Getting Together!

March 30, 2011
By Rang De Team
By Aishwarya Mishra, Rang De Hyderabad Chapter

Afridi: God, Please help me come back in batting form and beat India

God: Son, I’m helpless bcoz I’m the opening batsman for India..!

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Ravi Shastri: Afridi, How will Pakistan stop Sachin from making his 100th ton

Afridi: We have thought about it a lot. Our strategy would be to bat first and get all out under 100

These were some gems shared by friends. I am sure we are all geared up for the big match today! India vs Pakistan. My wife told me that the Google office in Hyderabad has been decked up with balloons of the Indian tricolor. Chetan from the US Chapter mentioned that the Microsoft offices in US are having a night-out and television sets have been put up in all cafes. In my office, I overheard people were discussing about coming early morning and leaving early afternoon. Well, I do not know how serious they were about coming early morning but I knew they were dead serious about leaving early afternoon. If you are living in India or are living among Indians, there is a good chance you have been bitten by the India Pakistan Semi Final bug.

There is talk of roads being empty all over India. “Bharat Bandh” says someone. One newspaper wittingly wrote “India vs Pakistan: National Mohaliday”. As I go along my daily work, I see that today’s match is the talk of town. In bus stops, in local trains, in offices, in homes — big or small, on Facebook, on Twitter. I hope you agree, it is a very pleasant feeling to see that there is cord which connects you with so many others — some of whom you know and many of whom you do not know. Ipshita, my wife, and I were discussing this very camaraderie when she said something which made me write this post.

“I wish we Indians could come together like this for other causes as well”, is what she said. Nothing earth shattering when you hear it at first. But when you slowly realize the whole range of possibilities that can be achieved by inspired citizens to wish for the same thing or believe in the same thing, you say “Wow, What an Idea Sirjee”. I am aware many would want to find out chinks in this argument, starting with “Cricket is entertainment (some do call it a religion) whereas real life is not”. But I would reserve that conversation for some other time.

For me, millions of people being connected and rooting for the same thing is a reassuringly overwhelming feeling. Today as we all get together sitting in houses, offices, cafes, pubs, standing outside tv showrooms and restaurants with glass walls, I really wish all of us spare some moments to think about the possibilities of coming together, the possibilities of exploring all the other things (many of them more important than cricket) that require us to feel strongly and come together on issues. On that note, I settle down in my bean bag and wait for the toss!

PS: Rang De is running a campaign, Rang De World Cup Fever to raise awareness and funds by bringing together cricket, creativity and good intentions. Do check it out if you have not done so already!