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My Non-Love of Cricket

I have grown up in a house that did not really have sports crazed fans. Most
people around me either played themselves, or at max enjoyed their game of
football once in a while. Being an 80's child, even the frequency of
watching a match was very low, thanks to the recent advent of television in
India. The FIFA afterall happened only once in five years, and other times
radio only aired cricket. So yes, there had been almost no cricket in my
childhood.
The only people in my family who watched cricket were two of my cousin
brothers of whom I was not very fond of, nor met more than once in a couple
of years or so. My other brothers who also watched cricket were more
passionate about tennis and equally passionate about football. I discussed
the latter with them. Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf were far more interesting
players than eleven men standing around on a field as far as I was
concerned! The allegations of match fixing didnt help with my impression of
the game either.

In the Army world, where I grew up, the real civilian life was far away, and
so were games like cricket. War and war exercises were what occupied adults,
obstacle races and other sports occupied us kids. In many places radio was
also a little far fetched, with focus on video tapes of movies and movie
songs. Who cared about cricket when politics were much more dynamic and
interesting? in the absence of cycling and *Pitthoo*, there was always
Shehenshah, ET, Back to the Future, Star Wars and Maine Pyar Kiya to
entertain one!
Happy in my world of rigorous activities and own games, cricket was
something that belonged to unknown masses.
When I finally wholeheartedly joined the world of civilians during my
college years, we were a batch of 24. Of which barely a few would be
interested in TV sports - maybe 5. College activities and college games were
far more important that watching TV. Getting to know movies like The Wall of
far more importance than knowing how much Sachin made in a match.
It was only when I moved to my B-School that the enormity of cricket really
hit me. Suddenly I realised that small talk did not include just the weather
and the political scenario, but also Cricket. The advantage of being in a
school hostel however is that common interests move beyond small talk very
soon, and get personalised. So after a couple of months, if people talked
cricket, I wasnt aware of it. However, I was aware of the existence of the
game, and its stronghold on the mango public. There was indeed an
India-Pakistan match while I was there, which was shown on a special large
projector screen in the cafetaria, in the winter months. I remember the
crowd there to watch it. But I also remember the sizeable group which was
uninvolved in the match, that had music on at the terrace and were partying
while the cafetaria brimmed with both temporary and permanent cricket
lovers. Needless to say, I enjoyed the music. Also needless to say I have no
idea of who won. My existence was complete without cricket.

As media increased its stronghold over cricket, my awareness of the game
increased - insofar that I knew it existed and I knew people were fanatics
about it. My friend circle had only one impassioned cricket crazed person,
who happened to my flatmate as well. But then, she was left alone to watch
matches as the rest of us wandered around town exploring places and watching
movies.
It was then that I was told that out neighbour was the brother of some
cricket player. I couldnt care less.
One of my well-networked friends tried extremely hard to take me to a live
match in Ahmedabad where he would introduce me to all the biggies since I
could sit in the ...um...the place where the cricketers sit during the
game...with them. To me, it was an unexciting prospect since I did not know
anything about the game, and saw nothing to admire in these Indians who were
paid a bomb for not even running around.
This year, however, things changed. I am now married to a man who loves
cricket. The Unthinkable happened. I now know a few terms of cricket -
enough to make small talk on. And, then I sat through a few matches. I will
not say I am interested in the game. I still find it extremely boring to
watch. It is the excitement of others which makes me sit through it. The so
called 'technical aspect insights' make it entertaining enough, but far from
excite me. But it has been an interesting journey from a cricket hater to a
pseudo cricket watcher. I still get bugged when offices cease to function
because of a match, and I still cannot fathom how it can impact people for
days. (If my favorite football team wins, I am happy. But that does not make
me delighted about it for days!)
But who knows what the future will bring? Who knows what my response to
cricket will be in a couple of years? I still feel a large part of the game
is fixed and it is a bubble waiting to burst and there is too little gaming
emotion in cricket. But maybe over time I will be neutral about it, maybe I
will even start enjoying it.
As long as it does not bring anything negative with it, I am open to change
:)

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About Me


Regurgitations of my mind. Specific, Vague, Memorable, Forgettable, Thoughtless, In-depth.

More variegated than your dreams or colours off a crystal. More than I can pen down. What I can, you can read.


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