Thursday, June 08, 2006

No Goals Achieved!! 

"So do you follow soccer? Oh, wait. You guys call it football in India, right?"
"Yeah! It's kinda strange. Given that you hit a Ball with your ... err ... hmmm ... your Foot!!! the naming does sound a little strange!"
"Oh shuddup! No seriously, is soccer big in India?"
"It's bigger than big - it's BIIIIG!!"
"So how come you guys don't feature in the World Cup?"

Very true! How come we guys don't feature in the World Cup? We are a country of one billion people. Couldn't we find eleven people who kick a round piece of air filled leather blob the right way???? Come on now! What are the chances of that. Given our population and gusto for the game, we should send two teams for the World Cup. "In a thrilling semi final match, India A beat India B. We know that half a billion people are happy and rejoicing right now. What say Mike?" Now that's what we should be hearing on TV. But no - the reality is quite sad. So sad that we are all busy picking favorites from other countries. My dad is supporting Argentina. My sister is supporting "the team David Beckham plays for". My uncle likes to pick lesser known teams and support them - so it's gonna be Costa Rica for him. Blah blah!

And it's not just football. Basketball, wrestling, tennis, swimming ... you name it and we suck in that sport. Lemme repeat the point. WE ARE A COUNTRY OF ONE BILLION PEOPLE. We have snow, water, rain forests, everything. Combining these two statistics we should win gazillion gold medals in every freakin sporting event - Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, Olympics for the people in moderate climate zones, Wimbledon - whatever! But No! The only games we seem to excel in are the ones that got surprisingly left out from every big sporting event - or which in common man's lingo means - GAMES THAT NOBODY CARES FOR.

It's like they had this auction going on for all the big games and the Indian dude representing us landed up really late. The auctioneer took a quick look at him and sighed.

"Too bad Appu! You are late. We have nothing left for you. The Americans came in early and took most of the good stuff - athletics, basketball, tennis, boxing, everything! The Chinese sent a lot of people too and they got a decent deal as well. We had the long distance races left for a while and we gave them of to the people from Africa. The South Americans sent in a big delegation for soccer alone. So that was theirs. Too bad Appu. We have nothing left for you."

So Appu becomes all dejected and whimpers.

"What abt snooker and billiards?" Appu asks, albeit in a subdued tone.

"Those are gone buddy. We have carrom left though. It's the same thing, just less interesting."

"Ok! I'll take that," Appu sighed.

The guy in charge of distribution felt sorry for Appu at this point. So he cut him a deal.

"What abt cricket?" he asks. "It's this game like baseball but the players have to be more dressed than a man attending a business meeting. It's like you are going for a luncheon but stopped midway to play some sport. Not too many people wanted it. Only the English and Aussies claimed it. And remember no women will ever get associated with it. Not even cheerleaders!"

So Appu becomes all excited hearing that the Brits play it. We were ruled by the Brits for centuries. The very mention of the word England gets us excited. So he readily agrees to taking cricket. He even agrees to share it with everybody else in the sub continent."

Just as he is about to leave, the auction master calls him again.

"Hey, do you want khoko and kabaddi as well?"

"What's that?" Appu asks.

"I dunno. No one else did either. I believe you have to hold your breath and repeat Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi till you faint with breathlessness. Oh! And there will be a lot of dirt too. Want that?"

Now we know that as Indians we don't let go of anything. You can give us a free blue whale and we'll take it and put it in our living room and flaunt it to every relative. "My son got this blue whale FREEE! He did not have to pay a single penny for it." So Appu lapped up khoko and kabaddi as well.

Once again he was about to leave and the auctioneer called out again (how dramatic).

"Want this game called Chess? Well! To be perfectly honest, it's not exactly a game. It's more like an indoor thing. The Russians love it coz it's cold in Russia and they can play chess inside their rooms. We have some chess shares left. You care for some? But we believe that you need a high IQ and boredom tolerance to be a master in it and ..."

Appu was all ecstatic at this point. "A thinking game did you say? Oh we love thinking games. That way parents can fool their children into playing this game while what they are actually doing is preparing them for engineering school. My people will love it. Thank you. Thank you," he exclaimed.

And that is how we got it all. Hmmmmm!

Hahaha... Enjoyed the post. Yes, thanks to the lack of facilities/infrastructure and obsession with cricket, we are a zero in other sports! But we will all still watch (and enjoy) the football (soccer!) world cup. I m sure u also have plans of following the matches! Dont u?
Well, if India had a soccer team, I wouldn't have been able to cheer for the Italian Soccer team. I am not complaining! :)
Good post. $5.75.
Good One :)
Just one thing though... the American did NOT get the best stuff... Because Dodo (the American) got busy claiming all other sports, he forgot football and by the time he remembered, the Europeans and South Americans had claimed it... so he went crying to George Bush. Bush consoled Dodo and said "America is the biggest superpower.. we will create our own football." But since it was our own Dubya, he forgot the 'foot' aspect of the game and half-forgot the 'ball' aspect too.. hence the shape of the ball!
i thought indians 'invented' chess (with animals like the horse and the elephant instead of the knight and bishop)? that's why it's popular, i guess. and i feel cricket is not a bad sport - but yeah, maybe they can start playing in shorts.
@gauri - i don't think i will. for starters i dont watch much tv and secondly i am more of a cricket fan than a football lover - my dad hates me for this :((

@qs - are you tring to tell me the Indian soccer stars are any less than the Italian stallions? Are you?

@Nirav - lol! never struck me that the "foot ball" hardly resembles a ball :)

@ch@ry - we need more women in cricket. shorts can come later. can you believe that the only woman associated with cricket now is mandira bedi :))
Haha! Very very entertaining!

A bunch of us were predicting exactly when an Indian soccer team would come through the qualifiers and play the world cup! What says you?

N why oh why was Appu late for the auction??
Thanks a LOT there man!!! I was really starting to get pissed off that NO ONE seems to be interested in the biggest sporting spectacle - even in office!!! You made light of the situation!!haha, good one....
make u r child a soccer player!!!
@iksha - baba, appu had late night shift in his BPO naa? So he over slept. Cut the guy some slack will you?

@dhr - no problem. sports, as you know, is a regular topic on this blog :D

@arijit - enough is enough. make your son play soccer. my son will be national spelling be champ. heh!
then send him to DBPC!!!
That is actually sad. And may be because we are a country of one billion people and because we need to be competing with a billion others children are directed to study hard and not waste time playing sports or doing other activities. It really is very sad.
And are you trying to say you are suprised by that?
Not funny at all.
I am sorry to say that but I felt a bit of pinch when you said stuff about Kabaddi. I think its much better a game than Rugbi and that so called wrestling where thousands of audience cheer to people bruising each other.
I am no kabaddi player nor am a blind patriotic defender or anything. But I do stand for things that are right and do accept the criticism for stuff thats wrong, but not vice versa.
I really wanted to say this. I hope its ok to opine frankly on your blog.
@ari - ha ha! ha ha!

@m - not to worry - my son will be first class cricketer footballer and tennis player - after all my son - right?

@qs - of course - our mustached mard are at par with any Italian dude - I will defend my race madam, I will :)

@tweety - oh please do express your objection - i am all for free speech. i agree wrestling is not the bes tsport - but it is watched by many (even in India) and the wrestlers are global icons - sadly kabaddi doesn't enjoy that status - so it's either the game or the way we have promoted it - but one of the two is wrong :(
actually, india does have a women's cricket team. so mandira bedi is not the only one. :)
How come you forgot the national sport?? hockey?? how and when and why did appu get that??
...and weightlifting? i hear we are pretty good at carrying big burdens non-chalantly?
@ch@ry - i know. sandhya agrawal was quite the star when i was a kid. but then again the same problem - over dressed :D

@jhantu - we didn't get hockey. we wanted soccer and got cricket - so we decided to take a middle stance and decided to play soccer with sticks instead - that's how hockey came to us :D

@lilcow - i was just telling someone that at least we should win medals in weight lifting. now come on, one billion people and no one can lift more wieght than the others in the World????
What about badminton, table tennis, archery, shooting? Seems like you are writing the history of Indian sports here.

And all it takes is an individual to excel in a still to be popular sport and prove that it can be a viable profession. The money and infrastructure will come then, just like it did with cricket.
Hey Shatranj is an Indian game! Sigh. You too missed on our ntl game. Another sigh.
Yeah we suck at sports. We suck so much that we're kicked out even after participating and winning at the Olympics!

PS: Don't forget mud-wrestling and kite-flying.
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