Golf on a Sunday ?
by Mahadev Desai
It was Sunday. All the house chores were done the previous day.
I got up and looked at the blue skies. It was fairly cool and
breezy. I was sipping 3rd round of spicy chai in ‘Atlanta
Braves’ mug, trying to shift my brain from third to top gear.
Chipper was relaxing listening to Rahman’s music. Thank God, I
had no journalistic assignment for the day. I was looking
forward to watching U.S. Open “Men’s” Finals between Nadal and
The phone rang. It was for my wife. I had to interrupt her in
her morning Pooja. After putting the phone down, she
announced,”Shantaben has invited me to go watch Hindi movie,"
Wake up, Sid”at her house. She was in the middle of her
breakfast, so I accepted her invitation and put the phone down.
“I bet,” I said. I could imagine Shantaben stuffing herself on
toast, chevda, and muffins.
I was about to turn on the T/V, when in ran Bintu. He came in so
fast as if he was making a home run from the third base! Panting
and puffing, he said,” Dad, can I get an air rifle. “He had a
new Tee shirt on with a ‘Star wars’ logo on it.
“Where did you get this from? I asked. He smiled and said, “I
bought it from Andy, with my own savings in the piggy bank.60%
off the list price and 5% cash discount!” I think Bintu will be
Treasury Secretary when he grows up.
I said, “Listen Bintu, I am sorry to disappoint you. Don’t you
know our President is trying to discourage use of rifles? It is
not safe. You can blind some one if you are not careful with
your aim.” Bintu protested, “But dad, I’ll be careful,
honest.Like my pal Billy, I’ll shoot only birds.”
I stood my ground, “I understand what you say but unlike Billy,
remember you are a Hindu. You should practice non-violence in
thoughts and deeds. You shouldn’t be shooting birds or eating
them either. Think of some better gift instead.”
Bintu needed some time to digest this, so he dashed in the
garage, grabbed his bike and furiously pedaled away. He loves
biking. Maybe he is trying to reduce his carbon print. With him,
where there is a wheel, there is a way.
I turned on the TV. Federer had won the first set-a tie breaker.
While Nadal was resting in a chair, his head covered with a
towel and looking like Lawrence of Arabia, Bud Weiser and Coca
Cola were merrily pushing their refreshing drinks and ensuring
fat bonuses for their top brass!
My friend Rishi called. “What are you doing today? Feel like a
game of golf-it’s a beautiful day.” I was afraid my wife would
kill me if I stayed out all day, so I whispered,” we’ll have to
make it snappy. Nine holes only.”
I am good with games, both indoors and outdoors that involves
balls-soccer, volleyball, cricket, tennis, tabletennis, bowling
and golf. I would love to try baseball and basketball too (if I
can learn to jump like Michael Jordan!).
I watched 9.30 a.m. CNN Sports news. Nadal had won the second
set. My wife came down after finishing her pooja (I bet she was
thinking of “Wake up, Sid” while praying!). She reminded me of
Bintu’s approaching birthday at the end of the month and listed
a few chores for Monday.
It was ten minutes to eleven. “Look what you did. You made me
miss 10-30 a.m. news! She retorted, “Whats so important with the
news that you need to watch it every half hour. Third World War
hasn’t begun yet, let me assure you.” I said, “It’s not that. I
wanted to know fate of Nadal.”. She seemed more interested in
the tennis results than me. “
Bintu had left the radio on in his bedroom and I had already
heard Nadal had lost the third set. My wife was rooting for
Nadal so she was a bit dejected, because Federer had won.
‘Shame, the guy is taking all the prize money away and adding to
the massive U.S.deficit’ she moaned. And left for Shantaben’s
Rishi honked from his car. And we were away. I like Rishi but
not his attitude. His ego is worse than his handicap. And he is
tight fisted too. The course he had booked was worse than the
Old maidan in Mumbai. It took us an hour to find the place. It
got 15 degrees hotter by the time we reached the 9th hole. I was
feeling like a boiled potato in a pressure cooker. I was playing
golf after a long interval so I had to take seven practice
swings before hitting the ball. I was wearing my new pair of
glasses. So the very first shot I hit landed in the rough, where
the grass was as tall as sugarcane in Haiti. I spent ten minutes
looking for the ball and when I spotted one, it was with a
different brand name! Three hits ended in someone’s garden and
two went for a swim in the water pool. All the time I was
conscious of the time, so I hurried my shots. I am surprised I
didn’t get a speeding ticket. Rishi practices regularly. His
birdie putts would have made Tiger proud! He was a clear winner
and I had to buy him a six pack Budweiser.
I felt miserable on return trip home, as I had to listen to
Rishi’s bragging about his game. Golf needs tremendous practice.
No wonder Churchill said,” It is a game whose aim is to hit a
very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons
singularly ill designed for the purpose.
My wife on the other hand was in a good mood after seeing Ranbir
Kapoor. She was making sweet rice kheer. I dipped my finger in
it and tasted saffron. “Where did you get all this saffron
from?” I asked. “Well, I bought three bags of Tilda rice and got
free samples of saffron with it.” I said,’Well,that's not a wise
move. Who will eat all the basmati rice?” She was ready with the
answer,” It won’t last that long. Instead of dal and roti,we can
now switch to curd-rice, tamarind- rice,idlis,khichdi, and
She asked me about my golf game. When I told her I had lost, she
said,” I am so happy. It is better if you wield a pen than swing
a golf club’.
Kindhearted that she is, she took some kheer to Shantaben.
Shantaben gorged on it. In the evening, when she accompanied us
for a stroll in the sub-division, she walked like a doll whose
batteries had almost run out.