There is nothing like well earned Sunday and that too sunny Sunday. A Sunday, preceded by positive thought process, sound sleep, beginning with Rangoli and followed by an exciting Indian match in the World Cup Cricket adds fillip to an avid desire for mental relaxation. It becomes a sort of icing on the cake in a World otherwise full of challenges and bouts of tension.
While the outcome of India-Pakistan match on 15th February was virtually known from the word go, supposedly in India’s favour (almost all passengers at Bagdogra glued to TV sets were not inclined to board any flight), the one between India and South Africa on another Sunday (22nd February) was loaded in favour of South Africa in view of its better track record against the former in W.C.C. But the way Indian bowlers performed, the mighty South Africa crumbled and finished ultimately like an ordinary team. Lately much criticized and less talked about, M.S.Dhoni(MSD) managed to swing back into the psyche of the spectators and millions of Indians alike, with his power-packed captaincy.
The third match on 28th Feb. played between India and less fancied U.A.E went India’s way yet again and provided much needed batting and bowling practice to the Indian team. Those who had not played thus far, could get the required exposure and thereby, spruce up their acumen and skills for tough ‘battles’ ahead, with a vow to defend the title .
The fourth match once again on a Holiday(6th March) and of all the days, the Holi day, gave tremendous entertainment and joy to those who, being away from the mainstream and tucked over a mountain, were looking for meaningful de-stressing opportunity and company to pad up the much awaited Holi revelry.
By the time it was noon, normal activity came to a standstill on the streets. Swift bath upon exchange of pleasantries and colour, dry or wet and early lunch followed, even when temperature had come down drastically in several parts of the country. The picturesque hill stations like Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Kargil, Shimla, Manali, Kufri, Kalpa (Kinnaur), Gangtok etc recorded temperatures, such as, 0.9, 9.7, -4.7, -11.8, 1.7, -1.8 , O, -8 , and 6 degrees respectively. Some of them were wrapped up in a blanket of snow, as revealed from the visuals on T.V. and snaps in newspapers.
Places in plains, including Delhi recorded unseasonal and uncalled-for downpour also, compelling even a dignitary like Home Minister to give a statement on Law & Order situation, clad in woollens splattered with Holi colour. Was it not unusual for the month of March?. It, in addition, gave an impression that Global Warming, in a way, was taking the shape of Global Cooling.
Back to Cricket, though India put adequate pressure on West Indies in the first 20 overs, restricting them to 79 for the loss of 6 or 7 wickets at one stage, later, the defiant tail enders displayed fantastic potential and prowess. Finally they were all out for a modest score of 182 in 44.2 overs. While much feared Gayle struggled, their Captain Jason Holder only offered some resistance with his highest ODI score of 57. The way India batted, defied all expectations of the viewers. It was not the same India which batted aggressively both against Pakistan and South Africa. Except for Virat Kohli to some extent and M.S.D. to a large extent, others threw away their wickets rather easily. Fears or apprehensions relating to match-fixing were also expressed for sometime during the course of the match.
But, true to his style and reputation, M.S.D. finished the match in India’s favour by scoring a crucial and unbeaten 45. He could, thus salvage his gradually being questioned position, apart from improving his batting average and overall strike rate. According to someone, it turned out to be a deadly combination of ‘Rang Barse’ and ‘Run Barse’ before darkness and cold conditions made a comeback.
This Sunday (8th March) it is neither India’s Cricket match nor Holi. The Sun God is not only available but he is magnanimous enough in showering his blessings bereft of any premise or precondition. While basking in Sun, I, therefore, decide to dig the little patch of land in the front yard with the service spoon to plant a dozen flower & ornamental saplings. Thus, I pretend to supplement the sincere efforts involved in conserving the earth’s bio-diversity and environment which is fast losing its green cover in the name of development.