Friday, February 13, 2009

Geeks shall inherit earth; and Goons shall inherit Nepal !!!

They said: Geeks shall inherit the earth. Yours truly agreed to it, of course since it was said by the geeks themselves. But being a quintessential Nepali, he has now decided to add a condition, post agreement and sans shame (of course).

If geeks shall inherit earth; Goons shall inherit Nepal.

Before explaining, or rather defending his stance, yours truly would like to go in a flashback mode. Eventually, he made a trip to the cricket match again (quite a trip through the capital alleys… oops, roads, especially during the ‘rush hour’, where the only part missing is rush).  On a bright sunny day, Nepal played Malaysia, for what eventually would be its first title in the Under-17 category.

Now, yours truly is a blessed person. Eternally so… For he gets to sit in the press box. Now, the press box is a suggestive term, meaning what it should be (that is all the media people packed in a shoebox), and not what it actually is. Apart from various kinds of people, from almost all genres of life (except work), the press people (commonly known as journalists) also sit in this open box. The press people, for most part, account for half the noise in the stadium, which seats some 10,000 people (give or take a couple of thousand).

As Nepali bowlers were trying to restrict the Malaysian batsmen, the pressmen’s talks could not be restricted. Here, yours truly would also like to apologize for using politically incorrect (but sometimes morally correct) term. The sports journalists, apart from men of all shapes, sizes and moods (mostly queer), also includes the female life forms these days. While some refer to them as beautiful play things, yours truly, in the best politically correct manner possible to him, would say that quite a number of exquisite young beings (invisibly blonde) are also a part of the genre called sports journalism.

Now, we’re in an age where freedom of expression reigns supreme. So the sports journalists here are not restricted to the game, in fact they hardly seem interested in it – or maybe they’re faking it to the passers-by, so as not to let them know how intelligent they actually are. In fact, in his two recent days in press box, yours truly hardly had a moment where these intellectual beings would talk about cricket, apart from his personal favorite – who he likes to term as pseudojournalist, just because pseudo is his favorite word and also because this person acted more like half coach, half player, half journalist, half out-of-asylum nut and half human being, apparently with many halves not present at the same time. Now this person was genius. He exactly knew where the fielders should be kept, which ball was to be bowled, which shot to be played, what kind of dive a fielder had to take – only that everything would come in after the ball had completed its movement. I hope the players never hear him talk in press box, for they might pull him out of press box and install him as a coach (with horses pulling the coach, of course).

Now, yours truly is stumped as to why the number of sports journalists is increasing. Perhaps the cricket lunch is a bigger reason than the interest in cricket. Alas, it’s also probably the same with the audience, otherwise how do we explain what we saw at the end of the match. Almost everyone, with exception of a few sane heads, entered the ground. Poor young players could hardly blink before they were covered. The unruly crowd made yours truly think:

If geeks shall inherit earth; Goons shall inherit Nepal.

For if the gentleman’s game is robbed of its serenity by the crowd behavior – which steals the winning bat of Nepali batsman and throws missiles, almost injuring the players he supposedly supports – well Goons shall definitely inherit Nepal. If they don’t inherit, they’ll make sure they grab it.

The enlightenment came to yours truly much after, as a nation, we developed a sense what goon-ism is, and all the benefits associated with it. Traffic, industries, workplaces, government offices, and of course on lonely alleys; you name it, these super species have already inherited it. The latest update on this is, that the threatening someone and punching them, and being nice enough to show anyone gun, and ask for extended co-operation, especially in kind (can’t call it extortion anymore) – jewellery, cash, any valuables will do – has become the most preferred way of social interaction on the day.

As far as the cricket match is concerned, Nepal won with ease. And yours truly feels, the man of the match, and the tournament, should have gone to Cricket Association officials, who have had years of experience seeing this, but did not want to miss the cheap thrill as thousands of people swarmed the players as locusts. Well, is there anyone still alive who wants to know how much the pitch suffered, and along with it, the spirit of cricket?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Intelligence @ speed of Light... or faster???

It is sometimes surprising to see how quickly the intelligence travels. It is exciting, even intoxicating at times, when intelligence travels to and through the youngsters (compared to the older politicians we have, who are either incompetent or corrupt and sometimes both on the same day).

Yours truly was on the cricket ground to witness Nepal’s teenagers –this time, they say their age is actually Under-17 and not ‘thereabouts’, missing the mark by a small matter of 3-4 years – take on the mighty UAE (mighty might sometimes refer to the petro power too, not only the skills with red cherry and willowy staff) in the semi-final of what they term as the Elite Cup (the word ‘elite’ being the key, perhaps referring to so few teams participating and some pulling out).

And yours truly was glad, and sometimes elated, and sometimes both – not knowing which should have been preferred over other – so see the boys making huddle amidst the green to celebrate success. Give them a wicket – which sometimes rich kids from UAE resorted to – and they’d huddle to celebrate, enjoying and congratulating each others’ success. And the intelligence being spread is exactly that. An example of knowledge spreading through the idiot box... That too, at a time, when we complain that kids these days only learn how to swear through cricket on TV, while the international men in whites (these days, more in colours than the white flannel), indulge in the most dominant form of social interaction during the match – sledging the opponent and thereby improving upon already rich vocabulary of us Nepali nationals.

Not very long ago, yours truly was in his teens (well, give or take a few decades), and used to be involved with cricket (standing in the middle, raising his finger once in a while to point towards the rest room, while the people around yours truly used to jump in joy, and the helmet armed man with plasters around his legs and willow in hand walked away in disgust – sometimes saying the words yours truly could not comprehend, except that those generally started with the letter ‘F’). Those were the days, when celebrations were rare among teammates, except a glare or two shared with those on the opposing sides, apart from a few words expressed in appreciation of their efforts (wonder why they were said in a tone which had striking resemblance to the dialogues of Dharmendra, the actor, swearing at diminutive villains in those hindi cinemas).

Cut back to present: The scene at a cricket ground, which had been a regular pastime for yours truly once, was invigorating at its best. The intelligence, as said already, spreads fast, maybe at the speed of light, or maybe at the speed the television screen flickers. The best confirmation of the intelligence spread was the point, when Avinash Karn was bowling for his hat-trick, having taken two in previous two deliveries. With the crowd raising hell with noise reaching the crescendo, just before the delivery, Nepali close in fielders surrounded the hapless UAE batsman, just to earn the hat-trick for their bowler. The scene reminded yours truly of those great Test matches, where the tailenders were thrown bouncers, while the tall fieldsmen around him ready to gulp down a lollypop of a catch. Intelligence spreads fast – the point taken. The wicketkeeper in Akash Pariyar, and captain Prithu Baskota were evidently giving the television audience, if there were any, a show of how to marshal their resources and create pressure on the batsmen. A good example of how quickly lessons can be learnt, even by watching. There were flaws, failures in ground fielding, dropped catches, clueless bowling at times, but the unit looked well-oiled, throwing away the negativity. Where else, can they be learnt? By watching TV? Maybe, but only if you’re a keen watcher.

Post match, yours truly had a small chat with the eternal coach of the Nepali side, Roy Dias. As yours truly asked, “Disappointed with the team’s fielding?”

He retorted, “Yep, also the batting.” It’s impossible to please everyone…

Should it be mentioned that UAE opener, R. Abraham nearly won the match single handedly with 59 runs, and mostly during his stay threatening to take away the match from the home team. That, after Nepal had teetered to 144 – which was defendable eventually – in the semi-final.

Disclaimer: The picture has been stolen from a news portal that is being managed by a friend of yours truly... Having friends at right places truly works...