Sunday, April 10, 2005

The importance of Cricket

Raju is an ordinary coolie on the Victoria Terminus station in Bombay. He has a hard life, he works 16 hours a day, from 8.00 am to 12.00 am on the station. He is 31, has a wife who is pregnant again , 3 kids in a small kholi in Dharawi. He is oblivious to the world around him, he is just too busy with his life. He doesnot know and care about India-Pakistan peace process, his life is untouched by India's "booming" economy & he could not be least bothered whether it is Congress or BJP who rules Delhi. All he knows is that he has a wife and 3 kids to support & he is doing his best to do just that. He has one passion though, that of cricket. The game has a special place in his heart.This is hardly unusual, most of his friends at VT are avid cricket lovers. He has his own pocket transistor which he listens to in his off hours whenever India is playing Cricket. He is a very happy man today. India has just beaten Pakistan in a cricket game. He is all the more happy because the Man of the Match was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, an up & coming player in this very talented Indian cricket team who belongs to Raju's home state of Jharkand. Dhoni hit Pakistan's bowlers to all parts of the ground today scoring 148 runs. Nobody from Jharkand had ever broken into India's national eleven before Dhoni. Today is a day of great joy for Raju. He can smell sweetness in the air. His mood is very upbeat. For a brief moment, he will forget his daily troubles. He will forget how hard he had to work today to manage food on the table tomorrow, he will forget that there is a no electricity at home today for 4th consecutive day in the middle of a sweltering summer , he will forget that he has to commute back to home jostling for space with 300 other people in a train which has capacity for only 100 people, he will forget that he has to wake up at 3.00 am in the morning to fill up his familty's share of water from a community tap, he will forget how his family of 5 is living in that small kholi & paying half his income for it. Yes, cricket is that important for him, this is the day when he feels content, even happy. For a brief fleeting moment life seems beautiful, there is a feeling of joy deep in his heart, someone up there still listens to his prayers. He still has a place for him. Tonight he will sleep feeling content with himself. Tomorrow is another gut-wrenching day in his hard life but atleast today was worth living.

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