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It was an early December morning, a bit foggy which is normal in this part of the world. I was hurrying with my morning chores in my rented room. It was a big day for me and I had to catch up with my team at 7:00. At 6:30, I was still fumbling with my shoe laces.

The occasion was inter college cricket tournament and I was happy to be a part of the college team. For two consecutive years now I have been selected for the college team. However this was going to be my first outing as I hadn’t played the tournament last year due to my exams.

No sooner had I reached the college gate than I heard our team captain yelling out for everyone to board a bus that was taking us to the venue of the game. As I climbed up the bus dragging my kit, I realized that the bus was nearly full with my college mates going along with the team for support. As the bus steered through the morning mist, I began contemplating about our training sessions. I began thinking how hard we had trained for this particular game. At first it was not a piece of cake to get into the college team. One need to compete with 50 odd guys and only 15 would be selected into a squad. Then it was all up to the individual’s performance to get into the playing eleven. I was selected into the squad for my batting skills and got a chance to be in the playing eleven for the first outing. Being a left handed batsman and presumably with a good technique, I was placed to open the innings.

Mr. kafle our coach used to monitor the team during the practice sessions, sometimes the whole day. I remembered those twenty rounds I was asked ordered to run when I had dropped a catch in a practice session and also those twenty push-ups when I had got my fellow partner run out. A sharp shudder with the squeaking of the brakes brought me back to the reality. We had already reached the venue of the tournament. After unboarding we quickly switched for stretch up and some catching practices. A quick physical maneuvering warmed us up but then I felt an urge to eat something. I had missed my morning tea and light eat ups.

The ground was smaller than we were used to playing at. So I thought a well timed shot could fetch easy boundaries. Then on close inspection of the pitch I found it was too moist and prayed against batting first. Toss time: “we lose it and we’re bowling first” I heard our captain saying. “Thank god”-a sigh of relief escaped my mouth.  Match started, I was fielding at point, and a key position to field as the ball would come swiftly following a cut or a drive by the batsman. It was going all well and I was gaining composure. We were getting wickets and the run rate was well under control. Suddenly in the middle over, a batsman went for a furious drive through covers but only managing to balloon the ball in the air. ­The ball was reeling right over my spot. I balanced myself, focused and watched the ball.  Still fearful I stretched my palms. Yeahhh……I found myself yelling when I had gripped on that leather ball. “Good take” the captain brushed my hair. I was growing in confidence now. I was moving with every ball, backing up the bowler and at times annoying the batsman with some ‘you fear us’ statements. Couple of overs later a batsman cut a short delivery. It was hit hard, ball coming my way. My reflexes prompted me to jump forward and yes! I got another one; even better this time. After the stipulated 20 overs, the opponent ended on a respectable total. On checking the required rate, I found it was easily gettable and was quite positive regarding the outcome.

During the innings break I had some fruits and confectioneries to get instant energy. That was just right to satiate my hunger and charged me up for the 2nd innings. I got padded up, wore a helmet and all those inner protectives. I readied myself for batting. Then the time arrived and I made my way into the ground with my fellow opener. On the way to the pitch we talked about making good calls and avoiding mix-ups.

First ball, my mate managed a bat to a low bounce delivery. We ran for a single. Run off a first ball, good start I thought. There came my big moment. I walked around the wicket, tapped the pitch to fathom its hardness. I took guard on the leg stumps, looked around to see the field setup and gaps for runs. One particular region on the on side between long-on and square leg was largely vacant. I bent over and took my regular left handed stance. I got a good view of the bowler now. He was of a medium height with seemingly strong body. A dark complexioned man, he had done his curly hair behind giving him an aggressively look. My heart started to pound harder as the bowler started his run up. As soon as he released the ball with a big jump, I realized it was not coming with a vertical seam and thus there will be no lateral movement. Within those split of a second I figured out that the ball was banged in short, almost in the middle of the pitch. My reflexes pulled me on to the backfoot, positioned my body for a big pull shot. Realization of a big vacant space over midwicket might have guided my reflexes. There came the ball, pitched well short, was bound to come at least my waist height. I lifted my bat high for a better momentum. There came the ball, my front foot went forward to adjust for the shot. There came the ball, I swung hard. Bang! The ball rafted my pads, the bowler leaped up with a big appeal. Other close-in fielders joined in synchronization. I looked towards the umpire, up went the index finger. I was adjudged leg before wicket (LBW) out.

I stood in awe for a few seconds. Then I decided to leave towards the dug-out. It took me only about a minute from the pitch to the dug-out but millions of thoughts crossed my mind. First; why did I go for a big shot in the very first ball I faced? Why I did not negotiate the low bounce of the pitch? Why I forgot to keep patience which used to be my virtue in the game?

 

 

Today, I went through my drawer filled with 5-6 years old cheats. Those cheat that were given to me by my True Friend; yes True Friend that is what I called her at school and she reciprocated by saying the same.

I now got clue that something was not straight forward in her mind then. One particular letter had so much hidden meanings and messages that I hadn’t deciphered then but now. May be she wanted me in some different way. I ………………………..

Now I confess my same feelings towards her. I’ve always respected her. I’ve never respected any other lady till today as I’ve respected you. ‘Respect’ is my own virtue for love and care. I cared for you. I liked you for being what you were. I’m sorry for any sort of wound I inflicted upon you. I’m sorry for not being the kind/type you wanted me to. I’m sorry for what you thought that I had you in my target of infuriation. I had loved you so much that I could not hear others linking your name to classmates.

Every next day I would seek for the opportunity to talk to you. Nothing special but just to talk, to be close to you, to see you see me. I loathed when someone commented about your dress. One particular occasion you had worn an inner garment whose laces were tied at the level of your shirt collar. Some boys commented badly on that, which I couldn’t withstand. I had an urge to tell you not to wear those types anymore. But how could I tell you? I was ashamed of talking craps.

Whenever you were near me in the examination hall, I would consider my luck with me and I invariably topped every time you were seated in my proximity. A lot to tell you but I don’t know how and when. I think I would end up writing novel on this.

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FOG WATER HARVESTING

Recently, I had been on a pilgrimage to Shree Pathivara Mata Temple. Situated in Taplejung district of eastern Nepal, the temple has been the most visited pilgrimage site of the region. The temple is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 3794 m. (12448 ft.) It took us two days of trekking to reach there from the district headquarter Fungling.

As one would scale up the mountain and reach flat settlement of the temple at the top, s/he would be overwhelmed by the panorama of the snow-covered mountains in the north, making almost an arc. Same happened with m e. I was ecstatic. As we were taking a trip round the temple rather than entering through the main gate, two large curtains grabbed my attention. I enquired about it with the locals and there I was, fascinated by the technology. It was the technique of harvesting water from fog. When I got back from Taplejung I studied about it and came up with the concept of writing this blog.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

In the 1980s, Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) intended to study the constituent of fog. For this they began constructing fog collecting devices. The success of their study interested some Chilean scientists. So they collaborated with the MSC and experimented on different designs on EI Tofo Mountain in Chile. 50 units of the fog collecting devices were installed with the intention of irrigating the saplings in the mountain. Later, on demand of the residents of nearby Chunglung village which was facing water scarcity, the collected water was piped downhill where it was used for various purposes including human consumption.

The success of this magnificent technology caught attention of the global community and thus International Organization for Dew Utilization (IODW) was formed. Researchers from the member nations formed a non profit organization called FogQuest. It is through the FogQuest that the facilities are now settled and evaluated in the countries like Nepal, Yemen, Haiti, Guatemala and Chile.

HOW IT WORKS?

Large Fog Collectors of 4 * 8 m2 size and made up of sheets of polypropylene mesh are erected on poles at suitable locations. When fog comes in contact with the fog collecting curtains, condensation of water takes place in the weave of the mesh. The condensed dew are collected drop by drop onto a pipe placed at the bottom and sides of the sheet and then into a reservoir tank.

Although designed for irrigation of saplings, water on test met all the standards for pure drinking water as set by the WHO. This technology of converting fog into pure water is a boon to the mountainous regions where no fresh water sources is available but the fog. In Pathivara itself, before the establishment of the facility there was a scarcity of water and the pilgrims had to carry water uphill from a nearby settlement 3 kms away. What is more striking about fog water harvesting is that it does not require any form of energy to operate and there is no wastage of any kind that would pollute the environment. Thus it is green and sustainable technique.

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