In a 'fix'

‘Fix’ and its variants have become dirty words now. Even an innocuous “I’ll fix an appointment for you with the school secretary” invites suspicious glares with that “Oh, so  you are a fixer” look. And as everybody knows, it is all due do some greedy cricketers, bookies and, of course, the invisible betting hordes, all of whom tried to grab a share of the luscious fruits of the cricketing tree.

To their bad luck, the fruits turned out to be bitter, much like the Alfonso mangoes we lesser mortals buy in the hope of enjoying the heavenly taste, only to find them sour or infested with maggots. If it was match fixing earlier, now it is spot fixing. Whatever it is, the outcomes are ‘fixed’ with the gullible  crowds swallowing them unsuspectingly. Or rather, people have become so cynical that even an innocent wiping of the brow or a tapping of the bat on the crease is viewed with immediate suspicion.

The ‘fixers’ keep hitting sixers until some alert eyes and minds catch on to the con game and spoil the dream run. ‘You’re fixed, buddy’ says Inspector Goon with his typical pompous swagger in Enid Blyton’s stories. He was rightof course!

In commerce, we have ‘price fixing’ where the price of a commodity is ‘fixed’ in advance by a coterie of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, dealers etc and ingeniously manipulated to ensure that they make maximum profits. Similarly with the share markets too, notorious for the myriad ways in which investors are ripped off.

Now for the ‘fixers’ who can just about ‘fix’ anything, for a ‘small consideration’ of course. Whether it is a train ticket, a movie ticket, a seat in a school or college or an out of turn allotment of some permit or just about anything else, the ‘fixer’ can ‘fix’ it.

One only has to have the right contacts or access to the right channel.  Otherwise, you’re in a fix. It’s urgent. Time is running out. You need that ticket or licence or whatever. The fixer is the last resort of the desperate. So fix is synonymous with greed and opportunism. ‘Fix’ can also mean to get it repaired as in ‘I have to get my car fixed” or it can  mean to put it together properly or secure it firmly. ‘I’ll fix him” means to get even with him or teach him a lesson.

Love is the adhesive that fixes broken hearts. But all these connotations of ‘fix’ seem to have been overshadowed by the more recent, sinister and seamier meanings of the word. Sports, like culture is regarded as an expression of the human psyche to achieve and excel. Sadly, today it has, because of a few debased and greedy individuals turned into an arena, not for displaying sporting prowess but for money making. “Fix’ sure is a dirty word.

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