Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Shah Rukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Amir khan, where would you see them all togather? It is not an award function (Amir never goes to award functions, remember? ) but the recently held Pro Kabaddi League. It is also amazing to watch them jumping and shouting in excitement along with others for their respective teams, just like normal people. Nowadays, the success formula for any event planner is to rope in some Bollywood bigwigs and attract a bigger audience. Kabaddi league was no exception. The organizers’ gamble paid off hugely. To add to the glamour quotient, stars are also owners of teams. TRPs of the show skyrocketed and stood only next to the IPL. PKL hit 288 million views in no time (IPL 453 million views) . In an era when magic of cricket is disappearing fast, KPL is much needed silver line for Kabaddi.
“Pro Kabaddi League has not only mainstreamed Kabaddi at home but also made Indian – flavoured sport cool worldwide. ” writes Gayatri Jayaraman in India Today. Kabaddi has remained in the shadow for too long, considered a rural sport. That impression is now removed with the glittering success of PKL. In fact, it is the most played sport in India as it requires no tools, but only 13 × 10 square meter piece of land. Amazingly, both genders love this game equally.
Kabaddi originated in India, in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. It is also the national games of Nepal and Bangladesh and state games of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab. On the game, players show off their aggression with movements of legs. A slap on thigh displays the aggression of attackers.
While the business houses have hit the jackpot with PKL, the players too have got their own peace of cake in form of instant fame. The players, mostly from small towns and villages, are soaked in fame. Some of the players government employees of various departments like BSNL, ONGC, Ait India, CRPF and police. PKL was also successful in attracting playes of other nations like Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Korea and Taiwan. Wei Yang, the Taiwanese player in PKL, is doing a PhD in Kabaddi and he is the first professional player from his nation. Jang Kun Lee, the Korean, also know taekwondo and judo (martial arts).
PKL was played on synthetic turf. Usually, it is played on soil and sometimes in mud too. Kabaddi players are sons of soil and always touch the soil with respect before entering the ground. We can only hope to see these sturdy players playing on the soil in future leagues.
Kabaddi is the celebration of Indianness.