Star Sports Pro Kabaddi league makes me feel nostalgic, because I spent a lot of my childhood summer holiday mornings playing this sport. Not very pleasant memories though, because being the thinnest creature of my group, I was always picked last, and even the girls of my group were picked by captains before me. My raids into the opposition area usually began with them saying “Pakad lo bhencho isey” and ended with me saying “Aaahh Lag gayi Mujhe kutto!“.
I confess that I started watching the league because I thought it would be a very violent and hence hilarious affair. What else could one expect after bringing together 14 Haryana Jaats and/or Punjabi potatoes on a mat and asking them to use physical force? I expected a lot of MC-BC chants and ‘desi kick-boxing’ (read: random and dangerous flinging of all four limbs), but instead what I got was a very intriguing and technical game.
Kabaddi was the last game I expected to be technical, because what I remember from my childhood was a box made up of our own footwear divided into two halves by more of our own, or at times borrowed footwear. Now, there are multiple lines in each half, most probably denoting ‘Beware! Jaat inside’ or ‘Ta cha Mayla maratha capture area’. The teams have specialists now (raiders and defenders). Instead, we had, and I am not kidding, ‘Choos-Lees‘ and ‘Saands‘(bulls).
The teams in the league have amazing names such as U-Mumba, inspired from the nickname of Mukesh Ambani’s son. Junior Bachchan owns the Jaipur team, and hence we know where the family earnings from Kaun Banega Crorepati have gone. (None of the above people are politicians, hence I am free to make jokes on them till Jaya ji gets high again). Junior Bachchan cheers for his team in every match and gives a lot of angry/fierce/passionate/Why-am-I-not-getting-movies expressions. #SRKChakDeIndiaWannabe.
I wish this league stays and grows. With the Indian test cricket in shambles and most of us not giving a fuck about ODIs till the world cup next year, India needs some sporting action to feel better. Manchester United fans and Virat Kohli are excluded from the above criteria.