Monday, March 19, 2007

Cricket and an old man

Cricket is the only sport (apart from basketball) that I actually *care* about. Part of this has to do with the fact that like any self-respecting Maharashtrian, I grew up playing gully-cricket. (I bowl a mean googly, and my straight drives are quite respectable). But a large part comes from many years spent with my cricket crazy Nana (maternal grandfather).

On days on which India played a game, Nana would refuse to leave his favorite chair by the T.V.. He had an old black-and-white T.V. set that for many years he refused to upgrade to a color one. I believe it was a BPL. Not that it would have made a difference - he didn't see much at his age.

He had been a cricket player in his day, a strapping, handsome young man - he played university, but never really found the time to devote himself exclusively to it. He was old by the time I grew up - the only time I saw him play was as a kid - at a seniors game when he was well into his sixties, and he could still bowl at a pace that I would not have dared face. His proboscis of a nose, which is shared by all of us on my mum's side, was bent to the right because of a ball hit from a pacer back in the day when helmets were unheard of.

He died during the India-South Africa series in 2000, after a short illness. I wasn't there, but I was later told that one of his last lucid questions was about the score.

To this day, a game of cricket evokes in me a vision of a thin, aged Nana peering into the screen through thick glasses from less than a foot away - his face lit up in equal parts by the glow of phosphor and the thrill of the game - belting out a running commentary and pumping his frail arms when a sixer was hit or an opposition wicket fell.

update: There are newer shinier things to the right. A lot of growing up music, and some new stuff - all videos. Click and Enjoy. :)

14 comments:

Tabula Rasa said...

OH my gradfather too! was a champion tennis and football player, and with the same love for watching sport. he'd get up and peer at his tiny b&w, grunting approval when something good happened, and loudly declaiming the end of the world when something not so good happened. about once every half hour he'd get so moved by the latter that he'd switch the tv off saying there's no point watching and walk away to do 'something worthwhile'. but he'd always return.

Revealed said...

My grand dad tooo :). And my dad. And almost everyone in my family. This is the first world cup I haven't seen with my dad. And he called me during lunch break so that I could ask him what his prediction was :). It's our tradition :P.

And you listen to Snow Patrol????!!!! You could knock me down with a feather!!!

Heh Heh said...

tr: Yeah, such dramatics were also part of my grandfather's repertoire.

revealed: :) I know people who hung out with them before they became famous.

Revealed said...

OMGGGG!!! I went to their concert when they came here. They were super-cool :)))))))))). They even dedicated a song to the duck-geese (cos they cudnt decide whether they were ducks or geese) of our city!!! :P.

Only annoying thing was one of the chicks I went with who didn't know them from Adam and thought that OKGo (who were the starting act and were EXTREMELY gud) was Snow Patrol!!!

You could say you liked Dido now and I'd take it with calm acceptance :P

Heh Heh said...

flaffy, look at that list over to right. it covers music from the early 80's to present day. Does it at all look like Dido has a place there? :)

Also, I've actually heard OkGo play a gig in NYC. They are good. Check out their awesome video over to the top right.

Tabula Rasa said...

checked out the ok go video. the music's not my type but the video is hilarious! i have to figure out a way to use this in class.

Brown Magic said...

yeah, OKGO videos are pretty genius. TR - have you seen the first one they did in the backyard? http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7026644119480572591

The lead singer's sisters choreographed the whole thing and it is all one long shot. or mostly one shot. i forget.

Heh Heh said...

tr: Talking of videos to use in class, things were so different back when adcritic was a free site... but perhaps, you have free access.

bm: ooh thanks, awesome video.

Ph said...

Oh yes the sulking of the cricket fan. Only to return sheepishly a little later.

Revealed said...

I actually liked most of their songs. The ones I heard. And they played their videos on the big screen. Much fun. It's been a while since I saw an opening act I really liked. They're touring with The Fray in June I hear. (Does your alarming modernity extend to the fray?)

Heh Heh said...

ph: That would seem to apply to the whole nation, the way things are going with this cup.

revealed: Actually it does. I'm one of those pitchfork subscribing, indie and modern rock crazy people.. also i have friends in the indie music community in NYC.
and hey, what's with that sledge about modernity? I have a feeling you are over-estimating my age vastly.

Revealed said...

@heh heh: Many apologies. I fear the same :-S

One just seemed so wise to one who is not so wise :D
and not wanting to accept superior wisdom in one, one decided one must be ..umm ..old :P

Talking about The Fray, though I'm soooo gonna catch that one :D. Loved Look After You :)

Revealed said...

And I spent the evening checking the videos out :D. I've actually never seen the video of Interstate Love Song. But the Saigon Kick video completely spoilt the song for me!!!

Heh Heh said...

Yeah. Wise and humble. That would be me. :)
Also, Interstate Love Song used to be on all the time back in the nineties on MTV before it turned completely desi.