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Racism- An Issue To Contemplate October 20, 2007

Posted by Karan in General.

The recent incidents in the cricket grounds of India have provided enough food for thought. Racism- An issue which has often plagued world sport, but cricket has largely remained untouched. What Andrew Symonds faced – was it a case of racism? Let’s first look at the dictionary meaning of racism – “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.” Now- were the crowds at Mumbai, Nagpur or Baroda trying to assert that the Indian race was superior to the Australian? Or that blacks (Symonds happens to be one) are to be looked down upon? I suppose no, especially considering the fact that Indians themselves are coloured, and players like Brian Lara, Viv Richards etc have found amazing receptions in India. Besides, a land which has seen the struggles for Independence against the British can hardly be termed ‘racist’. That Andrew Symonds is a black Australian was a mere coincidence- the reason why he’s been targeted by the crowds are his unbridled aggression and in-your-face attitude. As a fan, I know what feelings an average Indian harbors for the not-so-polite Symonds, who’s been the face of Aussie aggression for some time now. His statements and on field behavior have hardly helped matters. I remember the sixth ODI. The match was at a terse position, and when Irfan Pathan hit him for a boundary over mid wicket, Symonds immediately walked down and confronted the batsman. Now this was ridiculous, and uncalled for behaviour, especially in a series which had already seen a lot of bad blood. Besides Pathan is one of the soft spoken guys in the Indian dressing room. This is not unusual on the part of Symonds and Hayden (a white player who luckily or unluckily did not play at Nagpur and Mumbai). That’s how they play their cricket, and unfortunately go scot free most of the times. Now you cannot expect the crowds to ‘encourage’ such players. I remember, even in the Hyderabad ODI, there were chants of “Hayden sucks”. On the other side of the hedge, players like Brett Lee have always been loved an adored by the crowd. Their gentlemanly attitude has always helped matters. Hence, the chants against Symonds cannot be termed ‘racist’. Agreed that the crowd could have been more sensitive, but raising such a hue and cry over this issue is baseless.

Coming to the larger issue of racism in the Indian society, it depends on how you define racism. Going by the conventional definition, probably there is hardly any racism over here; but looking carefully, in a sense, Indians are among the biggest “racists” (if we can call them so) in the world. The higher ups in the so called social ladder always look treat the lower downs with contempt. Servant maids, beggars etc have been treated shabbily for a long time now. There are still bad vibes between some sections of North, East and South India. East Indians are always suspicious of the others. The recent massacre of Biharis in Assam was a blot. Chak De India highlighted the difference between South Indians and North Indians wonderfully well in a particular scene. Go look at any matrimonial section of a newspaper- and you’ll see it. “Fair girl required for bridegroom- education no bar!” It’s unfortunate, but true that such differences do exist- even 60 years after Independence. However, one must note that the inequalities and differences have reduces, especially with education and prosperity. The best example would be states like Gujarat and Maharastra, where I have personally seen maids being treated very well. Cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore are also testaments of the same, with people from different regions and sects working hand-in-hand. Probably, with increasing levels of education, we’ll do better.

Five Point Someone – The Play October 12, 2007

Posted by Karan in General.

Before the commencement of the play, when a journalist asked me of why theatre was not popular among youngsters, I gave him certain reasons. However, plays like “Five Point Someone” would go a long way in dispelling such an attitude among the Generation-X. An adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller, the play lives up to the burden of expectations (thanks to the book’s popularity) it carries along with it. Packed with powerful performances and commendable direction, the play is a wonderful illustration of how an adaptation works. Dark and humorous, Five Point Someone is the story of three underachievers and their lives at the IIT. It shows the result of not thinking straight, while also questioning the system. The story has it all- love, drama, humour. The characterization is perfect and one can identify with the same. The narrative is lucid, laced with several punch lines. Nikhila, the director largely retains the book’s dialogues, while adding a few of her own which add to the charm on stage. She, was of course helped immensely by her actors, who deliver a flawless performance. Ryan was brilliant on stage, Alok, Hari and Neha were not too far away either. Negatives- not too may of them. One aspect which can be worked on is the sets, they were the same throughout the play and tended to get monotonous. The other is the length of the play, which can probably be cut by a few minutes.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. Cheers Metro Plus for organizing such a wonderful theatre fest. I’ll try and make it to the other plays too!

Dream On. October 7, 2007

Posted by Karan in Poetry.

Have you ever imagined what’s the best feeling in the world?
Thinking of those moments spent with her
Reviving those pretty instances in time
Every little touch… every word of hers
Which you go through again and again
Imagining and re thinking your reactions
What you could have said better, what you could have done better..

Flowing with the music..
Crying because you felt and saw her pain
Weeping because of the joy reflecting in her
The brightness her thoughts bring to you,
You can spend a lifetime in those deft moments..

She loves me… She loves me not.
Shall I call her now… or later?
Such perplexities, in fact make your day.
In such thoughts are the best part of your life lived.

If only you could see her again..
If only you could speak to her again..
If only you could touch her..

So what if I cant see her?
So what if I cant speak to her?
So what if I cant touch her?
So what if she never will know that I loved her..
I have spent the best moments and thoughts of life..
Immersed in her ocean of love…

Dream on…

Eenadu Cricket Tournament – A Farce October 3, 2007

Posted by Karan in IIIT centric.

WTF! This is all we had to say to what happened to us a couple of days back.
It was for the first time that I had been selected in the IIIT cricket team for the Eenadu cricket tournament, and needless to mention, was pretty excited about it. The team practiced hard for more than ten days – two sessions a day. It was all coming out very nicely. On that fated day, we reached the OU campus, and to our dismay, it was raining, albeit not very heavily. We looked forward to a late start. However, on enquiring, the authorities bluntly told us that if the area around the pitch doesn’t improve, the match would be decided on the spin of a coin. Holy shit! The signs looked ominous, as the team at the other end, Sri Chaitanya could have gone through the next round only in this situation. There was no way they could have beat us, even in a five overs match. To while away our time, we decided to practice spinning the coin. And we lost seven out of nine times- captain Varun losing four on four. After some time, the two captains walked on to the pitch. As our fate seemed to be written in those dark skies, we lost the toss and hence the match. Poor Pagare and Sagar- they had gone out for a quick bite and thought that we were kidding when we told them the result.
On retrospect, it was all very ridiculous. The organizers should have anticipated rains in the month of September. And for all such matches to be decided by luck rather than have a reserve day or a bowl-out is throwing their own credibility out in the dustbin. A lot of deserving teams would have lost out on this count. Eenadu- you suck. Tata Indicom (the sponsors), if you’re reading this – you suck! I am never ever going to take a Tata Indicom connection.