The big, fat Indian welcome
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"Madam, line mein lag jao, bari nahi aayegi aapki." (Madam, get in line, or your turn won't come). Queue-wisdom was as easily on offer as the dust the frantic sweeping was raking up.
Success never leaves you alone, and nobody remotely involved in the business of cricket wanted to be left behind today. So the street to the Ferozeshah Kotla was lined up, with banners and congratulatory messages, the Indian team smiling out from the Brisbane champagne freeze-frame.
Real frenzy, though, was being whipped up across the familiar Kotla boundary wall. Every passing minute, more and more of the yellow and green chairs disappeared as the multitudes filled in, impatient eyes and fickle adoration in tow.
Saffron, white and green was in abundance, of course, it was Republic Day all over again with its bouncing balloons and flowing flags and the easy talk of national pride. The big screen tried to flicker into identifiable images, last-minute tweaks still awaited, but available in plenty was an ear-piercing collection of the best patriotic songs, intermingled of course, with the super-hit ditties. It was a party all right, and then the emcee joined in.
Considering the off-field punches this series saw, it was okay in a way that the show-manager at the felicitation was a guy who commentates on wrestling bouts on television. The exhortations were inspiring alright, even if the directions given out in English and their implementation had an obvious time-lag.
Anyway, he talked of the players we love and the team we worship, and thrown in off-handedly with the national team's success were references to look ahead to the IPL's Delhi Daredevils. So there, that was the BCCI making use of its best marketing strategy. World champions-conquering, slegding-originators-snubbing Team India has got its timing just right.
But it was the new national sporting anthem that really got the adrenaline pumping. Chak de blared out and as the wait got longer, gathering TV cameras were gifted with screams and tricolour waves.
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