Thursday, 19 March 2015

Cricket – India’s Religion

It’s World Cup time. That time of the year when unknown people become known to each other only for one reason ‘Cricket’. If you happen to witness a crowd hooting and cheering, then be sure that the game of cricket is on.  Men of the house refuse to share the remote with their lady counterparts. This in no way implies that ladies are not interested in this game (At least am not!!). There are a selected few who are more interested than you’ll find most men. (I would like to call them specimens).

Coming back to cricket, The LCD placed in the office cafeteria has less or rather no viewers daily. The news channel is on flashing the breaking news (stale news) the whole day and people are least interested to even take a look at it. They are busy savoring their lunch and catching up on the latest gossip and sharing it with the team. Some are busy standing in a long queue in food counters to get the food they have ordered.

Most of them are busy fiddling with their mobiles, watsapping, facebooking and tweeting. Not denying the fact that there are few who really EAT their food the way it should be eaten. Without any distraction!

Today was an unusual day. I reached cafeteria with a bunch of friends, at our usual lunch time, 1 PM. There was a huge crowd assembled which reached the entrance door. It was as if the whole office had taken a vow to gather in the cafeteria. I was confused, perplexed. We could see people clapping, cheering with Ah’s and Ooooo’s. People in the back row jumping to catch a glimpse. Glimpse of what? I was not sure. People in the front moving forward to give way to the others. So much of unity! I was surprised.

One of my friend exclaimed ‘Hey it’s India V/s. Bangladesh today. That’s why this crowd’.
‘Oh’! I exclaimed.  What else could it be if not for a cricket match, which has brought the entire office to the same place without any announcements being made?

Usually, for other important meetings or town hall gatherings, multiple mails and announcements are made, still the attendance falls short. But, here they are today without any compulsion. That’s the power of cricket in our country. It unites people irrespective of gender, caste, creed, region and religion. We all become Indians and cheer for Team India.

Our only goal is to see Team India winning against its opponent team. We forget everything else, the project deadlines, tiff with the team mate, deliverables for the day and so on. We unite irrespective of all the differences. This unity was a rare sight to see. For a moment, I felt a sense of patriotism rushing inside me. However, the feeling subsided a moment later, when the crowd refused to give us way to reach the food counter. ‘Damn the cricket match!’ was my response.

Finally, we pleaded for people to move, as our stomachs were growling. We could no longer bear the hunger. Some people were kind enough to move, and some others were looking at us like we had committed a crime by disturbing them and asking them to move. When Team India finished batting, people started their batting. He he he.  I mean they started eating. And the never ending chatter started…..of how the player played and how he could have played better.

My inner voice shouted ‘Not again, not here please!! Y can’t people eat peacefully!” and we left the cafeteria not able to bear the postmortem/after effects of the match.


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