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I dont love India but I love cricket: Sudipto Mondal

April 4, 2011

Guest post by SUDIPTO MONDAL

They don’t love the deftness of a late cut
or the terror of a snorter;
the authority of a cover drive
or the seduction of a flighted one.

They don’t love the smell of spit on leather.
They don’t love one eased through long leg
unless its Deepika Padukone we’re talking about.

They don’t love cricket but they say they love India.

They don’t love Inzamam’s hulking sixes.
They don’t love Hayden’s muscular heaves
or Ponting’s nervous shuffle.

They don’t love Lara because he was
as good as Sachin.
And Kambli was after all just an urchin

They don’t love cricket but they say they love India.

They don’t love the man who cleans their shit.
They don’t love the colleague that eats meat.
They don’t love the ‘backdoor entrant’ who shares their seat.

They don’t love the hungry protestors
who block their path at the height of summer’s heat.
They don’t love the vendor on the street.

They don’t love cricket but they say they love India.

They don’t love the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders either.
They don’t love the man who puts food on their plate
because he asks for food in turn.

They don’t love them jungle boys
because they wouldn’t give them their hill.

They don’t love the dark ones.
They don’t love the short ones.

They don’t love a nose that lacks precision.
They don’t love circumcision.

They don’t love cricket but they say they love India.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2011 1:54 AM

    Enjoyed this. Thanks :)

  2. Nivedita Menon permalink*
    April 4, 2011 10:12 AM

    Thanks Sudipto. Only one such as those you describe here could harbour “Javed Miandad’s last-ball sixer in Sharjah as a collective traumatic wound” rather than one of the most thrilling moments in cricket (Anuj – really!)

  3. JITENDRA permalink
    April 4, 2011 10:51 AM

    it is very sounding!!! expressing all the “Bharat” s illness in few sentences.

  4. April 4, 2011 12:20 PM

    This was a relief to read after the “why so serious” post. It has been an uncomfortable and unsettling experience to discover this ‘they’ are all around me, and during the course of the World Cup I’ve had to step back and reevaluate my love for cricket and my relationship with ‘them’ and the idea of India. So thanks for this poem.

  5. Dakshin permalink
    April 4, 2011 4:58 PM

    Good one, Sudipto!!


  6. Kavya permalink
    April 4, 2011 7:45 PM

    The very fact that we are all trying so hard to struggle with love for cricket not being love for India in the way it commonly [dangerous generalisation, yes I know] appears to be, putting some distance between our specific, fun-loving, detailed and justified love for cricket and the love for a very Indian [italicise], very jingoistic victory, seems to indicate to me that there is some fundamental discomfort everyone is struggling with after this World Cup. A discomfort of knowing that cricket means not just some sport we’ve played in gullies and grew up hearing about from our nostalgic 1983 parents-relatives-etc, but something immensely more nationalistic…which then requires that we have to carefully sort out our own positions. Which, honestly, is what I find slightly …I don’t know, what is this ethically correct niche we’re trying so hard to establish, is that really self-reflexive, politically? I mean, we are inadvertently mediators of a strong identity in this game…it is mystification but not unreal, I really don’t think there is some pure innocent space ‘us’ non-nationalistic cricket lovers really occupy. Given that, accepting that, can there generally be a reflection of what this sport has become? I find this struggle to proclaim I-love-cricket-but-I-am-a-highly-realised-political-persona to be a little pointless. How lovely it would be if we could start a conversation about cricket where someone is not making sweeping statements about left-liberals nor emphatic gestures of their love for the game, but just asking what this cricket nationalism means and how we fit into the pieces of that puzzle.

  7. Geeta Charusivam permalink
    April 4, 2011 8:12 PM

    cheeky, witty and seriously political… a wonderful poem, thanks Sudipto.

  8. Rajan permalink
    April 5, 2011 2:40 PM

    Absolutely marvelous. An avid Indian cricket fan diplays his or her illusionary partriotism.
    Also Aakar Patel has superb writing on livemint about the same.

  9. Saraansh permalink
    April 6, 2011 12:01 AM

    haha.. finally something that is perfect.
    though I disagree with aakar patel on many points.
    but this is just.
    good work

  10. April 6, 2011 12:17 AM

    What Grass ,what Leafs , what a poetry !Beeeeeeeautiful!

  11. shahnawaz alam. organising secrotry UP, PUCL permalink
    April 6, 2011 12:52 AM

    a politically sound poem. but you should also add that they love zaheer’s yourkers, munaf musa patel,s good lenth balls and yousuf,s sixers but hate muslims.

  12. April 8, 2011 6:13 PM

    Well played! It’s bit difficult to know what loves who and what. We just like India to win!

    Good work!

  13. vee permalink
    April 13, 2011 10:06 AM

    good one.

  14. Joe permalink
    May 5, 2011 8:39 PM

    Enjoyed after reading another pessimistic post on apologies for cricket in Kafila.Days are not far when eternal suspicion/atonememnt/meaculpa postmodern ‘left will come with wierd arguments like why don’t you just sit and enjoy prince william’s marrige.(How to differentiate Binayaksen and Narasimharao/lalluprasad!)After all people enjoy such spectacles. One should be one with ‘mass popular culture’. No conspiracy theories please!….For me , I got lot of time to pursue other hobbies once I stopped being a cricket fanatic.
    So ,being a classical museum piece archaic lumpen left(no left liberal please), I strongly oppose cricket

  15. manisha permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:13 AM


  16. Ravi Agarwal permalink
    October 16, 2013 1:51 AM

    There is something which bonds us to our nation. Though we may not coversate or discuss about it even with our near and dear ones but yes, that sense of feeling definitely rests in our heart. Found a very interesting link the other day.. check it out:


  1. I dont love India but I love cricket: Sudipto Mondal | SportSquare
  2. I dont love India but I love cricket: Sudipto Mondal « Kafila | Cricket News and Events
  3. Get a grip, India « Asian Window
  4. Cricket, Azadi and Pakistan: Mir Laieeq Ishtiyaq « Kafila

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