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Why This Is Also Your Achievement

I was sitting on the back lawn with my 11-month old and watching has his fine motor skills improve in front of my very own eyes. I handed him a blade of grass, which he initially struggled to grasp. Very soon, not only was he swapping blades of grass from hand to hand, he was pulling more out like a seasoned pro. All this happened in a matter of 10 minutes.

The sense of achievement I felt on my sons's behalf was just the same that I felt after witnessing Team India end our 70-odd year wait and impale the Aussies on their own flagpole in a test series. Albeit that this victory took a little longer to manifest.

You might judge me for comparing the two, but if you're a true Indian cricket fan, you too will find little else in life that supersedes this achievement.

In no way am I being facetious with this comparison. While the players undoubtedly deserve the plaudits for their achievement, every real Team India fan knows just how much we have invested in their success over our lifetimes. We may not train every day, but the emotional energy we expend praying, hoping, cheering is just as taxing.

The satisfaction we feel at this achievement is our trophy for surviving the lean times, when everything from Bucknor, et al, to snicko hearing invisible edges from Dravid, conspired with the many inadequacies of our players to leave us feeling like someone was conducting very thorough penetration testing on our sensibilities.

Where we had to console ourselves with responding to Aussies' taunts of "go back to where you came from" with a "Centrelink is that-a-away," we can now also laugh and attack with "scooooreboard". Every real Team India remembers the despair-laden tracks we made after yet another Indian loss. More than losing, it was the feeling that our team never really stood a chance that actually mentally disintegrated us.

While I applaud the new India that has produced a Team India that starts fights rather than wilting at the first sign of opposition aggression; while I appreciate that new fitness standards have ensured that we start the match as equals rather; what I revel in is that our unending and unwavering support is now actually rewarded with the opportunity to destroy our lungs for not only "jeetega bhai jeetega," but also "jeet gaya bhai jeet gaya..."

So the next time you traverse Yarra Park / Driver Ave / St John's Wood Road / Corlett Drive after bleeding blue and carrying Team India to victory, take a moment to absorb that sense of achievement, to embrace that feeling of barracking for a team that actually plays to win. Generations for have of your brethren have yearned to feel what you've just achieved.

If you need inspiration, get it from my good friends at the Bharat Army who put other more media savvy supporter groups to shame by stoking our passion, dedication and verve.

Do you feel it now?

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