Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa..

Main Teri Mast Nigahi Ka Bharam Rakh Lungaa,
Hosh Ayaa Bhi To Keh Dunga Mujhe Hosh Nahi
Ye Alag Baat Hai Saki Ke Mujhe Hosh Nahi
Varna Main Khucch Bhi Hu Ahsaan Faramosh Nahi

Old Trafford, Manchester, England 2019

Tensions were high, mood was exhilarating, after all it was a India Pakistan encounter at a World Cup match. Indo-Pak match especially in a World Cup is always a high voltage encounter, and is billed as the most important match of the championship, as important as the championship itself. The tickets at the stadium are sold within a matter of few minutes when they are up for grabs. You don’t wanna loose to your archrivals, no matter what, after all its about national pride. It’s probably more than just another cricket match because stakes are high and the intense rivalries between these two sporting nations who shared a common cricketing heritage, makes for a great spectacle.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to field. India opened their innings with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz were steaming in to start the proceedings for Pakistan.After a steady start seeing off the opening spell and not loosing early wickets, India put up a century opening partnership. Rohit went from strength to strength to hammer a handsome century accompanied by skipper Virat Kohli with a fine half century.With their major contribution, India went on to post a solid 336/5 in their 50 overs. In the 2nd innings, India suffered a big blow when their star bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar got injured, Vijay Shankar came in to bowl and produced a wicket in his very first ball to everyone’s surprise.Later on, the opener Fakar Zaman and their best batsman Babar Azam steadied the ship with a century partnership and looked well on course to chase the record score.

When everything looked on track for Pakistan, Babar got deceived by a magical ball from Kuldeep Yadav, the chinaman, and match turned on its head. Mind you, Pakistan had never won a world cup encounter against India since 1992, during their first meeting. This was their chance to get the monkey off the back, but they failed and failed miserably. After the century stand, they lost wickets in flurry and though it started raining they were well short of India’s score as per target set by DLS method and had to concede a defeat.

It was euphoria for Indian camp and misery for Pakistan. Their misery, very well described by a emotional fan after the match, an unbeatable reaction. Have a look and enjoy šŸ˜›

A group of friends were enjoying the match from a sports bar with a near stadium like atmosphere. As it happens more often in a sports bar, fans and supporters from both the team were present. Needless to say, it was a noisy atmosphere throughout the match duration. If Pakistan scored a boundary or a six, Pak fans would get up from their seat and cheer mocking Indian fans and likewise when India did well, they would cheer along and scream at the top of their voice-Mauka Mauka song from popular advertisement created by Star Sports India in the context of Pakistan’s losing streak in all World cup matches against India.

It was field day for the bar owner and his concierge, to control the crowd if they went overboard. Food & Liquor Consumption for the day were on a record high due to such a high voltage match, but managing the patrons was a pain in the a**. It often led to brawls when one party started abusing and physically assaulting other party. One had to closely monitor and prevent any altercations as much as possible. That’s when everyone’s revelry was interrupted by a gang of friends. 2 person from two different groups were arguing and abusing each other over some trivial matter. It seemed they were not in their senses and one guy suddenly started to hit the other and damage the property in utmost recklessness. Distracted crowd at the bar started looking out for them when the scuffle started trying to figure out what the fuss was all about. Some of their other friends who had accompanied them, tried to control them by holding them back,but in vain. The bar owner accompanied by 2-3 bartenders held them by collar and asked them to move out of the bar, when one guy pushed the owner, slapped him hard abusing him and started arguing with him. When things got ugly, the hotel staff called the police.

The guys looked innocent and completely out of their senses. On seeing police there, they somewhat started becoming their usual self and started pleading that it was a mistake. In such a panic situation, when police questioned why all this a hungama over such a trivial matter, The guy blurted out suddenly..

Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa (with a burp as he said this), Thodi Si Jo Pii Lii Hai(drunk man never agrees he is intoxicated & out of his senses, isn’t it?)
Daakaa Toh Nahin Daalaa Chori Toh Nahi Kii Hai !!!??!!???

After all, he was such a good bathroom singer, atleast he thought so. The police looked part confused, part shocked and was trying to control his reactions to this impromptu act. Eventually, he took him to the custody to which the guy secretly started to tick a bucket list item, in his mind- Spending a night in a jail cell.

Until next time, be well & take it easy.

P. S: Take a look at a beautiful rendition of Hungama Hai Kyun Barpa by Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali


Reflections on Cricket..

We have been through in what could be The dramatic CricketĀ World Cup ever. When 99 happened, aka the grippingĀ semifinals between South Africa and Australia,everyone thought that was the best match,Ā ODI cricket has ever seen. [SA, 9 wicket down needed 9 to get off last over,Klusener hit 2 boundaries and he along with Allan Donald couldn’t manage one more single buckling under pressure].For the fact that it was a tie, for the fact that Australia made it through to the finals becauseĀ of their better run rate, the dramatic scenes, everyone thought we had seen itĀ all. But NO!! We had to witness another drama unfold, one could never have imagined,that tooĀ in a prestigious World Cup final at Mecca of cricket-Lord’s.Ā Every since,much has been talked about,debated at lengths,with generous amount of WhatĀ if’s,Ā because the match ended in a TIE,Ā AGAIN on a World Cup FINAL TWICE.Ā Notwithstanding,Ā Some one of a kind, never seen beforeĀ scenarios.CRUNCH moments got Crunchier as the stakes were high. To start with,Ā in the dramatic final over,Ā a grounded shot of quick 2 runs near the boundary turned to 6 runs(invaluable in the context of the game)Ā because of a deflected overthrow (When have we seen this happen in the past?Ball ricocheting off the bat and across the boundary for four) due to which England managed to get 14 runs.Ā At this moment,Ā they were happierĀ to go into Super over as they got 14 runs of Boult’s last 4 balls after scoring nil in first 2 balls.So to break the tie, Super over was undertaken(Introduced in place of Bowl-out.Remember India v Pakistan in 2007 T20 WC?Ā )Ā and to the surprise of it, we had SAME result, a TIE. So what you do? Rules come into play and team which hit more boundaries(during the entire match including the super over) wins the match(This rule which is under scrutiny wasĀ introduced fromĀ T20 international and professional leagues). To be fair to England,Ā  this rule was well known to both the teams, but for the fact that this scenario of Super over ending in a tie never occurred.

Not too far away from Lord’s, during the same time, in Wimbledon there was an equally engrossing match between two champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.[Lot for work for the TV remote as alt button was pressed umpteenth time to switch between channels.Cant miss both the matches, you see :)] In a very rare occasion, the 5th set moved to a tie breaker. And the match continued until one player bowed down to hand over the trophy to the deserved winner. Match ended in 13-12 in favor of Novak, a historic win in 5th set tie breaker.To take a leaf out of Wimbledon, it would be much better if winner was decided based on some valid criterion. May be, another super over to break the tie.Because New Zealand never lost. It must have been devastating and frustrating to end their successful World Cup campaign like this. Lot of practice, hard work, strategic thinking goes into the preparation(over a period of 2-3 years), to compete in a prestigious and high profile tournament like this. All 22 players on the field played well, but only 11 players were celebrating. Lots being said about Kane Williamson’s leadership and state of composure he showed in such a heart breaking/devastating outcome. It was only fitting for him to carry the Man of the Tournament award for steering his team through from challenging situations in many occasions. So,England,gallantly fought their way through to win knockout games at the fag end of league matches against tough opposition and in the semis with their nemesis,to win the World Cup for the very first time. In the end, they looked like the tough team to beat and deserved to win, albeit with a fairy tale ending.

Pic courtesy: ESPN Cricinfo

Usually the cricket series just after a high profile tournament like World Cup looks boring or too much of a overdose. Not this time though, as Ashes series is starting soon.There is always a sense of excitement within cricket fraternity leading to the build up to the series, as it is most celebrated series amongst the Cricket’s most enduring rivalries.Oz would be hungry to get their act together against the newly crowned World Champions. What makes it more exciting is there is lot of context coming in for Test series starting from Ashes series. For next 2 years, Top 9 Test teams will be competing for World Test Championship making all the upcoming Test series more alluring and exciting. India is set to start their Test championship campaign with West Indies tour. Each team is ought to play 6 Test series (3 Home and 3 away) over the next 2 years to grab points after each match. At the end of 2 year cycle, Top 2 teams will compete in 5 day match to own the first ever prestigious World Championship(in line with ODI and T20). In a move to make Test cricket popular(especially dwindling young fans) and grab the attention of spectators at the ground and cricket fans in general, this seems to be a very good move. After lot of pondering over reducing Test matches from 5 to 4 days,  introduction of Day Night matches, this is a welcome move.

Pic courtesy: ESPN Cricinfo

For cricket connoisseurs, just like the cricketers, TEST cricket is the ultimate contest. I am excited and looking forward for pulsating encounters of Red Ball Cricket,a mouth watering prospect. Are you excited? Thoughts? 

We Lived our Dream

It took 28 years for an Indian to hold the much coveted World Cup trophy and what a time to get it on our own backyard with crazy fans cheering all around and over 1 billion eye-balls on TV screen. To bring smiles on every Indian and to make them feel proud after India was plagued by corruption, scams and what not in past few months was a much greater achievement. Winning the way we did,with emotions running high and Sachin playing his last world cup saying the win was an ultimate thing and proudest moment in his 21 year career suggested what the trophy meant to him and each one of us. We lived our dream, a  beautiful dream indeed.

I feel the key to Indiaā€™s success was peaking at the right time and Dhoniā€™s captaincy.We had arguably the best batting line-up ever to take field on a WC but our bowling was not at all on par. A leader is the one who knows his strengths and knows his weaknesses better. To get the best of his team is Mahi Way of doing things.He backed the bowlers to bowl the crucial overs and more often than not the plan clicked. And one man we cannot forget,our coach Gary Kirsten who was always there toiling hard with the team. More importantly each player played their best game in whatever roles they were supposed to play.


Our batting was always a threat to the opposition and with the starts given by Viru and Sachin decimating the bowling attack,it looked more ominous. Sachin needs a special mention here. Lot was talked about him going into the tournament-His last world cup,only trophy he is missing in his kitty,best chance to win a world cup for the very reason it is played in India.It was indeed a privilege to see him bat the way he did. Being the second  leading scorer in the tournament giving solid starts for the lower batsmen to consolidate is what he did best most of the time. Viru was at his explosive best-Especially the 175 knock that he played against Bangla in the tournament opener, was crucial to settle the nerves. Then came Gauti to play THE innings of his life in the finals.Tat 97 was very crucial after India lost both the openers cheaply. Virat Kohli is the future and present of India.Whenever I see him bat,I feel India is in safe hands.Then came Yuvraj-the flavour of Indian cricket in the world cup. Making a comeback into the tournament with not so good 1-2 years, he was the game changer for India.4 man of the match awards and man of the tournament.Wow! A dream outing.He played the sheet anchor role with perfection. We all know what he can do with the bat when on song,but the way he bowled with 15 wickets in all, was astounding.India found an all rounder in him.Suresh Rainaā€™s cameo  against Aussies and Pakistan was very very crucial given the situation.With his surprise entry into the team in quarters replacing Yusuf Pathan, he proved his point big time. And with his inclusion the fielding standards were raised automatically. Then the captain who looked patchy in the entire tournament and to play a innings like that he did in finals was simply special.It was only fitting for him to finish things off with a thunderous six. Zaheer Khan was the bowler of the tournament for me.Especially the way he bowled with the old ball, every time a bowl was thrown at him with India needing wickets desperately he didnā€™t disappoint at all. He leaded the bowling attack with elan. Bhajji looked good in patches especially against the match against Pak. That void in spin bowling was filled by Yuviā€™s bowling. Munaf,Nehra and Ashwin played the supporting role.


To dethrone the Aussies who ruled the world cricket for a decade or so, was special. Aussies were not all at their best in this tournament. To defeat them and to go on to win the title was icing on the cake. With West Indian domination of world cricket in 70-80s and Australian domination in late 90s,this could be the time for India for world domination. I liked Pontingā€™s face of disappointment after playing an innings of substance to end on loosing side. India held itā€™s nerves to go on to win the match in style. Yuvrajā€™s celebration said it all.

Then came the mother of all battles- the much hyped Indo Pak encounter. With ticket rates touching sky high,Pakistan PM  and Pak delegation along with Indian PM witnessing the match,likes of  2G s-SoniaG and RahulG in the stands giving political angle to it added much to the hoopla. It was a self declared national holiday on that day. Sachin getting dropped 5 times,Yuvi and Rainaā€™s rescue act,Umar Akmalā€™s fabuluous shots,Bhajjiā€™s roar to celebrate a wicket, Misbahā€™s late hitting- the match had it all.

India were never beaten in a world cup game against Pak and history repeated itself.With that confidence,India went on to conquer the final frontier-the Lankan juggernaut.I felt Lankan side were mightier than Oz and Pakis and looked a much more balanced side then we were.Taming the lions was not impossible but difficult. After they set a stiff target with an amazing innings from Jayawardene,Indians had to bat very well to win,keeping in mind the pressure always building up to the chase,after all it was a world cup final.Early wickets of Sachin and Sehwag added to our batting woes in big finals. I sought for divine intervention- a rare occasion in my cricket watching career.Some of my friends went on to switch off the tv thinking itā€™s all over.But Lankans were up to a resurgent Indian batting. Gauti rose to the occasion and deserved a 100 the way he batted, equally well supported by first Virat and then MS who promoted himself ahead of in form Yuvi. As India looked confident to seal a victory,MS began to cut loose letting his bat do the talking to silence his critics. After Gautiā€™s unfortunate dismissal,it was only fitting for Yuvi to join in and finish things off along with MS. India winning the world cup and winning in style led to night long celebration as though India got independence.People dancing on the streets,bursting crackers with joy all around,distributing sweets to their loved ones was a common sight across the nation.


Someone rightly said -As long as Rajnikanth was on the stands cheering the team,India would never loose. After it was proved ,quite obvious though,people were wondering where was Rajnikanth when India played 2003 World cup final.We as fans by being superstitious did anything and everything to bring back the cup. Aamir Khan who saw India winning against the arch rivals Pak in Mohali,went on to wear the same T shirt (thinking it as lucky)to cheer the team in Mumbai. The great Amitabh Bachchan did not watch the quarters,semis and almost resisted to not watch finals with the belief that if he watches India would never win.It was a grand celebration in field too. Emotions were running high with likes of Harbhajan,Yuvi,Sachin in tears-tears of joy,tears of success. Then it was time to hold the world cup-the moment everyone longed for. With hand shakes,hugs all around someone had an idea to take Sachin on their shoulders and go around Wankhede- the hometown of Sachin and the very ground where he was an ball boy in one of the 1987 World Cup matches.It was apt for Virat Kohli to say that it was high time, to take Sachin on their shoulders after he served for 21 long years by taking responsibility on his shoulders.Most of them went on to say they were playing for Sachin as he deserved to hold a world cup after representing the country for so many years.Indeed it was a fitting tribute to his illustrious career to lift the ultimate prize which had eluded him in his past 5 world cup appearances.

Then it was chance of Guru Gary who was taken around the stadium for some time. It was unbelievable scenes from Wankhede and  people were getting crazy and it took long time for the news to sink in. I had never seen people so happy dancing with joy. I got up from the bed the next day realised we were world champs recalling the match felt very happy and slept again.

With this win comes an additional responsibility of maintaining the tag of world beaters.HOPE we do soā€¦