Not long ago, a good gentleman by the name Rahul Dravid quit the Test captaincy, due to under-expressed reasons. Today, we have another Indian captain who i fear is in some sort of a similar mindset. These are decent men, in their public lives.. as the perception goes, and are now allegedly incapable of representing their country on an international stage. I admit i do wince a bit when i think about these players today. They should treat themselves better than letting themselves being subjected to uncharitable chatter from condescending clowns.
Cricket experts come in differnet forms. And kinds. And I hate most of them. I find them annoying. Especially the ones in the media. I feel there exists a certain difference between being a pundit and a fan, two roles both the role-players pretend to swap. But the latter earns the right to do something the former never should be bestowed - to bitch.
Indian cricket fans enjoy in a way the same proverbial status as their heroes - they can get away with murder. Few people in the world can understand what it means to be an Indian cricket enthusiast.. and by a few I mean, a billion or so. For the game is really not what they say it is, for us. It never was, it prolly never would be. At the expense of sounding redundant, we are bunch of delusional
If one asks you to describe the typical personality of an average Indian, i would say that 'perfectionist' would prolly not figure in the immediate pool of words. Yet, we all expect our national team to be perfect. Or at least be like the one from South Africa. Or Australia, may be. And professional. Like South Africa. Or Australia. Well, we are not South Africans. And believe me if you wish to, we are not like the Australians. Indians, if I may borrow an expression, are made out of a different mitti. And I am glad that we are. (Coz only an Indian could write a blogpost on cricket, with an exam in less than 14 hours from now. We, are like this only).
But then again, the nu-age Indian cricket fan is a different beast. He hails from a country which is progressive, which does not back down and is ready to take on the world. I heard they call it Youngistan now, my country. Hm. Following those few hackneyed expressions, i think i ll decline the brazen new look. I dont want to belong to that avatar, i am old fashioned. I think.
I do exhibit of course the immaturity and naiveties that accompany the refusal to walk with the times, and thus making me the circa 90s cricket fan. I admit to it. I like my cricket to be served with nostalgia, euphemism and onions. I want to be disillusioned, misinformed and humored.
And I dont like Sanjay Manjrekar.
Coming back to the nice gentlemen i originally intended to talk about.. here's the thing.. we know that this is not being professional.. the way our cricket is run. The way people are handled, treated or sometimes, cushioned. We know that this is something we might not afford. These people they talk about. BUt the point is, these are not.. just people. These are good men. And such ones are hard to find around, in this world. It is okay, sometimes, to let someone have his break 2 minutes longer. We are Indians, we are polite. We listen to older people talk their minds off, nod and move on. Just to be respectful. We can afford to be nice to these good folks we watched play for awhile.
And they were, like that wonderful article in cricinfo recollected, good ambassadors for us. Good role models. They mostly carried themselves well. I wonder how people tend to forget what Kumble meant to us on the last Australian tour. Of course in today's age, being docile is being weak, and aggression parades itself as flamboyance. BUt there is something beautifully Indian about being respectful and bearing. Most of us who ve lived abroad, might have noticed this trait we almost invisibly carry around.
These few men were great faces of that virtue. But I am afraid this breed has no progeny. May be I do belong to a different generation. And i get annoyed at this one. Sometimes. When i forget they are fans too and need to be
What is being dubbed today as the change of guard in the middle order, might just be the unveiling of the new Indian cricket fan as well. More head, may be a bit less of the heart. Passion uncompromised, nevertheless. Heroes with shorter lives, longer hair and more talktime.
We are getting old may be, check for that gut in the mirror.
But its ok.. we will find other things to do. Eventually. Like for example, exploring human psyche viz. does un-capitalizing your "i"s mean you have less of an ego now? And such.