Sunday lockdown spurs a comeback for gully cricket

For the past few weeks, young Chennaiites, like every other citizen has been home-bound on account on the day-long lockdown imposed on Sunday.
Sunday lockdown spurs a comeback for gully cricket


The government imposed these restrictions with a view to flatten the COVID curve to some extent, by minimising contact between people at least for a day. The prevailing logic of the Sunday lockdown is that it’s being enforced at a day when people tend to lower their guard and make a beeline for everything from supermarkets to shopping malls, multiplexes, playgrounds, gymnasiums and more. And maybe stunting that crowd, even if it was for 24 hours might possibly work wonders for our R-rate.
Of course, that narrative does not sit very well for a few rambunctious youngsters in the city, who chose to turn the bylanes and interior roads of the city into a personal playground. People who had ventured out on account of purchasing essential supplies such as milk or even medicines witnessed how gully cricket and gully football has made a furtive comeback in Chennai on the day of lockdown. Take for instance, N Pandian, a college-goer and a resident of Velachery, who complained of pandemic fatigue and chose to indulge himself and his mates with a quick game of T20, right on Velachery Main Road.
He tells us, “Most of our friends are aware of the areas where law enforcement officials tend to patrol. Once they pass through the route, they do not return until a few hours later. And we got really bored sitting at home on Sunday. After all, how much can you watch TV or OTT on any given day. So, we decided to set up a few place-markers near the main road, and decided we could have quick game.” For many others, the fear of oncoming traffic was set aside for one day, as the number of vehicles had literally whittled down to a handful, mostly departures and arrivals at the various transport hubs. Which is not to say that playing on the roads is any less dangerous. Surekha TP, an HR professional who was en-route to the airport says , “I was quite surprised to see the manner in which many young kids were dribbling on the roads with no masks to speak of. I blame the parents for not correcting such careless attitudes, right from the start.”

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