Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Updated: Saturday, March 21, 2015
An elegy to the loss

Zeeshan Mahmud

It was painful.
I could feel the blood pumping in my aorta and ventricles with an ever constricting, paralyzing grip around my chest. I, along with about 160 or so million supporters, felt helpless with run rate mounting at each interval of milliseconds. It was akin to being stung by poison of a Caribbean puffer fish, strapped to a steel bed and having limbs sawed off with nothing that one can do about it.
This is the knockout stage. Yesterday Sri Lanka, today us, and tomorrow will be another team that will taste the sweet flavor of defeat. This is the cosmic law and guiding principle of the tournament.  But the thing with us - Bangladeshi fans- is that we are hardened and much callused from these repeated losses and "so close, yet so far" affairs that it doesn't faze us anymore. Many times we tasted ambrosia but denied entrance to Valhalla.
Thing with losses like these is that it builds character. It tempers the mettle of our soul. You begin to appreciate the subtler things in life, that life will go on in other shores of the world where no one will bat an eyelash, there will still be political and economical strife, and at the end of the day you will still need to pay bills.

Few moments of joy for Bangladesh during the match.
It is just a game after all.
However, the game imparted a lesson to us Bangladeshi fans, which others may share if on the same page. Such as a win is not handed down on silver platter, it has to be earned. What our previous losses such as Test match loss to Pakistan, 6/5 against Sri Lanka, unable to fend off Stuart Binny after bundling India out for a low total, the West Indies tour's last ball muck up, Sri Lanka T20 no-ball dilemma, New Zealand clash are the facts that while fans' passion may be unquestioned, it was surely a lacking due to the part of players.
The players simply did not want it bad enough.
And neither did we fans. We had a negative "realistic" mindset to go into the battlefield. We got completely blown and swept away by what I believe was a propaganda set up from broadcasters and presenters abed and to top it off with a solid Rohit 100 winning the toss on a flat pitch and taking early breakthroughs.
House always wins. House may win always but the fact of the matter is Bangladesh has no one to blame but themselves, their low morale and body language translated into haphazard captaincy.
Bangladesh- we- have a long way to go. Till then, I will keep supporting my team. I will keep dreaming when 200 is required in the last 20 or 140 in the last 70 balls, or when Mashrafe is still at the crease. Till then we will keep fighting with the last drop of our blood, vicariously through the Tigers.
The loss cannot weaken, but only galvanize us. And that is the real lesson of this and what one takes away with it.

I leave with you these ever memorable words from Kipling:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!