Indian Cricket fever that infested me..
Two prominent cricket matches for India and as luck would have it; the men in blue won them both. One against their core rivals, the Pakistan and the final versus another Asian nation, the Lankans. Excitement was on peak and as such the only buzzword cricket, cricket and again cricket flooded along the length and breadth of the various dailies and news channels.
It was more than a week now since I had written my last article and as such I was not getting any new theme to write upon. But with the world-cup climax I found a catchy topic to pen-down. At first I was thinking to write-upon only the historical match between India and Pakistan at Mohali but soon I found that the wheel had already been discovered and many lyricists had already came-up with their best write-ups on the same subject. So I said “Nah!” and changed my mind and turned to an all in all different but related theme i.e. watching Indian cricket outside Kashmir.
First of all talking about my experience on the whistle-blower semi-final match between India and Pakistan that almost gave sleepless nights to most of us. This match in itself was not an ordinary one as such and the excitement was obvious. It was more like a rat race, indeed a do or die situation for both the teams. I too joined the same fervour and tried out my level best to get an entry pass for watching the match live in-person since my college is just two hours far from Mohali stadia. Alas!! It was like a labour of Hercules to get a pass for such a matchless match. On account of this I failed to get a ticket for myself since all of them where sold out and even the black ones that were available went far beyond my pocket. Moreover the local cinema halls telecasting the live match were booked to their fullest. At last the ironic upshot was that my destiny made me to watch the match at one of my friend`s place which was my last preference; reason following on.
It was a 10x12 shabby room immersed in darkness with all lights of its lights shut-off and a 21inch TV set held at one of its dirty corners. As I entered the petite room, I was completely spell-bound with my mouth wide open watching around 20 guys sitting over one another all set to watch the “fanatically essential match”. Fortunately I got myself adjusted somewhere around the doorway from where I could have some glimpse of the telly. As I sat down everyone gazed at me and I could vividly feel the anger towards me since it was a one-to-many conflict of favouritism. The room was over-crowded and most of the time someone would get in the way of me watching the match by bringing his giant head in between but I couldn`t shout on anyone. I had complete sense of being an expat and that too a Kashmiri studying outside Kashmir. I was sitting like a lame-duck and I felt like everyone was filled with warlordism against me. But I stayed firm and went on. Meanwhile I kept updating my facebook profile with the latest stuff from the world cup. Well about the facebook all I can say is “Kya karein aadat se majboor hoon...facebook beemari”. This reminds me of one of my status that was flooded with likes and goes like this: “Please pray for the unfortunate people who might get heartache after the Mohali catastrophe...One stuck Japan and another will attack Mohali.”
It was my virgin experience to watch such an important world cup match outside Kashmir and it was not an easy job for a Kashmiri boy to watch an IND-PAK match at ease among all the Indian supporters. I was not favouring the nation which they call their mother. So everyone`s eye was on me. They were well aware of the fact that the majority of the Kashmiris support the Pakistani cricket team and not theirs at all. And coincidently I too was among that majority fraction. On account of this all of my non-kashmiri friends pointed fingers on me criticising me that I am supporting the team with the majority of the Muslims and thus involving religion in cricket. But my simple answer to their peculiar question was that if that would have been the case then I would also support the Bangladeshi Team but I never did. The disagreement went on and I tried out saying all mouthful but they only wanted to hear “India”.
It was a match between the worst foes of the history and I could clearly smell the hatred towards me. I was not supporting Pakistan as such but the thing was that I didn’t want India to win. Favouring Pakistan was just a coincidence or what, I really didn’t know myself. In fact it was undoubtedly clear that Pakistani Team in this match were only the underdogs. Their chance of victory was only one out of ten since their team lacked the major players while the blues were full with the so called Gods of cricket. I knew it was not a safe bet to support Pakistan at all since Pakistani win was a far cry but still my heart was beating for Afridi while my mind was favouring otherwise. In fact the jinx that the Pakistan always loses against India in the world cup kept circulating my mind all the time. The wrangle between my heart and my mind went on and with that my Blood Pressure kept fluctuating with each ball of the match. But sadly at the end of this fight, my heart was broken and with that crackers filled the atmosphere above India. Although everything went alright Alhamdulillah but abuses and harsh words aired all in the room. With every single boundary from the Indian side, my friends started dancing like nincompoops and each good delivery from the pakiz followed loads of rebukes and abuses for them. But all this was quite expecting from my friends because they never mind saying these so called “habitually used adjectives”. Well...very cheap on their part, I must say.
Following the victory of India over the Pakistan, all of my peers turned devils and interrogated me as why do I support the men in green. I didn’t knew the exact reason for this extreme romanticism so I couldn`t answer them. Earning their wrath for free I left the place and started looking for the reason as why do I support the Pak. This thing kept annoying me and I started googling it out and fortunately I did find something related. Some pioneer writer from the valley in one of his articles acknowledged the fact by saying that it`s the hatred towards India that is moving the people of Kashmir towards Pakistan. And the reason for that hatred we all know; the Kashmir tribulation. Agreed upon the author’s view, I was quite relieved to know the reason for my unprecedented have for the team India. I was alleviated off my restlessness. Thanks to the anonymous author; May God be pleased with him.
Following the humiliating defeat I didn’t lose my hope, although I was very upset. Nevertheless I carried on and started counting on my last hope, the Lankans. I had huge expectations from them because it was the team that could really face India well on ground and give them deadly nightmares. This time I was quite positive about the Lankans so I calculatedly went to the same friend`s room to watch the match, although it was also an invitation from the same. I started watching the match in the same situation but this time somewhat confidently and meanwhile again I kept doodling with my facebook profile, reason being my inevitable love for facebook as afore-mentioned. Status kept changing with each delivery of the match. One of my status that`s worth mentioning goes like this: “Raavand is back in Ramayana-2 at the world cup final. In Ramayana-1, Sita was abducted and in part-2 world cup will be taken from India.”
This match also followed the same tune of the previous one and all of my friends went crazy with each delivery of the match. As the match progressed and turned in the favour of the Indians I realised that my dream was about to get lost in the screams of my fanatic mates. I couldn`t tot up my broken courage to face another defeat, So prior to the end of the match I left the place and walked down the street all alone back to my living room that was a couple of miles away. Streets were deserted and I felt that no one was accompanying me except my grief and regret. I was about to reach my room that a huge boom of crackers blasted and with that disheartened me understood that India has finally made it to the world champions.
Following the grand triumph, people went crazy all at once. All the night people kept beating the drums and youth boozed in liquor thrashing the streets shouting and dancing in fever pitched delightful manner. Crackers filled the air to the fullest and the celebrations went on. Ironically the India news channels got infested with the virus of praising their team India. Now God knows for how more time do we have to perceive the same sounds of their drum-beating and tolerate the same news of their great success filled with bragging and exaggeration? Well that’s quite expected from the Indian media, nothing new as such. Fittingly here I would like to mention one of the Facebook updates that catched my eye and that will rightly wind-up this article with a kind advice:-
“ HOOSHYAAR-KHABARDAAR: Tv karizew bandh natte toul now ne yim thafei ne poor-e weriyess”
“WARNNG: Switch off your TV sets for one year because the Indian media won`t stop telecasting the same world cup zeal”.
Lastly I present my heartiest felicitations to all my Indian friends for their great achievement but my dear friends I am sorry I can’t be a part of your big celebrations. And for the reason of this weird response you better ask the mother who lost her son.
Author: Abdul Wajid Parray.
Reporter and Columnist at the Daily Srinagar Post.
Engineering student at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra Haryana.
Feedback At: www.facebook.com/abdulwajid786