New Delhi: Cricket is a religion here. It is also a medical necessity. My father went into surgery right at the time Ricky Ponting won the toss and put India on the field. The opration theatre light came on precisely the minute Zaheer got hold of the new ball and the prayers in the waiting room started swinging between this hospital and that stadium.
That is the grip this game has on us. Well most of us at least and there is nothing new in it here. But even then to see a waiting room of a posh hospital jam packed to the LCD is quite weird.
As I sat, trying to juggle my emotions for my father and Munaf getting hit by Haddin I noticed, I was not alone in this cricket crazed phenomena that some say, is evoked only in T20.
Consider this: A waiting room with 30 chairs seating 50. Normal for India you say? 5 security personnel in the room gulping the match with their eyes. Still all right? Another 5 medical attendants listening to the commentary on one tiny radio because it was faster than the TV, and announcing a wicket even before Ashwin had begun his short run-up to Watson. Umm, I wonder if some of the patients might have just skipped anesthesia to keep an eye out on the score.
So as I found myself in the middle of all this, thoughts of father, cricket and this blog (yes, in that order) and I couldn't be blamed for half-expecting the operating doctor to peep out for a score update. "If we win this, we'll play Pakistan," said a knowledgeable man all of a sudden, sitting half way across the room. Of course Sachin's form looked like taking us home to Mohali. But then came the Gambhir-Yuvi chemistry and the entire room went into a sudden coma. "See, now they will throw the game away," said the same genius.
It wasn't meant to be though as Yuvraj proved the law of averages incorrect and smashed his way to victory. That the Aussie bowlers helped him was somehow comforting to all the family members present in that room. They, rather we, bonded together over a game of cricket, much like Harsha and Navjot did in the post match show. And just for the record, my father is on the fast track to recovery and says he will watch the match on tv at home. As for me, I will return to my office terminal to keep the scores, stories and features kicking on www.ndtv.com. Sachin-bless, oh I mean, god-bless all.