NEW YORK – I watched the 2003 World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Centurion, in March, 2003, on TV, at a small Bangladeshi restaurant in ‘Little India’ on Lexington Avenue, in Manhattan. My wife was with me. There were some 50 other people in the room – Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis. We drank tea, ate platefuls of kababs and samosas, cheered vociferously. There was plenty of cheering, mostly by Indian supporters, mixed with good humored banter from the young crowd there, as the night wore on. The Pakistani supporters turned glum. The Bangladeshis, who were supporting Pakistan, became even a bit agitated, some swore in Bangla. We laughed louder.
When we finally walked out around 6 a.m. in the morning, a smile on our faces, throats hoarse, savoring, reveling in the moment, India had beaten Pakistan comfortably. The only anguish was that Sachin Tendulkar didn’t get to his century, having got out at 98.
Fast forward to last Sunday: the India-Pakistan Champions Trophy match at Edgbaston, in Birmingham. Despite a late night shindig, I managed to dutifully get up early morning to watch the match at home, in Connecticut. I was, of course, among half a billion people around the globe who watched the match. My wife and kids were asleep. Several hours later, the result was the same as 14 years ago. India beat Pakistan comfortably.
Elation was there; but mixed with it, was also a feeling of irreparable loss. Déjà vu, like what I had felt about Pakistan in the recent past. I felt, again, deeply disappointed; at their abysmal performance. I wanted to shake Pakistani players by their collars, shout, ‘what happened to you, you wimps. Can’t you even put up a good fight anymore.’
I felt like taking a flight to Pakistan, join all the other crazed Pakistani fans howling misery in their streets, curse at the men in green who gave such a pathetic performance. What a shame! I want to scream at them. You losers have taken away one of the great joys of my life, reduced the quality of my life! I feel I’ll probably never ever see again a tense thriller of a match between India and Pakistan, again. All because you, stupid Pakistan, can’t even produce a half-decent cricketer since Shahid Afridi disappeared in the night.
It’s not just cricket, though.
Pakistan has played and performed poorly in every other arena, as far as India is concerned. The more they try to wrest the initiative from India, be it a cricket field, diplomatic front, or skirmishes on the battlefield, they have lost. Huge, as Trump would say.
Pakistan has come off worse at every turn and twist of their nefarious plans, become an embarrassment globally. They are a deep disappointment to not just to India and Indians around the world, but to all Pakistanis around the world. At least, those with a half brain in their head.
There is no more finesse or class to Pakistan. They are just a crass, morose looking outfit on the cricket field, louts on the diplomatic front, cowards in the battlefield. They take solace in subterfuge, in guerilla attacks on Indian soldiers, torture innocent Indian civilians – perhaps their greatest joy in getting back to India. Create havoc in Kashmir.
God knows what all they must have done to that poor Indian national, Kulbhushan Jadhav, by now. What third degree measures must have been used on him, in their custody. Sure, everybody knows Pakistan is a third world country, synonymous with terror and terrorism. If there’s any country that President Donald Trump missed out in his travel ban plans, it’s Pakistan. They deserve it, more than any other country on Earth. While India was busy preparing for the Champions Trophy, Pakistan was plotting to execute Jadhav.
It’s a bit of a puzzle too, as to why India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi should greet that slime ball of a leader, Nawaz Sharif, at the SCO Summit, in China. When India is bombarded almost daily on its borders and within Kashmir by Pakistani terrorists – in uniform and in plain clothes – why should India show any civility to that hate mongerer?
Perhaps, Modi felt pity for Pakistan too, after their disgraceful show on the cricket field in England.
It’s time India made decisive moves on the borders with Pakistan, just like in the cricket arena. Stamp out terrorism by attacking their hideouts in Pakistan. The world has only scorn for Pakistan. Rest assured, all Pakistanis within Pakistan and elsewhere will blame Pakistan only. Not India.
(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: email@example.com Follow him on twitter @SujeetRajan1)