A few weeks ago, the revered US prez stated that the global food shortage and price rice was thanks to developing economies in asia (Read India and china) wherein the middle class had become 'pretty rich' and more spendthrift towards their basic needs. Well tried Mr. Bush! But we dont celebrate thanksgivings over here!
Not long ago many of us awoke to a terrible phenomenon that India was subject to. It was called brain-drain which cost our country something more than crores n crores of rupees - talent, good talent!! The craze to study in the elite IITs, IIMs and strike it big in "Amreeka" was first and foremost on evry youngsters' mind. US visa, permanent citizenship,Silicon valley, masters, Harvard,Dow jones were the buzzmords. Then came the 'LPG' (Liberalisation,Privatisation,Globalisation) era. India opened up well and truly to the world. Many lamented that Inida was committing harakiri and would never come out of it. India caught a cold each time its big brother sneezed.
But the years to follow were something very unlike it. The India growth story finally unfolded. Bollywood overtook Hollywood. Tata took over corus, JLR. Jumbo vada-pav replaced burgers for a change. Indian fashion flooded international markets.NRIs gave up their high-paying jobs abroad and rushed to india. Bingo!4 of the top 10 billionaires were indians. Bangalore was the new silicon valley the IT heavyweights and chennai the new Detroit for global auto majors. The whole world had to stand up and take notice. Suddenely everyone vied for a share of the India pie.
What better example than the IPL T-20 tournament. The glitz, the glamour, the hype and excitement of IPL has by far overshadowed everything. One and half months later,The "Manoranjan ka baap" has beaten everything outright. Its fast, aggressive, power-packed and its there right before you, staring you in the face.
Shane Warne captains Jaipur. Shaun Pollock captained the mumbai indians. I bet,20 years ago, their "India" knowledge would have been just limited to the Taj Mahal or the poverty-stricken portrait of India featuring sadhus, fire-eaters and street jugglers. The very thought of "firangs" playing on our turf, representing different Indians cities would have just been laughed off as a figment of imagination, when Indians first took to the sport of the bat and the ball. Not that IPL has changed everything overnight, its just one of the many big things that has driven home the point. The colonial inventors of the game would be rolling in their graves if they were to witness the transormation the game has underwent a in terms of the shift of power,the way the game is played, the mooalah etc.
The Hyderabadis cheered when Symonds smashed sixes of hapless Indian bowlers(nothwithstanding his role in the racist 'monkey' controversy Down-under).The Kolkattans went beserk when Shoaib took out Sehwag with a thunderbolt. For that matter,shoaib in current form , wouldnt even dream of getting as much support from the whole of Pakistan as he got from the Eden garden crowds.
Well,just to give you an idea, consider this:
A Paki Batsman, An Australian at the non-striker's end, a West Indian Bowler, A Sri-Lankan wickeetkeeper, a New Zealander as an umpire, sweating it out in a power-packed contest at Wankhede in tinseltown mumbai's humidity. And what more proof does one need of steadfast globalization!! (Er..for your information, the cheer-girls in the opening ceremony were American and the ones who followed in the latter part of the tournament were British).
To me this is globalization at its best(est) form! Indian corporate houses and Bollywood celebrities pumped in billions saying that the game was a bit undervalued.Players were auctioned like horses and each of them had a price tag attached to him. Sponsors chipped in with their moolah. Television right were sold. Broadcaster all around the world had a field time. The crowds got their money's worth. The cheerleaders had a ball . Money changed a million hands. It was no longer cricket. Infact it was branded and marketed as cricket-ainment. New talent was unearthed. Big names bit the dust, unheard names blasted their way to the top.
As they say,change is the only thing constant and its upon us to make it a good change or a bad one. Cricket, fortunately, has adopted changes better than other sports. Move over IPL, just look at ourselves. where are we heading?what have we done? what do we speak today? We are the ones who have successfully married the paneer with the pizza,made a schezwan dosa and mineral water paani-puri.We have the largest English-speaking population in the world. So what if we dont speak it the way the brits do ,adding our own dosage of peculiar Indian accent. The point is when a country of a billion people speaks a language a particular way or adopts changes steadfastly in its own way, the other dont have a choice but to fall in our path. It wont be long before people would be trained to speak 'Indian english'.
That would be true globalization!!