Due to the daily mayhem and the killings that have been going on in the country by the suicide bombers, I had practically stopped reading the newspapers and had even given up watching the idiot box. Heart wrenching images and nerve wrecking news of bombs ticking off every now and then, Internally Displaced People (IDP) pouring into lowlands and violent protests against the blackouts throughout the country had dominated the idiot box for such a long time that it was almost impossible to imagine that TV was ever used for entertainment purposes.
But lately I realized that there was life beyond these suicidal episodes whereby the T20 cricket series was in its full swing. Although the first match was a non- starter when the home team lost the first game to Sri Lanka and suddenly became the underdogs but soon things took a dramatic turn when Pakistan won the next two games and was back with a bang.
Lo & behold, on the night of June 20th, 2009; Pakistan was on top of the world when they took Sri Lanka again head on in the final match of the ICC Twenty 20 World Cup at the Lord’s ground in UK. The entire country seemed to have stayed home, glued to their TV sets and at a time when gathering at public places is considered to be a serious NO-NO, large TV screens were put up in practically all the major cities of Pakistan and men, women, young and old thronged the streets in the sweltering heat of summer; counting each ball, watching each run and praying to God that their side should win.
And yes, the boys in Green created history in winning by 8 wickets or so. The jubilation could be heard from Sacramento to New York. Across the Atlantic from London to Mongolia and beyond while here in the Middle East to the western part of Japan, we could feel the jolt of life. The hiccup seemed to be more powerful than the 7.6 temblor we had at 8:50 a.m. on a sleepy Saturday morning of 8th October 2005.
The last time I remember, we became victors of the game in 1992 when Captain Imran Khan could be heard sharing ‘Kick Ass’ pleasantries with his junior team mates and marched his victorious team into the annals of history. We had seriously been deprived of any winning streak for the last 17 years and the vitality that had all but disappeared from our miserably shaken lives suddenly came back to full circle and we as a nation were throbbing again.
It was although ironic that Pakistan was playing Sri Lank in the final, a team which was brutally fired upon by our home grown terrorists in the spring of March 2009 and that the poor Sri Lankan team was showered by bullets instead of garlands while they travelled by bus through Lahore and were subsequently airlifted out of the country. We are indeed ashamed as to what happened in Lahore but it was not of our making.
But one thing is for sure that we are back in the game and we have proved to the world that ‘Yes we can’ and after taking the T20 world cup we now intend to take the Terrorists; head on. Initially it was the government, then the army and now the local population has decided that we have had enough of this menace and the entire populace is behind this one.
As for our next door neighbors, the mighty Indians are concerned, ‘Watch & weep’ is what we have to say; so much for writing Pakistan tigers off from the IPL series and international cricket for that matter. Sweet revenge! And in a lighter vein, not be taken seriously at all; I would end with a picture.