For most of The Shawshank Redemption fans, there is a belief that the crux of the movie mainly are these couple of scenes where Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins (Andy) deliberate about hope and how it drives you in tough and uninspirational times. It indeed is utterly beautiful. Have a watch.
When a sport is next to life for you, and the team you root for is all you own up to at the end of the day, the resulting barricade of memories is a massive burden to deal with. More mentally rigorous is when the good times often get overshadowed by the nightmarish ones. And then you live your days, months, years and in some cases, distinct instances in desolation and anticipation that things may just turn good for you at some conjecture of time. It's tough to handle the heartaches inflicted and to take it for years till the reprisal time is eventually around.
So maybe, hope is what carries you through such phases, as much as it does in many other parables and constructs of normal life.
At times, a specific battle in the whole campaign is worth a truckload of significance, no matter if it does not contribute in the long term of you succeeding in taking the ultimate prize. Probably because so much has been expected of it for some time already. Yesterday's Pakistan vs Australia World Cup ODI was just that kind of a cricket game. For Pakistan may face Australia very soon in the Semi Final in few days time, that would more be about where their individual destinies would be defined but for now the personal anguish and pain of the previous years has subsided to a large extent thanks to Lala and his men.
If this was just another Pakistan World Cup game, this blog would have not seen this post (since it doesn't feature any senile reviews of the matches or teams/players performance). After a Pakistan-India showdown, the most riveting and schizophrenic fixture is a Pakistan-Australia one, at least for a Pakistani who has lived through the years of gold and dust of Pakistan cricket. There may not have been enough engaging parallels for this contest, the recent history and abysmal looking stats may not have seconded taking this as anything of a warcry from a Pakistani perspective but then it's only history, dedication and hurt which enables one to know how intense this meant and how the insides cringed and ached for getting over the line. This one fucking time.
All because this had overwhelming pain riding all over it. Of years and of tears. And of incessant hope.
The perpetual pain of 20th June 1999 and the agony of 11 February 2003 - of watching a dream World Cup final end in you being in tatters and tears; and of experiencing your greatest ODI XI being clobbered around four years later squandering an initial commanding position provided by one last bowling burst of your cricketing god. Hence, those two World Cups, which are the most intensely scripted in memory, blown up into smithereens by one opponent only culminating in years of distress and misery to live with.
Yesterday was neither about winning the fucking cup just as yet nor it was about playing to the gallery in any aspect. It was not primarily about ending the 34 match World Cup winning streak of the Aussies neither the 28 match unbeaten run of Punter. It was not much about sending them packing for their lowest total in last 6 World Cups nor much for the pride of being the team who has beaten them on either end of their World Cup winning sequence.
Perhaps, it was part of growing in the process of abandoning the psychological trauma which Pakistan has been subjected to whenever it came up against Australia since the mid late 90s and was about coming out of the shell of astounding proportions of fuckups and combating Aussie's once cricketing sadomasochistic traits. It was also an attempt to ease the sufferings of Hobart '99, C&U Finals '00, Lords '01, Colombo '02, Sydney '10, St. Lucia '10. Above all, it was the subsequent step to what was handed to them last summer here in England - the 2-0 T20 win and the ending of the 15 year test win drought at Headingley, the latter whose memories kept flashing incessantly yesterday while the bit-by-bit was being done by the boys. Sitting in the stands on 24 July 2010, gut-wrenched and mind-numbed, couldn't have been more gripping for me. Watching on telly on 19 March 2011 had startling similarities.
Yesterday was about overcoming Australianism. That too in a fucking World Cup, with some style. It was payback time and it was worth the bloody wait.
Here's to this massive win. And for all those who need to know how passion has a fucking funny way of trumping logic. Feed on this.