“ It’s cricket, gentleman” used to be a way of reprimanding a person to be fair in any sphere. The “Test” of fairness was dealt a bodyblow in an Anglo Aussie series which in itself was considered a blot on the fair name of the gentleman’s game. The innovation in the form of one dayers and whetting up the appetite of blitzkrieg seekers by twenty twenty has ensured that the game is no more gentleman’s forte but more of a gladiators’ game watched by the mirthful spectators. It’s therefore not a wonder that the people have reduced them to be on par with the horses on a racetrack or pieces in a game of dice. Irony is that the cricketers instead of expressing anguish or ire at being treated as gladiators or racehorses have ventured to be part of the betting syndrome with a vengeance to rake in the moolah for the gross reduction in their human stature.
Money is a mere instrument of transaction created by man. Should the creator of the instrument become a slave of the instrument? Should not we distinguish ourselves from the primal instinct to treat fellow humans as objects of pleasure? Is this not an act that would compare with the bestial pleasure of prostitution or the beastly act of two gladiators contesting for the pleasure of the cowardly spectators or a gladiator battling a rogue beast as a matador battles a bull? Whither is the evolution of man as a human being?
The sport being reduced to a vice of gambling on the honour of a fellow human indicates the nadir of ethical values to which humans have unabashedly reached. It is time to redeem ourselves and free ourselves from the vice of gambling for a few pieces of currency. It is an undoubted fact that the money that we gather accumulates foes and fetches envy while the goodwill of a person remains intact and grows with time. This fact was reinforced in me at the funeral of a senior citizen who remained the eternal gentleman to his last days. The man was a genial father to his children and a warm uncle to their friends. He had the generosity to part with the bare minimum savings a small sum as pocket money for the school trips even for these friends. He literally walked the earth and a distance of 5 to 6 miles was walkable for this affable gentleman. He ensured that the guests to his home were well entertained and took the right mode of conveyance for their return. The Walker’s last breath was accosted by persons from his early friends to latest acquaintances taunting death for having befriended this man. The best tribute came from his own brother who without batting an eyelid said, “ Here goes a true gentleman.” He had indeed been a true gentleman who had ensured that his grieving family received the solace from teeming numbers.
It was indeed a wakeup call to ensure that one starts treating money with the respect it deserves, nothing more or nothing less. Respect to fellow human beings is a virtue that needs to be cultivated to save the society from degenerating further and reach the bottomless pit. Gen Y can do it but let us at least begin instilling these values in Gen Z as a token contribution to atone the sins of degenerating thus. Are the Sreesanths possible without us? Can bookies exist without punters? Let us heed to this danger signal before it is too late. The entrails have been infested and it is time to start the healing process by reverting to the ethical ways of life.