Sep 27, 2007

Victory and its aftermath

How can someone be made to feel surfeited about a hard earned and much yearned victory? But the BCCI, the obnoxious State Governments and the media (which just needs a bandwagon to always jump into) have proved it is possible.

So for once we had a good team that won. What if we had lost. I am sure there would have been excuses like 'new format', 'inexperienced', and more. Do not those terms still apply? For all the great win the team fashioned, it is after all a new format of game for which none of the teams have special strategies for. And they are inexperienced! To have an entire nation go crazy because the team won 4 matches in a row is ridiculous. Had the team been through several months of high quality performances, its members deserve honors. Praising the team and awarding them for every series win and then stoning the player's homes for every loss is happening much too frequently nowadays, so much so that people and the BCCI have lost a sense of proportion.

Praise them, yes. But do not flood them. After the World Cup debacle, the Advertisement value of the Indian team reached a nadir and subsequent good performances in England did not increase the face value much. The BCCI, which can easily fund two African nations even if no cricket matches were staged for the next two years, were obviously not happy with the reduced inflow to their coffers. And they saw in this victory the right moment to rekindle the interests of the public in Indian cricket and increase the team's revenue potential. Needless to say, this entailed reactions like 30km rally, felicitations at the Wankhede Stadium, $2million prize money, a crore and a 911 porsche to Yuvraj Singh from the BCCI. And the tax payers of Haryana want Joginder to be gifted Rs.21 lakhs because he took one crucial wicket.

Instead of making any socialistic statements on how these and much more ill spent money from the exchequers of the Government and the BCCI could have been rerouted for more 'noble' purposes, I will just say that these reactions make me feel blasé towards the game itself.


Sep 22, 2007

Proving the mettle

What a day for Indian cricket! I have always been a big fan of Dhoni, but his performance in this T20 World cup as a captain has been amazing. He has been so cool about everything. Even when the bowler is jumping up and down after a wicket, Dhoni walks smiling as if its just the end of an over. He has proven enough as of now that is not just a stop-gap arrangement for captaincy. See this interview to get a glimpse of his thinking.

Sachin, Ganguly and Dravid are going to have a hell of a time once they are back in the ODI squad with every single failure of theirs causing people to bay for their blood as Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Karthik will be in the sidelines.


Sep 1, 2007

Of believing and discerning

A sudden bout of spiritualism forced me to go to the temple yesterday and it coincided with Sankatahara Chathurthi. The very thought of going to the temple on this day filled me with a sense of fulfillment that I had done something good after a long time, though I had no idea of what the occasion means. An effort at 'googling' for the explanation did not make me any the wiser except for the fact that its a monthly event. So I stuck to the ritualistic praying for well-being.

I was wondering about the meaning of some mantras and it set me off on a tangent that eventually ended with me questioning about the rationality in believing the existence of God. All the slokams and mantras I know unequivocally praise the God. If God does exist, does He wish to us to spend a considerable part of our time praising Him? (or Her, lest I am branded as a male chauvinist) I mean if He really is God what is the point in Him expecting us to praise Him.

If the above line of thought is considered blasphemy, then one would succumb to the ideas of living in Kali Yuga wherein the human race is supposed to be most distanced from God. Atleast the scriptures say so! But then how much veracity can one attach to the scriptures. To be fair, its difficult to believe in miracles. And to believe something that has been written and passed over generations, describing incidents that happened hundreds of years ago as to the deeds of the Gods is tough. After all truth distorts over time and historians were not in much abundance in the earlier days so as to give an accurate recounting of things that happen. For example, what if they all started off as eulogistic narrations of the deeds of Kings and then got modified over generations, with the subsequent additions of unearthly powers to the deities. It is possible.

When one goes to some places that have spiritual connections it makes us feel exhilarated. Is that because one truly feels the divine power or is it the subconscious mind that tells us we are in a place that has some spiritual significance and makes us feel something inexplicable? I visited many South Indian temples last year and I started off by thinking that it should be interesting as I would see new places. But when I went to places like the Thanjavur Kovil, the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Kovil or the Chidambaram Kovil, I felt a heaviness which overwhelmed my senses. They mad(k)e me believe that there is an aura about these places that have reasons beyond plain architecture and massiveness. I suppose same should be the case with Kailash and places like Badrinath, Kasi etc.,

But, sometimes I tend to believe that the concept of Religions were created to bring about a sense of orderliness in man's life. Being the only creature endowed with the power to think, we have spent a lot of our time in trying to find out the reason for our existence. Some people answer that spiritually and attribute man's existence to God and some answer that scientifically citing evolution, the primordial soup, etc., I suppose our ancestors predominantly would have belonged to the former group. The fact that misdoings and improper conduct would invoke the wrath of some supernatural power would serve as a deterrent to many people from straying in their lives. And over a period of years, these would have coalesced into a coherent set of stories that gave way to the myths (or the epics as we would have it). One need not be astute to perceive the regional based differences in the stories of Gods. Even epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana have parts that are narrated in different ways in different places. And same is the case with the Old and the New Testaments. When someone like Mother Teresa who has been an embodiment of devout worshipers, says that her life has been devoid of the influence of God, then 'lesser' beings are bound to relapse into self doubts.

Having said all this, it leaves me in a confused state of mind. To believe in the existence of God and devote a part of my time to prayers or to be a heretic. As the questions remain unanswered, I guess I have no other option but to tread the path of several skeptic-believers and continue to believe in God with the occasional doubts rearing its head. After all as many people say, it is better to err on the side of safety.


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