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Irfan Pathan's Comeback Match.

by Gaurav Sethi

To the narrow lanes of his childhood, Irfan returns. Kids are scattered around a makeshift wicket. The kids are oblivious of Irfan till he feigns a cough.

Kid1: Irfan, why are you here?

Kid2: Yeah, now you’ll say, you wanna open and be a pinch hitter

Irfan: No, no, no, I’m here to find my Mojo.

Kid3: Mojo…what, that’s an abuse like MO…

Irfan: Please, please children, Mojo is…how should I explain

Kid1: Simply

Irfan: Good idea, Coach said to me, “Irfan, if you have to find yourself, you must return to yourself”

Kid2: Eh? Then what are you doing in public, go find yourself in private

Kid1: And yeah, you will also find your..MO..whatever

Irfan (that disarming smile): I am here to return to basics

Kid3: That sounds like some old ratpatiya software…Basics

Irfan (that disarming smile again): Haha, nice one, but basics is where it started for me, and this gulli is where it started

The kids are now totally disarmed, by Irfan’s smile and words, the bats drop, the jaws drop, one kid’s loose half pants drop too.

Kid5: Irfan bhai, play with us, we will help you find your MO…

Irfan: Thank you, you are such a sweet boy. I don’t want to bat as a pinch hitter, I just want to bowl and put the ball in the right areas…

Kid 2 to Kid 3 (aside): Irfan bhai is watching too much cricket on TV…free time no

Irfan marks his bowling run up. It’s a cramped space so he is bang against a window in the wall. All intent when the window flies open, and knocks him out.

Woman: Oh ho, sorry sorry, I didn’t see you…usually they are kids playing and they never reach the window…sorry so sorry

Irfan (that smile again) and bowls, and dismisses the first kid with a big inswinging Yorker, followed by another and yet another, reminiscent of that Karachi test; only here the pitch is a fraction of those 22 yards.

Irfan: Thanks kids, that will be all…I am back.

And just then Yusuf appears.

Yusuf (to Irfan): Abeh yaar, Lankan league cancelled...lagta hai yahaan he khelna parega*

*looks like we'll have to play here only.

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