I ended up watching the movie ’83 over the weekend — thanks to relentless paining by my older one.
The movie is a long 2.5 hour biography based on what is one of the greatest wins for India as a country for people of my generation. For a country that went through painful partition, 2 wars with Pakistan and a loss to China in 1962, the Nehruvian years and the socialist years thereafter created a sense of complacency.
The movie refers to an anecdote where someone “applies” (not places an order) for a telephone and after 18 years, has still not received it. I distinctly remember standing in queues in ration shops waiting for the guy to verify the photo card and dispense kerosene or sugar or some other staple. The license raj and the disgust towards economic prosperity had created a middling generation that was content with mediocrity.
Television of the colour variety were a luxury and people would print ‘pp’ on their business cards — containing the phone number of their neighbour who would call out whenever a call came on that number. My neighbour, a doctor had failed to secure a phone and we have received countless calls from his patients!!
With this background, the story of a motley group of cricketers conquering the cricket zenith in 1983 is the pivotal point for the country’s mindset — not just for cricket. The visuals of Kapil being chased by fans across the ground, his toothy grin and his blue blazer have been etched in the collective consciousness of the country.
What right did they have to win this tournament? Other than Kapil, who himself was not the fastest nor the most dangerous of owners, there was no fast bowler. There were no superstar spinners. Gavaskar had a rather lukewarm outing.
What they had however was the raw passion to win — we have all heard of Yograj Singh (Yuvraj’s father) and Kapil travelling kilometres together to training facilities. The movie itself narrates shortages of the most brutal kind for a bunch of people who were representing a country of a billion — no money to do laundry, shortages, shared rooms.
This passion, in my view itself was a living emotion. Once they won their first league match against West Indies — no less, Kapil (the reel version) makes a passionate plea in his own English. “Taste Success Once — Tongue Wants More”.
Through the weekend, this phrase kept turning in my head.
How true it is. If they had not won the first match, there would have been no passion, no fiery speeches, no tales of courage against the famous 4 fast bowlers of WI or the English bowlers.
I dont say that India’s current success is due to thee 1983 world cup win — but i do believe this win had an indelible mark in the nation’s psyche -its confidence.
After 1983, the swagger of the cricketers changed. India now controls the game. It has won 3 editions of World Cup (1 T20 included). IPL is a sought after tournament for global cricketers — gone are the Lancashire / county cricket assignments as the most desirable employments.
In my own case — maybe because I was a class ahead of my peers — I was the youngest, or maybe because of casualness, I was always a shade below the top 3 ranks. This mediocrity had bled itself into my mind to the extent that I relegated myself to the back benches throughout my school and college — aided in abundance with the fact that our education system rewards marks, compares and encourages the skill of rote as against learning. But once I got a rank in the CA foundation course — I tasted success — tongue wanted more.
While I couldn’t do an encore on the rank part, every employment, every project, every assignment thereafter were approached with a sense of confidence and a quest for success
This is what an impactful success does to you.
Can we look at daily successes — Finish your workout in the morning, make the bed, eat the frog and finish the tough to-dos of the day. Learn something new. Laugh with your family. Read a book. Carry it to your week, month and year.
Taste success once — Tongue will always want more