CRICKET. The game of Gods and Demons. The game of devotees turning rebellions. The game of extreme emotions. The game of contradictory feelings!
In India, cricket matters to us so much that the result of the matches, if positive, are celebrated as festivals. Indians are so attached to the sport that they treat the cricketers as their Gods. Believe it or not, I have heard people considering their wedding dates and even changing them if they clash with the world cup. When India won the world cup, people were out of the streets to celebrate. The cars were on the roads, not knowing where to go, which way to drive, but all of them had enthusiasts coming out to celebrate, to proclaim to the world WE WON, There is no one better than us. The joy, the cheers, the firecrackers can be heard clear and loud and bring a smile even on the face of people who did not closely follow the game. Yet they are a part of the celebrations since they feel a sense of winning, a sense of belonging, a sense of pride. Such is the aura and impact of the game.
The same is with the IPL. Cricket fanatics adjust their office timings and other commitments in sync with the match timings. Whenever there is a Mumbai Indians match in the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, I have seen hoards of hawkers selling MI T-shirts, blow horns, the Blue Mallinga cap and what not. Churchgate station is so vibrant and colourful bustling with double the number of people on the day of a match. The buzz in the air is simply a treat to watch. The energy, the excited faces of MI fans racing to the stadium, the crowd gathered outside Trident to catch a glimpse of their favourite cricketer… Amazing! Here people are not fans… they are DEVOTEES!
But what happens when, these Gods betray them? When the good turns Evil? When we have controversies like the IPL fixing arising? The same people go out on the street to rebel! The angry mob, can burn down the life size portraits and it then feels just fair! It doesn’t really make the traitors repent, but it gives a way to the emotional outbursts of the cricketer-worshipping devotees. How can anyone be so foolish to screw away their careers at the age of 30 years? There are 3 right now, there will be many more. In the greed to earn unethically, the offenders don’t realise, they are losing devotion, the trust and are tainting the whole institution. For a few extra lakhs, crores of emotions are at stake and ruffled by a handful of greedy dumbos.
Aggression is only correct when it is shown on the field, in the game. It screws you royally when it gets afflicted with greed.