23 January, 2021

The Square Rectangle

Cricket is now a very Indian game. It is as Indian as the Taj Mahal, the Lok Sabha, or the English language

illustration by Jayachandran
The Square Rectangle
Some things come naturally, as if we're born to it. Some people are born mathematicians, others musicians, dancers or philosophers. I believe a nation too is born to excel in some things. It can discover that, as a people, they're not merely gifted in something that is quite alien to their past experience, but can also have fallen deeply in love with that thing.

For us, that thing is cricket. We've absorbed the game into our collective bloodstream even as a shot of heroin into a junkie's veins. We worship cricket, we dream cricket, we are cricket. I suspect this game has been waiting in the wings of our national subconscious for centuries, even millennia. If the British had not introduced the game for India over two centuries ago, we'd have had to invent it. India has always had the genius of absorbing other cultures that have invaded her over the centuries. We're a seamless continuity of our historical experiences, whether it is Afghan, Mughal, British, French or Portuguese. These alien cultures sit with us as if they've been a part of our identity all along.



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