5.30 in the evening it starts. Since morning my eyes are fixed at the tiny digital clock at the right-most bottom of my mega computer screen. I try to concentrate on the two big monitors in front of me with numbers, codes, and everything uninteresting that I can think of at that moment. I am supposed to be modelling (I do not mean modelling as in modelling, I mean financial modelling). My model has to go live next week and release documentation and bit of testing remains. But then it starts at 5.30 today, I have been dreaming about it since I was a child. I cannot model today I tell myself.
Gosh this tiny stupid clock, takes ages to tick. I think my computer is slower than usual today, am I running too many processes which make it think so much that it has stopped ticking the clock? I open Start->Control Panel->Date and Time and then stop. I think I am going bonkers. Go out and get some fresh air I order myself.
I come back to my desk thinking I will now do some work. Documentation is the last thing I want to do when I am so restless (yeah I need a lot of patience in commercial documentation, as one needs to ensure that everybody, however naïve he/she might be, surely understands it). So I decide to finish the testing bit. Concentrate I tell myself and get on with it.
Wow lunch time! Cannot help but tell my boss that I plan to leave by 4 today and so I will have a quick lunch on my desk (not that I have very elaborate lunches on other days, still!). Those couple of hours till it gets to 4 were the hardest – time has never been so painstakingly slow.
Huge traffic, lots and lots of people on my way! I manage to reach my destination at 4.45. My pilgrimage! My brother is already there waiting for me, I say a quick hi. And I fall into a trance. I let it all sink. I see Bhajji, Yuvi, Dhoni, Raina, Pathan in blood and flesh. I see Afridi, Younus Khan, Akmal all in front of me. I am at The Oval to see the India-Pakistan 2020 match.
Immediately those childhood days of watching cricket on TV being played at Lords and Oval flash in front of me. I remember how my brother and I would dream of becoming capable so as to be able to visit the Mecca of cricket. I feel overwhelmed.
I hear and sing along ‘Jeetega bhai jeetega – India jeetega’, ‘You hit a four, or you hit a six, you are still the famous Yuvraaj Singh’, ‘India zindabaad’ and lots more that you pick up with the crowd and then forget later.
The crowd around me is mixed, Indian and Pakistani fans. Some untoward incidents do happen (with men dipped in beer to the brim, I did expect so), but mostly people appreciate each other and their affiliations which I feel glad to see. Any verbal fight I see around, I immediately hear the crowd singing the famous song to pacify the heat – ‘Ye dosti hum nahi chorenge, todenge dum magar, tera saath naa chorenge’.
India won the match. I absolutely loved the experience. I felt accomplished. My next match tickets are for THE LORDS!!!