What a wonderful effort that was by Gautam Gambhir! And Dhoni? Well he was Captain Courageous with those lofty sixes and presented a picture of concentration. But what I loved most was the way the team mates carried their idol Sachin on their shoulders on the victory lap. And the man himself looked the happiest and the youngest of the lot with his exuberance. And did you see the tension on the faces of the spectators? It could have been a scene outside an operation theatre when one awaits the doctor’s verdict about the condition of a patient and not the final of the ICC World Cup.
I enjoyed every bit of the action and drama. But all without turning a hair or biting my nails off. So how did I do it, you ask?
Let me enlighten you.
I take the easy way out. I DON’T watch the games live. And then I am only interested in the games India plays. So if India loses, I haven’t missed anything. And if India wins, I know there will be repeat telecasts ad nauseam and I can watch it without any pressure, and therefore enjoy it all the better.
Like everyone else, I want India to win too but I can’t sit through a match, going through the roller-coaster of emotions with the rise and fall of the tide of the game. At least I have not been able to sit through for some years now. For one, I don’t like to see India lose. Ok, ok, all those who are advising me to ‘enjoy the game and not worry about winning and losing’, chill! I don’t buy that any more. And as for you brats, I know I had told you to take the game for what it is and give your best shot. But that was to prepare you for the worst while giving off your best. I don’t preach that to you any more do I? So lay off!
My older one never tires of pointing out that I am becoming more and more like his three-year-old, happily regressing in age and temperament and I don’t want to dispute that. I stopped reading thrillers and watching suspense dramas long back. I like my stories told straight, without having to tax my brains to guess who the culprit is or to have my heart plunge to my feet while negotiating dangerous terrains with the protagonists.
And that reminds me of my father because some gene of his must have influenced this habit of mine. And were he alive today, he would have approved of my method!
He loved reading. And once he retired, it became one of his chief occupations. With no good public library nearby, he would look for anything at all to read and if he couldn’t find anything new, he would re-read the ones he had read. And when that got boring, he would pick up my college texts and read them! In moments of desperation he would even smooth out the newspaper — that came as wrapping for groceries in those days –and read them! Needless to say, he would pick up any of the bestsellers that I might be reading – Maclean, Chase or Christie. This is where he intrigued me.
He would read a couple of chapters and then turn to the last chapter.
It made me mad to see him cheat like that. When I confronted him, he calmly told me the reason.
‘I read the beginning to know the plot and then go on to find out what happened at the end. Once I know the gist of the story, I read the whole story without any tension and at my own pace.’
I found it inexplicable then
That anyone could enjoy a book once the suspense was taken away was beyond my comprehension at that age. But it began making sense as I grew older and I found that I enjoyed things at my pace and not the one set by the author of a book or the director of a movie. I couldn’t enjoy thrillers by following his method, so I shifted to reading children’s books – not the mysteries and adventures, but stories for smaller children, where there is no suspense, no tension about what would happen next. That meant I got to watching ‘feel-good-movies’ too or even inane comedies.
When India won the 1983 ICC World Cup telecasting was still in its nascent stages and yet we got to see all the matches over and over. And this is 2011. Need one say more? So all those who want to sit through the match with their hearts in their mouths and sweating in tension, are most welcome to do so. I would rather use that time to do something better and then watch the repeat telecast later – if I want to. Who wants to see a one-sided match? And if the minnows beat the champs, there is always the repeat telecast, isn’t there? Thank you Appa, for your wisdom!
PS: Coming to all the hype and hoopla over the World Cup, I feel it is a tad overdone, don’t you? The banner headline in TOI on Monday read, ‘Team India Partied All Night Long,’ and the entire page, even large parts of the other pages had nothing but World Cup news and trivia. Granted that this is a great victory and a shot of adrenalin to the scam-infected country, but the hype is still not warranted.