April 05, 2011
It happened so when I was a kid. My grandfather, an old school principal and a respected person in the society decided to watch the cricket match with me.
Even though I was not more than 10 years old I had some kind of idea about cricket. My grandpa slept off in his old reclining chair with his favorite turkey towel on his shoulder while watching the match. I was chanting scores and counting balls to go. What I clearly recall is a question that my grandpa asked me.“Is Sachin out?” I said, “Yes, Dravid is playing.” My grandpa got up and slowly walked away to his bedroom for the afternoon nap.
After a decade, my grandfather is long dead.India won the Cricket world cup on 2nd April 2011. On the day of the match I was not in front of the T.V screen( working hazards of a budding journalist ). But when I got to know Sachin got out by Mallinga, somehow I was repeating the same question my grandfather had asked more than a decade ago, “Is Sachin out?”
My interest in cricket has always been the same. For me it is just another sport that I would like to watch if given, nothing else is on my plate. But some of my friends who take cricket as seriously as soccer in England, used to gather around and recall all that happened in the cricket history, ball to ball, score to score. In this process I learned a couple of things. Like Sachin Tendulkar does not have a century in Lords. Nor has he lifted the Cricket World Cup in his entire career. Or, there is a tree in a international cricket ground in South Africa. These are the few non-Greek and Latin that I grasped in my desperate attempts to catch up with what my folks were saying.After this World Cup I know that one thing has changed from the previous night of the world cup. Sachin has kissed the world cup.
Again, something I understood from the cheering I heard was “This is history in making.” I did witness the last moments of the game and the celebration. Live telecast from Mumbai to I don’t know how many people who cried and laughed, celebrated with crackers and fireworks. Who shaved their heads and painted them with three colors (some of them had wall paints on their head, weather proof).
What I learned from the whole fiasco of the world cup and the agriculture minister of India presenting the awards was this, it isn’t just a game.
It never was and never will be.