Okay. For once, every Indian must have been fond of our media seemingly so rightly appreciating our downtrodden magic lunge. & by lord, every heart on this land must have cradled optimism of how we will lift that trophy again after long bereavement, & bring back the so-called glory back.
We are unsure of our squad, barring a few boys. We are doubtful of the duration a hockey match lasts. We might have never seen a hockey being used actually apart from boyish tussles of furor.
Now, What we do know is that we have a spanish coach. What we do know is that our team crushed our only beloved opponent in a way our chests throbbed with pride. What we do know is that this win followed a 2lakh prize money for each player on squad in addition to immeasurable praise. What we do know is that there's an Australian monopoly here as well, which crushed our frontline striker into a ban of 2 matches for apparently no fault of his. & What we hoped for that point onwards was an unstoppable journey towards the title. We never flinched. We were sure. Not mere optimistic. Precise Surety for once.
[[ Quote: A hindi national daily posted a comic strip after Indo-Pak match which read "Ye match to jeet liya. Ab world-cup mile na mile koi pharak nahin padta." ]]
& then, out of nowhere, embarked the startling reality. Yes, it was hard, & Yes, it was shattering. Game Over !!
A war lost. Players lashed; foreign coach blamed. aplenty coverage & editorials - quite befitting in a country as expectant as ours.
To be true to my soul, for the 2nd time in my life, i felt pity for my neighbors. Finishing 12th in a tournament of 12 teams, i can empathize why an entire 18 men flanked pool of talent would voyage to retirement just because their's is the only nation "Hungrier" that ours when it comes to performing with under-prepared, & over-pressured guts. You might shrug me as a pessimist, but it gave a feeling of a mass suicide.
Anyways, it was a loss. What was pleasingly satisfying was that around me, i could see a massive twirl of interest & anticipation towards the game of Hockey. What "changed" this leap was the way & depth the entire television media covered the World Cup. What was inspiring was that we were saddened with losses that came our way, rather that being indifferent as always.
I ain't a hockey fan. Never was. Nor am i noticeable. But i'm a hard-bound nationalist. & i was happy the way it went. If you were nevertheless irrevocably uninterested in the game despite all efforts made, i deeply wish & pray that there aren't many like yourself.