Millennium Post

The day of the supermoon

On 5 May, Eden was the place you would die to be at. I mean we generally pine to make it to the heaven in case we perish, but that day the rush was a bit too much, somewhat 'hellish', to put it mildly. No, really, we are not talking about jihad here in which ascending to heaven is taken at face value. We are against violence of all kinds, especially those which can be seen. But of course we are talking of jihad, of a different kind, a kind that only could be deciphered if you have lost all sense of rhyme or reason. In that sense 'this' jihad is not far away from 'that' jihad. But no more of that now.
is best relished when it comes in bits and pieces.

What was on 5 May? Apparently the Eden Gardens – yes the mere mortal cricket stadium – was the setting for another lousy game in what is cricket’s mating call for survival: the infantile T20. I mean the views above, on cricket et all are very personal and should not be mistaken for the rant of one who could not manage a ticket to the ground. Anyway, on that anointed day, something called Pune Warriors India was pitted against another thing called Kolkata Knight Riders under the hot Kolkata evening sky in which an unusually large moon hanged benignly. No, mistake. It was more than that. The Pune Warriors (whatever it is) skipper Sourav Ganguly who in good, old, simpler days led the Knights and was then unceremoniously guillotined in the altar of crony capitalism, was pitted against Shah Rukh Khan, the marquee, moneyed matinee star and Kolkata Knight Riders (whatever it might be) owner, who had allegedly plotted Ganguly’s dethroning. No mistake again. Kolkata’s only national name was pitted against Kolkata’s only national claim. In other words, Kolkata was pitted against itself. The city was so bereaved that one would be forgiven for thinking that it was virtually in the midst of a civil war, I mean an imaginary civil war in which Kolkata pretended it was the capital of Rwanda. Bengalis, generally well read as they are, love stories about warriors and knights and here they were fantasising that they were too pitted against each other. Oh
, how can you lead a team against your own city and that too at the Eden, which you have partly owned since you were a toddling prodigy!

It was really terrible, collective psychological disarray. Oh to have two selves in one! Oh to be divided down the middle! Lord Curzon divided Bengal in 1905 and in 2012, Ganguly divides us once more, one thundered! Someone was quoting Freud, someone was quoting even more obscure theories about the self being divided, someone shouted ‘am I a schizoid?’ to which one gentleman in orange kurta vehemently reverted, saying ‘Fool, it’s not being a schizoid but a schizophrenic.’ Someone rued hopelessly that he always knew he had multiple selves but was confirmed today as his childhood deliverer Ganguly was playing against his own Jerusalem. It was as if Moses himself was now standing against Israel and letting the Red Sea close in on the promised land. Too much a cross to bear, a million people rued.

As the match started, Eden Gardens was unable to breathe, though it could not be independently confirmed if it was because of an overdose of passion or an overdose of people who apparently felt an overdose of passion. Close to 68,000 people were there at the Eden Gardens. Mistake again. There were 1,36,000 souls there, as each spectator was divided into two. Or so they claimed.

The KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, though often mistaken as an ontological opposite of the laughing buddha, was making faces throughout the match. He was showing his passion, he claimed later. He expected undivided support from the city, whose name his team has borrowed and which he leads. Anything less than unflinching support was unacceptable, especially if that support went unequivocally to his predecessor. No king likes raves and laurels for the king he had dethroned. Gambhir was no exception. Ganguly looked less tense and made a laboured 36, which is usually how he scores these days. But his team lost by 7 runs. Gambhir did not breathe easy after victory and took a victory lap, no one knows why! He was far from any significant victory. But maybe he was so incensed, he thought the better of all of us.

So what was the takeaway? There were significant moral positions that people took, especially in social networking sites. There they surmised that no one is greater than the team, so Ganguly is great, but Kolkata greater. Some promptly gave Ganguly a chair owned by Hector in Iliad, of being a tragic hero. No one knew how he could be a tragic hero in a farcical form of the game. He led a team which fought against his previous team and it lost. Game over.

The moon hanging over the Eden Gardens that day was giving a very loud and clear message. That unless one has totally lost his senses, he would not behave in such manner, in such a tell-tale way as perhaps only jihadists do. Unless one is trivialising every form of self-fashioning would one pretend huge political disturbance over a cricket match, take backbreaking moral stand or quote Freud?

The supermoon was near. Can the lunatic be far behind?
Next Story
Share it