Archive for October, 2013




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Enough of it…

Since you left
nothing has changed.
Gyrating clouds
hang over the shy morning.
No frills in the water
but deep within I am in doldrums.

Since you left
I stand hushed
amid the posts
that rest in peace.

Since you left,
I clung to the greens.

Licked and bested,
the waters say goodbye
to the quiet.
Stand wherever you are
A moment or two
and …
my boat will leave the shores!

By: Sarfraz Khatib

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Rome, once an enormously magnificent empire, the center of Italian Renaissance, is crumbling apart. Iconic monuments, awe-inspiring castles and fountains, spectacular buildings are all dwindling. What once was the seat of power, has turned into a heritage site. History is all it has become. The artisans of that glorious architecture must be restless in the graves, watching their masterpieces, carved with so much love and passion, fall brick by brick.

More than the physical decay of monuments, what is more heartbreaking is to see the once all conquering powers become so powerless. The Colosseum, that once hosted gladiator fights, can no longer fight the diminutive vibrations of the passing traffic on the nearby via dei Fori Imperiali.

May the renaissance of Indian cricket survive the winds of time with more grace, the power that it has acquired in the past decade last longer, and the gladiators (?) serve purpose other than posing in front of a relic. Amen.

IPL brought the monetary riches to Indian cricketing shores and it brought cricketers who complained of upset stomachs, lack of baked bean cans and dust bowl pitches. Those who despised touring India, came singing tweets. Once oppressed, victimized, un-favored BCCI, made then arrogant cricketing bosses adjust their calendars. Talented Indian cricketers, who once waited for calls from English counties, became icon players in their homeland, earning formidably higher salaries than the best of other countries.  Fringe local cricketers, who spent their youth on energy sapping flat tracks, got their moments of fame. IPL did a world of good to Indian cricket. In a true sense, it became a renaissance.

With that amount of power, money and muscle, those at the helm of the empire ought to be complacent and arrogant. To an extent that when the Supreme Court of India observed that ‘something is wrong with the way BCCI functions’ the emperor remained unfazed. The gladiatorial battles by the political heavyweights are on. We, the impassioned fans, are watching from our seats. Legends have departed. Soon the amphitheater will be empty, deafening chants will go silent and we will have a tale of a renaissance. Devoted fans will leave one by one and stadia will be filled by tourists wanting to experience the folklore mojo.

Initially it was painful to see the idols fall, not anymore. Brick by brick, piece by piece it’s all coming down to rubble. To my own dismay, this hurt doesn’t even come closer to the sinking feeling I get when I think of that awful WC ’96 semi-final defeat to Sri Lanka.

Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom and then Glory – when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,

Hath but one page… (Byron, 1812-16)

By: Sarfraz Khatib (@sarfrazhaan)

October 7, 2013

Image: ‘Destruction’ by Thomas Cole

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