Despite the damp squib of the one-day match against Australia in Vadodara, my mind keeps traipsing back to pleasanter thoughts of the hoopla generated by the victory in the Twenty20 World cup. Herein, the contribution of an unlikely pair of a retired schoolmarm-cum-grandma and her seven-year-old grandson went unnoticed.
While watching the semi-finals against Australia, I convinced the little bounder that if we cheered our guys lustily enough, the vibrations of our screams would zoom right across the vast Indian Ocean, all the way to Durban, to buck up our boys in blue. So every time they hit a boundary, we would holler in unison, “Maara chauka”. Or, “Wah kya chhakka maara” for the sixers. Of course, the missed catch evinced an ear-splitting protracted boo, daring the errant fielder to repeat his folly. Delirious with joy over having beaten the best team in the world, we now waited expectantly for the finals against Pakistan.
I thought the match would begin at 9.30 pm. It didn’t take much convincing to assure the little fellow that it was his patriotic duty to miss school the next day, to cheer his team to glory once again. When his father heard this he fumed, “You are not to miss school even for a day; you can see the replay the next day.”
“But dadi, the re-play will be no fun,” he whined, hoping I would counter the diktat of his father. I was helpless; Dad was right, as always.
You can imagine our relief when we realised that the match was at 5.30 pm.; the only glitch was that we had to attend a dinner that evening. So after cheering Dhoni’s Devils to a respectable score, we left our ardent little fan, hoping that he would keep up the good work by yelling loud enough for both of us. As the last ball soared up towards the stands for a near certain six, our intrepid fielder, Sreesanth, surged up in a Herculean lunge, to grab it. The rest, as they say, is history! “We won, dadi,” he whispered into the phone, “We MADE them win!”