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Saturday, May 8, 2010

To the health of cricket ... cheers {clink!}

The year 1992 saw Bosnia being separated from the Yugoslavian Republic, not knowing that it was heading towards decades of violence and brutalities. The same year Minnesotta's Mall of America, built on 78 acres, became the biggest mall in the world.

In a tropical country far far away, around the same time, a small boy watched engrossed, as a few of his countrymen battled it out on foreign lands that had nice sounding names like Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmania. Though the group of men did not do well, one lad with mad curly hair was busy driving his bat through covers, midwicket and the hearts of every person fortunate to see him play. I fell so much in love with him and the game that he became my synonym for eveything that was beautiful, and there developed a love for the game that was passionate, unadulterated and often bordered on the extreme. Over the years, my immature teenage mind confused this love for Indian cricket with patriotism and every win, facile or great, made the so-called Indian in me even prouder. In 2002, it wasnt just Saurav who waved his shirt on a Lord's balcony, so did seven boys on a college mess table in Belgaum, Karnataka.

Summer holidays came and went, but they always brought with them, in the Narayanan household a new scorebook made from cheap notebooks. Each of these scorebooks would have a picture of Sachin ( cut from an 'India Today') on its cover. And displayed proudly on the first page were the names of the eight Sector 55 Noida boys who would, "of course", one day play for India.

Over the years we woke up at 430 am to watch, groggy eyed, our heroes play test matches Down Under. We ran to tea shops (they usually had transistors) when electricity cheated on us and Robin Singh stood between South Africa and victory; we rode our bikes all around Noida that 2003 night when India beat Pakistan in the worldcup; we played in the rain, we played in the hottest June afternoons, we played on blisteringly cold december Delhi mornings. We did it all.

And now Lalit Modi tells me and the English County board that ODI's have reached their saturation point, test matches are redundant and that franchisees should buy out players if their national boards dont allow them to play in these commercial leagues. Lalit Modi and his rich friends believe, and maybe correctly, that players can be tempted to play for franchisees even if they are not allowed to represent their countries, on the basis of superior money power. Now Mr Modi, how do I explain to you that to my once teenage mind, India, cricket, glory and pride were all synonyms. How do I tell you that though you call test matches redundant, I still like to set my alarm so that I can see Lee bowl to VVS at six am. Will you ever understand that for me Sachin was the most handsome man and throughout my boyhood days I wanted him to marry Steffi Graf, that beautiful girl from Germany. You my friend understand business, I know love.

The BCCI might still exonerate you Lalit, but even at the cost of introducing an expletive for the very first time in my cricket writings, fuck you bastard, and may the lord strike you so hard that you suffer much more than those poor innocent Bosnians ever do.

To the glorious game, its traditions and all its lovers, a silent nod.

44 comments:

Dishit D said...

Hey - superb post dude!
Even if T20 gives a kind of cheap thrill, Test cricket is what really makes cricket exciting. Only in test cricket you see the real duel between the bat and bowl.

//fuck you bastard, and may the lord strike you so hard that you suffer much more than those poor innocent Bosnians ever do.//
second you on this :)

"You're the Bimbo" said...

Heartfelt.Excellent.Muah.

neeraj said...

@Dishit,

Thanks man, and yeah test cricket is the real thing :)

@You-are-the-bimbo,

Lol, is that Saloni? I dunno anyone else who'd use that phrase, or for the matter, muah me publicly ;)

gogi said...

*You my friend understand business, I know love.*

Love it!

Damn good bro...

neeraj said...

Thanks Gogi :)

Seeker said...

A really good post about the love for cricket I dont know what it is about cricket , But as you say in love , You find a woman attractive because you love her , and not that you love her cos she is attractive . For those who love cricket , They love cricket for whatever illogical reasons ! But modi was an intelligent business man . He saw how the world was operating ! and made profit out of it .

And who cares about India . A country where Bal Thakarey shares stage with Sachin and Sachin shamelessly accepts sword from a Man who drove Fellow INDIANS out of mumbai !! who really cares about Patriotism man ! ? India is as much a terrorist country as may be Pakistan . We too have an ugly face , which is never admitted . We too have sent our armies to Sri lanka to systematically eliminate a Race !! Genocide !

So it is okay , that our players dont play for their country ! Rather let them make money and make a fool out of millions of people who follow cricket !

Seeker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeker said...

And unlike so many other sports , Cricket , especially test cricket has been nothing but a complete waste of time . I mean it does nt promote any singular skills or excercise the whole physique the way foot ball does . It is just a burgeouise sport , like say golf . A country like India should shame itself for sacrificing among the games its own national game in the altars of Cricket !

neeraj said...

Seeker,

Dude, I agree with you in some parts, while disagreeing in others. Yes, we do have our problems and yes, we are corrupt in a zillion departments, yes we did send our army to Srilanka but still I would not like to think of India as a terrorist state. Its a very strong term to use and though you might be very angry at the state of affairs of the nation, it is too big an allegation to make.


\\"who cares about india, who cares about patriotism"

I care dude, and so do a lot of other people. No i do not mean to say that I am the epitome of patriotism, neither do I have any illusions about India being the best country in the world, but still I have my own feelings of loyalty towards it.. It is like a natural loyalty .. for eg. u are always protective of ur family, your dear ones because you have always shared an association with them. Similarly on a geographic level, my country binds me to it, and I have my loyalties in place.

And regarding the comment on Sachin. Dude, he is a cricketer, he does not suscribe to the hate that is spread by Thackeray and his cohorts. You might feel that he should raise his voice against those fanatics but neither is he an orator, nor a public speaker. It aint in his character to be involved in social/political issues. It would bode well for any city to rise above all such things as discrimination, communalism, ad hopefully people will realize that sooner or later.

And your hatred for cricket, test or otherwise, amuses me. I love the game, pal and so do a crore others. Like every other sphere, it has its share of problems but I wold still like to follow it, coz it gives me a lot of happiness. As for hockey, I have nothing against it, its upto its own administrators to promote it in a way that more people are drawn back to it again.

Nischal said...

Neeraj the last post of yours as a comment is too good SIR. I feel every word of it. And I care for Hockey, and so do those 20 k souls who attended India's average show at hocky WC in Delhi earlier this year:)

neeraj said...

Nischal , it is really pleasant to read that comment of yours, coz I was myself gonna ask you to read what 'Seeker' had to say and give your comments on the same. Im really glad that you think the same way man, though Id still like to hear what Seeker has to tell us in response.

Nischal said...

You know what...I had a real mouthful of answers to every line he wrote as I was reading it. No offences, assuming him to be one of learned friend of yours, I really believe that MBA is a degree where you spend a fortune to become snooty, anhedoni-c and a true master of puppets who just cant accept imperfections even being a personified imperfection by not enjoying small things in life.
For the heaven's sake why everything in this world is treated as a goddamn STRATEGY? Why cant we just sit back and relax and enjoy things which are truly unadulterated (if we think so).

Please feel free to remove the comment if it was offensive.

:)

Nischal said...

And as far as Genocide and associated crap is concerned I would like to remind our friend that India had sent the largest army during WWII to fight Nazis and liberate people from getting executed(profitably, in gas chambers, the Lalit Modi way)in concentration camps. I am not sure if you know of a genocide more brutal than that!!!

Seeker said...

By not being patriotic , I am not being an anarchist . I do recognise the liberties that are afforded by being born here , and I do identify with the culture to the extend to being even proud of my identity . but Patriotism should never become regional chauvinism . Patriotism should come out of their own heart , Not as something enforced .

In a deeper level . Patriotism or regional Jingoism only makes me laugh . Its almost superficial and ego driven psuedo feeling which has no real apparant meaning . Man has always been obsessed with ideas and identity . He needs and idea to survive . An identity to look at himself with respect . India is just an identity , A thought , An abstraction . Madness in men need an idea , A common identity to survive

Every country gives them that Idea , Every religion gives them that Identity . That is why man has felt so justified whenever he killed in the name of a country , Or a religion . A free man would never kill another man . A completely free and enligtened spiritual man could never think of fighting another man in the name of proving his race , his religion or region ! Its high time we think beyond region , religion and country ! We dont need this identity . We can know our culture , Music , Religion . But we dont need it to face this beautiful world with ! I am a human being . But not an Indian ! I cant afford to support this regionalism even at an elemental subtle level . May be I am reacting , Over reacting to certain things , Injustices . But this is to what It has come to !

And last but not the least . There are individuals . No Country , There are trees no Forests ! Whenever and wherever an abstraction becomes more important than an individual . that is when you need to understand it is not normal ! It had become a disease ! Countries and religions are diseases ! All countries . All religions !

I can see you are very patriotic . Good luck to you . I am not saying you will change . No one ever changes in this life . Ever ! So we can gracefully agree to disagree .

Yeah Sachin is too soft a person ,not a rebel .Just a show person , A sports person - But then why do you consider him as something larger than life . When you have a million people worshipping you , YOu are a hero ..You inspire kids and old people alike . Then can you afford to show them that ...you can be meek . Allow injustice to happen . As long as you play good cricket !! I am aware of the practical difficulties and his life in danger even if he did not accept the sword from Thakareys ! But ...he is a criminal (thakaraey ) I was disspointed to see him in stage ..with a criminal .. Accepting his gift ! This is just plain hero workship man . The kind of worship idiotic Tamilians do when a Rajnikanth film releases ! - But as you say . When you love . There is nothing . No logic .. No justification . Just love . You say heart !! I can understand ! You say it right !

Yep I agree with you on this part . Cricket cant really be blamed completely lagging behind of other sports . Like I said ..All is fair when you love cricket , And it s a game people love !! So cheers to cricket !

- As for Nishcal . I am appalled that you compare Genocides - For me everything is brutal . There is no degrees here ! I think you have not seen the brutalities that we have facilitated , We dont care . We dont mind as long as we are able to get cable television ! And dont say we send our armies out of awareness or choice . We were slaves ourselves . And plus we were allies ! Oh god how naive you are my friend ! Almost insensitive

Seeker said...

Having said all this , I do admire Neeraj s ability to be very polite , Patient understanding and almost supportive for my seeming self contradicting opinions > Thanks for posting

Nischal said...

Dear Seeker,

// I mean it does nt promote any singular skills or excercise the whole physique the way foot ball does . It is just a burgeouise sport , like say golf . A country like India should shame itself for sacrificing among the games its own national game in the altars of Cricket !//

////I am appalled that you compare Genocides - For me everything is brutal ////

You see I have learnt comparing things from you ;) Just like the way you rightly said that the brutality of a genocide cannot be compared(though my intent was not to bring the comparison but to just tell that we have stood up for survival of races, be it support in aparthied regime or our anti racist and secular constitution)I say that two games cannot be compared to be better or worse for the purity, spirit they bring along with them.

Also, I am not one of the decorative mortals who have ability to judge the sesitivity and naiveness among people ..

Chill out man!!!

neeraj said...

Seeker,

I do not get your point. Dont get me wrong, I have similar opinions on regional jingoism and patriotic chauvinism and I agree on principle, but I do not see any relation of these words/or your last comment with the blog post. If you went on that tangent because of Modi's comment on how players can be induced to play for their frachisees instead of country and our subsequent discussion on the topic, I still do think it is a tangent that never was.

Ofcourse, man is obsessed with ideas and identity. But what's wrong with that? Unless it results in a chauvinism that makes him believe that his identity is superior to that of others, there is not much wrong with it. A boy, a player feeling a sense of pride for his team, gully, colony, club, state, country ... or the fella desiring to perform his best for the same and associating a sense of pride with it, is absolutely fine as long as he upholds certain basic morals. All of us are associated to a number of institutions, be it family, our school, college, a cricket team, a music class etc and there is nothing wrong with being proud of that association unless you are stepping on someone else while promoting yourself. Yes, it is necessary to understand our weaknesses, but the love need not fade with the realization. Love would accept the weakness and in an ideal scenario want to work on it.

And now a bit on sports:

The magical thing about sports, be it a 'burgeouise' game like cricket or golf, or football is that it instills in its followers, especially the ones who play it, feelings of passion, of leadership, of team spirit, of the burning desire to go that extra mile ..

It is okay if they do not regard me as the best batsman or bowler they ever played against, but let them remember me as someone who gave his absolute all, heart and soul, everytime he stepped on the cricket field. Then, I would rest... in peace.

And cricket is as much a mental game as one of skills. Aaaaah my friend, if only you knew how much the game demands .. from your body, your limbs, the need of a large heart and most importantly the demands on the brain. If only you knew the ecstasy that a win can derive, sometimes even a win in a small setting like a colony match ... No, I do not expect everyone to understand that, but ask a genuine player and he would nod his head and smile. But then you call it burgeouise and I still smile coz it gives me a peace like nothing else does.

p.s I know you respect our love for the game man, and I respect your not caring for it. To each his own. Cheers.

Seeker said...

May be some wild wiring of neurons . But patriotism ?? may be that word . Its meaninglessness , its madness . When you say you re Indian you mean you are not American ..that means you are proud . To be Indian . A subtle not very visible feeling of supriority . Its madness at the most invisible innocent garb . But still its madness . you need to be very sensitive to understand it ..

But too much TV man .. Too much movies .. We have lost it ..Our sensitivity . we cheer ..for our ideas ! we dont get it ! :)

You are right . One day some one is going to wonder - WTF what would trigger such verbousity ? I was just happy to get some reactions to my reactions man ! :) it was nice and articulate . .But There were reasons to my reactions . Valid , over reactive reasons ! :)

"But love need not fade with realization " But love is dissillusioned ..Lost .. and defeated !! Cos it was a true love ..Heartfelt love .. Love would accept and celebrate weakness . but love tolerates not injustice (this too is due to wierd wiring of neurons )

I agree ..(th0ough not completely ) with your views on sports though .. :)

@ Nischal -- ..May be I ve not been so right about my choice of words .. But no offence eh ! :) all in the good spirits of Populating our Fraud mallus blog with a lot of comments and thoughts and some controversy ..so that people have lot of things to read and think over . Some anger and not so funny words too ! :)

Seeker said...

And far from being an MBA , I am a businessman now . Selling online products that no one wants . Struggling , like millions of fellow Patriotic indians . May be I am just a Internet footpath seller of .. things .. Online advertisements among them ! :)

Shivangi said...

That was one hell of a "straight from the heart" post!

Kudos :)

neeraj said...

Thanks Shivangi, will try to keep that up!

Yo MamaSita said...

Way to go nero....

lovely posts and lovely replies....

and thanks sreekar, as i can copy paste your blog and use it on whichever post i want :) :)

neeraj said...

Yo Mama Sita,

You do not know how 'privileged' and 'honoured' I feel that you have deigned to comment on my blog, YoMama! I am ecstatic, I feel as if I must have done something really nice in my previous janams to deserve such happiness... Haramkhor!!!! Lol! Thanks bey :)

For all the ignorant souls, Yo Mama Sita a.k.a Abhay Mehta is one of the most talented and creative guys that the country has ever seen. The organization - 'Yo Mama Sita' was founded by him during his days at Mica, on one of the few occasions when the ladies let him be by himself. The main work of the organization is to create advertisements (print and video) that, quite frankly dear people, would leave you astounded. During his spare time, Mr Mehta likes to chastise women for always desiring him in a manner that can be best described as sexual/carnal. His hobbies loving SRK a bit, and Deepika Padukone a lot. The author would like to sum up by saying that "Mr Mehta is one of the most delightful creations to have happened to mankind, so adorable that you would want to adopt him, someone to die for"

p.s In that yearbook, i inserted the orkut testimonial, so thought I'd surprise you with a new one here. Enjoy! ;)

Yo MamaSita said...

man.....thats a brilliant one.............

i wish i had writing skills like you......i wish i could express my thoughts so clearly as u always do....i wish.....

thanks a ton for that lovely post nero :) :)thank u so much...really means a lot to me :)

Abhishek said...

Second testimonial?

I also want.


Yeah you write well, are a stud, your dimpled loveliness is unmatched, you run faster than that otter out of water friend of ours, are fairer than ten Shahid Kapoors (I've been seeing a lot of his POP's in the market these days, fuck me thats some bad photoshopping)yadda yadda.

De na saale.

neeraj said...

@Abhay the YoMama boy,

The pleasure's all mine boyyyy :)

Shakey, I was considering writing you one, but then you compared my speed to that otter of a Gb ... dude, a one legged hen with no wings would beat him in a fifty metre sprint, and you mentioned me in the same breath ..

Micamail, return the one testimonial that I wrote on this impertinent fellow, I refuse to even acknowledge that I ever said anything nice about him ;)

Pooja Menon said...

ok lemme be frank.. it took me more time to read the comments than read the post.. ;) Jokes apart.. Yes, I do agree with u.. Especially after the T20 loss in WI.. Bad!

And yes, Nice Post! Good use of language apart from the slang in the last.. :P .. Keep penning! :)

neeraj said...

Pooja,

Let me be frank with you ;) You surprise me, no you actually do surprise me with your frankness.. Too many people these days use expletives and slangs, and it comes as a very pleasant surprise to be chastised about it. Thank you!

To be honest, I feel dissappointed that you had to read the one post where I did use a bad word, I dont usually.

And awww thanks for going thru the comments section ... take care!

Pooja Menon said...

I hope u understand I was kidding! :D .. Even I have used a BIT of slang in a post.. And yes I do know that it is very common these days :)

neeraj said...

Pooja,

Lol, yeah I do understand sarcasm. I did my majors in the same subject at MICA. I thought being a mallu, you would know that it is an inherent molecule in our DNA pattern ;) But even then, I would like to avoid expletives while writing.

What do you do Pooja?

Pooja Menon said...

@Neeraj

Yeah yeah. I know the mallu way of sarcasm. :P

And MICA sounds great! Even I am interested in Mktg n Advtg. Had wanted to give MICAT this yr. But couldn't due to some reasons.

I am a BMS grad. Gave CET this year. Waiting for GD PI to happen on 25th this month. :)

neeraj said...

Awww, I am sure you'll do awesomely well Pooja. Come 25th and I'll wake up early, go 'paidal' to mandir and bajao the bells and lie down prostrate in front of Goddess Durga and say in my most heart rendering voice "Maaa Maine aajtak tujhe kuchh nahi maanga.. pappu ko ..err I mean pooja ko pass karade maaaaa"

;) All the best, dudette!

Pooja Menon said...

Stop over dramatizing! :P And yes make sure you go to the mandir before 9 am.. My GD would start at that time ok.. :D

Kasturi Shinde said...

@ post
Knelt down..dropped my head ..and offer my sword for ur love for cricket :) :)
Could completely connect.. as i have same sort of thing for TENNIS and truly believe that Sachin -Steffi pair could have rocked the world :)
@ the shorter version of the game
I am not against it as it is globalising the game n as far as ODIs and tests are concerned I dont fear till people like you exist.
@ Fucking lalit Modi
"Nero aage badho hum tumhare saath hai" :) :) though not literally haan :)
@ comments for this post
Oh Seeker where are you ?? ..please continue ..I was lovin it :)

neeraj said...

@Kasturi ,

Lol, I accept your sword [or is it racquet? :)] milady, and it is a privilege to do so :)

And regarding our matchmaking theories, I aint sure if Mr Andre Agassi would be very pleased with us, the poor bloke's already ranted a lot in his autobiography [btw, did you read that?]

Debating with 'seeker' was fun, i agree.. maybe we will see him soon!

Again, thanks a ton for the flattering comment, I will keep the sword right next to me when I sleep tonight ;)

Grace Personified said...

So good you are!

neeraj said...

@Grace personified,

That sounds nice, maam, and it is surprising but even four words can sometimes mean so much, or atleast be construed to do so :P

As for your name, aaaah we do have a nice opinion about our self, dont we? ;) Lol, kidding, went to your blog and wanted to comment but your settings forbade me to do so :)

Grace Personified said...

eeee...forgive the darn settings! I shall look into the matter immediately. I couldn't come up with more words, and we don't like being fakeiplplayer ki tarah now, do we? Also, apart from the high opinions of ourselves, we have something else in common of sorts - the title of your last post is very similar to the title of my first post (half-same pinch) and the content of that post of yours is on the lines of my second post :P

neeraj said...

@Grace personified with the blue eyeliner,

It bodes well for a conversation if we have things in common, but pinching each other, now really.. I think we should wait a little time for that :P

Common thing number two: It was once the world cup started that I developed a love for the german football team, much the same reasons as you have stated, barring the short shorts. Quarter same pinch? ;)

Grace Personified said...

The entire purpose of pointing out those common things was to exemplify that great minds do indeed think alike ;)

E-pinch, or 'poke', if you will, or better still, maintain one arm distance :P

Also, having supported quite a few German sports persons, some soft spot type thing also exists. Which is why your Steffi weds Sachin idea appealed to me :)

neeraj said...

@fellow Germany supporter,

I aint sure if I have supported any other German except for fraulein Graf and Klose's magnificent young team of '10. But yes, I do remember at the tender age of nine when I would curl up next to dad and he would tell me stories of world war 2, the next evening, me and my sister would always act as German soldiers. Perhaps I chose the wrong side, but in my defense, the notion of supporting a side that was single handedly facing the whole world was too romantic to resist.

One arm distance was a phrase I learnt in the PT drills at apeejay. And you, kiddo, where you from? And forgive me, for I have not asked you your name till now.

p.s Your settings still keep sending me back.

Grace Personified said...

Blame blogger :( for I don't like keeping the few and far in between visitors away! And ones who want to comment, never!

The kid is called Rini :)

Yeay, for you did get the one arm dist reference :P I thought my school invented it!

I am a wanderer...erm, follow parents around :P but currently in Delhi and am from Delhi.

(This is a first, conversation type thing on a comments page! Blogger will be proud.)

More common things have surfaced by now fellow dilliwaale.

neeraj said...

@Rini,

Sure they have, wanderer, and I wonder if they include Micans and boys from Amaltas :)

Blogger should indeed be proud, for it has kept two people awake and busy investigating at the wee hours of the night. Right, Watson? :P

Grace Personified said...

Spot on :P

MICAn by association, which automatically translates into sleepless nights by association.

Three subdued cheers for blogger and its being gracious enough to allow you to comment. Time to retire for those who are not liable to be beneficiaries of a placement with help from MICA :P