I don't think I am going to get any work done the next three weeks.
I have been sleeping at 6- 7 in the morning, missing morning lectures and reading the reaction of the press the first thing whenever I get up. Even a New York autumn cannot appease this quirk of mine, and get me moving around.
It's the cricket, stupid.
India won the last Test in Mohali the other day. Some have rushed to call it the tipping point, equivalent to the napoleonic Waterloo of the great Australian side of the late 90's and most of this decade.
Obviously still being haunted by that Ricky Ponting century in the 2003 Jo' Burg Word Cup final or Damien Martyn taking the test to a draw in Chennai in 2004/05 and the series with it, I would hesitate to give my verdict till the Tests at New Delhi and Nagpur happen. And ask the English about the wounded Aussie. That 5- 0 drubbing in Australia must still rankle hard.
But it's difficult to be in New York. Nobody just gets it here. My Los Angeles roommate struggles to understand how I can follow sport without live broadcast, but still sit through the entire night staring at the computer screen, the cursor always on the refresh button.
And worse, I am addicted to this over- by- over coverage. Reality can be sometimes ugly, but the written word is open for manipulation. Because unlike live broadcast nothing is shown to you, in your mind the ugly gets edited, and the beautiful reinforced. Sachin Tendulkar can be forever 24. And even though Harbhajan might have got someone bowled someone out with an uncharacteristically flat one, you can imagine his fingers ripping through a nice loopy delivery drifting in through the gate beating the batsman in his drive. For example:
21:13: The pitch is like a minefield at the moment. Well, the Indian bowlers are making it look like one. Mishra and Singh turning the ball prodigiously.
(My mind lets the imagination loose. A fourth day subcontinent track, complete with puffing dust and widening cracks. Harbhajan landing them right outside the off with a rookie Haddin. Vicious turn, ooh's and aah's from Dravid in the slip cordon..)
21:15: FOUR. At last, Haddin finds the middle of the bat and his cover drive finds the boundary. It's 5-81 at drinks.
(Fuck Harbhajan. Must have let one slip too straight and flat for his own damn good)
If staying up all night ain't enough, getting up the next afternoon only to find myself browsing through the morning press world over for the reaction to the days play can literally be a bit much. But why does it have to be the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and Hindustan Times telling me the same thing. Maybe a li'l much, but Cricket allows you that.
No, Cricket needs that. And I ain't even starting on Cricinfo.
One day we will grow up and be able to afford the Cricket beamed live to our TV sets in Manhattan, or wherever we might be. But nothing like to sit in a lecture when the Professor is talking about the Battle of Stalingrad for the sixth lecture in a row and the rest of your generation relegated to something as mundane as Facebook, knowing that you are far away, in fields afar, in that little world that is forever going to be yours.
If you make it to the lecture though.