It was the second league match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) during the recently concluded IPL season 3. I was obviously supporting MI as the God of Cricket plays for that team. The going was good for the Mumbai side and Sachin was at his best. He hit a brilliant unbeaten half-century to take his side to a strong position in the first innings. He particularly hit very good boundaries to Shane Warne and exploited the field placements to his advantage in the final overs. All was well.
The Rajasthan batting started the way I wanted. They lost a couple of wickets in first 4 overs. Shane Watson was a key player and when he got run out in a horrible manner, I was quite exuberant. I was happy noticing his sad face while he was making his way towards the dug-out. When Yusuf Pathan, the last hope for the stumbling Royals, got out, I jumped out of my seat and celebrated as if I had won the world cup for my country. But there was something really unpleasant and sadistic in that celebration. I soon realized that my joy was not result of my love for Sachin as much as for my hate for Shane Warne and some of his teammates, notably Shane Watson. That was quite disturbing. My ecstasy was justified when Sachin was playing like only he could. But marveling at the misery of Shane Watson or misfortune of his team was mean by all standards.
The realization got me into thinking – what makes me hate Shane Warne? As some people point out, he is not quite a gentleman in the game of the gentlemen. His methods, and execution of them, are quite questionable at times. In short, he is not a good man. But does hating him make me any better? Or more importantly, does it make me worse than him, assuming he is actually a bad person? He is one of our own lot…a fellow human being…as imperfect as we all are. So what really makes us hate other people?
Before I understand source or the cause of hate, my thoughts wandered to the topic of love – the equally celebrated, if not more, brother (or sister, if you will) of hate. The case of love is no less intriguing. It escapes the clutches of reason effortlessly. It gives a miss to the rationale and intelligence, which we proudly consider the gift received only by the mankind. Take the case of Sachin – while all his good shots are considered to be straight out of heaven, like the holy
The question becomes bigger and sharper – why do we hate or love as much as we do? I am sure I am not the first to ask this question, and certainly not the last. Many people have asked the same question to themselves. So do we really have the answer? Or is there no answer because the answer is more uncomfortable than the question? Blaise Pascal, the wise man, did provide one satisfactory explanation – Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas (The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing). I managed to get one different explanation though – these are not to be understood, but experienced.