The sky was ablaze last night with the light of fireworks. If viewed from space it would have triggered an inter galactic war with other life forces who have been avoiding us thus far. The unearthly phenomenon would have been seen only in India. No, it wasn't Diwali, the festival of lights, nor was it Independance day, both of which don't get the same respect as yesterday recieved.
Yesterday was the semi-final cricket match between India and Pakistan. What? you say? For all my non cricketing readers, cricket is a game that has 11 grown men whacking a hard cork ball, capable of splintering a skull open, with a bat, only to have another 11 grown men chase the damn thing as if their life depended on it. In yesterday's game, each player's did. Politically there is no blood lost between these two countries, who up until 61 years ago shared the same history, geography and biology. But then broke up like a bad marriage. Yes they are neighbours and for the most part, cordial ones. But when these two nations face off in a cricket match, the entire region of the southern continent comes to a screeching halt.
For one of the most productive countries in the world, with an economy that is running ahead of the rest, India came to a stand still yesterday afternoon. The streets were devoid of cars and even the traffic police took the day off, leaving the few misdemeanors to fend for themselves. The streets all over the country were empty, as the majority of the 1 billion population stayed indoors or glued to a TV screen near them. We could have had Godzilla, Predator, and every other unimaginable monsters come wreck havoc in our cities, and the collective response would have been ' Hold up! Sachin's batting". Most chartered flight were operating only in the direction of Mohali, where the match was underway. Yes, India was a haven yesterday, for all things cricket.
Today, as the cricketing high starts to subside and life returns to 'normal', there is only a weak buzz in anticipation of the Cricket World Cup Final match up between Sri Lanka and India, because for all needs and purposes, India has won the only match worth playing...against Pakistan.
Now, imagine if we were still one country...we'd have no contenders.