Three venues.. Three dreams…Three stories
Whistling at Edgbaston –
‘Yes, I got it, I got it’ – I shouted at one of my Scottish colleagues … This was one of those days when I wished I was in India. Oh I would have been the envy of the entire office… I was the proud owner of 4 tickets to India Vs Pakistan ICC Champions trophy match at Edgbaston and my empathetic Scottish friend had no idea why I was over the moon..
This was ‘the dream’.. If there was one place to watch Ind Vs Pak match outside these 2 countries then it was Edgbaston !! Sold out crowd.. (partially) sunny day.. Great atmosphere .. Crowd from both sides trying to get better of each other ..
The day of that match is still fresh in my memory; not because I was living one of dreams but seeing my wife go practically nuts during the match !! She will be the first one to tell you that she hates cricket but that day she must be the one who has most fun in the entire stadium. I don’t know if it was the Edgbaston atmosphere or India playing well but she had the time of her life… I am not sure if I did …
May be I was trying to come to terms with a dream coming true or I was overwhelmed by the situation.. There are times when you just want to forget about your dream or how the occasion is special and just enjoy .. She was doing exactly that… Wish I could have done the same 🙂
Napping at Wimbledon –
Ok.. I confess.. I fell asleep during a Nadal match in center court at Wimbledon !! There .. I said it..
This was another dream of mine. Throughout my childhood I watched Graph, Seles, Agassi, Sampras grace those greens. I read about the strawberry and cream and the famous hill. I tried my luck 2 years in a row but the closest I got to center court was to see Andy Murray wave goodbye to the crowd at the end of the day. For the record, in my first try I waited in the famous queue for 9 hours and I had practically lost my mind when I finally entered the Wimbledon gates. My wife can testify to that !!
Call it third time lucky or benefit of having friends like Danielle Hrin Quek – my Glasgow BFF. I owe it to her for being finally able to spend a day at Wimbledon center court.. I actually took half a day off from work ( not for the first time to watch sports !!). The line up for the day was great – Nadal, Serena Williams .. I could not have asked for more – apart from staying awake!!..
The Nadal match was going great.. Nadal came back into the match after being a set down with a series of long rallies and I went out of the match exactly during one of those rallies!! I know I know .. How could I ??? but I did..
Watching tennis wasn’t anything that I thought it would be .. No shouting.. No real cheering.. No banter.. Pin drop silence during points … It was just too much for a cricket fan within me.. To add to that the Center Court crowd !!.. I practically had to open my pack of crisps with atmost care and I still got few looks… This was not the dream.. In a sense it was but not how I imagined it. I dare say that I had more fun watching the matches on the outside courts during my earlier visits to Wimbledon
At the end of the day, I reached a conclusion that I almost do not want to do this again except for if it is the semi’s or the finals. Ironic but true.. Afterall, who wants to nap when Nadal is in full flow !!
Clapping at Lords –
Consider this – You are a life long cricket fan.. You have got 5th row Grand Stand tickets at Lords on day 4.. Lords is celebrating its 200 years… Indian team plays out of their skin .. A british fan sitting in the next row tells you before leaving – ‘You guys are going to win this one’
Can it get better? Nope.. Specially after the scars that you suffered watching India get hammered by England at Edgbaston 4 years ago and a drunk British fan hugged you saying – ‘Don’t worry, better luck next time’.. Hell the next time was here
Good things happen to you if you have good friends and this happened courtesy another close friend of Mine – Rahul Datar..
Lords was a strange place.. It was almost anti-Edgbaston.. Very few slogans.. Very few people shouting.. Hardly anyone getting drunk and shouting at opposition fans.. Even the Mexican Wave took a while to get going.. There were times when I wished this was Edgbaston and there was at least one guy completely drunk and contiuously shouting – ‘Jitaga Bhai Jitega, India Jitega’ ..
Not to say that there was complete lack of characters.. There were few ‘ Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy , aaja aaja aaja aaja !!’ chants which were really funny but that was about it.. Cricket wise the day was great with Jadeja literally wielding his bat and then Inshat Sharma running through the english batting lineup ( Yes .. I said Ishant Sharma .. Miracles do happen)
Another dream which was little bit underwhelming .. It you give me a choice between Edgbaston and Lords , I might choose Edgbaston next time!! Lords might be the home of cricket but by the spirit sure lives in Edgbaston (specially if India is playing pakistan)