The last time it looked a distinct possibility, Steve Waugh and his team of marauders moved it a tad along the color spectrum and turned it yellow, almost exactly a decade back.
Today morning, I woke up earlier than usual for a Sunday, at 8 AM and made it to my office to watch it on the big screen in the hallway. I was surprised to see a Pakistani colleague of mine, a senior manager, with his friends watching the game already. Any other year I might have walked away after watching it for half an hour or so. But today I stayed on and watched it with them.
I watched the match just for the cricket and surprisingly I was able to applaud the Lankans’ bowling as much as the Pakistanis’ batting. At the end I could not grudge them the victory. I had nothing against Pak winning the world cup or for SL winning it. I guess the passion of earlier days when if India loses the next thing you look for is Pakistan getting kicked out, was no longer there. Their victory in ’92 left me bitter, especially with the fireworks going off near Chamarajpet. This one, I had nothing to say. I left soon after the match without waiting for the presentation ceremony. Driving back, I realized I just did not care. For me, the ghosts of all those Sharjah humiliations have firmly and finally been laid to rest.
Not because I have reconciled to them, or feel more peaceful towards them like a Dr. Manmohan Singh or an S.M. Krishna. Having seen India play Pakistan a lot over the last few years, to the point where you get bored, the feeling of If-India-Is-Out-Wait-For-Pakistan-To-Get-Kicked-Out is no longer so much there. At one point I did want WI to win this world cup. But when Pakistan won, I didn’t feel as bad as the 12 year old in 1992. I guess the sea of troubles they are swimming in, etc, kind of makes one not feel so bitter towards them. At the end of the day maybe its just that we are no longer insecure about our place in the cricketing order and know we are the cricketing superpower.