Narrated in the first person by an unnamed fourteen year old boy the reader realises after reading the story that Mistry may be exploring the theme of loyalty. Though at times the narrator has disliked doing so he has never refused his father. Though this may not be something that the narrator is aware of due to the fact that he would much prefer to be doing other things. It is also noticeable that there is an element of conflict in the story. That they care for one another despite the fact that they may have disputes. The family are closely knit together.
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This positive attitude emphasises his persistence and his refusal to come to terms with ageing. If he always reacted negatively, violently and aggressively to when people attempted to tell him the truth, this would show that he actually understands the truth but simply does not want to be reminded of it.
His positive reactions, however, show his blindness to the truth and inability to realise it. There is no doubt who is the more talented cricketer. Misbah is routinely secure and imposing when he wishes to be. But in , Mathews has been a complete batsman, on every kind of surface, in any situation. They both make dour beginnings; that first impulse is always "safety first".
But they are also equipped with the skill, and the will to quickly gather pace. For Misbah, the big blows often come suddenly, on the leg side, in the arc between wide long-on and square leg.
Mathews, increasingly, just clobbers them where he likes. Neither are ungainly batsmen, but no one could ever mistake them for artists either. They are too sensible to fuss with aesthetics. Both hail from cricket cultures that celebrate flamboyance - more true for Misbah, perhaps, than for Mathews - but they leave the pretty stuff to their team-mates and take the utilitarian road themselves.
Misbah is wise enough to know aggression is critical to the cricket some batsmen play, but Mathews is still learning that others cannot absorb pressure as passively as he can. Rarely is Mathews among the "we" in that sentence.
Of White Hairs and Cricket by Rohinton Mistry
Of White Hairs and Cricket Analysis