Jul 16, 2010
After the grand spectacle of the world cup got over with Spain winning the coveted FIFA World Cup 2010 I got a SMS that read – Breaking News: Octopus Paul has fainted and died of shock and the reason: He was asked when India is going to win FIFA Word cup. Many such jokes and SMSes have found their way to the public through SMS, emails, face book and Orkut and other means of communications with Paul as the centre stage, whenever the conversation centered around this years FIFA world cup. Paul was the real hero who attracted greater attraction than some of the football stars of the World Cup. With all its predictions about the world cup matches Pulpo Paul is one of the most searched in the charts. Considering India’s standing in the football vis-a-vis the world, which is at the bottom, the younger generation is quick to have fun in their own way with little help from Paul.
It is a small wonder that people world over blindly believed in such predictions, an unhealthy sign for the educated generation. One fails to understand how Europeans and Americans, who consider themselves to be technologically advanced and genetically superior, who often poked fun at Asian and African countries for being backward, superstitious and lacking scientific temper, believe in the psychic powers of an eight legged Octopus. No wonder Germany was very much psyched in its semifinal match against Spain with the ghost of Paul’s predictions hovering over it. Netherlands though fought bravely? (Most football fans felt the final was a scrappy, rough and badly played game), finally had resign to the fate as Paul had predicted Spain’s victory.
Nothing, however, including ‘octopus baba’ can take away the sheen away from Spain’s hard fought victory. As expected the victorious team was taken through a glittering parade through the historic Madrid streets. The highlight of their homecoming was the three mile open top bus ride through the Madrid streets teeming with thousands of crazy and happy fans who came out in the open to share and celebrate their country winning the world cup. The entire country was in jubilation celebrating their win.
Spain certainly deserved it and the victory is yet to sink in, in the minds of many Spaniards who will continue to celebrate it. One has to remember that public memory and that too in the sporting arena, is too short that people will forget everything in the next four years. If by chance, Spain is not able to match the same performance in the next World Cup they are sure to receive brickbats. Ultimately it is only the ‘results’ or the ‘success’ that matters. Today, Spanish fans who shower praises on “Octobpus Baba” for his correct predictions are sure to condemn and criticize the oracle, if at all he happens to do it again but not picking up Spain as winner in the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.
It is the same psyche we Indians exhibit when it comes to our love or rather passion for cricket. One win and the media and public starts singing paeans of our cricketing heroes. Recently India won the Asia cup after a long awaited gap of 15 years. And everything including India’s dismal performance in the recent T-20 matches, was completely forgiven and forgotten. In a country like ours where public’s emotions or sentiments are driven by instant gratification the fear of criticism after singing paeans is predictable. Imagine, we have not left out cricketing god Sachin Tendulkar also from this kind of treatment.
I think India should seriously think of buying Octopus Paul as its predictions can be of multifarious use especially in politics and sports. The other day a cartoon in a leading English daily with an Indian astrologer (with an Octopus in his basket) and politicians queuing up to know oracle powers, clearly depicted the Indian scenario. And we can certainly predict the winner of cricket matches without resorting to match fixing. Manmohan Singh and his team can have a sigh of relief once Octopus Baba predicts their victory, inflation or deflation no matter. The opposition will not try hard to campaign and preserve its resources if Octopus predicts a defeat for them. Ultimately we may have to forego the process of elections and save the exchequer crores of money both black and white. Only those the Octopus selects will be declared as sinners.
In Karnataka this Octopus Baba will have a challenging task of predicting many things. Yeddi-Reddy-Siddu-Swamy combine can make best use of him. The combined opposition and the united ruling party will have a clear clue as to their next course of action, courtesy Octopus Paul. In the meantime it will be an eighth wonder if this Octopus is not stolen, if at all it is brought to India. Nothing is impossible here.