Today, 20 Oct, marks the one week point since I arrived in India. The longest I have been away from loved ones in my adult life is two weeks, a length this trip will equal. Consequently, I do experience moments of homesickness, of missing the presence of those near and dear to my heart, of holding loved ones in my arms. Thankfully, Apple has allowed me to interact with some of them via FaceTime, a video conversation tool that allows ‘free’ phone calls with access to wifi. I wish everyone had FaceTime for it would make separation easier on the heart.
Other than a touch of Delhi Belly that kept me in bed for the better part of a day, the week has been a whirlwind of fun activity. I met my new team. They are a bunch of intelligent, young professionals eager to make their mark on the world. They approach their work with enthusiasm and, I am sure, will help our current project be successful.
I played cricket for the first time early on Saturday morning before the heat of the day set in. It was still warm for me but cool by Indian standards. During my initial at bat, I could tell they were being easy on me, bowling the ball without the speed and spin they inflicted upon their compatriots. My best hits came when they bowled a high ball, a ball without bounce, which felt like I was hitting a pitched baseball.
During my 2nd at bat, the balls came faster and some with wicked spin. I was able to connect a couple of times before my swing caught air, the ball hit the stump and I was out. After the game, I tried my hand at bowling. Every ball was wide and to the right. It really is a difficult skill. I was also surprised at the fatigue I experienced sprinting between the two stumps while at bat. I am more that a little bit out of shape.
My best defensive play came when I made a running, over the shoulder catch to put the batter out. I think I surprised my teammates as much as myself with the catch.
A word about the playing field. There had to be at least 10 simultaneous games going on. Players were interlaced all over the field. Field players from multiple teams were standing in our field and vice versa. About the only place that had any sense of sacredness was the lane between the bowler and the batter, even that was entered by other field players when their ball came near. It appeared to me to be as chaotic as the traffic yet, like the traffic, it somehow worked. I wonder if the ability to thrive in this type of chaos is a skill I will ever learn.