Home > Features >

It’s India vs Pakistan tonight, and everybody from Santa Claus to Santa Singh are waiting with bated breath

It's India vs Pakistan tonight, and everybody from Santa Claus to Santa Singh are waiting with bated breath

Fans come in with colour coordinated uniforms and other such gimmickry ready to pose for a potential Facebook cover photo every five minutes © Getty Images

There is a combined sense of anticipation and fear the minute you wake up. If you are old enough, then this is not your first time, and circumstances permitting this will not be your last either.
 
You’ve been counting the days and preparing yourself for it but when it’s D-day, the butterflies refuse to exit the stomach — quite literally in some cases. A cursory look at the watch indicates there is still some time to go. So you get off your backside and do an odd chore before life comes to a complete standstill.
 
The man behind the counter of a nearby store, where you have been shopping for supplies for an entire life time greets you warmly and then pops the inevitable question,
 
“Sir kya khayal hai, ajj kya hoga?” (Sir, what do you think, what’s going to happen today?)
 
You do a quick recap in your head of all the articles you had read on the internet last night. And like the most accomplished soothsayer on this side of the continent, you break into a long spiel of what is likely to happen.
 
You make a conscious effort to mention each inane statistic spouted by that funny Uncle with the moustache. The shop owner listens carefully nodding and ‘hmm-ing’ at appropriate junctures.
 
It’s all going well until the man standing next to you — whom you have never met before — seems to take an objection to one of your rehashed opinions. What was supposed to be a short and sweet visit takes a turn for the ugly.
 
Nobody is to blame though; everyone is a bit edgy today.
 
Closer to the time, a decision regarding where, with and whom you want to witness the event needs to be made.
 
Now there is the bandwagon jumping and glory hunting.
 
They come in with colour coordinated uniforms and other such gimmickry ready to pose for a potential Facebook cover photo every five minutes. You want to be taken seriously, so you ditch them for the brooding and sage battle veterans. They do not say much; an expletive here, a clenched fist there.
 
The tense atmosphere provides much of the ambience for this setting.
 
Several hours and a whole gamut of expressions ranging from joy, elation, anger and despair-later, clutch as time approaches. By now the poor old Nokia 3310 (or a similar model) has taken an absolute hammering; the neighbours if they happen to be the abnormal type think you have started a cult and your four-year-old niece is absolutely mortified by your behaviour and refuses to come anywhere near.
 
The religious look up to the heavens while the not-so-religious-ones decide it’s better late than never.
 
Some cover their faces unable to watch.
 
It is after all not for the faint hearted.
 
It would not be hugely amiss if one were to suggest there are few rivalries in cricket or any other sport for that matter that come close to matching the history, passion, intensity and the ability to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
 
“Lose everything and against everyone but by God, do not mess this up”
 
A cliché often repeated when this particular fixture comes up. While it is a fundamentally flawed mantra, it does unfortunately hold true.
 
Reputations count for little. What you’ve done in the past even less and unless you do well, a future might as well be forgotten.
 
This is India versus Pakistan.
 
And it starts today — December 25, 2012.
 
Christmas cannot come any sooner!
 
(Muhammad Butt is an engineer who writes in the sports pages for Pakistan Today. His Twitter handle is @MuhammadButt22. The above post is reproduced with permission from http://tribune.com.pk/ )

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

Jason Holder congratulated by Darren Sammy on earning West Indies ODI captaincy

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India were distracted by practice pitches and food, claims local media

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2014-15: Brendon McCullum returns as middle-order batsman

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Leon Johnson urges Windies batsmen to perform better

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: MS Dhoni says there was miscommunication regarding Shikhar Dhawan’s injury

Batsman given hit wicket after mobile phone falls on stumps

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here