If there is one word that unites every single person of our country inexplicably and irrevocably, it is Cricket. Be it a toddler or the greyest head in the family, when there is a cricket match on, all the heads of an Indian family can be seen huddled together with various degrees of anxiety on their faces.
Watching a cricket match with family has its own fun but owing to the fact that I had been a resident of a place called 'hostel' for the past three years, 2015 Cricket World Cup was spent watching with the entire hostel shaking with trepidation.
29th March, 2015 dawned and was imprinted in my memory not only because of the memorable match watched with the entire hostel (plus 10 hostels in the vicinity who were shouting themselves hoarse) but also due to the war I had to wage to keep myself updated with the score.
It so happened that my department decided to feed us food for free on that very day. It must have been their idea of a treat to accompany the nationwide treat of the World Cup but it was the biggest hindrance ever to our planned hollering with the match.
The day passed peacefully till 12:30 when my phone rang. There was a universal groan of sympathy from my friends who were sitting on any place available in the crowded dining hall. I decided to ignore the phone call and sacrifice mine and the entire departmental girls’ lunch treat.
“Khabar jaak Ma’er bhog-e” (Let the lunch treat go to Durga Ma’s bhog), I said, to encouraging nods from my friends.
But 5 phone calls and a final outburst from the teacher coordinator later, I decided to go after all. I knew no one would be willing to accompany me so I did not even bother asking. Being the student coordinator of the event was showing its darker side.
I was about to get up when two friends of mine screamed. Fearing a gas explosion or worse, a sixer by Austalia, I gasped and turned.
“Tui uthe gele to here jabo!”(If you get up from here, we will lose), said one of them while the others looked at me, horror drawing on their faces.
Let me clarify this thing first. We all were sensible, logical girls in general but when it came to cricket, especially the FINAL, all sorts of superstition caught us in its grip. We had been watching the match without shifting even a centimetre from our positions for the past two hours- positions that would ensure no boundaries and maximum wickets. And me getting up from my ‘position’ on the dining table sandwiched between 4 people from all the four sides would definitely mean endangering India’s chances of winning.
What to do then?
I gingerly placed my pillow in my position, draped my friend’s over-long plait on it so that it resembled my hair and extricating my limbs from the crowd, cast a last, sad look on the TV screen and made my way to the sweltering heat outside.
The moment I reached the gate, I started running towards the college. Not a single soul was to be seen in the college campus. Trying to keep the wave of frustration at bay, I calculated that it would take me around 20 minutes to go the department, get the coupons, go to the other mess, get the food packets and return to the hostel. 20 minutes of missing what might be the most crucial points of the match.
Out of breath by the time I reached the department, I considered my options. A google search while running/jogging/meeting an irate teacher was not an option. So, I decided to use the inbuilt personal assistant of my brand new smart phone- Cortana.
All I had tested of it was whether it could sing and dance. But now, desperate times called for desperate measures!
Voice recognition mode on, I quickly gave it instructions to open UC Cricket and keep me updated on the scores. And Voila! My problem of getting match updates while continuing my job at hand was done in a jiffy!
20 minutes later and 10 food packets in hand and eye on the my mobile screen, I re-joined my friends to see the match.
“Thank God you came. You know what...”
“Watson got out, right? Yeah, I know”, I said grinning and enjoying the looks of surprise on their faces. Thanks to Microsoft and UC Browser!
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