Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Two-Cow theory on the cricketing field

There's a theory explaining your economic leanings based on what you would do if you owned two cows. If you had two cows, and give one to your neighbour, you're a socialist. While if you had two cows, and sold one to buy a bull, you'd be a capitalist. So for a post on Cricket Fauj, I extended this analogy to the cricketing world -

Indian Cricket - You have two very healthy cows. But you start marketing the calf, and even invite tenders through a bidding process offering 1/10th the ownership.

Pakistan Cricket: You have one cow and a bull. But you sue the Bull's testicles and ban it from participation until further notice.

Sri Lanka Cricket: You have two not so healthy cows, and you rely on BCCI Capitalism for the fodder.

English Cricket: You don't have cows. But the ones in your shed are either Pakistani or South African.

South African Cricket: You only have space for two cows, one being reserved for black cows(okay, Afro-african cows to be politically correct).

Australian Cricket: You have two cows. Both of whom are on the verge of retirement.

New Zealand Cricket: You have two sheep, who are forced to play the role of cows.

West Indies Cricket - You have two cows, who'd rather graze on greener grass fields in India.

Zimbabwe Cricket:You have one cow, but its abducted by Robert Mugabe

Bangladesh Cricket: You have two calfs who dont show signs of growing up to be cows.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fire in Babylon: Movie Review

In a cricketing world where batsmen are as protected from head to toe-nail as Samurai warriors with Katina Blades (read cricket bats), the West Indians no longer remain a force they used to be for a little over two decades from the 70s. And it’s a cruel 157 Km/h beamer of an irony hurled at bowlers today, West Indian or otherwise, that the best of their ilk were responsible for the movement that protected the batsman, which has led to fast bowlers becoming an endangered species. This documentary called Fire in Babylon is made to inspire the kind of people who are up against preponderance today – Fast Bowlers, Faster Bowlers and Batsmen who look a bit like healthy cross of Romesh Powar and Fred Flinstone.

Much like Indian Cricket teams till the late 1990s, the Men from the Caribbean were known to be entertaining visitors, who lost games but won hearts for their stylish attitude towards the game. Barring a handful legends whose names now grace the cricketing stands and trophies around the world, the rest were supposedly as competitive as cows grazing on fields of hemp. But one fine day, when they couldn’t take Caucasian taunts anymore, these very cows turned into raging bulls that were desperate for action on the field(mating season or otherwise). Fire in Babylon begins at that precipice of transition in the minds of Caribbean Cricketers. Never again, would they only play and not compete, said captain courageous Clive Lloyd.

The journey begins with Lloyd choosing his men wisely and encouraging them to make a statement on the field with their talent. As a result, the batsmen scored more runs, bowlers took more wickets, fielders took sharper catches, and Jamaican fans scored more pot. It’s really a simple story of pretty boys becoming poster boys of brute force. But where Fire in Babylon really scores is in its re-narration of Ugly Duckling into one that inspires movie audiences to do a Mexican wave.

Underlying their cricketing achievements, was a lot that happened off the field in their respective island nations – political strife, with casual racism, the legacy of colonial exploitation, and a burning desire to be acknowledged as an equal. It was cricket that united several nations under the West Indies flag. It was no longer the pride of playing for your country alone, but it was the pride of representing a significant population of mankind.

Switching between archival footage and present day interviews with the stars of the 70s-80s including Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Collin Croft and Michael Holding, the film takes you through a fascinating journey that weaves socio-political and sporting elements into a narrative that's compelling even for those who don’t know their Sidebottoms from their elbows.

This movie helps you get a global perspective in a cricketing context. It opens your eyes to double standards that had emerged when the West Indian Bowlers ruled cricket with intimidating pace. It also helps you understand what really motivates a champion side to go far beyond what is expected of them. Fire in Babylon is a story of controlled rage with a healthy dose of Reggae. And above anything else, it’s a grand tribute to one of the greatest and the most dignified cricket teams ever to grace the field. Which is what makes it a spectacular viewing for any cricketing fan worth his Cricinfo addiction.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Writing drunk

Or wait. Should it have been drunk writing? Not quite. This is an experiment. I was told you write best when you’re drunk. It streamlines your thinking and gives it direction, without ever letting that sober editor in your head take the piss out of your thoughts. So here we go.

But it couldn’t really a solution could it. No, no! In theory it isn’t really a solution. In all likelihood, alcohol is just a compound. Unless of course you choose to have it with soda, which in theory is also a solution. Or even coke(also a solution). Or even with water. And ice. And surely if it’s mixed with other alcohols, as is the case with cocktails. Which I’m told is not a very macho thing to do. Drink cocktail that is. Very effeminate. You’re better off sticking to beer. Which also happens to be a good example of a solution. What with the kind of water that is available to us these days, it’s never really a compound anymore. But an effective solution, nevertheless. You should try it sometime.

This is good. It really opens the floodgates for ideas to flow out. Like a tap that has a lock on it. In these times of water shortage, you can’t trust anyone with your tap. What if it runs out completely, especially when you’re in a desperate need to hydrate yourself? Imagine being hung-over and dehydrated, and then being stuck with a tap that has absolutely no water running through it. It’s a good idea. Don’t you agree? The tap with a lock. Not the hangover. Isn’t it just brilliant?

The hangover is a bad idea. There’s only one solution for it. The water that we spoke of sometime back? The one which isn’t a compound these days, remember? Yea, the one that should also be regulated with a tap that has a lock on it. And guess what? It’s also a cure for a hangover. And dehydration too. Isn’t it just wonderful when things just fall in place? A eureka moment! It’s just that unlike that time when the man in question (what was his name again?) goes running out on the streets straight from the bath tub to dry himself, here you are already dry because you’ve never opened the tap because it has a lock and you don’t remember where you left the keys. Oh man! I’m actually starting to think this was a bad idea. So the lesson of the day is…okay what were we talking about again?