One Memorable Day.

I had been struggling for three days, to come up with a topic for this week’s LCB when in a flash it came. Why it came is also the reason for this topic. Why it came is that “One Memorable Day” is so special for me that it pops up in my mind suddenly every now and then, so that I can re-live that special day. Every moment of that day is so deeply etched into my memory that, it never fails to lift up my spirits no matter how gloomy they may be at that particular moment.

Here is a sample of what I mean. A poignant piece of writing by a celebrity, who had his special “One Memorable Day”, and has perhaps lost an opportunity to establish a remarkable relationship.

My ‘the’ memorable day was way back in 1980, when I was posted in Delhi by my employers. Every year, our company used to have the annual sales conference in one of our mill locations which were all in rural parts of South India, so that the mill employees could have an opportunity to rub shoulders with the sales guys.

The finale of the conference was the annual Sales Vs The Rest cricket match. It was a fiercely fought and cheered for by the opposing supporters in a noisy festival atmosphere.

All the players from the sales team would come to play the game once a year without any practice but the locals would have been practicing and getting ready for the big day. A clear advantage any way you look at it.

My job in the team was to bowl. I was not expected to bat and score runs. The host team batted first and I did my bit and took three wickets and went to sleep comfortably when the sales team went in to bat.

I was suddenly woken up by my team mates and asked to pad up and do a rescue job at number seven and with twenty runs to score to win. I bravely padded up, and walked up to do the job with much encouraging shouts from our side and friendly booing from the hosts.

Then the Memorable Day happened.

I hit the first ball that I faced for a four. The next one too and the third one for a single. There was a hush from the hosts side and much cheering from ours. My partner faced his first ball and got cleaned bowled out. Two wickets more in hand and eleven runs to win. A fresh over with me to face the bowler, our opponents’ fastest and most experienced bowler. The first ball flew past me in a blur. The next ball was a beauty for a batsman and I was able to despatch to the boundary for a four. Seven runs to win. I was seeing the ball like a football. I was able to take another run and cross over leaving my last but one partner, our wicket keeper, to face the music. Six more runs to win. He patted the next one down the wicket and took a single leaving me to bat. Five more to win and I had to do it. The last ball of the over was bowled and I was able to see it like a football. I stepped out and clouted it over the fence for a six and we won the match.

I have played many matches and none has ever meant more or given me greater joy. It was like a dream come true being selected the man of the match for the three wickets and the winning runs for the sales team. The whole sequence of events, the precise placement of the ball in the strokes, the kind of balls that were bowled, the bowlers, the fielders involved, the sound from the pavilion, the entire atmosphere, are as vivid to me today as I write this as it has been innumerable times, when for no reason at all that memory of that perfect day and the two overs come back to me in flash back.

That was also the last match I played for the Sales Team as, both my hip joints started giving me trouble from December of 1980 and I was never able to get back to playing any games ever again.

This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Marianna, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy , and I write one post each on the same topic. Please visit the other blogs too to have different views on this fascinating subject. This week unfortunately, Marianna will not be posting due to prior commitments.

India Wins Cricket Match Against England.

Cricket is one factor that unites India like nothing else perhaps does. You cannot meet an Indian who has not played cricket or has not been an ardent admirer of the game from the side lines. Each is also an expert on the game.

The Indian Cricket establishment is the richest in the world of cricket and its commercialization of the game has made billionaires of many players who compete with film stars for popularity and adulation.

Cricket is also a metaphor for India. One always can read more into a game than just the game itself and the latest game is a classic example of this.

India and England were to play seven one day and two five day matches. The first lot of five consecutive matches of one day games were duly completed with India winning all of them. The last two games were not played as the Mumbai attack took place.

The England cricket team even contemplated canceling the rest of the tour but, they decided that they would continue with the two test matches except that the venue for the first match was shifted from Mumbai to Chennai.

That the match was played, hopefully sent a loud and clear message to the terrorists that no matter what, Indians would continue with their normal lives as soon as possible and in this endeavor that the England Team helped by playing, made Indian hearts go out to them for doing so.

The match itself was a boring three and a half days for Indians, with England dominating the proceedings. The game took on a life of its own, on the last session of the fourth day’s proceedings when Virender Sehwag took the battle to the England camp with a swashbuckling performance. The ground work laid by him helped the following players to build on and under difficult conditions register an emphatic win.

The star of the match, though not the man of the match award winner, is a player from Mumbai who scored an unbeaten 103 runs to steer the Indian team to victory. He dedicated the win and his performance to the people who perished in Mumbai as well as to those who liberated the city.

If there was a message from the performance of all the players, from both the sides, that was this; terror cannot take away our spirit. I hope the powers behind the horror are listening.