizing what he had begun to say and he had the childs habit of raising his voice when he repeated himself This man Tommy Sir pointing a finger at the investor is a visionary He wants to start the worlds first cricket sponsorship program and of all the boys in Mumbai he has picked yours as his first candidates You are a lucky man Mohan Kumar No sir the chutney salesman replied No sir No He is a lucky man He took a breath and turned to the investor Mr Anand sir I was not allowed to be present when my own sons were exhibited to you like goods at the marketan angry glance at Tommy Sirso I could not present a full picture of their talents Let me share with you the whole AZ of Future Champion Making Now sir Everyone stopped talking Like a gangster introducing a gun into the discussions Mohan Kumar suddenly placed a white cotton handkerchief on the table Within the handkerchief was something black and heavy he unwrapped the white layers to reveal a very large cell phone which he proceeded to suint at Just checking if any customer has asked for a new batch of chutneys he said rewrapping his phone in the handkerchief To keep germs away he explained Excellent idea Anand Mehta grinned Does look a bit oddbut then who cares what they think There is a wonderful European philosopher named Mister Nietzsche who said the man who doesnt care about what other men think becomes a superman I congratulate you on shedding all inhibitions Now relaaaaaax Dont bore me with details Has Tommy Sir told you the arrangement I am proposing Mohan indicated with his head that no the arrangement and its details were not known to him Since he was not allowed to be present when his sons were exhibited like buffalo at a weekly fair Simple Ill give you a certain sum a month You can pay all your sons expenses using this certain sum In return I negotiate for him in the future with Adidas or Nike or whoever wants him when he joins the Indian Premier League And Ill take a certain interest by which I mean a fair percentage in his marketing revenues Fair enough No sir Mohan said clearing his throat No It is not fair in the least He joined his thumb and index finger in the manner of a maestro My sons are not sportsmen They will grow into the Bhimsen Joshi and Ravi Shankar of cricket Sir Tommy Sir slapped his hand on the table You know where these two boys are from Mr Anand Dahisar From a slum Hungry Lions Sir let me finish Angry Lion I think was what the television people said Anand Mehta suggested The boy Radha has these very film star eyes And long hair like Sachins Pepsi Coke will love those eyes and hair He will act in films one day I say Mohan Kumar found himself still sweating from his bicycling which put him at a disadvantage in the negotiations Sir I will finish Returning to the process by which I created two geniuses of willpower sir it must be noted that the first principle of my system is diet Tommy Sir turned to Mohan Kumar and indicated with down boy motions of his palm that it was time for silence The investor proposed terms I am being asked to invest in a highly speculative manner in a young person whom we shall call Person X Anand Mehta smiled at the cricket scout and then drew a suare with his fingers Is there a guarantee that said Person X will get into the IPL team Can you give me thishe drew a smaller suare inside the first.

selection free day mobile novel ebok english download edition free Selection Day pdf Selection Day A Novel PDFOmplained of its years of ill treatment in a rash of rusty patches and livid scars leaning on three of its sides were seven cricket bats Old Sharadha relative of some kind aunt or great aunt polyglot remonstrator in Kannada Hindi and English the only woman to have entered their home for a decade perhaps longer neither boy can remember exactly when She left was cleaning the stove and last nights dishes Standing before the mirror on his side of the green curtain Mohan Kumar was painting his mustache a grooming procedure that could take a uarter of an hour He turned around with his dye brush and looked at his sons Were you looking at girls again Naked girls bathing in the morning No Appa We were looking at turtles Boys Mohan Kumar said closing his eyes and restraining his anger If you are looking at naked girls half naked bathing girls tell me I will not punish But dont lie What were you two looking at Emerging with a pitch black mustache Mohan called his second son to him held his chin and turned his face from side to side Theres blood in your cheeks Manju That comes from hormones You were looking at girls werent you No Appa When Mohan Kumar raised his hand his palm rotated ninety degrees to the left and vibrated like a man having a fit just as he was saluting Manju cringed and readied himself the blow fell on the right side of his face In ten minutes the boys were in school uniform and had packed their cricket bags They stood at attention while Mohan slid his fingers into the bags to check their contents And then closing the door of their home behind them the family Kumar left for cricket practice When they passed the tire repair place with the sign saying PUNCHER SHOP Manju stopped and shouted Wrong thats wrong uiet Radha said But when he looked at his father Manju knew that he wanted him to continue He was proud of his son smarter than everyone else his age in the slum Do You Want Pan Card Manju raised his voice Pumpkin Carrot Banana Shapes Fruit and Vegetable Salad Decorators Pandal Marriage Birthday Experts Everything in English is written the wrong way and I alone know But Manjunath Kumar worlds second best batsman knew something muchimportant than how to spell English correctly Manju knew how to read other peoples minds It had come to him like one of those special things that some children can do like being able to move your ears without touching them or curling your tongue up as if it were a dried leaf or flexing your thumb all the way back If he let himself be still Manju could tell what other people wanted from him And he could complete their sentences for them He knew that this secret gift this mind reading power had come to him from his mother Her long elegant nose her ravishing smile her way of looking at him sidewayshe remembered all this about his mother This too her sitting on a sofa fixing her beautiful smile on her visitors all the time rubbing the silver coin embossed with the image of Lord Subramanya that hung from her marriage necklace as if it were an amulet that read minds for her She could always say what her guests wanted to hear and she pampered them with flattery after flattery till they left her with their egos refreshed and glowing as if they had just stepped out of a hammam and then one day she read his fathers mind and vanished That is what saved her from being killed by Mohan Kumar Manju was sure of it That is why their mother had never come back to see Radha or him even though she must have heard they were famous She was so scared of her husband she had forgotten her sons Right now reading his fathers mind knowing what he had to do to give him satisfaction and pleasure Manjunath kept shouting in English while Radha who did not have his brothers secret gift protested Didnt you hear him Shut up Manju Manju did shut up but only because of the grinding noise and a cloud of particulated flour produced by the wheat mill It was a tyrant of blue pipes and funnels the most famous object in the slum which brought even people from good buildings to Shastri Nagar every morning The noise and choking white dust temporarily pacified the youngest Kumar but then he began again Internet Gaming Cyber Mahesh Cafe Manju shut up I told you I know English too but Im not showing off Following their father the boys had passed the shuttered shops of their slum and through a cardboard WELCOME TO OUR HOME arch The gift of a political party was painted blue and covered by the beaming disembodied faces of city statewide and national leaders at least two of whom were serving jail sentences a fact which only heightened the impression that they were so many medieval criminals whose grinning heads had been hoisted up above a city gate An observer from a distance however might well judge that the faces on the blue arch were so many genies gathered there to perform friendly magic for the family Kumar now appeared to be walking on water The slum had grown at the very edge of Mumbais municipal limits For most of the year the Dahisar River was a rock filled sewer lit up by egrets and the flutter of a paddy bird returning to its nest of twigs A series of bricks spaced two feet apart in the water formed a makeshift bridge Their father had hoisted his cycle over his head and the boys followed him step by step as they crossed over the river and into the rest of Mumbai At the stationget in get inMohan pushed the slow cricketers and their bags into the fast train Hurry hurry Miss this train and there wont be space on the next one Itll be rush hour Yes I know theres an empty seat but you cant sit down Manju All three of us will stand I dont want anyone sleeping in the train and yawning during practice A thin tall gap toothed child went about the first class carriage offering or threatening to polish shoes for five rupees each Mohan Kumars shoes were polished for free As he worked the gap toothed child looked up at the father of cricketers Young Lions Young Lions Young Lions Young Lions Young Lions I sell uniue chutneys Mohan told one passenger after the other Twenty four chutneys for each hour of the day You like mint We have mint Garlic We have extra garlic Chilli hot chilli green chilli sweet chilli mango rainbow one hundred percent vegetarian Manju leaned his face to his brothers shirt and dozed against his body At Bandra the family Kumar got off and walked along the pedestrian bridge a grid of inverted Vs that zigged and zagged yellow and metallic over the swamps and green vacant fields of east Bandra The sun burned the wet earth reflected and the two brothers knew they had to run Down the yellow bridge in the direction of the Kalanagar traffic signal Radha surged Yee haah Manju wanted to touch his brotherIve caught you Ive But to his right he surrendered a yard to his brother he saw fields of water lilies and right beside them newly rutted mud roads on which men fought to move their motorbikes He caught up with Radha and they ran past security guards playing with their lathis and a cluster of Muslim youth with their feet dangling down the bridge Because their father was now invisible behind them Radha turned to his brother and Sofia At once both of them skidded to a halt Spotty Neck Sofia Putting his hands on his hips Manju turned his lower lip inside out while Radha just a year older but so much wiser smiled Everyone saw Young Lions on TV He touched his brother on the shoulder Youre the brother of a Young Lion Which girl in school do you like By way of reply Manju said Shut up because their father was coming up behind them The three walked down from the bridge and went into the suburb of Kalanagar An ard car painted in camouflage drove past them they had reached the Matoshree compound home to the most important man in Mumbai Surrounded by sandbags a machine gun unit guarded the home of Bal Thackeray permanent boss of the city They passed the guns and roadside canteens serving hot breakfast and then the Kumars stood before the Middle Income Group MIG Cricket Club Making his sons wait by the gate Mohan Kumar negotiated with the security guard We were on the TV Young Lions Were here to see Tommy Sir doesnt come until ten oclock He told us nine oclock We came all the way for him My boys shouldnt miss a days cricket practice Cant practice here the guard said Down the road Where they found a rubbish dump and a patch of ragged green beyond it Radha and his father took the ragged green Manju strapped on his pads near the rubbish one eye on the big holes in the ground Rat holes Tightening his calf muscle Manju raised his right foot on a low brick wall to double check that his pads were fastened Going down on his haunches Manju now launched himself over the rat holes Master Kumar Rat Tamer jumped up and down underground rodents shivered While doing his jumps Manju turned himself degrees to see his father lecturing Radha The bat is touching your toes Radha You wont be able to drive cleanly Manju saw the irritation on his brothers face But the Man had to be obeyed and Radha readjusted his stance From a distance Manju gripped his bat and waited Radha Kumar attacked Manjunath Kumar imitated The ball had flown from Radhas bat to a distant corner of the wasteland and Manju took off until his father announced He who hit it will retrieve it That is the rule So Radha raised his bat sucked his teeth and ran after the ball Radha Krishna Kumar meant to honor his end of his fathers contract with God Two years ago God sent his living viceroy Sachin Tendulkar to meet Radha at a practice match at the MCA grounds Sachin stood at the wicket and Radha was tossed the ball by Tommy Sir The boy who had let his hair grow long like Sachins and had watched Sachins videos especially Perth and Sydney at least times each spun the ball right past Sachins forward defensive stroke and into his stumps Well done sir Gods viceroy said and as everyone clapped made Radha the gift of his own batting gloves At the age of fourteen and a half Radha was now conscious that his fathers rules which had framed the world around him since he could remember were prison bars He saw the red cricket ball inside a thicket of wild grass and thorns Getting down on his knees he put his hand into the thorns Why must a boy not shave till hes twenty one Because the cut of a razor makes hormones run faster in his blood And why must a boy not drive a car till his father allows him to Because indiscipline will destroy anything even a secret contract with God Drenched in sweat and his fathers mad theories Radha seized the ball and threw it back at Mohan who had already started stepping back to catch it Radha admired the method the textbook correctness of his fathers pose Before teaching his boys Mohan Kumar had taught himself the science of cricket But when the ball landed in his palms it hit the flesh and bounced out and Radha smiled and became a year older I told you not to come He hates fathers Radha and Manju saw Pramod Sawant their head school coach half walking and half running toward them pumping his arms Mohan Kumar summoned his boys to his side and put his arms on their shoulders as if posing for a group photo Theyre my children I made them he shouted back and neither you nor your Tommy Sir is going to steal them from me Coach Sawant clacked his tongue Steal them This boy loves you Mohan If anyone says a bad word about his father Manju will murder them But for their sake you must leave now Tommy Sirs plan is visionary Mohan Kumar pulled both his restless sons into his body Why must I leave My sons always play better when I am watching them Ive never heard of a cricket scout who doesnt like fathers But Coach Sawant reached over and sueezed Mohan Kumars right shoulder Do it for your sons Mohan After a moment Kumar let go of Radha Part of any Bombay school coachs job is to declaw the parent and gently prise from his grip the boys who will contribute to the greater glory of Bombay cricket Sawant smiled pointed at Manju and made ingratiating contractions with his eyes both your sons Mohan And you must go now More of Mohan Kumars rules for his sons Cricket Rules Same as Life Rules Keep your head absolutely still Play straight Do not loft or hit across the line before the time is right Hoard Hoard runs on top of hoarded runs Food Rules No Chinese noodles potatoes fried or otherwise or junk food No oil no ghee no sugar Green bright vegetables rich in antioxidants If I ever catch you Radha eating dosa at that dirty stall near your school Ill wake your skin up Golden Proverbs Learn your proverbs boys For instance A thousand maggots in the cow dung patty but theyre all dead by sunset Interpretation Whatever your worries theyre gone by six oclock Thats not a very true proverb by the way Heres oneOn its way into town the kings white horse turned into a donkey Think about the meaning of that my boys If both of you fail in cricket boys the three of us will have to sit outside Dahisar station and beg for our food But if you really want to understand the life that waits for you as adults this is the only proverb you need Big thief walks free Small thief gets caught How to Talk about Your Father with Strangers There is a chutney mafia in this city run by men called Shetty and they are determined to crush your fathers life Do not discuss any aspect of his past or what happened to your mother with anyone Twilight was her favorite hour Manju remembered coming home screaming Amma Amma only to find their hut empty because his mother was outside in the strange light walking in circles by herself Thinking by herself Planning something by herself Perhaps planning to leave him and his brother and run away Manju breathed slowly Brilliant sunlight all aroundbut he was sitting next to his brother and shaded and protected by Radha Krishnas bulk he was free to dream He kept his eyelids half closed until Radha said Manju this is all bullshit Total bullshit Manju opened his eyes wide looked around and nodded before he knew what his brother was talking about That man is never going to give us any money Manju Its a waste of time Lets go What do you say scientist Forty minutes had passed since Head Coach Pramod Sawant had brought them over to the club so that they could be shown to the visionary Who was apparently the man in the red T shirt with the logo that said Manchester United Gold Key Challenge Supporter A dozen boys from Ali Weinbergs cricket team had been summoned to the MIG club and were sitting in a circle on the lawn and they watched Tommy Sir and the man in the red T shirt describe languid circles around them That was all the two men had done for three uarters of an hour Leaning back to eavesdrop on the two men as they passed Manju instead heard his brothers voice say Scientist You know what Im thinking of right now Shes got a spotty neck Manju elbowed him away but his brother kept whispering Spotty Neck Spotty Neck All at once in both boredom and desire Radha stood up and began dancing as he sang Spotty Neck Spotty Neck Radha was the leader of this group of boys one day he would be captain of their cricket team The other cricketers joined him Spotty Neck Spotty Neck shes got a spotty neck Tommy Sir and the rich man in the red T shirt took no notice The boys became louder and louder as Radha swished his hands like a bandmaster before the swaying singing cricketers Only one boy Manju observed was not obeying Radha While the other cricketers wore regulation school caps this fellow had his own cap monogrammed in gold thread with the initials JA He had small alert eyes and a beautiful nose hooked and swooped which looked as if it had been made to order Full black sleeves worn under his cricketers white T shirt rendered his arms sleek pantherlike and he was rubbing them in alternation as if getting ready The moment he smiled sickle shaped dimples would cut into his cheeks Manju was sure he would see the dimples today because the last time he and this Mister JA had been close together the rich Muslim boy had not smiled That was after their match with Anjuman i Islam Dusty and sweaty the cricketers had waited in a ueue by the sugarcane stand a reward from Coach Sawant for winning the match Manju had stood right behind Javed The Muslim boys neck glossy with sweat was shaved bright below the hairline When seen from behind his thick neck conveyed an impression of hidden strength as it expanded into his shoulders The ueue had moved in starts and the sugarcane machine had made a tinkling noise as it crushed cane Before drinking his juice Javed had lifted his ice cold glass to the sunlight in an exaggerated flourish that Manju thought might have been meant for his benefit then as Manju observed the powerful throat pulsed and swallowed the juice in one continuous motion Now from opposite points of the circle of white their eyes met Enough of this shit Manju started and then realized he had not said it Javed Ansari the Muslim with the majestic nose had risen up to his feet making his black panther limbs even longer Enough of this shit he repeated Radha Kumar stopped singing took a step back and sat down Now the fellow with the commanding nose was in a very deep voice chuckling U ha U ha U ha Manju drew closer to his big brother Radha was not doing much better With an open mouth he saw the black panther limbs come closer and closer to him and his brother Choosing a route between the Kumars on his way out JA put a hand on Radhas shoulder and nearly kicked Manju in the face as he raised one huge shoe after the other and left the circle of passive white Ansari Tommy Sir shouted Come back You sit and wait with the others But the boy had left the circle and was not returning He kept walking to a car its door already opened for him by the driver Slam Engine on car gone He didnt need any rich mans sponsorship A magician came thirty years ago to a village in the Western Ghats with an elephant Not an elephant that did normal work like moving logs with its trunk or pulling down trees no It had a secret power the magician said He left the creature in the village suare and walked a hundred feet away from ittoo far for it to hear him People gathered around the magician Young Mohan Kumar was one of them Whisper a command for the animal into my ear the sorcerer said any command Mohan Kumar went up to his ear and whispered Roll on the ground like a baby And thenwithout a wordthe sorcerer just looked at his elephant which got down on its knees and thrashed about the ground kicking up dust everywhere Raise your trunk and roar three times Again without a word the magician forced his elephant to roar Three times Mohan watched with his mouth open That massive beast with all its muscles was helpless It obeyed the brain waves of its master it suffered the enchantments of his black magic When he went back to work Mohan a thinking boy had looked around at the other farmers toiling in the wheat fields and realized We are nounmanacled than that elephant This was a truth about life he had never forgotten even after he had left the village and come by train to the big city Only recently Ramnath his neighbor in the slum observing that poor Muslims were becoming revolutionaries in Egypt and Syria and kicking out their governments and presidents had whispered Maybe the same thing will happen in India eh Mohan Kumar had smirked Here we cant even see our chains After being forced by Coach Sawant to leave his sons at the MIG Cricket Club Mohan had returned to Dahisar mounted his bicycle tied two stainless steel containers of chutneys to its side and visited a Mysore Sweets an Anand Bhuvan and a National Hindu Restaurant before cycling down to Deepa the restaurant bar near the Dahisar train station No one bought a thing from him Heaving his bicycle over his head he walked over the Dahisar River on the all but submerged bridge of bricks then slammed the bike down and cycled through the cardboard WELCOME TO OUR HOME arch shielding his eyes from the gaze of the grinning politicians past the broken homes and little shops until he got to his own where the sight of his neighbor Ramnath pressing white shirts with a stupid industriousness was so unbearable that he went to a tea shop for relief He suatted by his bicycle and blew on the hot tea He seethed Tommy Sir thinks he can cut me out of my own sons future I know what he is telling that visionary investor about me He is calling me a chutney salesman A thug A peasant An idiot When he got angry Mohan Kumars right eyebrow rose up rakishly which highlighted the comic element in his small and mustached face Looking at his glass of tea he delivered the speech he wanted to give Tommy Sir but had had to desist for the sake of his sons Other parents pay tens of thousands of rupees for cricket coaches but I a penniless migrant to Mumbai am the pro gen i tor of pro di gies Mr Tommy Sir I say these words slowly why So that even a man of your mental capacities may understand them Here are twowords pronounced slowly for you Amoxicillin Azithromycin Do you know what they are Do you know how to prescribe them I do I have taught myself medicine and pharmacology Mr Tommy allegedly Sir Where were you when my sons fell ill Where were you when they needed someone to sit by their side and record their temperature every half hour Mr Tommy When my Radha becomes famous and glorious Ill call the reporters to the MIG Cricket Club To the very place where you humiliated me And Ill have my press conference right there Even in tea there is no peace today The moment Mohan Kumar began sipping the legless man had to make noise on his flute in a corner of the shop This legless fellow performed every morning in the train station and came here afterward Holding up his glass of tea Mohan Kumar looked at the flautist Brother Have pity on me Think how much I have suffered in life Please stop The flour mill began its rumbling giving off pungent fumesit ground red chillies in the second shift adding burning eyes to its customary noise pollution Mohan Kumar kept looking The legless flautist kept playing Until the father of champions put his glass down walked over slapped the flute out of the mans hand and returned to his spot to pick up his glass only to find that his phone was ringing It was the boys cricket coach and he said Its payday Mohan Congratulations But where is Coach Sawant Three uarters of an hour had passed and Mohan Kumar an aureole of sweat on his back had pushed through the crowds around Bandra train station and returned to Kalanagar walking past Matoshree for the second time that day to find a tall gray haired man whom he recognized from his one previous meeting nearly six months earlier as the man who hated all sporting fathers Tommy Sir waiting at the entrance of the MIG club along with a stocky middle aged man wearing a wonderful red T shirt Gone with the other boys to school said Tommy Sir without smiling at Mohan Kumar Im Anand Mehta The man in the T shirt who smelled of cologne stuck his hand out Just seen your boy bat Very impressed When he smelled the rich mans hand Mohan Kumar was overcome by shame He almost cried Forgive me he said refusing to touch the perfumed flesh For my wet state forgive me For my lateness forgive me No problem mate the rich man said slapping Mohan on his wet back My wife Asha says if people sweat it means theyre honest Can you read my T shirt Manchester United Gold Key Supporter I have a cricket academy near Azad Maidan did Tommy Sir tell you Last year I was happy to escort at my own expense seventy six of the brightest young cricketing bodies in this country under the age of fifteen to Bowral New South Wales home of the one the only the eternal the infinite Sir Donald Bradman where in addition to a master class conducted in the Dons own town the boys also enjoyed a sumptuous meal of Aussie lamb wrapped in brown pita bread Australia is the reality principle in cricket Tommy Sir otherwise we Indians would think we were good at this game Am I right or am I right Come in come in lets eat and do business They sat in the cafeteria of the MIG club and a waiter came for their order Nothing for me Tommy Sir said Order Anand Mehta retaliated Order samosas Like many others of his class in Mumbai Mehta gave an impression of dogged and uncerebral strength A small suare forehead held tight by close cropped hair expanded into a powerful black brush mustache over a stone crusher jaw a white fold of fat at the back of his skull broadened down a thick neck into a wide chest and wider paunch whose width he exaggerated by letting his shirt hang loose His fleshy palms had clearly done no hard work and yet he seemed to sweat a lot His English was international he drew his phrases eually from the American British and Indian dialects and had acuired the democratic Australian habit of calling everyone around him mate Halfway through each sentence came a pause in which he stared at a corner of the ceiling with an open mouth as if just then realizing what he had begun to say and he had the childs habit of raising his voice when he repeated himself This man Tommy Sir pointing a finger at the investor is a visionary He wants to start the worlds first cricket sponsorship program and of all the boys in Mumbai he has picked yours as his first candidates You are a lucky man Mohan Kumar No sir the chutney salesman replied No sir No He is a lucky man He took a breath and turned to the investor Mr Anand sir I was not allowed to be present when my own sons were exhibited to you like goods at the marketan angry glance at Tommy Sirso I could not present a full picture of their talents Let me share with you the whole AZ of Future Champion Making Now sir Everyone stopped talking Like a gangster introducing a gun into the discussions Mohan Kumar suddenly placed a white cotton handkerchief on the table Within the handkerchief was something black and heavy he unwrapped the white layers to reveal a very large cell phone which he proceeded to suint at Just checking if any customer has asked for a new batch of chutneys he said rewrapping his phone in the handkerchief To keep germs away he explained Excellent idea Anand Mehta grinned Does look a bit oddbut then who cares what they think There is a wonderful European philosopher named Mister Nietzsche who said the man who doesnt care about what other men think becomes a superman I congratulate you on shedding all inhibitions Now relaaaaaax Dont bore me with details Has Tommy Sir told you the arrangement I am proposing Mohan indicated with his head that no the arrangement and its details were not known to him Since he was not allowed to be present when his sons were exhibited like buffalo at a weekly fair Simple Ill give you a certain sum a month You can pay all your sons expenses using this certain sum In return I negotiate for him in the future with Adidas or Nike or whoever wants him when he joins the Indian Premier League And Ill take a certain interest by which I mean a fair percentage in his marketing revenues Fair enough No sir Mohan said clearing his throat No It is not fair in the least He joined his thumb and index finger in the manner of a maestro My sons are not sportsmen They will grow into the Bhimsen Joshi and Ravi Shankar of cricket Sir Tommy Sir slapped his hand on the table You know where these two boys are from Mr Anand Dahisar From a slum Hungry Lions Sir let me finish Angry Lion I think was what the television people said Anand Mehta suggested The boy Radha has these very film star eyes And long hair like Sachins Pepsi Coke will love those eyes and hair He will act in films one day I say Mohan Kumar found himself still sweating from his bicycling which put him at a disadvantage in the negotiations Sir I will finish Returning to the process by which I created two geniuses of willpower sir it must be noted that the first principle of my system is diet Tommy Sir turned to Mohan Kumar and indicated with down boy motions of his palm that it was time for silence The investor proposed terms I am being asked to invest in a highly speculative manner in a young person whom we shall call Person X Anand Mehta smiled at the cricket scout and then drew a suare with his fingers Is there a guarantee that said Person X will get into the IPL team Can you give me thishe drew a smaller suare inside the first.

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