And we won..

This victory calls for a post. Just as I was unable to watch the India-Pakistan match, I also did not watch the India-Sri Lanka final. Not even a single ball… so here is what happened…

After spending a good deal of Friday figuring how and where we were going to watch the match, I fell prey to a terrible migraine attack on late Friday night. It was bad enough for me to cancel watching the match starting at 2:30am. After much deliberation, Agam went over to Nitin’s place to watch the match, and I popped in a med and went to sleep. At some point, I scheduled a 6:30am alarm on my phone.

I woke up with the alarm and starting getting ready to head over to Nitin’s place. I also decided to make some tea for the folks who had been up all night. But that’s when tragedy struck hard… I checked the score just before I entered the kitchen, and we were at 24/1. A wicket had already been lost. Sehwag was GONE !

With enough hope, I started making tea, and found out that there was not enough milk in the house to prepare tea for a group of people. I was disappointed and logged in to check the score … and by then Tendulkar was gone too. Depressing messages crowded Facebook. India was in bad shape.

I wondered if I had jinxed the game… (As if). I told Agam that the match was pretty much over, and I am going back to sleep. My disappointment with the team also made it to Facebook; and friends told me to go to sleep (yes literally). And so I followed everyone’s instructions and slept: D

I woke up at 10:00 am with Agam’s text message. It said, “We are close.” I jumped out of bed, and decided to walk to Nitin’s place. I have been there so many times, that there was no reason to map his address (not that I knew it anyways). So here I was walking/running out of my apartment, when we were at 44 overs, confident that I will make it by the time we reach the 47th. But I lost my way. And it took me a little while to even realize that I was lost. I checked the score again, and we were indeed close; in the 47th over. Just that I was far away from where I had planned to be. I retraced my steps, and found out the right way. But by then Dhoni had already hit the final six, and I heard the bay area Indians in Sunnyvale – shouting out loud with joy and pride. People came out of their homes and were celebrating on the streets, hugging each other and sharing the news with non Indians. It was a great moment to be on the street. BUT I could not see the match – again! Not even the final ball.

In my defense, I missed it to make the team win.

Post match madness cannot be summarized in a few words that this blog post permits. Dhol and dancing on the streets of Mountain View, hundreds of Indians on Castro street, rejoicing together, shouting slogans that we all grew up with. It was an experience, I hope I will live long enough to enjoy again.

Cricket unites us Indians in a way that no other sport does. And I was left to wonder, what unites the United States?

Go India Go !

So I WON’T be able to watch the India-Pakistan Semi Final. What is more sad is that I am responsible for it. I have a meeting at 9:00am and I am the one who scheduled it. And I don’t think I can defend rescheduling the meeting for a cricket match. Not with people who don’t understand or watch cricket.

Thus the SAGA – shall be missed. In my defense, I had scheduled this meeting a week ago, and India had not won the quarter final as of then. So now I shall pay a price for my planning. Shame on me!

But it is so strange, how after so many years, I am singing in my mind – “Go India Go” since this morning. I am not patriotic by any means. I am one of those world citizens. I can live anywhere (yeah I mean anywhere sensible – not the jungles of Amazon). I seriously believe that visas and passports should be abolished. They are all signs of distrust amongst the nations. I am born on this planet and I should be allowed to live wherever I want to. I don’t mind paying the taxes in any nation, as long as I am permitted to work there. Oh the world of my dreams… the one that will never exist.

But I digress. So back to my patriotism – I have not felt this strongly about being Indian since quite some time. And it is funny (read satirical) that it takes an India/Pakistan match to make me feel this way. While driving back from work today, I caught myself by surprise when I was thinking – “if we win the toss, should we bat first or ball first?” and “that I should put up alarms for 2:15am (to see who won the toss), 4:30am (check progress of the batting team) and then 6:00 am onwards, I will check the scores every 15 minutes.” Almost seems like batch monitoring schedule.

I think I might even pray today– I have forgotten the last time I actually prayed to God/or whoever- but that’s another post for another time. The latest justification my mind came up with, is that it is good I cannot watch the match, maybe I will jinx it. After all I have not seen any of the matches thus far. The last cricket match I saw was over ten years ago. Yes shame on me. But my nervous self today is same as that fifteen year old who was sitting crossed leg, biting nails with eyes popped wide open, waiting for match to begin.

Papa always said, the last 30 minutes is what counts; the remaining is just back and forth. And I followed his principle all this while. But Oh Lord, those last thirty minutes I will be in the midst of intense discussions with my team. I am picturing this scene in my mind –- Someone in the room will find out that we won, and the smiles will spread. At that point, I will just get up and say, Ladies and Gentleman, this meeting is now over, and we are going to the FINALS! But we all know that will not happen. In any case, I am waiting to celebrate India’s victory with my friends and colleagues.Not to forget that all of this depends on -IF WE WIN! I am not one of those people who will watch the game to enjoy a ‘good game of cricket’. You either win or you loose. And no matter how well you played, if you lose it SUCKS.. There is no philosophy here,it is a game of cricket, and this match is against Pakistan !

The world is balanced on a needle, and that needle is called IF. Papa always said, no one remembers who came second, everyone only remembers the winner. As harsh as it sounds, it is true. So it is great we made it to Semi Finals, it is the Finals that count, and for that India has to crush Pakistan tonight!