Sumeet Anand visualizes what the people of India and Pakistan are going through ahead of the World Cup semi-final between the two countries.
God is great! For doing the most unexpected in the most unexpected way. No one ever imagined that there could be an Indo-Pak semi-final in the cricket World Cup 2011, but it's needless to say that everyone wished for such an event. So the divine intervened and gave its disciples what they can cherish most, an event that can cheer and raise the emotions of the two nations (brothers) to the utmost peak that are divided by history yet united by cricket!
30th March 2011 is a historic day, I think it calls for declaring the day as a national day-off (at least I have decided to give a day off to all my employees on 30th and we may all watch it together), so that at least for a day the combined population of the two countries does nothing else but enjoys a great game of cricket that is the only thing that unites them in today's time.
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A historical event in the great game of cricket where people are only driven by their hearts and emotions are at the utmost peak, an event for which no insurance company in the world will insure even the strong hearted!, an event that I am sure the terrorists also long for and for a change are glued to their TV sets and not to their suicide jackets!
Let's see what sort of an emotional graph the people of the two nations will go through due to this event and till the final on 2nd April.
The Pre-Match Scenario
Everything else can wait as everyone is just waiting for 30th March 2011, the only talk in the house, in get-togethers, at the paan shop, at the borders etc. etc. etc. is who may, should or will win the semi-final. The only prayers received by Bhagwan/Allah is that our respective team must win, making God's job easier as well as difficult as only one team can win, I am sure the divine umpires (Bhagawan and Allah) must be consulting each other hard before hitting the keys "Select All + Tathastu/Amen"
It is such an enthusiasm that even the politicians of the two countries have forgotten all diplomatic differences and the on-going cold war by given in to the event and decided to meet up in advance and at the event. After all, the Prime Ministers are normal cricket fans like any of their citizens!
The teams and captains are not able to hide their mixed and confused emotions of patriotism, anxiety and fear. Their press talks and mind games have started and they are very skilfully exuding confidence of winning while ensuring it is not perceived as over confidence by giving utmost respect to the other team's chances, capabilities and form.
India will go all out and try to win it not just for the country but for the God of cricket "Tendulkar" and Pakistan team will go all out and try to win it to restore the faith in cricket of their entire countrymen.
The security guys are worried as to how will they stay at the peak of alertness when their hearts and minds are inside the stadium and eyes and ears looking out for the nearest TV or radio/mobile.
The terrorists will be making merry, as I am sure they will be planning to take a day-off and enjoy the match rather than planning an attack because such an event is the only stress buster for them also! Moreover, attacking on such an event may give them highest visibility (all negative) but they may even loose whatever little sympathisers they have even within their own organizations:)
During the Match Scenario
The pressure will be at its peak both for the teams as well as the spectators. It will get doubled for the teams due to the presence of their Prime Ministers.
Every member of the team and every citizen will follow every superstition they know or follow. Given the amount of visas issued there will be ample support in the stadium for the Pak team and that will help them feel better, though the Indian team must be thinking "it would have been good if we played this match at a neutral venue".
Every member of the team must surely be deprived of sleep but their bodies will automatically compensate by pumping up the adrenaline and all other hormones required for making them extra fit for the match.
People will be at their innovative best to create and try every 'Totaka' possible, including switching channels or not watching the match at all, to ensure a wicket falls or the batsmen hits a boundary.
The security guys will face the most difficult situation as all the while their minds are going to be wondering about what's happening inside the stadium and they wanting to check the score; those inside the stadium will be confused about whether to watch the match or to lookout for suspicious people and objects.
The two prime ministers for a while may forget who they are and what are they supposed to do diplomatically and will be more worried about how to control their emotions while going through the roller coaster of the match. They may give strict instructions and exact timings when the cameras must focus on them, they may even check with their intelligence agencies if they have any technology that can jam or deceive a TV camera.
The Post Match Scenario
Thank God, everyone knows and understands that eventually only one team will win and it will be the one that plays the best on that given day. Whether their team wins or loses, no one is going to be annoyed with Bhagawan/Allah and they will pray the same way for the very next encounter.
The winning team people will have the biggest party as if they won the final and the losing team people will look out for reasons to blame the defeat on something like weather, planetary positions, pressure, bad form, toss, using the wrong 'totaka' etc. etc. etc. In the end everyone will find some reason to convince themselves and take solace in the fact that it was a tight game and we could have won if this â¦.thatâ¦.or thatâ¦.or that would have happened!
If India wins, it won't be a big surprise as they are among the favourites and the entire country and team will be one step away from realizing a dream of giving the God of cricket 'Tendulkar' the best parting gift before he finally retires before the next world cup. And I am sure that every Pakistani citizen will overcome the grief thinking, it is destined to be 'God of cricket's' World Cup this time, and at least this World Cup revived our team and our faith in cricket in Pakistan.
If Pakistan wins, it will be like getting a second life and will rejoice the entire nation and restore their faith in a sport they love more than anything else. For India it will be a grief beyond repair not for the loss to Pakistan but for the fact that 'Tendulkar' for whom cricket is the biggest faith or religion and who gave his everything to this sport could not get back something he longed for before he finally says good bye to it forever.
Whoever wins; let's cheer for the winner together in the final, so that the Cup comes to the sub-continent.
Sumeet Anand is Founder and CEO of Kreeo (i-nable Solutions), a technology startup in the space of Enterprise 2.0 and collective intelligence.