(Clarification based on a response: The "cheering against the two teams" was in good spirit as all the people knew each other. It was not due to the animosity but for teasing the opponents! It was not taken srsly by any team)
No doubt it had to be the most nail biting match of World cup 2011, it was also a lifetime experience for me. India v/s Pakistan: it is always thrilling, full of tension, fervor, and enthusiasm.. “Get used to it!” But you just cannot describe the feeling when you are watching the match with a bunch of Pakistanis in the same room.
The match was going to be screened live at central campus. We first headed the library and printed out some “4”s and “6”s placards to show the Pakistanis who would be present in the hall. Everyone was ready to head to central campus and we shared a cab to go there. The venue was already packed. With lots and lots of Indians, the Pakistanis were still seen prominently seen with their green jersey’s and painted flags on their faces. We sneaked inside the room and squeezed onto a table to rest our seats.
The room (which had a capacity of 70) was packed with around 300 people. Noises, cheers, slogans everything was heard except the commentary. Every ball had to be cheered.. either by the blue guys or by the green. We clearly outnumbered the opponents. “Sachiiiiiin sachin..” “jitega bhai jitega.. india jitega.. harega bhai harega Pakistan harega” was shouted on the faces of the Pakistanis but at the same time pin drop silence was seen when Wahab struck Yuvraj and Dhoni bored the audience with his front foot defenses. There was some exchange of uncensored words which ignited the pak ego, but it was nothing more than a blip on the radar!
A blasting inning by Sehwag reminded me the 2003 India-Pak match and watching Shoaib sitting in the pavilion really made me say.. “soch raha hoga.. chalo bach gaya!” The Indian inning was full of enthusiasm and slowly the night outers went for a short nap during the second half. The room was again full during the last few overs and the catch of Misbah sent everyone yelling and cheering loudly. On the other hand the opponents were quietly sneaking out from the room lowering there heads with all sorts of emotions. The celebration followed by “Chakh de”, group photographs and then the presentation ceremony.
It was an awesome experience!!