Thursday, April 5, 2012

A country mouse

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Soon after we both conveyed the news of our proposed visit to his house in Chennai during this week our son asked if he may book tickets for the IPL cricket match for both of us. None of us including his family had watched a match live in a stadium. My hubby has a passion for sports while I delight in arts- We carefully avoid treading on the ground of the other's interest, the axis on which forty years of marital bliss rests being the fact that opposite poles attract.(Personally I still prefer to stick to my original agreement with the wise pronouncement that cricket is a game played by 11 fools and watched by 11000 fools!)

So hubby double okayed the plan while I felt hesitant. My first reaction was a silk(pattu) sari for Rs.5000 is a better source of pleasure. Daring to enter into an adventure and feel a new experience I reluctantly consented. As the day arrived I got fidgety and felt a sense of guilt to enter the stadium without knowing the ABC of the game! To relieve my discomfort hubby took a class for me a couple of hours before setting out. Feeling a little better after taking the crash course I began enjoying the fun- being all the while the butt of playful banter of the kids.

Long before approaching the venue all roads seemed to lead to Rome! Pucca traffic diversions have been made and almost everybody was wearing yellow T-shirts(our son and 2 grandsons included). I was amazed by the variety of merchandise sold around the stadium-shirts, flags, banners, bands(for the head, wrist),balloons, caps and ear-piercing, weird whistles and horns! If the sound outside the stadium was maddening what greeted me inside was more shattering. I was totally unprepared for the din- from the blaring speakers and the excited crowd shouting CSK to cheer the Chennai Super Kings playing against the Mumbai Indians! Exposing my ears to this amount of unimaginably high decibels for so long made me doubt if I shall leave the place with my hearing capacity intact! I cannot believe the sustained stamina of the lusty throats around me!

The air was electric with mad excitement. Teens and people in twenties made up about 90% of the crowd. It was a youth festival. I made many surprising observations of our changing times- my chief interest. Among the thousands of womenfolk assembled there except me and one or two other rare exceptions nobody was wearing sari or jasmine flowers. A very saddening observation- I heave a big sigh and my admiration for the graceful attire and flowers gets stronger.

To me the concept of cheer girls dancing had always been a source of curious amazement and sad helplessness of watching such trends sweeping the world away into crazy avenues of fun and enjoyment. Seeing groups of semi-clad girls hopping, jumping, shaking and dancing with pompoms was highly amusing to me! Drums Sivamani contributed generously to augment the din and decibel count.

How sad our maiden visit to the stadium should turn out to be a drab experience regarding the game played yesterday!!! Hubby declared his passion for the sport has taken a beating after the disappointing performance of the CSK. Very bad luck. We unanimously decided we shall never go again to watch a cricket match live! Not worth it.

There is a sort of resemblance between this lusty festival and my hometown Madurai's Chithirai festival(just a few days from now) conducted with great fanfare for many days. The festivities before and after the celestial wedding consummate in Lord Azagar's trip in Vaigai river on the full moon day of the month. For about a week the whole of Madurai seem to appear on the streets along with folks thronging the city from many neighbouring villages. All streets and roads filled with balloon/toy vendors and stalls put up by donors to offer free food and juices/buttermilk to the large crowds of devotees. A colourful, loud festival soaked in holy fervour! The piety and ardour for the cricket deity seems to be not less!


  1. PP madam, I feel that there should be a 'space' left after a 'full stop'.
    Pammechchu of Mayyam/Hinducrossword


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