Long Shot

In a population of 1.3 billion people,hockey-copy-650_022712061716 it takes some amazing skills to not excel in any sport other than cricket! Indian sports as it stands today is not what it once was. Indeed, India had significant victories in football and hockey earlier in the century – a far cry from the sorry state of affairs today.

Let us consider the top 5 reasons for sports not working in our stride!

  1. No infrastructure:

Of course! That is our answer to everything! It’s like we have accepted that it is an acceptable answer, and then feel sorry for ourselves. Why doesn’t the government make pet shelters? No infrastructure for people, how can we create one for dogs? Okay, why isn’t there shelter for everyone? Because they rented it out. Oh yes, why should they shift to a better facility, if they can earn an added income, and still enjoy the perks of being under poverty line?

Sure.

2. Education:

At school, and at home both. We are taught to be great at sports, only after we excel in academics! One of the more popular sayings in recent times is – “If you are good at something, do it after engineering.” That essentially sums up our entire education system. Sports is not encouraged in schools, or at home. Forget it even being an option, it is royally looked down upon and used as sarcasm if you don’t score well – “Aur khelo bahar jaake!”

It’s viewed as a mere hobby in our country, and not a career.

3. Electricity:

You would say I have a knack of starting with any topic and bringing it to a point where I bash our government for core issues. Well, what do I do if they function that way! This year a few of our players were robbed of a chance to participate in the Rio Olympics only because – wait for it – power failure! What? Yes, you read it right. In the part of the country when people use generators to prepare lassi in a celebration, one couldn’t be deployed for something as important as Olympic selection, is a sham(e).

4. Role-models.

How can this not make it to the list when Salman is involved! There was a whole fiasco regarding the ambassadors for Rio Olympics, and Salman Khan was one of them. Since we don’t encourage sports, we need to borrow from Bollywood to represent us in sports as well. Anyway, given the collective IQ of our country, we come to know about our great sportsmen only when a movie is made on them! Sigh.

Though, Salman is a great choice. He is a great shooter himself.

5. Genes:

This is my favourite! I was bowled over when I was doing my research and realized that a lot of people believe that we don’t excel in sports because we don’t have the kind of body required for it! In a population of 1.3 billion people. Bravo!

If anything, we are great at making excuses, and no one can beat us to that. Not even close.

Well Pitched

If there is one thing that the British did right, apart from teaching us the art of defecating within a space of four walls of course, is challenging Bhuvan to a match of cricket! We loved cricket more than probably they intended us to, so much so that we beat them out of their game! I mean we would have, had we been playing tomorrow! Never mind.

We must also give them the credit of unity in our country! For something that innumerable speeches, political agendas, education, love marriages can’t do, we need only a game against Pakistan- no points for guessing who wins those! I wonder if the English had anticipated the extent to which the rivalry would build up back when they created Pakistan. I imagine it was a complex, gut-wrenching decision, involving heated debates on politics, religion and morality.

Mountbatten: OK, so if we divide the nation, it will lead to an immediate battle, followed by years of chaos and conflict…

Aide: Yes. But the cricket will be awesome.

Mountbatten: Chal done!

If you are done crying over our defeat in Semi-Finals, I think you should use this weekend to think about how are you going to fill all the awkward silences in conversations you would rather not have with the people you would rather not talk to! My heart goes out to people who followed the tournament day in and day out with the dedication of a Facebook stalker.

But then you give IPL to such people, and they are as happy as the kid sucking on Kala Khatta Gola, which obviously is Kala and Khatta for perfectly hygienic reasons! No, I don’t hate IPL. It’s as if the game of cricket went ahead and decided to have a ridiculously loud bachelor party. Even casual fans like me are bound to get swept up in the madness.

I love how IPL deletes all the boring stuff – like how is the pitch, what is the angle of the blade of the grass on the off-side, percentage of saliva the bowler would need to adorn the ball, etc. – and focuses only on important things like Gayle’s stunning sixes, or how Virat needs Anushka’s positivity, and such matters of consequences! It’s India’s two religions – Cricket and Bollywood- creating so much spark that it would even put the bling at a Marwadi wedding to shame

I’ve decided against stadiums, since I’m not too keen on the whole ‘death-by-heatstroke’ thing. (Blah, anyone willing to sponsor my tickets?). Watching a match in the stadium gives you a golden opportunity to call your loser friends who’re at home, and ipl funny cartoons12find out who the hell is on strike, because from where you’re sitting, Rahane might as well be Nita Ambani in a helmet.

All said and done, cricket is the real winner. And the sponsors. And the husband in cric buzz ad, who called his wife wide.

In the spirit of cricket, all I’d like to say and pray is that may the best team win – as long as it’s Indian.