Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The time when I was caught cheating.

For some weird reason today, I was reminded of this incident that happened several years ago . It almost seems like another life altogether. This incident was a year or two after we moved to the house in Banashankari. To set things in perspective, I was in class 4 or 5 and at that age , my only motivation in life on a daily basis was to play and you ask me which game ? Cricket ofcourse.

After moving in, I slowly became part of this group which had kids from 3rd to 6th I think and I got comfortable with those guys and used to be happy that I prospered in cricket pretty well in that group! However, there was this other senior group that I wanted to be a part of. All of us in our group revered those guys coz' it seemed really cool and complex to play with them. Am sure many of you have had this sort of feeling at some point. I used to be a bit reticent initially but slowly gathered courage to ask them whether I could play with them. They said yes and my joy knew no bounds! Just that over the next couple of months , as it always happens, my sole purpose was to field and if everyone else in my team got out, I used to get a chance to hold the cricket bat. Oh, bowling was out of the question!

This being the premise, we came upon this period where there were no funds to buy tennis balls. ( We used to lose them at an alarming rate!) It was decided that some senior folks will pay 10 rupees and some of the junior ones like myself would pay 5 rupees. We were given a couple of weeks time . I didn't know how I could tell my parents about this and it seemed almost impossible. I approached one of the guys and asked him if they could give me a discount and after thinking he said ,"Ok , you pay me 2 rupees but don't ask me for any more discount". I was ecstatic that I managed to pull this off! Next challenging task was to actually get this money.

In our house, there used to be a bureau in the corner of one of the rooms where my dad used to drop in some changes from his wallet from time to time for daily vegetable purchases yada yada yada. So one evening I stole 2 rupees and eased that into my pocket (felt very guilty!) and went out on my Atlas bicycle (Oh yes,that was the generation when kids used to move around in bicycles every day!). I was already a bit panicky that I rode out in front of my mom and she didn't have a clue about that. I went straight to the guy's house who had given me the discount but unfortunately, he wasn't there. I next went to the 2nd senior person and guess what ? He asked me to hand it over to the senior guy coz' he didn't collect that money. Cursing this 2nd guy , I came back home and left the 2 rupees in that bureau.

Next day was a Sunday and we always started playing by 4pm( an extra hour!!!) and most importantly Dad was home. So again I slipped in that money and was about to rush off in my bicycle(I was even more nervous that day coz' Dad was home) when my Dad suddenly heard the coin sound (I had 2 1 rupee coins instead of a 2 rupee note!) and asked me what was the sound. I panicked and suddenly he raised his voice and that was all that was required!!! I was in tears and my dad shouted at me asking me what was happening and from where I had got 2 rupees. Got inside the house and then told him the complete story and he asked me why I was stealing etc etc. Told him I didn't have the courage to ask him for the money because after all I went out to play and not to deal with money . He said irrespective of what the circumstance, always speak the truth and if you are wrong just accept it. Time slowly passed and after 10 mins( it seemed like an entire day!), he gave me 10 rupees and asked me to contribute it to the team fund. Imagine the surprise on the senior guy's face when I handed him the 10 rupee note! After that every Sunday they used to personally come near my place and call me out to play though most of the times all I did was field till a year or two later when I atleast used to bat!!!

I might have forgotten other incidents but this one I can never forget! In hindsight, all I can say is that particular incident definitely made me a much better person and gave me a lot more courage to be honest even in times of trial. Thanks Pa!!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


IPL 3 has been a pretty interesting experience so far... Following have been the my observations:

1. Many international players are part of the team setups and as a result the standard of cricket is probably really high.
2. Karbon Kamaal Katch...Ridiculous! Several such terms have added to the irritation quotient.
3. New ad breaks in between overs have been very irritating (but not for the sponsors). The head honcho of IPL can probably even generate revenue out of a endangered sport. Every cell of the person's body probably thinks of generating revenue.
4. Several more matches next year with the team count going upto 10.
Assuming only 4 foreigners can play for each team , you have atleast 7 local lads in each team which means atleast 15 locals would be in the dug out waiting to play a game. So 15 * 10 = 150 . The thing I like about this is around 150 Indian domestic /club cricketers are going to be super rich coz' of this. And what does this do ? It will increase the no of kids playing cricket and they will take it more seriously . You ask me what is the plus aspect of this ? Atleast I hope this will convince more parents to allow their kids to get into sports ( i mean cricket , sports and cricket in India are synonymous!) which means more people will end up doing what they want to do, which is good for the society as a whole ;-).

With respect to the quality of cricket , 2 things might happen - a. we don't have so many good players and as such many teams will have weak pathetic teams resulting in several one sided games that will wane the interest . b. We might find several Manish Pandeys and that would be a treat to watch , which would spur my next statement . So kids out there - what do you want to do ? Don't be surprised to hear "play in IPL " !

On another note, IPL was voted recently as the most innovative company and what with 1 billion dollars profit expected this year and "supposedly" doubling every year from now on, seems like March- May is the season where you are going to be flooded with cricket.
Finally its the viewers who end up paying tons of money. Consider me , I have already gone to 3 RCB matches(previous years I just caught them on TV) and that definitely eats into my resources but then you watch RCB win and say, wow , paisa vasool! Apparently, as seen last year cricket in this country is probably the only thing that is recession free . I just hope from the billion dollars they make, they go ahead and donate some amount of money to other sports in India or Mr Modi should go ahead and do an IPL in atleast one other sport , but deep down I have a gut feeling that will never happen .

To end , can we unanimously declare that Cricket is our National Game ?