Oct 10, 2012

India-Pak Cricket: Irrationally fever pitched

Imran Khan, one of the apex figures in Pakistan cricket, once asked about Indian-Pak cricket match said, “Cricket is a pressure game, and when it comes to India-Pakistan cricket match the pressure is doubled”. Furthermore Wikipedia underscores the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry as one of the most intense sport rivalries in the world. The giant encyclopaedia says that an India-Pakistan cricket match attracts up to three hundred million television viewers.

Well, the criticality of the match between India and Pakistan is undoubtedly always a high up, giving sleepless nights to most of us. For me, any cricket match played between the two arch-rivals, is more than just a game. Any India-Pak cricket match always makes me scratch my past and recollect a haunting experience of watching the India-Pak world-cup match in 2011 among some overly patriotic hardcore Indian fans outside valley.

I still remember the fateful day when my destiny made me to watch the doomed match at one of my Indian friend`s place which was my least preference; reason following on.

It was a 10x12 shabby room immersed in darkness with all lights shut-off. A small TV set held at one of its dirty corners was the only source of scintillation lighting-up the faces present in the room. 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 where I could have some glimpse of the telly.

As I rested myself in the alien room, everyone gazed at me. I could vividly feel the anger towards me since it was a one-to-many conflict of preference(Read as favoritism).  I was sitting like a lame-duck and I felt like everyone was filled with warlordism against me. But I stayed firm because I had the complete sense of being an expat and that too a Kashmiri studying outside Kashmir.

It was a match between the worst foes of the history and I could clearly smell the hatred towards me. I was not favoring the nation which they call their mother nor their players whom they considered Gods. So everyone`s eye was on me. 

Well I am not at all a pro-pakistani guy. But I don’t know the exact reason for the extreme romanticism towards Pakistan when it comes to cricket, specially against India. And the reason cannot be religion. In that case I would have admired Bangladesh as well, which I don't. 

If I dig into the reasons for not supporting the Inidan cricket team, I would say I was just born like that. I have seen bad things since my childhood that cannot be changed. Its in my psyche.  Being more sentimental towards the Kashmir cause, I didn’t wish India to win for its grave human-right abuses in Kashmir. That's it. Period. One pioneer writer from the valley acknowledges the fact by saying that it`s the hatred towards the brutal Indian policies on Kashmir that is moving the people of Kashmir towards Pakistan(emotionally).

I knew it was not a safe bet to support Pakistan yet my heart was beating for Afridi while my sanity favoring otherwise.  But all this turned my friends into foes. Earning their wrath for free I left the place as the match progressed in the favour of the Indians. I couldn`t tot up my broken courage to face the 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. I was about to reach my room that a huge bam of crackers blasted and with that disheartened me understood that India had finally won.

Following the grand triumph, people went crazy all at once. All the night, Indian-fans boozed in liquor kept beating the drums and thrashing the streets; should I say irrationally fever pitched. Crackers filled the air to the fullest and the celebrations went on. And my phone kept pinging with abuses from my mates. As this was not enough, the Indian news channels, as expected, got infested with the virus of exaggerating the win like anything.
Huh!! that was a past; a bitter one. But relax, cricket is just a game and hence we should be the good takers of it as a sport. Nothing more and nothing personal...PEACE.