Cricket – Me, Tendulkar & Dhoni

Well, if you are a cricket player, and that too a batsman, the onlookers would all love it. Vow, great going, indeed, they will think and the commentators will be describing a lot.

I am unfortunately not a cricket man. People won’t therefore ask will you make a century. In terms of age, I feel I have already made a 74, somewhat too fast, for the years have moved fast after retirement. May be less of activity, having nothing much to do, and perhaps idling too.

I will perhaps be a player, staying at the crease itself, and perhaps scoring one run (in one year), that too without playing and without even running.

If people ask me would you try to hit a few fours and sixes, my answer would be well, I was on all fours in my early childhood (which may have been applauded too by at least my parents) but as far as sixes are concerned, I can only say I on many occasions find myself in sixes and sevens.

Do you wear pads?  Yes, a knee pad for each knee and of course an iPad now for me which I do not know could really be an eye pad for my bad eyes.  What about helmet?
What he’ll-mate!  Are you indirectly saying go to he’ll? Do you have regular net practice? Yes, of course, now that I have an iPad, I must practice on the net.

You must have been able to play all sorts of balls?  Well so far I have ‘played’ (faced) almost all types of balls – googlys, yorkers, bouncers (perhaps too often to rattle my head)’ full toss, every type. And, occasionally when I have to howl (sorry, bowl), I too used to hurl some bouncers.

How do you find the umpires? Well, there is the first umpire (the family doctor)’ the second umpire, the physician (both generally nice) but the third umpire (TPA of the health insurance provider), whom I have to be careful.

Who keeps your scores?  Score? I have already mentioned how slow I am. But though I do not celebrate my birthdays, the scoreboard automatically reflects the correct score at that point of time. And of course, the bank which pays pension to me has to keep the score accurately (to know that I am a senior citizen), to release my paltry sum of one-third pension, fifteen yeasts after my retirement, and now additionally for doling out the extra pension. (to compensate for the soaring medical bills)’ every five years hereafter.

Any man  of the…………? Well, I can guess what you are asking. At one time, I was …come on, congratulations, any way. Well, I was a man, I was a man…..(hesitatingly) hunting for a match. (don’t laugh).

Would there be any problem by which you will have to get retired hurt. Oh no, don’t you see I am already retired and getting hurt because of various health problems. But still have to bat on. You said bat on?  Oh sorry, I meant bat(tling) on.

Well, at least now you can say you know enough of cricket and you also play well. Thank you, I understand life is a long enough innings and you should never feel an innings defeat. Of course, the game has not ended and if at all someone has to give me out, it will only be the fourth umpire, who only looks from above – the Almighty. Are you afraid that he will raise his hands?  Not at all, since I cannot see him, as he is ‘up above the world so high’ and he will not raise his finger, he will only point his finger down towards me and make feel ‘how I wonder what you are’ – only others would silently mutter what an innings (?) which has now ended.

When Tendulkar plays, even Gods watch:

A TOI blog contained a sentence: ‘when Tendulkar plays, those wanting to commit sins may do as much sin as possible, because the Gods themselves this would be watching him play’.  This made me think of the sinners and Tendulkar.

Those committing sin or contemplating any may or may not be thinking: is this the appropriate time to do so. But those who have mastered the art or those who are professional sinners rarely spend time for finding out the best time or muhoorth or  auspicious time  for such acts. If  they do so, they would have to constantly look at calendars, panchangs etc.or at least consult some astrologers. If they linger on like this, they would only lose precious time, and in the meantime someone else, more clever would take way his booty.

And in case the  best time to commit sins is while Tendulkar plays, they would have to take into account various factors.First of all, the sinners themselves may be wanting to watch Tendulkar playing,  (who wouldn’t?) because they would start thinking while even the Gods take time off for such a treat, why should we  forgo this pleasure. This is because, they could afford to be in the stadium occupying vantage seats, (without the fear of Gods watching them in the ground, since Gods would only be concentrating on Tendulkar’s shots).Secondly, they have to take note of the game itself, like the opposite team, the format of the game, like test, one-day, twenty – twenty etc., the weather, the pitch, the umpires, whether it is the first innings or second innings, at what position Tendulkar  is to bat, how long he would bat and whether he would have to bat at all (if others have already made the runs enough to win the game. No dispute about Tendulkar’s  abilities, style, sincerity, and  dedication to the game, all of which have earned all the praises that could be showered on him.

And, if the sinners forget all about cricket and bet on Tendulkar’s batting time as the best time for a ‘kill’, while they could continue merrily, assuming that Tendulkar is in the best from and mental frame, and makes the spectators roar at each and every shot, whether it be cheeky singles, twos, threes and raining fours and sixes all the way, and everything, is  going fine for every one,  their whole plan could suddenly crash – you know why, because, suddenly there could be a hush hush silence in the ground and in  the millions of homes, where the entire family is glued to theTV, it could be India losing  one more wicket, Tendulkar is declared  OUT and the Gods rush back to their usual routine.

Of course, no one wants to miss Tendulkar play, why, while team India play, because everyone is caught in the current World Cup Cricket fever, , everyone wants India to play well, every one wants Tendukar play well (and create more records,) and every one prays for Tendulkar and everyone wants India to win the final and take the World Cup. Such is the adulation, accolades, appreciation, applause that Tendulkar gets that no honor (including a Bharat Ratna about which many talk) can be enough recognition for him.

Talking about the sinners, therefore, most likely they are among the crowds watching Tendulkar play, rather than taking a chance. This is because even if the Gods take time off for a moment, Tendulkar himself would  turn to be the God in the ground, since his fans respect him so much.

Taking note of all this, continue watching TV, continue watching every game India play, continue watching Tendulkar particularly. What if while all in the family are glued to the TV, if someone sneaks into your home and takes away something?  Tendular’s play is more precious than whatever material possession you have.

Dhoni – the Maha Indra!

People worship every year Lord Indra, since it is believed that He is the one who gives us  rains at the proper time to make our lives joyful. For this Indra Yaga used to be  performed every year to please Indra. It is a different story  that Indra  was too proud and arrogant about his capabilities and Lord Krishna wanted to really test his powers. Krishna believed and told his friends and believers that it is not Indra who provides the rains, but we get rains due to  our own good deeds that we all engage ourselves in during our life time. For proving this  point he also said, ‘look at the trees in the forests, they also get  rains, but they don’t  worship  Indra’.  And Indra, on his part, as if to strongly protest this  argument, poured  continuous rains on earth with the result everyone assembled with Krishna at that time ran to  seek His protection.

Dhoni, donned  the  Maha Indra Avatar in the World Cup final tournament with Sri Lanka yesterday, and continued, non-stop,pouring runs as though it was raining, perhaps wanting to outdo Indra . Such was his magnificent performance yesterday, that the  Sri Lankan  bowlers and fielders had to run for protection, (though they had to run in the field literally in all directions, after chasing each ball that he hit) though there was no Krishna in front of them to help them out, who could uproot the Govardhan Mountain and provide shelter to them.  The many Indians who fasted, and offered prayers at various temples must have heaved a big sigh of  relief at the end of the match that their prayers did not go in  vain, and that the the Lord Indra appeared before them in  his Maha ‘avatar’ and granted boon to all his worshippers.

For the Lankans, this thought of Indra and Krishna  would not perhaps have come to their mind at al, though they had a flute player Murali, in their team, whose magic also did not produce the real winning tune for them. Or, did they only rely on the destructive power of the ten-headed Ravana to mean Sangakkara and his ten team-mates, to destroy the Indian’s efforts.

No amount of petals of the ‘incense breathing’ flowers  thrown from above by even Indra,would haven been sufficient enough accolades for Dhoni (and his Devils, of course), since Indra’,  flying in his own ‘flower-craft’  if He wanted to come down enough to watch him play from above, would have got frightened by the thought that the helicopter shot by Dhoni (his last winning shot, of course was indeed one) , could perhaps have interrupted his own ‘flower- craft. All the same, Indra had indeed granted his boon. Now, it is not Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it is Maha Indra Sing(h) Dhoni!.

This article is a part of the book “74 Not Out and some cheeky singles” written by Shri C.V. Subramaniam.  He retired as Director in the Department of Information Technology, GOI and has held several important positions in the Government including the Science Advisory Council to Prime Minister. He has published 70 plus articles in various leading news papers and has published a book on Human Resource Management.