Incase you are wondering how I came up with that awesome title, well...I had named my Fantasy cricket team that one :) And itss soooo apt!
A 6-year-old boy was there watching the match. The chants, the mantras, the noise and the din apart, he could not fathom one huge thing. He asked him mom, or was it aunt, why bleed blue? when the colour of the blood is red. I am sure that lady came up with some bright reply, or may be a lame excuse...but my mind could not help but wonder what does bleed blue actually mean.
We all bled blue, yesterday. And it was not for the mere 8 hours of the match. Pre and post match, the situation is still the same. Hype it may have created, religion it might be called, but those who witnessed and are witnessing this wonderful era of the 2011 Cricket World Cup would have some awesome stories to narrate to their folks a few years down the line. Of how the rest of the world freezes and the headlines are all cricket-specific. Of how a cricketer can be raised to the level of a pseudo god and even brought down at a similar pace by one match or a dropped catch. Of how the tune sounds when the entire nation, state, city, road, building or colony chants the same lines in the loudest and most hoarse of the voices. Of the off-match diplomacy this sport supports. Of how this game, this religion can make a country or a sub-continent, literally stop! Of how this game can even make the snobby and arrogant first-class ladies of a mumbai local cajole and cheer for the same thing. Of how this game brings a smile and grin on the faces of people of whom you were assured had no emotions in them. Of how these men on the field bleed blood, sweat, and blue.
People who were born post the world cup win must have always wondered how must the excitement and mood have been when we won the world cup in 1983. I have been one of them. I vividly remember how the present cricketers or some ardent experts talk about how they were and what they were doing on that particular day. In non-HDed environment, and no digital displays, the match would not have been as "live" and colourful as today. But then, can you compare the excitement and the cheering people? I do not think so. Just when you think, India, or Mumbai, is becoming extremely commercial, people are getting all money-minded, everyone is like "to each his own", they are all running for the race for money, those very people give back on your face. They become one, one like they were never apart. They may be tied by the thread called nation, or for a few, cricket.
I have never believed much in latter. For the latter option, I had some reserved thoughts. Thoughts that told me, it is momentary. Thoughts that expressed a shrug or sigh, and nodded their head when people danced, hugged, and bursted crackers to celebrate a win. These thoughts always told me, this is not permanent. And it is not something major. But yesterday, or ever since the start of the cup, I have started to believe my thoughts were wrong.
The game is indeed a game changer. It has been, since a long time. What else can you name that has brought a smile on this nation's more than a billion population at the same time. It is not a leader winning the election, it is not (or ever) a budget announcement, it is not bollywood. It is this. It is here. And it is going to rule the roost for a long time to come.
Win we may on Saturday. WE shall all definitely pray for it. I cannot wait to see the vibe and pulse this wonderful city is gonna create on that particular day. But what this game and this wonderful performance that these men in blue has given us, will be etched forever in the memory of the age that witnessed it.
As I said, that 6-year-old boy may someday narrate the tale to his grand children of how he did not understand "bleed blue" at that time, and yet he enjoyed the game and the atmosphere around. And how somewhere he also felt that he was, indeed, bleeding blue.
Controversies apart, hooplah kicked out, egos and talent clashed out, this team has been through a lot. And for what it may be worth, we do deserve the cup. Flying blues, go win the cup!