Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cricket craze and its effect on my family :(

It's finally here... the finals of the IPL (Indian Premier League) and the anticipation is evident in everybody's face. Now let me get one thing straight! I am NOT the greatest Cricket Fan on the planet. So, I think my lack of enthusiasm (read not performing pujas for the wellbeing of the cricketers every friday) is fairly justified. Everyone in my household has an interest level that is inversely proportional to mine. And to be the minority in such situations can be a little trying.
In my family, they fight and break their heads. And then they get back together as though nothing happened. And the balm that heals their wounds of the fights from the past is not some sappy lovey-dovey dialogue from one of the parties involved... its most often a cricket match.

Living testimonials for cricket's power for healing broken hearts (Not too sure about the heads) and egos are my parents. Mom always finds something wrong with Dad and Dad always finds something irritating about Mom. And there are these silent fights where the tension levels in the house would make some hapless visitor or outsider wonder if there is going to be a PSLV launch. And since I have grown up to these silent glares and infected sniffs, I don't bother to ask them to patch up. They're past 40 for God's sakes! It's about time they stopped acting like some young couple on their first fight! But even if I do have to make them patch things up, I don't have to talk to them about it. Never works... All I need to do is switch the TV on. And fervently hope there's some interesting Cricket match going on. It draws both of them to the living room like how those "snake-women" in those bollywood flicks are drawn to the dude with the long beard and the weird mouth instrument. And then the metamorphosis starts.

Mom slowly enquires some vital information like what the run rate is or which batsman is batting or who won the toss and Dad replies. I never know what happens then. But its almost like they're struck with selective amnesia. Dad jokes (badly) about some player or gushes about some anecdote from the distant (and clearly not very interesting a) past and Mom laughs like he just cracked the funniest joke in humanity's history. And then there's the "zoning" effect. There I'll be... the only child craving for attention (craving for Mom to serve dinner actually) but she wouldn't even bother turning to my direction. Her eyes would be transfixed on the glowing screen of the TV, perhaps trying to help her team win through Telekinesis or Telepathy. And when I've called her a million times (on an average), she slowly turns around to face me and smiles dazedly as though she'd just got back from a long travel through dimensions hitherto unknown to Mankind.

Then there's always this problem of them getting over enthusiastic.

Imagine this scenario : You are sitting in the adjacent room, midning your own business when all of a sudden, you hear your mother shout as though someone has collapsed or some major calamity has struck your family. You drop whatever you're doing and rush to the living room to find your entire family (Granny included) staring at the Television as though they could see God in it! And the reason why she shouted? Well.... Mohammad Kaif missed a catch or Tendulkar got out after scoring nothing! It's no use trying to get some sense into them.... I've tried a million times by now.
Speaking of "over" enthusiasm (pun intended), I honestly and sincerely pity the players. If only they knew how much of a scolding (that's an understatement!) they get if they perform badly, I don't think they'd ever play cricket. I've not seen my parents getting this worked up even when I got low marks!

India is known for its cricketing craze. We've given the world some of the best cricketers of all times.... But please people! It's just a game. But then again... we Indians are programmed to revere every single cricketer who scores a hundred in a match and then burn his efigy and throw stones at their windows when they don't perform so well. I know this sounds a little too harsh... My deepesr apologies beforehand... But, Get a life! In the end, the cricketers will end up getting richer and richer whether they win or lose. But India winning the Finals will not feed the daily wage labourer who probably give a rat's arse about who wins or loses (Especially when he's forced to sleep on an empty stomach) And I would seriously like to commend his non-chalance and invite him for a cuppa. So, what were you saying about the IPL, again?

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