I am an Indian cricket fan.
I cheer at cricket matches.
I cry at cricket matches.
I yell at cricket matches.
I take leave for cricket matches.
I only watch India's matches.
I don't like test cricket.
After the last World Cup, I don't even like one-dayers.
I love T20.
I could do without the silly cheerleaders though. Get out of the way - there's people who paid good money to watch the match, not your asses! Well, most people anyway.
I glare at people who dismiss the T20 format. T20 is like watching match highlights - every moment is exciting.
As far as I am concerned, T20 is the real World Cup. Those who think T20 is not serious enough, of course it's serious - it's in fact more serious than the one-day World Cup. Mandira Bedi is not there, you see.
I am extremely illogical, irrational and inconsistent as a fan.
I hurl (civil) abuses at my team when they lose.
I write spoof poetry insulting them when they let the country down.
I call them morons.
I love the Indian players. Mostly for their cricket.
I love some of the Pakistani players too, but that's a different kind of love.
I love Brett Lee. And Shane Bond. And Afridi. Not for their cricket though. Ahem.
Every year, I go through a phase when I completely lose interest in it. And then I bounce back. Without fail.
I tell my Singaporean friends how complicated a game cricket is. I exclaim, "You know there are ten ways in which a batsman can get out?" and watch them yawn.
Erm, I don't think I can name all ten ways. Seven or eight maybe.
I prefer watching the match on TV to watching it in the stadium.
I like to see the expressions on the faces of the players.
I am extremely superstitious when it comes to cricket.
I lock myself in my room for five minutes because the last time I went inside my room, Yuvi hit a six.
When Yuvi hits six sixes in an over, I promptly change my facebook status to corny lines like "Sayesha is sending some Yuvi protection to the burnt England team."
I sms the score to people who can't watch the match.
I yell at people who say the matches are fixed.
I don't know everything about the game, but I live with a walking-talking-playing cricket encyclopaedia.
Even though cricket is not big here, I'm proud of Viv for being in the Singapore national team.
I save birthday balloons from Clueless' surprise birthday party "to burst them when India wins the World Cup".
I know India will win the World Cup even before they start playing.
I believe the Indian cricket team was the best entertainer in this series.
I buy two boxes of Danish butter cookies and leave them at the common area in the office with a note 'GO, INDIA!' and send an email to 50 people in the office that says:
Please help yourselves to the butter cookies placed on the shelf next to S’s cubicle – I’m celebrating India’s victory at the finals of the T20 Cricket World Cup last night! Since most of you couldn’t care less about cricket – this is a championship involving teams from Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Scotland, Zimbabwe and India’s arch rivals Pakistan (whom we pulped in the finals last night!). The last time India took the Cricket World Cup home was when I was 3, so you can understand my utterly insane elation.
I get replies to my email from colleagues that go something like this:
Nope... still don't understand the elation, but I'll take advantage of the butter cookies.
I sing corny songs in my head on the way to work.
Anhoni ko honi kar de, honi ko anhoni
Ek jagah jab jamaa ho teenon
Gambhir... Pathan... aur Dhoni!
India in the finals? Whoa. India in the finals against Pakistan? Double whoa.
What a match. What a dream. What a win.
Last night, after the match, after screaming ourselves silly, the two of us sighed. We wished we were in India. Amidst the celebrations on the streets. Amidst the firecrackers. Amidst the noise. Amidst the passionate discussions. Amidst our own people. People who know and understand what cricket truly means to us and others like us.
Twenty-four years. It has been a long wait.
We may not be home. But the Cup is.