It is that time in years when everybody is talking about cricket and rightly so. We got Zee TV subscription on our TV just for 2 months so that we can see live cricket. This actually works well for me as the package includes Zee Cinema as well meaning some old Bollywood classics!
The crucial Thursday match of India vs Australia was a very interesting experience to watch, first of its kind for me, given I was at work. In the morning, I reached office but my mind was left behind with Zee Café on my home TV as I knew it will be showing that important match just in sometime. I tried finding out if any place in my office building is broadcasting the match, alas no. Just one café some distance outside the office premises is supposedly having it on, which I found a little unfair because had it been football world cups, all the cafés would have it on with special meals so as to attract the crowd. Cricket does not drive that much of attention in England, really strange for a country which invented the game at the first place, but rightly so now as the team is performing poorly, as also seen from today’s match against Srilanka.
Coming backing to my restlessness of what to do, I fell upon the usual option that people away from the luxury of television use – crickinfo! The best thing about this website is that in its minimised form, it keeps on updating the score which you can see. Given Australia was batting first, and I knew it is going to be close chase for India, I decided to only look at the minimised scores once in a while, maximising it only when any wicket would fall down. I decided to complete most of the work in the first half of the day, trying to make sure as much as possible that my second half is light, and I can focus on the match when India is chasing.
Things moved as per plan. I wanted Aussies not to make any more than 250, but 265 was still acceptable. I had been successful in getting over with most of the critical work on my plate. The second half began. India was batting, Sachin was batting. What a delight. The live commentary was getting updated on the computer screen within split seconds. Sometimes I really thank humankind for making the advancement in science, while in other times events like the Japan tsumani make me doubt it.
The experience became more delightful in the company of a colleague – a big Indian cricket team fan and a very superstitious person (she was minding whoever said that India is a good team and will win today – she thought they all have evil eyes and do not really mean so) and another colleague – an Australian with a lot of admiration for Indian cricket. After Sachin went out, one commentator said how he had just opened his one shoe just when Sachin got out. His colleagues in the commentary box have forbidden him to open another shoe and he is roaming around like that. Wickets after wickets that fell after Sachin’s dismissal disappointed my superstitious colleague who could not follow it anymore and went out for a stroll. While she was away, Yuvraj took charge of the game quite nicely, and so when she came back to her seat, I did not let her see the match. And very surprising to me, she agreed stating that as long as India wins, she does not mind not seeing the match. I wanted to go to the loo just then, and she did not let me get up from the seat, saying if India has now been performing well, I should just stay statue until the match gets over. And again, very surprising to myself, I agreed to her. We both said this is our sacrifice to the country! The Australian colleague noticed all this, and he could not stop himself from laughing his heart out. Obviously, because only Indians can do such things! He was very certain since the beginning of the match that India will win, so he was taking more interest in understanding the psyche of Indian fans, a country where cricket is more important than politics, Bollywood or anything else. Every sentence he spoke began/ended or used words like fountain, spring, river, water etc to remind me of the emergency I was in. And strangely that did make things worse for me. But I remembered Bhagat Singh at that moment, and his sacrifice for India, and decided not to give up to any temptations.
I know all this sounds so much over the moon, really exaggerated. I never thought I would be so superstitious. But whatever it was, I enjoyed my day a lot. The big boss who is himself a big cricket fan, later on shared a presentation he had given last year where he showed how a lot can be borrowed from cricket into our modelling world. Senior managers always have a way around of connecting work to everything they do. India won, won because of our sacrifice 🙂 Overall a memorable experience! Looking forward to an even bigger match on Wednesday!