The final was at 5.30 PM, the exact time my office hours end. I am not one to take chances though. Certainly not in cases like these. I took the entire day off, on account of 'mild fever'. The next day people laughed at me, more so at my made up 'fever'. Then they touched my hand, then my head and agreed in unison that in fact I was serious. The discovery startled me much more than it did them, but I learnt to keep a straight, sober and slightly pale face, almost as an acknowledgement of what I had told them, all along. The doubters were the ones feeding me Crocins then. I must have developed some superpower to fall sick at will, being transformed into your normal looking next door, unenviable 'Sick Man'. And no, he can't fly. But yes he can wear the Blue tee with the S written in Red on the front.
Anyway I hadn't taken a day off to see India lose. They didn't. But there were things that made me wish otherwise. The pop-patriots whose definition of courage rarely exceeds waving flags at stadia and shouting hoarse in India colours would be charging me with treason already. Then who is afraid of them anyway.
I haven't written a reader friendly point wise post for ages now. Rather I haven't written anything for ages now. So here is a list of reasons that gave me, and probably you too, serious second thoughts about the outcome of the match.
1. The 'Chak De' song being played till you eardrums hurt, your heart churned over, your mind became numb. Add the entire Shahrukh 'Kabir' Khan fellow being present there, and noticed and plastered all over the channels....you begin to wish that poor Misbah should have lofted Joginder Sharma out of the park. For good.
(Aside: By the way, they should have a movie with an infidel hero who speaks english with a call centrish accent, has the occasional 'high' time, zooms around in a phoren dhoom type bike and has visions of him being Zidane. The hero of course would have to be Shoaib Akhtar and the movie? 'Chuck De Pakistan'. Darrel Hair would love be a guest act, with his muse Murali. )
2. Joginder Sharma. If you have seen a more useless bowler since Subroto Banerjee (anyone remember our legendary team from WC '92. This guy was from Jamshedpur btw) then please update me. He is so pathetic that a lame, limping Sehwag had to bowl an over against the mighty Oz and ended up matching him in runs conceded. The runs were 20, and it was a tough task to match. Credits to Sehwag, and Dhoni too. Don't tell me that you ever believed that someone like Misbah wouldn't take his skin out in the final over. And don't tell me you did not lose any remaining hope after watching that wobbly, wayward, shaky wide delivery and then that whack for six. Poor Misbah..
3. The sight of TV channel crew members invading every possible abode of a cricketer, interviewing their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, kids, friends, girl friends, neighbours, shopkeepers, bystanders......Tell me have you ever seen Ponting's mom and dad with a confused yet beaming look on their faces telling that they always trusted their kid would do well with his uncle nodding fervently in the background. Then why torture us. And them?
4. Them new made fans. They who go 'Oh I knew India would win, they had such a great team.' They who can't name about half the team. They who declared after the WC that Cricket is a game for the retarded. They who came back to liking cricket because T20 is such a time saver, and entertainer. They who think T20 is the best form of cricket. They who think T20 is a form of cricket. Get back to the phony twisted talks of F1 and made up gibberish of EPL, punks. When you love sports, you love sports. You never love something because you hate something else. And you never love something because it makes you look cooler and contemporary.
Yes I got internet at home. Finally. It pinches having to pay for it now. Anyhow, I'll back. More often.