And then there were none

The rumpled little man took a seat at the plush bar that lined the casino. He ordered tequila – the gold amber color of sunshine, and let the liquid slide down his arid throat. It burned and felt like silk at the same time. His raw nerves frazzled were a live wire sizzling with frustration. 

He yanked his last cigarette from its crushed pack. It was smashed almost flat and lit it with trembling fingers. He blew out the match. Smoke and sulphur mingled for more than a minute.

He looked around searchingly for action he couldn’t afford. Flashy fast women did not spend time with hopeless little men in ill-fitting clothes. His brown trousers were wrinkled and his fake leather loafers had holes worn through the man-made soles.

Arnold stopped eyeing the various stream of females, grunting to himself that it was their loss. He laid his last five dollars on the leather-padded bar.

“One for the road, barkeep.” He wiped the back of his hand across his nose and sniffed back a sigh.

A shot glass of golden liquid was placed in front of him and the five dollars disappeared. He tossed back the shot and he began to ruminate about what he would say to Peggy and the kids. She thought he was on a job interview. He had been so optimistic. Taking the last of their savings and flying to Las Vegas for the weekend. A private getaway, and then come back a winner. He wanted to show his wife and kids he wasn’t a loser. That he was someone other than a husband and father unemployed since the downsizing epidemic.

He had felt so lucky for hours flooding the tinkling coins through the machines, never to get the fruit of his effort. Sadly, he tucked his tail between his legs admitting defeat.

Arnold slid off the barstool with slumped shoulders and pathetic eyes, winding around the casino, oblivious to the cacophony of lost wages. He bumped his way past the crowded roulette tables and coin robbing one-arm-bandits. 

He swiped at his nose again and then thrust his hands into his baggy pockets and felt, to his surprise, the last silver dollar he had to his name. He pulled it out and rolled it between his thumb and forefinger as his other hand touched the revolving door that would exit him to the street of broken dreams. He paused a neon flash second before he turned back to look at the slot machines. Puny bloodshot eyes crinkled with a sly smile, while an adrenaline rush stained his face red with perspiration.

Arnold was beginning to feel lucky again.

Ocean Spirits

Every weekday morning, as the clementine sun rose behind the murky clouds, the man would begin his long journey up the cliff near his brick house. The mornings were serene, unrushed, so he took his time, listening to the soft lapping of waves against rock. Once he reached the top he’d run his hands over the mossy rocks near the edge, searching for a place to sit.

Once he’d found the perfect rock he’d flip open his cardboard tackle box, stuffed to the brim with leaves. He’d select the greenest, fattest leaf and fasten it to the end of his fishing pole as bait. He had crafted the fishing pole from a hollowed-out stick of a mulberry tree, a tiny iron hook, and a piece of silvery twine he’d weaved from spiderweb.

He would cast the fishing line deep into the tranquil ocean waters, aiming for the horizon. He’d let the line drift far away from his perch, rising the smooth current. And then he’d wait. At high noon he’d draw a rye sandwich from his bag and gobble it down, never taking his eyes off the fishing pole.

When he felt a stir at the end of the hook, a small whirlpool swirling around the hook, he’d reel it in with vigorous tugs. Curled around the leaf would be a faceless, twisting being, an ethereal vapor. Always of a blue color, but never the same shade; peacock to turquoise to navy. Cool to the touch, slightly rough, covered with flecks of salt from the ocean. He would cup his hands around the being, shaping it into a writhing sphere. He’d take a glass mason jar, thoroughly wiped clean with a wet cloth, and force the being inside before hastily screwing on the aluminum lid.

As the dark began to eat away at the sky the man would scoop his jars up into his bag and mosey back down the cliff, the furious sound of the battering waves behind him. Once home, he would unload the jars, taking a leather satchel from his desk drawer. Inside the satchel he’d take plastic berries and rich vines and decorate the jars, fastening the adornments with a tree sap adhesive. The beings would have turned an angry scarlet by then.

He’d walk to his small shop and stack the jars on mahogany shelves, eat roasted wild chicken or turkey for dinner, and sleep in his woven, netted hammock. On weekends, he’d open his shop to the townsfolk, who would rush inside waving paper bills in the air, clamoring for the newest jar to place on their white window sills or use as a centerpiece for their sleek dining tables.

But one weekend, as the man was preparing to return home, a young girl walked in, jingling the silver bells on the door. She was less than four feet tall, with combed blonde hair, tight pink shoes, and unnerving blue eyes. She walked around the store, bobbing up and down, observing the beings in their prisons. Each time ran a finger over a jar her eyes narrowed, fists clenched tighter.

The scream was unexpected, terrifying, horribly thin, shrill, sonic, even. It flew out of her mouth and bounced across the room in rings, shattering the jars as they collided. How someone could produce such a noise the man did not know.

The beings were free. The man crouched down, eyes wide as they peered over the counter. The beings hopped, leaped, bounded, twirled, experimenting with their newfound liberty, eventually coalescing around the girl. The spun around, faster and faster, becoming a red — no, blue, they had changed again — tornado, shot into the air, the girl in their clutches, bursting through the roof, leaving behind a gaping hole, soaring back to the calm ocean.

 

War of the Clowns

One time two clowns set themselves to arguing. The people

would stop, amused, to watch them.

—What’s that? they asked.

—Why, it’s only two clowns arguing.

Who could take them seriously? Ridiculous, the two comedians rep-

arteed. The arguments were common nonsense, the theme was a ninnery.

And an entire day passed.

The following morning, the two remained, obnoxious and outdoing

each other. It seemed as though, between them, even yucca soured. In the

street, meanwhile, those present were exhilarated with the masquerade.

The buffoons began worsening their insults with fine-edged and fine-

tuned barbs. Believing it to be a show, the passersby left coins along the

roadside.

On the third day, however, the clowns arrived at acts of force. Their

blows became a disarray, their counterkicks zinged more across air than

across bodies. The children rollicked, imitating each jester’s blows. And

they laughed at the two fools, their bodies tripping upon their own selves.

And the boys wanted to repay the delightful goodness of the clowns.

—Dad, give me some coins to leave on the sidewalk.

On the fourth day, the jabs and blows grew worse. Beneath their

makeup, the faces of the clowns began to bleed. Some kids became

scared. Was that true blood?

—It’s not serious, don’t fret, their parents soothed them.

In failures of trajectory, some were struck by directionless wallops. But

it was light fare, only serving to add to the laughs. More and more people

joined the gallery.

—What’s going on?

Nothing. A friendly unsettling of accounts. It’s not worth separating

them. They’ll tire out, it’s nothing more than a bit of clowning around.

On the fifth day, however, one of the clowns armed himself with a

stick. Advancing on his adversary, he discharged a blow that tore off his

wig. The other, furious, equipped himself with a symmetrical beating

bat and responded with the same dismeasure. The wooden rods whistled

through the air in somersaults and deliriums. One of the spectators, un-

expectedly, was struck. The man fell, deadspread.
A certain confusion arose, the souls divided. Little by little, two battle-

fields began to form. Various groups traded drubbings. Still more were

felled.

It entered a second week and the surrounding neighborhoods heard

it said that a dizzied pandemonium had set in around the two clowns.

And the thing embroiled the entire plaza. And the neighbors found it

funny. Some went to the plaza to verify the reports. They returned with

contradicting and inflamed versions of their own. The neighborhood

continued to divide itself, in opposing opinions. Conflicts began in some

neighborhoods.

On the twentieth day, shots began to be heard. No one knew exactly

where they came from. Could have been from any point in the city.

Full of terror, the inhabitants armed themselves. The tiniest movement

seemed suspect. The shots spread. Dead bodies began to accumulate in

the streets. Terror reigned over the whole city. Soon, massacres began.

At the beginning of the month, all the city’s inhabitants had died. All

except the two clowns. That morning, the comics sat, each one in his

corner, and ridded themselves of their ridiculous dress. They looked at

each other, worn out. Later, they rose to their feet and embraced, laugh-

ing at the flags dispersed. Arm in arm, they gathered the coins from the

roadsides. Together they crossed the city destroyed, careful not to tread on

the cadavers. And they went in search of another city.

Possessions by John Smolens

When your wife dies you find music tastes different and food sounds the same. You don’t walk, you creep. Some days you crawl. Others, best just to lie still. The closets are full of ghosts. Blouses she wore when she was twenty-six. A denim skirt. Killer dresses. Shoes—heels, pumps, a pair of Capezio tap shoes—entombed in boxes. When you open the closet door her coats hold still, suspecting they’re gonners. Threads of memory. She wore this one there, that one here. Every garment a chapter. The clothes of the dead have no future. You could burn them. You could leave them be, decades of sartorial history hanging from a pole sagging with the weight of remembrance. You could cross-dress with a vengeance. Everything Must Go. Not discarded, donated. To the Women’s Shelter, cartons and paper bags and piles of clothes, until the woman behind the counter says they’re overstocked. You’re tempted to take them all back. Who denies the donation of a dead woman’s clothes? The rest to St. Vincent DePaul’s, and there her cottons and linens and rayon blends are added to bins heaped with corduroy and polyester. (But for one satin nightgown that will not be donated.) Until the closets seem empty. Your clothes don’t count—they aren’t you, but just neglected shirts, pants, and jackets. As summer wanes, you open a drawer and find sweaters, scarves, wool hats and gloves. Gear for a woman who understood winter. You send sweaters and shawls and silk scarves to the women and girls in her family. They respond with photographs of ten year old daughters wrapped in blue for the fifth grade’s Colonial Day. Still you are possessed by possessions. Even after you dispossess yourself, they turn up in the kitchen drawers and cabinets, where she kept jars of dry goods, beans and grains, future meals. And there, in the freezer, plastic containers: soups, tomato sauce, chili. Nutritional messages from the afterlife. Hoard them. Defrost only as a last resort. Yet through the winter the freezer becomes as spacious and cold as your heart. By the time you open the last tub, labeled Black Bean Chili 3/14/10, food no longer has any meaning. It’s no longer an act of love, a gesture of kindness. There is no intimacy in tuna salad or in marinating chicken thighs. It’s embarrassing to recall how often you ate by candlelight; it’s like the satin nightgown tucked away in a drawer you never open. Instead just heat and serve. Just nuke it. Just eat. Overcooked sustenance. When you eat dinner right out of the skillet or pot, the temptation is to glance over your shoulder in shame. No one is watching, except the cookbooks. Shelves of cookbooks, back issues of Gourmet and Bon Appetit, and a three-ring binder stuffed with recipes, a culinary legacy handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter. Recipes written in her short hand, scrolls and waves and loops fetching across the page with an occasional word, a white cap of English. Instructions for future meals, for candlelight dinners, for guests. There are no recipes now, there are no guests; no need for the wedding china, the good tablecloth. Don’t forget Widower’s Rule #1: Never turn down a dinner invitation. You’re the guest now. And after dinner you walk about the house, speaking to the dark. Go ahead, come back and haunt me. Move the book on the table. Slam the bedroom door. Anything, I’m ready. Go ahead, I dare you. Scare me to death. I am ready. The reply is the deepest silence. Yet sometimes you feel her in the silence: nothing moves, no hinges creak, no lights flicker. Just her silence. You bet, Stephen Spielberg; death has no special effects. There is no possession, just possessions. To break the silence you play music. CDs in horizontal stacks; vertical rows of plastic jewel boxes, never properly alphabetized (as she so often suggested). Songs with melodies, lyrics, choruses, verses, movements, codas. Songs you can’t live without. Songs you’ll never listen to again. Songs you know by heart. Songs you want to forget. Songs you can’t forget. Songs for dinner, for reading, for dancing, for killing a bottle of wine, for making love. Songs to break the silence. Songs against eternal darkness. But one day (maybe) you’ll make a deal with the silence. You’ll sit in her grandparents’ chair and it will only be a chair. Or you could give it away. All of it. Everything. Everything except the stones. She was forever (or so it seemed) gathering beach stones. She’d return from a beach with her coat pockets sagging, doing her best Virginia Woolf. Round stones, egg-shaped stones, disk-shaped stones, stones ground smooth by water and time. Stones from England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Cape Cod. Stones stored in shoe boxes, in plastic bags, in bowls; clusters of stones distributed about the house like incense. She liked the look of them, the feel of them, rattling in her palm. You could get rid of it all, but not the stones. You could walk on them, sleep on them, sit on them, eat off of them. Your house would be silent, filled with stones. You would have solitude. You would not be alone. You would have the stones.

A haunted House

Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure—a ghostly couple.

“Here we left it,” she said. And he added, “Oh, but here too!” “It’s upstairs,” she murmured. “And in the garden,” he whispered “Quietly,” they said, “or we shall wake them.”

But it wasn’t that you woke us. Oh, no. “They’re looking for it; they’re drawing the curtain,” one might say, and so read on a page or two. “Now they’ve found it,” one would be certain, stopping the pencil on the margin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the house all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm. “What did I come in here for? What did I want to find?” My hands were empty. “Perhaps it’s upstairs then?” The apples were in the loft. And so down again, the garden still as ever, only the book had slipped into the grass.

But they had found it in the drawing room. Not that one could ever see them. The window panes reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass. If they moved in the drawing room, the apple only turned its yellow side. Yet, the moment after, if the door was opened, spread about the floor, hung upon the walls, pendant from the ceiling—what? My hands were empty. The shadow of a thrush crossed the carpet; from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound. “Safe, safe, safe,” the pulse of the house beat softly. “The treasure buried; the room . . . ” the pulse stopped short. Oh, was that the buried treasure?

A moment later the light had faded. Out in the garden then? But the trees spun darkness for a wandering beam of sun. So fine, so rare, coolly sunk beneath the surface the beam I sought always burnt behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs. “Safe, safe, safe,” the pulse of the house beat gladly. “The Treasure yours.”

The wind roars up the avenue. Trees stoop and bend this way and that. Moonbeams splash and spill wildly in the rain. But the beam of the lamp falls straight from the window. The candle burns stiff and still. Wandering through the house, opening the windows, whispering not to wake us, the ghostly couple seek their joy.

“Here we slept,” she says. And he adds, “Kisses without number.” “Waking in the morning—” “Silver between the trees—” “Upstairs—” “In the garden—” “When summer came—” “In winter snowtime—” The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart.

Nearer they come; cease at the doorway. The wind falls, the rain slides silver down the glass. Our eyes darken; we hear no steps beside us; we see no lady spread her ghostly cloak. His hands shield the lantern. “Look,” he breathes. “Sound asleep. Love upon their lips.”

Stooping, holding their silver lamp above us, long they look and deeply. Long they pause. The wind drives straightly; the flame stoops slightly. Wild beams of moonlight cross both floor and wall, and, meeting, stain the faces bent; the faces pondering; the faces that search the sleepers and seek their hidden joy.

“Safe, safe, safe,” the heart of the house beats proudly. “Long years—” he sighs. “Again you found me.” “Here,” she murmurs, “sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure—” Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. “Safe! safe! safe!” the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry “Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.”

An interview

It was on my second visit to see Sai Baba that I was granted a private conversation with Him. These are called interviews. Almost everyday Baba would choose a group of people to talk to in a small room. Baba chose all kinds of people from all walks of life and all different countries. You couldn’t make an appointment to speak with Him. Presidents and movie stars. He did the choosing! Everyone wanted this interview, but I was very frightened by the thought of it. 

Baba usually asked people, “What do you want?” and I really didn’t know. I knew I didn’t want to be forced into a situation where I would talk like a parrot out of fear and say “I want Enlightenment! Enlightenment over good health or wealth.” I didn’t know what I wanted. That night he came to me in a dream and said “I know you’re frightened, don’t be. I will show you right now everything that will take place in the interview. And I won’t ask you any questions!” He told me two people were flying in from Los Angeles, Dave and Barbra Lambert. After they had been there for a few days, he would ask our group in for a talk! 

True to the dream – that’s what took place. 
I held the door open to His little room and let everyone in the group go in first. It numbered around forty or so. I sat in the back of the small room, hiding myself. He sat on a chair and sang a song to us, ‘Love is my Form, Truth is my name, Bliss is my food’. He called me to come sit in front of Him. Then He asked me if I would please massage His feet for Him. I began to gently massage His feet while He told stories and asked questions of certain people. I watched as He waved His hand and a gold pen appeared. He showed it to me and asked if I liked it. I said it looked like good workmanship. He agreed. He gave it to an Indian student that sat at His left, and smacked him on the face. He ‘created’ a packet of blue pills that he threw to one of the ladies in our group. He told me she didn’t know it, but she was going to have terrible stomach pains later in the day, and we should give her these pills along with fresh mango. “After 3 days she will be alright”, He told me. About ten minutes after the interview, Jenny collapsed.

He invited a small group of 6 people, not including myself, to go into another adjoining room. While the larger group waited, Baba pulled open a curtain and we sat down in a smaller room. He sat on an old chair, and this was where He usually asked people what they wanted. The group, 3 women and 3 men, sat quietly. I suddenly remembered this part in my dream that I had had with Baba. He was staring at me like an impatient schoolteacher waiting for me to say something!
I asked Baba, “May I ask you a question?” He said, “Yes, what is it?” It looked like relief flashed across the expression on His face. Like he was saying to me, “It’s about time, Phil!”
“What do You see when You see me?”, I asked. 
Baba looked at all the people sitting there in a state of semi-frozenness and said, “I see only Light and Love”. His reply seemed to warm everyone up and I went into another state of mind, and didn’t hear anything else till we rejoined the larger group.
Baba gave me 18 packets of Vibuthi, and everyone else received handfuls of it. Everyone walked out the door but me. I stood there alone with Baba. I was just looking into His eyes and He into mine. When suddenly he said, “Yes, what is it?”
I didn’t want any material thing from Baba at that moment, I realized. I just wanted to know He was for real! “Yes,” He said to me. I smiled and showed him this small silver ring of Shirdi Sai Baba that had recently broken. 
Not knowing how to ask him directly if He would fix it for me, I said instead, “Baba, look at this ring, what shall I do with it?” He looked at it and delivered a punch line I never expected. “If I were you I’d keep it”, He said. 
I nearly exploded in laughter, but contained myself as He walked me out the door, and I felt the warm sunlight disappear into a greater sunlight within me

Who said ISIS?

Prologue:

The police car is chasing the Innova which is speeding at 100kms/hr. The group of friends in Innova have no clue about what is happening.They find a police car behind them for no reason.
Terrified Sid says “Why the hell is that police car following us, Rahul!”
Rahul who was driving is at 100km/hr isn’t aware of what to do.
The police siren becomes even more noisy and the guys in Innova even more tense.

The chapter:

Sid,a charming young boy stays in Navi Mumbai.He is pursuing his MBA in marketing from a reputed college.
Aryan,his best friend also studies in the same collge.
As it is the third year of college life, Sid and Aryan decide to do something in order to enhance their extra curricular skills.
They join this committee called AISEC which deals with student exchange programs.

One of them had the opportunity to visit a foreign country in order for the exchange program.Sid being Sid let Aryan go for it and decided to drawback from the program.

The day was here to fly for Moscow.Everyone was excited and zealous.Sid and few of his friends decide to sea-off his friend.The mood was jolly and light.Everyone giving hugs and bidding farewell to Aryan for journey.

Sid was so excited that at the top of his voice he shouted “AISEC Zindabad”.

The next moment they find the cop car behind them.Apparently the cops took AISEC Zindabad as ISIS Zindabad and hence the chase.Shoot at sight orders were given if the Innova did not stop.

The chase went for 30 mins and then the Innova stopped. The police took Sid and friends to the police station only to find out that they were mere college guys and had come to dropoff their friend. They took this in writing from Sid and then let him go.
Sid and Friends had an amazing journey after all!Just like a roller coaster!

Epilogue:

Sid has started a campaign on social media which is called #nevershoutAISECzindabad
Please follow the same :p.

The boy – by Aarif Khan

It was a while before he spoke. With apparent unease, he strung words and uttered them in greater reluctance. The bonfire gleamed in his eyes, and each word slashed the air with a cold vibe, demanding absolute attention and a silence spread amongst the group. His bare hands lay, raw and hard, with dried blood in apparent neglect. Between his shivering words, one could hear the dark and cruel night; as dark silhouettes swooshed among the swaying trees through the sky, without a cloud in sight. The moon was full tonight and hung still, bathing the group below in its white and ghostly shine.

The orphan was no older than twelve and barely had cloth to cover his bare torso. However, it was his eyes that seemed to draw us into its depths. They glistened, moist and blue, echoing the pain he had endured. Yet they allured the lot of us, into an ocean of mystical depth, where we could delve into peace and quiet and the emotion most unknown to him; happiness. He seemed to be looking into nowhere; far from the present being. The dried tracts of tears running down his hollow cheeks betrayed the horror of his life and the uncertainties of his future.

When he fell silent, I found myself silently crying, like every one of us surrounding the lad. It seemed surreal; his words had struck our deepest chords of childhood fears, troubles and insecurities, when we could huddle up to a warm blanket and be held in caring and strong arms. Yet after so many years, I felt alone once again, almost vulnerable. Strange it did seem that a town slept peacefully below, where children still dreamt and men hoped of tomorrow. Dawn was breaking, and a rooster crowed in the distant far. Life was serene, perhaps beautiful, in this forgotten part of the world.

The Ian Johnson translation of Franz Kafka’s “Vor dem Gesetz,” or “Before the Law,”

Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” At the moment the gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try it in spite of my prohibition. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I can’t endure even one glimpse of the third.” The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.” During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud, later, as he grows old, he still mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body.”

Corridor of Uncertainty

This game of 11 players played between 22 yards isn’t really a game, it offers you important life lessons at times.There are lot of technical terms associated with this very game which an individual needs to know thoroughly.

People generally have this debate : Is cricket an art or science?

In my opinion it represents both sides of the coin.

For example, there is this technical term which is called as ‘Corridor of uncertainty’.

This term is very popular among the bowlers and once mastered it helps you to go through the 11 batsmen with ease.In simple words Corridor of Uncertainty is the area right outside the off stump which a bowler needs to aim. The length of the bowl should just be right after the good length and before the full length.The purpose of such a ball is to confuse the batsman whether to go for the ball or leave it safely. It should put the batsman in two minds and ensure uncertainty.

While I associate this term with a lad who is in his/her 20’s but it is applicable holistically per se. In the mid twenties we too are placed into this corridor of uncertainty. There are some choices you need to make.Whether to go for them or leave them.If only leaving those choices would have repulsive effect in the future! What if that was the choice which would have gone out of the park and for a six! On the other hand leaving that would have rather helped than getting your stumps out of the ground.For life is one great bowler and it will put you into this corridor of uncertainty at times.You need be the best batsman and deal the uncertainty with certainty.

There are no written rules or theories which suggests how to tackle this uncertainty.But some batsman try and improvise by shuffling across the wickets to avoid the leg before wicket.This might help at times but not always. In my opinion the very basic and golden rule of the game should help tackle this.

If you are getting your head inline and over the top off the ball then you eliminate any uncertainty!

This is as simple as get on top of your problems, a step ahead, a step focused and you shall be in a better place to tackle this very uncertainty.You can’t simply avoid it but at least you can lessen the impact of it by being prepared at the right time.Identify what the actual problem is as it comes and eventually hit it out of the park for a six.In due course improvise on the skills needed to stay strong and focused.

Sachin once trained himself on soggy pitches in Mumbai to counter the leg spin of Shane Warne when it’s damp back in Australia.He prepared himself to make the uncertain,certain.

So cricket is not only science it is also an art, an art of living :p.

This quote by the great sums up the article!

‘Enjoy your game and chase your dreams, because dreams do come true’

  — Sachin Tendulkar