Sunday, 3 April 2011

The morning after.

We wake up this morning jubilantly hung-over. We play a sport and we are damn good at it, it's official. I've said this before in the context of another audience and another kind of ball, now it's been done again. The ball has united us, a much smaller one this time, accompanied by a bat, but it's power still unmistaken. Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Buddhists. Today we are all Indians, we have one religion - Cricket.

Experiencing this Cricket world cup in Germany was quite unforgettable. The 8 weeks of the world cup went all but unnoticed. The Germans remained fascinatingly indifferent to the charms of Cricket. Going about their normal lives and routine, as if nothing was happening. As if the curse of 28 years was not about to be lifted from 15% of the world's population. It was hard containing my excitement, especially as we drew hopefully closer to the coveted trophy. So I attempted to infect my surrounding with some of the Cricket fever. I discovered that I would have to start right at the very very beginning. I respectfully point out that the German's have no clue about Cricket, what-so-ever! Frequently compared to baseball and exasperatingly confused with Croquet (??!!). At the end of the first crash course I volunteered to my very congenial colleagues, I was just a tad disappointed when one of them pointed out how poorly things looked for India against Australia. It was the first Inning of the quarter finals, with Australia batting. The score stood at 70/1, interpreted as, Australia: 70, India: 1. I guess I'm not a very good teacher, so I went back to the very very beginning and tried again. After all, they seemed curious about the sport. I'd like to believe it had more to do with their genuine interest than submission to my irritatingly imposing excitement, and the need to share and celebrate it (I preserve the most annoying of Indian traits). Well, as the India Vs Australia game progressed, I was both touched and impressed to watch them follow the scores with better comprehension and yes, enthusiasm! Infection successful!!
On the morning of the D-day (yesterday), my English friends, the newly converted German cricket fans, my Brazilian friends, my half Australian friend, my South African friends, all moved me by swearing legions to India. Today they were also all Indians, the infection was becoming a pandemic! My German partner, fired with enthusiasm set out that morning with the resolve to learn, understand and support Indian Cricket as well. Alas, that fizzled out in an hour. He is programed for a 90 minute, maybe an extended 120 minute sport related excitement, so the rest of the 7 hours happend in spite of him. My children, their friends and our partners watched with concern and some fear as my dear South African friend and I spent hour after hour staring into the streamed broadcast of our collaborative performance (the Indian coach is South African) on a computer screen, letting out quaint sounds of pleasure and pain. The passing of each hour, increased those decibel levels. The last over was accompanied by our hysterical cacophony against the silent backdrop of a Munich suburb. All inhabitants had now taken cover, or had run. Then it came, the spectacular sixer that lead us to that glorious, dizzying victory!

My South African friend and I almost got 'help' from the neighbors when we ran out of the house screaming. Crazed with the happiness of success! One newly converted Cricket fan called to congratulate me on our winning 'home run'! Home run ??!! Oh well, you win some, you loose some ;-)!

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