I have mentioned it more than once that watching sports is a waste of time, I call it the couch potato sport and whatnot. But that's not because I don't know the fun in watching sports, but simply because it's not my cup of tea and I love to piss people off! You'd be surprised how many people you can push off the edge in a day just by saying, "Football is a waste of time!"
But if EVER there is an exception to my sports-watching aversion, it's the cricket World Cup. Growing up in India, I could hardly get away from watching cricket. But even then it was to a minimum degree. Then once I learnt to withstand and ignore the peer pressure I stopped doing that altogether.
There was only one thing that still made me watch it some time. And that was my dad's devotion to the game. I mean I could not really ignore it if he's watching it on the TV and the TV happens to be in my room? Also, I realized that it was fun talking to him during the game, just discussing the game in general or that match in particular.
And that's whole fun of the game.
This time also I had no plans to watch cricket but when India was playing Pakistan in the semi-final I got suckered into writing that Baba and Dhoni post making kind of a prediction about the match. Then of course, I was interested to know the outcome of the match. I didn't watch it but when even strangers are telling me, "India beat Pakistan today, you know?" then it's hard not to be a little proud.
Today I was home and didn't have a busy weekend planned as the last few weekends so I could have watched the final but forgot about it. Until, that is, my friend reminded by emailing me that she was watching it.
So, I decided to take a look myself. Sri Lanka was playing the last 5 overs and the game was very fast-paced so I stuck around. I had my laptop with me to email my friend and then my nephew came online on chat and of course, he also was watching the game in India.
When India lost second wicket of Sachin at 32 runs only, I didn't feel like watching again. That's the beauty of not following sports regularly, you can walk away when things don't go right. But then I called my parents and even though they are in the village where there's no TV, my dad was following it on the radio.
Then I called my best friend Fazil in India, and he was also watching the game and it seemed that there was still hope for India. So I got sucked in again and continued watching even after I hung up with Fazil.
The real fun of the game other than Dhoni's brilliant innings was the pleasure of communicating with my friend and my nephew in real time, discussing the game via the internet. It felt like I was watching the game with them, like a virtual meet. And believe me, it's more fun than you can imagine. Without them I don't think I'd have watched it properly. And I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much.
Moral of the story is, that watching sports is not for sports but for the people. If you are sprawled on the couch all day, drinking beer and watching your team get pummelled while your wife or girlfriend gets horribly bored and angry with your ignoring her, sports can be evil. If you watch it with your other half, sports can be an indoors date helping you come closer and share a passion. Choose wisely!