17 March 2007

C & C Indian!

It is not difficult to find a C&C Indian. One out of every 3 Indians belong to that category. And the remaining two, have no choice but to be part of that club lest they decide to be a wannabe with some other culture. The reason is simple. The psyche of India is very much intertwined with C&C.

Cinema! Cricket!

It is the mirror of our culture. It is the mirror of our identity. It is a part of our joys. It is a part of our frustrations. We adore film stars. We admire film directors. We worship cricketers. We criticize our stars. We ridicule our directors. We hurl stones at our cricketer’s homes. We are emotionally invested in them without objectivity because they are a part of our psyche growing up.

Perhaps it has something to do with the kind of existence a C&C Indian has had.

He is usually born in to a Middle-class family. They struggle to pay the bills during month-end. He belongs to an education system that is based on rote and marks obtained. Added to that, he has to contend with a reservation system in college Admissions. He can’t pursue higher education until he earns enough to feed his family. He can’t be cavalier with anything in his life UNTIL he finds out he is free in the three hours spent in a dark theatre. He identifies himself in a character shown in big wide white screen--Bollywood! Not to be left behind, there is also Tollywood, Kollywood and other woods that I am not aware of. But the important point is, he is FREE! He has escaped and found himself in a visceral medium. He has had found hope. He has experienced freedom through a character that gives him company during his survival days long after the movie is over. He celebrates his victories by going to a movie with his family. He escapes with his broken heart in a lonely theatre. He bonds with his friends playing Antakshiri (Movie Songs game). The Cinema, just became a part of his life.

On the other side of the spectrum, the only “freedom” he has experienced is with a cricket bat or tennis ball. Buzzling streets, screaming auntie’s whose glass window just got broken, rival street teams, records in pitches, an open field where all his survival-existence is forgotten, living in the moment, for the moment. And when he watches his national team play and win, it is not a victory for 11 players being controlled by BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India) but, it is a victory for him to move on with his life for few more months with hope and joy in the happiness of that victorious moment.

NOW, you know, why it is so important that the Indian Cricket Team Wins or India produces movies that make us escape/experience the moment for years to come! Most importantly, why the Indian Cricket Team should not LOSE without a fight or we do not produce movies that absolutely suck. They give us Hope. And, not just to the survival mode middle class indians. But to the entire haves and have-nots of the billion people whose main source of identity is still generated by these mass mediums.

That’s why a Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dravid, Manirathnam, Ganguly, AR Rahman and World Cups are very important.

The Indian cricket team just lost against Bangladesh in World Cup. The right word would be “SUCKED BEYOND BELIEF”. But then, it is not new to C&C Indians. We are "OPTIMISTS BEYOND BELIEF"! We will take sick leaves to watch you-AGAIN. We are disappointed by GURU not being another Nayagan. We are not so thrilled with Rahman music anymore.But then, we will not stop supporting you or losing faith in your abilities.We will read every word with intent in Cricinfo about you tomorrow. We will wait for deleted scenes in GURU to justify your lapses in screenplay. We will order the next cricket package in pay per view sacrificing the remodelling of kitchen in our homes. You are a part of our Operating System. We can't help it. We just hope the next generation of C&C will be too. But please, DELIVER!