Being a novice, I really don’t know (and don’t care) if I am posting too frequently but the point is I cannot ignore the fact that I live in a country where cricket is religion and India just won the World Cup. My Facebook-news-feeds are flooded (three pages and counting) with updates from the match. If you are expecting a post-match summary or for that matter an analysis, quit NOW! Because, there are already enough people who never held a cricket bat in their life and yet consider themselves experts of the game and would readily agree to sit over a cup of coffee to explain what went wrong with Sri Lanka today.
Well, I watched almost the entire game, partly on our television reclining on my arms and partly on the giant screen installed in the centre of our housing (popularly known as “society”, something that amused me during my initial days here). I cannot but agree that I spontaneously clapped after boundaries were hit by Indian batsmen. Every run was being cheered for- the atmosphere was indeed electrifying. I relived the old days when I used to cheer for the team with increased vigor than I do today (Probably interests change with time). And I must say, I am regaining the luck I was missing while supporting the home team ;-)
What strikes me with awe is the unity this game brings to the country- the belief that these players, mostly youngsters, foster into the hearts of billions. Frankly, I was not expecting India to go beyond the Quarter-finals after the initial debacles in the league matches. But tonight has been miraculous and emotions have outplayed reasons! Fireworks lighted up the night sky. The mass took part in insane celebrations, irrespective of the petty parochialisms that rule the everyday-life. Was there a Raj Thakre supporter today who would drive Dhoni away because he hailed from Jharkhand? Was there a revengeful Bihari whose eyes didn’t swell with tears when Sachin was carried on the shoulders of his team-mates, wrapped in the Tricolor? Was there a Muslim who didn’t sing to the tunes of Vande Maataram during the final overs of the game because some orthodox leaders of the community considered that it promoted idolatry? Was there a Bengali who was unhappy because Dhoni did what Sourav could not, eight years back? Was there an Indian who did not cherish with glittering eyes the moments when the team held the coveted Cup and posed for the photo-shoot? These are questions that make me rethink the potential of the game. It really doesn’t matter whether I like the game or not- if it can bind a culturally, socially, politically and religiously-diverse nation together, all I can say is: Take a bow, the king of all games, Cricket!