Thursday, August 31, 2017

The gold standard

So something super-duper-awesome happened over the last two weeks.

Viv was selected to be part of the Singapore national cricket team to play in the SouthEast Asian games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was the first time cricket was included in the SEA Games, and they had a 50-over and a T20 series. The countries playing also included Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, but Singapore's arch nemesis was mighty Malaysia.

I didn't go to Kuala Lumpur for the matches as it would have been impossible for Xena to sit still and watch all the matches in the heat. Luckily, the Malaysian Cricket Association livestreamed all the matches, so we watched it on the computer. Xena, who is still TV-free, was very excited to have the opportunity to watch her daddy play. (I'll do a separate post on her hilarious remarks and commentary.) Because he's the wicket-keeper, we had a clear view of him the entire time Singapore was fielding. He did well, getting four stumpings and a catch overall (plus a stumping that wasn't given out, and I'm still half-sore over that.)

Both countries reached the finals of the 50-over series which was played first, but Malaysia edged us out for gold. It was nice to get the silver, but we were all slightly disappointed because aakhir gold toh gold howe hai... nahin? Now all our hopes were pinned on getting the gold in the T20 series. (Bollywood drama queen that I am, I asked Viv to please listen to SRK's 'Sattar minute' speech for inspiration before the match, and the poor guy actually complied. What a keeper -- wicket- and otherwise.)

And what a nail-biting final it was. My heart was literally in my mouth. The match literally ended at the second last ball, and... Singapore got GOLD! I have been screaming non-stop since, and on some level, I think I'm still screaming on the inside. This was Singapore's first ever cricket gold in an international competition, and hence, a very very very big deal. Like Aamir Khan said in Dangal, "Agar silver jeete toh aaj nahi toh kal log tanne bhool javenge ... gold jeete toh misaal ban javenge ... aur misaalein di jaati hai, bhooli nahi jaati."

(And why did I never mention a thing on the blog all this while? Because I'm a person of science and people of science do not believe in jinxing themselves. Erm, except when their spouse is playing for the country. Hehe!)

So now that it's all over, and has ended on a high note, and Viv is home with two gigantic medals, I can finally get my original heart rate back and blog about everything. He just got home yesterday and what a reception the team got at the airport! (I plucked Xena off school early so she could go to the airport with me and shake hands with everyone in our golden team.)

Our immediate and extended families have, of course, gone completely bonkers. My aunts (who I've always suspected like Viv more than they like me) are making statements like "Arre we don't care if he got a gold or a silver. He's always been a diamond to us." Wah wah.

We have, of course, been celebrating nonstop. Within hours of his landing, our neighbours had thrown him a welcome party. That was a real surprise. People he had never met before came down with their kids to shake his hand and take photos with him and hold and wear and admire the medals. A lady whose son is a big cricket fan came to drop off a bottle of wine. It was fabulous. Viv generally likes to remain low-key, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him in the spotlight, being treated like a celebrity. (I swear I felt like Gauri Khan at one point.)

Viv's hard work and dedication aside, it's not been easy for Xena and me either. He already travels a fair bit for work, and to have him away so much for cricket training or matches means that I can never truly get away from holding down the job, the kid and the household. Our family time has definitely been compromised a lot, simply because of the immense amounts of time the game of cricket takes. Unlike football or badminton or tennis, each cricket match already takes the whole day, and add to that, all the training sessions. Most of his weekends basically went into cricket, while Xena and I made our own separate plans. It was difficult but then you can't make an omelette without breaking a couple of eggs, can you?

I know Viv feels the guilt of missing out on Xena's childhood too. Two years ago, he was seriously contemplating retiring, but in spite of my selfish interests, I had to disagree. Here's the thing. How many of us in our 30s pursue a hobby so passionately that we are willing to put in that kind of crazy hours? How many of us have hobbies that automatically keep us fit? And I'm so glad that he continued playing at the club level all these years. If he had been out of touch, there is no way he would have been selected to represent Singapore at the SEA games.

Here are some more photos from the SEA Games cricket matches, which feature Viv.


ferret said...

This is amazing!! Congratulations to Viv and team!!! hamein to hamesha se pata tha, ladka heera hai, heera!!😀😀

Arun said...

Totally awesome! Congratulations!

Prathima said...

Itihaas ke panno mein, Dravid aur Dhoni ke baad Viv ka hi naam aayega :-D

Hearty congratulations to the hard-worker and his proud family!

DeeJ said...

Congratulations to viv and his team :) hard to find a gal who encourages her hubby's passion!

Argentyne said...

Wow, congratulations! You guys are amazing :) Also, I really enjoyed the very PUNny post :)

mad hatter said...

Oh god, you guys are awesome! Many congratulations to your husband and to all of you. May you have many of these moments in your lives. Lol at the Gauri Khan reference.

Stone said...

That is soooo awesome..
Congratulations guys!!!

And tracked him here too -


Esha - People for the Blind said...

You are one rockstar family onleee! Go Viv!

Charan Deep Singh said...

You guys are celebrities. Featuring in a video first and then this. Amazing.

I moved to Chennai recently. I think you guys have a connect here.

Here is a post on my move.

Moving and Packing

Horizon said...

This is super awesome :)Many congrats to the team and all of you

Sayesha said...

Thank you! :D

Thanks! :D

LOL! Thanks. :)

Thank you. :D

Thanks! :D

mad hatter,
Thanks! :)

Thanks! :)

Thank you! :)

Thanks! :)
PS: Viv was born in Chennai. All the best with the new start!

Thank you! :)

Tejal said...

Oh my God! These are exactly the kind of events for which i wanted my 'I heart Viv' Tshirts printed remember? Once a fan, always a fan :) This is so so cool !
Congratulations Viv!!! :) :) :)