Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It was a Friday evening. My friends were all charged up as the date the calendar christened, marked the commencement of IPL (Indian Premiere League). I entered the so called common TV room. The room has it name correctly chalked as we all had only one TV between 80 people with the flickering cable signals coming in and out of the party. The same room where the crowd was boisterous, when India thrashed Pakistan by 4-1 in the ongoing hockey world cup. The same room where people were pumped up with the advertisement that asked to give our hearts to hockey and the company was somehow successful in gearing up its dying sales figures. People were almost moved by it and some of us promised themselves to follow every match India plays. I was happy seeing this. Our national game’s spirit was revived again. Days passed and so was the escalating spirit of the crowd. There were many like me who were ignorant of hockey rules. Whenever a hockey player used to hit the ball outside the ground we used to shout mocking and comparing it with a boundary in cricket. So was the fever of cricket at the back drop of our minds. Yet it was divulging with the ongoing hockey fever. I must call it flu. The reason being flu is short lived and so the love to hockey was…
I demanded some Maggi in the kitchen and entered the TV room. I saw 10 ten guys glued to TV. IPL’s opening ceremony was broadcasted. Nobody knew India was to take on Argentina and the half time was up. When India played its second match and ended with a 5-2 the same crowd was disappointed. And today they didn’t know India was lagging with 1-0 in the ongoing match. Moreover when they were bored by the advertisements in between IPL’s opening ceremony the tuned into some of the music channels that broad casted reality channels. Many of us even were in the notion that the hockey match was scheduled at 8:30 pm. Some of us even trashed the idea to watch it amidst the break time of IPL. Suddenly one good friend of mine entered and pleaded to tune into the hockey match. Nobody was bothered because India was struggling for the 7th place. Few of us know about IHL (Indian Hockey League) and its concept. Everybody look disinterested and was looking forward to Deepika’s performance. Such was the melting motion of a ten day emotion which hockey created. Debates were fired over the topic to christen cricket as the national game. And the prime squabble in support to it was India’s foiled attempt to qualify for the tournament. Indian, being a host nation got the opportunity to chuck in. A month ago, hockey players revolted for their wages and so were today these guys over Bjorn’s performance after Deepika’s.
BCCI, the richest cricketing board of world and FIH the one struggling for its existence. One who minted money out of the sport that ran in the veins of the 1 billion and the other played the national sport of the country donning that figure. Sometimes, I ponder what would have happened to hockey if it would have been clashed with IPL in means of time and dates. This made me think it is easier to create mass hallucination in a country like India. The same crowd who shunned the reality shows for hockey was unaware of the hockey match. This made me ground that over 45% of this country’s population needed prime and instant entertainment. It is not being supportive to hockey or condemning cricket. It is the wavering phases of the mindset of the class which thinks India would be the superpower by 2020 owing to them. Finally the poor boy pleaded everybody to tune into hockey and the crowd agreed. The TV screen flickered. The same ad sprang up. I smirked and walked out. I had something to write again. Personally speaking, it makes me no difference if it is FIH or BCCI, it is IHL, ICL or IPL. I got a concept to build upon and I was a happy man, although struggling to get a break in the newspaper to write something upon.
An interesting phenomenon occurred when I stepped in the elevator. Two of my friends were cursing IPL as some of its matches were clashing with the EPL (English Premier League). I was oblivious of the fact. But I was again a happy man as there was some sport other than cricket people think of. I reached the top floor and went to the balcony. I do this religiously in the morning and evening. The sunrise from the part of the sky where it kissed the river’s turn inspired me. And the dark sky around the river’s curve appealed me of its radiance the coming morning. Suddenly a mob hurled and arranged themselves in a circle. There was something flickering amidst them. Our locality was surrounded by a chain of slums. Those guys somehow managed a television set, pinned down the cable and looked forward to IPL. Cricket was in again.
I was planning to move downstairs after writing this to inquire about the winner of the spat. Suddenly the sunken light of the tube light over my head lost its luminance. GEB took over the spat. And my ears over heard people playing cricket in the verandah under the street light and waiting for the power cut to cease. They even bullied the GEB officials over the phone. They couldn’t afford to miss a ball. Cricket was in again…
I laughed aloud and this gave a final knock of kick to me for penning this lexis…!!!
Amit Purohit The Lone Soldier.