Skip to main content

One More for Cricket

This piece was conceptualized in the mind around 6pm, March 29th 2011. The time Blue vs Green flannels were tensing it out at Mohali, amongst the oxymoronic raucous raptures.

Towards the early evening, as I checked the score, I felt were not in a great position and hence dropped the idea of watching the last 10 overs of the first innings. Instead, I thought I ll venture out and run some errands and maybe drive around a bit.

Wow! OMG!! Crazy Country!!! These and such like exclamations spurted out as soon as I got behind the wheel. The roads were all empty. Like a war deserted town. Just that this war was going on live in present tense a couple of thousand kilo metres away. And as I drove around a bit more – as the India position looked worth a grin or a grinner - I saw traffic posts being deserted. Shops either totally empty and full house [with the entire neighbourhood glued to the tele].

Such is the power of the religion Cricket in this country. Such is the emotional drama associated with an India-Pakistan match. That the match was a world cup semi final, hosted in India, add to the colours.

A victory in such matches is an icing. However, the outcome of such matches is just irrelevant. The very fact an indifferent country gets so involved – that offices go half-day [thanks to day-night matches], baby-births are delayed, casualty wards come stand-still, the first family in watching the match, that too with bit lips [not the fevi! :) glued smiley and a wave] – is a startle. Beyond the frenzy associated with births and deaths [more the latter], no other event – not even a cricket match won against other heavy weights or for that matter winning the world cup – would attract such an attention.

This mass euphoria over one sport, or for that matter the country having one common issue [not even inflation attracts this kind of mass/media appeal] is matter which confounds. Why only cricket? Why do we play well only in Cricket? Why do so many youngsters naturally take to cricket – which is not the most popular sport in the world? This needs a doctoral degree in country psychology to answer. And am sure the answers of different people will not match.

One thing is certain though, that I throughly enjoyed my sorties in the empty BBSR roads on that 29th evening before reaching home in time to watch the last 5 overs of Pakistan’s innings and all the delirious chants and chats that followed in the streets and TV shows [espl the joker of the pack – Navjyot Sidhu – when he batted it never occurred, that he could have this drama dimension to himself] respectively.

Contrast the jubilant crowds after the match and the emptiness in the street during it – and that sums it all.

That is the only religion we have in India.

April 1, 2011


  1. Nicely Captured!
    Its a over-hyped game..we take pride at being champions among some 10 odd cricketing nations...what about India being a champion at Chess among 150+ chess playing nations...a dominant player in shooting et al!

    Fanatic lopsided rewards and celebrations is sick!!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dura Pahada Sundara [Far-away Mountains are Beautiful]

I realize how seriously we take a place we visit specifically to see it – an event in itself, and how much taken for granted are those places that we can hop in an out with regularity and ease.

Interestingly I had never wrote or thought of writing about Puri or Konark or Cuttack. Places for which reams have been and can be written. The history, the culture, the cuisine and the local chutzpah [espl. Puri / Cuttack]. Even more interestingly, I have never pondered enough on these places and their unique niceties to have them simmering in my cerebral consciousness. They are somewhere deep there sedimented at best; and at [likely] worst, I do not have the desired ammunition to do justice to write anything substantial. Probably, I will have to resort to the frivolous flourish of the might of the language as a cover.

A point to note - I have never seen the Bali Yatra [Cuttackis don’t faint please]. The Puri beach and temple I have always felt is my backyard [so had the taken for granted attitu…

For a religion or a product, an open door policy will work best

In the recent past, we have been witness to catchy rhetoric with regards to religious conversion. Strident calls to banning conversion, Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad et al. I would like to stick my neck out and say almost everyone, right (‘bhakts’), left (‘liberals’), centre (government), has missed out on the most balanced perspective.
A person has a right to choose a city and country different from his parents, he or she can also change his or her name given by the parents, what is wrong with the person choosing a religion different from he or she was born with.
Religion is an experiential product. Products thrive when they are responsive to customer feedback. We go to five-star hotel to get pampered, if we are unhappy with the service we may not return. If the hotel has a problem with service quality, then over a period of time it will lose substantial business; then either it will buckle up based on customer feedback or will go out of business. That is exactly relevant for a religion too.…