15th June 2001
I watched the famous Bollywood flick called Lagaan that night. You know the story; they win the cricket match at the end of the movie. I mean it’s a Bollywood movie so you know it’s almost definitely going to end in happily ever after. You know that Aamir Khan is going to hit a six on the last ball and then celebrations will have to wait while the villagers scram around falling on top of one another and screaming and then all of a sudden! Darkness in the form of clouds emerge and after three straight long hours of praying to please the rain gods and singing of songs for the appearance of clouds to feed our starving yet heroic farmers in the movie, it FINALLY starts to pour and of course not without music playing in the background. Your head begins to feel familiar and ‘ah yes this is a Hindi movie after all isn’t it’ and your heart starts to think ‘Omg this is like the best movie ever, it better make it to the Oscars”. You are all smiles and teeth galore because you have won, I mean the villagers in the movie have won, but it felt like your win didn’t it? Just at least for that moment in time, it did.
19th March 2011
All across the world so much was happening around this time, my friend got me a book called the Zoya Factor (a story about a woman in her twenties who becomes the lucky charm of the Indian cricket team and leads them to victory with the world cup in 2011). My friend signed the first page of the book which read “Gifted to the lucky charm of the Indian cricket team on 19th March 2011, the year India finally won the world cup” I blushed and giggled and took the book from his hands, my heart pounding with hope for the next few matches to come. Yes! I thought; ‘please please do this for Sachin Tendulkar’. Similarly across the world, books are gifted, bets are wagered, sacrifices are made, all night prayers are held; forget the rural masses even the messed up urban youth is cursing against Team India only because they secretly want them to win and they do actually unfortunately still believe in jinxes when it comes to this particular sporty religion.
2nd April 2011
Nothing beats that day. It was a Saturday. Night or day, wherever the hell you were, if you are an Indian you have got to be watching the match that will go down in History (unless you are part of that urban youth that believes in jinxes in which case you are probably shutting your eyes in front of the TV screen because god forbid you open an eyelid and Sachin’s wicket falls). It ended, people screamed, people cried, people danced on the streets; it was a night not to be forgotten. I was smiling throughout the week but then time passes and the smiling eventually fades, lingering on as just a happy memory…
That memory was a while ago. Seems almost surreal doesn’t it? It may have just as well been Mahendra Singh Dhoni starring as our very own Aamir Khan and hitting the last ball across the boundary to win the Cricket world cup for us 28 years later. It may have just as well been another Bollywood movie on the TV screen and we a part of the Indian audience praying for our favorite actor to succeed in the movie, it may have just as well been that moment when it rained at the end of the movie with everyone staring up at the sky and thanking God for this blissful occasion.
I don’t want to describe that feeling in words, actually no wait, I CAN’T describe that feeling in words but just for the future, I want us to remember one thing, that when someone makes fun of our Bollywood movies and teases us about how our actors miraculously wake up from the dead or how the villain never gets away with the girl or how the Indian joint family does eventually unite at the end; let us show them the movie called Lagaan (released in 2001) and hand them the book called the Zoya factor (published in 2008) and then shove the 2011 cricket world up statistics down their throats and say.
“Yes, You Cynics! Its cause we do believe in Happy Endings”