India play Australia tomorrow at the Wankhede Stadium. For some reason though its not a match to which I would normally attach great importance, this one however does more than its fair share. I think it has got to do with the fact that it is being played in Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium….which happens to be among the only two stadiums where I have seen a cricket match…the other being apna Nehru Stadium in Pune….keeping my fingers crossed for India
I am not usually superstitious….as in I don’t belive in things like not venturing out on an Amavasya night, or then things which Ma forbids me to do for superstitious reasons like not cutting nails in the house after sunset and so on ……but when India plays cricket all is thrown out of the window……after all India ka sawal hain yaar….there are lucky positions to sit in…prayers to be said and what not….some things which I have done over the years and experienced…….
There was this game in Bangalore between India and Australia…..and India were down in the dumps and there were not even chasing a large total….sounds very much like our team….so anway…Kumble and Srinath at the crease and they start playing well and soon it looks like we might just snatch victory from the jaws of certain defeat….and I looked around and realized that the moment Dad left the room , India’s fortunes changed……what can I say…..everyone in the house including Ma would not let Dad come out the room he was in…..where I guess he had gone to check if he had received a fax…poor thing he had to sit in the room for the next 30 minutes or so and listen to us shout every time M/s Kumble and Srinath did something awesome….
During the 1996 world cup, India played Pakistan in the quarterfinals …again in Bangalore….when Saeed Anwar and Sohail were punishing the Indian attck, I remember lighting an agarbatti in our ‘ghar’ ka mandir and then in a while a wicket fell and we attributed it to the agarbati….so till the last Pakistani wicket fell I remember along with my friends we kept a vigil to see that there was an agarbatti that there was an agarbatti burning continuously …….
Fast Forward to 2003…India vs. Pakistan at the 2003 World Cup……25-30 of us cramped in one small room at a friends place……once India started batting and Tendulkar displayed the fireworks we all went crazy…and I remember sitting in the same place all through the match and holding the Indian flag in the very same fashion for the full length of the Indian innings…when I took a bathroom break someone else held the flag and India lost the wicket of Tendulkar……and from that moment on no one was allowed to hold the flag other than me….felt good to know everyone there considered me holding onto the flag as good luck……all this while another friend of mine refused to let go of the empty chocolate drink bottle because that’s how he began watching the match…and considering India were playing well, he refused to let go of the empty bottle….
What am I going to do for the match tomorrow…..I think only time will tell…. All the same you can be rest assured that I will do my best to find a winning combination and know that I did my part to help my team win...and when I used to do that my Chacha would tell me.."and to think of Puneri....your team/player has no clue that you are doing something like this....they are just going out there and giving it their best".......who cares....in my mind I know I did what I could and thats what counts.....