Health and sports go hand in hand. What makes us so proud as a nation is our indulgence in games traditionally. Talking of traditional games, we have come a long way from historical bouts like kabbadi and gulli danda in our backyards giving in to modern versions. Nevertheless, tug of war (during these days of war) remains very much in vogue and continues to dominate our domestic and international playing fields.
Game playing is so popular in our environment that everyone loves to play games indeed. An art we have mastered to perfection over the sixty odd years. A nudge here, a push there, a bit of pulling and tugging at the right strings and bingo! There you go. Right to the very top at the helm!
Speaking in collective terms, there has always been a mention of a national game. Just like our identity, an entity that faded and fizzled into obscurity many moons ago. However, when probed ferociously, the evidence of its one time existence still figures somewhere in the annuls of history. Before it was all upstaged by the glamour and match fixing miracle of cricket, the game once played with sticks and a ball was called hockey. Not surprisingly, it met the same fate that it deserved much like squash and the glorious Mughal era. To put it simply, the game died its own death.
Advent of democracy harboured a fresh lot of popular games in our playgrounds. Being a sportsman himself and a plump and healthy one too, a former prime minister introduced one of the most spectacular games of the current era. It involves direct or indirect trading of one of the exclusive species found in our legislative bodies adorably recognized as a horse. Some, however, insist that they are downright asses. Although there is no consensus but the assertion cannot be dismissed mildly.
Reverting to our discussion, the game was introduced at the healthy environs of Changa Manga. For convenience and security, the venue was later shifted to the palaces of Raiwind. But not before, benefiting from its popularity, the game was duly appreciated and patronized by the arch rivals during the no confidence motion against the then prime minister. Thus, serving such wide range of common interests, thanks to the auspicious democratic galore, the sport flourishes and nurtures to this day.
While some games have lost their luster and have been swallowed by merciless currents of time, there have been others that have just begun to ride the crest of a popular tide. It would be outright insulting with malafide intent not to mention an upcoming sport having a sweeping global appeal on the occasion. Its mesmerising simplicity and freaking spontaneity earned it a blind and loyal following from US to UK to Pakistan overnight, not to mention the heaps of praise.
Perched high on the charts, the sport is commonly recognized as shoe hurling. Talking of rules, there are hardly any rules known. The only rule that prevails is to target those who flaunt the rule of law.
To acquaint you with the mechanics of the popular game here is a glimpse. The level playing field comprises a highly well guarded security cordon encompassing our prized victim and high value target. Somehow, our gallant player manages to sneak in and advances within the striking distance. Emotionally charged, he (yes I am resorting to gender discrimination for the sport has featured just the valiant male volunteers so far) unlaces his shoe, picks it up deftly and hurls it upon our man just like a baseball ball all in one go. Our awe stricken president, current or former, being at obvious disadvantage for not holding a club or wearing a helmet for that matter has to duck or twist to dodge the face seeking projectile. Unfortunately, there are no miss and run options nor is there any second chance. Soon the striker is carried away by the authorities and the game is over.
With the kind of craze and awe the game is inspiring worldwide; it doesn’t take an Einstein to predict the prospective future of the sport. While the targets have been smart and reflexive ensuring a zero success rate, the world eagerly awaits the victorious moment when the first exclusive scalp is acclaimed.
My personal take is chances are much brighter if the weaponry constitutes rotten eggs and tomatoes instead of a heavy shoe. What do you say!?