Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cricket

Over lunch today, I was a mute spectator to a very intense discussion between my colleagues. The topic obviously was cricket.Cricket is like a second religion in India and there are on a handful of people (me being one) who has no clue about it.

The interesting thing about cricket is that the whole joy seems to come from discussing about it – speculating, commenting, arguing, analyzing matches, expressing anger/frustration, exchanging scroes, checking updates etc. Many of these enthusiasts do not watch any matches (except when there is a match when India is playing ofcourse) and most of them do not play cricket at all.

This is confusing to me. When someone loves a game, I am naturally inclined to believe that he would love to play it. But that not being the vase mostly, why so much enthusiasm about cricket?

I think the reason is this. Cricket is what most Indians use to strike a conversation and you could simply initiate a conversation with a stranger by asking the latest score. This is the most common topic of discussion in any gatherings. Any one who cannot discuss cricket is simply left out. I think it is the fear of being left out is what drives people to be crazy of cricket than the love for it.

Few weeks back, I walked in to the living room in my apartment to find this group of children huddled up together on the sofa. A young cousin of mine had come to visit us and had brought his portable Play Station with him. He was playing a T20 tournament in that and the enthusistic children from our apartment, including my daughter, flocked around him to be part of it.

Cricket

The children were cheering different players. My daughter was shouting ‘Sachin…, Sachin…’. There are also some arguments (minor though) on whether Sachin was better or Dhoni was better. As far as I know, none of these children had any clue about cricket (I am dead sure of my daughter). But each of them had to be part of the group and not left out. So they were sort of faking with the minimum stuff they could gather. And it was OK for them, they were just learning the trick. And for an outside it just looked like a great group of enthusiasts.

I am sure, this lesson about ‘being left out’ is going to remain in their hearts for their life and when they grow up, they are going to feeding on any news about cricket just to be able to be part of the discussions.

Putting numbers, targets and rules around the games was definitely a brilliant concept; it makes you indulge for longer times chewing on them. Otherwise the pleasure would have been there only while you ingulged in it. Prolonging pleasures beyong indulgance has been a great achivement for humanity as a whole. Because it has taken the pleasure from the body to the mind.

Indulging is fine, but feeding on it outside of it is what creates the problem. I think this definitely has influenced the psyche of the nation negatively. It is this mind set that creates the perpetual longing for indulgance. I am sure if a study is conducted, the sexual offenses in India would be much lesser during the cricketing season than rest of the year.

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Our Shame

The New Year celebrations in India were dampened by the recent incident at New Delhi. A 23 year girl who was gang raped by 6 men in a moving bus, succumbed to the injuries on the 29th of Dec after a 10 day brave battle. No other crime in the recent past has caused so much of a public reaction and the nation’s capital has witnessed protests of unprecedented scale in the last few days. The protestors had called for a nationwide ‘Bandh’ today, perhaps the first of its kind for a crime. This incident was is not something the world’s biggest democracy would be proud of.

The crime against women has been on the rise steadily and post the Delhi incident, the public, politicians, film stars and other leaders are unanimous on the opinions that there needs to be more severe punishment for sexual offenders. At the moment the nation seems to be divided between gallows and castration for the Delhi crime accused. This demand obviously comes from the logic that the fear of punishment would discourage people from committing such crimes.

But how true is that? Even post the Delhi incident (which attracted so much of attention across the nation), there has been dozens of similar offenses reported every single day. There was even another attempt of rape in a moving bus in Delhi. Considering what happened after the Delhi incident, one would expect a decline in such crimes atleast for a few days or weeks.But that’s not the case; sexual crimes continue to be committed on every single day.

Once the crime is committed, it is easy to label and accuse the criminals and there is a strong judicial system to take care of them. But the real question is – were they not criminals prior to committing this crime? ? The answer is Yes, they were. The potential was with them. But unfortunately there is no way to know of it, unless the crime is actually committed. In fact there are millions and millions of people who carry the potential to commit such a heinous crime, given a chance. Some of them might get a chance (god forbid) while most may not get a chance. These people who carry the potential to commit a crime are actually the nation’s worry than the ones who have actually committed it (which is a very small percentage). They are just waiting for that moment in dark street corners, their own houses, class rooms, trains and every other place imaginable.

Will fear prevent them from doing it? I guess not. Because these crimes are actually done several times in the mind and when the opportunity comes their mind is completely taken over by the impulse.

India was the home for world’s most ancient civilizations and taught the world love and compassion. Contentment is the natural result of love and compassion. Those days and gone now and in this new era of information technology and globalization, greed has taken over the society. Greed is the motivator in a capitalistic country and is always accompanied by a perpetual and insatiable lack and desire. We have moved from a world where people believed one could be perfectly happy without any possessions to a world where one is unhappy even with every possible comfort. And all these potential criminals carry this insatiable need for fulfillment in them, waiting for the right opportunity to satisfy it.

May the victims soul rest rest in peace.