It is impossible to live in America and avoid sports talk. It is like the air we breath in! India on the other hand is .. well, India. It’s different over there. Everything is different over there. Or so I thought until…..
It has been a while since I looked at Indian sports news. Being an NFL fan myself, there is not much time or inclination to wallow in cricket a la sub-continental native.
The typical Indian is concerned with only one sport: cricket, from birth to death. Whether the kirket that is played and fussed over is the ‘stylish’ version ie. with stumps, bats and red ball, or the ‘street version’ ie. with any old piece of lumber used to swat just about anything somewhat round and bouncy, or the ‘truly native version’ that makes middle class masses say with pride, ‘the Indian cricket’ ie. the gilli – dunda made of a sturdy tree branch; almost all Indians are athletic in their own limited way.
After all, as the Americans might say, for the most part ‘there is no future in it.’ Yet, cricket remains a magnificent obsession of the day time, just as movies continue to be of the night time. A few elites and middle class intellectual aside, who may be forgiven their innate compulsion to honestly bask in thereflected glory of emerging greats of international chess – Viswanathan Anand – the masses of India seem to continue to love their kirket. That’s where the rub is.
Wordplay continues after the jump:
Time was when the sporting clubs and sports teams in India had bland names, drawn from city, province, state or the sector of public life: Railways Hockey team, Bombay Cricket Club, State Bank Badminton etc. But in today’s globalized world, all things American has become the norm in sports too! Thus you have Chargers, Royals, etc.
Couldn’t the Indian mind come up with anything in it’s own past to use as collective nouns? What is wrong with Delhi Dilwalle, or Hyderabad Moghuls or even Bengali Babus? Is the Indian ethos so fragile, sentiments so raw and openly bleeding, that Indians can’t handle such monikers?
Just for fun, think about these names:
Hanuman Hockeyers, Arjun Archers, Bhimsen Ballplayers, Bharat Ball Hurlers, Kannada Kickers. You might even go to a historic generic memory, such as might yield:
Delhi Drupadas, Kanpur Aswamedhis, Chennai Chamundis, I know I feel compulsively alliterative here, but surely you get the point. You live in the most ancient and literarily rich land! Why do you want for words, names and memories!
Oddly, it’s the Americans who discovered and resurrected theword Juggernaut as name for sports team. And, let’s not forget the famous Cincinnati Bengals, complete with the striped helmets.
Juggernauts, now that is an awesome name for a sports team. Why wouldn’t an Indian have thought of that, I wonder.
Oh my brothers what have you done to yourself? Have you forsaken yourself? Are you so ashamed of your past, so incapable of being within yourself, that you had to remake your exterior wholesale?
Oh well, the non-Indian in the Indian triumphs again…. but alas not the playing field!