The no-man’s-land between borders is 20 odd meters; territories can’t be creased any clearer; three vertical outposts on each side, ominously flashing red these days. Uniforms are donned. A sniper & a spotter are sent into enemy territory to face a barrage. In plain sight. Do or die. Will they come home victorious? Entire nations hold their collective breaths. Aah, who am I bull$h!tt!ng? I’m talking about cricket, clearly!
And that’s the sad part! Much noise has been made about how hockey is the real “National” game. Pitiful photographs of Olympic winners waving out to try and stop an auto-rickshaw with trophy laden hands are doing their usual rounds on social media. The frightening word in that sentence is “usual.”
While we ‘pankhas’ or fans (short for ‘fanatics’) have as much right to unapologetically applaud cricket as Ms. Padukone does with her self-proclaimed adulterous choices, it is taking it a bit far if we, as a nation, are collectively ‘depressed’ and waste entire working days and equate a game to national pride.
Enter our hostile neighbours. If only we pour as much time, money, energy, efforts & enthusiasm into protecting our borders, or at the very least, applaud the efforts of our soldiers, the real heroes engaging in real conflict, trained to use real weaponry, leave behind real families, then maybe, just maybe, we wake up to the fact that when they do bleed, as it happens way more often than we care to notice, they bleed in blood red. Never blue.