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Hurt

One of the indisputable joys of my holiday has been the daily dose of cricket. The Puneri and I have been batting and bowling at and to each other for just about 15 years. But that is a different, mostly meditative experience. A regular game of neighbourhood cricket involves more people, excitement, gamesmanship and yes, fun too.

Being the supremely fit early 30s types, which is to say 'not', we play half-cricket with the kids in his society. Mercifully, this involves a tennis ball, one step chuck-bowling and fewer asthmatic huffs and puffs. So, balmy Pune evenings have been spent satisfactorily thwacking the ball to all parts and rediscovering lungs.

That is, until I attempted to take a catch, only to have the ball smash squarely into the top joint of an involuntarily bent index finger. If you've ever played any impact sport, you may have winced right now. As well you might. One minute, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and all was right with the world. This halcyon scene was swiftly eclipsed and the birds silenced by my squawk of agony. Signals were being urgently telegraphed to my brain that woe was about to be me.

Within a minute the finger had swollen up so fast, my other appendage should have been taking admiring notes. I took one look at joint which was heavily bruised and turning a shade that would put most sunsets to shame and did what the average guy would do; continued playing until the game was over, after which I iced the injury. Yes, I know... men are stupid like that. I then got home and taped it, hoping to straighten out the finger which, alarmingly enough, was now bending of its own volition.

I tried to correct the curve out once. Just once. Let me tell you now, dear reader, that I am no stranger to pain; a migraine is my bosom buddy. But this was an "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger... and you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee" level of agony.

After two days of watching the finger attempt to become a brinjal and me yelp every time a breeze wafted by, the pater indicated a doctor's visit was needed. The medico glanced at it and delivered his verdict with a nonchalance a la Eastwood in the best kind of Spaghetti Western - hairline fracture with the tendon possibly torn off the joint. He then told me I had to wear a Mallet Splint on the finger for 6 weeks or let it develop a hook more befitting a Stymphalian bird. 

There was only one problem. This particular splint must be the rarest bit of medical equipment in the greater Aundh-Baner area because the 17 pharmacies I visited in search of it... er... gave me the finger? (seems the most appropriate phrase here). They either shot llamaesque looks of scorn at my daring to even ask for the mallet splint or pulled out a variety of paraphernalia which were everything but what I needed. Of course.

With a temporary splint jury-rigged out of toothpicks and tape in the best MacGyver fashion, I type this, forced to make do until tomorrow when the search continues. I won't lie and say this injury hasn't dampened my holiday mood. Still, I comfort myself with the thought that my spirit may be bent but it surely will never be broken. My body has other ideas, however.

Song for the moment: This ain't the summer of love - Blue Öyster Cult

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