Coming back to the water and the bridge,yes, a certain world cup was won to satiate almost a billion crazy maniacs of the game and the team. This was something that could have provoked a post from me, being no less a fanatic myself. What instead happened was I read so much stuff from so many people, that everything that could have been said about ‘the’ match was done to death by every blogger worth his or her salt. That said, it was nevertheless a unique occasion. Here I was alone in my apartment (I live with two others, one chose to go to his brother’s place and the other chose to go apartment hunting on that day-the latter mostly out of a fear of jinxing our team just by watching them play!), shouting and screaming and cursing and clenching fists and gnawing throughout the course of the match, finally culminating in that magnificent six over the long on boundary,accompanied by that slick twirl of the bat by MSD. And then I erupted in joy. A feeling that had never been felt in reality before; a feeling that had only been dreamed of, a feeling we all had only wondered about. Here it was. What followed was high decibel screaming and a subsequent mental delirium of sorts which was to last for a few more days until it all gradually sunk in. When the dust seemed to settle a bit on the state of my mind,when it looked like I could sit down and gather myself and word my thoughts, it felt like a frustrating drought of a verbal nature.Words vanished like clouds on a drought-affected land,mind resembling a parched landscape. I had read so much from so many sources, it seemed like I had nothing different to offer in the form of one more blog post… after all it would have been just another drop in an ocean.
Most part of last year, I spent aspiring for a couple of things to be precise(among many other less-interesting ones, of course). One was a purely professional one- that of traveling to the US for a long term assignment and the other was about India winning the cup.Once the visa was obtained,I was reasonably certain that an on site opportunity would materialize sooner than later, but the second one was prone to becoming a pipe-dream, especially since I had seen 5 previous world cup dreams crashing like a lead-balloon.
Never did I know that I would live to experience both-simultaneouosly(not to say I had any imminent threat to life!).Although I’d’ve preferred the company of a few friends during that moment of triumph,celebrating it in solitude was interesting in its own way. For I didn’t really feel like I was alone. There were those scores of people I was following on Twitter. The entire world cup was watched in the crazy company of some very funny and equally mad tweeters. Every single incident evoked a whole gamut of emotions on the timeline and it was one heck of a substitute for the lifeless,cliche-ridden and banal commentary that was on offer. Testmatch Sofa was also frequented upon,by muting the commentary from the live stream.Tuning into this website offered a very irreverent,funny and sarcastic point of view on the proceedings.It was like watching a dubbed movie or something.OK,not quite the analogy I was looking for but you get the drift,don’t you?
The journey from the knock-outs, goes without saying, was one roller coaster ride. The quarter final against the Aussies started off as a sleepless night-before,progressing as a nervous,gingerly first innings as Ricky Ponting guided them to a tricky total. It was then time to go to office, and the next couple of hours were destined to be totally unproductive from a work-perspective. It was an exercise in venting out all possible emotions even while trying your best not to let them out in a way which would make the clients aware of such feelings. This was the most tense I would feel in the entire world cup. The last over was watched streaming on one of my desi co-worker’s mobile with utter disregard to the download limits his data plan imposed.Nobody cared as long as we were winning.
Pakistan was an entirely different proposition. The hype back home was understandably maddening and over-the-top and I was kind of insulated from all that frenzy the media created in a way. That I didn’t have any TV here helped. However, an Indo-Pak encounter in a world cup is nothing like anything.(no, this sentence wasn’t sponsored by micromax or karbonn or whichever brand uses that as a tagline). The fever gets to you. What I experienced on that day was something I will cherish for a long time to come. We were a pretty formidable number of desis at the client’s place. A couple of influential Indians working with the client had enough authority to book a meeting room and screen the match live for our sake. Heck, they even sponsored snacks, drinks and a post-victory pizza for lunch!We did try our bit to help the Americans understand what all that fuss was about too. Work and deadlines and time- everything came to a standstill. Only those hysterical bunch of Indians packed inside a room seemed to be moving about crazily. The clients,had resigned to fate that no work would be done that day,irrespective of whether we were going to lose or win.It was very nice of them indeed.
To abruptly end with another cliche,the final of course,as they say, was history. I still cannot muster the words to describe that match.