The Power of Words

And yet another match concludes. It got me thinking that even though the word ‘match’ indicates a competition, it does have another meaning – which is ‘to harmonize with’, or ‘parallel’. Now this isn’t an English issue that am raking up before am corrected on verbs and what not but it struck me on hearing / reading comments and updates about how the Indian cricket team was just defeated by the West Indies team. A few days ago Australia was defeated by India. Does it really warrant anger upon losing or celebrating not a win but another’s loss?

I am aware of the training and practice that goes into preparing for any sport and yes the whole deal on winning does matter to an individual player or team and perhaps the country too. But this is about us – the viewers. The same crowd that cheers when the country wins, hurls curses at them when they lose. And then gloats at the other team’s loss. Why does a sport become so much more? When its not about the game but becomes about the people and how they respond and react to each other. Human nature is indeed fascinating. Cricket to me not as much.

And the times I have watched a match in a crowd, I have exhibited extremely absurd and inappropriate reactions – as per the people around me of course. So picture this. A match between my home country and another where we are of course aching to win. And when the other team scores a six, yes my initial reaction is of ‘how could this happen’ but its also one of awe and admiration for the opposing player. When the camera zooms in towards their players, watching from the stands in anticipation, and their expression changes from hope to excitement, it makes me celebrate with them. And yes that’s the time the crowd looks at me like I sold my soul to the devil!

I like seeing people celebrate victory whether I support the team or not. What matters to me is to feel good, feel appreciation towards another, empathy to one who doesn’t win because we all know how it feels to lose at anything – at least we don’t have the whole world watching our failures on HD. But how does negativity for another and celebrating one’s loss help? And the end of it all its a game. You win some, you lose some. And we cannot control that as spectators.

What we can control is how we communicate with one another. Winning a sport wouldn’t result in major changes in the world but the words and thoughts that we allow to creep in and bounce off our minds and subsequently roll off our tongues, would linger. It takes more effort to wish ill upon someone than to wish them well. I wonder how in a stadium, a crowded bar, an open ground; people all come together with the same intent of watching a game with enthusiasm and fun. Yet we divide.

Kudos to all who are appreciating the opponent’s win and still speaking well of ‘their own’. It’s heartwarming to view messages which highlight that true victory is in a game played well and not beating the other down to a pulp (with words!)Claim-Your-Victory, to feel like a winner.





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