Not even a few hours after India finally lost their battle to the Aussies in the semis, millions of dreams were ‘shattered’ not only back home but also abroad. Growing up in India, I neither remember myself being a cricket match devout nor a fanatic who doesn’t eat for days after India losing in any of the cricket matches. Nor cursed them for losing any time. Only a silent wish on the lips, that India mustn’t lose like ever :).
Coming to Sweden and being here for quite a while, nothing has changed much. I occasionally follow a few matches along with my husband, who swears by cricket like any other Indian. I remember vividly however, India thrashing their way to victory last world cup and how I was then in India, single and celebrated the whole night along with my friends. Well, who didn’t?
Coming back to the present scenario, abroad, US, UK, Sweden wherever we Indians are, you cannot take the cricket out of the Indian. Living in a cold country where people play ice-hockey, ski and football, cricket as a game is alien to them. Reminiscing the past victories of India in this world cup, I remember how my husband among other ardent worshipers of cricket, woke up in wee hours of the morning to cheer up for the men-in-blue. The ‘ordeal’ continued in office, staying glued to the live-updates in their mobiles through various meetings and thinking about the score while on a call. Of course, nobody has the ‘pleasure’ of their companies telecasting cricket matches in the canteens etc,neither was the time difference of any help or was the atmosphere jubilant enough to enjoy India’s successive victories or moped over India’s final defeat. But nevertheless, that didn’t deter any NRI from going gung-ho after each win.
We explained with pride that we haven’t lost out any matches till now and that we own the cup. Well, your chest does heave with pride when you explain to any foreigner that you were world cup champions of a game twice, even if they can’t relate to the game:).
So no more sleepless nights, checking live update, distractions in the meetings or spring in your step because of the world cup. The cup that matters, shatters. So? Big deal. Of course it is a big deal when your Australian colleague has a grin on his face, now that Australia is in the finals. Of course, it won’t be easy to tweet #wegaveitback after the Kiwis or Australians will take it away from us. Of course, it feels awkward to us abroad, when your boss asks you, “So, what finally happened to the matches that you were watching, cricket or something you say?”
We may not be in our countries to ‘mourn’ over the loss but we equally feel the pinch. But is it end of the road? No. A conversation with my colleague evoked my sportsmanship some time later after the match. Swedes love to ski but mostly they always lose to Norway, their arch rivals. And in the world ski championship this year too, they came second. During the game, in my office canteen, all were cheering not only for their player but even for the rival too. She explained with a sentence that we know but don’t want to admit, “The best player always wins, so its ok”.
All those brooding NRIs and my fellow Indians back home, brace yourself and gear up for the next world cup. The victory may not be ours this time, but we Indians whether in cricket or something else, always manage to win hearts. So #giveitback only with demeanor to #getitback next time 🙂