“We are the championssssssssssssss!!!!”
That’s all I have been roaring around in the house ever since Saturday night. H is amused to see me this hyper. As a matter-of-fact, he has never really seen me this excited, especially for cricket. But last Sunday, I showed him how high I could get on one match of cricket, especially when Dravid is not playing.
“That ball would miss the leg stump you stupid. Don’t even raise that silly finger of yours!” I shouted when the Sri Lankan bowler appealed for a LBW.
H was awestruck.
“Eppadi di? Unnaku eppadi theriyum?” It was more an exclamation than a question.
It was the old me, brought up in a house filled with men and boys, playing mixed doubles in every other sport because I was the only girl around. So, my knowledge about cricket is pretty much raw. On the other hand, H is close to a walking encyclopedia. Except that this encyclopedia is extremely good at remembering trivial details like how many wives Charlie Sheen has, but cannot remember that expensive gold earring that he bought his wife 2 months ago. So, when it comes to cricket, you can imagine how statistics rule his memory. So in our world, H fancies himself to be the official cricket news reporter for some imaginary magazine that he calls ‘Cricket: Stumps to Stands.’ You can even find Ireland vs Netherlands match reports here. Until I heard him discuss one of those matches with me, I didn’t know cricket was geographically present in those parts of the world.
Saturday’s match brought back those memories and I was on my feet once again, after a really long time. I enjoyed the match more than what H would have ever dreamt his wife would. Throwing hi-fi’s at him for every Sri Lankan wicket taken, every boundary saved by Yuvraj, every run India scored and every appeal that was turned down for the Lankans. Sometimes, I swore. I sat in the same damn place without a visit to the loo fearing something unthinkable might happen. Thankfully for me, H too believes in cricket superstition, especially after the first two Indian wickets fell. You must have seen his face then, a hybrid between an angry mother-in-law and Snoopy dog of ‘You know wat, I’m happy’ fame.
As cinematic as it turned out, when the last ball was smashed for a six, H and I jumped with so much excitement. At 2 am, we treated ourselves to icecream. For a long time that night, we couldn’t sleep. That’s what a victory this king-size does to you.
Cricket for most Indians is like turmeric in our desi kitchen. A childhood spent without playing, watching or cheering for cricket is as much as a childhood wasted. So essential. If there are as many as five things that I would cherish of my Indian origin, they would probably be – curd rice, the roadside paani poori, the blue passport, salwaar kameez and, cricket. That essential.
Thank you Team India, for winning this cup. For India. For Indians. For Sachin Tendulkar.
So, now that we have conquered that pinnacle, welcome. Welcome to the biggest party in the world.