June 25, Two Memories

June 25, 1977, a child's first impressions

As a spunky and politically aware pre-teener, when i heard from my grandfather that emergency had been imposed in the entire country, it jolted me no end. I was a child raised on the heroic tales of the 'Iron Lady'. Now the same iron lady had exercised her iron will to snatch away the freedom of 'free citizens of a free country' and put iron shakles around their lives. . My newly awakened mind rebelled against the thought and i would often engage my grandpa in a debate about its ramifications. 
One night, as we all gathered for our daily session of family +news watching+dinner+discussion time, the neighbors-hardcore congressis-also joined us for their share of common TV time. The newsreader announced in his routine singsong tone that a few opposition leaders and journalists had been arrested for conniving against the govt. The feisty rebel in me was aghast at the 'news' and i stood up in agitation to launch a diatribe against the govt. My grandpa shushhed me immediately, the neighbors looked on curiously. I was whisked away to another room and scolded for my misdemeanor of ranting vociferously before the neighbors, "beta, deewaro ke bhi kaan hote hai aur aap to khule aam sarkar ki buraai kar rahe ho! Agar baat fail jaaye to sabke liye museebat ban sakti hai!"

June 25, 1983, Cricket World Cup Finals

India, the underdogs reach the finals of Cricket World Cup! The news had exhilarated all indians beyond imagination. Taking on and winning world cup against mighty West Indians was a wild dream not many of the fiercest optimists had. Stakes were always high in favor of the invincible Windies.
But when the unimaginable happened at Lords- the Home of Cricket, the whole city of Delhi erupted in rejoicing, celebrating, cheering for the ultimate win. Sparklers lit up the midnight sky and firecrackers announced the new world champions. The heady sight of a feisty captain proudly holding aloft the gleaming trophy and sprinkling the bubbly champaigne on the elated fans is a sight cherished for life.
Literally jumping with joy, we cousins attacked the aunt's kitchen and fridge to celebrate with something sweet. Nothing to be found! My elder cousin suggested we rustle up some quick kheer or halwa but nobody wanted to leave the TV screen for that long. Some Cheekus-which i dislike immensely and would have never eaten otherwise-had to do the honors finally. The aroma and taste of those luscious cheekus is still fresh on my tongue and heart.....only because of that first world cup win.


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