I remember standing in a crowded school bus somewhere in the 1996 summers when I overheard someone saying “India has finally got two good players- Ganguly and Dravid”. Today one of them decided to call it a day and few others who have been omnipresent on television screen are going to do it soon. I’m not a big fan of Ganguly or Sachin or anyone (except Lara) but I’m more worried about the void that will be left behind. The sight of these players doing the stuff they are known for, for years, is so deeply engraved in our minds that the feeling of ‘what next’ isn’t really pleasing. The passage from childhood to present times has shown me a lot of new things in life but not as much as I would have liked to satiate myself. I was born and brought up at a place where even electricity was a luxury (I faintly remember kids in neighbourhood screaming in joy whenever power came). The TV shows like Chitrahaar and Saturday/Sunday cinema on modern DD-1 were the spikes of entertainment in the barren feudal land. There weren’t any computers (and we can’t think without internet?), songs, dance videos, porn, video games, flash games, rock stars, pop stars, junk stars, flirting, x-day cards, y-day cards and xy-day cards for the kids of our times and sports meant cricket, just cricket, unless you could raise appreciative glances from your uncles by playing the great Indian and apparently intellectual game of chess. The emptiness due to all the historical and sociological factors made cricket the real entertainment and probably that’s the reason why I feel the void so wide that it signals the end of an era- not just of cricket, but more of me as a puppet-show watcher. It’s the pace that makes me uncomfortable, of course things moved at the real gentle pace, probably I wasn’t as fast.
I loathed the way Indian media ill-treated these players and pushed them towards retirement. India media probably considers itself as the force that brings change. However for a change, they show reports on commissioner’s lost dog and shiny flying objects but otherwise they are the harbinger of all great things that happen in the country. Commercialization is okay but being so fake and interfering and then overdoing to gain viewers’ attention is criminal. Indians on field were as arrogant as Australians but these things aren’t portrayed the way they should be. And I’m preaching like politicians, which doesn’t serve any purpose.
Getting back to reality, I had an amazing-cubed bike trip to Wayanad and nearby areas. It was a welcome break after the midterms and we really enjoyed to the local maxima after the excruciating mid-terms. A 300 km bike trip in a place like Kerala can at best be described by pictures; still it will be far from reality because you can’t feel the wind in your hair.
Its the path we followed to and fro..