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s they were talking, they saw a sallow-complexioned youth pass by them some

distance away carrying a bat on his shoulder. Vidrum waved out to him and he
responded similarly and after some delay so did Sharvamanyu.
Lootika: Who is he?
Sharvamanyu: Hes our old schoolmate Mudgar.
Vidrum: You dont remember him? He was the cricket champ.
Lootika: As you guys I know I never cared for that most bizarre of games! I
believe my parents rightly advised me and my sisters to stay far away from guys who
fritter away all their time at the kandka-kr.
Sh: Hey, but I know Somakhya is quite a fan.
L: That does not mean I should be a fan too.
Somakhya: Did not recognize him. But now I recall seeing Mudgar last on the day
the results of our school-leaving certificate were declared. He was in a funereal
state having the pulled the plug in more than one subject. Sadly, his prowess with
the bat and the ball helped little in that contest. But he still seems to be
keeping to his daa-bhajana-kr.
Vi: Somakhya, evidently Lootikas company has made you lose your edge with the
game. Forget about the school-leaving certificate he indeed never cleared it
but dont you know he is a famous man now?
So: Famous?
Sh: He apparently smashes big sixes in one of the lesser leagues and is slated to
make it to the Indian league this summer to play alongside the stars.
So: Ah! the gods have been favorable to him.

Sh: Thats indeed true. His father was a noted player for the first division in
his days. He hoped his time that some day he might be called up for the national
trophy matches. But those days they did not play so much cricket. So, like Mudgar,
when he pulled plug in his exams he had no real means of employment. Based on his
facility with the game, they gave him a job as peon in railways and he continued to
play for them. But he never made much money and Mudgars youth was one of those
with a low economic status. When you come from such a background, even your school
curriculum can be a stiff uphill climb.
L: Thats why I say that sports should never be taken so seriously as to think
that it can be your profession.
Sh: Whatever you might think, they put the little money they had into his cricket
and it might pay its dividends now. For all you know, in an year or two, he could
be earning much more than any of us.
V: Lootika, despite your condescending attitude towards the noble game, I am sure
even you have heard of our great hero Musal Gandulkar? He is one of the richest men
in the country.
L: But that is the whole point. For every Gandulkar, I am sure a million other
lesser kids, who thought that they too might become Gandulkar-s, ended up like
Mudgars father. But on the other hand, Vidrum, even if you are far from being the
Caraka of our yuga, you will still make a great contribution to society for having
put in heroic effort into your MBBS rather than in kandka-kr. Moreover, think
about this what is so heroic in Gandulkar? His existence or lack thereof would
make a negligible difference to the good of the society. On the other hand, upon
graduating I am sure you will make a bigger difference to some peoples lives than
this Gandulkar.

Vidrum: It feels good to hear that from your mouth, pait. But to bring the
focus back to why we wanted a long chat with you two can you provide arguments
for why sportsmen should not be accorded special respect or admiration. After all,
I could point out that scientists and mathematicians pursuing obscure knowledge for
knowledges sake are probably as useless to the social good, which you seem to take
as an important criterion, as a supremely entertaining cricketer as Gandulkar. At
least he contributes to the mental health of the masses by way of entertainment.
The scientist in the rarefied realms of inquiry cannot be understood by anyone but
a minuscule minority.
L: Vidrum, while there is something to what you say, I think you have shifted the
goal posts in the mean time. Remember, that, while proximal reasons might be
difficult to discern, the normal distribution describes quantitative human traits,
including success in sports. A Gandulkar is far to the right of the distribution. I
need not remind you that the despite many of you guys having great facility with
the game in our school circles, Mudgar notwithstanding, you all are still closer to
the mean in this regard, where a great mass from our nation is positioned. Hence,
my statement that it is not a good idea to invest in it with such seriousness as
one might for a proper profession. Coming to science, I agree that science too is
not suitable at all as a career for most people but those closer to the right
extreme in scientific ability. I even warned my dear sisters of this even though I