Bonding over the bowled

Tanvi Juwale writes about becoming reluctant cricket enthusiast
and cricket down under.

This blog post started taking shape in my head when the dawn woke me up to the glorious sport of cricket. It was more like a semifinal before the final.

I took a train to work and though it was a weekday the trains were deserted as though it passed through a curfew. That happened to be a time when it was the first wicket, David Warner and everybody in the train except for two who were buried in their books cheered! I couldn’t help wonder about this sport that we love so much. We Indians only love one thing apart from our parents that is cricket.

What is it about sports that bonds people? The sports and auxiliary industries are flourishing while everyone else is enjoying the revenue perhaps amount to billions of dollars.

I knew we had special arrangements for this game in my office, we watched the match on a huge screen. None of us huddled in front of the screen sipping chai were bosses or subordinates but Indians supporting India and bleeding blue.  It is fascinating how people bond over  this game. Cricket is a religion in India and the country bleeds blue.

Santosh Singh of Travel XP says, “Cricket brings out the child in me. I get nostalgic sharing the passion of a game I grew up playing and it is fun to see different religions unite as a country.”

cricket

I have to agree, like the various colours of a spectrum unite in a ray of light, the barriers come cascading when a sport is involved.

Until I got to work, I was constantly listening to the commentary over the radio and after I picked up a bag of snacks for the game I sat in an auto rickshaw. What happened next was intriguing and amusing. I was the only girl in a sitting in the corner seat and accidentally I activated the speaker. When the middle aged gentleman who sat next to me heard I was listening to the cricket commentary, he smiled at me and said “Beta please loud speaker pe rakhiye na” (please play the commentary on the loud speaker on child) and I smiled and obliged. This reminded me of a coca cola ad shot on the Northern Indian border. Some where it touched me though I am still in my twenties, I’ve grown up witnessing the same.

Perhaps its a brother hood that games or supporting the same cricket team or the same football club establishes. The cumulative energy that goes into enjoying it as we unwind. It is more of an involuntary act but it does happen.

Avesh Memon, Regional Sales Head, Media Worldwide agrees, “It’s the emotional attachment to my team that gets us together.”

I am not a cricket fan neither I am bothered much when it comes to the usual ODIs. My male friends and colleagues take the cake and even a few subtle humorous sexist comments from me but there’s something beautiful to see people huddled over a tiny television or transistor, people gathered around television store, strangers becoming friends over pints in bars or homes where they watch games. Beyond all those sports jerseys, food, drink and times; the emotions involved make a lot of difference.

I was biting my nails and as I sat on the edge of my chair, (unfortunately) India lost. It was a great game! I agree I just despised the comments and the criticism for the team. I am defensive because though not an expert but in my opinion they played well and for one’s who spoke about Anushka-Virat I’ve read he’s scored a century on the same ground in front of her.

So what if we will didn’t get it this time, we played well. After all cricket is a gentleman’s game. Despite the loss, I pondered over how this game the British left us with means so much to us and how all the barriers collapsed because of one game: Cricket.

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