Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dear Men in Blue - II

Dear Men in Blue,

First of all, congratulations on your uber-achievement. You've been awesome. I know you've done it for me after my sincere pledge Friday night. I know many others have made similar requests to you over the past 28 years, and you did respond to all of them yesterday night.

However, this letter is not about them. This is about myself. Selfish individuals like me have hardly ever cared about others, you see.

I was maniacal on Facebook, just like the semifinal. I was baffled at Sreesanth being picked and Mendis being dropped. I was amazed at Mahela's brilliance, Gautam's diligence and Dhoni's incredible sense of occasion. I was confused at Sanga's handling of The Great Spinner.

However, when your leader (who, I repeat, is the greatest our nation has ever produced), after leading the chase like a true champion, started dishing out the final blows to the hapless Lankans, my posts got fewer and fewer in number, and in the end, I became numb. I mean, I remember the final six, I remember by brother yelling, I remember the huge roar on the telly and from outside the window, I remember my mother smiling, but I also remember myself not reacting.

How does one react to such occasions, Men in Blue? I was brought up on world cup eliminations at various stages over the years, and my reactions varied from anger to grief to despair to trauma to heartbreak. I had, over a quarter of a century, trained my brain to react to defeats and acceptance of the fact that we shall always be eliminated.

But elation? Victory? How does one react to that, Men in Blue? A part of me wanted to yell in triumph. A part of me wanted to cry out loud. A part of me wanted to pour my heart out in cyberspace. A part of me wanted to get high.

But I did none of that. I simply got inside a shell. I sat silently. I stared vacantly at the TV screen. I saw Yuvraj cry. I saw Harbhajan cry. I wanted to join them in their tears, but nothing came out. Honestly. I couldn't speak. I simply saw Shastri hand the medallions, and then the cup to you. I saw you celebrate, and take the lap.

I sat there like a zombie. Just sat there, and did nothing. My brain was clogged. I had visions of 1987 when I had cried in the bathroom. I had visions of my despair at your elimination in all the world cups I had seen. I just couldn't react, you know. I just wanted to consume, to devour, to swallow every moment of your celebration with my thirsty eyes.

Then I heard the bands and the roars and the processions and the crackers outside. I walked out. I just had to. But even then, I couldn't join in. Random cars and motorcycles and pedestrians, clad proudly in the tricolour, drinking in public and celebrating like insane, passed by me. I was the only static entity on the sidewalk. They waved at me, yelled at me, gestured high-fives and thumbs-ups at me as they passed by me. I smiled weakly and gestured back like some strange doll.

Minutes passed by. I called and texted a few friends, but there was no life in them. All I wanted was to be with someone who has borne the same amount of pain I had been through since 1987, and had felt the same level of satisfaction as I did at that moment after a wait that long and after being that loyal.

I returned home. And then, I had the most peaceful of slumbers. I had a dreamless sleep after a long time.

I woke up today morning, you see. And still that outburst didn't come. I can assure you that things are happening inside me, Men in Blue. There are multiple emotions at war with each other, competing with each other to come out and failing miserably. I have still not yelled or leapt or cried out loud to celebrate.

Forgive me, Men in Blue. I have failed you. I didn't react to your success the way the others have. I should possibly have gone out, celebrating in alcohol and gulaal and face paint and tricolour and celebrated and partied till dawn. I didn't. Forgive me for acting like such a moron when the entire nation has been celebrating. Maybe I just didn't love you enough, Men in Blue. Maybe the victory didn't mean as much to me as it had to others. Maybe I do not care for you or the game as much. Maybe I didn't crave for this moment as much.

But there's something else to this story as well, you know. Last night, as I pulled up the sheet to cover myself, I realised that if I breathed my last that moment, it would be one of the most satisfactory and peaceful deaths ever in the history of mankind. That's the best I can do for you, Men in Blue. A life whose consciousness began with the dreams of your triumph; and one that I'd be happy to end as you have achieved that.

Take my life, Men in Blue. You have achieved for me what I had wanted out of my life. There's nothing to look forward to any more after The Ultimate Triumph. Whatever happens to me now, however bad, let it be a terminal disease or a death of a dear one or bankruptcy, no one can take away the fact from me that I have witnessed a world cup triumph of yours, just like my previous generation.

Still no outburst, Men in Blue. Maybe some day I shall, at some lesser incident. This one, I suppose, has dug too deep inside. Pardon me for my limited vocabulary and writing skills. I really cannot express what you've done for me yesterday night. Believe me, I'm being honest here.

Your unworthy, possibly even ungrateful fan,
Abhishek.

18 comments:

  1. Indiaaa Indiaaa!! :)

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  2. Excellent Write up with honest feelings and true confessions! What you have written here is by your heart. Enjoyed reading this. :)

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  3. I definitely can relate to the pain and the heartbreak that you felt, boss... I've supported India, I've been a diehard fan of SRT, I saw the Chennai Test while in Kolkata, and the Sharjah gems; I saw our Dada-started and Yuvi-Kaif finished win at Lord's vs. England and followed VVS-Rahul at Eden, saw that series. I saw the T20 WC 2007 and I saw our World Cup Campaign in 2003 :). I always support England in Ashes series, and I lived through that amazing 0-5 under Flintoff :).

    After our win yesterday - I too thought, after a lifetime of seeing the MiB :) drop out along the way like the other Pandavas, to see Yudhishthir finally reach the summit was... Well, I kept asking myself - is it really true? Are we really to get used to the fact that for the next four years, we ARE the World Cup champions?

    And the sooner you realise the truth as I did, the better:

    There is no spoon. :)

    Ok, I mean - we ARE to get used to it. We ARE the World cup champions. I have been grinning like crazy - and I have felt at peace too.

    I can SURELY relate to you, boss. And the images, the photos! I don't know how my father reacted to our win, but I'm sure there were similar pictures of Kapil's Devils in the papers and magazines at that time, of a young Srikanth, or all-rounder Amarnath, all excited and manic, as a young Yuvi is - and a young Kapil, guys all at their physical peaks, grinning as MSD was. (See the winning moment photo on cricinfo?)

    Someday, my son will ask me about the time when I saw my first World Cup win, and I'll remember yesterday, I'll remember how the by-then-old Yuvraj and Dhoni looked when They Were There. When they hugged and jumped for joy, laughed and cried... and a whole nation did the same around the world.

    And we'll be saying [to the kids] with a sigh,
    somewhere ages and ages hence -
    Two teams played in a final, and I
    I cheered the one for whom I'd die -
    and that made all the difference.

    (With due apologies for using this, and rather poorly.)

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  4. Come on :) This is hardly the moment for personal understatements! You're one of the greatest fans of the blue men, so there!

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  5. love is not something shouted from rooftops,it simply defies expression,where language fails man,the medium of outpouring is found painfully inadequate and heart bursts in raptures,silently staring the emotional upheavel and the throbbing joy encompassing the whole being.
    the absence of a presence,the joy sans smile.
    Divine emotion,needless rant.

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  6. what emotion is this if not orgasmic numbnesss? the deepest emotions are not narrated but implodingly felt.

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  7. u never responded. are u single? I need someone like u. Im not ur average cricket fan...... I can share ur emotions, every bit of them.

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  8. I remember when my baby was born, when the doctor held him, before cutting the cord, right in front of my eyes, I did exactly like you did when Dhoni did the magic. I couldn't react. Was I supposed to smile, or cry, or scream? My doctor repeated, "Mrs. Cu, You have a son!" And I smiled like a "strange doll". It took time to sink in that I am a mother now, I have a son. And now, each day, as he grows, I smile, laugh, and cry.
    And I hope, one day when you meet that one person, who felt the same way you did, who cried uncontrollably in the bathroom when India lost the match against SriLanka at Eden, and was similarly numb yesterday night, hold him/her tight and celebrate the fact that we have won.

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  9. I did a little of what u cudn't.... I yelled like crazy... I wept uncontrollably with a perpetual smile on my... and while I did all of that I was not conscious of the fact that I was doing all this in the house where I live with my in-laws, and the next house belonged to my mom-in-law's sis, and the 3rd next house was of my mom-in-law's bro's.... what they wud think or say about their sis' "bouma" yelling like the rowdies in the vicinity never occured to me.. n even when it did I cudn't spare a nanosecond to bother....I did another crazy thing... I took snaps of the team's celebrations on my cellphone from the TV... I was itching to do something memorable for celebrating this moment... Had it been a few years back, had I not been married, and had been still in college... I wud've drunk like a fish somewhere in park st probably or at some friend's plc till I got a bad hangover....I wud've partied the night away with the closest set of friends... but alas, here I was, married, with quite a few responsibilities to take care of... an important one being doing nothing that wud result in any insult to my in-laws....so all I did was let everything just sink in and bask in the glory.... but this morning when I woke up everything started to seem v unreal... as if we all had had a beautiful, incredible dream.... I don't know what it actually is... but for me this euphoria would last till I breathe my last...

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  10. experiencing something like ma and baba became kid again,beaming and glowing like everyone else alongwith me,my wife,my neighbours and friends-an emotion unequivocally seen and experienced only by a fellow indian united...
    my kid puzzled at the newfound kid in each one of us but too young to comprehend why he was allowed a tub of ice-cream,and why his baba's now a dodo,and why his mother behaved like a cuckoo bird.

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  11. Good thing you didn't shout that day, You have four years to shout as hard as you can... WE ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!! :-) Well played!

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  12. now as a bong you still support dada?

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  13. dont know what to say... u penned down exactly how i "not-reacted"... am stunned...thanks for penning it down...

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  14. http://mendelismental.blogspot.com/2011/04/wankhede-dreams.html

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  15. india won the cup doesn't mean you should stop writing.

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  16. :-)
    only these symbols came to my mind, today...
    and what I actually feel/felt like, that is beyond words I know, knowledge I have, sense I can perceive.

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  17. Good one. People those who shout in wins, dip in alchohol and gulaal are also those who burn houses when the same team loses. So we are better off being happy within ourselves, playing second fiddle on such happy days. I have had the previlege of being part of 2 such occassions in 1983 and 2011. Also the innumerable heartbreaks down from 1975 onwards.

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