Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Peaceful Easy Feeling
The Men in Blue, formerly the No.1 Team of the World, have defied all odds. As world T20 champions, they now find themselves being deified across the length and breadth of the nation. Theirs is undoubtedly a fantastic accomplishment – one that will be remembered for a while. But the public’s memory is fickle, to say the least. And the Men have a long way to go before they get anywhere near the standards set by the Aussies. Anyway, this is not really about the Men. This is about the great game. And the boys. The boys in blue, green, red and myriad secondary colours.
Although it is now hard to imagine, Mental Baba was once a kid – tallish, skinny and with a big mop of hair on his (back-even-then) sagacious head. In addition to the regular paraphernalia that most boys covet and collect, the Baba possessed a wondrous item of unspeakable powers. If the Baba were Jedi, it would have been known as his lightsaber. If the Baba were He-Man, it might have been called the Sword of Grayskull. Ah, the raw power! That magical feeling! The very memories! The Baba does not know who made it. The Baba does not know what it was made of. It was certainly not willow (which in those days was wielded only by kids with silver spoons and gold fillings in their mouths). But boy! Could it give the rarely-red cherry a whomping that even the Whomping Willow would be proud of or what!
It was a rainy morning in Calcutta, sometime in the late 80s. All was damp and depressing, except for the the Baba’s countenance, which had eager anticipation shining through. His penance had resulted in a boon, which he was about to use in a sanctum sanctorum. The Baba stood still, as waves of awe and uncertainty swept over him. So many! Which?! Which one?! “Use the force!” suggested the wizened old man behind the counter, as the Baba set about his task. As he picked up and considered each, the force surged through his arms and into his body. And then, the force blasted through his very being. It was THE ONE! The Baba had found his brahmastra!
A category #4 weapon, it was considered small. As were the Baba’s biceps. But together, their destructive power was unrivalled. Glass panes were shattered, plantings were battered, cherry-wielders were left tattered; to the Baba the great astra was the only thing that mattered. If only ISRO had known how easy putting objects in geostationary orbits was. Up, up and away! Baba - you beauty! Those heady days!
Some tan-ki-shakti-man-ki-shakti Bournvita at 4 pm and the Baba would lumber away to the battleground, to join the other boys, with the astra resting against his shoulder. And he, the Dispatcher of Cherries, would return at 6:30 pm, having fulfilled his cosmically destined role with aplomb.
But something went wrong somewhere. The Baba neither embraced change nor a new and bigger astra. The force gradually started ebbing away. Both the Baba and his brahmastra lost their fearsome powers, eventually becoming ghosts of their former selves towards the late 90s.
The once-great astra still remains, cracked and withered, in an unworthy coffin. Its former wielder still remains too, de-mopped and de-powered, in a wood-and-glass coffin of his own making. The only blade that the Baba now retains is one named Gillette. Which, again, runs contrarian to one of Babadom’s cherished existential principles. But that’s how the cookie, or rather Babadom, crumbles.
It’s raining here. It always does. There’s a bunch of kids playing the great game on the road, in the rain, in their sandals. One of them looks up and sees a face pressed flat against the window...
Methinks, was this how it used to go?
Daak. Daak. Kiski daak?
I got that all wrong. Why don’t I change it to this –
Daak. Daak. Office ki daak.
But, thank you, Men in Blue. Thank you, MSD. Thank you for opening the floodgates and taking all of us where it is so hard to go to. Thank you for returning to the great game, the wonder and the joy that were once part of it. Thank you for this peaceful easy feeling.
Management Class : Meandering thoughts of a fickle mind
mental baba 9:05 PM