April 6, 2011

World Cup Celebrations

The most popular format of the game

They (experts, critics, Siddhu etc.) said that this was the most crucial world cup ever because commercial success or failure of this world cup determines the future of the 50 over format. There was also a debate on the most popular format of cricket (Test cricket being the ultimate). Going by the way this world cup went, I am guessing these questions won’t be raised for some time to come.

In my first year at IIT, I have seen the “decline” of the ODI format beginning with the 2007 world cup. I also saw the rise of T20 with the inaugural T20 world cup. Misbah-ul-Haq scooped the last ball and once the camera zoomed into Sreesanth taking the catch, the hundred odd people in our hostel TV room started jumping, dancing, swirling shirts around yelling war cries along with other displays of genuine testosterone based badass-ery. The celebrations lasted for half an hour and then people ate dinner at the canteen and went back to their rooms.

A year later we were the number one ranked team in Tests. People read it in the newspapers, thought to themselves, “Oh, that’s cool” and moved on with their day. The really wild celebrations of the 2011 world cup that went out throughout the night and into the next Monday just showed that ODI is still the real deal and really matters to the crowds.

The Celebrations

Just after the presentation ceremony, hundreds of IITians marched out of their hostels, walking towards the main gate. Some wanted to go to Wankhede, while others yelled Marine Drive but no one knew where they were heading. They just walked (like lively Zombies) yelling “Indyaa, India” or “Sacheen, Sachin”. There wasn’t much difference between the two chants then. There was a general awareness that this is a once-in-a-generation thing. How often does one-sixth of the world’s population feel the same way at the same time?

Image courtesy: I don't know, I stole it from Google Buzz
Most of them walked out of the main gate towards Hiranandani. The atmosphere was amazing. For most people on the road, that was the first time India won the world cup after they were born. Fireworks lit the sky like it was Diwali. Down on the ground, people with painted faces stood on traffic islands, fountains, cars, trucks and everything ‘climb’able to wave flags, shirts and everything ‘wave’able. Sure there was a traffic jam but it was because the drivers got out of their cars and danced with the rest of the crowd!

Funny moment

There was this tall, huge probably drunk white guy who blocked the traffic by dancing shirtless in the middle of the road in front of a car waving his shirt and chanting “Sacheeeen, Sachin” while his expatriate friends looked amazed, worried and sort of embarrassed. The driver of the car instead of getting irritated with the unexpected roadblock simply waved his in hands Bhangra style in sync with the dancing! That sort of summed up the moment for me.

And so the revelry went on for more than an hour after which middle-aged policemen who probably behaved in the same way 28 years ago came to clear up the traffic. Thus the thousands returned back to their nests with the yelling and the chanting and the waving intact.

From our Vizag Bureau

The funniest world cup final story so far comes from a small middle class neighborhood in Vishakapatnam. After Sachin got out, a decent middle-aged gentleman got so pissed that he plugged the TV out of its place, ripped the wires clinging to it and threw the damn thing out from his second floor balcony. This fit of rage rendered his family not just speechless but also TV-less! An hour later, he realized that we were after all winning, so the family went to catch the rest of the match at their neighbor’s. I bet the neighbor spent some nervous moments after Kohli got out!

His wife, clearly shell shocked from her husband’s Neanderthal display, took the kids and ran away to her parents’ home the very next morning. We hear she is not keen on returning back till the gentleman sorts out his rage problem. Our sympathies lie with the middle aged gentleman. After all, “He did for Sachin” ;)

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  1. lol! that was a fun post!

  2. haha!! that was quite a post man :))

  3. Hey G2, enjoyed reading the post! You've pretty much summed up what the scene was like all over the nation!! Probably the 'only' thing that unites all Indians is cricket!! Cheers!

  4. Thanks Anuja.... it is true :)


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