Avataar

A fellow passenger once dissected my genealogy and told me I belong to an ultra-purified Brahmin community. Not sure, if the semens of forefathers have been rigorously pasteurized and purified by reverse osmosis, but whatever, the outcome is right here, scribbling an yet-again-nasty blog.

Time-and-again, the racial superiority was validated by hook or by crook. My priest in Bangalore was surprised when I finished a 6 hour-long Vaastu-puja in 2 hours as most of the complex Sanskrit Shlokas seem to emanate from me as vedic hymns. As he got up in praise, we figured out his guide-book was actually written by my long-dead grandpa who died 9 months before my birth. Many believe I am his incarnate. Re-birth, an incarnate of a Sanskrit scholar. Why me?? I feel like a walking ghost everytime I see a smiling ‘daadu’s portrait’ in my village courtyard.

My neck-to-neck competitor in school was a Muslim friend, who defeated me in ‘Battle of Social Studies’ to the ‘Gory battle of Mathematics’. I doubted if he was Aurangzeb incarnate, born to denigrate a Brahmin pride. 

With great power, some fool said, comes great responsibilities.

With the sacred thread running from shoulder-to-waist, I rechristened myself as ‘Janeu-man‘. (janeu is colloquial term for sacred brahmin thread). While my hindu friends cheered and sneered, I cozied up with my destined enemy. I would enjoy having ‘Iftaar-party’ with him and he would learn sanskrit shlokas to garnish his achilles-heel ‘hindi’ papersThe last decisive ‘Battle of matriculation’ turned indecisive. We both were declared joint-toppers. I had beaten him in his forte of ‘maths’ and he shattered me in my own backyard ‘hindi’. Recently, in an alumni meet, the school notice-board seemed over-crowded in year of 1995 with two names somehow accommodated together.

Event crucified the upholder of hinduism, and demon of Gandhi corrupted my mind. When a brawl happened in medical school over some isolated muslim fellows cheering for Pakistan team, I would chip-in as peace-proclaimant. The wobbling Inzemaam or the flairy Afridi, I loved the team, though could never cheer for them in Shiv-sena infested Pune hostel. 

Pak-loving Kashmiri medicos beaten and bruised by Shiv Sainiks. What are we building? Brand ambassadors for Lashkar-e-Taiba? 

I cozied up with them, cheered for Afridi, and soon came the Multan test! Viru and his flamboyance! We all cheered for only man that day, whether in Pune or in Multan. Viru shattered the borders.

Some years later, my dad, a devout Brahmin, navigated through the stinking streets of muslim ghetto, studded with all-species-butchering shops, and threw me into feet of Khan Saa’b, the best driving teacher in city. I somehow manoevred to grab his feet beneath his lungi. His shanty displayed a Pakistan flag and a large portrait of Ramallah in Palestine. I was surprised why my dad, who otherwise refuses to eat in same plate as muslim, did this to me. May be a revenge to his father who might have slapped him in his childhood. Afterall, I am ‘grandpa returns’.

Surprises galore! That pak-loving khan saab brings a packet of incenses, and asks me to take out a statue of goddess hidden behind a wrecked car engine. Before training, he insisted for a puja of that engine with goddess kept on top and I began reciting the durga-shlokas. This wasn’t all. He corrected me in one of them, and gave a lesson on hindu values which are being ignored by new kids on the block. My dad had shoved 101 rupees in my trouser-pocket beforehand, which I handed over to Pandit Khan, touched his feet and learnt to become best driver in city. He would tell stories of his long friendship of my dad and him, and I would be awed in my hard-core hindu dad’s real self.

Puzzled, I quizzed my dad. 

He said, “Why do you sport a US flag on your T-shirt? Probably, you like americans who live thousand miles away. Khan Saa’b loves our neighbour country. I don’t like either. My choice, your choice, his choice. Go! Get a glass of water now!”

Grandpa smiled at his avataar from heaven, and I smiled back to him. I doubt if he is gobbling on muttons and having ‘iftaar’ party up there. Hypocrite gandhians! Huh!

Thank god you retired Sehwag!

Hey Viru!

So, you finally gave up, eh?  I knew god will punish you and send you in oblivion; your country-men would forget, and you will get balder day-by-day; Is there anybody reading your tweet? It was me who was waiting for this day like ‘Chatura Ramalingam‘ in the movie ‘three idiots’. I knew someday you would fail Seahhhhwaggggg. Huh!

Remember when I castled you the very first day. I bet you don’t, because you never chased dreams. Never looked back. What do you think? Are you Sachin Tendulkar? You only told he is the ‘baap’ and you can never match his…….I think you said ‘bank balance’…whatever. You can only be an imposter like Chaaanchaddd. You can never match him.

A ball is there to hit, eh? Uska ghar boundary hai. Who gave you reasons to say that? A ball is there to defend, to slowly nudge, to flick a bit, and rarely to pull or hook. When a pacer with bouncing hairs comes running to you with fiery eyes, just duck yourself or pray for safety. And that too the quickest on earth.  Learn to respect Viru!

I heard you only thought in 4s and 6s. Both you and Sachin were big-time duffers in school. Count 1, 2, 3…. Heard of these numbers? You Jat of Najafgadh! See, Sachin has learnt it so well. But you? So incorrigible you are!

And by the way, do you know the difference between test and one-day? Haven’t you learnt from your great ancestors? Oh! Whom am I talking to? This man gets close to Vinu Mankad-Pankaj Roy record and when asked about, he says “never heard of them”. Before even holding the bat, you should have known the history, and how to play test match. Its an upbringing problem that you played tests as ODI, and ODI as some gully-cricket. There was never a window to smash in Multan or Lords, and you kept hitting. Stupid!

Let me tell you one more thing. You are a bad singer, and on top of it, you do this cheap road-side romeo whistling in a tense situation. Why don’t you better play antakshari? I will beat you like anything. If you are Sultan of Multan, I am Begum Rawalpindy.

Will drop by in Najafgadh next time I am in Delhi. Yeah! I keep coming in shiv sena-free areas.

Some say Nehru feared Bose would return. I don’t know about that. But, I always feared you will return.

Thank god you retired Sehwag

Your favorite bowler. Hahahaha.

Read also:

Zaheer khan: the unsung hero

The gully-games of India

Some say chess or ‘shatranj‘ came from improvisation of ‘chaturanga‘ played in Mahabharata period; Polo was invented by Indian shatraps; Playing cards were popular in various courts as ‘Kridapatram‘ or ‘Ganjifa‘; Kalaripayattu gave origin to Judo and Martial arts by Buddhists; Teer-Dhanush promoted to archery; Kabaddi in Asian games. And ofcourse, land of snake-charmers must have been the idea behind ‘snake and ladders’. But, those games gained enough popularity to spread their wings across the world from Olympics to Vegas casinos.

But, some games couldn’t make it.

1. Antyakshari: College kids singing with deafening voices, trying to culminate songs with ‘tha’ (ठ), ‘dha’ (ढ). And the veterans coming up with ‘Thandey Thandey Paani se‘. A popular among college trips, and in boredom of trains, Antyakshari remains the most glamorised indigenous game featured even in movies and TV shows.

2. Goli a.k.a. Kanchey: One game, which led to frequent thrashing in childhood was this marble ball game. An intoxicating addiction. The enticing colourful shiny balls, and the ease of hitting with bow-stringed finger. The game is a miniature version of golf where we try to put the round balls into the hole, breeding many Tiger Woods of Kanchey.

3. Lattu a.k.a. Bambaram or spinning top: Spinning top is the first childhood lesson in practical physics. The ‘torque’ and centrifugal force, the spinning velocity. A game of perfection, Lattu needed hours of practicing to develop that reflex.

4. Aada-paada: Razma-mooli/Dosa-Idli eating Indians have always been obsessed with farts and purgatory desire. No wonder iconic Amitabh Bachhan was chosen for Piku (the movie). A detective shot at who farted and a wonderful limerick!

Aada paada kaun paada

Mamaji ka ghoda paada

Aam paam dhuss

Chane kee daal phuss.

One of the nasty embarassing game to nab the ‘wasn’t me’ guy.

5. Pitto a.k.a. Lagoria/ Satolia: Game may sound benign but it was the only violent skin-ripping masculine game played ofcourse by the notorious boys. A soft ball (technically) would be thrown at a pile of flat stones. While the opposite team tries to stack it back, the attackers would hit hard with ball at them. A cowboy game of ‘who shoots first’ played in gullies of India.

6. Raja-mantri-chor-sipahi: A chit game where ‘mantri’ have to choose the thief between ‘sipahi‘ and ‘chor‘ on raja’s instruction. I am sure similar chit games must be existing elsewhere but police and thief in similar garb may be unique to India.

* Games like chhupam-chhupai (Hide and seek), patang (kite-flying), chausar (roulette or board game version), gudda-gudiya kee shaadi (barbie indian version), gulli-danda (cricket) are excluded as they didn’t seem purely indigenous to author.

Kanchey: the game

Lattu: Glamorised as ‘spinning top’

Play pitto

Raja mantri chor sipahi

Baahubali: A lesson from Lanka.

While scrolling through facebook posts, I come across umpteen of innuendos about Dalits, Muslims, ‘We upper class’, Sardars, the Hindus, Brahmins, Biharis, We Indians, Those Pakistanis, and so on. The fight for claiming one as better race never ends. And we condemn Hitler? Anyway, back to Bahubali.

Baahubali of my story wasn’t anybody close to the muscle-men of movie, rather a disproportionate figure sledged once as ‘overweight fat cunt’. On top of it, he was heading a crew beaten and bruised since its inception for last fourteen years.

He belonged to a strife-torn kingdom fighting war of races since years. A country debt-ridden. A country so small mimicking almost a ‘tear-drop’ on world map. A country infamously called Lanka, the land of demons. The ugly ones.

Entire Baahubali’s kingdom denounced the minorities,  suppressing them, burning their houses, decimating them. Mutthu’s house too was burnt when he was a kid. While many Dalits turned Naxals, Mutthu rose beyond the ashes believing in the place he belonged. His skills were unique when he could spin the ball beyond human imagination almost like the leper ‘Kachda’ from Lagaan movie.

While many would have resisted, but Baahubali must had spoken like Aamir Khan, “Kachda khelegaaaaa!”. And so he played.

Baahubali took his newly shuffled bunch alongwith ‘Kachda’ to the land of whites down in a southern island of world. They were thrashed and booed. Kachda’s bowling action was made fun of, when he was asked to bowl seven times on the ‘Boxing day’. This wasn’t a dalit being made fun of, but a Lankan. All the majority upper class in their own country have been reduced to ‘dark uncouth race’ in the land of ‘whites’. This all caste and race thing is so relative. A brahmin in India would be a ‘brown indian’ somewhere else. All the barriers vanished, and Baahubali’s crew stood firmly with Mutthu.

A calm determined Baahubali took up the task to organise himself and take the revenge. He just looked at the bunch, their playing order, and shuffled it. Man at the top goes down, and men idle at bottom comes up. Lying at bottom for many years, when somebody get a special privilege, he thrives to do his best. To prove himself. Like first dalits who were renamed ‘harijans’ or uplifted by ‘reservation’, didn’t dance with joy but had tear in their eyes and thrived to sustain themselves. Sanath and Kaluwitharna proved giant killers.

Baahubali wasn’t alone. Another land of Moslems were too blamed for ‘fixing’ by the southern-islanders. And the prosperous land of Gandhi joined them naturally.

The supreme south-islanders had reason to laugh and scorn when an embarassing ‘bomb blast’ happened in Lanka right before the world cup. They refused to even step into the land of demons. What the world saw in return was unprecedented. The ever-fighting people of two lands- The Pakis and Indians joined to form a single team, and played an exhibition game with Baahubali in that very ‘blast-struck’ land. When Waseem Akram couldn’t find his T-shirt, he accidently wore the Indian captain Azhar’s T-shirt. Quintessential enemies were joyous together every time they took a wicket. The borders were broken as if they never existed.

Bahubali’s top men fired from the first ball. No defense. No pause. No adapting to situation. It was just blasting the bowler from the word ‘go’. This kind of cricket was never played before, and the same kind would be played now onwards. They changed the pattern of game forever. Sanath Jayasuriya rose from nowhere to ‘Man of series’, and ‘Most valuable player’ . Mutthiah Murlidharan shined with his swerving, dancing, mysterious balls, and what more? (Oh yes! Coach was Dave Whatmore).

Top batsmen of world cried at the pitches; Pace bowlers flummoxed by attack resorted to spin bowling; Spectators couldn’t bear the brutal thrashing of Baahubali’s team and vandalised the Eden Garden.

The murderous lankans reached to coveted finals with Australia. The Baahubali’s revenge to South-islanders.

For the first time, entire Lahore of Moslem was roaring for somebody from other land, flagging Lankan flags. A nation so neglected and deprived was getting a full-house crowd of supporters, that too in a jingoist Islamic country.

Baahubali knew he had arrived. He achieved the pride he never had.

Top order collapsed, but Baahubali was calm, assured. A Kumbhakaran look-alike Gurusinghe and Bibhishan look-alike De Silva have joined together for Lankan pride, and Bahubali kicked the final shot to glory. The world was conquered.

sri-lanka-cricket-world-cup-victory-1996
Arjun Ranatunga: The Baahubali, lifting World cup in 1996

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