Tale of Two Sixes…

Clad in Blue, he stands there and catapults the ball sailing over the boundary for the maximum and that was the final strike. It’s all over…

… That shot was heart breaking. A billion dreams would still remain a dream. For me, one among those billion crazy, emotional fans (read fanatics) it seemed like déjà vu of what happened 8 years ago. I switched off the idiot box, stepped out of the house, paced around restlessly and watched the streets, which looked abandoned just a few minutes ago, slowly kicking back into liveliness. Feeling a bit queasy, I dragged myself back to my room, switched on the iPod and placed it on its dock. And for over the next two agitated hours, it was just three songs that kept looping endlessly, as my mind pondered over the possibility of India being beaten in a Cricket Final by our Island neighbors, yet again. Learning about the loss of two crucial wickets pretty early did not help things. Why oh why is this happening, I wondered and started hurling curses to no one in particular.

That is when, all of a sudden the mind started to drift. Over the years across the coast, and all around the world, racial atrocities were being unleashed upon innocent people, who were getting killed for no fault of theirs. And never for once have I felt this disgusted about that. Slowly rational thinking of the mind started taking over the emotional pondering of the heart. I realized that this was a just a game of cricket which might be lost. What is more important is that humanity has battles to be fought (and won) over evil.

A candle lights up within me and all of a sudden things do not look bleak. I crank up the volume and think to myself – who cares about the result of a cricket match, there are bigger battles out there. After all this is just a game. That is when my Mom calls out for me, quiet strangely I knew why – India was about to win the Cricket World Cup. I bolt out of my room to switch on the TV and even before it is fully alive, I start jumping in joy.

Clad in Blue, he stands there and catapults the ball sailing over the boundary for the maximum and that was the final strike. It’s all over…

… This shot was heart-warming. Billion dreams were no longer a dream. This generation finally gets to witness a moment of Cricketing glory which took 28 years to recreate. And the entire (well, almost) nation erupts. Crackers go off and people parade the streets, dancing and singing. Calls are made and text messages exchanged, congratulating each other. For every cricket crazy fan in the country, this was a personal victory. After months of being subjected to news of scammers and corrupt politicians, this certainly seemed like light at the end of tunnel. For once after all these days, heads could be held high with pride and joy.

And it took some time for me to settle down, after night-long status updates on Facebook and a mini celebratory lunch with a small group of friends, the next day. Once the euphoria gradually started to wash away, my mind switched back to the realization that had hit me during those tumultuous hours sandwiched between the two sixes – One hit of the last ball of Sri Lanka’s innings and the one that finished off the match for India.

After all it was just a game of cricket that was won. Bigger and more meaningful battles are being fought out there and they are much more significant. True victory for the human spirit is when peace and harmony prevails over prejudicious malice. As crazy as we may be, in the end, Cricket (or for that matter, any sport) is just a game, right. No?

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