My love-hate relationship with cricket began a few weeks before the fateful World Cup of 1999, and ever since that horrendous final match that had me and all Pakistanis pulling their hair out, I kept my distance with the sport.
However, this year was different.
But I confess that I caught this cricket fever again. While we lost the “historic match”, there were a few things that bugged me while I was actually watching the game (besides the result).
Here are five somewhat irrelevant things that continued to irritate me as I watched the big match tonight:
1. Cheering for the Pakistani team with Indian songs:
Oh, come on! Are we seriously that confused? This morning I switched on the telly and my eyes nearly popped out as a chef wearing a skin-tight Pakistani uniform tee showed off his killer dance moves to the beat of a catchy Indian number. He is not alone! Granted our musicians are lazy twits who sing one song and live off it for years, and not one of them has sung a half decent patriotic song in ages, but we’ve still got a good collection of adrenalin stirring tunes from the 80s and 90s. They can do the job, right!?
2. The hocus pocus brigade:
As much as I feel for the poor Indian parrot that had to sacrifice his life in the name of this momentous Indo-Pak match, I was totally overwhelmed by all the tarot card readers, fortune tellers, astrologers and creepy little birds that came out of their shady little holes to predict the match’s result. Ironically, they all predicted (wrongly, obviously) the same thing out of fear of being lynched by a mob of cricket-crazy patriots!
3. Islamic connotations:
I have nothing against praying and strongly believe that we should include the exercise in our daily lives to remain on a first name basis with Allah mian so we can ask Him for small favours in desperate times like these. But honestly, I begin to doubt my religious proclivity when jubilant TV hosts solemnly request the nation to watch the match after performing ablution and Islamic scholars come on-air with ridiculous theories about how our team just cannot lose to a bunch of kaafirs because we’ve got players with oh-so-holy names like Yunus and Shoaib!
4. Friends for a day?:
I am totally bowled over by the way our nation came together for a day to cheer for the green boys. I bet even Nawaz Sharif and President Musharraf would have shook hands to watch the game together like best buds. But I can’t help but wonder how long it’s going to take for us all to go back to being uncouth rogues that fight on prime time telly? Who’s money’s on tomorrow?
5. And finally, the apprehension:
Not for the match, because it was an exciting day even though the Indians had us remembering our grannies all through, but for our poor boys who have successfully managed to go from heroes to zeroes in a matter of minutes, once again becoming the subject of every Pakistani’s poisonous fury for months to come!