Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cup of Deja Vu

Column: Back Talk Author: Murali Gopy Publication: Sports Today: Isuue: July/2006

You have seen it before.
A goalkeeper launching an inflated leather globe with his foot, as confidently as a spiritual master.
A ball sailing in the sky like some bizarre philosophy.
Its descent like a failed Indian satellite, with two human heads rising in unison to take it home and make a goal out of it.
Despair of the dribbled.
Drumbeats of the dribbler.
The right kick.
The wrong jump.
The scorer running on to the barbed-wire fence like an evangelist who happened to see god.
His indulgence in homeworked gesticulations.
His friends pouncing upon him as if he was an injured antelope and they were hungry wolves.
Moronic multi-coloured faces sitting, squatting, squealing and screaming around like spooky toys.
People roaring in blood lust—a faint sequel to the Roman mob.
The commentator screaming “Gooooooooooooooooool…,” his nationality deciding the number of ‘O’s in it.
Your remote control, the volume switch of which is dysfunctional from time immemorial. The television channel, which had forgotten to paste the score sheet.
Your wife, who had wanted to shift channels to mushy soaps in the beginning, but had later changed her mind to be an uninitiated participant asking silly doubts while clandestinely ascertaining the MQ (Manliness Quotient) of the soccer god in frame.
Your divine kid, who exercises her god-given right to stand in front of the monitor every time your favourite player moves the net.
The recently tried&tested contact lens that fails to get you through to the names printed on the back of the jerseys.
The home-made World Cup in your hand brimming with precious pop corns.
The diabolic allure of the packet in which hides 10 evil cigarettes.
The drooping mezzanine eyelid that alerts you of unconsummated sleep. The mobile that beeps once in very five minutes reminding you of a long-abandoned base—your office.
A heart that hops with the ball.
A throbbing headache that has staged a comeback.
A rocking chair at war with your spine.
And then, after all this sacrifice, the team that you scream for lose in penalty shootout—the dumb charades after a nuclear war. The matchstick combat.
And your favourite hero buries his head in the grass carpet and weeps like a tyke.
Your cause is lost. You turn off the TV, scold the divine kid for reasons unknown to both you and the child, wage a verbal battle with your spouse over the percentage of salt in the vegetable mix, boycott the dinner halfway, march defiantly to the balcony and show the world how to do breathing exercise with a burning cigarette between your lips. You hear crackers go up in the neighbourhood. Obviously, your neighbour hates your team.
Enraged and hurt, you storm the library and browse for books that balm your soul. You emerge with a Henry Thoreau, open a random page and read aloud, trying hard, even in such agony, to sound like Charlton Heston: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what we call the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them for this comes after work. But it is the characteristic of wisdom not to desperate…
Thanks to Henry. You are home.And yes. You have seen it before.



Blogger Anjana Jayasankar said...

Soo much philosophy in a write up on a game!!! hats off to all the one liners describing the game.. really humbled..!!!

5:18 AM  

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