Friday, November 4, 2011

Cricket in the Slums

This morning, I had a rude awaking and was forced out of bed at 8:30.  It is going to be harsh when I go back to school.  At home, I normally wake up at around seven o’clock!   Today, we drove to the same clinic where my dad saw patients yesterday afternoon.  Today, though, he had to work from ten in the morning to six at night.  I only had to complete one lesson of math.  As you know, completing a lesson of math does not take me eight hours.  So, I would have some free time!  I had two interesting experiences during my jail break.  First, I walked with Mom and Ivan through the slum neighborhood and later I played cricket with the local kids.

By far, the most amazing of the two experiences was walking through the slum neighborhood.  We started off walking from the clinic and followed Ivan who had walked through this neighborhood yesterday.  We soon witnessed major poverty.  Along the alleyways through the neighborhood, raw sewage, deep piles of garbage, rotting food, flies, pools of mucky water and people, shared the space.  Along the streets, were people with ragged clothes and vendors.  The buildings were all high apartments with clothes hanging from walls made out of old, dingy cement.  The streets were uneven dirt roads with layers and layers of trash. 

One of the most amazing things for me about the slum, was that poverty did not affect the happiness of the people.  Kids ran up to us laughing. They loved having their pictures taken and would crowd around the camera and smile.  Mom made a "frankenstein laugh" and the kids imitated her laugh as they followed us on our walk. The grown ups interacted with us less.  When I smiled at them, they mostly looked down. I think the adults had a better idea of how poor they were.

When we walked back to the clinic, it was hard to keep the kids away.  We walked upstairs to the office above the clinic and fifty kids tried to follow.  Mom and Ivan drove them back downstairs.  Later, I played a game of cards with one of the kids who is often at the clinic.  It was difficult for me to break away from the game.  When I tried to move on and listen to a conversation, he continued to pursue the card game.  By the way, he did know how to play Gin Rummy.  I found it interesting that a kid in India knew how to play a game that I play. 

The second highlight of my day was playing cricket with the local kids.  All over the slum, kids were playing cricket.  I do not know all of the rules, but the game involves a pitcher rolling and bouncing the ball on the ground and a batter hitting the ball after it bounce once.  The batter hits the ball close to the ground with an underhand swing, sending the ball flying.  I enjoy baseball and after learning the basic rules I was a champ at cricket.  I loved being able to hit the ball high in the air.  I had a blast playing with all of the kids.

Today was a long and interesting day.  Tonight, we will have a celebratory dinner and tomorrow we will leave Mumbai! Check out the Daily News India article on the rally

I am super excited to see more of India!

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic! 


  1. Must have been a very educational day...

    Cool that you got your picture in the paper!

  2. Rohan - As always, I enjoyed hearing all that you are doing over there and I loved seeing your picture in the paper. I found the walk through the slums especially interesting and, of course, sad. It is always such an excellent reality check to have experiences such as you are having. We traveled with Rush and Alli in Central and South America numerous times and sometimes I felt the trips were almost too didactic as Rush seemed to suffer due to the hopeless plight of so many people. He now says that those trips were the best experiences of his early life and ,I think, he is the wonderful compassionate person he is because of them. You are seeing so much more than he did, though, and I hope you do not internalize too much of the worlds suffering! He was even a bit mad at me for dragging him to so many places. Keep up the great work Rohan with your blog AND dealing with all the myriad details of travel. You are very insightful! peter