Why are we like this only?

This post cross-published on HoldingWilley

We love to criticize, we love to mock, we love to deride, we love to take pleasure in other’s helplessness, we love to comment, we love to be cynics, we love to pass smart retorts, we love to show off our humour skills, we just love to talk, we just love to show off our gift of gab. WE ARE LIKE THIS ONLY!

Yes I’ve been a culprit too but the events over the last few days – observing folks offline and online have made me proud that I could maintain my sanity as a fan and still maintain my respect for the people who play this game.

It’s ok to criticize and it’s ok to to make wisecracks but you learn to draw the line – you step back and stay within your limits – your limits as a fan and as a journalist. At the end of the day you the man with the pen and I the fan, cannot ever think of achieving or doing even 10% of what those 22 men out there do for their country.

I’m fed up of the cynicism for the Men in Blue, I’m tired of the Aus-Ponting bashing. Now that we have beaten Aus we are the new WC champions, but until yesterday with India’s score at 187-5, on my twitter, on my facebook from days before the big match between Ind-Aus – I just saw 80% cynicism.

At work the Indians refused to  support their team; I was the only one telling my Aussie colleague to give up the cup and move out cause we were not going to let them get through. I got tired of responding to people on my twitter timeline and sick of seeing negative thoughts about Ind-Aus match. The first time in 5 weeks that I got edgy about India was when Gautam Gambhir put up that mind-numbing idiotic display; for that minute my heart sank, it went further into depression when Dhoni got out but then I told myself we cannot lose this one ,Yuvraj and Raina will help us through and glad they did. People had given up hope the moment Sachin got out , how could you? Kohli, Gambhir, Yuvraj,Raina – 3 of them will be India’s future fortune keepers.

I take pride for being a practical fan. People who have known me over the years, know that I’ll be the last one to get emotional and side a team. India has not been at its best this WC, we don’t have a great bowling attack, but I maintain we have a spine and this team has proven often that they will not break down easily. So how much does it take really to put your faith in them; not when they are winning, but when they are fighting it out. Not much to ask is it?  So before a big match cut the cynical crap – I don’t need it and the team does not need it. And if you have been cynical, then stop heaping praises on them the moment they bring victory, be fair, be balanced, be objective. I hate fair-weather fans – the ones who will turn out in heaps when the team does well but will be the first ones to burn effigies when the team goes down. And so we might struggle our way to the WC, we might not bring about clinical victories, but the least our team is doing is fighting it out and how do you as a fan not appreciate that aspect?

Once you are done showering praises on your team will you please stop the Aus and Ponting bashing. It is making me puke now. It is appalling and it is distasteful. I’ve followed the Aus team since 1991. I don’t like the current Aus team – they are a bunch of mediocre unsporting players barring Hussey and Lee lead by a legend but hardly an idol for sportsmanship.  However, it does not give me or you the right to deride them or strip them off their dignity. I felt a tear in my eye when I saw Lee’s eye bleed after that fielding effort – how can you even find that incident funny or take pleasure in it. Every time Aus messed up, camera focused on Ponting to show the famous Ponting Face. What joy did the cameraman get from this bit of telecast? Post match, I saw hordes of pictures of Ponting bowing to Sachin , Ponting being whacked by Yuvraj on his behind, and  this you thought were funny; well I disagree.  The game was about Ind Vs Aus – not about Sachin Vs Ponting. How much ever you cursed him, the man got a 100 and put up a fighting total for his team. He is a legend – I hate him – but no one can take away the fact that he is a cricketing great. So let’s cut the crap now.

As fans we should not lose our objectivity and we should enjoy the game for the game it is. India plays Pak on Wednesday – I’m already seeing posts of how this event should augur well for the relationship of both the countries. It should not matter or make a difference. A cricket match should not be mixed with politics. The match is not going to be a life and death situation. Those 22 men play for your country – they are not equivalent to the 22000 who lay down their lives for you at the borders so that you and I can lead a life. A happy one, a luxurious one, a tension-free one, one where we need not worry if we are going to be alive tomorrow or be able to give our family a good giving. A life where we enjoy the game in plush corporate boxes, with our fancy smartphones, on our huge 50” LCDs and take wisecracks at people who sweat it out in the middle.

Let’s get our perspective right folks – enjoy the game for the game it is. Have fun, make jokes – but don’t disrespect the greats. Let’s keep those emotions in balance and let’s for one day not give the excuse, ” We are like this only”