As you’ve probably heard, Paul the octopus, who correctly predicted the result of every 2010 World Cup match (including the final between Spain and the Netherlands) passed away in his sleep on the 26th of October. He was probably the most famous eight-legged marine creature ever, and oftentimes I wonder what really caused the World Cup hype: the match results or Paul’s predictions.
His death not only saddened me immensely, it brought back waves of intense, nostalgic memories. Memories not only of the World Cup, but of my summer. Sometimes it’s wakeup calls such as these that make us realise, truly, how much we take our time for granted. I certainly did.
I will never forget the night of the final. I was spending my holidays in Karachi, a city that prides itself in proving Murphy’s law right all the time: in this city, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. The 11th of July was no different. Just an hour before the match, we experienced a very nerve-racking power cut (in Karachi it’s called ‘load shedding’. We Karachi-ites are well aware that it does indeed shed a mighty load. Not.).
We were lucky enough to get the power back just twenty minutes before kick-off, but alas, it seemed that Murphy’s Law was not finished with us just yet. We were presented with yet another problem: the upstairs region of the house(which happened to be where our TV was!), by some freak act of physics, still had no power. The situation looked pretty bleak and it seemed like we were going to miss one of the biggest football matches of the decade. Until one of my cousins (hats off to him!) had a crazy idea. To my extreme surprise it actually worked: we connected a power cord extension to the socket nearest to the stairs on the ground floor, and to this extension we connected another extension, to which we connected yet another extension until this crazy-looking train of cord extensions finally reached the TV. It certainly made navigating the stairs a real hazard (there was no power so it was pitch dark, remember). And so we watched the 2010 World Cup South Africa finals in the sweltering heat and pitch darkness.
It made for an unforgettable match – more than that, an unforgettable night, one never to be forgotten. I would give anything to relive the experience, but alas, I cannot.
R.I.P Paul. I will never forget the fights I had with my cousins over your predictions, nor my surprise when they came true. Most of all, I will never forget the nostalgia you evoked within me.