26 January, 2006

Jeethenga ! Jeethenga !....

Incredible match! Thunderous crowd! The atmosphere was really Electric!

If any country wants to produce Electricity cheap... they can conduct cricket match between India and Pakistan...... Oh...Pillaiyar..(Indian version of Oh...Jesus) What a day!!! After a long argument with my friend we decided to leave home by 7.00 A.M. and finally we left home by 7.35 A.M. We expected a traffic jam on the motorway...but it was just OK. He has a Citroen C5 car and wanted to test its speed...... I had to remind him that he is not Karthikeyan or Schumacher. His wife also joined the chorus with me...Finally we reached Edgbaston ground. My friend was worried in parking it in a safer place. We took it straight into the stadium and we found that we should have bought the Car pass earlier. There was an Asian Steward and he gave us a counterfoil of a Car pass and charged £10 for it. My friend was wondering...what it was...and questioned whether we will be allowed in with a counter foil of a used carpass. The steward asked us not to worry and signalled the gate keepers to allow us. Again they were Asians. But when we approached the gate my friend handed the counterfoil to an English man. He questioned for the full ticket and his Asian colleagues interfered and asked us to proceed inside. The English man was puzzled... You all know the answer.

We entered the stadium and met another gang of friends, Doctors and Software Engineers by profession and have come from Switzerland, London and other places. My friends decided to have coffee after we were let in with a serious security check. Any products other than those who were sponsoring the match were not allowed. I saw cans of Fanta, and other drinks taken away from the people before me in the queue. I was laughing about my turn because I had lots of fresh Vegetable Salads, Fruits and our favourite 'Thayir Sadham'. They cleared me within few seconds. Personally they checked us. A tall African Origin guy checked me.. Anyone interested in shooting Mahabarath again can approach him for the real Beema role. I think he has not stopped growing.... When he laughed it was terrorising... After entering inside the stadium I looked around for something interesting.

Suddenly I screamed....... I could not believe myself. Our Krishnamachari Srikanth was standing and talking with few people. I went to him and introduced myself and shook hands. Later I took my friends and they were thrilled too. My friend said to Srikanth that he still remembers his famous cover drive (on knees) in the 1983 world cup finals at Lords. Srikanth acknowledged with a smile. We took a picture. (Later my friend said that the battery did not work... Remember guys... it does not matter how expensive your Digital camera is... But you need to have good new batteries...) Within few minutes I saw Wasim Akram walking few steps away from me. I could not believe. He was busy talking over his mobile. He was having discussion with the gate keepers. Later when I started walking towards him he went away. He wanted the gate to be opened and the English gatekeepers refused to do so. When I went near them this was the conversation....

GK 1: Do you know who he is? He is ex-cricketer of Pakistan... Wasim Akram.

GK 2: I don't care about it. I can't do things which I am not permitted.

I imagined the same situation in India. Within few minutes I saw plenty of ex-cricketers like Ravi Shastri, Farookh Engineer, L Sivaramakrishnan, Ian Botham, Clive Lloyd, Tony Greig, Arun Lal, HaroonRashid, Sanjay Manjrekar and few more... I was very happy in seeing Ian Botham very close... There were few more whom I could not identify. Everyone has become old. But then it took time for me to realise that I have seen them young when I was a young boy and now I have also become...It was fantastic to see most of the crowd in blue and green. I was sitting among a mixture of crowd from India and Pakistan. The couple next to me was strange.The lady was a Pakistani and the guy was of Indian Origin. He was there with his friends.. They are a group called Bharat Army. These people book tickets as a group,wherever India plays Cricket in this world and see the match. So whenever a Pakistan bowler took a wicket she used to tease her husband and friends, and viceversa... There was a Pakistani family just behind me... A decent Uncle, good looking aunty with her four daughters and a son... They mistook me for a Pakistani. (May be because I was clapping gently for both the sides....me being a real Madras guy ... For those who do not know.. Madras crowd is very sportive and have never indulged in any violence). There were fun now and then.... Whenever there was a boundary by Indian batsmen ... the Indians got up and teased the Pakistanis. Again whenever there was an Indian wicket there was thunder from the Pakistan side... I could understand how much of pressure the players will undergo in such a match. As Bob Woolmer the coach for Pakistan said it resulted in failure of batting in both the sides.... I do not want to talk much about the game... You all must have read it and seen it...But I want to tell few other things which I observed....

***** There was a group of six to seven people who were appreciated by the whole stand. These people had shirts which were half green and half blue bearing the names Pakistan and India on the respective colours.They went around the stand kissing both the part of the shirts carrying a banner which was like this...TWO NATIONS ONE LOVE...CRICKET

***** A glider plane flew around the stadium with a banner saying......"BROTHERS ENJOY THE GAME - MUMTAZ, BRADFORD" ...(For your information Bradford is noted for its racistic incidents in UK... Always you can read some news about some incident in Bradford..) The message was meant for both Pakistanis and Indians.

***** Harbajan Singh must have been excited on seeing plenty of Sikh Turbans in our stand. So when he wasfielding near our stand... he started doing Bangrastyle dance shaking his shoulders, "Bale...bale..."

***** One Indian gentleman who had long hair and dressed himself like a saint was booed 'Swami...Swami...Zindabad...' whenever he was going around the stand. This was by both the country fans...

***** There was always a long queue in the bar as well as equal queue in the Loo. No need to prove Beer and wine are diuretic.

***** I found lot of Indian Ladies with the tri colour flag on their shoulder drinking Jack Daniels and smoking Benson and Hedges.

***** Most of the good looking girls and aunties were speaking Gujarati.

***** At no point of time I felt that I was in abroad because of the crowd. The crowd was Asian. There was litter every where. Most of them had a Samosa in their hand.

***** Most of the Gujjus had plenty of sweets alongwith their meals. I wondered why they have so much of sweets. Gujjus are already very sweet.

***** Very often the Indian crowd sang " Hey dosti...Hum Nahin...." from the film 'Sholay' looking at Pakistan crowds and they equally responded.

****** Whenever there was small tussle between a Pakistani and Indian guy a police and steward rushed there. But immediately the Indian and Paki fan were having their hands on each one's shoulder and fooled the Police as in Indian movies.

****** The crowd was not as knowledgable as Madras Cricket fans. Many of them were looking at the third umpire results in the giant screen even if the batsmenhad reached safely.

****** Some of them did not understand why a by-runnercame for Yousuf Yohana. Some ladies mistook that 3 batsmen are allowed in Cricket.

****** Everyone clapped their hands when Inzi was on 9,999 one day runs thinking that he had crossed one run. They all wondered why the run was not counted. I had to tell them that it was a leg bye. I further understood their in-depth knowledge when they asked me what it means.

****** Though people have been boasting of being born and brought up here and having become a Citizen....the roots never change. Still everyone wants to support their origin country when they get a chance.So one thing is clear... though all have been living away from their home country for years their liking and patriotism has not decreased even a slight... I have colleagues who are of Indian Origin but have never seen India since their birth and love to hear about India always. In fact the Indian culture is more in abroad than in India.Finally to say.... here we live very united. So nothing can split our unity. They(Pakistanis) like us and we like them. Each have respect on others. It is only those bit mischief people here and there who aggravate things joining more with our Great Politicians of both the countries. In fact whenever I walk on the road and come across a Pakistani, I am greeted with respect and I reflect the same.

So do not have hatred on anyothers. After all we are human beings. Love is greater than anything. Love each other. Let us start from our blogging world. One seed can make the whole earth green.Zindabad! Zindabad! Blogging world Zindabad!

Jeethenga! Jeethenga! Hamara Pyar Jeethenga!

(The above was sent by me as an email to my friends just after witnessing a Indo-Pak Cricket match in 2004 at Edgbaston on 19th September)


வேதா said...

hello balaji sir,
u have correctly posted this in a time of indo-pak match. thats a nice post, i felt like watching the match live. the indians and pakistanis do not have any personal hatred, only politians do that.

moosejamal said...

I really enjoyed reading about your experience at this match. I had to laugh a few times as well. In the current Ind-Pak series (for which I had to fork over $150 to watch over broadband, they are playing that same "Sholay" song during the breaks with the message of Ind-Pak brotherly/sisterly relations.

susubala said...

It was nice to note that Indians & Pakistanis were so friendly, whereas the politicians who play the major role. Anyways,it was nice reading your post and had a live glimpse.

Welcome back after the break.

Premalatha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeevan said...

Citroen C6 gets 5 stars for protection.
So sad about the camera battery, if the battery had full current, we have a good chance to see u with Srikanth. U got a good chance to meet ex-cricketers.
The Cricket players will play there best, but when we shout, our sound will encourage them to play well. Nice review of India Pakistan match in 2004, latea vanthalum latesta vanthirukku unga review, super.:)

Narayanan Venkitu said...

India PAK games are always fun.!!

Wish I could do what you did here.!

Cheeka - Yeah, what a shot that was.!! Still in front of my eyes.!!

Nice to see him on TV these days, ( CNN-IBN).

Adaengappa !! said...

intha last paragraph-a modhallaiya pottuiruntha,i wud have saved some time :-(..Idhu unga experience-nu nenachen..emaathiteengale :-(

Anyways,Cheers to Indian team now for doing great now in Pak,sans ganguly..hope this run continues...!!

Jo said...

Hmmm... I know nothing about this game - Cricket. :D

Prabu Karthik said...

sports coverage with a message... kalakiteenga

i was always worried when india tours pakistan abt the safety of our players. ennamo paranoia

but lot of it cleared when siddharth vaidyanathan writes abt the hospitality he receives in pakistan wherever he goes.

do check his blog in cricinfo site. his mom is a blogger (usha vaidyanathan, dubukku blog la regular :))

very nice post sir

Balaji S Rajan said...

Veda - I just thought since long time. But happened now and it was just a coincidence.

Moosejamal - Welcome to my blog. I have seen Indo-Pak match in India, but this was a great experience.

Susubala - Thanks for your comments and invitation as well.

Jeevan - You are right. It was enjoyable.

NV - I missed you while seeing this match. Again I had to sit separately, and Varadhan and his family were in some other stand.

Adengappa - This was purely my experience. I sent this as e-mail to my friends and luckily the mail was there, to publish it as a post.

Jo- Many keralites do not have a great liking for Cricket I know.

PK - I shall go through the blog which you have mentioned. Nice that you enjoyed this.