Grand Slam. The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)
What should I say? I am a small guy in this big world. I have my daily share of small happiness and petty fights. To put my life in a pessimistic way, the best word would be “bourgeois”. A positive word would be “normal”! Yeah, smooth curvy ups and downs with no sharp hairpin curves. I am not sure how my perception of home runs are indeed viewed by others. Let alone the last gasp ones. But the life of top athletes have always intrigue me. As today’s prompt rightly suggests, I wonder how does one perform under such huge pressure. So I would dedicate this post to the top two tantalizing moments that etched indelibly in my memory.
The first one would be the 2011 cricket World Cup final between India and Lanka. It was some feeling. I have never experienced such joy and pride. The whole stadium – mind you, I am talking only about the stadium where it was projected on a giant screen, not the original stadium – erupted in joy when Dhoni hit the six of Kulasekara to finish the game in style. It was surreal. Never have I witnessed such a historic achievement. “Can you believe it, We are the world champs!!” The hell broke loose on to the streets. People danced in delirium. It was some night!
But before all this pandemonium, there was a dejavu feeling about Sachin’s early dismissal. It brought back the memories of the ill fated 2003 World Cup finals vs. the Aussies. In ’03 I was very young. But I vividly remember the build up to that final-day. It was as if a curfew was put in Hyderabad. All shops shut. Roads empty. Eerie silence. My worst fears came true and Aussies crushed India. So, some of my friends already lost hope after Sachin’s dismissal. Tears tumbled down their cheeks. Impatience set in. But unlike in ’03 the team reacted with aplomb and finished the task. Hats off to Dhoni, Gambhir and Co.! Literally the team attained God-status!
Next is Arsenal. How can I not mention about my love, The Arsenal!! They are some kind of specialists in giving their fans heart-attacks. I can never forget the 17th of May 2014 (for more than one reason!). Nine years trophy drought was ended in the most thrilling fashion. They went down two nil and snatched the victory under the noses of Hull City late in extra time. How can Arsene Wenger even sustain such pressure?? I almost passed away watching the game from million miles away! His nerves are surely made of steel! He is my greatest inspiration!
I don’t know if God exists or not. But I would not deny if these people tell me, “I am God.”