Thursday, March 31, 2011

INDIA beats PAKISTAN in the World Cup and goes to the finals ! BigB in Blog

Jalsa , Mumbai         Mar  30, 2011    Wed 11 : 50 PM

INDIA beats PAKISTAN in the World Cup and goes to the finals ! What a day and what a culmination of events ! At last India breathes normally ! I shoot through the entire game for 'BBUDDAH' and yelps and screams of delight as each Pakistani wicket falls greets us at regular intervals, along with a burst of firecrackers ! The streets were empty throughout the day. Not a soul on the road. And now as the game ends in our favor it is madness outside. Cheering and screaming fans on mobikes, cars whatever mode of travel, the Indian tricolor waving in their excited hands, horns blowing - the entire city has come alive !! What an atmosphere ! Hadn't seen this in a long time !! Family friends companions huddled together in front of Tv screens, anxious, expectant immovable for the past 8 hours !! And as the last catch was taken in the deep and victory announced - madness prevailed. People hugging each other and jumping with excitement ! It has meant a lot for India to win tonights game against Pakistan, our arch rivals ! But it was a keenly fought match. Great game of cricket, unbelievable atmosphere. Hotels made special arrangements for all their guests, restaurants and bars, wayside cafes, street shops, every possible window for public viewing, opened and filled with eager Indians. Its not a game anymore in this part of the subcontinent. Its a religion. And now for the finals ! In Mumbai ! And all hell shall break loose !!

Well played India. Each player contributed tonight in its final victory. And well played Pakistan for a closely fought competition. This was the big one ! For most Indians and I am sure for our neighbors too, this was in many respects the Final. It always is when our two countries play. Congratulations then to Dhoni's team and wishing you the very best for the 2nd of April at Wankhede Stadium.

The madness outside gets wilder and wilder. It is nearing 1 am, but the city is out on the streets. Incredible !!

What is it about sport and country that makes it such a personal matter. I think its the physicality of the routine that brings out the reverence in us. A victory almost symbolizes a physical supremacy over the other. Physical supremacy has been within the human race, indeed in all living beings, a desired achievement. Strength of muscle or team or army or party has lived from centuries. One group defeating the other, one individual demolishing his or her opponent, one country winning a lead over the other, has been a timeless phenomenon. And whenever I think of this I am taken back to that most brilliant shot and its extraordinary edit, in the film '2001 Space Odyssey', when early man discovers the first weapon - a bone - and smashes it across the head of a rival specie, killing him and then in his moment of enthusiastic exuberance throws the 'weapon' up in the air. A slow motion shot catches the bone flying in the air and Stanley Kubrick , that genius director, cuts the shot to an edit of a space ship in motion moving gently and in sync almost with the slow motion of the previous shot to the strains of one of the most magnificent pieces of music written - the Blue Danube !! The edit has been regarded as the most brilliant in cinema history.

When I first saw the film at the Rivoli Cinema in Connaught Place in New Delhi, that cute corner theatre with the smell of freshly grounded coffee filling up the atmosphere as you entered the foyer, I was dumb struck ! I just could not understand the film. The next day I went to the cinema again and discovered that there were small pamphlets that were being distributed to all the ticket holders. I picked one up and read and re read it to comprehend what the film actually meant. Made during the late 50's or early 60's it is a marvel of the conception and vision of Stanley Kubrick. For, we are fortunate to be alive to witness the 2001 era and realize that what he had conceived almost 50 years ahead of time, was now a part that we are familiar with without any semblance of surprise. Satellites, space ships and vehicles that live in space and return back are no longer unfamiliar objects or concepts. But the film is much much beyond just that. It is an exercise in the process of the evolution of man and the concept in the end when Hal the computer takes over the lives of the astronaut, that eventually man shall be overtaken by the objects of its own inventions. That and the mystery of that perfectly chiseled granite piece that keeps appearing in the various different planets showed the symbolic presence of a force that shall always remain unexplained. There was not a single shot in the entire film of any greenery or normal life on earth. Not a single tree or street or modern modes of transport were visible. It was either those early shots of the earth as it was discovered with its inhabitants, wild in nature, ape like … and thereafter space !! One of the finest films ever made, unarguably !!

The shouts and screams of wild inhabitants in this city of Mumbai now brings me down to earth. They are still intoxicated by India's victory and I am intoxicated with the gentle genius of this great film ..

Good night dear all … with my love …

Amitabh Bachchan


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