Indians are a passionate lot – we love our food, our culture, our films, our festivals, but above all, we love cricket. Of course, I stand by what Aakar Patel pointed out – Indians don’t love cricket, they love India – and this is the best way they can show it.
Well what more could we ask for after India won the World Cup – our country made it to the top…they broke Australia’s winning streak. But if you thought that after the World Cup, no one was interested in cricket, you should watch an IPL match live in the stadium. More importantly, you should watch one with Sachin Tendulkar playing. The man is literally worshipped in the country. People in India may not know who our saree-wearing President is, but they know Sachin Tendulkar and idolize him. I truly believe that if Sachin, were to stand for President, he would win hands down, by more than just a landslide.
I had the opportunity to watch one such match this year at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, where India’s Godman had arrived, with his team of followers. They were to take on the Delhi Daredevils, and if you’ve lived in the metros long enough, you know that there is an unspoken rivalry between the two cities – with one being the national capital and the other the commercial capital.
The roar that the stadium erupts into once Sachin walks on the field with his bat, is enough to scare even the king of the jungle. That man, as little as he may be, is holding up the pressure from all his fans to perform outstandingly. Come to think of it, perhaps it was this that restricted his growth.
I can’t say that I am passionate about the sport. Mine, in fact, is more of a seasonal passion – it comes every year with the IPL and doubles up every 4 years with the World Cup. But when you’re at the stadium, the crowd’s passion catches on and you find yourself jumping, cheering and even being a part of the Mexican wave.
You need to see it to believe it. But beware, their passion is contagious. You may find yourself back there again the next year fighting for your team in blue.