[This poem is dedicated to the India vs South Africa match in the Cricket World Cup 2011 in Nagpur on 12 March]

The first ball of the last over
Caught the inner edge of the bat
Went swiftly past the stumps
Tripped the wicket-keeper
And crossed the boundary line…
And I knew that
Tonight would be a violent night.

Squadrons of 140 characters
Shrieked across the bitsy continent
Of twitter world
And the electronic G-forces
Remained on alert.

Icons thrashed almost as
The Bamiyan Buddha was
Suggestions hurled
Like direction-less missiles
Points and counter-points served
Like bunkers for the countless
Strategists who unravel battles
As they happen on TV screens!

These stances aren’t new
The strategists and the tacticians aren’t new
The TV screens aren’t new
The violence isn’t new
Losses aren’t new.

The everyday search to surge
Into the midst of a life-sustaining battle
Has become a habit
And the country reduced to the stature
Of a stadium. The cricket
Of social restlessness is everywhere.

Let the matches end now!
Written on 13 March 2011