The spectators | Sunday Observer

The spectators

25 October, 2020

The batsmen are at the crease
Facing with ease
The balls thundering down the pitch
And I leap in the stand,
With the others as one man
Screaming and claiming for me, as my own,
Each ball stroked
Down the field to the ropes.
And then we get back to our seats and dote
Watching the batsmen do the things
That we should have done ourselves
Our way to score our runs.
Our games are played by others
For us
As we sit back to lead lives of spectators
To count the runs of others as ours
Without making one stroke at the crease
To feel the power
Of driving the balls
The way we want
All over the field
With cheers ringing in our ears.
We sit back to live the days of our lives
Jumping into the lives of others as ours.
May be, I derive my joy
By making others work for me?
We are all spectators
Happily paying others
To play the role
We can’t enact.
Yes, I have paid for every stroke
The batsman played
To make me happy.
We know how to bat
But it is others
Who are doing it for us.
We know how to catch
But they are dropping the ball
Letting us down
Like Humpty-Dumpty
Fallen from the great wall.
Our lives are played for us
By others who bat and bowl
Swinging the ball
Every which way except ours.
And when the game is over
We trek home wondering
Why we let others drop the catches.
Generations have sat as spectators
Like us in wide open spaces
Watching others play out our lives
Filling our feelings with fancies and lies.

H. L. D. Mahindapala
([email protected])