Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Afridi , with Love . brilliant article by Maheen Sadiq

There’s a lot to be said about the cricket tournament, especially our match against India. And it has a lot more to do with Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Gul’s bad luck, and Sachin Tendulkar’s good fortune.

Cricket speaks to our nation in a way our government never has.

And Shahid Afridi addressed the nation in a way our president never has – unselfish, genuine, modest. So when Afridi apologized to Pakistan, millions listened and were humbled by the gesture. Our eyes filled with tears and our hearts with love and a strange kind of sorrow. Shahid Afridi, you need not apologize to the nation. We are proud of you and our entire cricket team! You didn’t bring back the cup, but any excitement, any happiness, any hope that Pakistanis have felt in the past few months is because of your brilliance. We’ve been hearing a lot of “Pakistan needs something to celebrate,” but what Pakistanis really needed was something to look forward to, and the green team gave us that with the anticipation of each game played.

The funny thing about cricket is that it can unite the nation through a victory or a loss. It would have been wonderful to go out on the streets and celebrate with dhols, etc, as we did when we won the 20/20 Cricket World Cup in 2009. But even after our loss yesterday, the people of Pakistan, in their state of disbelief, came out and shared their sorrow. Misery loves company. Cars on streets, people driving around slowly, quietly, patiently. No honking, no cursing, no where to go, no where to escape. It was surreal. This only goes to show what cricket means to us and the massive void it fills for our nation. Cricketers, you made us patriotic. You made us passionate. You made us proud. And these precious adjectives are some that Pakistan rarely gets the chance to associate itself with. So again, Afridi, your apology is appreciated but not needed. You conducted yourself with patience, grace and dignity, encouraging your own with a smile, and congratulating the opponents with an even bigger smile. You didn’t win the semi-finals, but you won our hearts. Thank you for showing the world we are not an aggressive nation.

To Pakistan, I propose this: if there’s anyone who needs to apologize it’s us. So to Afridi and the team, I apologize for the pressure I put on you to win the World Cup. It comes from my own shortcomings. So lazy and so cowardly am I that I am incapable of creating for myself a reason to celebrate Pakistan. Since as far as I can remember, my patriotism has tenaciously clung to cricket. It is unfair. I know. To those Pakistanis who thought this was a match between Hindus and Muslims, I’m glad India won. This was never a battle between nations, or a jehad against Hindus. It was a semi-final cricket match, and if a loss is what it took to be reminded of this then I’m glad we lost. Victory would have only made you gloat over something you had wrong all along anyway. However, if there was one thing I was relieved to discover it was that we don’t hate India. We may hate America, but we don’t hate India. No burning of the Indian flag, no bitter remarks, no threatening reaction. Phew! Just healthy competition and a pure love for the game. So we don’t hate India. In fact, we hate Zardari. What pleased me even more were the numerous text messages and facebook statuses I came across that poked fun at Zardari. My personal favourite is, “We congratulate India on winning the semi-finals. As a good-will gesture, India can keep Pakistan’s prime minister. And if it wins the finals, we will give our president too.”

Ahhh, Zardari jokes. They never get old. He’s our scapegoat now. It’s his fault we lost. Somehow. That being said, think. It’s time we stop asking of our cricketers something we should have been asking of ourselves. Or our government. Lets find ourselves a reason to be patriotic and celebrate Pakistan, and let cricket be a sport, not an identity. If we all just took a little responsibility, maybe our beloved team can finally approach the pitch as cricketers, not as soldiers entering the battlefield. We owe it to them.

Welcome back, boys!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Riveting match or a fierce battle? India v/s Pakistan at world cup

For Indian television and print media, the world seemed to have ceased. Every TV channel is competing with another in screaming vociferously about India Pakistan Semi Final at Mohali. No Japan, Bahrain, Libya. Everything is match centric. Life will be standstill from 230pm. Where do I watch a match? In Pub or at home. I would rather do both. If India goes great guns, pub atmosphere is exhilarating. If the match is absorbing, home TV is the best.

India’s collective and individual happiness revolves around the outcome of Cricket Match. So far, India has not tasted defeat in the world cup from Pakistan. Would this trend continue? Greg Chapel – ex coach of India, was impatient in making changes in the team and the batting order while Gary Kirsten – is making change only if they have reasonable degree of success. Which way Dhoni would go? This is the only chance and any of his decision that back fires would be scrutinised, dissected and pilloried for rest of his life. During 1996, India Pakistan cricket match, I was travelling by road from Muscat to Dubai and kept on listening to score through radio. India was struggling to reach competitive score. But within two overs, Ajay Jadeja changed the course of the game by smashing Waqar Younis and getting psychological advantage. Amir Sohail’s batting was one of the best I have seen. Altercation between Prasad and him through fierce eye contact matched those at Wagha Border between Indian and Pakistan security forces. That was also the match, I felt sorry for Javed Miandad who was left at the other end but like an old tiger couldn’t do much except getting run out at the end. In his hay days, he could have carried the batting by nudging one and two’s with occasional boundary bringing Pakistan to threshold of victory. Would Dhoni wait for two – three over mayhem to make frontal and brutal attack on Pakistan? They would carefully choose the bowler and it could be done by Dhoni or Yousuf Pathan. But if Pathan were to be included, Viral Kohli may have to sit. It would be interesting to see the team composition today. In recent days, Pathan has emerged like phoenix when ruin was evident. What Afridi can do for Pakistan, Pathan could dovfor India. Ashish Nehra is another proven player for India. He was banished for poor one over spell against South Africa but his experience in crunch games would come handy. It may sound preposterous but uncouth and brusque attitude often prevail when these two teams get collided on world cup stage. This attitude is much bigger measure in North than in South India. Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Zaheer is packed with the venom they need to spit and rattle offenders. Demand for the inclusion of Shoaib Akhtar is for same reason.

Thought of Pakistan Sri Lanka final at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai unnerve me. Commercial interest and billion people’s aspirations would be hoping that this doesn’t happen but this is one success that will rejuvenate fragmented, and collapsed Pakistan.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

India and Cricket

India is the land of the possible; a land where anything is feasible, and frequently actually happens. It is not a country that you can ignore, it is not a land from which you can stay aloof. It is vibrant, tumultuous, colourful, aromatic, tangy, terrifyingly friendly and unbelievably involved; it is chaotic and noisy, but most of all it is tangibly, viscerally real. And nowhere is India most visible in all its splendour and mind-bending complexity as at a game of cricket. For cricket is truly the subcontinent's sport. It may have been invented on the green lawns of a different and more straitlaced land, but it is in the Indian subcontinent that cricket finds its soul.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coma through mental depression

Could mental depression lead a person to coma ? and be in a state of comatose over 8 months. I am keen to study the factors that led to this state , treatment given and mindset of a person after the person is back to lead a normal life. I learnt about this and felt that this could be a perfect story for Readers Digest for people who go through similar grind and become vulnerable to be pushed into depression. Depression Guide website gives information about this.

Sweep – an elegant cricket stroke has now become a part of regular armoury in modern day cricket. Reverse sweep is an innovative mirror image of regular sweep and often employed against a spin bowler whenever third man fielder is brought into the circle. Graham Gooch in Reliance Cup decimated India by employing regular sweep in the semi final at Mumbai. Today, England persisted with reverse sweep against Sri Lanka spinners and perished. They could not execute the stroke, but in the process lost wickets and the confidence to raise the run rate.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy 4th b'day : Akshta

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Turmoil and confusion from a man's perspective.

I am not too sure if what I say would typify a man. Being a man myself, I must say what I have conviction in. I feel and realize the effect of my upbringing, societal pressures, ethical or moral issues, fear of god etc. There are so many complex variables whose denominations keep on changing through external influences and my audacity to question them. I have gone through various phases. Starting with the refusal to change from the conformed beliefs, to watching with awe and surprise those who dared to do something different, slowly conditioning the mind to simulate what the after effect be, challenging and questioning the validity of so called established principles in the face of mind and body desires, probing and searching for right answers through books on psychology, physiology, behavioral science and spirituality.

At this past mid age, the synthesis of all that has led me to the conclusion that ' the only truth of our existence is our mind and the body'. Rest is all superficial and contrived to suit the governance of the societal status and ego gratification. I listen to my mind and the body and do what is in harmony with them. For me, this is an ' absolute honesty'. Everything that moves within the realm of mind and body is honesty for me. Emotions, Lust, Libido, Desire, Peace, Tranquility and Uproar.

Being lamb I am, I do not do anything that would deliberately hurt someone. But again, there is a 'desire' of being selfish. To have a good image of me in the eyes of others.

Two characters have carved a definite impact on my existence. First is ' Satyapriya' of movie 'Satyakam' and ‘ Maharathi Karna’ of Mahabharat. First made me have the courage to face the nakedness of the honesty and second the graciousness and openness of being generous. In this modern life of contradictions and compulsions, it is not easy to practice both in universal terms. However, I tend to scrupulously follow them in my mind. Be absolutely honest with oneself - in thoughts and actions and second be open in accepting others opinions, habits, impressions, behavior and have a generosity to forgive everyone including myself.

The result is blissful and tranquil life.