2003 Cricket World Cup, the men from out country were battling it out on the field. And I do not remember everything distinctly but, somehow everything was silent. No one was honking in the street, and everyone had gathered near the one Television we had in the whole home. Somehow, the entire country had held their breaths at the same time. Then the whole thing started. Legends were playing at that time, even if for me they were just human beings then. Sachin and Sourav, the people whose names were out there on everyone’s lips at the moment.
And then the inevitable happened, I do not remember the match as a whole, but, at the end there was no one watching the match anymore, we had lost. And somehow the cog wheels would turn again.
That was such an old memory…
And I remember 2011 fondly. I remember people marching out in the middle of night, walking into their homes hand in hand. I remember hope and celebrations, I remember distant fireworks that had become forgotten for so long. We had been triumphant. And there was a couple who walked home together, holding hands at the end of the night. Those were sceneries that would stay with us for endless days.
And then yesterday.
To see the people leaving the cafeteria as the wickets started to fall. To see the pure heartbreak in the faces of the people as they walked out.
To see my senior sit behind me, the colours of the Indian flag washed from his face in a hurry. The few people who sat there sat to bid adieu to the team were all heartbroken and you could see it in their eyes.
There were hopes resting on this team. And there was an entire nation which they carried on their backs.
And they lost.
These were not legends mind. These were youngsters who were out there to get a name. These were not The Master Blaster, Dada, The Wall, The Very Very Special, these were warriors who had been thrown into the largest war in the world.
Even legends have lost in here. And these were people just starting out. Even if they had got experience they were not mythical creatures, and yet, the nation had put the entire weight on their shoulders.
In the final moments, as they lost, I truly felt bad.
They would be welcomed home with abuses hurled at them, effigies being burnt. They would be accused of taking bribes. And after all that they’d take the cricketing field again. Another day, another match to play