Friday, November 23, 2007

Writer's Block

My last write-up was about a very personal and memorable experience, one that I cherish. What to write next? The search for the topic of my follow-up post hasn't taken me anywhere. Problem being that I find it difficult to write about events that I don't feel passionate about.

There is a lot going on back in my country to be passionate about. The politics of the country are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. We have a self-appointed ditator who continues to insult the intelligence of everybody. We have an indecisve (read opportunisitc) opposition leader who recently returned to the country from a self-imposed exile, and can't seem to decide one way or the other about the position that she wants to take. We have a hand-cuffed judiciary that is not only propagating it's bias, but also shamelessly disregarding the very code that it's supposed to protect. We have a resistence movement - primarily championed by lawyers, activists and students - fighting for the core social and political freedom that we as a nation must have. So there is a lot that I want to write about as far as politics and society are concerned.

I was told that I can't use this platform to discuss my politics.

With the current hot-topic taken out of the equation, I was left scratching my head again. Did I mention I am a film enthusiast? I recently spent 2 weeks of doing nothing but watching good old cinema at London Film Festival. Some of the movies that I watched were pretty amazing, some that I didn't really get, and some that I ddn't like. I saw Amitabh Bachchan in flesh and blood. I sat through the talks by Sean Penn, Wes Anderson and David Lynch. I marked out when Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, and Sienna Miller walked the red carpet. "No Country for Old Men" is one film that I'll remember for some time. The whole experience was very heart-warming. More recently, I was pleasantly caught up in the frenzy generated by Om Shanti Om and Saawariya. Shahrukh premiered his film in London, I couldn't go but did manage to watch the movie. It was a trip - no story to speak about, but thoroughly entertaining. So I could speak about my love for cinema. But that too was shot down.

"It's a cricketing blog!" - Q/Obiad frustrated.

Of course there is a test series going on between the neighbourly rivals - it can't get any bigger than India v. Pakistan! Australia just dominated another team. New Zealand appears to be spiralling down and trying very hard to catch up with West Indies in the race to the wrong end. England are in Sri Lanka. T20. ICL v. IPL. There is enough cricketing material to sink my teeth in, and come up with a readable article. Yet I can't feel strongly about anything related to the game.

"Blasphemous!" - Cricket-lovers screamed.

The writers on this blog are covering the on-going cricket matches much better than I can ever do. The debate is both healthy and intersting on various topics. Q will soon replace statsguru search on cricinfo. Obaid is thinking out of the box to take the game forward. Nazhar brings the balanced view. Jeff is supposed to generate controversy. A new blogger is supposed to start who is known for his passion. What am I doing here?

"Traitor!" - WP's bloggers united.

This got me thinking. What is it that I love about the sport?

Is it the nationalism that makes a fascinating watch? May be - sometimes I enjoy a county match better than another Aussie domination.
Is it our collective fascination with the under-dog? May be - Pakistan's 92 triumph is a prime example. So is Windies win written by Ian Bradshaw.
Is it the competitiveness of the game? May be - the Ashes in 2005.
Or a combination of all of the above? Probably - the T20 World Cup final combined nationalistic compettiveness for 2 underdogs, that culminated in one cracking game.

"Bullsh*t!" - Somebody mumbled in my head.
"Back to drawing board" - I reasoned.

My philosophy about football and cricket are poles apart. I support Arsenal. There are no superstars in the team. But they play the most beautiful football in the country. Yet, Aussies domination is becoming a never-ending yawn for me. They have the stars. They have the method. They play the best cricket. Yet, I do not enjoy them as a team. It's too monotonous for me.

Realisation dawned. I love the moments.

Wasim's unplayables in 92 final. Inzy's greatest "century that was not" in South Africa. Afridi's century off 37 balls. Lara's 400. Ponting's decimation of Indian attack in 2003 final. Warne's 700th. Dravid's class. Sachin's brilliance. Waqar's toe-crushers. Akhtar's spread-eagled celebrations. Yuvraj's 36 off the over. Yousuf's grand run with the bat last year. KP's arrogance. Steve Waugh's never-say-die attitude. Miandad's 6 of Chetan Sharma. I love them all, and more. Nationalism, competitiveness, glory to the under-dog - everything else is a bonus.

A Sachin or a Lara or a Warne can hook me to TV for 5 days irrespective of their nationality. I'd be delayed from work if Akhtar is on song even if against Zimbabwe. I'd wake up in the night in anticipation of Murali overtaking Warne's record. I'd look forward to Jayawardane & Sangakarra's class in England series. I'd look forward to Yousuf batting in Ind-Pak matches. I'd look forward to Dravid's redemption in the series. I'd look forward to Tendulkar giving a masterclass about how to enjoy batting. I'd look forward to Dhoni's exuberance. Heck, I'd even look forward to Sreesanth's ridiculous madness.

Yes - I cherish the moments. I love the game. Not for the team, but in anticipation of a spark of individual brilliance. Sometimes ...

"It's a team sport DAMMIT!"

Make your pitch on this post...

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5 Pitched:

  1. Q said...

    Hahaha...good one KC! I started reading abt the paki politics and I was telling myself I knew u would do this, then I went on to read abt the movie, and I wondered why the hell are u doing this, and then i went on to read the rest - enjoyed it :-)

    I agree, it is the individual brilliance that create the moments in cricket. Even though it is a team game, more often than not it is the brilliance of 3-4 people that wins the games. Australia is probably an exception, but for the rest of the teams its usually the case. Even more so for Pakistan.

    My passion for the game is very similar to yours - I enjoy the game, the cricketers, the 100s, the 5-fors, the catches, the mind games, the edges, the cover drives, the yorkers, the flick of the legs, and all other MOMENTS that make a match.

    I'd be lieing if I said that the result of the match doesn't matter but when looking back days after a match is over, in hindsight it really doesn't if the match has thrown some great cricket my way.

    And about me replacing statsguru - Hahaha, no buddy...I get all my stats from there..I'm probably their largest user. Statsguru Rox ;-)

  2. Uncle J rod said...

    More importantly was No country for old men the coen brothers return to form, cause they have been bowling pies on flat wickets for some time now.

  3. KC said...

    Q - it was actually a writer's block. I absolutely had no idea what to write about. And I ended up writing exactly about that ;-)

    Agreed, results play an important part. But as I said, Pak winning is a bonus. The real treat is watching somebody in full flow.

    Uncle J Rod - can't agree more ... Coen brothers have been pretty disappointing, considering the legacy of Fargo & Big Lebowski. Welcome return to form with an amazing screensplay and movie. Javier Bardem was awesome.

  4. NAzhar said...

    good write up again...i do agree that it is the individual brilliance that is the long lasting memory for sports enthusiasts (which all of us are). I think this is more so in cricket than other team sports just because of it being the bowler versus the batsman when you break it down. Though fielders are important....but then again as Pakistani supporters...we expect the catches to be dropped! :-D

  5. Soulberry said...

    Kudos KC...what a way to kick at the block! Enjoyed the post very much.

    I'm not much of a film buff, though I wouldn't mind watching a good is one such.

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