Thursday, March 28, 2013

A New Indian Religion

(Side note: allow the two videos to start downloading before you start reading, especially the second one.)

Have you ever sat down and watched a cricket match? 

Well, neither had I. According to Gokul, our India KEI director, cricket is not just a sport in India; it is a religion. As I walk around the streets surrounding Symbiosis, I've noticed the multiple dry and dusty cricket fields scattered in various places. There are always a lot of young boys running in chase of the hard ball. They look lost and confused as they follow the ball rolling over the dirt. I'm sure they are not dazed, but that particular look comes with the game. There is always something happening during a cricket match. It's definitely hard to keep up.

Now, I don't know that much about cricket, so I have taken the liberty to copy and paste information from the fantastic, all-knowing website, wikipedia.

"Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a roughly circular field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. Each team takes it in turn to bat, in which they attempt to accumulate as many runs as possible, while the other team fields, attempting to prevent the batting team scoring runs. The game progresses as one member of the fielding team known as the bowler delivers the ball to the batsman down the length of the pitch. The batsman then attempts to strike the ball with his bat in order so that the ball either reaches the boundary or enables him to run to the other end of the pitch and thus accumulate runs. The batsman may continue batting until he is dismissed. Once ten batsmen from the batting side have been dismissed, the team is said to be all out and the two teams change roles... A team's score is reported in terms of the number of runs scored and the number of batsmen that have been dismissed. For example, if five batsmen are out and the team has scored 224 runs, they are said to have scored 224 for the loss of 5 wickets (commonly shortened to "224 for five" and written 224/5)". 

None of this made that much since to me. So, at dinner the other night, one of my friends explained it in easier terms. Luckily, there happened to be a match on the television at the restaurant, so we watched it for a while. Some people absolutely love Cricket in India, while others don't care for it at all. However, just as it is in the US, all the men in India, whether they like it or not, know all the players, rules, and teams. I will never be able to understand how a man can't remember his and his girlfriend's anniversary, but he can remember who scored the winning goal of the 2002 World Cup or who made the touchdown in the third quarter that changed the Colts vs. Cowboys game. 

Anyway, now that I understand the basics of cricket, I have watched a few matches. And honestly, it's really not that bad. It doesn't have as much action as a soccer game, but it is interesting for me because I have never seen anything like it. However, I must say the best thing about watching cricket matches in our room is not the game itself but the commercials. There is one in particular I absolutely love. It's so utterly ridiculous that it's amazing! I can't help but laugh at it every time. 

I couldn't find the English translation on youtube, which really makes this even funnier. It is a Cinthol cologne commercial, and their slogan is "Alive is Awesome". I guess you could say it does reach it's target audience. Obviously, I'm not talking about me, but I do know a lot of guys here who also love this commercial. 

I will translate a little bit of it for you, so you're not so confused. Right before Virat Kohli, one of the greatest cricket players today (and some say of all times), bursts into song and dance he states, "There is a seven-foot guy waiting to charge at me with a ball. Do you know what is going on inside of my head?"

Oh man! I love it so much! I keep laughing now just at the thought of it. In all seriousness, cricket really does play a huge role in the life of many Indians, especially when the match is against Pakistan. That's when all of India comes together, fans and non-fans of cricket in the North, South, East, and West. It's funny how sports truly can unite an entire country. 


  1. I am a total stranger to cricket. Being from Central Europe I guess that is to be expected from me. :) However I do believe if I were in India for a while I would get to know it pretty soon. It is usually easier to understand local culture if you take a close look at local "religions" - those religious ones as well as all others.

    I saw you entered Big Blog Exchange competition and voted for you. You can also vote for my blog - if you like it of course. There are plenty of travel ideas gathered there if you ever run out of them (

    Have fun and don't forget to blog about it. ;)

  2. I am not a regular cricket follower however I make sure to watch an India-Pakistan match. The palpable tension and heightened emotions make it a worthwhile watch. I revel those emotions. :)