Monday, June 11, 2007

Fallen Heroes.

When I read a report that Tendulkar had injured his right ankle while negotiating a bouncer from S Sreesanth during practice at the conditioning camp for the Bangladesh-bound Indian team,I didn’t believe it one bit. Unless the injury happens in the full glare of a TV camera, I suspect that all such stories are fabricated. What must have happened was that he would have accidentally dropped a 2 litre Pepsi bottle on his foot that afternoon. Obviously, he can't be made to look so foolish in the public eye and so this elaborate yarn about bouncers, to make him suitably heroic.

I know. I once played a gentle game of football with my kid nephew, in our drawing room of size 12’ x 10’. He was all of 9 years, while I was around 27. While I was negotiating the ball, nephew kicked me hard on the left foot, causing a ligament to tear. Foot had to be bandaged for 15 days. It wouldn’t have befitted my stature if I had admitted that my foot couldn’t take a friendly blow from a 9-year old kid. “I sustained injury while playing football”, I told everyone truthfully, leaving them quite impressed.

Or that time when I was walking along the Marina beach, looking longingly at the cut mangoes, when my foot got caught in a hole that had been dug by some rat or bandicoot. Ankle got twisted, and foot bandaged as before. Now, I would have invited ridicule if I publicized the fact of the rat hole; so I had to come up with an explanation, the full details of which I forget, but I do remember that it involved cross-country race, obstacles and wild dogs.

I recall how a friend came in to our club once, with a bandaged foot and explained that he had just returned from a trekking expedition in the Himalayas. “You know how the mountains are”, he remarked, with just that trace of mystery. Something about that explanation did not sound right. Maybe it was his tone or his shrunk eyes? Anyway, I called up his wife that evening and advised her against sending her husband out on such dangerous expeditions again at his age. “What expedition?” she asked me. “Idiot slipped and fell in the bathroom. It was an Indian water closet. He didn’t notice the water and his foot went gliding in”.

So, next time, someone paints himself in glorious colours to highlight his heroics or gallantry, be skeptical. Scratch the surface and you will unearth a story of clumsiness, deception and bungling.


Anonymous said...

...these sudden mishaps are always mysterious.
Whenever Indian cricketers had these kind of abrupt overnight injuries, my spin is that spect it is more to do with gorging ravenously the night before .
Some of them have the mean gluttonous look.....

Raj said...

anon, that's a neat explanation.