Thoughts by Bahadar Ali

March 31, 2011

A heart-breaker that was played at Mohali

Filed under: Political — bkhan @ 5:06 am

For Pakistani nation the moments of happiness have become a rarity in recent times. And in desperation they try to squeeze joy out of any minor/major event that comes across their way. The latest was the Cricket World Cup semi final match that was played in the spirit of sub-continetal Ashes. There was a huge hype weaved around this event and a night before the match Pakistani streets were reflecting the Chaand Raat like scenes. The cricket fans ( meaning by everybody in Pakistan, as everybody is a Cricket fan there ) in order to savour most out of this event made special arrangements to mark it the most memorable one. There was nothing but cricket in the air!

The course of the day leading to the match start time in the afternoon virtually brought Pakistan to a halt. Though officially government granted half-day off but practically it was observed as a full day off. Finally on their TV screens they saw Umar Gul picked up the ball and raced towards Tedndulkar along with millions of racing hearts, especially on the Pakistani side of the sub-continental divide. It is important to reckon this subtle difference that why Pakistani hearts were beating faster then their counterparts. Indians were no less thrilled but lately their country has achieved much successes in a lot of other fields while the Pakistani side is certainly success-thirsty. For the given moment, they were content to quench it with at least a cricketing success.

Ball after ball and Over after Over, as the day progressed so did the Indian score card, notwithstanding some forgiven follies committed by maestro Tendulkar, but in the end the Indian walked out with a decent though chase able total on the scoreboard. The charged crowds on the Pakistani streets regarded that Total as their half success. They ignored the fact that Pakistani bowling was better than Indians but that was not true in the case of batting. Naturally, with brief and distributed intervals of tractions, the Pakistani batting line kept on sliding South, resulting in producing a heart-breaker for 180 million people.

They say, the higher one flies, the harder one falls. Our cricket team’s flight in this match was not higher enough, but the flight of imagination of crowds was not matching the match. It was too high, to say the least. They wanted to settle a number of scores with India by the score on the scoreboard. But as it turned out, though a little late in the minds of emotion savvy nation, it was just another game of Cricket. The one who will play better, carries the day. In this case it happened to be India.

Never mind, we can have match with India in many other fields and believe me those matches don’t have any knock-out stage. History tells us that downfalls of the nations are not caused by singular events rather these are pluralistic in nature. Every string is broken and every bead is spilled. Out of a homogenous downfall we cannot keep some segments floated. All sinks or all rises. So my request is to treat this event just as a beautiful game of cricket and it would distasteful to see if we pick some scapegoats among the Pakistani cricket squad. They did their best. Better luck next time.


March 29, 2011

The Mohali Show Down

Filed under: Political — bkhan @ 4:20 am

March 30th, the day when sub-continent is scheduled to stand still on the eve of the clash of Cricket Titans e.g.; India and Pakistan. Naturally the emotions of Cricket fans across the divide are spouting to the new highs. And rightly so, even a minor Indo-Pak cricket trifle creates a sizeable sensation in both countries but this time the event is the most prestigious in the cricketing world, not an ordinary pool match and on top of it being played within hundred miles from the border of Pakistan.

The Internet forums have already flared up and heated discussions dominating the entire subcontinental cyber-space. ‘Team India’ and “Boom Boom Afridi eleven’ has charged followership. Both teams must be under going immense pressure because of the huge expectation of their respective people. But what to do, unfortunately, their will be a result and one has to win and other has to lose. But-the fans- they are not willing to accept the defeat. This is tough!

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh has invited the Pakistani head of states to watch the match. Diplomatic circles are suggesting it as a cricket-diplomacy venture. This must be an auspicious event to expect a thaw in the frozen relationships of both countries after the events of 26/11, the Mumbai attacks of 2008. Thanks to cricket, at least we would see a summit meeting, which is a good omen to the 1.2 billion people of India and Pakistan who have become hostage to the activities of the non-state actors and also the knee-jerk nature of relationship. Thanks cricket!

On the event of attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore, I submitted that it was a time for requiem over Pakistan cricket for long time to come. No foreign team visited Pakistan since then on Pakistani land because of well found security concerns. I was intentionally trying to avoid the usage of political sausage but hard to put it aside. There has lot happened recently in Pakistan and our media sang in chorus the choir of pride, ego and sovereignty repeatedly. Fair enough, the nations have their prides, but pride without substance is tantamount to humiliation and embarrassment. Don’t we see that around our borders the whole world has converged to pay homage to the game of cricket and even some smaller countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also the proud sponsors of this majestic cricket gala but our ‘proud’ nation has failed even to bring some of its matches on its own soil, what a shame!

sharam magar tum ko naheen aati Ghalib

Sorry, politics just induces itself always, despite the restraint. On a more brighter note, the PM of Pakistan has agreed to visit India to see the match. Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi would also be there to cheer her team. At the same time the chief minister of Punjab has announced that government is going to allot one murabba of fertile agricultural land ( around 12.5 acres ) to each player of the Pakistan team, if they beat India in the Semi Final. Well this may be a better pre-emptive move to ward off the booky phenomenon which has already consumed some wonderful talented Pakistani cricketer in the last year.

Back to the game, despite my love for Pakistan cricket team, Indian seem more favorite for this game because of their deep batting line up and the kind of game they displayed against Australia. However, the momentum Pakistan team has achieved in the last two games cannot be simply over-looked. Pakistan batting is key to this match. Historically Indians are not good chaser of the target, but Pakistan has to do extremely well and target of 290+ can guarantee them a spot in the finals but only if they show the same game as they have shown against West Indians then I am sure they can take on the East Indians too. Yuvrah Singh displayed some fine batting performance against Australia but there was no hurry for him as plenty of over were yet there and he just had to save his wicket and play the loose ball, which he did perfectly well. But the problem lies with the squeezed-in scenario where if one has to manage an average of 6+ per over and save wicket too. No matter what is the out come of this game might be, but at the end it would be a win of game of cricket which has brought close the publics of both countries.

As I was browsing the net, I came across an interesting menu made by a charged Indian cricket fan. Please see for yourself what kind of taste he is offering to his team. Personally I don’t agree with him.
Indian Tigers Menu for 30th March

Afridi Kabab
Shoaib Soup
Kamran Salad
Umar Makhini
Younis Biryani
Gul Raita
Misbah Nan
Ajmal Fry
Razzaq Papad
Hafeez Ka Halwa….

The Great Pakistani thali specially for The Indian Tigers… (Pakistani ko pakaa ke kha jayenge)
Note: This example was picked to depict the deep level of emotions running among the fans. There were a lot more which couldn’t be quoted ( from both sides ) but this one was interesting. Finally I wish well to both the teams and like anybody else eagerly waiting for the match.

March 3, 2011

ایسا دیس ہے میرا

Filed under: Political — bkhan @ 4:28 am

 On the eve of a new tragedy that took place in  Pakistan where intolerance has consumed another life, this time it was a Pakistani federal minister,  Shahbaz Bhatti. Are we witnessing the beginning of an end? I have no idea, but Faiz saw it much earlier.

Please read on if you can read Urdu.

نثار میں تری گلیوں کے اے وطن کہ جہاں
چلی ہے رسم کہ کوئی نہ سر اُٹھا کے چلے

  جو کوئی چاہنے والا طواف کو نکلے
نظر چرا کے چلے، جسم و جاں بچا کے چلے

  ہے اہل دل کے لیے اب یہ نظمِ بست و کشاد
کہ سنگ و خشت مقید ہیں اور سگ آزاد

 بہت ہے ظلم کہ دستِ بہانہ جو کے لیے
جو چند اہل جنوں تیرے نام لیوا ہیں

 بنے ہیں اہلِ ہوس، مدعی بھی منصف بھی
کسیے وکیل کریں، کس سے منصفی چاہیں

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