Sunday, April 3, 2011

Subcontinent cricket in the eyes of an Englishman.

Richard Parris is a friend of mine from the United Kingdom. He's not the typical London boy, though. He's not snobbish, loves to explore and is a martial arts expert.
He's down in India for six months to oversee the way one of my company's clients operate.
By blood, he's half-English, half-Australian. He loves watching football (especially his team Arsenal), reading comic books on his laptop and discussing cameras.
In short, he's super cool.
Richard was very generous in offering his house to all of us to watch the semi-finals and finals of the World Cup. For Richard, it was unique because like all other Englishmen, cricket was a game ruled by the subcontinent after it was created by the Britons. He compared the European love for football on the same level as India's love for cricket.
I think it was a novel experience for him.
Like most Englishmen, he played perfect host. He got us dinner and cut us chilled pieces of watermelon while we watched the game. He sat and stared at the two teams played, while all of us cheered and jeered. He felt the emotions rise and fall. And despite that, he still looked pretty passive.
That is until the end.
During the India-Pakistan game, there were a fewer number of people in the house, which gave us more opportunity to chill and take the match as it came. We reached his place during the second innings when India was bowling to the Pakistani side. During the course of the match, I asked him if it was this crazy during a club or a international football game. He said that, it would be madness in stadiums and pubs, but I wouldn't see people stopping cars and dancing on the streets. It would be more about them getting drunk and celebrating.
After we lifted the cup, he made a very interesting observation. He began telling me about how the celebrations were not as intense as it was during the semi-final victory. We finally reasoned out that the India-Pakistan game had a lot more emotions than the India-Sri Lanka game, given that we've had some intense cricket battles with Pakistan.
I'm not sure what else went through Richard's mind. All I know is that despite putting on a neutral expression throughout the match, he was quite drained out by the end of the finals and wanted to sleep, so that India could enjoy what they had won.

1 comment:

  1. You are making Richard Parris too famous boy. But like I said before - lovely ;)