Back in the December of 2014, I finally caught the unicorn. Well, not literally. Our group of really close friends, finally managed to materialize an actual holiday – a trip – from a WhatsApp plan. *pauses for applause*
It was what we then called an ‘epic’ trip, I am not sure what the popular term now is, I am happy I don’t know. The trip was a culmination of everything we thought it would be, right from boarding the flight together, to road tripping through beautiful Kerala, to crazy amounts of laughter and a decent amount of alcohol. I reminisce this trip for a particular reason.
One evening, in Munnar, we found our poison, in one of the government controlled liquor store, in the form of Officer’s Choice XXX Rum. And in the gorgeous weather among the tea gardens, we had partaken enough to make the Officer proud. Amongst us, was a Juventus fan, and as it happened, there was a Juventus match being played which he was following on the football app on his phone. However, as the match progressed, in typical Italian fashion we did not hear any goal notification for what seemed like well over 2 hours, by when the Officer was already playing his delirious tunes in our heads. Suddenly, the phone pinged and my friend squealed as Juventus had apparently scored, evidently making the Officer in his head proud. Within a couple of minutes there was another ping and it seemed the opposition had already drawn level, he couldn’t believe it and slumped. As luck would have it, Juventus scored again within what seemed like just a minute and he literally screamed, incredulous. He exclaimed to everyone, who also followed football supporting various other clubs, ‘This has literally never happened in the history of football before!’ Just as he finished saying this, there was another ping and his eyes opened wider than the mouth of the only non-football fan amongst us, it was apparently 2-2. This seemed like the last straw and in the sheer faith that he could not have missed such a ridiculously exciting match, he wore his glasses and opened the app. Seconds later out came a stream of expletives declaring that we had been following was actually a penalty shootout, and not the actual match. But we will never forget the delirious excitement in his eyes for those 4 minutes, something even the cheap rum couldn’t match. To quote the great James Hetfield, ‘The higher you are, the farther you fall’, and eventually, my friend did literally fall on the floor, and stayed there till dawn.
2014 was the start of something similar for the entire nation, at a much larger scale. There were delirious celebrations, sky-high expectations, positivity that would put the most optimist person to shame and a sense of satisfaction that we were all a part of something that has never happened before. It is nearing the end of 2019, and we are seemingly on our way to the floor, what we don’t yet know is how far the floor is, or how hard it is.