Zoya & Different Components: Harmless Superstitions Are All Proper, However Will Sexism Go Away?


Billionaire business tycoon Anand Mahindra is superstitious about games and both he and his fans believe he is unlucky with games, so he refuses to watch them.

From Reya Mehrotra

Sachin Tendulkar's belief in wearing the left knee pad first and loving his lucky bat that helped him at the 2011 World Cup is well known. After all, what harm does it do if the team wins? The Indian team won the 2011 World Cup. Not only he, but also his wife Anjali, who is a doctor by profession, believed that sitting in a position at home during a fight would lead to his good performance. In fact, she only visited the stadium twice in its 24-year career. Zaheer Khan's yellow handkerchief was a staple in his pocket when he came out to play. Sourav Ganguly always had a picture of his guru in his pocket, rings and malas and luckily changed his jersey number. With every new player on a team, a new superstition is added.

The 2007 film Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii explored the topic of superstition in cricket. In the film, Karan, a 13-year-old orphan, believes that his dream of becoming a cricketer will be fulfilled if he gets a “magic bat” that he believes Kapil Dev won the 1983 World Cup. Karan eventually becomes part of the Indian team thanks to his excellent performance. More than a decade later, The Zoya Factor (2019), based on the book by Anuja Chauhan from 2008 and published by HarperCollins, showed how Zoya, who works for an advertising agency, was nicknamed the "happy mascot" of Indian cricket. Teams will be "Zoya Factor" and "Cricket Goddess" will be associated with her.

However, a common feature of both films was that they exposed the superstition at its height. In the first case, he realizes that the magic wasn't in the bat, but in his talent when Karan's magical bat breaks and he believes that he is unable to perform. Eventually, with Karan's help, the team wins the match. Also in The Zoya Factor, Zoya decides to withdraw from her role as a happy mascot in order to let the team win on its own. At first convinced that they would lose, the team gathers its mind and continues to play well. Eventually it wins the game, debunking the myth that they needed the “Zoya Factor” to win.

Superstitions may have been debunked in the movies, but gamers continue to gamble with their lucky charms and beliefs.

Serious matter
Billionaire business tycoon Anand Mahindra is superstitious about games and both he and his fans believe he is unlucky with games, so he refuses to watch them. In 2017, he credited his son-in-law with a victory: “I watched with my American son-in-law who just arrived today. When he tried to convince him, he brought luck to our team and has to keep coming back. "In 2018 he tweeted happily that the win came when he stayed away:" I apologize because I saw the game yesterday and the win was hard to believe. Today I did my part and stayed away from the TV and lo and behold, the victory is ours! As a true patriot, I will ban my match-watching from now on! (Just kidding … not a promoter of superstition!) But the following year, in June 2019, he tweeted, "… I won't watch and betray the nation in the next game."

Sports journalist Boria Mazumdar, who has authored books such as Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians, Dreams of a Billion, The Illustrated History of Indian Cricket, and Tendulkar's autobiography Playing it My Way, says sport is nothing without superstition. “But you are never dependent on it. Sachin never relied on superstition … it's just a psychological thing that adds to the aura or charm of the sport and creates satisfaction. It won't hurt you … if you're not over-dependent. But I know certain IPL teams that are and that aren't fair … if you think superstition will get you a game. I remember that during one such IPL game on two consecutive days at Wankhede Stadium a bathroom was written as “out of order” but certain players were using it and the team won the game. Former Indian cricketer Mohinder Amarnath always wore a red handkerchief, ”he says, adding that superstition is a global phenomenon. Players like Steve Waugh often wear a baggy green hat.

Even Mazumdar has his superstitions. He sits in the same position and sits without a biopause when India plays. “During one of the World Cup semi-finals that India lost, I was sitting next to Sachin in the press box at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham and we both refused to stand up. Neither of us got up until Dhoni got out. It was like that for athletes. In the 2002 NatWest series, Indian players didn't even take a biopause during the game. At the 2011 World Cup, Sachin did not see the last moments and lay in the inner part of the Wankhede changing room pretending to be asleep.

Sehwag, who was with him, thought he had slept, but actually he was just pretending to be asleep. He didn't want to go out and didn't even let Sehwag go because he said he didn't want to bewitch the game. Sachin said you could see it on TV a million times. This has always been a part of the sport, ”he says.
The superstition is just as common and sometimes even more common among fans. Piyush Chaturvedi, director at Uma Motors, a Mathura-based car dealership group, says: “During the IPL I have roots for the Indian team or the Mumbai Indians. During all the big games, I never leave my room and sit on my bed for the entire duration. I don't talk to anyone either. It's a superstitious belief that if I don't, the team I follow will not perform well. Sometimes the team lost in the room with me, but that doesn't affect me. I continue this practice out of habit. "

Delhi-based communications consultant Arjun Tyagi, who is a fan of Chennai Super Kings, says since the team doesn't win many games, he tries to skip some overs believing they will win if he doesn't see them play . “I also believe that if I keep running, when a team needs runs, the running rate can increase. The faster I go, the better the runs go. When India won the World Cup in 2011, I went outside during the final round and listened to the comment when that historic moment came through, "he says, adding," I think it's psychological. If my favorite team loses while watching, the tables may turn if I don't watch. "

Not all fans are superstitious, however. Pune cricket fan Aditya Rishi doesn't believe in superstitions. "The emotions are high when the favorite team is playing. There is a default setting where you always feel that your team is about to lose, but a neutral observer will not feel that way," he says, adding, "VVS Laxman used to knock on the crease as often as his individual number of hits at the end of each one. "

Lady luck
"Behind every successful man there is a woman" is a phrase that has been used in all parts of the world. Ironically, women have also been blamed for men's failures. In the cricket world, women and girlfriends are often accused of “distracting” players by being in the stadiums. When the Indian team left the ICC World Cup in 2015, fans blamed Anushka Sharma, who was verbally hit by an angry Virat Kohli and held onto his girlfriend's hand. "On a human level, I would say that I was hurt and the people who said these things and how they said they should be ashamed," he was quoted as saying during an interview.

Recently, ex-Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar's controversial remarks about Kohli's poor performance during an IPL game took the internet by storm. He had noticed that Kohli had apparently only practiced on Ms. Anushka's balls during the lockdown, a statement that seemed suggestive. Having previously been targeted with sexist comments for Kohli's appearances, Anushka quickly replied that things hadn't changed for her in 2020 either. However, Gavaskar later clarified that he never blamed the actor but was referring to a video posted online showing the Indian captain hitting balls Anushka threw at her house during the lockdown. Anushka is not alone, however, as Sania Mirza, herself a renowned tennis player, was trolled by cricket husband Shoaib Malik at the 2019 World Cup because of the poor run.

Mazumdar calls the run on Anushka "unhappy and disgusting". "If you want to call them the reason, Virat has more successes than failures … give her credit for all of his hundreds, double hundreds, car chases. Such culprits are the trash that makes up social media," he says.

However, the younger generation of cricketers who oppose sexist comments doesn't necessarily mean they don't have superstitions. They too follow them like their seniors. “The current generation is just as superstitious as the older generation. Perhaps it is this one characteristic that connects them. I know that certain players won't do certain things the night before a game. I won't name them because they are currently on the team. But they don't talk to certain people or media or eat certain things before a game. So it's a thing that travels across generations, ”says Mazumdar.

While the religion of cricket thrives in the country with all its superstitions, one can only hope that it continues without sexism.

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Steven Gregory