Let me skip the usual “how are you’s” and get straight to my letter since you must be really tired after a grueling world cup trip. And also the emotional baggage of losing the Semis is a huge one! I don’t think you will be welcomed with garlands on your arrival in India, but don’t get demotivated. We still love you, just that we have an extreme reaction to everything for a few days. And then, we forget! Take care guys!
Yesterday’s was an epic semifinal between you and the host country, Australia. I must say they played really well. I get shivers down my spine when I even think of the pressure that you’ll must have faced when you were out on the batting field! And more because cricket has a cult status in India. We worship it as a religion and people do not view it merely as a sport. We have semi-Godified Sachin Tendulkar. We have built temples in honor of our favorites! And you know how it is with religions and Indians, they do not much know the meaning themselves, but you say something against it, and they are out in full form with spears and rods.
Let me brief you on the events while you’ll were away practicing in Australia. A day prior to the semis the media here was showing our efforts for the next day! No, not the practice of the players…But the idol worship, the mannats and the innumerable oil lamps that cricket devotees offered to various Gods putting all the sincerity in their prayers! All of the 33 crore Indian Gods were put to work just for winning the semis! All this and more and the media covered it with a passion uncalled for! Not only the religious ones… But even the working professionals displayed a show of this madness. Most of the sick leaves were utilized yesterday. For once, I found empty trains and vacant roads during peak hours of weekdays! And the ones who were compelled to work on the day (read: the likes of me) had conference room TV put to good use for once! One Australian wicket taken and the cubicle seats went empty to have a replay seen in the conference room TV! Such Joy!! The day of the semis was a national holiday of sorts. Such is the cricket mania in India.
And this is also why the repercussions of losing a match are high. We don’t wait for the law to act but burn effigies of cricketers who are accused of match fixing. We pelt stones on the houses of the players if we lose. We display insanity with an aggression of the rioters. People weep as if death of someone in the family has occurred! Some others break their TV units. Many others create memes on social media ridiculing the Indian team! I say, guys, this is a country of hypocrites! Do not pay heed.
How easily we forget that all of you, the same Indian team was the reason for our joy in the last 7 WC matches! How our chest soared high when yet again, you’ll gave us victory against Pakistan and we proudly declared that this was as good as winning the world cup for us! But, the cricket human in us is never satisfied! How ungrateful we behave and accuse the girlfriend of Virat Kohli for diverting his attention and for his disappointing performance in one match! How easily we abuse the AIB roast but attack the cricketers and their families openly without thinking the loss they must be feeling! How simply the voyeuristic cameramen zoom in on the distressed faces of families of the one who has just lost a wicket and is returning back to the pavilion! How simply we forget that there is a father yearning to see the face of his new born, but is out there, performing in the world cup!
Guys, all this and more, should not let you down. As they saying goes, we win some, we lose some! I am proud of you, guys! Your performance was worth an applaud. And welcome back, with a head held high!
We have to prepare for World cup 2019 and also for the innumerable entertaining matches in between. Bravo Team India! Chak De!!
– A proud Indian!