Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Morality is a heavy word

Bangalore is the most ideal city in India only if one could reduce its population by half, only if one could increase the size of roads by double or only if one could ……and there are so many ifs. Traffic really kills here. Few days back I was driving back home when a traffic policeman caught me. He asked me for my license, I did not have it. Bike-papers, I did not have them. Karnataka number, the bike did not have it. And on top of that I was drunk. I was due a fine for whole lot of things which would have eaten up whatever I had in my account. I used my bargaining skills and the policeman used his. Ultimately we settled down at some amount and the problem was solved. Its not called bribing someone, its giving respect to each other’s needs. I reached home; there was news on TV about some scam. For next two hours I, along with my friends, was discussing corrupt politicians & officials and how they are poisoning our system.
Morality is like a party for a truly unwanted reason. You can enjoy it only if you are not paying. All of us boast about our ethical values and complain about the irregularities & discrepancies in the system. “Wish I had a magic sword to eradicate this” is the most popular saying. But as soon as the sword seeks your own blood, either you will the first to run off or we design the sword so that it will not recognize your blood at all. One must be flexible right?
Australia has been champion side by some distance for quite a lot of years. Suddenly they have realized that greed to win has introduced tons of dishonesty in the game. And it’s their moral responsibility to force it out. So they offered a “walker” policy to England in the current Ashes series which says “Do not wait for umpire’s decision, just walk off”. Sometimes poor decisions do make bowlers toil harder then they should. And with aging bowlers, Australians definitely wanted to avoid it. But Ponting was disappointed to know that their opponents were inferior to them not only on playgrounds but also on moral grounds.
With in the span of few weeks, first conception met the bitter truth. And last evening, this bitter truth taught Ponting that flexibility is a trait one must have.
A Steve Harminson bouncer forced Ponting to play a false shot. Ball just kissed his gloves and Jones accepted the catch gleefully. A loud appeal and something very basic to human nature occurred. Ponting did not walk. The whole event took some 5 seconds, but one could see a 3 hours long BollyWood emotional drama on his face. The edge was clear even without a replay. But what if umpire misses it, what if umpire is bluffed with the honest image Australians have pretended in the series, what if……….? There were still 4 overs left to be played and next batsman due had a record for most number of ducks. Getting out at this stage was allowing an inroad to England to take a 2-1 lead in the series. “Did I promise to walk,….no way”. Why not take a chance? Even a nod from Billy Bowden did not make him walk. “Hey he just nodded his head; I am not out unless he raises his finger”. And he did.
“Tension, being indecisive, confusion, fight with your inner soul, pain are all feelings. One cannot see a feeling.” Is it so? Go watch his dismissal. It was all there on his face. Perhaps this was the only blemish in Ponting’s marathon effort to save the shame. But if you are bold enough to call yourself a gentleman, be brave enough to be one. Else do not pretend.
Morality comes at a heavy price. Be ready to pay for it before you honestly define it.

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