Thursday, 8 May 2014

Cricket ke liye sala kuch bhi karega!

It was March in 2007 and I was just about to find myself in the most tenacious phase of my life. The Std 12 board exams, and with all the entrance examinations looming with a grimace. Everybody had suggestions on how to keep myself up, everybody had an age old remedy for the disease called somnolence. However, amidst all the clamor, I was harrowed by something more important, something that couldn't have taken a backseat in my life. How the heck was I going to watch the 07' world cup in the mornings without waking anyone up!!

Initially, it was difficult. For a person like me who left everything for the 11th hour, I had a little too much for the final few days, and damn these crucial matches always clashed with my own crucial times. I am the kind of person who preferred watching Drvaid and Laxman pile up that blitzing partnership in March 2001 instead of bothering about tomes of history I had to study for the exam next day. I was able to manage it somehow, but this time it was a real challenge. Fortunately, I was up for it.

I simply knew what could come of anyone realizing that I was awake at 4 in the morning. I had to use stealth and slight. I had to maintain a semblance that I was up for studying while making sure I furtively watched the TV. I had to make sure I had mechanisms in place to ensure rapid action in case of an emergency. Yeah, I had to keep the sound feeble so I wasn't going to witness some impeccable commentary, but I could have watched the matches anyway. Finally, it was here, the WC 07.

The first day, we didn't have no matches but I was willing to see our arch rivals bowing down in front of the hosts. The match was a spectacle but I was worried what shall happen of me if I were to get caught. Consider the ignominy of your entire mohallah finding out that the blue eyed boy of everyone takes a plunge into cricket right before the most important phase of his life. I was concerned about myself but what concerned me more was getting caught red handed. I just had to make it infallible. 

The next day, I got headphones that were good enough to plug into the headphone jack of the TV, something we had't tried since we bought in 1996, ostensibly just when the 96' WC was happening. I just changed the placement of objects in my room a little. This was to make sure that the glimmer of the TV set didn't leave a mark when the lights had to go off, as beyond a point of time the idea of me staying awake would have raised suspicions. Board exam times are like curfews in an eerie sense. And finally, I put my study table right in front of the TV set, on the pretext of that being right beneath the fan, thereby saving me from the wrath of the heat. To maintain the surreptitiousness, I slid the cable connection, rounded it in spirals and hung it on the hook. Told everyone, no TV till it's over!

Finally, it started going the insouciant way. No one noticed, no one said a thing. My nights were about matches, keeping an eye on the lobby, and gormandizing Aloo Bhujia with the gold tinted Pepsi that was a special edition brought for the world cup. Parents of everyone from the millieu thanked god India got kicked out early so their kins and agnates wont have anything to do with the cup now. They didn't know there's this secret underground service that worked during the nights, watching matches for the sake of the game, not for the sake of winning. Ones who were connected through the WAN cables that ran in their houses, but ones who had the thread of game's madness running through them. We all stayed in our respective houses, avoiding the aghast possibility of getting caught watching TV instead of ferreting and gleaning in books. We finally made it, uncaught, unsullied and no one knew when it happened, like it never happened.

 When the show got over, we came back in normal, but during those nights, we lived in our covert lairs. Yes, we committed sins, sins beyond atonement, but Malinga's squashing deliveries, ripping the opposition, was worthy of it. Yes, we lied, we had to, but the exhilaration, the ebullience of seeing the Indian triumvirate playing a WC for the one last time, compensated for that. They say you gotta prioritize in life, I fixed mine in 96' itself. From falling in love with the Indo Pak encounters in Sharjah to enjoying every bit of the game till date, it's been one helluva passion, and Star Sports has apparently always been with me. The changing logos, the innovative infographics, the revelation in commentary and game coverage, Star Sports is to cricket was what Windows is to PC. And now, their infographics, or Infografix rather, have become more exorbitant. Star Sports, after having befuddled us with the Hawk Eye and the Wagon Wheel, have come up with more to savor for the stats savvy like us. Just give them a try. And for being with the game forever, #KannaKeepCalm and watch IPL.

This post is a part of Cricket just got better! Activity by in association with

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