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Monday, August 29, 2005

the elusive arjuna

One more game gifted away. A Team that was struggling at 35 for 6 is allowed to score 215 runs thanks to the unparalleled captaincy of the most successful captain of all times and by the wonderful bowling tactics of the turbaned one who returned figures of 55 for zero!! When it comes to our Team, we totter at 48 for 8 till our tail-enders try to perform miracles. They very nearly succeeded but, our opposition Captain had other ideas – he knew just when to ring in the changes. He ensures that we do not deviate from our norms – of defeat, defeat and defeat.
Many are shocked that this year’s list of Arjuna awards does not include any cricketer even though cricket has become a passion for us and we have got used to seeing non-performers endorse a wide range of products. One of the TV channels conducted a poll and, it transpires that 76% agree with the decision of the organizers. Considering the continuous failures and innumerable excuses put forward to justify the gradual decline in the standards of the game, it is a wonder that a couple of names were proposed.

Arjuna is one of the Pandavas immortalised in the Mahabharata. We, as Indians, respect the teachings of this epic because, in it are enshrined tales of love, hate, devotion and courage. It encompasses each and every aspect of life and, even though clones have surfaced from time to time, they have been miserable flops. Arjuna is an important character in the Mahabharata, he is a warrior to the core and, when war is declared, he hesitates in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Lord Krishna, as his chariot driver, then delivers his famous sermon.

The reason for naming the awards for excellence in sports as the Arjuna awards stems from the fact that Arjuna, when he went to the Swyambar sabha, had to string the bow and shoot an arrow to pierce the eye of the fish. The fish was hidden behind a disc that had holes along its periphery. While the fish was stationary, the disc was rotating! It was an extremely difficult task to perform but, Arjuna accomplished the near impossible since he concentrated on his task of taking aim and hitting the target. He had the eye of the fish in his sight. It was all about the oneness of purpose, the single mindedness of achieving the near impossible, of dedication to outshine others.

Therefore, our bowlers should have their sights on the stumps behind the batsman, our batsmen on gaps in the field to steal singles and twos (and, refrain from thrashing opposition bowlers from the word ‘go’), and our fielders on the ball. In short, our cricketers have to prove that they still have it in them, they must strive hard to prove to the world that the word ‘chokers’ has been really and truly banished from their dictionary.

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