© Shuchi Kapoor
On the playground, the middle finger is not sporty enough and neither are the charging bulls of South India. Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport had everyone's attention recently. Protection from abuse was on everyone's mind and tweets when they sloganed their way to the High courts to ban this barbarous sport that the beast may or may not want to play. The local Tamizh who has only been following this ancient sport as a tradition is baffled at the sudden hullabaloo. But he too does not give up without a fight and upholds the spirit of the game with a simple retort, "Have you ever even set foot in Madurai? Will you even come to witness the sport for yourself or just watch it passively on your TVs?" Popular amongst the warriors during the Tamil classical era, this sport, an act of 'veeram' or courage was a simple yet significant way for women to choose their husbands. It continues to be a thorough entertainer even today with its sheer raw appeal and an equal display of valour by both the man and the beast. Injuries cannot be discounted in a wild playground, but the bulls rarely suffer any casualties. The men need to be prepared though.