Khelo India, Cricket Khelo
Mai Samay Hoon.
Mahabharat style – time, the biggest (tear)jerk(-er) ever. Like the tides, i will wait for none. The only people who have been able to rewind me must be Akshay Kumar in that awesome Replayyy-something movie, and the Potter kids.
Let’s walk you commoners through a day in the life of India. Not just any ordinary day, but a day India plays a one-day international cricket match.
This can probably be any match…the drill remains the same. But in keeping with the world cup spirit, lets imagine this is the world cup final.
Say, umm, India vs Sri Lanka
*camera pans in on my, err, clock*
Morning of the match, the excitement is in the air. The birds are chirping loudly. Even their droppings seem super charged. Many a head will get burnt today.
Meanwhile the virus spreads like wildfire. No not the HTC mobile phone, come on. Cricket fever is all over the place. Millions of young (and old) Indians will call in sick to work today. The smart ones may have given hints the day before about possibility of getting sick.
The match starts in the afternoon. Till then its nervousness all over the place. The roads appear unswept, offices seem dirty, even govt office staircases are seeing barely any new paan stains. The national milk production has reportedly gone down marginally.
Body paint was never more in demand. Heads, chests, arms, legs, everything is bleeding blue, just the way Nike wanted.
Traffic moves along smoothly, thanks to people staying indoors. A few foreigners happily hop on the Delhi metro, wondering why everybody back home kept scaring them with reports of overcrowding and hassled people.
The clock strikes 2. Match telecast begins.
TV channels step up to the occasion, with brilliant stats, and animations to back them up. Comparisons of today’s match with the Mahabharata abound.
“Will India’s Abhimanyu be able to pierce the Chakravyuha?”
“Can the parakrami Pandavas destroy the modern day Raavans?”
Mandira Bedi brings out the noodles. Navjot Sidhu fetches the maroon turban and matching tie he last wore on his engagement. He’s been particularly busy, looking up proverbs and preparing a list of similes fit for every occasion, as well as practicing in front of the mirror. He still looks up to Ravi Shastri, and aspires to become an awesome commentator like him one day.
And the match kicks off. India to bat first.
Sachin and Sehwag come to the pitch. Sehwag hits first ball for a four. A million Indians come.
A DTC bus nearly runs over an autorickshaw as the driver loses control in a moment of ecstasy. In Khan market, a road rage related murder is averted in a rare pardonned bumper scratch.
Radio stations are playing the commentary, interspersed with songs. Only aaj ke zamane ke, not baap ke, as a popular one might proclaim, but that’s besides the point.
India going strong at 7.63 runs per over. On Twitter, the comments are flowing much faster. Score updates, wisecracks, allegations of match fixing, prayers, abuses to the nay-sayers, its all happening.
A biker nearly gets run over in front of AIIMS. Within AIIMS, Seven TVs get smashed by prospective doctors who’ve been smashed a few hours already.
Twitter nearly drowns in the barrage of comments directed at, surprisingly not Sehwag, but his mother and sister. Yet another of @rameshsrivats’s jokes makes it to the Twitter homepage, having been retweeted 20,923 times.
423 incidents of road rage reported in the NCR in the hour following the Sehwag dismissal.
Tendulkar meanwhile carries on. He is in superb form, and a century is on the cards.
He is hitting them like tracer bullets, Shastri comments.
Tendulkar goes on to hit a century. Off 78 balls.
Such a cool customer.
Twitter goes down. The entire nation orgasms. Even the physically incapable rape accused MLA from Banda, whose name isn’t really relevant.
The Prime Minister asks his staff to prepare a congratulatory letter for Tendulkar. Unfortunately the staff called in sick earlier this morning.
Today is a good day. You could even get away with murder; GOD is out on the field beating crap out of the Lankan Raavans.
Tendulkar eventually gets out at 158, with India at 240/3 after 40. Up in the heavens, Indra and his gods stand up and shower rose petals on the ground. The Lankans complain about outside influence. Overruled.
The malls are empty. You cant just park your car; you can actually pick what floor of the lot, the row, and the spot. The last time this happened was when the Gujjars called for a Bharat Bandh.
Dhoni gets out in a jiffy. The unhoni ko dhoni kar de joke gets repeated a million times. Luckily Yuvraj is still out there.
Powerplay begins in the 45th. This one’s a bit different from the daily proceedings of the Parliament, though with a similar end result.
Comedy. 4 overs. 12 runs. 3 wickets. Powerless play.
More road rage. More broken TV sets. [They should start bringing in Chinese TVs for cricket tournaments; will save everybody a lot of money and heartburn]. In Delhi, a man gets knifed for trying to change the channel on a TV he was trying to purchase.
In temples, bells could be heard ringing now. Somebody reported Nirupa Roy singing a bhajan in a Noida temple.
Moving on. Last over. Sidhu wipes his brow with the maroon tie. Ravi Shastri doesnt need to. He’s a cool customer.
This one’s slightly better. 10 runs off the first 5 balls.
Last ball. Munaf Patel on strike. Desperate heave. Four.
India managed to score 300. Firecrackers go off. News anchors are ecstatic. Sidhu is ecstatic. Mandira Bedi posts a quick limerick on her Twitter account. The Radio jockeys finally get that bathroom break, as do 24 million other superstitious Indians.
Phew. Well done India. You all did great against a tough opposition. Yes, the 11 on the ground too.
Lanka will be hard-pressed to win this one. They’re facing not 11, but a billion. Because for the Indian, Cricket isn’t just a passion. Cricket is life.