World Cup...not all lost - CHRONICLES OF A TOUR

I was in Delhi, boarding a train to Amritsar, my first visit to the historical place. But much like other Indians that day, my mind was somewhere else, India vs Bangladesh, their debut match in the world cup.Last heard, the score was 135/4 in 35 overs, ganguly and yuvraj holding the forte for India. Being confident enough that the prince and Royal bengal Tiger would be able to guide India through to an easy victory over the neighbours, I decided to go for an early sleep. I had tired myself enough covering the length and breadth of the capital covering the histrionics of the places like India Gate, lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, Connaught place, Qutub Minar in the most beautiful technological achievements of Delhi so far, The Metro.

My eyes were all red and my tired legs needed some rest badly, only thing i didnt have a seat and was travelling in the sleeper class with a general ticket. My eyes were constantly searching for the TT, he did come, imposed a fine of 200, but more importantly, granted me a seat to travel.Alas! God had some other plans for me that day, The blue billion gangs were my co travellers. Someone screamed a 'F' word and i could not believe my ears. 157/4 to 157/9, 191 all out. Curtains had fallen too soon for an Indian fan. Discussions went on a new high. Someone was praising the grit shown by Dada, others dejected by SUPER play of Sachin and Co.My cell rang, it was my brother, who travelled with me from Hyd to Delhi, opting to stay in Delhi for a day longer. My cell had already done some over time in ROAMING and i was expecting a heavy bill, still decided to receive that call. It churned out to be the poison, India all out 191, pak all out 132. i asked him to keep me updated about the score every 10 overs, afterall, 4rs/call in roaming is ok compared to the listless state of mind about knowing the scores.

Sleep !!! ha was all gone. For a short time i had a brief nap, only to wake up amongst utter chaos and noise. 'F' words on player kept on increasing, and the bogie had become no less than a MAX set with expert comments, the only one missing ...The cricket woman God ...Madnira bedi. My brother called again , india lost, pakistan lost to ireland , injamam in tears.I was in the upper birth, and could not dare to go lower, for the crazy indian fans can do anything on a given day, and had the sleep of my life, it was all but over for Indians. At 11, i was in Amritsar. Asked for Golden Temple and decided to have a walk from the station to the sacred place. It was a 2 km walk from one of the busiest market area in the punjabi heartland, and a board was the first thing to catch my attention..JALLIANWALAH BAUG, a remembrance of the martyrs. Indeed, the same place best known for the massive massacre of the innocent satyagrahis from the hands of one General Dyer, the cruel face of the opressive and tyrant English rule. Enter there, and you have a gutsy feeling to perform or perish for the country, I thought, team India might do good visiting the place once. Next up was the beatuiful Golden Temple, one of the five most sacred places for the Sikhs. It was all hustle and bustle, with a large mass thronging for Darshan. I had a dip in the holy lake,visited the temple, a feast in langar, a kada as a memento and on to wagah, the Indo pak border.

Lost ur Indianness, just visit this place once, u would start feeling like one,what it feels to be divided and how it feels to be on the other side of the border. Geographically speaking, its nothing different, the farmland which provide us grains to eat, extends on their side as well. I had my feet for once on the other side of Border and my ear could hear well the revering song, HAMARA PAKISTAN. Come this side and the competition had begun "sUNO GAUR SE DUNIYAWALO..." and the foot tapping number already had people dancing up on the feets. The nationalistic fervour reached the pinnacle, with people running to the last post with their respective national flags,enchanting the nationalistic slogans and both sides giving the other one a run for their money. The Flag lowering ceremony, with the immaculately dressed BSF and Pakistani Rangers presenting one of the most astonishing parades ever witnessed in front of 5000 on both sides against the backdrop a lowering sun and a moment to behold. Back to delhi, via Ambala, where i met my brother and off to Kurushetra for a holy dip in Bramhasarovar on the eve of Solar Eclispse, the place supposed to be the death bed of the great Mahabaratha legend Bhisma. We headed off to Baliya, the constituency of former PM Chandrasekhar, but for me, my beloved village in UP.

I was in train again, and India were playing against Bermuda. My cell had to bear the brunt again, only this time, my father at Nagpur were the service provider. India had a run feast, and a comprehesive vitory. It was 4 am and shouts of CHOR CHOR struck my ears. My brother woke up too and exclaimed " WELCOME TO UP " !!!! We reached Baliya at about 12. I was at the place after 3 long years, but sadly nothing had changed. Damaged roads, filthy streets, shoddy shops and smiling faces, people dont want to change!!!Power cut for long hours make the matter worst. Time for me to do a Swadesh or can I , only time will tell !!!! We had a warm welcome at our ancenstral place. I learnt a lot , visited a few places in a packed schedule but the most heart rending was to see the plight of the only English school within the 20 km radius of the village. i was literally moved to tears, seeing my cousin sister in her early 20's teaching a handful of young kids,at a time when she should be concenrating on her own studies, there early lessons of std 3, syllabus resembling the same as the nursery level of an Urban school, for a meagre sum of 500. The quality of education and more importantly teachers were better not to mention. I tried to infuse the elementary knowledge i could have in the short time, but it was only a drop in the ocean ,and a complete revamp was the order of the day. With a heavy heart, i headed off to my next destination, Allahabad, a complete contrast of all sorts. The place supposed to be the educational hub of eastern UP, a political background, and fashion reaching newer heights, could hardly believe i had seen ultimate misery and destitute in a place just 200 kms away. i was in train again , India were playing the lankans. lankans all out 254, do or die match for india to be in the hunt. 20/1, 41/2, 42/3 / 98/4. 127/7, 151/9 185 all out. The hunt was over and 'F' word had no stopping at all. Newspapers and Tv reports had already started the post mortem, and the faces of the player said it all. People were cribbing but i wasnt. My tour was over, i was back to work.

India were out of the world cup, but i was in , right in there, for i had the first hand experience of poverty from such a close distance. We lost only a match, the realy war is yet to begin. I hope, i am the crusader, and the blue billion follows me.


  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare
    Nice writeup, maximasatya!

    Waiting for more! 😀

    -The Big K-
  • Rocker
    Yes, I agree. Nice article. Keep them coming! Looking forward to your introduction! 😁
  • Mayur Pathak
    Mayur Pathak
    Hi maximasatya,

    Excellent article. I haven't seen a better one in days now. This is giving me a new inspiration to go back to the writing pad and scribble some thing. I think we need guys like you to contribute more often.

    Keep up the good work!
  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare

    As everyone said, the article is fantastic. If you are interested in writing for CE, do let us know at editorial at crazyengineers dot com.

    -The Big K-
  • crook
    I enjoyed reading the writup! Waiting for more ! Keep them coming !!
  • Kartik Vyas
    Kartik Vyas
    This is something brilliant mate!!! Keep it up! I think you have attracted our attention to something more important than the world cup!

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