Despite the fact that I have a colleague back at work who plays in the national cricket team, it never came to my interest to know how about the game. So much so that even after he came back after playing match, it ended with the note, " Welcome back and nothing more than that." It was just a routine until today.
I have decided, when I get back I would ask him what is he good at? Bowling or Batting? Now, when he goes out to play, I can relate to what he is talking about. And it all happened because the Cricket World Cup is on here in India.
Thanks to Bhanu Pratap Singh, we call him Majdur for short. He taught the me the basics of a game that brings together the whole of India. Be it Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh or a commoner like the delivery boy who wants to know the latest score or the next door neighbor who bunked office to see the match. Everyone I know here at the moment is talking about it.
" Cricket is religion in India," some body has pointed it appropriately. " From the Bollywood superstars to the business tycoon Mallya or Mukesh Ambani they all have love for the game.
At the mall, you see the salesman at the counter beating his head, a huge crowd in front of the TV showroom, colleges and school remain close and office goers plan a break just to witness the Indian team play.
The highways unusually remain relaxed. " What is the score?" the message tone beeps every minute. Someone who cannot access the match tries to match up.
And all of this curiosity intrigued me why there is so much of buzz when India- Pakistan is playing. And today, I can describe the very feeling of it.
Now, I know why Sachin despite his quirky voice is so popular. Why all the adds on TV these days have cricketers. (so many more)
India beat Pakistan with 29 runs. Celebrations began before the match even got over.
Crackers illumined up in the sky like in Diwali, lots of them. My sister calls from work just to let me hear the noise.
I cannot believe, I sat through the entire India-Pakistan semi-final match like any of my Indian friends screaming and swearing. And not touching the remote for about 8 hours. Although I haven't mastered it completely, I can bet next time when I hear Chakka or How is that, I know what is happening on the field. Who is out and what is a wicket?
Suddenly, cricket has become so exciting. Cannot wait to witness India play against Sri Lanka before I go home.