World cup cricket

SS Kumar By SS Kumar, 26th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Cricket is the main religion in India today and the players are the heroes, deified by Indians. The traditional rivalry between India and Pakistan on the field adds spice to the game, when neither is willing to accept a defeat. The author has narrated the recently being played world cup in Australia and the day's defeat of India at the hands of Australia in the semi finals.

The cricket fever!

After a clean slate of seven matches and seventy-wicket haul, India tamely yielded to the Aussies, who played a better game today. It is interesting to analyze the psyche of the Indians, who were more than shocked and disappointed at the unprepared defeat today.

The fever started long ago, much before the fixtures were announced. The teashops were animatedly discussing the very many permutations and the likely outcome of each combination. The government swung into action, printing large banners, with details of matches and hung them at vantage points to woo the voters for the forthcoming elections.

More coffee drained from the cups with serious faces wondering what if the Indo-Pak match was held on a Friday, worried about the influence of Namaz prayers. Not to be outdone, our own zealots performed yagnas, offered pujas in every temple, with a promise to tonsure their heads and climb to the hill shrines. ‘Just give us the cup,’ was the prayer in everyone’s’ lips. Pakistan’s defeat was celebrated with parties, while murmuring that the wily neighbor was a better opponent than the stronger Australia or New Zealand teams. Buoyed by ‘Make in India,’ Indian had become stronger, (over) confident and perhaps a bit arrogant too. It was taken for granted that Indians would be drinking the masala chai from the world cup. Dhoni just cannot lose.

Religious fervor was at its peek, coconuts were broken at temples, Kali temple saw a record footfall with benevolence of the sports loving devotees shocking even the militant priests. The work in the government stopped (did it ever start?) with the cabinet and PM congratulating the team and the captain on their victories. This was not just an ordinary war with Pakistan, or the parliament under attack, it was cricket and the winner could be awarded Bharat Ratna and the political mileage could be immense. Every body wanted to piggyback on the silly game. The loyal countrymen too decided to bunk their work, this time without any alibi. The employers were kind and stayed home too, to watch the game.

As the game moved up with India undefeated, the fans grew bolder. Flights to Sydney were full. The semi final saw 70 per cent of the stadium occupied by our boisterous fans, leaving the hosts gasping. There were conches blowing, bells being rang, aarthi being offered, the tricolor flew everywhere, as if it was our national day. Patriotic fervor was seen everywhere. Caste and creed, and community problems were just forgotten as the four wickets of the Aussies tumbled. The ever-serious boss, walked into the staff canteen to sneak a peek for a few minutes, only to stay put to enjoy the game and the camaraderie.

Aussie wickets started falling suddenly after the cameras zeroed in on Anushka, Virat Kohli’s girlfriend. Left to aam aadmi, she would have had the highest nomination for the highest honour of the country there and then. Alas! Cricket is a funny game and even the last ball has changed the fortunes, as we have seen many times earlier. We Lost. Anushka’s posters were torn and her presence resented.

The ‘nation’ would want to know, why she should have been there in Sydney in the first place. Limitless debates, talk shows on the TV and out of it will go on for the next few days, perhaps even weeks.

The semis would be forgotten, and on Sunday once again the roads would be empty during the final match, akin to a strike. The city would enjoy a Sunday, watching New Zealand and Australia and would genuinely support the better team. That’s cricket fever in India!

Tags

Cricket, Humor Writing, Humorous, Sport Event, Sports

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author avatar SS Kumar
lawyer, poet, writer and photographer

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