Its two days since the curve of my smile is just not getting straight. Its two days since we came back from our trip to witness once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the Super Game between India and Pakistan. And what a cricket match it was, awesome, more so because once again India Beat Pakistan.
It was a dream come true for us when we were allotted the ticket. You can go through my previous blog, “ Nischal Anand ( Selfless Bliss) -2 “ to know the feeling we had before going in to this match.
So now I begin Scene Two.
Lights, Camera and Aaaaction!
The Match was on 30 of Mar 2011 at Mohali. So I had precisely two days to prepare. From the clothes to wear to do’s and don’ts list. I decided to wear a three forth sleeve top so that it gives me protection from sun, as the match was a day night match. So I chose a green one ( But oops that was a Pakistani colour, I later realised….but than not much of a choice as I had only two tops for summer with Three forth sleeves, and one was lying with my boutique for measurement purposes)
For the Posters, I searched the internet for good about two hours to find best of quotes, I stumbled upon some and rest made by me, in all six slogans.
“I have seen God, He Opens for India” ( For Sachin) ” Sin as much as you wish, When Sachin Plays , for Gods are busy watching him too !” ” Howzzzzzat” “India has only two religions, Cricket and Cinema, Why fight for something else?” “I have foregone Rs 75000 offered for our Tickets, Give us That much worth of Cricket” “Eat Cricket, Drink Cricket, Breath Cricket, But Bleed Blue ” ( Blue is the colour of Indian Cricket team)
I came upon some good jokes also, sharing with you here:
“Afridi: Hum Sachin ko 100 nahin bana denge. Misbah: lekin kaise? Afridi: ham 93 all out ho jayenge
Why cant Manu play cricket with Tanu? Because Kangna will always get Ranaut.
“A friend just said even the PM of India is not working on Wednesday, why should we? 🙂
Then began the next step. We were to go from Amritsar, which is 4.5 Hr away from Chandigarh (I am bad at remembering distances Km wise). Thank god to the Excise authorities that raided my Mother company that day that our office got closed by 2 pm itself on 29 Mar. (somebody’s misery is somebody’s gainJ) This gave me and my Husband a golden chance to go to Mohali a day prior (my husband was already insisting to go a day prior for hassle free enjoyment, as he thought we will be able to have full rest before we go to face the security and long queues on the D Day). So here we go…….. Mohali here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The journey was eventful; as I got angry with my Husband two times (my husband will say what’s new in this?) And he cajoled me twiceJ. In a nut shell I acted pricy…and since he was on the receiving end he faced the music…. so meeeeean Jyoti 🙁
We reached Mohali, since we had already got our tickets collected; we were all set for the next morning.
Next day we had a very heavy Breakfast of Aloo Ka Parathas, as we didn’t know much about the status of Food availability at the Venue. All filled, we reached the venue. There was ample arrangement for Parking. We had to walk for about 500 Mtrs to reach the first Check Post. Now begins the Hilarious Journey or rather I say Here begins the experience of a Lifetime…………………….!
As we both were in the queue, I was sent to the Ladies checking area, where there were three pretty, and young (in twenties) police women to check us and our belongings. My checker was a tall fair one, who was chewing Gum, looking at us as a DON, but sweet. While she was checking a grumpy one came and said: “Remove anything and everything kept in the purse….” I thought, “Good! She can now have makeup kit of her own with all the international brands”…Since I knew what all not to be carried so I didn’t have much of problem. But they were removing any kind of Liquid makeup items, water Bottles, umbrellas etc. Even the Posters were being checked that they are not carrying any offensive quote.
Than we joined the main queue. I was standing with my Husband. You know, as you mix around, there is a brotherhood comes forth. And such was the Brotherhood within the persons standing in queue that every time there was a Person with approach to the higher ups, ( we called them as ‘Sifarashi Lal’ ) barging in or nudging in, the queue was hooting Cheater! Cheater! in unison, that was really fun.
Someone told that there is a separate line for Ladies, so I went there to find only 8-10 ladies in the queue, to my delight. I called my husband on mobile that I am separating from him to join again at the end. There were two more checking points and finally I arrived at the “HEAVEN’S GATE”.
The gates of Heaven were in steel, with the ticket swipe point to let you enter, with Chitragupta and Yamaraj (Policemen) standing to check your tickets. The gates opened to an open area with various stalls of Refreshments and light Beverages.
But all is fair to witness the ‘MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES – BETWEEN THE GODS AND THE DEMONS – INDIA AND PAKISTAN! My ticket was swiped, and I WAS INTO THE GATES FO HEAVEN!
I went to a stall to buy water, but then I didn’t know Heaven was so expensive. Since the Bottles were not allowed to be taken to the stadium, they were selling water by pouring them in disposable glasses. People were on People to reach out to the vender; I was lucky enough to sneak in and bought some Lemon water instead to replenish the fluids of my body lost in the sunny heat almost for an hour. For a good about two hours I waited leaning on a Pillar in the shade for Veren, my Husband to arrive from the GATES OF HEAVAN. I left some Lemon water to offer to my Husband, I didn’t have the inclination to clamour on the crowd to reach the vender again.
All sorts of People were coming out of the gate, some funny , some weird, some insane, some normal, but one thing almost common to all, despite any caste, creed, regionality, age, complexion, was the style of arrival, they were giving high fives, or having sigh of relief or shouting ‘we made it!’, or screaming ‘Mohali we have come!’
Then came Veren after almost two hours, all sweated, but full of Spirit. I gave him Lemon water.
I was inclined to take some refreshments and Water before we move in to the stadium, but he insisted we must take our seats first, settle down and then come. Made sense as by the time we will come out again the people on the stalls would also be in, hence less crowd on Refreshment stalls. And Boy! That was actually wise, we later realised (See my husband is always Correct ! 🙂
As we came in the passage the policemen checked our tickets…….. AND WE CROSSED THE GREEN MILE!
Oh My God! Hold me Veren! I will fall with excitement! Oh man! What a scene! Oh What a Scene it is!!!!!!!
From a dark passage, like the green mile, you come out to the heavens (Actually felt that). Thousands of People celebrating the spirit for which they are there. All sorts of noises, joyful notes, patriotic renditions to be heard. It was just amazing!
From the darkness to the light!
From chaos to tranquillity!
From shouting’s to speechlessness!
Everything was in slow motion, as if time has stopped, there was no sounds coming but only emotions overpowering me, encompassing me from all the directions! Oh! I was surrounded with BLISS!
Since this was my first match ever seen live, I will remember this feeling to the rest of my life. And this was the second best moment of the whole evening for me (The best one was yet to come).
We tried to find our seat nos. since most of the seats were having no nos. We found it difficult to find our seats; finally as everyone was doing, we also started to find the best seat to sit on. Luckily we found three seats in the rear, where there was shade, Big Scoreboard screen was just in front, with young urban crowd, and the Main Pitch view was fantastic. (Though Later on we realised that the cameras mostly cover the front seaters only, but later I found a way to compensate that also, will tell you later). We were well before time and the Indian and Pakistan teams were Practising. For the first time I was seeing them live. (Can you believe this?) Enjoyed watching them. Suddenly there was a loud cheer in the crowd; saw up the VVIP block, Amir Khan had come, waving to all. We also shouted and hooted!
What Fun doing things which seem not being age appropriate to us anymore! Yes we were young again! (My Husband will say what do you mean? You may be old but I am still young!)
Once we were settled, I went out again (as Veren had had his share of sunny miseries in the Queue) to get refreshments. Since it was already Lunch time, so got some Veg Biryani, Patties and Chips. Since water bottle was not allowed, and stalls had stopped giving poured water so fought my way through to the vender to get some Seven up. And went back, triumphant with all the things I wanted. (Infact later on the water had finished, and coke 2 ltr bottle was sold for Rs 150/- each.)
Now the teams were about to come out in the Field for meeting the Prime ministers and National Anthems. First came in the National Flags of both the Nations amidst huge Cheer, hooting and Drum beats, Vuvuzala sounds from the crowd. This was followed by the teams.
Then suddenly there was a pin drop silence in the Ground, as the announcer announced that “Now the National Anthem of the Nations”. Since India is a host, first played was the Pakistani national Anthem. Every one (All spectators) was standing, felt good that we are civilised to give respect to any anthem, even if it is of Pakistan. Then started the thunderous sound of Indian National Anthem. It still gives me the goose bumps of Pride and Patriotic feeling, when I remember the sound of 28000 People singing the national Anthem with fervour and vigour. The best moment of the Entire match! I had never witnessed anything like this before.
Match began and so does the Madness. Every Run was being cheered upon, and wicket followed a sigh from the crowd. I patiently waited for the Cameraman to focus on my banners, especially the ones made for Sachin Tendulkar, as he was playing brilliantly. But no avail.
I had the Poster saying “Sin as much as Possible, When Sachin Plays, for God is busy watching him too!”. The match was going on well, but there was a sudden sigh in he crowd as Sachin was about to get out, the person sitting next to us, started saying, “please keep God busy, let Sachin survive !” And YES! The appeal was turned down….Sachin was saved! In that match, Sachin got 5 Lifelines, and as my fellow spectator said every time there was an appeal “You gotta keep God Busy!’, so I (my poster) just did that!
Match went by with the cheering of the crowd. The moment there was a dull moment in the match, the Ground staff played Punjabi songs to cheer the crowd, and they actually succeeded as songs acted like instant energy drinks. Then there were waves made by spectators! There were occasions when they played ‘Ma Tujhe Salam’ and again the 28000 crowd was all singing and swaying to the song, the loudest of the was singing the words Vande Mataram ! It’s an inexpressible feeling at that time…….Oh just love you India! Till now I used to SAY you Rock, that day I SAW you rocking! Aah the Bliss to be an Indian! Love you my nation!
After Lunch time was the Pakistan’s batting. By this time I was friend with one more lady there called Swati. They had come from Delhi. She was making posters in the stadium only. She was carrying her Sketch pens and charts (I wonder how she managed the sketch pens in as taking Pens was also banned at the gate, later I realised she even sneaked in her Kajal Pencil and Liquid Lipstick to stadium. Smart Lady aah haan!). She said this Camera Person is not coming up, let us go down, and just dragged me with her.
We went down. Behind the T shirt of the Camera Man was written HB. So we called out HB! HB! We showed him our Posters; he didn’t seem to be amused. Then Swati said, my mother is waiting to see me on TV at Australia, please show us! (Smart again aah haan!). I also joined her and said, “Please our mother is waiting”….he was impressed! 😉 Camera focussed on our Posters. The moment he was over, there was Jubilation in the crowd! We thought have we become celebrity? Oh man! they are cheering for us! Jyoti Come back…..was hammered on to me when I realised the crowd had gone berserk, as the first wicket of Pakistan has fallen! We joined the madness too, in front of the camera. There was an old Sardar uncle shouting at us to move away and let him watch it! We smiled and said Please Please and Sorry Sorry. But the aim was achieved the camera captured us.
We went back to our seats. After fifteen mins Swati was ready with one new Poster, so insisted me to join her to go down again. I said he will not show us again and again! She was relentless, so I again went with her with new poster of mine too.
We went again and I Shouted “HB! We are Back Again!” He looked back and gestured that he can’t show us twice as he needs to show others also. But we were incorrigible, said Please Please again. Suddenly I saw a swarm of People jumping on their Chairs in unison (it was actually in slow motion when I saw it J), celebrating the second wicket fall. I also joined the celebrations, dancing with our posters. As the crowd settled, I shouted to HB, “see every time you are showing us on camera, a Pakistani wicket is falling; we are the Lucky mascots for India.” He was truly impressed, gestured a thumbs up, and turned back with his camera on us. The crowd cheered (for the wickets or us, I don’t know).
Both of me and Swati, were going back happily on the stairs, that people sitting there started to say,” You both be here, as when you are coming the wicket is falling !” we just laughed and went back towards our seats. The moment we reached there my husband and Swati’s gang started saying why did you come up, go back , when ever you ere going down stairs, a wicket is falling”, we just laughed back and sat on our seats.
Now the new batsmen were settled at the crease. The wicket was not falling, so on PUBLIC DEMAND there , we went back downstairs, at the front row area, and started shouting “ One more wicket !”
“Whack!” Came the sound and a wicket was gone! We were ecstatic! And so was the crowd!
I danced with the National flag on me. Pic taken by some Cameraman also (Later we found that they were to be published in Garwal Post and GEO, a German magazine!). Oh what a match it was turning to be for us. Than we sat there at the stairs only not to block any one else view. As we were having fun with shouting’s, and slogans, one more wicket fell! (Of course, on its own) the crowd was happy and so were we.
This is the time when Camera was turned to us for the fourth time. But crowd was also getting uncontrollable when the camera was focussing on us, they were jostling in. In order to maintain law and order, the police chaps came in. They were very friendly to us requesting me and Swati to go back and sit, to help them control. We abided with a smile. They seemed to like our presence as because the camera was showing us as the wicket fell; they also got to be shown on TV along with us.
And then came Inspector Charanjeet Bhullar. He came to me and asked (very politely) where is your seat? I told him “Upstairs”. He said, “I request you to go back to your seat”, to help him control the front rows. We assured him that we shall surely do that. As he crossed us, I and Swati just sat there on the stairs. As he came back to that place I started shouting “Bhullar saab, Zindabad! Bhullar Saab, Zindabad! (Bravo! Mr Bhullar)”, Swati joined in and so did some other Ladies sitting there, Ten fifteen people joined and started shouting “Punjab Police Zindabad!”(“Bravo! Punjab Police!”)! Inspector Bhullar, just laughed and went not to trouble us anymore! This was again the “Nishchal Anand”.
After that every time we were going up the people stopped us from going up and when were reaching at our seats my husband and Swati’s gang was sending us down!This progressed till ninth wicket, when we decided not to go back again, as we were afraid that when the last wicket will fall the crowd may become riotous, so better be up with own crowd.
As the last over was in progress, Pakistan needed 30 Runs of 6 balls, Veren started to record the proceedings! And what a momentous recording! India won! It was Jubilation all around! Such an amazing atmosphere again! There was a sea of Indian flags all over! We were in the Finals!
We were on TV as well during the match so in all it was a Paisa Vasool Match (money Recovered i.e. Match worth it)! It was worth every penny, and every drop of sweat!
While coming out, again there was a swarm of Vehicles trying to get out. There were people dancing bhangra on the streets! Fire Crackers bursting on the skyline. I thought every one must go at least once in life to such a high voltage game!
Long Live India! Long Live Cricket! Long Live the Glory of the Game! For giving me Nishchal Anand once again !