Thursday, May 15, 2008

Match Making

Yesterday, I found out how it is to be completely transported a different world. No sounds from the street. No phone calls. No thoughts of the impending exam. Just pure exhilaration, the kinds which you cannot see on your television set but only feel in the stands. I am talking of the T20 spectacle between Chennai and Mumbai which I witnessed recently.

Before the match, I was confused which team to support. As far as cricket went, I knew my loyalty was with the Indian team but I had not yet made up my mind among the teams in the Indian Premier league. At the venue I realised I didn't have much of a choice. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the match, the crowd was only supporting one team - The Mumbai Indians. The Chennai Superkings were lost for support.

I have been to a cricket match before but the T20 atmosphere was electric. Even before the match started the music kept the crowd going. The dhols and cheerleaders added to the fervor.People had started filling in the stands as much as three hours before the time of commencement.

The match began and ended and we all know the result but I'll give you scoop on what went on in the stands.
  • If there is one religion people from all communities are devoted to, it is cricket and beyond any doubt, Sachin is their God. The decibel levels tripled when he came on-field for the toss. Chants of Sachin Sachin could have over-shadowed the noise of jet passing by. Even when he left a wide ball, people would scream well played.
  • The spectators fell in love very soon. Be it Pollock for his tight spells of bowling or Jayasuria for his explosive batting, it was just a matter of a few wickets or boundaries to get the crowd on your side (provided you were from the home team).
  • The oppositions could not make mistakes because every time they did, they were mocked and jeered to death. I don't support anti-cheering personally but 44999 people can make a lot of noise if they want so my joining them doesn't make a difference.
  • People were innovative. The advantage of sitting in the stall with the cheapest tickets was that you get to sit with the noisiest and most expressive bunch of all. Slogans like "Raina ball se door rahena", "Dhoni ki behan kaun -Deepika, Deepika" kept everyone entertained.
  • The viewers had paid 250 bucks and could not afford to miss a single ball played. Every time someone blocks the view a series of paper bombs and rockets (rather missiles) shot at him forcing him to sit. Mumbaikars were never bothered about cleanliness were they? So much so that groups including mine started having paper fights among themselves for added adventure!!
  • But yes, that didn't justify hitting every person walking along the aisle, especially if the person is a girl, kid or most of all a cheerleader. Coolness turned into indiscipline very soon, which itself is not very cool. I heard this on the public address system "Please don't throw your fours and sixes on the players or cheerleaders." LOL!
  • People were attention hungry. There was this man who would start dancing when a four or six was hit (while everyone around him was sitting) thinking he was solely responsible for getting the crowd going. He sure got them going but not in his favour. Even kids by the end of the game gave him what Mumbaikars call taplis while passing by. Just when you think it can't get more wannabe-ish, another man stands up egging the crowd to throw stuff at the other man in weird dance postures. Freak, it was absolutely hilarious!
  • The Mexican Wave was fun but it got tiring when three waves start simultaneously as a result of some idiots shooting off before it was even their turn and there were always a few others who join in on every turn. And you didn't have an option but stand because they would your view.
  • The stands are not the place to be if you are claustrophobic. It was so jampacked that you were not allowed to leave even to pee once the proceedings began.
  • Talking about peeing, for the kind of money that is made through sponsorships and sale of tickets, more can be done to improve sanitation and drinking water facilities at the stadium. It was shoddy to say the least.
I have so much to say but I also have an exam in less than a week. I wish text books had as much spice as live cricket.


silent screamer said...

nice blog!..damn! must have had so much fun!:(
im gonna make sure sumbody gets me the passes next time..or ill go buy the tickets..high time now!!

Pallavi said...

Wow!! u had so much fun!!i'm so freakin jealous!
btw..wat r taplis??

The Illuminator said...

Taplis are like light taps on the head, often to physically mock someone, but no english word gives the effect as well!