Days of our Lives!

September 30, 2007

So, what just happened?

Filed under: Sports — Santhosh @ 12:02 PM

“I think I just saw India beat Pakistan in a World Cup final and lift the cup!”
“Really? Well, take two of these with a glass of water and everything should be fine in the morning.”

The next day in office, it wasn’t hard to tell who’d been up all night staring and shouting, unable to take their eyes off an event that was never supposed to happen.
~ There were the ones who were staggering around with wild eyes, preoccupied with their thoughts, and looking as if they’d been visited overnight by Manmohan Singh in a Hawaiian shirt sporting Pamela Anderson on his arm.
~ Then there were the doubters, the ones who kept pinching themselves, checking every website available for the scorecard, and confirming on Google Earth that Nostradamus’ prediction of doom was yet to materialize.
~ Then there were the ramblers, still so thoroughly affected by the experience that they kept blurting out snatches of the action to themselves.
~ And finally there were the perpetually happy – the ones who infuriated non-cricketing types by walking around the office with permanent grins plastered across their faces.

Our cricketers could have at the least given us a bit of warning before pulling a stunt like that. It’s all very well to knock over Bangladesh, THAT upset notwithstanding, or to beat England in a Test series. We are comfortable with that. But beating England, South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan in consecutive matches to lift a world title? It’s a wonder people didn’t panic, grab a few essentials and flee the country overnight. At the very least Dhoni and the ICC should be reprimanded for their tomfoolery.

How quickly things can change in a week. Not more than a fortnight ago, India were limping to this T20 World Cup from England, their one-day form in tatters, even relative to the last couple of years. Mind you, without their top three run-getters and their best bowler, into a format they had as much knowledge about as my office security have on servlets and WSDLs (not that I’m going risk asking them about it though). And that was after an iffy butsy series victory against Bangladesh. And now the Indians are being feted as world champions after galvanising a nation with some of the most exciting series of successive matches ever witnessed in the history of the game.

Now we’ve got to deal with not only a sizeable proportion of the population rendered incoherent by the past fortnight’s happenings, but also with fairy godmothers such as Madan Lal and Anshuman Gaekwad chiding us for ever doubting that it would happen. The press, as always, are in a little league of their own; Kapil’s Devils has now become Dhoni’s Daredevils (Cricinfo) and Dhoni’s Demons (TOI) – note the wonderfully creative use of alliterations here.

To witness the unrelenting intensity levels that our team produced with their backs against the wall, to watch Yuvi and Rohit and Robin defy gravity and pull off stunners and direct-hits, to see the South Africans and the Australians caving under the sustained pressure, to watch a young tyro in Sreesanth spin a web around Haydos and Yuvi pay back in interest to England and Bhajji bowl a magnificent spell to Afridi in the first game… it was as if the mind was playing tricks. If it wasn’t for the number of witnesses, you’d swear it was a propaganda stunt filmed in Eden Gardens with the help of that Chak De movie director to boost public morale before a hectic cricket season.

But the abiding memory will be of the exhilaration of an entire nation who connected with the team on a near-spiritual level, transported as one back to those heady days of the nineties when a Sachin at the peak of his powers smashed the Aussies all over a sandstorm-hit desert park, when an Ajay Jadeja sprinted towards a catch with our collective hearts in our mouths, when an India-Pakistan encounter emptied offices and streets and had the population assembled outside TV showrooms and paan-shops! There were times there when you could close your eyes and imagine the clock being turned back a decade. And that’s what Dhoni’s team helped give us this week (apart from the eyesight concerns) – a connection with our past.

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9 Comments »

  1. ya thats rite : kiss the cricketer’s arse when he wins, kill him when he loses… that’s india, isn’t it? our country needs a crash course in accepting things as they are… i personally feel that the BCCI (one crore to yuvi??!!) and the state govt overdid it by rewarding the players… tax-payer’s money man… use it to lay roads and give away food to homeless ppl… that the other countries do the same thing is not an excuse… india is different na?

    Comment by crazyBugga — October 1, 2007 @ 1:47 PM | Reply

  2. LOL this place is very fast becoming one of my most favorite blogs. You rock dude!

    Comment by Matt — October 1, 2007 @ 5:21 PM | Reply

  3. @crazybuggaSo, did you watch the finals, or didn’t you? ;)@mattIt’s your decision! 🙂

    Comment by santhosh — October 1, 2007 @ 6:49 PM | Reply

  4. cricket – it’s just part of a bigger madnesss in our country….. remember our countrymen give hero’s welcome to monica bedi on acquital … celebrate when sanju baba gets bail …. our journalists cover ash’s wedding and saif’s affairs as if nothing better is happening … toatally ignoring the victories and sacrifice of real heroes .. while surfing through our news channels one can’t help praying … “god, help my country” .. :(..:)

    Comment by Naveen — October 2, 2007 @ 8:52 PM | Reply

  5. Hey that’s the beauty of Indian cricket- just when you think you know what to expect. They pull off the unexpected- of course often not to such victorious ends. Watching the Men in Blue in action is perenially traumatising due it’s extremely unpredictable nature. Consatncy is an alien term in the case of team India. Let’s hope the sudden golden streak doesn’t fade.

    Comment by atomicgitten — October 3, 2007 @ 1:18 PM | Reply

  6. indha bajana ellam next adi vaangara veraikum daan…but well, i guess suspense adds to the fun element. which is probably why the highlights aren’t that gripping despite the per ball excitement being obviously higher…

    Comment by Mark IV — October 3, 2007 @ 3:26 PM | Reply

  7. that was a gud one i read after a looooong time….. keep up d work keep writting 🙂

    Comment by Jo — October 3, 2007 @ 8:58 PM | Reply

  8. @naveenNot to mention Salman, when Bihar was under water!@atomicgittenAtleast they’re consistent in being inconsistent but then hey, nothing beats Indian cricket!

    Comment by santhosh — October 4, 2007 @ 5:46 PM | Reply

  9. @markivBhajana over. India lost to Aus. I’m relieved. Normalcy resumed!@joI’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

    Comment by santhosh — October 4, 2007 @ 5:47 PM | Reply


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