The first half was a deathly bore. The Gymkhana -- yeahaa, went with A -- was living up to it's reputation of being a geriatrics hub. Oldies everywhere, fighting sleep, not even getting off their arthritic asses to go grab some tea/coffee/samosa type item and thereby scoring a 10 on 10 for being 100 per cent lost in lethargy -- although soporific was the word used by us, young English-speaking-but-so-easily-switching-to-Punjabi-and-gibberish-therefore-trilingual-watchers-of-The-Match.
Then it was our turn to bat and the weather changed. Venue moved from the arthritic ambience of the soporific ball room to the lawns with Oscar-like round-table seating. Grab a chair.... borrow that one... who wants what?... beer?... chilli paneer?... roomali roti?
What atmosphere -- the smell of tandoori meats in the air, the breeze, the hint of rain, the make shift vuvuzelas, teenage girls in their teeny shorts yelling repeatedly: "Indiaaaa jeetega .. Sri lankaaaaa ko peetega" !"
For a while we may have wanted them to SHUT UP! and SIT DOWN! but if you're singing along to ads -- De ghuma ke, ghuma ke! -- you kinda lose right to judge 'em teenboppers.
Other sing-song slogans* shouted hoarse:
- humara captain kaisa ho.. M.S Dhoni jaisa ho!
- Indiaaaa--Indiaaa! *clap clap clap*
- Sachiiiii-in, Sach-innnnn!!
- And to cheer the gymkahana, just to play the fool: DELHI-G- IN-NIT?! followed by many chants of
- Gautiiii--Gautiiii and then my favourite:
- Ma India nu jitaa de halwa baantungi!
*There is just no sensible translations for this mad, perfectly Indian drivel.
Oh, it was a blast! I have never whistled so much in -- and I feel the need to add needless words otherwise always omitted -- in my life! I have never been told by strangers: I admire your lung capacity. I have never winked at women in sleeveless dresses the shades of the tricolour and shown them the thumbs-up (and later met them in the loo and laughed for no reason other than you-love-my-spirit, I-love-yours so woo hoo! India!) I have never had my face -- ok, left cheek -- painted orange, white, green. I have never seen my mother dancing on a table waving the flag and yelling out my name so I turn back and look at her and say: very good, Mama, now (you also) sit down!
When Dhoni hit that last six, the drum roll was unbelievable! Shirts came off, champagne got sprayed, chairs were fallen off, tears were seen and it rained a little. Again, I whistled like I never have in.my.life. Cricket bores the day lights out of me. But this, the tamasha the buoyancy amidst strangers, the oye-hoye through sun roofs at 2 a m, the Gurgaon liquor shops in front of which men in their undies were brandishing bottles and dancing on one leg; may just never see the sight again. My favourite facebook feed says "Thank you my soldiers in Blue!"
But speaking of which never-seen sights,
Question 1: I'm with the crowds, where the hell is sworn-to-strip Poonam Pandey?!
Question 2: Don't you love that Dhoni shaved his head in the middle of the night in his hotel room to keep his end of the deal with the gods?
Question 3: And, erm, I take it you saw the match? Really, where?:)