Columns - 5th column

The air’s blue and the world’s my oyster!

By Rypvanwinkle

Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what do you think of the contest?”
“I think it is progressing reasonably well,” Bindu’s father Percy said, “we have made the quarter finals now, haven’t we?”
“What quarter finals are you referring to?” Bindu was puzzled.
“Why, Bindu, the cricket World Cup of course,” Percy said, “we haven’t come that far in any other sport, have we?”

“I’m not thinking about that contest, thaaththa,” Bindu protested.
“Then, what contest are you worried about?” Percy wanted to know.
“Why, thaaththa, I was thinking about the local government elections…” Bindu said.
“Ah, that is also somewhat like some of those World Cup matches…” Percy declared.
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu asked.

“Why, Bindu,” Percy said, “even in the World Cup, there are all these meaningless matches where some top team totally annihilates a team from a lesser known country…”
“Such as when Sri Lanka massacred Canada and Kenya?” Bindu suggested.

“Yes,” Percy agreed, “and I think there were even more one-sided contests involving some of the other countries…”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu wondered, “why are you comparing these matches to the local government elections?”

“That is because,” Percy explained, “these elections were also a hopelessly one-sided contest where the Blues totally defeated the Greens in almost all areas of the country…”
“I suppose that is true…” Bindu conceded, “but thaaththa, what will happen now?”

“Why, Bindu,” Percy queried, “what are you worried about?”
“What will happen after the Blues defeated the Greens with such a convincing margin?” Bindu asked.
“Like in the cricket tournament,” Percy said, “the winners will go on to win prizes for their victory…”
“So,” Bindu wondered, “what will that mean for the Blues?”
“They will go on to win power over everything in the country…” Percy said.
“So, it is good that they are rewarded for their victory, then…” Bindu observed.
“I am not so sure about that, Bindu,” Percy said.
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?”

“Why, Bindu, have you seen some teams becoming arrogant and complacent after winning…” Percy inquired.
“Yes, sometimes they do, like the Australian cricket team some time ago, for instance…” Bindu recalled.
“So, the same might happen to the Blues after winning so many contests with ease…” Percy said.
“I suppose that is possible too,” Bindu acknowledged.
“And, when that happens they may eventually get defeated very badly, sooner than they expected…” Percy pointed out.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu inquired, “what will happen to the Greens now?”
“Like some of the countries in the World Cup, they seem to be taking part in the contest just for the sake of being there…” Percy declared.
“I suppose one could say that,” Bindu said, “but when a side loses so badly, aren’t there changes to the team?”

“Ah, yes,” Percy agreed, “most often the Captain steps down and key players are dropped…”
“So, will that happen with the Greens now?” Bindu wanted to know.
“There is a problem about that too…” Percy said.
“And what problem is that?” Bindu was curious.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy said, “it is not clear who captained the team at this contest…”
“How can you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu was confused.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy explained, “even though the Green Man was the official captain, he didn’t take part in most of the games because he retired hurt during the contest and kept away from most of the crucial stages of the campaign…”“Then, who led the team?” Bindu wanted to know.
“That is another problem,” Percy said.
“Why do you say that?” Bindu asked.

“Why, Bindu,” Percy recalled, “the vice-captain officially led the team in the captain’s absence but it was the young man who calls himself the next captain who actually played the captain’s role…”
“So, what will happen now?” Bindu wondered.
“This young man was hoping for a reasonable performance from the team so that he could say he was suited to become the next leader…” Percy observed.
“And,” Bindu pointed out, “he even lost all the home matches played at Hambantota, so he can no longer say that appointing him as the next captain will solve all the problems of the Green team…”
“That is exactly what has happened,” Percy agreed, “and that is why this contest will probably cause even more damage to the Green team…”
“And no doubt the Blues will be very happy about that…” Bindu said.
“Yes,” Percy said, “but it is bad for the game when the Blues are allowed to play forever without any worthwhile opposition…”

“Then, thaaththa,” Bindu asked, “what about the Red team…”
“Ah, the Reds,” Percy said, “what happens in the cricket World Cup might happen to them too…”
“And what would that be?” Bindu was puzzled.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy declared, “the teams which have fared very poorly at this contest won’t be allowed to compete at the next contest…”
“What happens then, thaaththa?” Bindu inquired.
“At the rate they are playing now, they may not be around when the next contest takes place in about four years’ time…” Percy predicted.
Bindu didn’t quite know what to say to that.

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