I'm lovin it

Note: This is a purely girlish post. I am not trying to pretend to be an oh-i-know-everything-about-cricket-mandira-bedi at all ­čśŤ

Shani: ager tum cricketer hoti tou kya hoti?
Me: Hansie Cronje (with a wide grin)

Ok, this was way way back in ’98. A time wen all my class mates had crushes on hollywood actors, footballers, tennis players….my favorite man in the world was Hansie Cronje. And No, it wasnt a crush. I just adored him for the clean image that he had, his intelligent looks, his prowess and his success.

The admiration was not only limited to Cronje. I quite liked the whole South African team and was an avid supporter in all their matches if they were not playing against Pakistan. I was actually quite sad wen they screwed up their chance of playing the final against Pakistan in the ’99 world cup.

And then came the shocking news of Cronje being involved in match fixing in 2000. I felt betrayed.

Just two years later he died while he was trying to rebuild his life with dignity. I once again felt sorry for him.

In the meanwhile, South Africa continued being the best team around and yet losing all the big games.

The only knowledge that I have of cricket was thru the galli cricket that I used to play with all the boys of the muhalla during the summer vacations that we spent in Karachi back then. Still I am a keen spectator of cricket.

But lately, I had not been following cricket the way I used to. I didnt even feel thrilled about the World Cup. Frankly speaking, I didnt even know that T20 World Cup was about to start till around just two days before the World Cup started. The way Team Pakistan had been playing for a while might have been a reason.

I watched a match after a loooooong time (the last I watched was the One day that we lost terribly to Sri Lanka a few months back) and thank God I did watch it. It was a sure treat after the 18 hour electricity break down. It was simply an awesome match. Obviously, u gotta feel for the South African Team. They always lose the biggies but hey, wats more important is that we won.

Now, the result could have been completely the opposite. We won merely by 7 runs. Another bad over after that of Fawad Alam’s could have costed us the match. Obviously, a few more chokkas and chakkas during the last 5 overs of the Pakistan inning could have made life a bit simpler for the bowlers….and oh how can we forget the dropped catch by Umer Gul *ouch*

What the hell, why even think of what could have happened otherwise! For the time being, I’m lovin it ­čśÇ

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Ramadan Cricket Festival

Although I spent most of my childhood in Abu Dhabi but I do remember spending a few Ramadan’s here in Karachi as a child. The best thing about Ramadan in Karachi used to be night cricket in our mohallah. It was fun┬áputting up extra lights to play┬áthose ‘five-a-side’ matches.┬áOfcourse, not to forget the inter mohalla rivalry. As I only used to be here for my vacations, it would be something completely unusual for me. I still remember how one of our neighbours, a retired army major, gave everyone the nastiest possible looks on making so much noise and his car was usually one of the favourite targets ­čśë

Although, Ramadan nights street cricket remains the norm in a lot of mohallas, things have changed drastically for our mohalla, mainly after the development of Asghar Ali Shah Cricket Stadium. The road which was used to play cricket, now serves as the main parking area for the stadium. The 100 Watt light bulbs have been replaced by flood lights. The mohalla teams have been replaced by club teams and people in our mohalla have become mere spectators. And the funniest is that our very irritating neighbour who would complain on literally every ball seems to be helpless now.

I took these two pics last night when a match was in full swing. Notice how the dearth of ‘entertainment’ opportunities in Karachi makes sooo many people come just to see club cricket. Also, in the second picture, notice the Geo Super crew standing on top of the pavillion.

Mavericks

After being victimized for 15 years by street crime, Karachiites have finally decided to take things in their own hands. While the country stll discusses the real issues, there has been another incidence where Karachiites have shown that they will not stay quiet anymore. In merely 4 days, 5 dacoits have been burnt alive…and thats a huge step for Karachiites who usually just surrender in front of such dacoits, accepting the looting as their fate.

I am not really in favour of ‘mob justice’ but what else could possibly have been done? The police seems helpless when people are deprived of their mobile phones, cars and jewelery on the middle of the road. I myself have been a victim of such crimes…and that too thrice. I also reported the first incident to the Police. I am still waiting to get my cell phone and my mom’s bangles back.

Whatever has happened in the past few days is simply a display of frustration that has developed over time due to mistrust on Police and the judiciary. Its barabaric for sure and, I repeat, I am not advocating mob justice. Its sad and deeply depressing but till when should the Karachiites just let the dacoits snatch everything away from them?

PS: this might have been the inspiration for the mob. It also reminds me of whatever I have studied about the French Revolution. Isnt this how the French Revolution started?

Superstar?

Love him or hate him; you just cant ignore him. call him corrupt, an avarice, an opportunist or simply a hero, a visionary, a charismatic leader; his marks are visible wherever you may go in Karachi…from the newly built underpasses and overhead bridges to the constant digging of roads, his name is the first thing that comes to your mind. Yes, you have guessed it right. I am talking about the Mayor of Karachi, Mustafa Kamal.
He is the much talked about young leader of MQM who is very rapidly climbing up the stairs of success not only in MQM but also in the country’s political scene. He is seen by many as the future ‘star’ of the political arena and its no wonder that his on going visit to Washington is being put under scrutiny.
He has been getting some “special treatment” in the USA for this visit where he apparantly has gone to motivate the investors to invest in his city. Needless to say, he ended up being vocal on a lot of issues other than Karachi…making this a must read.

A big blow to MQM..or Karachi?

“On April 24, the Sindh government in the person of local government minister Agha Siraj Durrani, whose propensities are well known and recorded, decided arbitrarily to put aside city nazim Mustafa Kamal as the authority for the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) and as chairman of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and install himself. This city of over 16 million inhabitants is once again at the mercy of newly installed powers that are in a hurry to amass a return on their investments as elected representatives of the people.

Now, by a stroke of a pen, former favourite minister Agha Siraj Durrani, now once again a Sindh government minister, whose propensities are well known and recorded, in his finite wisdom has decided that the functions of town planning and building control as well as water and sewerage should be taken away from the CDGK. By an undemocratic stroke of a pen, a notification has been issued appointing himself as head honcho of the KBCA and KWSB. The city deserves to be run by its citizens through its local government, not through bureaucrats and ministers who either disregard or change laws at their whim and fancy.

The city nazim, Mustafa Kamal, subsequently on April 25 has asserted his legal right to control the city through the provisions of the prevailing SLGO, 2001. He is within the law; he rightfully does not wish the KBCA and KWSB to be kidnapped. He is hardworking and he is apparently honest. We should support him.”

Cowasjee

The saga continues…

I was geniunely ashamed of myself when the incident of beating up Sher Afgan happened. Not because I am his ardent supporter but because that was not something which should have happened. I feared more violence would follow and thats what happened today when rival groups of lawyers clashed with each other leading to the loss of 7 precious lives. It is believed that at least 50 vehicles have been torched as well. These incidents are not only embarrassing for the whole nation but also very damaging for the new coalition government.

I assume the drama has not ended here. There’s a lot more to come for us to witness in the coming days.