Long before the first ball of the world cup 2011 match was bowled, a FB friend from Morocco posted this photo. A photo of Sachin, with the tagline - 'Could we have a larger cup today, please?'. I replied on the photo - 'yes, we can!'. And after 8 hrs, it became - 'yes, we did'.
It was not easy. The climb was tough. The odds were against. And our chase did not start on a positive note. As the 'God' departed, the various status read on FB -
Tears came to my eyes.
The world cup is officially Over.
Viru and Sachin Out. 275, I bet you cant!
etc etc etc.
Emotions of my friend watching the match with me were on similar lines. I told him,'Its not over yet. Have Faith. We will do it'. And I was not just saying it. I believed it. There was not a shred of doubt in my mind that we were going to fail. Yes, I was not on the ground. Yes, the chips were down. But, I had no business being hopeless. Sports, like Life is not played with self-doubt, low self confidence, fear of failure, getting bogged down, getting hopeless, feeling defeated. Yes, we can be nervous. That is Natural. But, if your/our mind and heart is occupied with hopelessness, then sports is not for you/us. Champions rise when the odds get tougher, stiffer. And that is what we did. We rose. We pumped our fists to show that we are THE WORLD CHAMPIONS.
There are many types of supporters. The Fanatics, The Pessimists, The Nervous Type, The Superstitious Type, The Optimists, The Eternal Optimists, The Practical Type, The Realist Type, The Unforgiving Type. It does not matter what all these supporters say on the outside. But on the inside, everyone wanted the same thing. THE CUP. Anything short of this would not have been excused. This is the last world cup Sachin was playing, they said. If not now, then when? The greatest batsman in the history of the world would go out without a world cup in his hand? Its not imaginable. Its Cruel. Its not possible. That will be so unfair. Yes, it would have been unfair. But Life has a right to be unfair. The world owes you nothing, as they say, because it was here before you came. We can do all in our power, physically, mentally, psychologically to follow our dreams. To fulfill our dreams. But, we may not succeed. This is what Sachin would have thought after the heartbreak of 1996 semifinal and the annihilation by the Aussies in 2003 WC final. But he did not lose hope. He came back. So, who were we to lose hope after losing two BIG wickets? We were the 12th man of the team. So, unlike a few nervous supporters, I stood my ground. I have HOPE. I have FAITH. Lets do it.
I am not saying that just because we stood our ground and refuse to accept the defeat as an option resulted in our win. Its not algebra. Ending on the right side of the finish line, especially in a team game, depends on so many things that trying to control everything is out of the question. But, the least that we, the outsiders, the fans, the supporters can do is to support the Blue jersey, unconditionally. We do not leave the hands of our family and friends, when they are down and out. Why the relationship between a fan and his team be any different? Even if the Gambhir catch would have been taken, even if Dhoni had failed in promoting himself, even if Team India had faltered, failed, it would not have rendered me hopeless. Disappointed Yes. Shaken Yes. But come the next series or 2015 WC, and I would have been back. Fresh. New Begining. New Hope. Same enthusiasm.
But, For now, it is 2011. And we have achieved what every single Indian wanted. What does it mean to me, the common man, the aam junta?
Let me explain this in brief.
We were watching the match on a giant screen erected in the society, and I was with a couple of friends of mine. There were another 100 or so people watching. Some sitting. Many standing. Young Mothers with their younger babies. Young couples.4-5 year olds. Old couples. Middle aged people. Society Gaurds. But as Dhoni hit the winning six, there was no difference among anyone. We roared, danced, shouted, laughed, cried like ONE. The joy was so pure. The celebration was uninhibited. The madness was unimaginable. Yes, my life sucks. yes, my job sucks. yes, my salary sucks. yes, I am not yet living the life the way I want to. Yes, I have no idea what my future is going to look like. I have a million shortcomings. Hundred of unanswered questions. Too many problems to take care. Too many bills to pay. But today, I do not give a damn. And tomorrow, I will hope. Again. That I can better my life. I can do everything that I want. I can achieve everything that I wish. Life can hit me with its biggest and worst stone . But, I will walk through pain. I will not loose hope. Yes, it was that kind of a Night.