The Games People Play

It feels good to be back to my writing ways, last month or so was literally a sprint against the clock, on the work front and on my academic front it was usually a tight schedule; so much so that I rarely found time to catch up with myself. There were exceptions to the rule as well however, finally on an overly precious weekend I managed to watch a movie in theatre with family which happened after almost four years.

3 Idiots

The brouhaha over the rolling credits etc. between Chetan Bhagat and the film stakeholders was the pick of media hype for over a week during December of 2009. My heart initially (which retreated later, read on…) went with Bhagat’s cause as the discrediting for the original idea that persists in India has eaten up its potential to come up with the masterpieces in creative field long back. I fail to appreciate the statement that “the film is merely an inspired/based upon 5-10% of the novel” piece. They’re either inspired 100% or not at all, there’s nothing fuzzy to it.

The film talks about the rot in our education system, but no one’s looking at the base of all the problems: We, as a people have stopped putting premium on the fundamentals, rather, we’re more concerned about the facade and presentation. The three idiots did just that by depriving the very basis (of its full credit) – the original story and the storyteller. And Bhagat was idiot enough to sign the dotted lines first and then come out crying in public afterwards, only to retreat later.

I also hear a rant related to the ‘original’ work viewpoint W.R.T Munnabhai M.B.B.S… I think one should watch Patch Adams and be the Jury.

But I think this is the way it goes in show business. Probably this is the norm of the game.

Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar is termed by many as the greatest to grace the Cricket field alongside the Don, Sir Richards and Sir Sobers. The comparisons, expectations and adulation for this man have never diminished even after he has completed 20 years in the arena and scaled the heights of personal achievements never before dreamed of by the mortals (yes! Ponting included). So much is the pressure to perform on this little giant that even some of the big centuries have been counted as duds just because the rest of the team couldn’t rally behind him to take the team through.

One of the best examples of belittling of his achievements comes from the pen pushers, many of whom might be yet to set a foot on Cricket field. The 44th century against Bangladesh in Chittagong was as much a masterpiece as they come. I’m happy that Sachin has kept asserting himself against all odds and kept himself beyond reproach. Wish the columnists and other scribes learn from him.

The ongoing Test series between the minnows Bangladesh and reigning #1 India couldn’t have wished for a better start thanks to some candid and hard hitting comments (regarding Bangladesh’s place in the pecking order of world Cricket) from stand-in captain Virender “Butcher” Sehwag and an utterly churlish, meaningless and God awful hilarious retorts from the opponent captain and coach, of India being inferior to SA and Australian teams. It was as if they have become an authority on other team’s potential by dint of their consistent losses against one and all. Surely this thing was meant to irritate the Indians (nothing bites you more that the suspicion towards your status that you’ve just started to build on) but thank heavens the Indians didn’t take the bait beyond their first Innings performance. The end result to the first Test was on the expected lines and barring a couple of individual performance from the hosts, there was nothing much to write back for them as a team.

Only thing… do we really need to behave like Australia or would it suffice if we create our own Indian identity as sports ambassadors. Viru, the world has very little appetite for plain-speak, but I hope and pray that you do not change a bit on-field.

Mushfiqur “Baby-face” Rahim’s throw your bat at everything century came against a very attacking and desperate-to-finish-things-off field setting and I for sure do not tend to take away anything from him (he himself can not cherish it much as it didn’t come against the ‘best’ – he himself has suggested).

It would be a task cut out for him to match up to the expectations that he has so ignited by claiming the upper hand (“I got charged up because the Indians sledged me by calling me a schoolboy” etc.) during the post match press conference. I’d be glad to see another of the ‘intended’ centuries from him in the coming decade.

Bangladesh Cricket surely shows some signs of improvement, but they are way off their mark when they try to match up the words of proven players with just one advantage of having ‘nothing to lose’. Anyway, God speed Bangladesh.

Hockey

Hockey was again given the intermediate lifeline after the players went on flash strike. The federation was adamant that the players come back to practice sans conditions and it was akin to treachery if they do not oblige. Strange are the ways of people’s perception… on the one hand Cricketers are almost expected to make moolah while on the other hand, Hockey players are ridiculed and branded traitors if they ask for allowances and money.

Will the glory days of this sport ever come back? Sigh!

Stop press – The Hockey world cup’s bling quotient (whatever is left of it in India i.e.) is in jeopardy due to the IPL ‘snub’ allegedly meted out at the Pakistani Cricket players, Pakistan (whole of it) is furious at the IPL-III management’s and franchise’s attitude, demands have been raised to boycott the Hockey world cup in India this year and Kashmir issue is back on the international stage; what an irony I say. Cricket comes to bite you in the bum yet again you poor little game… literally.

Commonwealth Games

I do not have much to write about this farce, as I see it presently, it would be a miracle if the games go smoothly and the contingents return without much complaints. Would we ever learn to treat these events as an opportunity to showcase to the world our capabilities and unique identity…

IPCC

R. K. Pachauri has admitted to the minor mistake in the IPCC report regarding the rapid melting of Himalayan Glaciers (prediction of extinction timelines to be precise), and it has diverted the attention from the very issue of global warming to the joy of energy and industrial lobby.

It’s worthwhile to note that the year 2035 may be scientifically and factually incorrect (for the time being) to mention as the definitive mark when the Glaciers in question could disappear, but there’s no denying the fact that they are receding at an alarming rate and the end is invariable albeit delayed by another decade or may be many. The Toms and Dicks of the world for now are happily oblivious to this very fact and that’s disconcerting.

Haiti

Everyone knows what terrible disaster has struck this country. Please do whatever you can to help the people of Haiti, one of the points to start will be to increase the awareness about the difference between the secular and missionary charity, and then actually do something to contribute towards helping the affected people. I’d always go out of my way to recommend you go for the professional and Secular charity organisations for obvious reasons. Everyone’s doing their bit, we should too.

I hope we all have a safe, peaceful and prosperous 2010.

To Life!

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10 thoughts on “The Games People Play

  1. haiti disaster is one of the most devastating events and this has dented the confidence of human race. entire world is helping them and you are right ,we should help them too. welcome back

    1. Thanks Amit, I’m sure humanity will successfully overcome this trial as well, there have been many pictures of miraculous escapes from death doing rounds and that’s heartening.

      To Life!
      ~

  2. Hi Vijayanth,
    There are many views about the cricket controversy but I think that sehwag was right in his assessment of bangladesh team. He could have chosen milder words but I think he was playing mind games, nothing wrong withthat. I do not like your *secular* suggestion very much, missionaries do a lot of good work, why do you think that they should not be helped/
    Thanks,
    SV

    1. SV,

      May be Sehwag was playing mind games, or may be he was just being honest to the extent of sounding boorish; however, being a very senior player and a Padma Shree award nominee, he should be more careful in his utterances as they can bring pretty uncomfortable situations to the fore.

      For instance captain Dhoni’s one remark – “I do not believe in making statements in press, I’d rather do that on the Cricket field.” – in conjunction with the replacement of Amit Mishra (Delhi) with Pragyan Ojha has given the ever so hungry media a sickening prime-time headline of “Rift between Dhoni and Sehwag.”

      We may very well know that there’s only as much truth to the above as meets the eye (or doesn’t) but the national team can ill afford such controversies.

      Coming to your point of objection; I never suggested against missionaries in particular, please read the post once again, I have merely said (rather recommended) secular charity organizations be given preference over them… simply for the fact that less distraction due to multiple goals results in more effective work of helping fellow humans in dire straits. If you want to disregard my suggestion, well, go ahead and do it by all means and disdain if you will 🙂 but do help them.

      ~

  3. well written cap’n, I loved the hockey bit the most.

    these bloody administrators have sucked even the last drop from the blood vessels of this sport.

    only ARMY and other sarkari divisions support it. this game badly needs money.

    1. Army and other government organizations may be helping the sport in the shorter run, but I have my reservations about corporate involvement, the lesser sports badly need sponsorships which are as sparse as raindrops in Bundelkhand region.

      Hockey, TT, Football, Boxing, Shooting etc. have to literally go miles to get their legitimate dues, forget bonuses.

      ~

    1. You may as well be right Amandeep (as he’d so like to put forth), let’s see what future has in store for Sehwag. SAF series will be an interesting affair.

      ~

  4. I think in few years people will forget that hockey is our national game. If you ask people most of them would say cricket is our national game and Tendulkar is our national player. What a pity. Even my father refused to buy me a hockey stick when I asked when I was in school :-(. I wonder how long this game will stay in India. The question we have to ask is why Cricket takes all the charm? is it because players look like bollywood movie stars? We must seriously think about the condition of Indian hockey.

    1. Hockey will live Harsha, albeit like Hindi 🙂 … in secretariat files and government records, kicked away from all corners of India, while being practiced and perfected in Scandinavia, Baltic, Americas, China and Europe. Ironical, but true.

      ~

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