Gods, Godmen, Godfathers.


If cricket is religion and Sachin is God, then Dhoni has got to be its Godman.

For, God gives us sunrises, rainbows, dolphins and sunflower fields, but it is the Godman who plucks apples from thin air when we are hungry.

The exquisite cover drive that splices the gap between two fielders and beats the other two running along the rope, is what brings glory to the game. It’s ethereal. It makes me cry.

But it is those cumbersome prods and ugly heaves to get 91 off 79 balls that bring home World Cups. It’s euphoric. It makes me delirious.

So if God is about the Game, Godman is about the match.

We need them both; not just in cricket, but in life as well.

Gods are visible in anything that’s pure. Godmen are visible in everything that’s practical.

Gods give us masterpieces. Godmen give us bestsellers.

Gods are about corporate governance. Godmen are about bottomlines.

Gods are the Founders. Godmen are the CEOs.

Gods are about Cinema. Godmen are about blockbusters.

Gods are about respect. Godmen, about charisma.

Gods, about love. Godmen, about lust.

We can go on. We’ll see it in every sphere of life. It’s important to understand and accept their differences. Otherwise we’d be expecting one to behave like the other.

Take for instance, God. The real God.

Now, please don’t ask fundamental questions like Does God exist?

Of course, He does. I know. I’ve asked around.

One said: “I know for sure because I’ve witnessed miracles. I’ve seen that lame beggar near our traffic signal get healed at least three times in religious gatherings.”

Another said: “Every morning at 5a.m. when the local mosque’s call for Namaz wakes me up with a start, I know I’ve been cursed by Him, and my neighbour Mohammed who snores through it all, is the blessed one.”

Yet another said: “After six years of waiting when my wife finally conceived, I knew she’s been touched in the name of God by the divine powers of our family Swamiji.”

So folks, God exists. Sorry, Gods exist. No more debate on that. Let’s move ahead.

It’s a pity that we treat even our real Gods like Godmen. We burden Them with our prayers, with our selfish wish-lists. Let’s understand, Gods have much better and bigger things to do. Shouldn’t They rather be ensuring that sun comes up and goes down on time every day, than help us pick a winning lottery ticket?

Should the universe’s Supercops ensure planets don’t cut lanes and cause a Big Bang or should They ensure that all questions in your exam are from the only chapter you have cared to study?

Many years ago, when my son failed to even finish in his school sack race, I was hurt because I heard the winner’s mom say that God loves her child.

Does that mean God hates my son? I worried for many months.

In a similar but extreme way, when I hear disaster survivors thank God for saving them, I wonder what the families of those who didn’t survive feel? Would they feel orphaned by God?

That’s why Gods are best left alone.

Let’s allow Them to do Their jobs like correcting the fault lines in the earth’s layers to save it from falling apart.

Let’s not drag Gods into Man of the Match speeches, Oscar thank-you lists, or to fix sack races, because the other players, nominees and also-rans belong to no lesser Gods. Making them feel so is a sin.

 Up there or down here, Gods are Gods, Godmen are Godmen.

When we burden Gods with expectations and corrupt Godmen with greed, beyond their talent and capabilities, things begin to go wrong.

When the end-result becomes non-negotiable, the means become flexible.

When you hear people say,  ‘Achieve, by hook or crook,’ you know that’s the start of all things bad.

That’s when Gods try to become Godmen. And Godmen become Godfathers.

Let’s go back to my son’s first sack race.

The secret of running a sack race is that one should never run, but jump.

There’s no fun in simply passing on this tip. The thrill is in trying, failing, trying, failing, coping with disappointment, trying something different, succeeding and celebrating what’s learnt.

I thought that’s what life should be, not winning the race.

In a God-like way, that’s what I wanted my son to do.

At the race, he struggled, he ran, he fell, and he cried because he was made to look like a loser.

I turned a Godman the next year. A week before the race I showed him how it is done and trained him to jump with a sack. That year he won Silver. I celebrated the win. He didn’t. He now wanted Gold.

The following year, I didn’t take chances. Days before the race, I starched the bottom of the sack, and a few hours before its start, I wetted that portion again. No one knew. He finished first. The joy with which he hugged me after the race is priceless. I’d do anything for that. I was the proudest father in the whole world that moment.


Na, Godfather.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kumar ganesan on April 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Interestingly said.Like always. Do read my new post two world cups & offside.


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