I had gone to see the first IPL semi-final between Mumbai Indians. A day before the final I was told that my tickets were booked, all heads that were suppose to be heading towards DY Patil Stadium Vashi got together and all deliberations about how where what and why were done. The storm of excitement started to brew and it was all a huge wave of excitement and unaccountable hysteria that was practically the order of the day.
It was a guys day out, among many phones calls and utter confusion till the last moment add to the fun. The journey was from uptown Mumbai to DY Patil Stadium,Nerul. A set of two distant points on the local map. The hot wheels rolled and seven guys in two cars along with a bike and one more car headed towards DY Patil. I wondered if everyone along the way was headed to DY Patil Stadium. Since it was afternoon the drive was smooth and fast except for minor hiccups of an odd left or right turn. The afternoon heat got on to us. Oh! yes guys in cars have to have loud music played,a few songs were hummed and others were sung in the loudest glory possible. After almost two hours we had just the tip of the iceberg as parking slots were filling rapidly with every breath one drew. Then there was more swearing because you couldn’t take the cellphones. The great Indian juggad was the answer,the guy who got us tickets had already reached earlier and there was a minor panic attack as we didn’t have tickets and we were at the wrong gate. After many deliberations exact point of meeting (latitude and longitude) was decided after 15 minutes of convincing and sweetest swearing were exchanged on borrowed cellphones from cops, shopkeepers whoever.
The moment when we entered the stadium a sense of relief and achievement filled all of us. A few hi fives and pulling each other leg expressed the intense longing everyone had. The tickets were re-sorted and it was first come first served kinda arrangement. After changing bases for couple of times the seats were occupied and the party was just about to start.
We could see a few players warming up, bowling, just gearing up for the game. It was amazing that even Sachin’s practice shot were exclaimed with the loudest cheer. All of us were busy spotting players from the second tier. I did spot quiet a few from both the teams, among al the DJ thing, cacophony, jeering and whole ruckus it was announced Mumbai Indians were to bat first.
Sachin hit couple of boundaries and got out early, we though what a bumer, couple of more wickets and then after that every boundary was cheered and every six called for DJ to add to the heart beats. The coverage within the stadium ensured that everyone knew what was happening, the bowlers batsmen on strike, fours and sixes and in between whenever there was a break or something there was an attempt to set the Mexican wave going but there was hardly a ripple. DJ kept mixing songs, I had never ever heard Summer of 69, Byran Adams being played in a louder tone.
The last five overs u couldn’t keep a track of runs scored. Pollard is a colossus. I mean he looks huge even from 100 meters away. He has amazing reflexes and runs like a man possessed. It was great fun seeing Tiwary bat as well. We were discussing a score of like 150 odd for MI but Polard just changed the scoring rate and ensure RCB had a tough total to fetch.
RCB challenge was void of any partnerships,come of the flicks and cut and drives from Rahul Dravid was stamped with class all over. Uthappa blasted 18 runs of Bhajji over. But besides that it was all Mumbai Indians. Malinga was cheered and he would be surprised if he gets the same cheer anywhere he plays.
The drive after midnite was greeted with empty roads something people of this city can’t imagine in the day. It was fast again and somewhere in Andheri,bhurji,pav bhajji and pulav was the order for a buffet style dinner. It took me almost 12 hours to get back home. A late night early morning shower was the last the last thing I remember of that hysteric day.