Living by Giving through India (Ch. 23 – Cricket with Anoor)

Chapters

I slow down introduce myself to the man with a million flutes and politely ask if he can move. We lock eyes and share a brief but connected moment. I’m not in desperate need for any flutes right now so I drive around him. I am then stopped by a young boy around the age of 12 selling postcards outside the temple… I’m obviously not very good at riding my bike because locals are pulling me down every couple of minutes!!

He opens conversation with a heart warming sales pitch. “Hey mister! Look at these photos I took. I’m trying to make it as a photographer, will you please look at my photos?”
The entrepreneur within me is intrigued by the pitch, I decide to pull over and stick around for a while. His pitch doesn’t go a lot further than that and I get the feeling that these photos are actually purchased from a seller but that doesn’t stop me from showing interest and giving my honest attention. I ask him a few questions like “which one of these photos is your favourite?”.
He has difficulty comprehending the question at first and I get the feeling it is normally not the buyers best interest to know or consider the opinion of the street kid.

I question him further to ask “Where do locals like you spend there time on a Sunday afternoon?”
Taken back further from the second question he now becomes a real person talking to another real person! This interaction is no longer about selling to the man with money, it is now about sharing what he loves and cares about with another human. He thinks about it for a while and exclaims in a heavy accent. “Crrrricket!!!”
I say “What?”
“Cricket! The boys always play cricket on Sunday, up by the school.” He says, this time a little slower
I ask him “Where can I find this cricket field you speak of?”
He proceeds to give me detailed directions and before long his friend is next to him also helping give directions.

Travel Tip: Sometimes when people come up to us trying to sell their products it can be easy to let them bother us with their insistent pushing for sales. The alternative to being bothered by these people trying to make money is to transform the interaction from salespitch to honest conversation about something they care about. This is a great way to get the locals calmed and as a way to find honest inside information.

With the information I jump back on my bike and head in the direction that the boys advised. I drive a good 15 minutes enjoying the sight of massive out of proportioned boulders whilst passing various banana plantations. I soon find what looks like a school and take my bike around back. I hear screams of joy and think I must be close…The oval is uneven gravel dirt, the kids playing don’t have uniforms, no visible umpire, they don’t even have three stumps but that doesn’t seem to stop them from enjoying themselves.

They are all placed around rather randomly playing a friendly match of cricket. I sit at a distance at first but my curiosity gets to me pretty quick and I end up interacting with them in no time. Before long they’ve swarmed me with questions about Australia and which Indian cricket star I think is the best. I am grateful in this moment to have listened to a good friend of mine Stefan Burger who had travelled and lived in India before. He recommended I travel India at least knowing one of the famous cricket stars so I mention Sachin Tendulkar.

This video shows the morning & what happens next.

My dreams of becoming Australia’s next greatest batsman are quickly crushed by the mighty force of the 12 year old Hampi boys.

I continue watching and supporting their game for a while and then one of the boys, Anoor offers to show me his school.

NEXT CHAPTER

 

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