Reality meets fiction


Is this fiction?

Is this reality?

The self-assured, cocky, nonchalant British army batted first and posted a massive score on day-1 of a match it just couldn’t lose to a team that was barely assembled from a bunch of fit men from the village: a rabble, really.

One of these had only one functioning arm. The British army professionals just had to win. They couldn’t lose to this team. The rabble have a mountain to climb.

Several of them haven’t really played cricket at this level. Many of them are simply asking: “Do I even belong here?”

The incredibly fit and experienced Australian team batted first and posted a massive score on day-1 of a match it just couldn't lose to a team that was barely assembled from a bunch of fit men from the Indian dressing room: a rabble, really. 

One of these had only one functioning arm; an arm that was broken in the previous match. The Australian professionals just had to win. They couldn't lose to this team. The rabble have a mountain to climb.

Several of them haven't really played cricket at this level. Many of them are simply asking: "Do I even belong here?"

The British army professionals are cocky.

They had posted a huge total.

They just had to rock up to win and ensure that their tax regime was safe.

The villagers must win to ensure that they did not have to pay an unfair land tax.

The Australian professionals are cocky.  
They had a huge total to defend. 
They just had to rock up to win and ensure that the trophy was theirs.

The amateurs lose quite a few wickets. Some of them, to a barrage of aggression from the British army professionals. The aggression is needless. There are so many plot twists. Tension mounts. Everyone is on the edge of their seats in the cinema theatre. Leather from the seat is stuck to flesh from the thighs that press into them.

The Indians lose a few wickets. Some of them, to a barrage of aggression from the Australian quicks. One of them mouths "did you see that?" when the Indian batsman had been knocked on the head by a vicious bouncer. The bouncer was fine. It is part of the game. The reaction to it from the burly fast bowler wasn't. Tension mounts. Fans boo as the body barrage mounts. Everyone is on the edge of their seats. Their thighs bear witness as the edge of the seat cuts into flesh leaving a deep gash.

Will the underdogs triumph? There are so many plot-twists. How many more plot twists can weak hearts bear? A sudden song sequence eases the tension. The music is tense and eerie. Everyone in the cinema hall eggs the underdog on. A few in the cinema theatre start praying. How will this end? Will the villagers need to pay tax? Will they even go for an improbable win? Can they even think of dreaming the improbable? Surely, this is not possible! Oh! This unbearable tension.

This match is too interesting. There are so many plot-twists. How many more plot twists can fragile hearts bear?  Will the underdogs triumph? A drinks break intervenes here. A tea-break breaks the tension a bit. Music intersperces the tension at the ground and at homes. The music is tense and eerie. Many at the ground and billions of people in front of TV sets egg the underdogs on. Will the underdogs win? Will the underdogs go home without the trophy? Will they even go for an improbable win? Can they even think of dreaming the improbable? Surely, this is not possible! Oh! This unbearable tension.

Is this reality? Or is this fiction?

Is this fiction? Or is this reality?

The mad and improbable run-chase is steadied by Ismail, who partners with Bhuvan to bring them close to the target.

The run chase is steadied by Pujara who partners with Pant to bring them close to the target.

The English team of army professionals suddenly look worried. It looks like the Indian rabble is actually dreaming of the improbable and is going for a win. Surely not. Oh damn! They are! Desperate times. Desperate measures. And against the run of play, Ismail is run out by the smallest of margins.

The Australians suddenly look worried. It looks like the Indian rabble is actually dreaming of the improbable and is going for a win. Surely not. Oh damn! They are! Desperate times. Desperate measures. And against the run of play, Pujara is out, leg before wicket, by the smallest of margins.

Bhuvan is now faced with single-handedly getting the remaining runs; the other batsmen are weak and could quite easily fall to the highly experienced British army men. This is a huge task. Will Bhuvan be able to do this? Can the pint-sized dynamo even think of this. Oh! The sheer impudence!

Pant is now faced with single-handedly getting the remaining runs; the other batsmen are weak and could quite easily fall to the highly experienced tall Australian men. This is a huge task. Will Pant be able to do this? Can the pint-sized dynamo even think of this. Oh! The sheer impudence!

On the last ball of the match, Bhuvan hits the ball for six runs, winning the match for his team. The tax is evaded now. The villagers just can’t believe it. They rush onto the ground, tears streaming from their eyes. They have achieved an extraordinary, against-all-odds victory. This just should not have happened. It did. It will be difficult to match this. Ever.

Almost as the match was drawing to a close, Pant hits the ball for four runs, winning the match for his team. The Border Gavaskar trophy is India's now. The Indian team just can't believe it. They rush onto the ground, tears streaming from their eyes. They have achieved an extraordinary, against-all-odds victory. This just should not have happened. It did. It will be difficult to match this. Ever.


The match was played during a severe, prolonged and unprecedented draught. Questions were asked if a cricket match made sense during a draught. Did it? Could the villagers have the mental fortitude to handle the draught, the mal-nourishment that it would inevitably casue and still win the match? Fittingly, just as the match finished, and just as the tax burden was lifted, rain clouds soon gather. The ground (and land) is drenched with the rains. In unprecedented times, an unprecedented result. A double blessing.

The match was played during a severe, prolonged and unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Questions were asked if a cricket match made sense during a pandemic. Did it? Did the Indians have the mental fortitude to handle the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the several injuries that it brought with it and still win the match? 

Fittingly, just as the match finished, the ground is drenched in rain; it had arrived a bit too late for the Australians. And just as the Border-Gavaskar trophy was lifted, the Indian team was back on top of the Test Championship ladder. In unprecedented times, an unprecedented result. A double blessing.

A fortress had been breached.

The Indian King of the land is overjoyed and cannot hide the pride he feels for this rabble of a team. The villagers’ hearts swell with nothing but pride. This victory is trumpeted far and wide. The improbable had been achieved.

A fortress had been breached.

The Indian Prime Minister, Modi is overjoyed and cannot hide the pride he feels for this courageous team. The hearts of Indians everywhere swell with nothing but pride. This victory is written about by many and many more will follow (see, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The improbable had been achieved.

This was fiction: Lagaan, The Movie.

Fiction mirrored reality…

Reality mimicked fiction…

–Mohan

2 responses to “Reality meets fiction

  1. Ashok Dinda Politics: Former Indian cricketer Ashok Dinda has joined Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in Kolkata. He was formally inducted into the party in presence of the Union Minister Babul Supriyo and state BJP vice president Arjun Singh.Read full article visit here: Former Indian cricketer Ashok Dinda joins BJP

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