Thursday, August 17, 2006

Maybe its too smelly for you but its so not for me.

Many years ago when I was living in a hostel, one of the toilet/septic tanks in our school hostel had a problem. In that it started leaking and needed to be unclogged. The stink was so bad that we couldn't even go near the place. The warden called the watchman, who took one look and said, he wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole (no offense to people from Poland). The cleaner (aaya) for the hostel came, poked around with a stick and said she wouldn't do it either. Then the warden called the school authorities who then arranged for some coporation people to come and clean out the place. They came and did their business as usual. They were laughing and joking as they scraped shit and threw it.

What that taught me was - thresholds . Thresholds to withstand pain, nausea and in general stink. Look at the spectrum of thresholds. We, the students, living 3 floors above the septic tank, couldn't even bear the stink. The watchman, working 10 yards from the place, could spend a night near that place. He was allright with the stink but he wouldn't touch it. There was a person who would touch it but wouldn't clean it. And then there are people who would clean that stuff.

ya! there is a point to the whole thing.

So there was an explosion near the Taj Samudra hotel where India, South Africa and Srilanka are staying. 1 Km from the place. There were three teams. One team was so alarmed by the whole thing that they basically could not think of anything except leaving the damn place and getting the hell out of there. South African players, it was reported, were extremely conerned and could not focus on their cricket at all. Their government did a security analysis (read as stink analysis) and said the place was too smelly...err.. to dangerous for their team. So they left.

And then there were two.

What disturbs me is not that we have chosen to stay. But Dravid in an interview has said that "we are not concerned about the bomb explosions. We are not even thinking about it. Many players want to prove themselves and are more worried about the weather and winning the game". India may have done a security analysis, atleast they must have, for eyewash's sake, pretended that they were sniffing around to see if they could smell something funny. They say they don't smell anything. Maybe thats because our noses, brains and balls are clogged like that septic tank. This got me thinking - where are we in the spectrum? For a moment if we set aside our great progress in the fields of IT services, IT services and IT services and focus solely on the segment of 'tolerance towards terrorist activities' - I would conclude that we are basically immune. A bomb explodes "ha! its good spirit to go to work.. lets move on". Its almost become like some car accident. Its sad and all but you just move on. Our threshold for terrorism is basically the same as car accidents. "bomb blast, 50 people died... okay!... whats for lunch dude". I do the same thing. Frankly, I did not care much for any of the terrorist activities that happened recently. I wasn't terribly moved or pushed towards patriotism. It was basically terrorist news, dilbert and some movie news. Apparently, I now learn that most of India is like me. I seriously want India to play. So that I can watch some cricket action. This whole bomb news is insignificant to me other than the fact that it reduced the excitement for the tournament. When the South African's left, I thought "sigh.. less of entertaintment. But let us play". I am not sure what the South African public feels.

South Africa is not the safest place in the world. Johanesburg is no heaven. And they refused to play. They refused. We played. Very funny. Reminds me of Senthil telling Gowndamani, after the latter laughs at Senthil for marryng an ugly girl, "she is such an ugly girl. i married her. but look on the bright side - if such an ugly girl rejects you - you have no hope at all". We are like those corporation cleaners. It can be too stinky for South Africans but not for us Indians. And some people see virtue in the whole thing. I almost vomitted when someone said it was brave act to stay. No kidding man. There are two things going on there - (a) money and (b) no other option. Either way we are pathetic. You, a borderline player, if you raise your voice on such a "trivial" issue - then its bye bye batting spot. If I was eating on a marriage dining hall, and someone found out that the vegetables were rotten and spoilt. I would at least set them aside (even if if I cant sense that it is rotten and I can still eat them). I would at least pretend to have some 'level'.

Voluntarily or involuntarily that is where we stand in the spectrum. Actions speak more than 1KB of data. Our actions have spoken about our 'level'. And we have to come up with lame excuses such as virtue, 'we are used to it' etc to justify our pathetic state.


F e r r a r i said...


Couple of days back In manipur a bomb blast killed 6 people. But who cares about that? Leave indian cricketers or the administration. They are very much like every other indian. As long as it doesnt happen to me, I am safe. I will feel bad watching about it in some news channel for 2 months. Infact even our government is like that. Terrorists havent realised that they have won long back. They can get in and kill anyone. Who cares? They shouldnt take Manmohan singhs statement that we will not kneel down etc seriously. Leave kneeling down, we have fallen flat. Not a month goes by without a terror attack. Infact India can dismantle its army and police forces, rather than the big bosses tying their hands down. Hug and kiss the terrorists/criminals etc and scream 'Human rights ki jai', 'We are not living in a perfect world', 'Hindu terrorists bhai bhai'.

D.N.A. said...

What do you mean by "level"? Isn't it natural for each of us to have our own perception on safety?

F e r r a r i said...

Correction in previous comment. Please read as
*I will feel bad watching it for 2 days. That is all!

Suresh said...


isn't that what this post is about 'perception' of bad smell by different people.

WA said...

Ferrari, electionla nikkalaam I am sure with these views you will win hands down.

Arvind said...

I disagree. I think the Indian team did the right thing. No matter what the "level", everyone wants to live. If the Indian team did not feel secure, they would lose their will to play, stay in the team.
The difference is in the perception of "secure".
If you read this,, you can see that there are a fair number of people in SA that think different from the team.
Of course, if SA had stayed, there would be local media and populace that would've thought that was wrong too.
Just like current discussion about Indian team? :)

F e r r a r i said...

Namma naatuku adhu onnu dhaan korachal ippo :) Irukkara prachnai poRaadha?

ranju said...

I totally disagree. I think India should stay and play cricket. I feel proud about India in this regard.
Look at it in this perspective dude-
if a bomb blast happened and u chickend out, its victory for the terrorists. They instilled fear and it affected the event. Thats what they wanted. (All the BS abt this attack being focussed elsewhere is crap, we all know the real motive was to stop this series). If anybody's safety was really a question, indians would have pulled out. What money it will be, if you dont have a life to enjoy it. And i trust dravid and others to have absolutely made sure of that prior to deciding to stay.
It was not about tolerance. it was about standing up for your neighbor who goes through the same as we Indians do namely get hurt by terrorism all the time.
Rahul Dravid sent a message. he said, i dont care. I am not here for this shit. he sent a message to those who wanted this event to be stopped. "Up yours".. be proud man... he was correct. he did not chicken and we did not run away like SA.
terrorism is complicated. we can write articles about it all the time and talk abt what can be done and what cannot be done.
Ask Israel. they are finding it out the hard way with Lebanon.
Oops... didnt mean to write such a long note. but being an indian, its my 2 cents and wanted to stand up for my team.
GO INDIA!!!!!!

Spock said...

You got it right, the key is the tolerence level. The only thing stupid about India's stand is why did they agree to play extra matches just to compensate for SA's absence while they are complaining about cricket overdose?

Ram said...

I cannot totally disagree with Hawkeye, but ferrari... what the fuck are you saying? summa jalra bajanai la vendaam... dismantle the army and police force... you wouldnt cut your testicles off because you dont use them on a daily basis would you? Or just because you are unable to become a dad because of a low sperm count.. you wouldnt cut those testicles am sure... so shut the big fucking mouth of yours and think before you type something... and I request Hawkeye to let this comment stay...

Anonymous said...

It's all money, thats the bottom line. Southafricans, Indians and Srilankans all know that they are not TARGETS. They become targets when these guys go to shopping and all kind of stuff outside the hotel, they could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Southafrica wanted to get out of the damn place cos they had enough licks and they didnt want to take more.. LOL. India had no other option Just a month ago India had a bombblast in mumbai and champions trophy is going to be held there. So its all just one big drama thats all. I dont agree with ur view that joburg is not a safe place so saffies should stay. atleast these guys know where not to go in joburg unlike SL.

indianangel said...

Nice post! There is one thing however hard you try cant change - the people around you! Nay! you want the change to happen, change yourself. I dont think there was anything wrong in what the SA players did - after all it was for their own concern of security. And so you ask how secure is Johannesburg. Well nobody would want to burn their finger when they know its fire!
There is no point in talking what the players did - its not going to help your pennies(unless u betted heavily :)) or fill my stomach! Cricket is a game that needs to be watched and enjoyed! There are far more trivial things to be worried of - not this laymans game that has lost its lust! Self realization is the only way that can help people grow - if I feel that I need to keep my surroundings clean, atleast my son will follow it tomorrow and neighbour he may atleast think about and if the prospect grows and every individual thinks- to be good and do good, then we can see some betterment happen!

Venkat said...

I can't help but think the motivation is money..

the BCCI could look at this as killing 2 birds in one stone..: play the series, don't lose the money and project that as "not succumbing to terrorism etc."

I must admit I found Dravid's words rather idiotic and fake.

But there are good implications to playing on.., atleast the folks planting bombs all over the world will realise that the cricket team is not a pushover..

I do hope they get back safely..

F e r r a r i said...

If you cant understand what I saym it is your problem mate!

Always ! said...

Hmm, i feel the topic of concern is not only india playing cricket, but where we have come, like hawkeye said, we just read about a blast, a few people dead, but we move on.

Do we have a choice ?

If you want India to change, be the change you wish to be ! True, ok, I can change, but how ? I mean, even if every individual changes, what can we do about the blasts and all the terrorism ?

What must we do about it ? What must India do about it ? What must the politicians / the cops / the army do about it ?

Yes, we will continue to play cricket ! India won't kneel down, India will read about it, feel bad about it, but will bravely move on, but, what is India going to do about it ?

Just tigtening the security will help ?

What did the US do after 9/11 ? As I continue to read about so many 9/11s in India that happen from time to time, what is India going to do about it?

Just keep moving on ?

Nilu said...


Just one question -- what were you trying to mean? ......konjam puriyara mathri ethavathu solli thola..

Buffoon said...


Didn't anybody read the post at all?

What is happenning to commentors nowadays......... this ranju person and always! what is this bravery? it is just a i think we should summarily ban patriotism from India..... and put most people who show patriotism in jail.

The responses aren't even logical. podaaaanga!

Hawkeye said...

saaavadhaan! (Hindi)

amaidhi! amaidhi! (tamil)

i am away for a day and there is a fight going on. no time today will reply to comments later.

Anonymous said...

cynical :)- One word to describe some of your comments!

anyways, read this -

Buffoon- International sports has always been about friendship and extending peace. Its a way...ah.. forget it... what will u understand anyway :)

have fun and cheers!

Hawkeye said...

i think 1 comment suffices to answer most comments (if i have time i'll reply individually)

the corporation cleaners are used to the stink and clean out shit not because of their selfless , brave , virtuous , friendly , supportive desire to help the society.

they have (a) no other choice nd (b) have to do this for survival.

don't attach 'larger than life' things to very ordinary acts. There is a stupid who commented in greatbong's site that paying taxes by living in India is a form of patriotism. Claiming 'virtue' by staying in lanka is similar. you do it because u have no choice. nothing is voluntary here.

ranju said...


I think you are confused or at least i am. i thought your post was about how inadequate security for the teams in this series
and the sustained tolerance of it is analogous to your experience with corporation cleaning and urinal blockade and
all that. Who said the Indian team was playing for charity? Of course, they were playing for money and some pride (not for the mostly cynical). Every team does.

Do i think the security is inadequate?
i dont think so. BCCI, Dravid and everyone else involved stands to lose a lot more than any minute gains if the security is indeed comprimised and the indian team is at risk. So unless they were completely satisfied that the security is indeed tight
for this series they wouldnt have stayed back.

Do i agree of your analogy?
I dont. I think if the Indian team was put in a holiday Inn or some B grade hotel and given rotten eggs for breakfast and
asked to travel by bus between venues , your analogy might hold good there. otherwise, it seems to me like a complete deviation from the actual issue.

On the other hand, i would have accused indians of having Double standards, playing for money and wanting to hold on to their
positions if they hadnt agreed to stay back and play in spite of being convinced of tight security.

Hawkeye said...


about the analogy

stink = perceived terrorism level

thresold = ability to play inpite of such a perception.

south africans were like the students who could not bear the stink at all.

indians and SL are like corporation cleaner who can play inspite of the stink.

i never mentioned the adequacy or lack of it of security.

anantha said...

Nalla analogy. But it is also worthwhile to add that when the same withdrawal symptoms were hitting the teams before the world cup in 1996, the Tamil Tigers had publicly stated that they would never target the teams. And I don't think they would change that stance without a major "announcement".

But I sympathize with the "being in the wrong place at the wrong time" argument. It is all individual perception.

And one shouldn't hold SA perceptions against them. Even if people say that Jo'Burg is much more dangerous, I'd like to ask them to re-check their facts. Last I knew, SA did not have a civil war going on and the dangers that anyone would face in Jo'Burg are from petty criminals and not from organized violence such as the strugged in Sri Lanka.

But one thing is true. If the Indian team were to adopt such a stance, , regardless of what their personal thoughts, they would be laughed at, and no team would tour India too.