ICF 2.0

I blogged about being an Indian Cricket Fan or ICF 4 years ago, during the last world cup.

Since then my active involvement in the game has been waxing and waning. More waxing of late, since I can spend time actually watching the match rather than have to listen to interrupted commentary while working.

 I have also been observing the newer brand of ICF : the transplanted ICF

The basics remain the same, you are still subjected to high levels of stress, lessened productivity and mood swings; just compounded by the fact that you have to wake up at unearthly hours to watch the match.
Cricinfo is bookmarked and always open on your laptop.

The hour before the scheduled start of play is spent in frantically testing and finding a *working link*. *Working link please* becomes the most used phrase on IM during this time.

You groan with the same agony when the link stops working as you do when an Indian wicket falls or a catch is dropped.

You  are excited about day/night matches being played in West Indies and South Africa because it is during normal waking hours. Even if they are insignificant matches that you wouldn't normally watch. 

Within 10 minutes of the match ending, 8/10 of your friends have fb status messages and tweets that have their analysis of the match, there are about 20 comments and 30 'likes' to every status message.

You try to explain to a Rangers fan why you are so passionate about a game that *lasts 5 days and has tea breaks*, but cant appreciate baseball.

Every tournament final is as important as the superbowl. The debates about the state of Indian cricket are almost as passionate as the debates about politics at every Desi party you go to.

Joining a cricket league is your most important summer activity. You think you are an IPL player and scheme about how to join a better team  next season. 


Uncle Pai

I haven't written in what feels like forever. Wait, it HAS been forever. :)
Uncle Pai has had such a profound impact on me growing up that I thought it was perfect for me to restart blogging with a tribute to him.

Uncle Pai defined my childhood. I don't remember seeing a picture of him ever, I couldn't just do a google image search back then, but I had this image of an average-height black-haired man with kind eyes sheltered by thick-black framed glasses with a face that had a formed smile sitting behind a desk with a pen and writing all those letters on nice paper. I was content with that image.

I actually used to find science fascinating; because of the way he told us. Unfortunately, that fascination ran out when I had to face it in a real school with real teachers. I would try and get into adventures so that I could write to him to tell him that it had happened to me and see my name in print. Most of what I know about Indian mythology is thanks to him, after my grandmothers. To me he was Santa Claus, who gave us a present every week, through the newspaper man. A Santa who knew everything about everything that there is to know.

I attribute my love for reading to him, he showed me snippets of an alternative universe through his books, a universe that I decided I wanted to explore further. Dog Detective Ranjha led me to believe that normal people could solve mysteries; Shikari Shambu taught me that luck can only help you fool other people, Tantri taught me that being cunning is not always being smart, Kalia reinforced my argument for the advantages of being small built.

I used to have every single edition I had bought at the back of a shelf that was used to store old newspapers. Everytime the raddiwala came, I used to stand and watch my parents take the newspaper out like a hawk, so that none of my books from my precious collection were unwittingly thrown away. I would read them, re-read them and re-read the re-read comics, until my parents had to intervene and say "no more tinkle" for the week. We had to give all those "books" away when we moved. That was when I realised that I was not a child anymore and had to grow up.

Thank You, Uncle Pai - for all the fond memories. I hope future generations continue to be as fascinated by Amar Chitra Kathas as we were.