I’m writing this just minutes after India has won the 2011 ICC World cup. I’m not a cricket crazy Indian in the typical sense. There are times when I don’t even remember that there is a match for India against some team and there are times when I don’t bother about the final status of the match. I hardly followed the IPL last year for it found it too garish to be watched. But then, there are times like these which are difficult to savor in one gulp. These are times when you just don’t understand from where the spirits pump up all of a sudden and you are completely swayed away by the soaring emotions of a hysteric nation. What happened on April 2, 2011 is nothing short of a moment of a lifetime! All kinds of messages were going around yesterday. I remember the one which said “Sri Lanka abducted India’s Sita (the trophy) at Eden Gardens in 1996 and after 14 years of Vanvas, we will restore her glory in the battle at Wankhede”! Dramatic to the hilt and quite becoming of an Indian fan. Havans and prayers have been flowing in ample quantity for the past few weeks and television news channels have had no news bigger than this to cover. Now that we have become the first host nation to win the world cup, there will be more reasons to celebrate. An entire generation born after 1983 had been waiting for this day and the day came indeed, in full style and pomp.
The Indo-Pak semis itself was high on hype. Most of the companies had stopped work by afternoon and the match was screened in the offices across the nation. In both the semis and the finals, the beginning wasn’t great and it was the climax which made the game worth a watch. The stability brought by Gambhir and the quick shots of Dhoni made all the difference today. Celebrations are on everywhere. The metros are bursting with crackers and excited bikers vrooming across the city. An entire generation, which waited with bated breath for this moment, got to see this happen in their lifetime. It was deliverance for all the craziness they had displayed.
Deliverance it was, not just for the cricket crazy Indian fan, but also for Sachin Tendulkar, who had been playing world cup after world cup with none under his belt. This was a moment of triumph for his glorious career. He had set benchmarks in cricket and had started resetting his own benchmarks. He even came close to kissing it in 2003 but went home with a Man of the series cup. This will be his day. The empty space in his cricketing career has been filled to make a picture-perfect portrait and there will be no doubt that the most lasting image of this victory will be that of him being carried around the field on the shoulders of Virat Kohli, for whom it was the first world cup of his career! If Cricket be a religion in India and Sachin its God, then this was the grandest festive procession for Cricket’s presiding deity!
The frenzy after the T20 World Cup victory was palpable and this is going to get bigger. India looks like a roaring tiger, wanting more after tasting blood. The roll is on and we just hope that this roll doesn’t crush the other games as it keeps rolling on. Till then, Cheers to India… Chak De India (doesn’t matter that Chak De was originally written as a Hockey Anthem). The sun, it seems, has just risen and the day is yet to sink in.