Mauka Mauka: An opportunity to redeem
A recent news item caught my attention. A leading Bangladeshi newspaper carried a fake ad has come up with half shaven Indian cricketers. The latest entrant to the Bangladesh Cricket team who had a dream series bowling off cutters is shown symbolically wielding a cutter and prominent Indian cricketers holding a banner which says “We have used it. You can use it too”. The series was a victory. One of ego and hurt pride.
Provocative enough! Or so you may think.
Lets forget Bangladesh for a moment. Rewind to the world cup early this year, the media kept us dancing to the tune of Mauka, Mauka! It started with Pakistan and as we moved along, even minnows like Bangladesh were not spared. Mocking others has never been our DNA. Where did we get this arrogance from? Does this reflect the culture that we are known for? Humility to us is as much a pride as the fact that India never invaded a country in the last 5000 years of known history. Between animosity and generosity, G comes before A to the average Indian
I am not sure if the present generation knows humility. I am a firm believer that humility is bred in frugality. Humility is the middle name of the Indian middle class. One generation of peak liberalisation and the whole culture changes. Did the era of grace and dignity made up by the Dravids, Kumbles, Laxmans and Tendulkars ever allow the media to harp on such campaigns?Over the years, we have consistently detested the arrogant Aussie attitude, that also bordered on racism, albeit briefly. In the process, has our attitude become one?
Its a cycle as I understand. Players swearing, sledging, staring are all here to stay. It sensationalizes a simple incident into a phenomenon. The needs of the media are two. One is either they need loud players or they take every petty event about a star player and play it aloud. The Dhoni incident of brushing aside a bowler is a case in point for the latter. The media breeds this behaviour, the TRPs entice them, the players are glorified in garb of playing with attitude. And to sustain, one needs more sensationalism on the field. Mauka Mauka was the media’s bit to contribute off the field. Instead of building ties, our media has happily created another potential pot boiler that could keep us interested in future Indo Bangla series.
The Tendulkar generation defined attitude as exhibiting the spirit of sportsmanship and playing within the ethical contours of the game. That puts into context the incident where Tendulkar takes a Brett Lee full toss on his body and brushes it aside the next moment. Promptly, Brett Lee apologises to Tendulkar. A walk down the pitch, a hug, a pat on the back and both of them are ready for the next delivery. Thats cricket! A Ponting or a Peterson would have given it a different colour altogether
As you sow, so you reap. This flak from the Bangla media is our own undoing. The fact is Bangladeshis take their cricket more seriously than we do. We were underdogs once. Overseas players were wary of Delhi belly, dust, modest travel facilities and lack of infrastructure in our cricket. Not everyone was a willing traveller. And then over time we became powerful. Financially! Bangladesh is an underdog today but sooner or later, their time under the sun will come. There is a sanskrit saying which goes like this “On bearing fruits, trees bend. On gathering water, clouds hang very low. A man should become humbler as his accomplishments rise
Its a dent on the pride of the average cricket fan. No media can afford to take it for granted. If there is no fan, where is the TRP?
As I keep saying “Morality powers sustainability” and the upcoming Zimbabwe tour is our Mauka to redeem. Indeed!