Skip to main content

All or none

The discerning reader may have noticed that I'm not much for trumpeting about sport on this blog. Yes, every now and then, a post on my enduring love of test cricket will sneak through. Going-ons at Manchester United will rouse me into thrashing out an indignant paragraph. The retirement of sportsmen I thoroughly admire (and they are far & few) will elicit a nostalgic post doused in thanksgiving. But, I can never get myself to slip over the edge of fanaticism.

As this post is typing itself, Pakistan, after having wrestled Australia to the mat by the force of Darth Asif, promptly tripped over their own feet & now lie sprawled on the metaphorical pitch themselves. Mohd. Yousuf, their short-suffering captain (no one is captain long enough to be long-suffering in that country) may just decide to bat alone for the rest of the series, since the rest of that lot don't feel inclined to hang around. They probably think grafting is something to do with tree-cutting or making money on the sly. Speaking of sly money-making, match-fixing, anyone ?

The SA-England game in Durban is see-sawing in a way that no doubt sends the neutral viewer into raptures while leaving the not-so-neutral chappies wondering what in heaven's name is going on. I can sympathise with Onions though. The guy does his job, ends the SA innings and strolls off into the gazebo looking forward to a nice break & 20 minutes later, must seriously face the prospect of having to pad up. And he's the number 11, mind.

The Bangladesh innings looks like it'll get to 50 overs. Enough said.

To top it all off, Manchester United suffered their worst FA Cup upset in 26 years. Now, I'm a Man U fan i.e. loathe Liverpool & have no respect for Chelsea's 2 $ titles, but the funny thing is, I actually liked that they lost.

See, sport at it's finest allows the competitors an equal chance to win. Leaving aside the tomfoolery of umpires & referees, cheating, sledging (what's the difference eh ?) and the UDRS, it is as exciting a bloodless battle as you will ever see. Of course, if you have supported the eventual loser & suffer the keen sorrow of their defeat, I understand. But here's the thing; the phenomenon is in the end, after the reduction to it's bare necessities, a Game. And that means, on any given day, playing to the best of it's abilities, egged on by thunderous roaring, under sunshine or floodlight, a no-hoper may just defy the odds.

Or not.

For a fraction of a moment, in your tryingly certain world, the Game proffers uncertainty. Tell me that's not valuable.

Song for the moment: Battle without honour or humanity - Tomayasu Hotei

P.S: I dare you to listen to this song & not associate it with your favourite moment of sporting carnage.

P.P.S:
The love of the game is fine & all, but India must win / draw it's Test Matches. I'm only human.

Comments

Next to Nothing said…
So I finally got down to reeding your blog again...god stuff man..especially likes this article..

Cheers

Binoy Mascarenhas
girish said…
Thanks dude... keep visiting.

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…