It was an IPL day for me. In the morning when I brushed my teeth I felt it’s not the brush but the willow wood in my hand and my face in the mirror resembled like Bengal tiger with whiskers formed by white foamy paste. I was lucky enough to complete all morning rituals in time in spite the fitness of corporation water following Nehra’s fitness .After breakfast my wife bowled few malinga yorkers and reminded me about weekend’s pending tasks; bank, gas, post, vegetables..list so long beating the ‘Gayle maximum’.
In scorching heat of summer I drove my scooter to the bank. As usual the bank counter queues were power packed and after strategic check on my patience for around 45 minutes I was lucky to sit in front of banker.
“Good-Morning” I said. He did not bother himself to greet me. He was tense and appeared to be very much worried about his slow over rate. He checked the form filled by me and then danced his fingers on a keyboard with such acrobatic ease which may compete the RCB cheer-girls.” Here is your DD”, he handed over a piece of paper while giving me a Murali Look.”Thank You very much” I responded and departed for a next crusade…The Gas Dealer.
“Your name is not in the list” the gas dealer said. He gave me a chicky smile as if he just sneaked one chicky single.
“Please check. I did it on phone. I am sure I have booked my refill” I replied in a voice without punch. For next few minutes I gave him millions of proofs that I did book my refill but all seems to be overthrows and the dealer kept galloping those chicky singles. Finally I was retired hurt and agreed to his preposition to register afresh and to wait for another week. No need to guess…more than the refill I was much concerned about the slinga yorkers back on the home pitch.
The Sun was blazing high and the time started approaching noon. I felt thirsty and took a halt at a coconut vendor. He was a lad in his early teens, tanned almost carbon and seating under a rainbow umbrella with hundreds of coconut in front of him.
“So you go to school”. I asked him while sipping the sweet water.
“No” the reply was abrupt.
“Oh..Ok”. I did not dare myself to ask further.
“Sir do you know if KKR is having a match today?”
“Yes it is..You know it’s in Pune itself against our home team. I am going to watch it live in the stadium” I paused. Took a sip of water and again asked him ” So whom are you supporting today?”
“I don’t support anyone when KKR plays. In fact I don’t like KKR matches at all..”
“Oh is it and why so”
He gave a sigh…”My father is an avid SRK fan and so follows KKR team. When KKR wins he celebrates with a Videshi Khamba and if it loses drinks the desi one and sometimes in frustration beats me and my brother”
Me being such an emotional freak was quick to read the future in those watery eyes. I handed over him extra 20 rupees and asked him to spend it on a chocolate.
After fuelling me it was now the turn of my scooter as it started behaving like munaf patel chasing a ball running towards third man fence. On a petrol station a short guy with Sreesant face welcomed me.“Hope the price today is the same as it was yesterday”. It was me hitting an untimely joke like a Dada’s batting order. The Sreesant alike made a frown face. Me not equipped with Bhajji skills undoubtedly stared at the fast running filling counter and escaped by handing over 100 Rs note.
Tired enough I visited few more stations before I reached back home. When I was having a lunch my friend Vijay informed me about the traffic jam on the way to SRS stadium. I hardly had any choice than to start way early to proceed to the stadium. I was feeling drowsy and my eyes were rebellious about my attitude (attitude, at least when it is to watch an IPL match) which was at par with the famous quote ‘“Life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep.” Finally I used all my ‘Pune Special Driving Skills’ and was lucky enough to reach to the stadium half an hour before the match time. It was an enormous flood of people all around with banners, badges, flags, caps, whistle, all the props one can think to support their respective teams. I started to the stands. In the walkway there were hundreds of vendor cashing for the day by selling various goods to those Eat Drink Sleep Cricket enthusiasts.
An elderly person with his kid came to me and asked if I am interested to buy any banner or flag. When I nodded in disinterest he asked for one favor.” Can you please give some water to my son? He is thirsty since a while but we can’t leave this place before we make our earnings for the day.” He must have seen the water bottle in my hand. He asked me to pour some water in a coconut shell he was carrying. He must have used that shell for few another thirsty occasions that evening. I handed him the half filled bottle and asked him to keep that with him. His son snatched it from his father and gulped it to another half in no time. The pendulum of my mind reached other extreme and sank in to vivid emptiness.I purchased a tri color IPL match banner with Indian flag symbolized at the center. Waving it very high with all my strength I screamed a loud “This is IPL .IPL, The (Common) Indian Public’s Life!!”