We then cheered our hosts, the world cup hosts India and bled blue (the Nike advert). I now know, not only more about cricket but also the lives and personas of the Indian team. The God of cricket, the elder statesman, the magic Sachin Tendulkar - would he make his 100th 100!, Mr Cool- captain Dhoni -ex-ticket collector struggling to find form until the final, the fiery spinner turbaned Harbhujan Singh, brilliant but wild opening batsman - Sehwag etc.etc. The ups and downs of the Indian team have been on the front pages, the back page and every page in between of our daily newspaper. Their faces are on billboards for any conceivable and inconceivable reason.
The semi against Pakistan was wild for personal and political reasons, which resonate deep in every Indian's soul. As the later wickets fell, fire-crackers were working up to a frenzy. Even in the relative civilized street of Vista -cars were driving up and down pushing their horns.
But the final. The streets were quiet, shops were shut, groups of people were outside anywhere a TV could be seen glued, others waving flags from cars and motorbikes, wearing blue, the gold, green and white of the Indian flags on their faces. Suspense was building. We were in a bar/restaurant with friends and a huge screen. It was a great match with all the twists and turns, changes in momentum, drama you can imagine. India finally won with a huge 6 from their captain and the country erupted! This is Indian at its best - crazy, wild and unfettered exuberance, emotional chaos and national pride in the boyz in blue!
Driving home was an experience, impromptu parties in the streets, firecrackers, flags, cars, ricks, bikes stopping - people hugging each other, cheering, banging on our car windows in sheer joy of the moment!
But boyz in blue there is competition waiting in the wings...........
Not only can he bowl - but fielding when he's in the crease is quite a work out!