Monday, January 02, 2006

Oh, no, not again

Groan, yet another India-Pakistan series is upon us. Didn't we just play a year ago? And haven't we just been through the ghastly media circus that will soon be upon us: former cricketers waxing or waning nostalgic about tours, locales and cricketers (and their own achievements); descriptions of Pakistan (and its people) as "just like us" ( I once met a woman who gushing on about Pakistan and the rural countryside, remarked "Oh, you know, its just like Punjab". I had to gently point out to her that the noticed resemblance was not all that surprising given that it was the Punjab she had just visited); the obligatory paeans to the nihari or kababs or biryani; the dismissal of "security" concerns as figments of new-globalized-Hindu-nationalist-middle-class-paranoia (how can you worry about travelling in this country when they all love us so much?); the swooning over Lahore; the 'Wild-West' descriptions of the NWFP; the gratuitous invoking of the history of warfare between the two countries (see? I just did it); teenybopper comments from both sides of the border on how handsome or sweet or cute their respective idols are; and worst of all, the horrendous India-Pakistan commentator pairings that await us on whichever channel decides to broadcast the games.

This is one time that I'm glad I am not back in India, watching it all go down in gory, full-blown detail on seven channels all at once. I'm not even sure that I'm going to watch the cricket (yeah, right). But at least once the first ball is bowled, the cricket will provide some distraction from the inanities issuing from the commentators box.


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