It was with some expectation and a lot of excitement that I sat to watch the India Vs West Indies match. I tend to get addicted to cricket some times and India had been playing real well. All of them. Of course Dhoni and Kohli were at their best.
We lost. For once there was no effigy burning and we acknowledged losing to a better team and a good game of cricket. I felt both sides played well. I couldn’t listen to the after match reporting but I got to know about the stunt Dhoni pulled on the Australian journalist.
Hats off. As I listened to the commentary and opinions, I admired Captain Cool’s chutzpah. Another feather in his cap, as far as I am concerned. But I also saw how this question of retirement is indicative of a far worse malaise that seems to be evading our country.
I agree sports can mean “retiring in 30s” cause of maybe health etc, though I am no expert. But fundamentally a 36 year old Nehra brought a lot to the table as well. Our country is obsessed with movies and cricket and age. I mean, never anywhere else, and I have travelled quiet a bit, do I see this obsession. Moment you enter the International airport from an overseas trip you see hoardings of fairly unknown stars or starlets opening new shops etc, or of Bollywood, as if there is nothing else worth in this country. Maybe this is our only big export. And the rampant vouyeristic culture. Who is having an affair with whom, who is divorcing whom. Infact a few of us, mind you only in our 20s and 30s were lamenting, how US radio can have debates and discussions, but India you are subjected to incessant Bollywood and mindless pranks, switch to any channel, except maybe 106.4.
Heroines are over at 35 so are sport stars and so is our society. As humans we are so busy extending our lives but we actually don’t value it. I wonder why are we trying to live long lives then? Isn’t experience important? Can’t someone start an amazing new career at 40. Doesn’t 50 and 60 or 70 bring maturer, wiser and more beautiful people on this planet? Isn’t there more to life than movies? Why can’t Dhoni play on till he is fit and intelligent enough to win the game? He isn’t overshadowing youngsters, actually no one can overshadow talent, both Kohli and Dhoni have proved it.
This may well be an existential post. However, as I spoke to a dear relative in another country, she wisely said, “it’s only in India. Come and move here, atleast 30s is still young and 40 or 50 can be a new career”. As I heard her out, I thought we may be one of the oldest civilisation, but we seem to embrace the shallow and have given away all our wisdom. Or is it that the constant forcing of societal norms of marriage and having kids has confined our lives to 20s and 30s with endless progeny growing up.
We really need to learn to value life and experience. After all this is the land where the Buddha famously set out to resolve the suffering that comes from birth, ageing, sickness and death.
We will all age, we will all die. Science will create miracles, but will we ever learn how to truly live.