I am one of those creatures who curl up with a cross-word puzzle on a quiet evening. Or, I could sit and watch a programme about ants on Animal Planet. Sometimes I wonder how I've even managed to get a husband. Sure proof of divine intervention. Anyway, I am possibly a part of the minuscule percentage in India on whom cricket has no effect. Or any sport for that matter. Ignorance, in this case, is truly bliss. For others that is. This ignorance of cricket has made me very popular. Ummm...Not in a Katrina Kaif sort of way - possibly more like a Goundumani-Senthil, or Johnny Lever...get the picture, right?
There was a time when cricket was going through a very bad patch. I guess it was the time when there was a tiff between a coach and a captain and life in India came to an end. At work, clients be damned - this issue was dissected in every possible angle; without conclusions. Some wanted to do terrible, violent things to the coach. Some wanted to spank the captain. I wanted to stuff everyone's mouth with concrete.
Anyway, this somehow blew over I think (I don't know how or why...) and there was a buzz in the air. Something about twenties. I thought it meant having a team of 20 year-olds. People hugged themselves and rolled on the floor, cycling their legs in air, when I voiced my question. People laughed till no voice came out, and all I could see was an open mouth and bizarrely twitching nostrils. Someone took pity on me and said 'The match will be played only for 20 overs.' Jeez. What grammar.
I went about my life unruffled. The buzz had turned into a roar. India had won the world cup for this twenty thingie. Yippee. I am always happy whenever India wins. The atmosphere at work and everywhere was suddenly electric. Then it died down.
Another buzz. Something about auctions. "That's so terrible!" I cried with anguish. People looked at me strangely. I had commented on a cricket debate. 'I mean,' I continued heatedly, 'just because someone is not playing well, how can they auction him off? Isn't it human rights violation?' Well...you know the dance now - the thigh slapping, rolling on floor performance. I gave up. But others would not give up. They would unleash an unsuspecting bloke on me. They would say 'Talk to her...she is a walking wiki on IPL.' And thus some snippets of conversations -
"S...heard you are a huge fan of IPL?"
Blank stare from me. Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Nirvana...nope...never heard of IPL.
"What do you think of RCB?"
Me: "You mean RBC?"
Me: "Your hemoglobin is down? You want to take a day off is it?"
"A clash between Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers..."
Me: "Oh God! How many are dead? How can the police allow such gangs to crop up?"
"Just wanted to analyse Chennai Super Kings..."
Me: "Ooooh! I lovvvvvvvve history!"
"What do you think of KKR?"
Me: "Ohhh...i dont watch Karan Johar's movies really...not my cup of tea. It must be his new movie right? What does it stand for?"
Anyway the only time I perked up with interest was when I came to know that cheerleaders would be there..in this IPL hoopla. I wasn't interested in the cheerleaders themselves - compared to our own Bollywood 'item number' girls...I knew they would look like nuns. But I was more interested in the response from the fanatics. The ones who emerge on Valentine's day to represent the moral ethics of a billion Indians. Yeh. Ha. Ha. That died down too.
I guess this IPL thingie is on now. I see a strange glint in my husband's eyes - and no, I am not the cause. But it does not create any domestic squabble as such. Remember I can curl up with the cross-word? Yeh...its a peaceful scene; hubby's face almost inside the tv screen; and me frowning over '18 down - three letter word for donkey'. It's another matter that I am tempted to slosh some hot soup down his collar; but I take deep breaths, and the moment passes.
©Sumana Khan - 2010