Tuesday, August 21, 2007


India celebrated its 60th birthday last week and the Indian cricket team gave her a magnificent birthday present by winning a Test rubber in England, the first in the last 21 years and only the 3rd in 75 years of Indian cricket. It was a wonderful present for a nation, which lacks sporting heroes and sporting moments at international level. Our team played effervescent and excellent cricket and apart from that is a mixture of all the good values our nation has been known for. It is captained by a person from south, its premier batsman is from north, batting and bowling opened by two Muslims, one of them bagged the Man of the Series award, other bowlers and our keeper from mostly villages and recently one of our bowlers from a cricketing backwater place like Kerala single-handedly won an epic Test match at Johannesburg, India’s first in South Africa. As John Wright wrote in his wonderful book, “There is no typical India and no typical Indian. Each and every part of India is as different as different can be”. This summer our team gave us one more reason to shout “Proud to be an Indian”. Salute our team, salute our country.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Last week was a happy one. India produced a magnificent victory at Trentbridge and Indian judiciary gave a flawless verdict on the Mumbai blasts, which included a 6 year rigorous imprisonment to Sanjay Dutt. And as expected there were protests against it, exclamatory remarks and surprises from people who belong to every walk of life and shameless opinion polls in each and every news channels!

Several news papers remarked that a person as good as ‘Munna Bhai’ should have been avoided from such a severe punishment but what they conveniently forgot was that Munna Bhai was a good human being existed only on the silver screen and in front of Indian Law Sanjay Dutt was a part of the conspiracy which killed hundreds of innocent people in Mumbai. One main argument was that the agony of waiting for the verdict for 14 long years itself was a punishment for him, as if only Sanjay Dutt knows what is agony! What about the agony of the judge who went through 14 years of mental exasperation of handling such a high intensity case along with numerous threats from politicians and underworld kings? What about the agony of those people who lost their father, mother, son and daughter? What about the agony of those living victims of the blast ? For those who lost their life, for those who lost their hands and legs, for those who never recovered consciousness but still live as breathing corpses, for those who lost their mental balance, agony is an underrated word and so is the verdict. Serial blasts, heaps of dead bodies, hospitals filled with innocent victims, people wondering where the next blast is going to happen and millions of sad people. Don’t you see agony here ?

Sometimes life gives you a shock and makes you realize that cricket is only a game and there are some greater things in life than cricket. The last time I felt this was when I watched on television the havoc crated by tsunami and seeing the helplessness of Man over the fury of nature. Now reading about this verdict and thinking about those difficult times in 1993, brings me the same feeling. But the greatest irony is that this realization came again on a day in which India registered one of its most memorable overseas victories. Kudos to Indian team for their superb victory over England. Hats off to Indian Law for its much-needed victory over evil.