For this Sunday, we have the transcript of a talk delivered by Sri K Siddharth in the morning prayer session in Swami’s Institute a few days ago. This is the scintillating season of cricket with the World Cup 2007 on in the Caribbean islands. Can a game like Cricket do anything towards bettering our lives and help us realizing our ultimate goal? Read this small piece to find out...
I offer myself and this article to our Beloved Lord who spins the world with the right pace, pulls away our miseries over the boundaries and drives away our troubles to the fence.
Humanity invariably embraces Utopia when the sporting demigods get to the face each other in their respective arenas. Sports is the compass that mankind uses to navigate through the mists of malice, storms of strife, icebergs of indifference, the potholes of poverty and the fog of fractured existence. Simply put, it’s the lingua franca of humanity. Sachin Tendulkar (Indian cricket legend) receiving a standing ovation in Pakistan for a fantastic innings or the thunderous applause that Sharne Warne (Australian cricket hero) gets when he casts a spell to castle a batsman in Lords is a common sight. Only one hopes that this Utopian concept will chisel itself to perfection and the world can be more “sportious” than “spurious” not just on the field but at every geographical node.
With the Cricket World Cup just round the corner, I attempt to see the connection between the game and our lives. “Life is a dream, realize it” is an oft quoted adage. Cricket can be as much a means towards that end as much as any other. To draw a parallel between the game and life-
“Our lives commence on a sticky wicket – the womb. Then follow the deliveries. We arrive and immediately get padded up – soft shoes, thermals and of course the guard – sorry the diapers. The commentary box – the maternity ward announces the arrival of the debutant. On entry we view the world in its infinite field placements – relationships. Sooner than later we establish our footwork – we begin to walk. Infancy gives way to boyhood and we begin to run. We begin to chase so many things and our innings has begun. In childhood, we often shuttle between wickets of fancy dreams. The curators – teachers help lay the pitch for our future successes. In the power play of youth glances are exchanged without the batting of eyelids. A maiden over is bowled in which a direct hit ensues and the heavens are witness to a perfect match. Somewhere in the middle overs, crippled by the leg break of desire one gets caught in the gully of ‘Buckworth Lewis’ (like the Duckworth Lewis) In the pursuit of making a quick buck at more than run-a-ball, we become party to the quick fall of wickets - our family, friends, careers.
Darkness seems to pervade all over as the light o meter of our lives seem to signal abysmal readings. Traditionally, it has always been the onus of the batsman to appeal for light, but the referee here is of utmost magnanimity. You slip, he bails you out; you run short, he cautions you. And thus when you seem to struggle against the fading light, he offers you the floodlight of His grace. With some cheeky shots, you finally score the winning runs and become the toast of your team. Looking back at your innings, the point strikes you: Life is a limited overs game, which we play through day and night, but then the realization dawns on you that this match was fixed for the referee always was on your side. So you confront the referee and bowl him a yorking googly by enquiring - “How things always swung your way?” trying to put Him on to the back foot. He promptly dispatches it for a six, replying – “Little one, I will never say bye-bye, I will ever say not out, and in the tradition of My game, will offer you benefit of the doubt. So why worry, Life is a Game, just Play it, for it is “The Game of Love and Unity.”
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