Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cricket Fever

If you were hoping for commentary on the world cup you have wide balled into the wrong page. To me maiden is a girl, jaffa is a cake, googly is a typo for google and a silly point is well a silly point.

The only cricket match I watched was the one where the Indian team beat the British team. It was set amidst rousing A R Rahman music, Aamir Khan’s sculpted chest and Ashutosh Gowaariker’s sheer brilliance. Lagaan, if you haven’t watched it already, go for it!  (movie trailer  below...way below).

On March 30th, 2011 I decided I should do something I haven’t before. Watch a Cricket match the way it is meant to be. I was in the middle of testosterone, second hand cigarette smoke, booze, cacophony. It was the India Pakistan semi finals and what an effect the event had.

India won, and I caught Cricket fever. I mean really FEVER…the one where your temperature goes up.

So here I am huddled up in my quilt, perfect time to take a trip down memory lane. The year was 1996, the bunch of girls were doing anything but study for their board exams.

The nuns in the convent school realized that it would take some serious divine intervention to get us into study mode. So the girls were forced into going for a pilgrimage trip arranged by the school. We were to visit Chidambaram temple and the shrine at Velankani. When it came to exam results, keep all Gods happy.

We girls were on the bus, traversing through Tamil Nadu. It was also the day India was facing Pakisthan. I think it was the quarter finals. Those of you who know what I am speaking about please, please do add on the comment section below. GO ON.

No we dint have iPhones with crickinfo. If you think that makes it primitive, we did not even have an audio system in the rickety bus. The only way to tune in was with ancient technology of portable transistors - radios if you may please.

We had 3 of them, optimum coverage for the front, middle and back seats of the bus. We took turns to hold the radio. We took turns on who got to sit close to the one holding the radio. Each ball India batted for, some chanted SIX, some chanted a more down to earth FOUR. With each ball the screaming grew louder, hoarser. Soon even the shy one joined in. Collective sighs for each ball that went unanswered and silence for each player who got out. Many shed tears as Sachin got out, after all the very cute squeaky Sachin ruled our combined hearts. Other vehicles that passed by, would drive beside our bus to know the scores and watch the spectacle the girls had created,

Many of us stood through the trip. Each time the bus hit the brake (often in India), we flew into the front of the bus.. Each time something good happened in the match we would scream our lungs out, drumming on metal of the bus body. Some turned to prayers. Few broke into dappankuttu dance steps.

While I did not understand what actually went on in the match. The energy the girls had was contagious and I cheered and screamed. I got so carried away screaming that I even cheered when Pakistan hit their first sixer. Some girls did a rugby tackle on the traitor, others screamed “aaaiiyyyee paithyam” (mad moron). I learnt that now I had to reverse the cheering routine, cheer when someone gets out or when the ball does not fetch a run. Curse when they hit a six, four or miss getting out.  Cricket science for dummies!

I think it was Jadega who shined for his batting skills that day. That match I listened to is the only real cricket experience I have. What an effect the event had. I lost my voice for a few days. The nuns at the school were overjoyed for the blessing.

This time I decided to widen the horizon of my cricket experiences. I watched the India Pakistan match on large screen outdoors in the cold.  What an effect the event had. I have the cricket fever.

PS: India went on to win the match both times. The girls did superbly well in the board exams.  
PPS: Pass this onto others with cricket fever
PPPS: Watch my favourite cricket player, Aamir Khan in the  Lagaan Trailer.

3 comments:

  1. interesting article !!! cant believe that u never saw a cricket match before !!!!
    We should have invited to the cricket matches that always happened between my electronics batch and ur computer science batch even though its no where near to your mentioned Indo Pak game, for us it was none less than a Indo Pak game and credit to our guys we always won [:D] [:D] [:D]

    The lagaan movie was very special to me because i was late to see the movie and i managed to see the movie only 2 days before the famous Nat west final between India and England and in pure Lagaan style India pulled the game away from the English to win the game in the last over, ooh please don't tell tell that you haven't heard about the natwest final between India and England

    that's all from me for the time being, keep writing

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  2. Hi Nu, i cold visualize the bus ride in the flashback (it took me to black and white days... 'Swami and Friends'). Need to say...? You write beautiful. Please keep writing.

    what was more sweet after the World Cup Victory was your attempt to SANSKRITIZE 'pakisTHAN'... it should actually be PAKISTHANUM. ;-)
    Proving the point that i read it word to word and actually twice.

    vijay ttc

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  3. vijay - blame it on the mallu in me, we love the H, even my name got spelt with an H coz of a mallu in the passport office :)

    i am gonna leave the typo alone. i am impressed tht most places i still managed to get it right... each time i write a para, microsoft makes an artwork of red squiggly lines below most of the words :)

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