The #ICCWorldCup2015 is well under way, with thrills, chills, spills and grills both on the lush green fields where the cricket matches are being played Down Under, and in every glued-to-the-TV-screen cricket fan’s home, in every corner of the world.
Few things affect, mould, fire-up and wring our emotions more than an India-Pakistan face off. That’s the way it has been for generations before. And that’s the way it’s likely to be for generations to come. I have a feeling that 100 years down the line, when cricket has become a 1-over game, with 2 players a side, people will still tune in to their holographic TV sets inserted in their palms, for 5 mins of pure adrenaline rush, before zooming off to the 10th planet of the Solar System in their sleek Octa-Core Apple S-Pods. And for those in the know, Gavaskar will still be complaining about India’s bowling, and Afridi will still be playing for Pakistan!
When I was in school, I would skip class on the pretext of using the toilet, sneak out of the school building, get close to the gatekeeper’s room, and listen to the radio through the window, just long enough to get the score from the match commentary, static and all. The teacher never punished me, even if I got caught… I had the SCORE, after all! And all’s forgiven for a win… 🙂
At the Eden Gardens Stadium, literally packed to the rafters with 100,000 screaming, whistling, chanting fans, if Pakistan lost a wicket when you stood up to stretch your legs, you could not sit down thereafter… You were the chosen mascot, willy-nilly, for the rest of the innings, voted by the few hundred zealous fans surrounding you in the galleries! Anyway, cramped legs is a small price to pay for a win, right?
A few years ago, 5 people would have to be sitting on my bean bag, meant only for one, for India to win… they sat, we won! The beanbag is, of course, history!
Last Sunday, it was India-Pakistan facing off in the World Cup again. Histories, statistics, tempers, sentiments and emotions collided, ably egged on by a clever little piece of advertising by Star Sports – watch here, if you haven’t already. It was much of the old cricket-loving gang assembled at home… the ones perched on the bean bag, that is! The same cries of anguish rang through the air, the same whoops of joy.
But this time I don’t know what got us the win! Was it the Hot Dogs with home-made Relish, zingy Mustard and Chilli Tomato Sauce? Was it the Spicy Red and Fruity White Sangria doing the rounds with chilled beers from the ice-box? Was it the old, excited, familiar faces around the room, around the city, around the country? Or was it, for once, the actual players playing the game, a few thousand miles away? Nope, can’t be! We must find out WHAT WE DID to win. Because WE need to replicate that very same thing next time, and the time after, and so on…