India is filled with Cricket fans! Instead of blood, cricket runs in the veins of Indians (that's the heights of fanaticism here). Last 6 weeks, most of the Indian youth (and the oldies) went through a lot of anxiety, restlessness and distraction. Thanks to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. From Media to politics everybody understood only Cricket language. Cricket was not only in the air, but also in their dreams!
Don't get me wrong here, Iam not trying to spoil the feeling of victory by quoting the extent of madness, I am a cricket fan too, just the level of fanaticism is slightly low. In the Semi's - When Indian team won against the Pakistan team - I jumped and rejoiced too (If I knew to whistle, I would have done that too). I clapped with excitement when Dhoni hit his winning Sixer at the Finals against Sri lanka. MS Dhoni was criticised for many of his decisions: Remember the disappointment when Ashwin was replaced with Nehra in the Semi's? All of us thought that we are going to lose so bad just because of Nehra's bowling talent! And then, what a performance, Nehra was the best bowler in that match and all the critics had to shut their big mouths after an awesome win!
Anyways, I am not technically sound with Cricket so I would continue to write what I am probably good at (stories). To make my point (again), I completely enjoy cricket, I love watching it with friends and family and also enjoy screaming for every 4 or 6 our guys make, and sometimes also dance in front of the TV when India Wins! Don't believe me? Read on!
This craze about cricket was introduced to me by my dad! He used to play cricket every weekend with his group of friends. I was very small then when my dad used to regularly go every Sunday to have a piece of cricket! When we got Cable TV at home, my dad was super excited about all the lovely matches he can watch in Star Sports with english commentary (I somehow hated the the painful Hindi commentary on DD). From then on, any Cricket match, ODI or Test, we used to watch as a family in the house!
The four of us (My parents, sister and me) are a bunch of enthu-patani's! We would do extra preparation when there was an India match going to happen. School homework would be done at light speed. Mom will make special snacks and keep it ready. Dad will close shop and come home early just to make sure he doesn't miss 1 second of the action. Our home was located in a central location (Parrys) where there were very small houses and loud TV sets. When the match starts, we could not only hear our TV blowing full volume, but the neighbor's too! My dad would get so involved and emotional that he would pile up Rs.2 to Rs.5 coins on the TV set begging the batsman to hit a sixer! (All that money eventually went to the poor). My sister and I would get comfortable seats on the Divan (a kind of couch) and start cheering when the match starts. We would also pick Hindi songs to sing when a sixer or four was hit!
During a typical India match, if India is losing too many wickets, Dad would pile up more coins and start switching channels (the logic was, we can avoid the evil eye on our players :P when there is so much pressure on them) and when the neighbors start whistling or clapping, we would know India is playing well and switch back to the sports channel ;). During a nail biting situation, mom would close her eyes and do a silly trick asking "India jeetse ke nai???" (The silly trick is matching her hands with eyes closed and if the fingers match right, we will win ;)..).
Yesterday, I was not in the usual craziness avatar and was watching the match very calmly, hoping that Dhoni will see me and play calm ;). When the champs won the match, Mom called me and congratulated with so much cheer that I went down memory lane! It was surely a nostalgic moment for me!
Here's for the team who won it after 28 years! Go India Go!