Friday, 1 April 2011

Indo-Pak Cricket Fever

The day of the India-Pakistan semi-final of the ICC World Cup, 2011, was absolutely insane. It started with the analyses of the match given by about a billion people across country. "Sachin will deliver", "Sehwag is the danger man", "we should bat first", "we should chase", "the powerplay should not be taken within the 40 overs", so on and so forth. Its such a feeling of one-ness when all one talks about is the thing you talk about; the thing your neighbour talks about; the thing your neighbour's neighbour talks about; is what your city, state and country talk about. I'm sure everyone's hearts were beating racily. On the other hand, there were people who, on watching so many crucial matches lost in the past, could not get past their cynicism and resignation. They knew "India could not do it". They knew "India did not have the bowling". They also knew "India was a poor fielding side". It was almost like a stand of morality imposed on the Indian team. It was after all a competition, which involves being better than your competitors, & there is no such thing as absolutes in batting, fielding and bowling.

I watched people drinking water in green-coloured bottles being questioned about their loyalty towards Indians. One particular person, on gulping down a forth of the bottle replied, "I'm indicating that India is going to gulp down the Pakistani's the way I just did". The madness quotient just raised its bar. Employees of various companies did not show up on the day, and it was all well understood by those who did make it. This is the sort of understanding one craves all of his/her life, and finds it a rarety.

You could find a very large density of people on the roads and at bus stops, all rushing back home to get to watch the match. I stood at a bus stop for nearly 25 minutes, and when my watch read 14:21 IST, I took an auto, and rushed back home. I found myself sitting in front of the tv at 14:30 IST. The match, of course, turned out to the be the thriller that it was expected to be. When India was finding itself nearing its glory, crackers lit up through out bangalore. People ran down & blocked the streets. The atmosphere was electrifying if one got on to the streets.

At the end of the day, I just found myself listening to the post-match presentation, after which I heard to all the expert comments looking for my own private analysis. Feeling satisfied at the way the day turned out, I put myself to a peaceful sleep.        

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