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Abinash Pani



Abinash Pani


Touch Of His Bat

Touch Of His Bat

6 mins 12.7K 6 mins 12.7K

While the whole class of VI-B became a fishmarket like noisy, sitting at the third bench of the class, Abinash was looking out of the window. November's weather of Cuttack city was cool enough for the cosmopolitan people but the sweat droplets were rolling down from Abinash's head was signifying that he is in deep thought.

Suddenly Daitari Sir came to the class and with the strike of his stick on the teacher's desk, everyone became quiet. Most of the students consider him a furious teacher of the school and he was teaching mathematics.

"Hey! what happened? You are looking so serious today. Is everything okay at home," Sirshak said whisperingly to Abinash.

Abinash didn't say anything to Sirshak for few minutes but he was writing something in his notebook and later showed that to Sirshak.

"Ohh god! please don't do this. If teachers will know about this plan then we both will be driven out from school," again Sirshak said whisperingly.

"Hey you taller one, stand up on the bench and you little fellow come here and do this maths on the blackboard," Daitari Sir shouted at them after noticing both's activity.

Abinash silently went to the blackboard and solved the mathematics problem but his punishment is yet to be finished.

"What you were doing there?"

Abinash remained silent. 

"You little disturbing element.... always making others disturbed and that fellow always with you. Show me your hand," Daitari Sir asked Abinash.

He showed his right hand and Sir banged three strokes of the stick on his hand. However, he did not react to his pain.

Abinash went back to his seat and again looked out of the window but this time, a little smile was poured in his face. He looked at Sirshak and blinked. Sirshak also smiled at him 

It was the last period before the lunch break and Daitari Sir left the class five minutes earlier.

Meanwhile, Abinash jumped out from the classroom and hold Sanjay Bhai's hand. Sanjay Bhai was the peon of our school and favorite person of everyone. Boys like him because of his cricket storytelling skills. He used to tell us stories of early Indian cricket stories. He was just a tenth class passed person but he had the knowledge of the entire cricket world. Ganguly's shirt wave at lords story, Anil Kumble's jaw break story, and his special stories on India Pakistan battle at cricket ground were always kept boys around him.

But there was no match on that particular day. 

"Bhai.... what is the score of Odisha vs UP at Barabati stadium? UP is still batting or not?," Abinash asked him immensely.

" Don't ask me, anything babu.... one left-handed little man is batting since yesterday. Our bowlers, Nataraj Behera, Preetamjeet, and Khatua were away from the track. We are going to lose this match," Sanjay Bhai said in a flow.

Ohh! they were taking about Odisha vs UP Ranji trophy match and that was not so important for others.

But strange! Abinash was jumping in the air after hearing that our team is going to lose this match.

He came into the class and took his school bag with him and ran towards the cycle stand. Before getting out of the class he hugged Sirshak and said loudly," Bhai is on the form...."

Yes! it's all about his favorite cricketer cum god, Suresh Raina. He is a die heart fan of him. Raina, who has been with the Chennai franchise for a long while, is popular with the cricket fans; he has been called ‘Chinna Thala’ nowadays.

But Abinash is his fan since he has been selected for under 19 cricket team. He used to keep Raina's photo is his pocket and kept every photo of Raina which had placed in Odia and the English newspaper. 

Abinash says... like Hanuman tore his chest and Ram-Sita were there, If anyone will ask me to tear my chest, I would definitely show them Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in it.  

And today, he fled from school to see his hero's batting. He was paddling his bicycle as fast as possible to reach the Barabati stadium. While leaving school, he did not care for any issues but his willpower traced him towards his way.

According to Harsha Bhogle," Cricket is the only sport in the world where you are absolutely horrible at something and you still need to go out and do it." And this quote tends to Abinash.

He always throws the dice to the empty field and never expects to achieve a six but he throws dice because he has that much of guts to make it six.

He reached the Barabati stadium within 15 minutes as he had covered 7 km distance from Secondary Board High School. After parking the cycle near the gate, he ran into the horse gate guest house. In those days Ranji matches were ticket free, so he rushed to the boundary gate and that's it.

He saw his hero batting at 198. Just 2 runs away from his maiden double ton. His heartbeat increased suddenly and he was feeling incredibly nervous for his hero. His nails were almost deserted away from his finger.

Khatua bowled the fourth delivery and Raina hit a handsome cover-drive. All guns of Abinash's mind blazed and he shouted," Thank you Bhaiyaaaaaaaa.........."

There was less number of people present in the gallery to watch this match. This was his first double hundred in first-class cricket and after getting it successfully he stated covering the whole ground.

Abinash was repeatedly shouting," Congo... Bhaiyaa... Kamaal 3 number ka.....Raina ... Raina...". As the ground and gallery were had less number of people, the sound of Abinash was clearly audible to Suresh Raina. 

Suddenly, Raina started walking towards Abinash with his bat. Everyone got stunned after seeing Raina's such gesture but Abinash stood fearlessly there. The moment Raina walked down towards him, the tears of happiness rolled down from his eyes. He was not crying but applauding his hero for this great success. The iron fence was there where Abinash crisscrossed his fingers.

Suresh Raina came to him and touched his hand with the bat, smiled at Abinash, and returned to pitch. Suresh Raina had led his team to a strong batting display with his maiden double hundred in the Ranji Trophy. Raina scored 203 from 217 balls and was well supported by all-rounder Piyush Chawla, who scored 69 runs.  

But that day scripted in the soul of Abinash. That 10-year-old boy of Cuttack who dreamt to see his ideal just fulfilled his thirstiness through the touch of Suresh Raina's bat.

After 12 years of this incident, one day I asked Abinash that How did you feel that moment, and what's your feelings for your hero now? 

He answered very simply," That was the moment where I want to go every day. I don't know whether Bhaiyaa Ji (Suresh Raina) would have remembered it or not. But many times I got the chance to see him from near. I just see him and come back. I did not overjoyed or mad out of my appearance at those time. We are for him. We want him and for this, he is our hero. We have that much respect for him and for that I worship him like a god. In every Rakhi, my little sister ties knot to Raina and Dhoni photo then my turn comes. My mother considers him as his first son."

Answering my last question he said," My feelings are same for him because I'm not born as Raina fan but definitely die as his fan."  

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