As if in old times
Ranjita Biswas | @twfindia | 21 Jul 2021
As if in old times
In the past month or so people had the bonanza of watching riveting sports events on the TV screen, the Copa America final with Messi at last wearing his first international crown, fast-paced Euro Cup 2021, and of course, the Wimbledon- what is English summer without the strawberry and ice cream ritual anyway? When all these were over, as it inevitably have to in the course of time, people started suffering from a kind of withdrawal symptom, I read somewhere. As if a great wedding- planned and looked forward to for weeks, was now over. The bridal couple have left for their honeymoon, the guests have departed, and it’s only the marquees, dried flowers and garlands left to remind of the joy and abandon that the celebration created for all.

I can well relate to the feeling of desolation that might have set in for many after the euphoric period. It was not only the pleasure of watching ‘the beautiful game’ at its best, or Djokovic’s  magic  creating waves on the green Centre Court, it was something more. It was being able to watch people once again at the stadium, cheering, fans waving their country’s  flags and logo-encrusted shirts and soak in  the whole atmosphere.


After being cooped up these one and half years, being  afraid to touch any unsanitized surface or to step out, washing hands repeatedly and breathing laboriously through the shield of masks  that the pandemic has foisted on us, it was kind of relief to witness  something with a modicum of normalcy happening elsewhere.   Not that  the virus’s grip has disappeared but at least there was a respite, a bit of loosening up, to  be able to enjoy things we had taken for granted earlier.


Things like going to movie halls without a care, visiting friends at the drop of a hat, birthday bashes continuing late into the night- doesn’t it seem as if it was a life we lived long ago?  True, some sections of our citizenry try to indulge themselves by throwing caution to the wind but for the vast cautious majority it’s still an elusive dream as of now. 


That’s why these sports events running back to back on the TV channels kept people riveted, even those who couldn’t differentiate between an off-side goal or an onside one, or that ‘love’ means zero point in tennis.  For, the pleasure was in sharing. The hoots of cheers when  a goal was scored or, slumping down  in despair when a penalty shootout was missed- depending on the team, the drum beats, the colourful hats, the continuous chanting of songs by fans. Frankly, a kind of longing took over too, for a life people were enjoying again and wondering, when…?


It’s not selfishness, this thinking only of one’s own when others are suffering. Humans are social animals.  Now after months and months of being confined in, watching endless shows on the TV speculating- investigating, about where the virus could have originated , the counting of numbers of the dead, coping with the loss of known and loved ones, endless advice on what works, which medicine is the best, the mind is bound to be weary and looks for a respite.


It needed some air to breathe- without the mask, and some distraction and off we went , participating with fellow human beings , cheering, despairing even- what if it was  second hand? Even doctors advise taking mind off the looming darkness that Covid 19 has spread over the world and avoid a psychological meltdown. Even though saluting human resilience, you can take that much.


Anyway, the Olympics are round the corner, never mind if the timing is ill-advised or not , but we can at least cheer our own athletes while  praying that the sly spiked fellow does not sneak in.