Sunday, 10 April 2011

A Special Place In Our Hearts..

The spherical shaped white object was up in the air. Exuding a unique calmness, the pair of eyes followed the object with the timbre held high. The object finally reached its destination-the boundary line- without pitching anywhere in between. And that is it..History was re- written. India wins the Cricket World Cup after 28 years.

Though one can go on and on in their own style describing the victory and how it was made possible, to me, that last shot played with a calm demeanour with determination written all over typifies India’s campaign.

Calmness blended equally with Aggression.

Marriage between instinct and intelligence.

Right combination of leadership and management.

Comparisons are odious. People who do not realise-or pretend that they don’t- compare this victory with that of 1983 and some ‘old timers’ (read as cynics) have gone to the extent of saying ‘whatever it is, there is nothing to beat ‘that victory’ against the ‘Goliaths of Cricket’. Unfortunately, these great souls miss the wood for the trees.

I still remember that Saturday, the 25th day of June when we all rushed to a family friend’s house to watch the finals , only to see our Team being bundled out for a mere 183(1983 and 183-did anybody notice the coincidence?) in the 55th over(it was a 60 over contest those days!).We all reconciled to the fact that after all India was losing to the ‘superpower of cricket’ and India entering the finals itself was a great honour.

When the W.Indies began their run chase, the great Greenidge was bowled by Balwinder Sandhu and we thought ‘Ok..some consolation.Defeat not by 10 wkts-as some of us had predicted’. Enter the Master Blaster with a face full of nonchalance which bordered on arrogance. Chewing the Chiclet, he was sending the red cherry to all corners.Though I was a big fan of his, we decided to leave.

Almost one and half hours had passed by the time we reached our home. Something inside me kept saying that something dramatic was happening.As we neared our home, I heard people saying in Hindi ‘Bas..iska wicket lena hai..India jeet lega’.I rushed to the radio and switched on the BBC and what did I hear?The Windies tottering at 117/7 with Jeff Dujon-the last recognised batsman at the crease.

Within a few minutes, he was bowled by the player with indomitable spirit whose name was Mohinder Amarnath . The battery of pace bowlers who would send shivers down the spine of all the batsmen were now struggling to face the military medium pace of Amarnath and Binny.Finally, the inevitable happened.Holding leg before to Amarnath!It was all over..India, the underdogs who were least expected to win even two matches in the tournament when it kicked off on the 9th of June were crowned the champions.

The idea behind writing all this is not to make any comparison but just to relive the moments so that the present generation gets to know how it would have felt to the millions of Indians 28 years ago.

That victory was unique. The Captain led from the front scripting a victory from the jaws of defeat against a minnow nation Zimbabwe in the Group stages and running some 30 meters to catch the ball hit by the irrepressible Richards. At the same time, it was a Team effort with a bunch of youngsters and all-rounders chipping in with useful contributions and performing when it mattered the most.

But let us also not forget that the 2011 victory is unique too. The Team had to play with the Sword of Damocles hanging above its head. They started as favourites-unlike the 1983 team- and it is not easy to keep the momentum going with the millions of ‘fans’(who would very easily turn foes the moment India starts losing) following them and the statistics and records stacked against them(no home team had won the World cup playing in its own soil in the previous 9 editions). The team had to get past the big teams in the knock out stages with its’ famed’ bowling attack and above average fielding skills.

Therefore, let us avoid comparisons and enjoy the moment giving full credit to both ‘Kapil’s Devils’ and ‘Mahe’s Men'.

It is a week now but the entire Nation is still celebrating.
India is now the World Champions.But this does not mean that we will be the champions forever.It does not mean that we will continue to win all matches henceforth .Let us accept this fact and celebrate.

On this great occasion, let me dedicate a rare gem to the Indian team.This song typifies the Indian Team and is apt for the occasion.

It is ‘KaalangaL MazhaikkalangaL’(Idhayaththil oru idam-1980).

Most of the Maestro’s songs never fail to give us goose bumps. But there are some songs that give us goose bumps throughout.’KaalangaL..’ surely falls under this category.

The opening itself is soaked in melody.

The rich stringed instrument-ubiquitous in his early years compositions- set the tone. The satin smooth flute jumps with joy and the guitar bows its head in appreciation.

Mohanam in full flow-reminding us of the opening partnership between Sachin and Sehwag.
Musically vibrant!

The Pallavi in the sweet voice of Janaki and the majestic voice of Malaysia Vasudevan is salubrious and evokes memories of the cover drive of Sachin.The last line –‘KalaimaangaL PookkaL’- where the alien note is mixed is like the Upar Cut of Sehwag.

The String continues its journey with the Bass guitar when the flute nonchalantly plays a note.This sets a stream of melody gushing from the sluice gates.It flows like a Yuvi ondrive.The serene guitar enters the fray now like Dhoni and it has a calming effect.

The first CharaNam glissades with the flute dancing in between the lines.Aural treat just like how a Raina innings is a visual treat.

The meticulously arranged violins in the second interlude reminds us of Gambhir while the dexterous flute played with vigour symbolises Kohli’s determination.

The intense first part in the second CharaNam is like a Zaheer’s Yorker while the fluid second part is like the carom ball of Ashwin.

The wonderful lyrics of the greatest poet of Tamizh Cinema-Kannadasan and the translucent music of the greatest composer of Indian Cinema music make it a perfect blend of poetry and music.. just like Team India..

No doubt they have a special place in our hearts!

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