By RajaSaab


What better time than the day before the game of the year and on Columbus Day weekend to tell a story that ties Columbus Day to cricket with connections to The Redskins, general wildlife, state and local tenant laws and more! Now before those eyebrows go peeling off from the top of the forehead hear me out. It goes something like this….

A few weeks back on just another early monday morning while I was nursing the cramps from a match winning knock the day before I walked out on patio with a cup of darjeeling (I have always wanted to say that – ‘a cup of darjeeling’ makes it sound like it was made for me by my personal butler and served on a shiny tray with the tea pot butt peeking out from under the tea cosy while i sat sipping under the shamiana on my front lawn) I saw a funny looking dude down in my backyard – eyes wide open, expressionless and staring at me with an intent to burn. He looked kind of lost and so I asked him what he was up to at that early hour. Took him a minute but then he started speaking in accented bhojpuri asking me for directions to the Wankhede stadium and how he wanted to learn all about cricket and how he had descended into India inspired by one of his predecessors, who had been here not long ago, to learn all about cricket in an attempt to understand the concepts of ‘organized chaos’. This is when the coins in my head dropped in succession and I realized that I was in the presence of a modern day Columbus who once again landed in the USofA while on a mission to go to India; the only difference being that this guy was from a different world and was trying to go to India to understand a game that few of us actually do. But I liked his premise of understanding how cricket works and thus understand organized chaos so I decided to help him out.

Though disappointed that he missed his mark by a few continents he decided to stick around when I told him that he can stay put for a few weeks and learn as much about cricket by observing WCL and its games and function, which will then set him up properly when he does go to India and is faced with mass hysteria that surrounds cricket. As it was a Monday and the next round of games were at least a week away I pointed him to a few global cricket websites along with WCLs’ and in particular asked him to visit the WCL Facebook pages and as a pre-assignment submit his observations about what the game is all about based on just the posts/reposts/comments that he sees on there. Excited about his tasks off he went on his mission. Did not see him much over the next few days other than to be constantly unnerved by his presence in my surrounding but in rolled the PD finals week faster than expected and sure enough I came face to face with the alien again. His face considerably more normal and his demeanor exponentially more excited he declared “I know all about how to be a great cricketer – now all I need is to see the game tomorrow to understand the nuances of strategy and execution and off I back to my world armed with the knowledge of managing chaos”. Needless to say I was left awestruck and highly suspicious by my guest and his rapid ascent from utter ignorance to ‘yoda’ish attainment of all knowledge about my beloved game, so I said ‘please explain’ and he did and I regurgitate his narration hence forth

“To be a good cricketer and understand the game you need to be an expert at social media, have intimate knowledge of wildlife, photograph your lunch/dinner and post since it is important to show people what you eat, have intimate knowledge of how rental property and gambling/betting laws work in the region, love or hate The Redskins, definitely hate the Cowgirls, have a nice camera and know how to operate it – now that I see that your jaw can go no more down than the floor that you stand on let me parse what I just said. Over the last week or so I explored the Internet (which I must tell you is an amazing thing, lets every idiot have an expert opinion on everything – but we will leave that discussion for a different time) and read about Cricket but I was most enamored by the WCL Facebook page (ah Facebook! what can I say about Facebook other than to say that posting on facebook is like farting in the wind; you do it and then wait to see who smells it and picks up the scent) which seemed like its very own game of cricket with proper division of players, skills and laws much like a large Indian family.

There seems to be a group of people who is intimately aware of all wildlife and especially how Lions and Tigers interact with each other (who by the way seem to be creatures with a blood thirst for each other’s throats) just like that distant cousin who went overseas and has collected all that knowledge and loves showing off without much relevance to the context of the discussion. Then there is this group of people who take pride in predicting outcomes of other games with very little information much like some elders who love to pontificate on all things without realizing that their opinion carries no weight other than to give them that chest puffing moment every now and then. Next comes a group who take offence at everything that is being said in the posts and make their displeasure known without regard for someone’s right to their own opinion just like those little sisters who don’t like being teased. The next group is of that of the ‘other sport lover’ who desperately try to fit into a native sport along with cricket as if to say to all the other ‘mere’ cricket lovers that they are friends with ‘yo dude, I like football and you can’t even spell EnEfEl’ again like that distant cousin referenced above who has realized that the family isn’t worthy anymore of his attention since they don’t know enough but at the same time wants to show that he knows more. Though I must say that people in this group don’t post in the group and can be divided into 3 groups – Redskins lovers, Redskins haters and Cowgirls haters. The next bunch is of people who dislike everything that is happening and hate every decision that is made, imitating the rebellious young in the family and they were especially pissed about someone renting something and all I could think of was the time when I went to the restaurant, ordered something and then when I saw what the neighboring guy got I wished I had ordered that thing. And as if to counterbalance this bunch there are a few who find the funny side of everything and are always ready with a wiseass crack (relevant or otherwise) along with a few you find refuge in their cameras and are trigger happy with the pictures about everything. Last but not the least are 2 people – one that plays the role of that mysterious uncle who wants to be friends with everyone, says all the right things, behaves impeccably but somehow still finds a way to flame that violent thirst to kill him in other people and the other who like a wise owl sits atop a tree rotating his neck all around to keep an eye on this entire circus just like a patriarch who watches over his flock making sure nobody goes too far or says too much.”

And thus endeth his narration about how he gleaned everything about cricket from a week’s worth of facebook following. While I was looking for words to respond with I was run over by two strong emotions – one of sadness struggling to comprehend how an alien perceived all the interactions and judged the game that I love so much so poorly based on them and other of extreme happiness knowing that all his perceptions can be easily washed over by just having him come to a game and watch it live or better yet have him hold a bat (or a ball) and actually play. Amidst his constant requests for validation of his perceptions all I could muster as my response was “arre budbak, e ekdum hi falch opinion hai tumra, kal jab game mein jaee dekha kaa hota hai – abhow toh picture baaki hai babuaa.”

With that I am setting some very big expectations for the big game tomorrow. Rental players, local players or borrowed players – when the music starts everybody will be looking for a chair and the last eleven left standing will find out what a crappy end of losing a final game looks like.

And if there was any more incentive needed to make sure that game wins above all – the universe will be watching tomorrow. Keep an eye out for an alien and treat him as someone who is making a judgement about Cricket and try your absolute hard to make sure that –


The Great Game Wins!!






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