25/12/2015 8:27 AM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 9:01 PM IST

Cricket, Politics And Balls Of Steel

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Have you noticed that for some strange reason, cricket seems to be at the very kernel of most controversies? Allegedly, cricket (IPL) is why a politician's wife passed away under mysterious circumstances and cricket is why the office of a chief minister was raided by the CBI. Looks like, cricket and controversies go hand in hand. If you dig deeper, who knows, even the National Herald case might have an off side-cricket connection!

Speaking of National Herald, Sonia Gandhi, the opposition captain with only 44 runs on the board, invoked her mother-in-law when she said, "I'm not scared, I'm Indira Gandhi's daughter-in-law." The pro-poor vice captain emerged, all guns blazing and adopting a similarly fearless stance. "I'm not going to budge an inch," he insisted.

I need to get inspired by our fearless leaders. As Sanjay Dutt famously said, "Tension lene ka nahin, sirf dene ka."

Thereafter, the "Delhi Daredevils" captain stumped us with his over-pitched delivery, "I'm not scared, you don't know what I'm made of." Skipper Kejriwal's body line attack, laced with flowery adjectives like "coward" and "psychopath" ensured that the opposition was on the back foot. The media enclosure was enjoying the match when Arun Jaitley delivered his defamation bouncer. At which point, Ashutosh, a little short in the civility department, deflected it with his crafty, "Don't try to intimidate us, we are not scared. You will take us to court, we will take you to people's court." Meanwhile, skipper Kejriwal continued tweeting behind the wickets, "Why is Jaitley Ji so scared of a DDCA probe?"

While everyone was chest thumping, Kirti Azad sealed the series with his dare: "Why don't you sue me?"

At a time when no one is afraid of anyone, a feeling of inadequacy envelops me, pulling me into deep depression. Here is my problem. I'm afraid. My heart flutters when I spot a letter from the Aaykar Vibhag in my letter box. My pulse races when a Haryanvi cop flags down my car. Why, I'm even afraid of missing the deadline of my apartment maintenance dues.

Does this make me a wuss? Am I devoid of any leadership qualities? Can I ever be the captain of any team? I don't know. What I know is that I need to get inspired by our fearless leaders. As Sanjay Dutt famously said, "Tension lene ka nahin, sirf dene ka." So as I munch dinner, I take lessons in daredevilry from politicians on my television screen.

For those who care, here are my lessons:

  • First, of course, is to not get caught. Bat confidently.
  • Second, is to have friends in the right fielding positions. Given that Indian democracy, like cricket, is a cash cow where every swindler gets his due sooner or later, field powerful men in the right positions. If and when you get caught, your top order lawyers should bail you out in two minutes.
  • Third, is to brazen it out. Disrupt the match. Remember, your personal interests are above all others. Play the "I'm not scared card" for every over-pitched delivery. Even if you are on the back foot, call yourself "victorious" in the "fight for justice".
  • Fourth, is to change the bowling length by playing the "victim" card and claim that you have scored a major victory.
  • Finally, if nothing works, the option of match fixing is always there. All options, except being scared, are open.

The writer who said, "Don't be afraid of being scared... Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything," knew nothing about leadership. Because in politics, as in cricket, "Dar ke aage jeet hai."

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