Tuesday, October 11, 2005

trends in indian cricket: the loss of hair

Watching young Indian cricketers battle it out in the Challengers, I realised something.

While pakistan cricket team has succumbed to the beards, our boys (bar Harbhajan) are completely lacking in facial hair. Where is the variety of moustaches of the day of yore? We are a proud nation, and just as it is important for our teams to have both north south, hindu and muslim, what about our various moustache and beard identities! I bemoan these homogeneous faces, prepubescent in appearance, their upper lips naked and uncovered, those brown cheeks not dignified by beard! What has happened to our once great land and its men? Is this the same Desh where the Dakoos of Chambal lived, men whose self-respect and dignity was expressed in two ways: the size of their guns and the size of their moustaches? The bigger the better of course. There was a time you could tell which kingdom a man was from, what religion he adhered to, and what he had for his last meal, all from looking at his beard! But not with this team! Will the romantic young men of India never never again oil and perfume their whiskers before dashing off to amorous encounters of the evening, will they really never know the pleasures of tweaking and twirling their moustaches into those long pointy ends? Will our younger cricketers not sport those thin fuzzy moustaches that reveal how recent their coming of age is, will our senior cricketers not have a handlebar that denotes their authority and wisdom? On the other side of the border in Pakistan, we see the men taking to beards under the inspiring example of Saeed Anwar, who somehow inspite his young years and the inconvenice of a cricket helmet managed a half foot long beard. But what of our team? What kind of example are they setting to our youth! They have a challenge before them to live up to the ideal and history of deshi maledom, and represent the wonderful and infinite hairy diversity that we and our ancestors have known and admired. It pains us all that today both our trophy cupboard and our cricketers faces are bare. Let us hope that a better tomorrow will soon be hair.