Satire: Cricket in Indian families
DISCLAIMER: This article is written is jest and is not to meant to offend anyone. Please read with a pinch of salt.
So the season has ended. The dish best served cold, revenge, has been served. Right now, emptiness occupies the mind. Soon, a fantastic season of classical dance will be taken over by month and a half of cabaret. The colour white will be thrown somewhere in the dustbin for quite some time. Ravi Shastri will shoot tracer bullets via his booming voice for next couple of months or so. The type of cricket to be seen in next couple of months is said to be targeted towards the family – read women. You don’t need to sell cricket in India to men. It is the families which need selling.
Actually, selling cricket to families in India shouldn’t be that difficult. There is a bit of a cricketer/official in every family member in India. Every family member resembles some kind cricketer/official in India.
Here are a few I could spot -
Husbands in Indian families signify Indian captains. An Indian captain is expected to marshal his troops for the entire day; win the match convincingly, speak without letting the tongue slip to call “Red Light Signals” as “Red Light Areas”, attend the post-match press conference, tell people why a left arm spinner didn’t bowl 45th over of the innings, go back to hotel and start practising for the toss. He has to repeat the above mentioned steps almost every day. He has one more responsibility – should be a cakewalk really - of keeping everyone happy. Husbands do a similar job. It’s just that their job is a tad easier in the sense that they have to deal with other side of the gender divide, which is a tad more confusing in the sense that they don’t know if they are dealing with their own players or opposition’s, which in turn is a tad more complex than dealing 11 Sreesanths in the side.
Wives are quite like off spinners. Their guile lies in invitation, deception and invincibility. Giving a generous flight is what reflects invitation. It is an invitation to drive; mind you, it is against the turn by reaching the pitch of the ball. As you think you have reached the pitch of the ball, the turn deceives you; it goes through the gate and knocks you over. They are almost invincible in this art unless dealt with craft and finesse. If you want to have any chance against an off spinner, you will have to be positive. You need to think a step in advance.
Bitter gourd for lunch means you have forgotten something like “five years back, our horoscopes were matched”, hence must go home with flowers. A surprise “I Love You” sms means an expensive crockery set has been bought and your monthly saving plan has been murdered.
The more defensive you get, the more aggressive the off spinner will get. If turn doesn’t get you, bounce will. If charm doesn’t get you, tears will.
However, there is a fundamental difference between and off spinner and wives. You would prefer an off spinner who has a Doosra.
Mothers are like Sachin fans devotees. No matter what a son does, a mother’s love in her son is as immovable as devotee’s faith in their God. If a son is rejected by a girl because he looks like a chimpanzee, the mother will remind people that her son used to look like a chocolate cake when he was 2 years old. When people remind the mother that almost every 2 year old looks like a chocolate cake and her son is actually ugly, the mother will tell people that her son’s face may be ugly but his eyes are gorgeous. Mother may also have a problem with women liberalization which has given women a chance to reject men. Mother will surely have a problem with the girl, saying that she doesn’t have an eye for beauty. For every mother, her son can do now wrong. For every Sachin devotee, he can do no wrong. Questioning every failure is met with arguments like “You know how long he has been playing”. A counter argument is dealt with “He has scored more runs than the number of hair on your body”. This goes on. Finally, it all ends with typical motherly tears – “Give him a chance. He will do it as he has so often”.
Fathers, in an extended family, are like umpires. They don’t play but officiate. Whenever there is a dispute, people leave it to them to decide. The party that loses almost always feels vindicated whereas the winning party says – “That’s okay. It is his job, isn’t it?” Quite often, the kids in the family take the DRS route – Dad’s Redressal System. Like umpires, fathers also have quite a thankless job. It’s not the good decisions but the bad ones that they are remembered for.
Any kid wants very few these things on his birthday. He wants his birthday cake with pictures of Doraemon, Ben10 and Spiderman on it; if it cannot be done in one cake, then on 3 separate birthday cake. The kid wants to invite all his friends but Guddu; he can invite Guddu but then Pappu will not be coming; if both of them come, Shalu will surely not be invited. If all three come together, the kid will not celebrate his birthday unless he gets a battery driven car as his birthday gift. The kid wants all his friends to come with the gifts and leave as soon as the gifts are handed over so that he can open them. If mood permits, the kid will not mind opening the gifts in front of his friends but on condition that nobody will touch his gifts. Once all the guests are gone, the kid wants to open each and every gift, break at least a dozen of them and bunk the school on next day. The day after the next, the kid is found in a pensive mood because it is Guddu’s birthday and who would be getting all the gifts. The kid wants to celebrate his birthday on that day as well and on the next as well. He wants to celebrate his birthday, every day.
The kid is no different from an average Indian fan. They want everything. Once they get everything, they complain of boredom saying, “This has become so easy. There is no fun left in it.”