05 September 2006


Today is Thiruvonam, and for me, was far from celebratory. I woke up late, smoked several cigarettes and read the Hindu. Back home in Trivandrum, several yards of clothing would have changed hands by then.

My associates at the Mal Mafia refused my company too. What's the point of an Onasadhya where you can't be with friends and family; even if you're eating off china plates. I dropped the idea. And I went to work, even though I had been given the day off. Yes, I am a loser. Yes, this was the worst Onam in history.

Talking of history, I wonder whether Maveli had a policy on NRMs. (Non Resident Malayalis, for the uninitiated) Today, the Kerala government has an entire ministry dedicated to their welfare. Anyway, its a blurry area of the legend that has been passed on. To those not in the know, Onam is celebrated to remember the reign of King Maveli, during whose reign prosperity reigned supreme in Kerala; and poverty and want was unknown. Maveli is believed to visit Kerala during the days of Onam and many of the rituals associated with this day rely on this piece of legend.

Even Sreesanth must have had a fairly bad day. Poor guy got dropped from the team yesterday. And that after an impressive Windies tour where he was among the wickets consistently. The marginally more economical Rudra Pratap was chosen ahead of him on the strength of superlative performances with the India A side in Australia. At least, that's the rationale if you believe the media. Only, there is something fundamentally wrong with dropping someone from the national side because somebody else performed well at the A level. Sreesanth's performances haven't been bad enough to merit an exclusion. In fact, in tandem with Munaf Patel, India was slowly beginning to boast of a settled, wicket-taking (albeit expensive) fast bowling pair - something that we had lacked ever since Javagal Srinath operated with Venkatesh Prasad, all those years ago.

An Indian fast bowler is that breed of cricketer who has to keep ploughing hard on unresponsive surfaces, sometimes with nothing but hope and a willing back to guide him. An exclusion might mean next to nothing to someone who fights the odds for a career.

Paraochialism doesn't have too much to do with the above rant. Promise.