I came back after a brisk evening walk yesterday and it was about time for the IPL match to start. A quick freshening up and I dug into my favourite sofa to watch the match. Can you believe it, I did not even know which teams were playing and did not even want to find out. 20-20 is all about sixes and fours, that’s all I wanted to see.
Possibly Chennai and Punjab are the only two teams I recognise, Chennai because of their distinct yellow colour and Dhoni, Punjab, because of my favourite Priety Zinta. Rest of them I get mixed up between the blues of Rajasthan and Mumbai. The red, black, oranges & purples of the other teams only add to my confusion. One purple team member wears an orange cap and one blue team a purple cap. What exactly is happening?
I was a diehard fan of cricket as a kid and I clearly remember getting up early morning with Dad to listen to the running test match commentary on a transistor for India-Australia matches. I knew each team member by name, their centuries and wickets taken in their career. Today, I hardly even know the Indian team except a few names.
The interest in the game now has reduced to lifting my eyes from my mobile to TV at the precise moment when the bowler is crossing the umpire and is about to deliver the ball. Moment the batsman hits the ball, my focus changes back to my mobile. I am in a different world from the time ball is fielded and the bowler is about to cross the umpire with his next ball.
I invariably miss boundaries being hit and fall of wickets. At that crucial moment it just so happens that my eyes are on the mobile. I then have to wait for the replay. Even the replay is so slow that by the time the catch is taken I switch to read another message. Moment I look up the action of catching the ball is also over and I only get to see the reaction of the bowler pumping air. I enjoy reading their lips in super slow-mo dishing out choicest adjectives.
As the bowling end is changed I utilize that time very gainfully. I open an unfinished game of candy crush. I quickly crush a few and look up to see I have missed two overs. One keeps promising to oneself that I will watch the complete next over and you keep the mobile to the side. One tinkle of the mobile and your promise to yourself is the first thing to go for a six.
It doesn’t take much time for me to lose interest in the game if every second ball is not a six. If the game is slow, I change to a news channel. That attention span doesn’t last long there too as one realises there is only noise and flick back to IPL.
The critical time is the strategic time out. It is time for me to run to the loo. Wife rushes to the kitchen to bring in dinner and by the time the countdown starts we are on the dinner table. The beauty is when daughter asks papa kaun kaun khel raha hai and papa goes blank. Quickly I put on my specks to find out which teams are playing. I have to confess, I don’t know. We just laugh and pounce on our dinner.
These days Captains chat with commentators. In good old days this was unthinkable stuff. I remember playing cricket matches with YPS Patiala in their grounds. They were a co-ed school. After school all the girls used to come and sit next to our fielders at deep boundary positions. This used to be the biggest distraction for us SAIKAPIANS. Nice dainty little girls in skirts and mind you some of them were naughty. Moment the ball was hit in those fielding positions, hooting used to start and at that crucial moment if your eyes got off the ball, the ball would cross the boundary, as some skirt used to go a little above the knees to reveal a “fine leg”.
Be that as it may, I feel we are focussing on too many things at one time. We think we can multi-task but the fact of the matter is there is loss of focus, no concentration, loss of interest, neither watching TV nor watching mobile, ultimately lading up confused as what did you do.
Ultimately at 10 pm I leave the TV room. At the end of the day who played with whom on which ground and how many runs were scored, who won and who lost is just like a blank thought in the mind. I leave it for the next day’s news headlines. How many of us are also doing the same thing what I do? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!