Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Micturition, Sports and Society

Long long time ago, a little boy in kindergaarten, was chosen to act in a complicated play. There were many practice sessions, the teacher was greatly loved by her little students, and they hung on to her every instruction.

The D-day dawned, and the huge hall that held thousands , was actually full, with entire families turning up with relatives and so on. The amazing play got underway, with  all the kids in their very realistic costumes,  occasionally glancing into the wings, where their proud teacher stood .  The little boy was the lead player, the excitement was too much, and he suddenly realized  he needed to visit the loo, and actually could not. What happened next was an accident of nature so to speak, where, he looked up at the teacher for permission, expressed himself succintly about wanting to pee,   couldnt control himself, and quietly wet himself.

Undeterred, encouraged by his teacher, and unfazed by the hooting audience that must have consisted of folks who might have been straightaway born as as adults with attached loos,  he continued his role, and finished the play.

Some praised his dedication, brushed away the event as a small kid's response to all the excitement and his innate honesty, and patted his back.

Some came to his mother, doing ooh and aah, with looks of embarassment on their faces, asking if the kids were not encouraged to go to the loo earlier. His amazing teacher acted as if nothing had happened, and the evening went off without any problem.   (If you ignored the adults who had a problem, with a 3.5 year old kid performing in front of a huge audience , and inadvertantly giving in to the demands of his body).

Cut to yesterday, when England won the Ashes against Australia at the Oval in England.  The leading worthies of the English team urinated on the cricket pitch to celebrate. 

I don't see a big brouhaha about this.  Those that criticised the kid, probably think this is all fine, because it has happened in England,  The dictats of a developed society. 

Times have changed.

  Today, you do not urinate because your bladder is full. You urinate to express an opinion, to celebrate a victory, to demean a loser.    If you are an ex bowler of the English team, you are also allowed to urinate on people who have troubled you at nightclubs in their effort to enforce rules,  and you attribute it to life stresses  One county fires you and another county hires you, urination and all, and life goes on.

I dont see too many comments on this event here. Yes, British and Australian papers go to town on it,  some manager/president type says this is unacceptable, and some cricket types even make jokes about England getting the pitch ready for the Indians who will visit in the summer.

One now waits to see  how the latest craze takes root in India.

Up to now, folks urinated in public because they had no domestic facilities , or they were travelling by road, and in the middle of nowhere, or couldn't wait due to some medical condition, or old age.

I hope things do not come to such a pass, that captains and umpires coming out to inspect pitches, now come wearing masks and gloves.  I can see BCCI and the ICC at loggerheads on the issue of pitch-urinating. There will be accusations of pitch fixing and pitch throwing.  Committees will be appointed.  Chairmen will walk around with stiff upper lips, relaxing them just enough to say "The law will take its course".  Lalit Modi will tweet saying that's why the cheerleaders in T20 always faced the audience.  

Commentators will spend "filler" minutes on television talking about how things were back in their time.

Someone at Stanford or Cambridge will research and present a paper on the "Correlation between positive emotions and voluntary emission of waste products  from a sportsman's body"  or, "Analysis of pitch soil to ascertain intake of banned substances by cricketers" .

Sociologists will do studies on influx of foreign celebratory traditions on the Indian milieu, and trace it back to medeival times or something. 

But we must be grateful for small mercies.  It is just cricketers .

Turns out that a male  elephant,  excretes 13 gallons of urine in a day.  Horses, slightly more tolerable at 4.5 gallons. 

One day,  I will think back to one of our late eminent prime ministers, who practiced, (along with 5 million folks in Germany and 3 million in China) with total unconcern of what people thought, what is called Shivambu Kalpa in Ayurveda.

Treating the pitch of his body, as it were.

He would have simply shaken his head in despair at these sportsmen, , and muttered, "What a waste, what a waste .....!"


  1. Beautifully put and wonderfully written :)

  2. I am sorry, Suranga, your post had me in tears....of mirth. This one simply choked me "Analysis of pitch soil to ascertain intake of banned substances by cricketers" and not to mention the "what a waste" at the end. Urgh.


    1. Vidya, Thank you! Never thought I'd be doing a post on grown people urinating ... such expressions of victory bother me .

  3. "some cricket types even make jokes about England getting the pitch ready for the Indians who will visit in the summer." Oh wow!!! What a fantastic joke...not!!

    How funny that my latest post is also about urine! :D


    1. Roshni, all the comments were quoted in the papers as being made by the cricket worthies in England. If this had happened here, ICC would have banned the chaps, led by Chris Broad who is a kind of super umpire and father of one of the current urinating chaps(Stuart Broad). What quadruple standards...

  4. So much pee info. Interesting read. Must read for Monty Panesar who showered security guards with his liquid waste when they did not allow him inside a pub.

  5. every body is peeing on everybody it seems....