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This happened.

by Gaurav Sethi

This happened. You were alive. And even if you were dead inside, you came alive again. You will not be able to make sense of how it happened, don’t try to. But it happened. Please say it with me again – This happened. Today cannot take away what happened yesterday. It happened. 

What today, yesterday, day before, the days before that, the weeks before, a month before, nothing could stop it. It fucking happened. 

This was life affirming for many Indians. It was for me. It was for you too, if you’re still reading. 

You may have a new favourite Indian cricketer after this series – someone whose game speaks to you. He may even be Prithvi Shaw. You may be the only guy who believes in him. That would be cool. Because if you believe in Shaw, you believe in the impossible, you believe in this team. 

You believe that in spite of everything, he will make a comeback. Wasn’t that what this win was about – a comeback? 

Believing in Pant and Pujara and Gill is a convenience today. But it is not believing in the ridiculous that this team is about. 

Believe in Kuleep Yadav who did not get a game but was part of the squad. That will be something. 

Believing in a player when he is down, when his game is down, when he isn’t picked, is believing in the team. 

Somewhere that sneaked into this bunch, didn’t it? 

That even though, they weren’t first choice, they weren’t an afterthought either. Each guy knew that. 

This was desi rap, this was Apna time ayega, and when it ayega, I will hold on to it so tight, that it doesn’t jayega anywhere. 

This is that dude’s show whose soundtrack on autopilot is I’m too sexy for your Gabba, kahan lega

This is Rishabh Pant’s score. Rishabh Pant happened. He was meant to, because all that could have stopped him from happening did not. Catches went down, the stumping went down. The Aussie captain went down. He played one down the ground, Australia went down. 

It did not happen that fast. Before that Cheteshwar Pujara happened. Match after match, he happened with Pant. Unlikely as it was, it did. There was an invisible glue that forged a bond between the two, again and again – it was Dravid-Sehwag all over again. It was no mercy, it was Dylan, it was every word about the cricket that sounded like an off-beat folk song. But it endured all these days, and it might just have won the cricket Noble. 

“But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open

Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone” 

The sky did not open. Pujara was unbroken. Long after he appeared broken. He fell. He was not felled. He was almost morbid in his coming together and being whole and taking strike again. 

It happened.

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