It does in mine.
Growing up in a household that watched cricket, badminton, and football religiously, I’ve had my share of memories of agonizing loses with just one ball remaining to even unbelievable goals in the last minute of the added minutes in a game.
Apart from the emotional tribal experience that supporting a national team/player brings you by reminding you that you belong somewhere, sports taught me so much more in my life.
Everybody in the family gathers around the television and somehow nobody has a problem with who has the remote.
You watch as hundreds of people cheer for your team in the stadium even as they play in the opposite team’s home country.
It all starts well.
Maybe a goal, or a six for your team, or even three straight points to get you closer to your 21.
But things change course.
They change quick.
But nobody loses hope yet.
They still have a chance.
You can still do it.
And just when you thought things can get better, they get worse.
A wicket. A goal for them. You lose a set.
They didn’t lose that, you did.
You lost a set, goal, wicket to them.
It becomes personal.
The tantrums begin.
Aimed at your own team.
The same people who made the schedule weeks ago and bought popcorn for everybody are walking out.
I sit there. I sit there as a child and watch the adults insult the people playing for our country as if they were culprits for not playing any better.
The aura turns grey, in spite of all the colors they walked in with is still painted on their faces.
What’s wrong though, I remember wondering every time that happened.
We’ve still got another set to go. One whole over left. That’s six balls. And anything can change in the added minutes of a match too.
It takes literally 10 seconds for a player to score a goal from a missed pass from the opposite team. Getting 36 runs from 6 balls is still possible. And who said you can’t win the set if you’re 20 points behind. You can still get a point one at a time, consecutively till you get a 22.
Who said you can’t?
Everybody’s anyway playing only one point, one run, one goal at a time, no matter how long the match is, aren’t they?
Most of the time, all this wishful thinking ends up becoming just another delusional dream I had for them.
Almost all the time, to be honest.
But not all the time.
Sometimes, even as my dad loses hope and rants about how great the other team is, they get a free kick out of nowhere and it happens.
A goal at the 95th minute.
Six continuous sixes in the last over.
I’ve never seen a continuous streak of 22 points till date in badminton, but I’m sure somebody will do it someday.
And I exhale as I wonder if I had just witnessed that.
And what’s that?
I guess that’s how I’ve grown to have faith even as everybody who told me they’ll be there forever on my side gets up and leaves.
You’ll never know when a miracle is coming your way. You can’t stop running now. You can’t stop believing now. Maybe it takes a little delusional thinking to have the things nobody thought you’ll ever have. Maybe it takes a little losing hope and getting it back to know how much it meant to you all along.
And somehow I learnt all that from sneaking into the living room to watch matches I wasn’t allowed to because of the exams that always came on the day right after an important match. Always.
Me trying to be interactive –
Tell me all about the day you witnessed a miracle during a match. Could be any sport. Spread the hope by sharing your side of the story.