Thursday, February 5, 2009



This post is about cricket. No, not the the little green insect that goes chirpy -chirpy- cheep -cheep, but about the game. The Game...

1) Dosage: 1 paragraph at a time. Continuous reading of the post may cause violent behaviour (like wanting to kill the author)
2) Store the web page in a cool, dark, safe place, like err.. the junk mail folder.
3) If irritation and symptoms(like brain numbness) continue even a week after reading, please consult a physician or the local undertaker.
4) Keep out of the sight of children. I don't want little kids to be inspired by my writing and later ask me to author their school text-books.
5) If you like the game of cricket, then this post is recommended anyway. It will drive you so insane, that you may start finding even Duleep and Irani Trophy matches interesting.
6) If you don't like the game of cricket, even then the post is recommended for you. By the end of it, you'd wish that you had rather spent your time watching a game of cricket instead.
Even if a space alien were to visit the Indian atmosphere, he/she/it would be overwhelmed by the following which the game of cricket gets in India. Visiting India and not recognizing the game of cricket is akin to going to Siberia and wondering if the white thing strewn all over the place is snow or salt. In a country, which presents a myriad, kaleidoscopic offering of people,cultures, religions and languages - cricket happens to be a single, unifying craze.

I was born a few months after Kapil Dev had held aloft the World Cup in 1983 , so unfortunately couldn't get to watch that epic Final match live in the stadium. My cricket crazy Dad was apparently hell-bent on naming me Kapil Dev, but relented only after my Mom dissuaded him from doing so. "What if he grows up to be a smuggler?" Mom is learnt to have asked Dad. "Would that name suit him then?" (I wonder how Parikshith Kumar would be a suitable name for a smuggler either, but then that is a different story.)

I too grew up with dreams of playing cricket for India. As a child, I too dreamt of adorning the Team India colors. Like any average teenaged boy in India, I too dreamt of playing cricket in front of packed-to-capacity crowds in large stadiums. I too dreamt of hitting big, huge sixes that would soar high into the skies, thud against Jupiter and fall back plonk down on the ground. I too dreamt of being a rich, sporting celebrity having endorsement deals worth millions of dollars and canoodling hot, smouldering babes, who were again worth a million dollars.
Unfortunately, many dreams go bust when you wake up and rub your eyes in the morning. My cricketing dream was also a similar one. I came to realize ( in my teens I think) that had it not been for my lack of skills in batting, bowling and fielding , I would have certainly made it to the Indian cricket team.

1) My batting: I had an elegant stance alright, and a stylish backlift to go with it. I used to execute my strokes with an almighty flourish of the bat. However, for all my panache and glory, whenever I hit a cover-drive or a square-cut, the ball never travelled a millimeter beyond silly-point fielder. So much for my ferocious hitting. Never the one to be coyed down, I switched over to bowling.

2) My bowling: I would've classified myself as an orthodox off-spinner. I had a classical high arm action, a decent wrist position, and a run-up to the crease that would have even had a Cheetah nodding its head in approval. Poetry in motion till now. However, there was a slight problem thereafter. Whenever I used to send down my off-spinners, the ball would always pitch two kilometers wide of the batsman. On either sides. And sometimes, my off-spinners would sail right over the batsman's head and land outside the opposite boundary rope. Just a tiddly little problem with my sense of direction, but the ball always spun as intended. I tried to reason with my coach, but he would hear none of it.

3) My fielding: My coach always made me field at the deep mid-wicket position. Not that I had a strong throwing arm or something, but he feared that my apathetic cricketing skills would spread to others like an infection. I still fielded in the deep with great fervor. However, there was one small problem. There was this all-girls school a few metres beyond the deep-midwicket boundary. Often in the middle of a match, when no one was watching, I used to quietly sneak out of the ground and visit the girls school. What do you expect? I was 16 years old, with freshly discovered hormones throbbing up and down inside me like curves of a sinusoidal wave. For all my effort, I did manage to befriend a pretty young girl from the school though. However, one day, my coach learnt about my escapade. When he came to know where the deep mid-wicket fielder had gone, he really blew a fuse. That was it... out of the team I went. I mean, do you believe that? I was debarred from cricket for bowling a maiden over!
I never had an opportunity to play competitive cricket after that. Unfortunately, studies took priority. But I should say that even though I was lacking in cricketing skills, I was never lacking in super- star quality and celebrity endorsements skills. What? You don't believe I have star endorsement power?! Let me dispel all your doubts, dear people. Make no mistake, I have the charm, sex appeal, stardom and celebrity endorsement power which would provide serious competition to the following Bollywood stars:

Tushar Kapoor and K.R.K (next to only S.R.K)..........

Johnny Lever................................... A.K Hangal

..... and these stars from the South Indian movie industry:
(T. Rajender, Jaggesh and Balakrishna )

.... and the following movie stars from the world of monkeys:

(James and Bond)

Well... what? You think there are no cinematic icons in the world of monkeys? Really? Then where do you think this one came from?
Sorry sorry.... I am digressing... This was a cricket post. So as I was saying, I couldn't make it to the Indian cricket team. But that hasn't stopped me from being one of the most fanatic followers of Indian and World cricket. I am not alone, there are millions of cricket fanatics spread across the length and breadth of the country.
I am sure many of you must have witnessed this craze first-hand. You may have also been a part of the craze. I am sure hundreds of marriages have broken down because the husband decided to stay at home and watch Bangladesh play Nicaragua rather than take wifey dear shopping. Also, millions of engineering students have flunked their University exams because they chose to watch a high-octane cricket series a week prior to their exams. You will meet people who wont remember what they had for breakfast, but would rattle off Sachin Tendulkar's statistics from an obscure series from the 1990's.
I am proud to be part of the cricket craze. The emotions it gives me and all other cricket fanatics can't be explained. I mean, I would have loved to explain, but India is playing SriLanka today. The match's about to commence and I gotta run to the television.
Will see you all later....
Until then,
With Love, Regards, Fours, and Sixes,


Bullshee said...

Spot on! I was actually dreaming today of winning the World Cup 2011 for India at Eden Gardens by bowling out the last Pakistani batsmen with 2 runs left for them on the board. And then I take out a small Indian flag, kiss it and hold it up for everyone to see. Everyone cheers and then Dhoni runs up with a huge Indian flag. Sachin gives me the wicket.

And that's when the lorry guy screamed Kannada obscenities at me and asked me to get the hell out of the way. Not a really good idea to day dream while going through bangalore traffic...

Hatikvah said...

"...bowling a maiden over..."! Howlarious!!!!

Satyajit said...

Another hilarious post! If you can give competition to A.K Hangal, then some star you must Where do you get these ideas from man? Awesome.

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear Bullshee,
Ha ha, thats the way to dream...! Had it not been for the lorry drivers, Heaven knows how many others would have made 'dream' Indian cricketers... :-)

Dear Hatikvah,
Thank you. You have got a fabulos blog too. Very insightful stuff. Keep writing!

Dear Satya,
Thanks as always, buddy. Yep, I never doubted my star power. A.K Hangal will come to know soon :-)

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

man please do not compete with a.k hangal, tushar and my current crush KRK...they are way too talented (how please don't ask me). And I guess your name should be jhony lever or jhony kidney or whatever...coz your write-up's are damn damn funny.