Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Exposing the replacement bluff

When the time comes for someone or something to go, we put on our thinking caps and debate who is going to replace them. For the purpose of replacement we dig out people or things with similarity and construct a narrative which suggests just this. Going further and deeper, even Gods are replaced and the latest and the new, burst into popular culture as finished products of an all-knowing mind.

But is this something which we should adhere to and accept, or pause to think and challenge? The euphoria behind the 2-0 test series win against the Australian cricket team is yet to die down for the Indians. With this win we have got our hands on the Border-Gavaskar trophy and the second spot in the ICC world ranking for test cricket. But along with the euphoria comes a slight nostalgia and pain. Two of India’s most respected and successful cricketers, Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble have retired from international cricket. Saurav Ganguly in the past twelve years has accumulated an amazing record (38 centuries) in both versions of the game and can even be credited for bringing in a positive aggression into the game. Anil Kumble, the silent assassin is India’s most successful bowler (619 wickets) to date in test cricket.

With their retirement an era has come to an end. India has been lead and lead well by these two men who have given their all for the country. But with their retirement also comes the obituary and the search for replacements. Do we have replacements for them? The whole usage of replacement can be seen as a capitalist usage of getting on with it, because individuals don’t really matter. Everything is seen as a set of skills which can be duplicated and thus replaced by anyone at anytime. But life is not all about a few skills and replacing people.

Life is in essence a tree. Leaves fall and will never come back again. New leaves start growing but not replacing the old ones. The old leaves already have weaved memories and stories around us. That cannot be replaced. The new leaves will weave new memories and stories around us. Let us then wait for new lives to be lived, stories to be told and games to be played. Until then let us pay tribute to the old who will never be replaced and will forever live on for each of us.