March 19, 2007

Robert (Bob) Woolmer Pakistan Coach Dies-Of Cricket?

Filed under: opinions — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 12:47 pm

Kaveetaa Kaul

Cricket, to some extent Tennis, has been a game which revs up my senses. However, the news of the sudden demise of Robert Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, ( Woolmer was born in Kanpur, India) as if brought to the fore questions/doubts/validations long overdue.

If vicarious learning be the method adopted by the wise, then we’d be fools not to re-examine images the world throws up..however illusionary.

To begin with :Have we as a species, irrespective of distinction on the basis of demographics, geography, ethnicity or race, decided to fight maturity? Are we highly strung, on the edge of a breakdown, because our priorities have more to do with the outer world rather than the inner? Have we equated worldly success and acclaim with happiness? Is the need to ‘win’ one that transcends every other? Is any man just a professional? Is a career the only identity of an individual so much so that he himself has forgotten to consider himself nothing in the absence of it?

Sadly the answer to all of the above is ‘Yes’ as also to this: Is it not time that we take a pause, re-evaluate, re-consider, re-prioritise our life and the direction we hurl it towards.

In the case of Robert, what is tragic is that while many consider cricket just a ‘sport’, tsk tsk mournfully at the news of his rather untimely demise, yet there is no evidence of it being considered one, especially at such junctures..especially when news of setting ablaze Dhonis home is filtering in, alongside. Its only when lives are lost that the fultility, of having accorded a game the seriousness it did not deserve, gains credence..Its too late .. atleast for Woolmer and his family.

Some wise owls consider life a sport as well… good for them. They have most certainly imbibed the essence of its transience, our role and the incongruity of circumstances as a realism well enough, to be in the world but not of it. Easier said than done? Well..verbalising is also means of sending out energy which will gather and bring forth consequences.

Its not just about Robert though. There are scores like him, who have not made it to the front pages even in death but who have surrendered their life at the altar of their dreams or rather at the feet of defeat. Nothing can be more worrisome for a family member than to see his/her dear one slowly dying within since the world outside is taking no cognisance of his ambitions, aspirations,integrity, sincerity, earnestness. But why would/should the world bother? Its a jungle out there.. some learn to survive, rhinoceros skinned, insensitive-coated/ embalmed, shamelessly posited to carry on, others survive by philosophising with a none-can-take-away-whats mine- wisecrack, while some just succumb and..die.

Each of us have our cross to bear, nailed as painfully, burdened with our desires, attempting to conquer, vanquish, beat, rout, subdue, subjugate, Ironical isnt it ? We create the monster and then die struggling to destroy it!

And all this without any shred of evidence as to the seriousness of life.

It’s as if one’s life in the environs of this world, is nothing but an attempt at learning a language that is foreign/alien/ unpronounceable, and yet swearing at the wisdom of knowing it all.. perfectly.

Often reminded of the lyrics.’

Yeh mahalon yeh takhton yeh taajon ki duniya

yeh insaan ke dushman sammaajo ki duniya

yeh daulat ke bhooke riwaazon ki duniya

yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai??!! Sahir Ludhianvi vintage..

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive..Robert Heinlin

Yet one toils as if its gonna last forever..

Hiren Shah’s article: Recommended Read


  1. “yeh duniya agar KHO bhi jaye to kya hai…” It is true that while life is meant to be lived, just as a song is to be sung, fragrence to be smelt, etc.,’we the living'(?) choose to die….Why do we have to WIN…? What IS THERE to win? Why cant we just live? All who choose to end their lives should take a look at those who do not have a choice but are doomed to a short life due to reasons beyond their control….

    Once again Kaveetaa, you have addressed a truly worthy cause….

    Comment by Amitabh — March 19, 2007 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  2. once you are caught in this hungama of life then it becomes so difficult to know how to get out of it.

    I remember my mom telling me the story of how narad too got swayed into grahasti and lost everything.But its good to get timely reminders to slow down or else, at your own risk warning signs.. they give us food for thought.

    Comment by Neha — March 19, 2007 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  3. the controversy over his death is going on increasing. Though its not unrealistic to expect complete silence in the matter after some time. Cricket is no longer a game of sport it is an obsession of maniacal proportions. And comparing it with life is completely correct..we have to beware is all i can say.

    Comment by dilip — March 20, 2007 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  4. with all the ways n means of cricket becoming a larger tan life reality, BW was the perfect gentleman who tried to retain the polish-ness in the game… over all the commandments of winning every match n dominating the opponents..
    the ever so smilin face wud be missed wen the cameraz wud pan arnd the dressing roomz…

    but its not abt the fast pace, hungry tide… tatz taking away the life from us. its not games or for that matter any enterprise… but its just something thatz unavoidable! without the barometer rising, without there be any charm in adding to the b’day candles of the choco cake??

    the tough wayz of proceedings, the mind boggling/raking n the stretches n tortures of the mindscape… it would rise with the fast paced life! with so muc at stake n so much to woo and win over aint easy to let it go na? even in times bygone was launched a 1000 ships- all for luuve n pride!!

    its like following the pied piper towardz a battle wer insurance is nil… but tatz the charm of life also! being a cabbage, we mite clock in yearz together but ask people, they wud rather have a flashy flamboyant short n sweet life!!
    the demands, the yardsticks and the constant evaluationz/expectationz r driving us to crazy extremes but aint the ‘juice worth the squeeze’??

    the simple cute wayz of life are no more. the society aint allow the curve of life to have a slow pace with a normal gradient! they demand, the require the steep overhaul of achievers… conquerors n winners!! hence the clogs of mind n body r oiled n lubricated to race.. charge ahead into sum black-hole of success! from there, lifez nuances are lost… n therez aint no coming back!!

    wud miss the people who have smiled their way thru… but then wud we care to look back unless he had had the laurels decorating his gaberdine? its a selfish life, its a selfish need n its a blind alley…. but anyday aint it better tan a ‘boulevard of broken dreamz’??

    ‘if u succeed, there is nothing to say… but if u do not- then u shud not be there’

    Comment by saptarshi — March 20, 2007 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  5. Hi Amitabh,

    Yeh duniya agar kho bhi jaaye to kya hai!! Indeed that was a fresh take on it..Thanks.

    Hey Neha, you should have told us of the story..I recall some but not the details..ghar grihasti se bada bandhan koi nahin..I guess

    Hi Dilip,

    Yes even yesterday there were some suggesting that it wasnt just a heart attack..maniacal fever of cricket is correct..enough to die for or…

    Hey Sapt,

    Hmm..thought worthy…so typical of the exuberance of youth.. Sometimes Sapt you reflect your wondrous years so other times you seem like a wisened old man ..cynical as well..But ahh well.. If it makes your adrenalin all furiously bubbling around then what can anyone say.. except that the tempo is difficult to maintain , and sustain. Perhaps then you may recall the words of poor ole me, warning against too excited, high strung, top gear life. No free lunches Sapt.. the price has to be paid. Live life to the fullest but remember to get in touch with your self, on a daily basis.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — March 21, 2007 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  6. ‘what is this life so full of care… we have no time to stand n stare..’

    nice to know i have the dimensions of a swiss army knife :)) old n new n cynical n obtuse…. am happy abt that !!
    aint no free lunch, aint no free gift, aint no free lov either! all our tangible n intangible aspects driven by the selfish demands n needs… so aint much worried on that!
    was asking mum to buy me sum farmland so tat i can take to farming, own a farm house n write books to make a decent living… am not into the rat races of life, n i darn care who evaluates me in wat lites for that… but i guess the dayz of our lives are driven by the podium wer the flash lites r trained 🙂
    and who sayz ur old huh?? modesty required but not alwayz :)) n on a philosophical note… the soul remains like a lily even wen the yearz have left the crumples of the fabric of ur dermis :)) n still u wud make quite a few heads turn naa :))

    difficult to balance the scales of life… satisfy the different courts of social law whic try to rank the varied aspects of ur existence.. but all of these aint a burden if we know wat we really want.. wat we really desire… know thy self is the commandment Moses shud have etched on the rocks!! anyway…. i live for myself, in my capacity. ya, i feel the vibrationz of the system wer i reside.. i react to the colors of all seasons but the mind aint driven by the remote of some paranoid world…. sevensaints have quite enuf wisdom to enjoy the joyride of lifez colourful toy-train!!
    wanna hitch a ride ?? :))

    Comment by saptarshi — March 21, 2007 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

  7. You are tight- “Yeh world cup agar mil bhi jaaye tau kya hai”.Since you have mentined career and happiness, there is a relationship but not what you have mentioned- Make your passion your profession

    Comment by Hiren — March 21, 2007 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  8. Hey sapt..

    “i react to the colors of all seasons but the mind aint driven by the remote of some paranoid world…. sevensaints have quite enuf wisdom to enjoy the joyride of lifez colourful toy-train!!”

    No doubts on that score pal..

    ‘Heads turn’..donno..mebe.. ofcourse yes! aahh dont get me on to the ‘vain band wagon’ now boyo..

    ‘soul stirring’ is more up my alley..


    Comment by kaveetaakaul — March 22, 2007 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

  9. Hi Hiren

    Read through some of your articles.. as usual thought provoking and articulate. Deductions would amount to quite the same.. If I may say so, Pursue a career of your passion and with passion but one has to stop short of making your passion just a career. Living life to the fullest, with no destination in mind, enjoying the journey with its intermittently rollercaster experiences. finally make for a passion, career and life well fulfilled..

    have linked Career and meditation to the post above.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — March 22, 2007 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  10. Scary na…knowing a sport meant for fun has now turned into a risky business. Anyways, may his soul rest in peace.

    Comment by Saakshi O. Juneja — March 23, 2007 @ 5:34 pm | Reply

  11. Scary and getting murky by the minute Saakshi.. now they say it might be murder!!

    Pehle zamaane mein our elders used to talk of three reasons for conflict zan, zar zameen, women,jewellery/ wealth and property. To that we add religion now and then Sports.. What next? Water?

    Btw drop in more often.. love your off the cuff,mazedaar comments which I recall from our Siffy days.. if u know what I mean.. have to hint or they will aa dhamko.


    Comment by kaveetaakaul — March 23, 2007 @ 9:32 pm | Reply

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