Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cricket: A passion that binds the nation, India

I was watching Iqbal movie again today, I guess for the fourth time, and I realized the movie still moves me even after repeated watching. Then I wanted to analyze why is it that a movie with cricket theme moves me so much when I have been trying to dissociate myself from cricket slightly after betting scandals and completely after India's miserable performance at the 2007 World cup. I realized that Cricket is not something you can associate yourself with, or dissociate yourself with, when you want, because it has become an inherent part of our Indian culture, it is in our blood and genes, it is in our minds and heart. In essence, cricket is a passion that binds the Indian nation..

I still remember the days when we the whole of our family used to watch cricket, every time a ball was being bowled to Sachin or Azhar, we would be praying to God that it should be a four or six, for every ball that Javagal Srinath or Manoj Prabhakar bowled, that it should be a wicket taker. We would dance when Indian team would win, eat sweets and celebrate as if it was an achievement in the family. And the day India lost, every one would be filled with gloom, and would scold Indian team members for their failure and decide not to watch it again. But when the next match came, the process started all over again.

The passion for cricket just goes from parents to children as if it were a part of our culture and tradition. When I was in Engineering hostel during my bachelors, it was much more serious. We used to have a TV in the hostel and a big mat in front of it. People would start saving places on the mat an hour before the match and when the match started, it was like a festival. Whistles and claps for every Indian boundary and opposition wickets, boos for Indian failures, what not. The tension would accumulate, and if any of them supported the opposition for their performance, they would get a real beating from the rest of the frustrated fans. Never did it occur to us when there were matches, if the upcoming Finals or Project deadlines needed to be given much more importance. Well, it was cricket time, and rest was all insignificant at that time.

The credit for Iqbal being such a big hit or for Lagaan being such a blockbuster just goes to the successful blending of two things that Indians are so passionate about, Cricket and Cinema. Also, Iqbal highlights a couple of things other than the passion for cricket. The determination of a deaf and mute guy who raises against all odds to hold a coveted place in Indian cricket. The opening scene mirrors a common scene in India, a bunch of people watching cricket together and celebrating Indian victory and Iqbal's mom who is due for her delivery by then, still watches it along with them and celebrates and gives birth to Iqbal. No wonder the boy is born with such passion for cricket. The struggle then starts, with Iqbal being thrown out of Cricket Academy and convincing Naseeruddin Shah to coach him. The scenes that follow show his drive and determination, and with the able support of his coach and parents and his loving sister, he reaches the pinnacle of his career.

Every one of us would definitely remember the days we played cricket on streets, the days when we thought we could be another tendulkar, the days when playing cricket in 120F temperature was just normal, the fights with friends over someone being Out, what not. These are the memories we cherish for our lives. If only the Indian team could realize how much we worship cricket, they would never bow out of World cup so meekly. I still remember the banners that fans used to have during Indian matches. "If cricket is religion, Sachin is God." Is he really, or WAS he? There was this match in Sharjah, a finals between India and Australia, when Australia made a huge total around 280, and the commentator said, It looks like it will be a cake walk for Australia but there is only thing that could stop them, the Sachin factor and yes, the Sachin factor did defeat Australia, Sachin scored a brilliant century to win the cup for India. Gone are those days now, I guess, where Sachin merely stands a feeble shadow of what he once was, trying to hang on to the team at an age he should be retiring, just to keep that 80 crore ad deal alive (I last heard his ad revenue a year was 80 crore).. I am not the one who can comment upon his calibre, but hey, I am fan who has a right to know the reason for his miserable performance in the World cup 2007. Rest of the team, there is no point in trying to discuss them..

I guess the Indian team should be made to sit and watch Iqbal and Lagaan, they should understand that when they play, they are not just playing a match for ad revenue or for public image, but in fact they are carrying the hopes of 1 billion people, who don't work in offices, or study or watch movies during their matches and pray to God not just for their victory but for every ball bowled. If only they realized this, it wouldn't be long before we snatch the World cup from the mighty Australians and show the world our caliber...

Here is a funny interview video of one of my good friend, that throws a satire on Cricket

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

He heheh e Iqbal such a shit movie and u want to write a whole shit on it. Dont waste time on thise ****** muslim names though...

The FAmiliar Challenger

Anonymous said...

He heheh e Iqbal such a shit movie and u want to write a whole shit on it. Dont waste time on thise ****** muslim names though...

The FAmiliar Challenger

Karthik said...

@anonymous/ The Familiar Challenger: If name of a movie being a Muslim keeps you away from watching a movie, then there is nothing I can say about your strong hatred towards the community. With regards to liking or disliking a movie, different people have different opinions and I am sure you are educated enough to have respect for others' opinions...