During some moments when there is time aplenty for retrospection and reminiscence, I get into flashback mode to my school and college days. A major chunk of both involved athletics/volley ball/foot ball practice, and playing a multitude of other games like basket ball, kho-kho, kabbadi, tennicoit, badminton (and TT at which I failed miserably- blame it on the miniscule balls), throwball, hand ball..on and on.
What I remember vividly of these sessions is- more than anything, the adrenaline rush that a competitive event gave me. Though it was remarkably lesser during a team event like volley ball or football, it cannot be wholly discounted either. I remember my first goal (aHA!) and most of my in-the-field mishaps. Silly, but costly errors. Costly enough to lose the match. But yeah, they say- participation is the word. Blah blah.
I remember better events that required individual participation. Athletics for example. I was not a serious participant though, but with all the playfulness, reaching the inter-zone and state levels was not really bad. And I loved the sprint events. They would be over before you bat an eyelid. But ofcourse- the stress that you underwent till the “GO” or gun shot was a sort of pained-pleasure. You needed it to give you the winning boost. And when you ran- nothing would sound in your ears. The only thing in sight would be the finish line. And you would hear yells and and vague people calling your name, but it simply wouldn’t register. And in the end- win or loss- it would be on my head. Because nobody but I worked for it, and nobody but I deserved it. This seems acceptable doesn’t it?
Two days back, the Indian cricket team brought the World cup home. Brilliant job! Excellent display of team spirit. Some clear and cool headed captaincy by Dhoni. Applaud worthy. I shouldn’t comment- because I did not watch a single ball or run. I constructively spent time catching up on my reading. And anyway I had not the least feeling of missing the happenings because my Facebook homepage was filled with second by second updates of the match. Everybody- I mean, EVERYBODY had an opinion about the match. Everybody was obligated to give their EXPERT (?) comments on the happenings. Everybody felt they were duty bound to curse/condemn players who gave away runs/missed a catch/played crappy cricket. Seriously- how much more personal could this get?!!
I understand the familial ties that bind the game to every single Indian- in India and abroad. But- yeah, there’s always a BUT, how mad could things get? Apparently, a spectator had a heart attack in the stadium and collapsed when a player get out- the news was hushed for fear that it might eclipse the victory, I heard that Barack Obama wondered aloud what magic the game held that every time India played one, his country’s productivity sank by 5%. Emotions raged wild- so wild that on the day of the Indo-Pak match, I was glared at for having worn green! And people were so vehemently Anti-Pakistan..you would wonder if Education DID solve any problems! But there you go. And from what I know- somebody prove me wrong, if I am, Players don’t give a damn if you yell for them or not. They would be too involved in the game to even hear you, and if they do, it might probably cause a dent in their concentration. We make them gods. We hike their market prices. We SET their market rates more like. They play to earn their living. We watch them play- and lose ours. (I know enough people who went on Loss-of-Pay leaves when India played). Who loses? No answer. But who gains? I will say nothing.
God knows how much profit Nike made with Their “I Bleed Blue” campaign.(Thanks Sid for that line of thought!)