Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Just out of reach

The ball flew over the midwicket region into the stands. The ground erupted. 40,000 people roared. Fireworks broke the sound barrier and lit up the night sky. Elliott balled his fist and celebrated. Vettori walked up to him and hugged. And it was done.

New Zealand are a good team; a great team. But they peaked recently. They hit a purple patch in those tennis court sized fields they call cricket grounds. But their celebrations after the match against South Africa were not ones of jubilation. It wasn’t a team of fifteen running in screaming from the pavilion, picking up Grant Elliott and huddling together to celebrate a victory that is beyond comprehension. Remember, this is a team that has never gotten to the finals.

The ball flew over the midwicket region into the stands. DeVilliers watched the ball soar over his head and collapsed in a heap on the ground. Morkel’s world crumbled around him as he struggled to hold back those tears gushing down his cheeks. Faf cared a lot less about what the cameras could record. His emotions had taken him over and he felt no shame in crying. In defeat. In sadness.

If South Africa had been defeated outright, they would have walked back in shame. But again, yet again, this was another close fought contest where another team edged their neck ahead by inches in the last moment. Another game where a couple of mistakes changed the complete course of the game. Another game where South Africa were extremely good, but not good enough.

A careless Gibbs celebrating prematurely, a dumb Allan Donald not knowing what the word ‘Yes’ means, a confused Duminy not knowing that Behardien was half a foot away - these are simple mistakes, but ones that change games and cost you a 3 foot tall golden trophy that you have never held in your life.

But as I watched the closing scenes of the game before Sanjay Manjrekar came on to give his ‘opinions’, thanks to his ‘expertise’ in ‘the game’, I saw something.

Grant Elliott picked up Steyn and consoled him. New Zealanders celebrated but not in South Africa’s face. It was almost as if the Black caps themselves knew that for some reason, in some deep crevice in their heart, they believed that South Africa deserved to win.

I may be wrong in assessing this, but I had a feeling that if South Africa had won, New Zealand would have congratulated the ecstatic South Africans, patted themselves on the back for having played a phenomenal World Cup up until now, gone back to their dressing rooms, gotten a few beers and carried on with their lives.

I may be trivialising New Zealand’s accomplishments. They equally deserved to win, if not more. But, for South Africa’s brutal past, the number of times they have gotten ‘so close but not quite there’, South Africa needed to win this. They needed a final.

The press conference where DeVilliers broke down, the vines of Steyn, Morkel and Faf crying - these aren’t going viral because they look emotional or funny. It’s because people all over the world cried with them. They felt the same amount of pain. They felt, as DeVilliers put it - gutted.

They somehow wanted South Africa to win this. They wanted them to huddle together and scream in joy and bounce around. They wanted DeVilliers to finally smile and celebrate. Not sit quietly in front of journalists and choke over his own tears. Not choke at all. Not ever.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vote for Mr.Nobody. Party symbol - Middle finger

There was a huge beach house party on Wednesday night celebrating your dog's first loose motion. You made it. There was an insane super-fun Raagini MMS movie marathon on Thursday afternoon. You made it. Oh, your girlfriend was completely helpless because she couldn't find her blue colored hairband and she always wears blue on Thursdays. You spent four hours finding it for her.

Yet, you couldn't spend ten minutes to vote. 

Of course you had reasons. I shall address them for you.

1. It was a holiday, dude. Rest time.

No, it was not a holiday. It was election day. Your wretched BPO reluctantly shut shop because they thought you would vote; Not eat chicken frankie and sit around in your boxers staring at wedding albums on facebook. It was a holiday because they thought if they give you 24 hours off, you might spend ten minutes to vote. Nope, you did not.

2. I live in a different city, bro. Like IRCTC problems yaar

If you can bunk a day for being hungover, I am sure you can bunk a day to come vote. It is your city. If there was no current, you take a grand total of ten seconds to say 'Chutiya MLA. Takes our money and swallows them.' And what were you doing when these chutiyas got elected? Getting drunk. *Slow clap*

3. My name was not in the rolls man. Government functioning is so shitty nah?

That is the dumbest reason ever. Here is a story. Your college decides to take you for an excursion and takes 10,000 rupees from everyone. They say they will have a quick show of hands to decide the place to go to. But on that day, you decide to go play footsie with your girlfriend in CCD because you are like cool and stuff. And then you come for the excursion with a huge backpack and the college takes you for a full building tour of Saravana Stores and ends the evening with a boat ride on the Cooum river. Would you be happy? Well, you Have to be, because when they asked you to help them sort it, you didn't.

The government gives you eight weeks to check if your name is on the rolls. If it isn't, it takes fifteen minutes to fill a form to include your name. It can even be done online. But you didn't. And that is the government's fault? 

4. Abey, no candidate is good enough man. I want to tell the country that everybody is bad, by not voting.

How on Earth is the government supposed to know you have such god forsaken reasons to not vote? Heck, you sucked at reading your girlfriend's thoughts. But the government has to read yours? They have an option called NOTA. You can honestly tell them that you do not like anybody. They will take action on it. But you never bothered because this is too low for your awesomeness factor.

5. Machi, even if I put NOTA, who else will put huh? Tell ra, tell.

You do not have to decide for the others. You are never going to know. If a newbie called Arvind Kejriwal can dethrone a veteran queen like Sheila in a matter of six months, I am sure your vote can make a difference. (Yes, Kejriwal screwed up. But you were excited when he got elected, weren't you?). Make a small difference. Everybody else will.

6. I don't care. I won't vote. I won't complain.

These are the kings of the reason world. They won't vote because they have no faith in the government, but they can't be blamed because they won't complain about anything it seems. You never know the storm that will hit you because of your indifference. When your building complex gets razed by a government official for building a mall and you come to the streets, you will. When your relative is dying of a heart attack and your government hospital is too inefficient to even treat common cold and he dies, you will. Basically, when shit hits the fan, you will, son. But then, you might be too late.

There are blind people voting. There are physically handicapped people voting. My maid came and told me she paid 200 rupees by auto to take her daugher and son to go vote because her polling booth was far away. But she was proud of it. There are people out there living with hope, doing their little bit to make a difference. An educated sensible person like you cannot throw reasons. Go out there and vote next time. India is never going to be a superpower if you keep eating chicken frankies and farting on election day. Just saying.

P.S: I may have offended one or many of you in the course of this post. If at all I have, just in the tiniest sense if I have hurt your sensitivities in any way, I just really really want to say, that I wholeheartedly meant it. Rot and burn.