Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ummAchchi - Left Arm Fast

"Ma'am, Prabhu here doesn't believe in God" he said.

He was a typical specimen I was forced to spend school-life with. Uglier in the same uniform with an expression displaying unfathomable levels of stupidity and cruelty. There are numerous ways a nine year old can mess with another. I don't recall what I had done. It could have been something as mundane like flicking his pencil. The vindictive rascal gets back at me by putting me in a spot in value education class. He was a clever chap, I must grant him that. That "gotcha" grimace of his made it clear that he understood putting me in a spot where I had to explain myself to the rest of the class was more painful than socking me in the jaw.

The teacher was waiting with an unasked why. The class was teeming with rebuttals to whatever smartass logical arguments I may make - just that I had none. It was something that happened. As a nine year who could spell agnostic, things were never going to be smooth. So in a whiff of public speaking genius I went for the incredible. A story. A friend, I said, was terminally ill and I prayed fervently that he be saved. God, I ended my macabre story, did not. And there ended my relationship with the alleged Omnipotent.

That instant concoction served two purposes. The second being it put the fear of God into anyone who ever wanted to befriend me. But first, it started off a long history of suiting myself to the audience's understanding and presenting lies with skillfully masked condescension. It is perhaps no coincidence that I am "gainfully employed" today.But to be fair to myself it was a bid to deflect conversation back to the realm of the familiar. Everyone is happpy. The teacher got her cue for the "goodness" and "sometimes thing happen but faith is...." spiel. She generously let me be with the hope that I'd come around. I nodded with understanding. Perhaps the girls had their hankies out, I wasn't crafty enough to make the most of such things (now see how I craftily use past tense). I shot a sideways glance at my assailant. Things had quite obviously not gone his way.

That was when he got me into something I could never hiope to get myself out of: "Ma'am he also said that.... Wasim Akram is God".

Damn ! I always chose the wrong person to come out of the closet to. There was no explaining that to folks who did not see it for themselves this very day 17 years ago...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Not only were you an agnostic, but also an atheist. It seams you swing both ways, much like your pagan God :)

  3. Good one that.

    I swing as the conditions permit. His Wrath is unconditional.

  4. PR,
    Neenga annaikku yaarukku support panneenga? (Eng/Pak)

    I was obviously howling for WA and hence Pakistan :) Exponent!

  5. Pakistan without doubt.

    1) I was all of eight and loved being annoyingly against-the-grain. So the natural fascination for Pakistan. I painted a nice little Pakistan flag in water color, stapled the edges around a stick and waved it furiously, much to the consternation of friends and family. My cousin and I even let off the lone crackers in celebration !

    2) England did NOT win the Semis. They sneaked past SA using that dumb rule.

    3) Inzamam's onslaught on best team in the contest in the semis.

    4) My cousin was an Imran fan - though I believe her reasons were non-cricketing. So rationalizing now, my Wasim fascination was also one more internal differentiator. I don't claim sufficient cricketing knowledge to have appreciated the genius back then. But I must say I picked right.

    The wicket of Allan Lamb is one of the best ever - no qualifiers whatsoever. Where he did he find the space, how did he apply and hold his line - it is just unbelievable. Only Wasim fossible !

  6. Haa, I was not alone then. A class mate of mine and I used to support Pak as well, even against India. In his case he was drawn by the glamourous aspects like Imran's Cinthol Ad (he couldn't stop talking about it after watching it @ Jegadha theatre). For me I was totally drawn by their (then) attacking, unrestrained style of play while the Indians with few exceptions resembled bean counters who had accidentally strayed on to the field.

  7. //Haa, I was not alone then. A class mate of mine and I used to support Pak as well, even against India.//
    Ha this is turning out to be a Pak supporters anonymous. I was torn between conflicting emotions in the Ind-pak match. But Sachin was just so endearing. Kapil-Sachin partneship and then Sachin taking the wicket of Aamir Sohail. The cat jumped off the wall to the winning side.

    //ndians with few exceptions resembled bean counters who had accidentally strayed on to the field.//

  8. very interesting!!

    Have to admit I was often a few years late in acknowledging the legends - Akram, Dravid, Kumble especially. Compared to the 2000s, the media industry was quite nascent so I never got to appreciate the perfectionism, commitment and the human side of the greats. It took me a while to value Dravid/Warne/Akram/Kumble for what they really were since their aloofness was mistaken by me for arrogance.

    Only in 97 I became a fan of Wasim. Although a Pak fan from 83 after Imran's 1982 exploits, they stopped being my fave team from 91-92, especially with a Sharjah tournament every year and a pro-Pak commentary team.

    Pak struggled in WC92 league and sneaked to the semis due to rain winning them a pt vs Eng at Adelaide. England won me over by their clinical efficiency all through. Only time I supported Pak was because I disliked the hosts in the semis.

    dagalti, about England "not winning the semis but sneaking thru", Peettar Robakk wrote as follows after the game:

    'At the same time, let's not shed too many tears for the South Africans. Had they bowled 50 ovs instead of 45, England would have made it to 290, a score surely beyond the reach of their doughty opponents'.

    Lamb was Pietersen from '85-93 so full marks to wasim.

  9. Aha TTM ! Welcome welcome.

    //Have to admit I was often a few years late in acknowledging the legends //
    ... and I have to admit I liked him before I appreciated him. The first series I watched was the Aus-WI-India tri-series in 91-92. So the '92 WC was the first time I was watching many of the

    Peter Roebuck may indeed be right but the most I recall was that unfair signboard flashing that puzzling revised target.

    My Warne appreciation was also late and spurred by an interview. After the waitress call incident he was replaced by Gilchrist as the vice-captain. He was obviously disappointed and the last line of the interview was: "It wasn't as if I lost my flipper".

    Two requests:

    1) Old one: redesigned blog thirappu vizhA eppO ?
    2) New one: Sometime back I recall landing up on some archived site of yours that had a write-up about de Silva. Enjoyed reading it and have been meaning to quote it to many Jayasurya touting friends. Have been searching for it for a while. Link tharavum alladhu (better still) blog-il மீள்பதிவு seyyavum.

  10. dagalti,
    1. will try to fix it up soon by end of this month :)

    2. 10 yrs later, I realise it was just cherry-picking stats. ADS could afford to bat that way since there was absolutely none of the pressure that SRT had - nobody gave a damn whether SL won or lost :)

  11. dagalti,
    Botham wrote in his bio that Gooch/esp Mickey Stewart led practice sessions like an army major and overworked the team, which was why they were dead tired by the time the Final stages of WC 92 came.

  12. WA is God is such an obvious concept. Explaining that to non-believers is impossible though :)
    How he managed all he did despite being an insulin dependent diabetic is beyond me.

    There was also this other match Pak vs. South Africa. SA was chasing around 209 odd and were 159/2 with enough overs to go.

    WA and WY would come back into the attack and the match was over in quick time.

    Needless to say who won.

  13. Got the match. Looks like it was a Waqar show largely. But with the duo one never knows. One creates pressure at one end and the other cashes in on it.

    It was WA's first series as captain. pak had 5 captains that year !! And if I remember right the 5th was WA again after trying 3 others in between. PCB-kku iNai PCB-yE.

  14. andha 93-94 time-la WA didnt speak to WY for several months/year. WA felt WY was behind the conspiracy to unseat him from skipper. For sure they didnt talk in Australasia 94.