Here is a piece written by my daughter Priya after she watched a hockey game for the first time in her life.
It was a proud evening for every Indian! There was a buzz in the atmosphere and our happiness knew no bounds when India beat Pakistan 4-1 in the hockey World Cup.
Well before the match began, many fans carried India flags into the stadium, others got the flag painted on their cheeks. The packed crowd was cheering for India. Everybody chanted “Jeetega bhai jeetega, India hi jeetega!” Everybody was confident that India would win the match!
When the National Anthems of the two countries were played at the start of the match, it was a special moment. As Aakansha pointed out, there is no better feeling than standing in a Stadium full of people and singing the National Anthem along with thousands of fellow Indians and cheering your team to victory. It was truly an experience of a lifetime
What an amazing match it was. It was a treat to watch Indian hockey team and Pakistan hockey team play the match in great spirit. Each time the Indians made a charge for the Pakistan goal, we were all up on our feet and started shouting and when it went into the Indian half, everyone would sit down disappointedly. This happened so often that people actually had a good exercise sitting and standing! I saw people like Olympic silver medal winner Rajyavardhan Rathore and actor Gul Panag do that as well.
The Pakistan team had its share of supporters too but the Indian crowd made such deafening noise that the cheering of the Pakistan fans was drowned by that. More than hockey, I guess this match was seen as an Indo-Pak contest. The national spirit could be felt easily among both Indians and Pakistanis. The police did a wonderful job by controlling the crowd without being dominating.
The Indian team played really well. The man-to-man marking was solid and our players managed to steal the ball from the Pakistani players. Each Indian goal was cheered wildly and every moment of the match was so good. The game was mesmerizing! And I loved Sandeep Singh who scored two goals for India. He seemed so calm when getting ready to score and then his joy would erupt.
As soon as the match was over, everybody cheered for the Indian team that came on a victory lap and then left for the parking lot some distance away. Suddenly a car stopped by the roadside and its driver played a Punjabi song and the crowd danced on the road – celebrating the Indian win! A man took his shirt off and threw it up in the air. Another covered himself with the Indian flag rode his bike.
Some 12 hours later, and before I head to play Holi, I still am feeling the afterglow of a wonderful night out with my family and friends.