Dear readers, after writing for this space for over a month, it is time to address the mail box and empty it.
I have gotten a few interesting, very interesting mails, with hard-hitting tones, in the last few days. The mails have necessitated me to acquire a thick skin. That is the first attribute a newspaper writer must have. I’m a slow learner but I’m trying to grow my elephant hide.
On October 24, I wrote a piece, headlined ‘The Usual Thrill of Cricket’. A reader from Samanabad, Lahore, mailed me:
Hi, Ali Sahib – You wrote today that it is the thrill of the cricket battle between India and Pakistan that causes us to leave behind our everyday problems. Excuse me, you call it a thrill. Let me remind you that Pakistan vs India in cricket is a battle in itself. Don’t ruin our sentiments by just calling it a thrill. I know the two hostile nations of the subcontinent come to the field and play to win but alas there can only be one winner and this time after what seems like a millennium, it was Pakistan, which carried the day of October 24. The nation-state won with 10 wickets still in hand for the first time ever.
A reader from Samanabad
Dear A Reader from Samanabad,
Just like millions of Pakistanis and Indians all around the world, I was glued to the television as we watched the match and fought the battle. Just like millions of Pakistanis, I’m happy that this victory came as a relief to cricket fans after the disappointment they faced when the Kiwis and the ECB refused to tour Pakistan hours before the match was supposed to be held. It will also boost Pakistani cricketers’ morale as such a historic win against the arch rival accounts for something. But at the end of the day, this was a cricket match in which Indian skipper Kohli hugged our players and smiles.
These things happen between a writer and readers, I really did not know. I have sent a ‘Thank you’ mail to the reader and have responded to him or her (I’m unaware of the gender) here in this piece as well.
Let me explain a bit more.
The Pakistan vs India match is one of the most important matches in any series as it is watched by millions across the globe. This is the only match where tickets get sold out instantly. The stadiums are full of people from both sides of the border and there’s a lot of pressure on both teams. Even though, in the past, the Pakistani team gave disappointing performances and lost almost all the matches against India, this time however they outperformed themselves. It was a beautiful win as no wickets were taken by the Indians while the Indian wickets were taken one after the other by the powerhouse that is Shaheen Afridi. This improvement does not come from a game of chance but the confidence that these cricketers have gained by playing the PSL and other international matches. Moreover, PSL gave a chance to many young boys to come in the game and show their talent which has resulted in the making of such a great team. This win might even boost the chance of PCB receiving some funding as currently it is in a dismal condition.
I realize that I have consumed the space allotted to this piece. A few mails are left. I’ll respond to them sometime next month.
Keep giving your feedback; your words mean a lot to me.