Monday, March 28, 2011

Well done Senator Rehman Malik

Dear Senator,

I wonder what have you been smoking lately or have been in rehab (I wouldn't know) but going by your today's morning media stunt related to Pakistan cricket team, you surely have lost a bit of respect you had in my eyes and of many Pakistanis. I won't take long, since this is a quick one and pretty random but an important rant, and now I firmly believe you are not the best man to be wasted time on while writing anything. But hey, I won't be hard, I'll try to refrain from going crude (which is a mighty tough job for me).

Right then sir. We all know of your credibility and stature as a politician, interior minister and a man responsible for public service. We all know how you keep running with your panty in a twist on alleged corruption charges, court summons and every bit of hideous heroics that can be committed by a national public office bearer. We all know you fulfill the definition of being an attention seeking whore and an utter fool. Exhibits: your apparent dramatization in internal affairs of country, be it going to Karachi after days of bloodshed to mediate with the clashing parties or your immature stance on blasphemy issue.

A lot can be written on your own shenanigans, the watchdogs that should be kept on your head, but then all this isn't a political rant nor a senile anti-PPP post. All this should just be a basis of what you did today morning.

You literally inflicted pain and headache, in simple terms. To Pakistan, its cricket crazy people and above all, the team.

Didn't you like your team doing a near-perfect World Cup campaign and now just 40 odd hours away from what is being bid as the greatest game of this decade, tournament, lives and what not? Why then such a "warning" to your players amidst such intense period? Where do you yourself stand in honesty?

Didn't you know when you talk about certain sensitive issues, you keep your head and not behave as an utter nutjob? Ever heard of exercising discretion? Spying on our team, fair enough but to let it out in open? Heaven's sake.

Didn't you know when the last time a politician who had no concern with cricket spoke and pointed fingers, what hell transpired? You forgot how your buddy Jamshed Dasti sparked off that worst phase in our history? Starting from one of the best captains resigning on his accusations on the team performance and the rest is history.

Mid-rant conclusion: You should not monkey with a monkey's monkey when it's not your field of expertise.

Here was a  bunch of your own players who were battered emotionally, psychologically and in cricket's physical terms through loss of players, credibility and non-favorable results, more than any other team in the game in the past 7 months and beyond. These months formed the worst period in Pakistan's cricket history filled with relentless screw ups and lunatic phases. How more can they take and still keep pulling off massive feats in the middle?

They themselves had clearly put it before entering this tournement that they were a hurt side and will be using all the criticism and the sporting underdog tag as motivation to perform well here. And sure they have. Lead by a man who had matured beyond his mental capacity in a matter of weeks and had successfully shut his critics with his performance and his captaincy, they have done their fans proud by getting to the last four and now seeing eye-to-eye with the favorites.

You betrayed all of them. You ignited the fire that had so gradually puffed out. You talked on something, which you just should not have.

Who needs a Shiv Sena or a fascist party in a country where your players are supposed to be tensed about their security and are psychologically downplayed, when your own country's topnotch government official screws your brain for it?

Who needs an utterly biased media who's bent on producing nonsensical bullcrap of the grandest class on daily basis, whether it be to get TRPs, demean the opposition country and team or for other motives, when we have you to degrade our national representatives. We all won't be stunned anymore in watching all the news channels cashing on this, be it an Indian channel or Pakistani.

Umar Gul is said to be bemused and quizzed when he was questioned on it during today morning's presser. We all know for a fact your words have gone through. But hey, I have belief in the boys. We have belief in them. They shouldn't and won't be shaken up by your air-headedness. And now just for the sake of all the build up of the game, it's value and for your bastardization, we pray they win this contest bigtime.

On a side note, even Ijaz Butt is proud of you today. And made the remaining hours leading upto this titanic clash more restless.

Oh between, apart from Indians and non-Pakistanis making fun of you on Twitter and cyber networking sites, deservedly, your bemused countrymen have been fittingly attributing you with phrases and labels for your poisoning today. Here's one of the best ones: Heard the Mazhar Majeed Memorial Asshole of the Year Award goes to @SenRehmanMalik. Well deserved.

So, that's about it for the time being. Trust me, I've not vented out in the best manner I know while writing, so term yourself lucky here. But then again, I really feel the need of something for you. Have a listen here.

God bless you with some sense. Amen.

Prescribed Ettiquettes and Attitudes for TGME (The Greatest Match Ever)

# 1: Please don't make tiresome bullshit political analogies. Lazy bloggers, opportunistic Aman Ki Asha-ists and op-ed writers, we are looking at you. It takes the gist away from this mighty cricket match.

#2: This match will NOT defeat terrorism, nor it will root out any extremists on either side of the border. Also, keep away any lunatic thoughts of intelligence agencies cashing on it as a strategic asset.

#3: This match is not about fucking peace or Kashmir or Hindus or Muslims. Its the most important game, this sport ever conceived. Take it in that vein.

#4: Dear fair weather fans, welcome to your brief stay in our cauldron of madness. Please stop making references to the 2000 World Cup and other things that never happened, and we promise not to kill you during the first drinks break.

#5: Loser desi footie fans, if you're going to compare this to ManU v Liverpool, El Classico or some shit, please piss off right now, you won't be spared.

#6: Cricket will NOT be the winner. Stop even thinking of fucking saying anything related to that notion without the NOT in that statement. It really does tick us off.

#7: To all those who are bemoaning how cricket obfuscates the region's real problems and this how match will be the proof, we are sorry your mommy never loved you..

#8: If you read about complaints of cyber orgasms, squirting, constipation, illnesses et al. on social networks in the remaining hours leading up to the match starts, don't fucking complain. Live with it.

#9: For all those who are terming this as the cricket's holiest war, End of Times, Judgement Day et al. we fucking love you. It is going to be just that, in that Colosseum.

#10: For Indian and Pakistani expats and homegrown fans now living abroad, we empathize with you the most. It's genuinely tough being a hypocrite on face to each other while watching a Pak-Ind match together, so let's stay like that not bring each other women in verbal ways discreetly.

#11: A cricket match was never won through Facebook polls and never will be. Especially, when it is the Grand Daddy of 'em all on Wednesday. So, take our advice and avoid these kinky heroics.

- This post was co-authored by Ahmer Naqvi who blogs at Karachi Khatmal. It was first published here at Clear Cricket.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Payback is a mean bitch - To the 12 years of pain.

Redemption time, bitches
For most of The Shawshank Redemption fans, there is a belief that the crux of the movie mainly are these couple of scenes where Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins (Andy) deliberate about hope and how it drives you in tough and uninspirational times. It indeed is utterly beautiful. Have a watch.

When a sport is next to life for you, and the team you root for is all you own up to at the end of the day, the resulting barricade of memories is a massive burden to deal with. More mentally rigorous is when the good times often get overshadowed by the nightmarish ones. And then you live your days, months, years and in some cases, distinct instances in desolation and anticipation that things may just turn good for you at some conjecture of time. It's tough to handle the heartaches inflicted and to take it for years till the reprisal time is eventually around.

So maybe, hope is what carries you through such phases, as much as it does in many other parables and constructs of normal life.

At times, a specific battle in the whole campaign is worth a truckload of significance, no matter if it does not contribute in the long term of you succeeding in taking the ultimate prize. Probably because so much has been expected of it for some time already. Yesterday's Pakistan vs Australia World Cup ODI was just that kind of a cricket game. For Pakistan may face Australia very soon in the Semi Final in few days time, that would more be about where their individual destinies would be defined but for now the personal anguish and pain of the previous years has subsided to a large extent thanks to Lala and his men.

If this was just another Pakistan World Cup game, this blog would have not seen this post (since it doesn't feature any senile reviews of the matches or teams/players performance). After a Pakistan-India showdown, the most riveting and schizophrenic fixture is a Pakistan-Australia one, at least for a Pakistani who has lived through the years of gold and dust of Pakistan cricket. There may not have been enough engaging parallels for this contest, the recent history and abysmal looking stats may not have seconded taking this as anything of a warcry from a Pakistani perspective but then it's only history, dedication and hurt which enables one to know how intense this meant and how the insides cringed and ached for getting over the line. This one fucking time.

All because this had overwhelming pain riding all over it. Of years and of tears. And of incessant hope.

The perpetual pain of 20th June 1999 and the agony of 11 February 2003 - of watching a dream World Cup final end in you being in tatters and tears; and of experiencing your greatest ODI XI being clobbered around four years later squandering an initial commanding position provided by one last bowling burst of your cricketing god. Hence, those two World Cups, which are the most intensely scripted in memory, blown up into smithereens by one opponent only culminating in years of distress and misery to live with.

Yesterday was neither about winning the fucking cup just as yet nor it was about playing to the gallery in any aspect. It was not primarily about ending the 34 match World Cup winning streak of the Aussies neither the 28 match unbeaten run of Punter. It was not much about sending them packing for their lowest total in last 6 World Cups nor much for the pride of being the team who has beaten them on either end of their World Cup winning sequence.

Perhaps, it was part of growing in the process of abandoning the psychological trauma which Pakistan has been subjected to whenever it came up against Australia since the mid late 90s and was about coming out of the shell of astounding proportions of fuckups and combating Aussie's once cricketing sadomasochistic traits. It was also an attempt to ease the sufferings of Hobart '99, C&U Finals '00, Lords '01, Colombo '02, Sydney '10, St. Lucia '10. Above all, it was the subsequent step to what was handed to them last summer here in England - the 2-0 T20 win and the ending of the 15 year test win drought at Headingley, the latter whose memories kept flashing incessantly yesterday while the bit-by-bit was being done by the boys. Sitting in the stands on 24 July 2010, gut-wrenched and mind-numbed, couldn't have been more gripping for me. Watching on telly on 19 March 2011 had startling similarities.

Yesterday was about overcoming Australianism. That too in a fucking World Cup, with some style. It was payback time and it was worth the bloody wait.

Here's to this massive win. And for all those who need to know how passion has a fucking funny way of trumping logic. Feed on this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The 10 Commandments of Shahid Afridi

For the love of the one and only, Lala.

1. Thou shall eat the forbidden cherry, whilst pirouetting your spikes on the pitch

Despite 30-odd cameras zooming in on you, the horniness shouldn't subside. I don’t ask where I can find caulk for my brains for such grand tomfoolery, I provide it myself. Zidane took inspiration from me, just to put it straight.

See what Hitler had to say about it here and here.

2. Thou shall never age and still be the motherfuckin' sweet 16

Your second generation will be air-bowling in TV lounges and your abs may ache over this immortal reality, but I’ll still be the ageless wonder. Blame my 6 year old late birth certificate or immortal age-reversal cream usage; I don’t give a damn.

Courtesy: Bored Cricket
3. Thou shall drop your milk nurser and retire randomly

Of course, you all know I do this every second day. Only thing that matches this non-Inzydental faux pas is the frequency of putting my fingers through my hair locks. The mantra is simple: if I don’t feel horny for it, I call it a day; then when I’m done with my soul-suffocation, I’m back in the ring. Voila!

And no, its not an ADHD symptom.

4. Thou shall perpetually implement “Chakka qanoon da” (Six is the law)

It’s been there since I held that willow in my hand and will forever be a relic from my Afridi tribe. Even if the next ball is a dismissal via an ugly slog or a contemptuous charge, my wicket makes me the epitome of indecipherable nuisance.

And even if all the booming makes me a bloodthirsty holy satan (Exhibit: mini-bloodbath at Lord's).

5. Thou shall be the most romantic man in the game’s history

“Hit me with your rhythm stick, its nice to be a lunatic.” Imagine watching cricket without my PDAs and you know you will instantly switch to footy or netball. Kallis felt it, even Fidel Edwards had the scent of it. Besides, I have a penchant for the cheeks of my own lads, ask Akmal or Shoaib Mirza. I am cricket’s PG-rated dominatrix.

6. Thou shall speaketh 10 phrases in one English sentence

You may fall off your chair, throw up, or have a relentless asthma attack, but the incessant mix of ‘thanks God, thanks boys, thanks crowd [sic]‘ must not relent. It’s the same chronic rush that does rounds in my head when I have the bat in my hand, and will only stop when my boys hand me some cyanide pills.

They call it my bloody attention span.

7. Thou shall affectionately address my boys

Don’t get me wrong here, it’s my brotherly love for them, be it nonchalantly calling Hafeez a gandu (asshole) and a chutiya (twat), or sizing up Yasir Hameed’s mental age as that of a 15 year old. Neither will any social etiquette course better me nor would any meth-sponsored literacy campaign help, its just the Shahid bhai way.

8. Thou shall forever ridicule Miandad’s ‘shingal doubal’ mantra

That senile bloke doesn’t seem to get it even after my ‘sexually frustrated toddler’ shenanigans over the past 14 years. I just don’t have the thing for ‘singles’ or ‘doubles’. So all you geriatric coaches, managers and seniors, get this straight: its either the Afridi Playstation way, or the highway.

9. Thou shall work in every single TV commercial

From selling rice to being ditched by a hottie for Shoaib Mirza, you know I have done it all. Got to tell you, my silky strands have been a favorite man fetish for Head & Shoulders. They say my recent ad for a UK claims company has landed 300+ false claimants behind bars. And the Boom Boom merchandize is not my brainchild, I'll sue those bastards. Don’t blame me, yaar!

10. Thou shall keep encapsulating Pakistan cricket in the grandest way

Expect me to be your gargantuan letdown one day and the werewolf you love on another. The mercurial swagger contained; the whimsical aura oozing; the cornered tiger personified, I have called the shots and I will until the day Afridi tells Afridi it’s time to pack.

- This was first published here at Alternative Cricket, a trend-setting website aimed to fight the orthodox cricket writings and has initiatives for the betterment of the game (proceeds from their book go towards Afghan youth cricket scholarship).