Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
I cursed my fate when I knew that I would be travelling on the 2nd of April to Rameswaram. I would be missing the World Cup final. I knew that India would be playing, don’t ask me how – I just knew. After the dubious toss and Zaheer’s marvelous opening spell, it was time to go to the station. Not 3G, not WiFi but Marconi’s tried and tested technology came to my help. I was listening to match commentary on the good old radio!
I was on the train with perfect strangers. No one knew the other and we did not introduce ourselves formally. But it was so easy for everyone to ask “What is the score?” Cricket in India is a way of life; it is a very strong chord of unity amongst so many other problems in our country. Sport is magical. After Srilanka hit 274, I thought we needed something extraordinary from Sehwag/ Sachin to win the game. When they got out, there was a hush and mourns of despair. As Gambhir steadied the innings, we got more confident and the updates became more frequent. Even those who were saying they don’t care about cricket were asking – “score ennanga?” Those who said they don’t have any pressure were saying “Enna irundhaalum namma Team India va vittu kudukka mudiyuma?” We cheered every run and every one was tense!
Finally Dhoni unleashed himself and hit a huge six to seal India’s victory just as the train pulled into Trichy. Passengers got off the train and shouts of joy rent the air. There were fireworks on display. I wonder if the people of Trichy had ever celebrated anything at midnight so fervently! Everyone’s arms were in the air; people hugged each other, shook hands, congratulated each other and people were clapping! The lady in my compartment distributed chocolates to everyone!! Those who didn’t get down were on the phone talking to friends and family across the world, who were telling them how Yuvi and Bhajji cried, how the players hugged each other, how our Team had carried Sachin on its shoulders, how Wankhede was erupting with joy, how Mumbai was celebrating. Everyone was euphoric!!
After the calls, we repeated the same things over and over again to each other – Gambhir’s steady and controlled innings, young Kohli’s gritty knock, Team India’s victory lap, Gary’s transformation of the team; we were going on and on! My brother had called from Mumbai, my cousins had called from Chennai, Delhi and US. We shared our happiness and kept each other updated of the happenings across the country. How the wonder of winning the world cup makes us overflow with joy! Just as the train chugged, my cousin called and I heard the entire presentation ceremony over phone. I clapped and applauded and my heart did its dance of joy as we lifted the World Cup!!
As we put up the berths, everyone was promising the other that they would be the first to lay their hands on the newspaper the next morning, that they would be the first to read everything on the internet, that they would surely watch the replays, surely download the match and watch it for years to come!!
I was ecstatic, it would be more appropriate to say in a state of bliss. I couldn’t sleep, nor could anyone else. We do not get to witness great things in our routine lives. Things out of the ordinary do not happen very often and when they do, we hear of it after they happen. But this was different, we were spectators to this historic win, we were in the midst of it, we celebrated together, we had it all!! To participate in a star’s victory as a fan is a great feeling. After all, isn’t experiencing another’s joy and sorrow as one’s own said to be the highest of all values?
As night settled and quiet prevailed, I was thinking, everyone was going to Rameswaram because they were under great torment. They wanted to put unhappiness behind them, they wanted to remove obstacles and they wanted belief and a fresh lease of life.
This win should give everyone a sense of confidence that good things happen to good people, just takes a bit of time. In super star’s language – konja neram aagum kanna, avlo dhaan! To those who put work behind passion to win, to those who want to realize their dreams, to those who want to rise from a great fall, this world cup win should instill great belief. For us on that train, the purpose of going to Rameswaram was achieved in the train itself.
Destiny is ever so powerful! Some things just seem destined to happen. It was destined that we should win in Sachin’s home ground, it seemed written that history should be scripted in India. After all, Saare jahaan se achha, Hindustan hamaara!