Thursday 15 August 2013

Flash Fiction 2013 Longlist, Shloka Shankar

Matter of Perspective

Children have that uncanny sense of candour and abandon that we adults so awfully lack. At the age of three, there I was, on the lap of my grandfather watching a cricket match. I did not know the importance of the game and the reverential status with which it was perceived in India.

I sucked my thumb noiselessly as I watched this pointless sport of hitting the ball and running. What piqued my interest were the letters in bold on top of the screen, LIVE. My parents were proud of the fact that their little darling could recite the letters of the alphabet by rote and by then I could discern the letters with accuracy.

Not batting an eye lid after my ‘Aha’ moment, I looked up with bright eyes at my grandfather and told him that I could spell the word ‘Cricket’. He looked puzzled for a moment, but humoured me all the same. With a toothless smile that always seemed to light up the room, he asked me to spell the word.

I crinkled my nose, stood up, straightened my crumpled frock, and said, ‘L-I-V-E. That’s how you spell Cricket, thatha!’ My grandfather looked incredulous and had a hearty laugh! His granddaughter was no spelling bee champion, but that cracked the whole family up for a while to come.
I cherish those days where I was unabashed and spoke my mind without deliberating on the consequences, or having to think twice for not wanting to look like a fool!

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