"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




It was the last ball and he was on strike. It was his chance to hit the winning shot. He was not trained for this but he had dreamt of it so many times that he knew exactly what to do.

It was a climax that his buddies would kill for, and he, of all, had got the chance. His seniors would be so jealous of him. They always spoke of this very moment and the greatness that lay beyond it. He stood on the threshold of that greatness and was just one strike away from it. He pinched himself to assure it was not a dream. Yes! he was there - really there - bang in the middle of it all. He looked all around and saw the crowd peering at him - their faces blank in tension. Only he could fill the color of joy in them!

In one silent fleeting moment, his memories flashed-back. How, as a teenager, he loved playing cricket in the streets of the valley. Abdul was his buddy and best batting partner. They had together won so many tournaments that everyone in the town knew they will be big players someday. Then one day, a training camp was setup in their town. Within days, none of his mates came to play on the streets. He heard they were all training in the camp now. Abdul had met him one evening and asked that they should go too - he had heard they taught very well at the camp and they said it was the best way to attain their glory. He had agreed and life had moved so fast since then..

Now! it was time to stop dreaming and claim his moment of fame. He saw the bowler come hurtling towards him; he took guard. The ball was a full-toss directed to his chest. Oh! he couldn't have asked for anything better. He had hit a very similar ball for a six in a school match 4 years back. He bent his knees, leaned back a little, took one last breath and heaved all his energy into one flourishing swing and... Boom!

There was stunned silence for a moment; when the dust settled, everyone jumped out of their places and cheered. The last of the terrorists was dead; the seize of the mosque had ended. 

The army commander baffled, "What the hell! Did we throw him a grenade or what?", while the other men wondered, "Do they watch so much of IPL in terrorist camps too?"
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