This was the Day of Judgment, there was question on everybody’d mind - "Who will win the world cup?"
Actually speaking, I don’t understand this game of Cricket and find it a sheer waste of my time, seems so silly to follow every ball around the screen (I mean field). I am always awed by people who get super-excited as they follow the balls’ movements zigzagging its way in different directions after being whacked by a hard wooden bat, the batsmen running up and down between two ends of the stumps, hundreds of spectators announcing the same score, and all this while I am thinking, "What game is this, that keeps the people’s passion so alive that they scream and hoot as though their life depends on that score". Duh!
“I have better things to do” I mumble, tuk-tuking my head at this madness, until the day arrives when the cricket fever is so high that the temperature in my environment rises beyond my ignorance value. I realize that this is neither one of those 1000 odd ODI matches that are playing on TV 365 days a year, nor those IPL matches that people keep betting on.
I am distracted and slightly interested.
This is the most important ‘The World Cup’ match (I am told) and I learn about it only after I see the excitement in everybody’s faces when they talk about that war-like-match between India/Pakistan. Whenever Indians talk about Pakistan, their antenna always shoots upwards into the nether zones, there is some kind of love-hate relationship between these enstranged neighbors which is never going to be resolved. Everybody was talking about this match, so I googled a bit but the real tutorials came from some kids in my building who updated me about it during my evening walks, they educated me on its importance for India, and then there was also TV, Twitter, social media, all breathed cricket who spoke nothing but cricket and my interest had sowed its seed.
I learnt about the passion of cricket in India, when I saw the crowd outside every electronic store. Walking down the streets of Bandra, saw hundreds of people crowded around a store. "What can the matter be?" I wondered as I approached to investigate. I discovered that all were glued to the TV in the store watching a cricket match. "Oh dear!!! What a craze!!!"
On the day of ‘The World cup match’ my friends came over. (This was one more excuse to spend the Saturdays with my friends) We chatted, we played cards and watched the match munching on snacks and drinks. My cousins were in contact with me on Blackberry and their conversation/ comments added zing to our party. At regular intervals they forwarded the messages which I would share with my friends at home. This was an added advantage as a stress buster (not for me, but for my friends).
The current Cricket World Cup situation between India versus Sri Lanka is this.... India (Ram) married World Cup (Sita) in 1983 and in 1996 SriLanka (Raavan) took away Sita (WoldCup). Now after 14 years of Vanvaas, they meet again and you know the results..! One of the forwards posted on my BBBut the stress was there throughout the game, my friend who is a cricket fan didn’t want to see the match till it was ‘safe to watch’, she wanted the game to end before the 50-overs, saying - "playing till the last ball is very stressful". She cursed the players who got out and cheered the ones who scored well. “Hit four! Hit four!” she kept scolding the cricketers, showing her fist to the TV whenever there was no score. When the wickets fell, she covered her face with regrets.
After eight hours of viewing this match, finally there was ‘The Six-er’ a brownie point that spelled ‘Victory’. There was hugging sessions in my room, with my friends laughing loudly, congratulating each other. We watched, we celebrated with billions of images with equal euphoria and merriment.
We decided that it would be fun to go to Carter road for the celebration, we dressed up to go to a coffee shop by the sea-shore and was surprised to see that there was a midnight party in every lane, with sweetest traffic jam and the processions of dancers and singers, all waving India flag, screaming and hooting till their throat crackled. There were small children, old people, young and middle-age, all came out of their homes to be on the streets, to greet each other, to see and to be seen.
Everybody had Indian flag to wave showing their National pride in their victory
All the people were seen sitting on the bonnet, n the roof and on their car windows with their body protuding out from the window (there were some serious accidents too I learnt abour it later)
Some people were quite creative, painted their faces and body to show their happiness.Those people expert in body-painting had world cup painted on their backs, they drove through lanes of Bandra on a scooty, congratulating each other.
This was one big street party and this was day they didn't complain of being stuck in a traffic jam
Yes I was glad that my interest had been aroused and I understood what this excitement was all about. I celebrated the victory with the cup of vanilla crush........ Jai Ho!!