Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Deewar!!!


Scene 1:
Year – 2019.
Time – 2:00 PM.
Place – Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai.
News in the Morning – Chairman of selectors, Vinod Kambli, has said in an interview “Sachin should retire”


It was a typical Mumbai afternoon – sunny and humid. Shivaji Park was full of kids playing cricket – many matches going on at a given point of time.
A Tata Nano was parked outside the ground. Vinod Kambli, chairman of selectors, was standing beside the car. A black Porsche cam and stopped next to it. India’s Member of Parliament, test batsman and Mumbai Indian’s mentor cum coach cum captain cum opening batsman, Sachin got down of it.

Sachin : Ailla, I hope I am not late.
Kambli : No it is fine. People coming from big cars often come late. Mumbai traffic you see. Anyways, we could have met anywhere else. Why did you call me here?

Sachin: No, we couldn’t have met anywhere else. That’s because no matter how different we become from each other, our junior cricket days cannot be separated from each other. This is where we started eating Vada Paos. This is where we made that Mazumdar wait forever. This is where it all started.
Kambli: Tell me whatever you want to. I haven’t got all day. I need to go practice for Jhalak Dikhala Jaa 10.0

Sachin: First I want to know who I am talking to - an old friend or the chairman of selectors.
Kambli: As long as a friend is talking, a friend will speak. As soon as an old cricketer starts talking, the chairman of selectors will speak.

Sachin: It looks like the runs we scored on this ground together have fallen well behind the runs I have scored in last three years.
Kambli: Oh, friend is speaking in disguise of an old cricketer.

Sachin: Dude, you don’t know what may happen to you if you do what you want to do. You may get sacked and asked to retire as a chairman of selectors.
Kambli: What I am doing – I may get sacked and asked to retire. But what you are doing, you will have to retire.

Sachin: I have decided not to retire. I get dropped or not, it doesn’t matter. Actually I will not be dropped, never. But you still have time. There are other players who can retire – like Rahane or Sharma or Kohli. Why don’t you ask them to retire?
Kambli: No, my responsibilities towards Indian cricket and the talent in this younger generation don’t allow me to do it.

Sachin: Ufff, this younger generation and the talent. What good use of is this younger generation? Your all young players cannot surpass the number of runs I have scored. Indian cricket for which you are willing to burn your life, what that vision has given to you – average of 54.20 in tests, tears in Eden, role in a few movies, Andrea?
See, see. This is the very same you and this is the very same me. Both of us started from here, this very ground. Look where I have reached and where you are. Today I have most number of runs in international cricket, loads of hair on head, a seat in parliament, title of most promising young talent, declared as God even by SIR RJ. Who do you have to replace me? What do you have?
Kambli: I have…I have…I have Maa-Nose (Tiwary).

Not very far away, 2:15PM Borivalli to Churchgate local was blowing its horn.

Scene 2:
Place: Somewhere in Bandra,
Location – A saloon in Bandra where Vinod Kambli is shaving Manoj Tiwary’s head.
Sachin makes an entry.

Kambli: Dude, I need your sign this paper.
Sachin: What is this?

Kambli: This is a declaration that you are retiring from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
Sachin: Dude, you know…

Kambli: You will sign it or not?
Sachin: Dude, all this…

Kambli: You will sign it or not?
Sachin: Dude, you…

Kambli: You will sign it or not? (Shouts in a really high pitch)
Sachin: Yes I will sign it. Yes I will retire.
But first go and ask that South African all-rounder to retire who is only one century away from my record of maximum hundreds and just keeps on playing even though his tummy is bigger than mine. Go and ask England’s captain to retire who is just 100 runs away from my most runs even though he is 36 years old. Go and ask all those bowlers to retire who have tattooed this on my hand, this.
Sachin showed his left hand to Kambli. A huge tennis ball was tattooed on his elbow.
After that dude, after that I will sign wherever you want, whatever you want.

Kambli: Showing other’s tummy doesn’t mean you are fitter than the. Counting other’s age doesn’t hide this truth that you are a 45 year oldie. And this truth, this truth is a wall between you and me.
Manoj Tiwary started searching Dravid’s number on his Samsung Galaxy before Kambli sensed it, snatched it away and continued.
As long as this wall is there, we two cannot be employed by the same board. Hence I am resigning and retiring – now and here. Come Maa-Nose, you also announce your retirement with me.

Sachin: If you want to retire, retire. But Maa-Nose won’t retire.
Kambli: Maa-Nose, announce your retirement.

Sachin: I told you, Maa-Nose will not retire.
Kambli: Maa-Nose will.

Sachin: No, Maa-Nose. You can’t retire before I do. I am an idol for you. I know you will not retire before I do – who will bring drinks for me?

Kambli: Maa-Nose, I have called Arnab Goswami from TimesNow. I am announcing my retirement.
Sachin: No Maa-Nose, you will not retire.

Manoj Tiwary put away the drinks he was holding for both of them, stood up from the bench he was sitting on and opened his mouth – I will retire.

Sachin: No Maa-Nose, no.
Manoj Tiwary – The guy who is after your 100s record, what is he to you? Nobody.
The guy who is after your runs record, who is to you? Nobody.
The bowlers who have tattooed that tennis ball on your elbow, who are they to you? Nobody.
But me, I was a budding talent for your team, an able replacement. How could you let me become a benchwarmer for life? How?

Sachin: But Maa-Nose, I did all this for you – these runs, these hundreds, these records, everything. I did this so that you can have a goal setting your life and tell your grandkids – you know, I used to aspire and perspire to break God’s record.
Manoj Tiwary – Paaji¸ a big God you have become. But may I tell you something – don’t spoil my career. Your performance is not that good now that you block the way of a youngster.

Sachin and Kambli both looked at Manoj Tiwary’s opened their laptop to search for the definition and entered “Manoj Tiwary youngster” in google.
Google replied back –
Your search “Manoj Tiwary youngster” didn’t yield any results.
Did you mean – Manoj Tiwary Ranji Veteran of two decades?

PS: Work of fiction.

Monday, February 25, 2013

How can someone be a Dhoni fan???

How can someone be a Dhoni fan? I couldn’t get the answer to this question for a few years.

Now, I don’t get the logic behind this question.

It all started in 2004. I was going to meet a friend in his hostel. While walking towards his room, I heard a lot of noise coming from somewhere. TV room I thought and entered it. Some batsman with long hair was murdering Pakistan’s pace attack in the most agricultural style.

“Such batsman keep coming and disappearing. He won’t last 20 matches. I don’t know why we keep giving chances to such sloggers” was what I told a friend.

I had seen Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s picture in a newspaper before that – a long haired wicket keeper? People like him also play in our domestic circuit. I had thought. No one could be a Dhoni fan then.

Few months later, while travelling from Rai Bareilly to Lucknow for a cousin’s wedding, I checked the score. 284 for five, chasing a big score against top quality bowling of Pakistan and Sachin was the last man out – let’s see what the slogger does I thought. The slogger scored 148 like a blitzkrieg. In the ODI series on the same tour, he had played a few more thunderous innings. Stories of him drinking 5 liters of milk every day, waiting for 15 balls and then starting the attack were gaining grounds.

When Parvez Musharraf asked him not to change his hairstyle, I wondered – Is he a Dhoni fan? How can he? How can anyone be a Dhoni fan?

Seriously, how could anyone be a Dhoni fan?

People had started growing hair – on their heads I mean. Dhoni hairstyle had become a fashion statement. Some say it was Salman’s Tere Naam but I disagree. Whenever I saw someone sporting a Dhoni hairstyle, I simply laughed – Looks like a fan. How can someone be his fan?

To be fair, he didn’t become a Gilchrist but he was the closest to him what we Indians had seen. His performance on the ground ensured his survival in the side. Actually it wasn’t mere survival – he owned his place in the side.

He did get a few fans I am sure. I was not one of them but I will accept – I had become an admirer. For me he was good in ODIs, could bat in tests in the sub-continent but was he good enough to last swinging conditions in England – it was the big question.

Come Lords 2007 and Dhoni saved a test in Lords – determined batting, rain and a dodgy decision which went in our favor. Maybe there is something in him, something special– is what I thought.

Well he was lucky to have saved that test – more than rain; it was the LBW not given that saved us. I had started admiring him.

But lucky is the world I used, lucky.

Soon he was leading us in T20 world cup.

“Before we begin, I would like to say something. I read an article on cricinfo where you said that Australia had more chances of winning than India. We have proved you wrong and I think you are happier than us” is what he said to Ravi Shastri after winning the semifinal against Australia in T20WC2007.

Give Ravi Shastri a bat and he becomes a boring but gritty batsman. Give him a ball and he becomes a decent left arm spinner. Give him a microphone and he becomes a champion. He is a master of cricketing presentations – the six foot three height, the booming voice and the clichés. He is invincible on that stage.

At that moment, Ravi Shastri looked stunned. He was bowled and stumped by Dhoni. I have never seen Ravi Shastri so clueless when holding his most lethal weapon – the microphone. As I said, he is invincible.

You don’t fight with the crocodile in water – that’s what they say.

“Balls to you” is what Dhoni had said to Ravi Shastri, implicitly. He has balls is what I thought. I had become a Dhoni fan. What I liked most was the confidence. Ravi Shastri is a big name in Indian cricket – he is an opinion maker, an influencer. You don’t mess with these kinds, not in the area of his strength.

Dhoni did that. He didn’t bother about anything. He needn’t have as long as what mattered most was taken care off – winning.

I also heard the story of him not listening to his coach’s advice of batting cautiously in a domestic match and batting in the style he wanted to. This was before he played for India.

“If you listen to the coach, you will never play for India” is what he supposedly told his batting partner. He was dreaming big - impressive for someone coming from a state not really well known for cricket.

Soon he was leading the side. Golden era had started. We didn’t play much outside the subcontinent but wherever we played, we did well.

Dhoni’s performance with the bat was fine. His performance with the gloves was also okay. As long as we were winning, not many complained. The universe termed him as Captain cool.

After the second test in South Africa – 2011, a friend said “India should drop Dhoni now. He is good for nothing”

“He is our second best scorer in this series” even I was surprised at my answer.

Well, I was his fan.

And then, the pinnacle arrived. I don’t really remember much of his first 85 runs in the world cup final. But the last six, the full swing of the bat, the holding of his pose, the twirl of the bat and the rest will never be forgotten. That night ended at 9:00 AM for me on 3rd of April 2011.

That was the best time for Dhoni fans, the best. India was number 1 in tests, world champion in ODIs.

As Bill Gates says “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose”.

Real test is provided by the bad times.

Bad times didn’t follow the world cup win. Disaster did. Calling it bad times would be an understatement.

Some blame for those nightmares has to be copped up by Dhoni and I agreed.

I was, am a fan. I am no fanatic.

His double hundred yesterday brought back the smiles. No doubt, it was one of the best we have seen – be it against a weak attack, on a home ground. Remember, any bowling is as good as a batsman makes it look like. Nathan Lyon’s delivery that got Sachin out was termed as an off spinner’s dream. Same Nathan Lyon was outscored by Dhoni by a small margin.

Finally a fan was smiling.

Back to that question again – how can someone be a Dhoni fan?

I ask back – how can someone not?

To be honest, Dhoni has a crappy batting technique. It is so crappy that sometime I wonder how he made it to this level. But then, he has fantastic understanding of the game. In the last ODI series against England when more technically adept Indian batsmen were finding it impossible to counter the swing in Dharmshala, Dhoni walked across his stumps to counter the swing. That was the first ball he played.

Had he not attacked Lyon yesterday, he might well have made Australians believe that they have their answer ready for Swann.

Dhoni’s batting is not pleasant to eyes. In fact, it is ugly. But he has what some of younger generation batsmen, read Rohit Sharma, don’t have. He has the temperament.

David Lloyd has called him a goal keeper once. I have heard that he is not a natural keeper. But I don’t know how many natural keepers would be faster stumpers than him.

Coming from a small town and making it really big – it is something which can throw anyone off guard. Fame is the devil which has consumed lot of potential in this world. We have seen Kambli, we are seeing Praveen Kumar. It couldn’t do much to Dhoni. Success is fame’s sister, a devil to. Both of them can get in to your head and knock you off your feet.

Coming from a state not well known for cricket and making it really big – that’s how a game spreads. You need to have local heroes making it big so that kids in the town can dream of global ambitions. While others can have an idol in him, credit must be given to him for dreaming big.

Well this is all quite normal for any good player. Temperament, determination, controlling your head while you have made it big is all what a good player will have. Dhoni is a good player.

Failure maybe opposite to success but it is a devil nonetheless. After the debacle in last two years, Dhoni’s head was on the chop. His performance with the bat was not that great. No one witnessed his keeping. It was his captaincy which brought most of the flak.

Selectors refused to remove him citing lack of options.

During all our slumps, we have always had at least one successor to carry on the baton of captaincy. 90s was Ping-Pong between Azhar and Sachin. When Sachin retired, Ganguly was ready – at least he had his place secured in the side. Dravid had been a deputy to Ganguly for almost five years. In Kumble’s case, many people asked – what took it so long. Dhoni was stable as a wicket-keeper batsman in Indian side.

Who would have replaced Dhoni? Sehwag or Gambhir - who didn’t have their own places secured? Or the one who shows his middle finger to the world – Kohli? There was no option.

Yes his captaincy wasn’t great. People said he ran out of his luck. “He is lucky” is what all his moments of success were termed as. I am fine if I succeed like him. Give me that luck is what I thought. Overall, there was reluctance among the people to accept his success, to give him credit.

Surprisingly, most of this attitude I saw in people coming from the Mumbais, the Kolkatas, the Bangalores. Maybe there was something to read in this attitude, maybe there was not. I leave it to you to decide.

No, he wasn’t pure lucky. We must give him some credit. As a captain, he did well as long as middle order was solid as ever, Zaheer was unplayable and Delhi duo wasn’t in hurry to rush back to pavilion. Dhoni’s captaincy was exposed as soon as it all fell apart. A captain is as good as his team. Isn’t it?

Yes it was his fault but not entirely. He is human, no God. For that matter, even Sachin is not God.

Dhoni’s refusal to step down was seen as his greed. I saw it as a quality quite often underrated – strength of character.

It would have been easy to step down but did we have a replacement? No.

And by the way, he is the best wicket keeper batsman we have had. He is surely better than Mongia or More. I didn’t see Farokh Engineer play so cannot comment and Budhi Kunderan’s record was broken yesterday.

Seriously, we didn’t have an option. What we had was someone willing to lead in this hour of adversity without flinching about the criticism that would come his way. We had Dhoni.

In the last two innings he has shown – he can bat for long time in a boring fashion like he did in the last test against England or he can be as entertaining as yesterday. I think he can bat in alien conditions too – he has shown it in the past. I think he can.

As Geff Boycott said, India is lucky to have him. We are indeed.

I am his fan. I wonder how someone cannot be.

Okay, there is a bit of double hundred that he scored yesterday in the tone in which I am talking. There will be days when he will fail miserably. But then, being human he is bound to fail.

Even then, I will be his fan. How someone cannot be?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to get them out #Asli test abhi baaki hai Series!!!



Michael Clarke – Write “Lara” on the ball and bowl an in-swinger to Clarke. He will let it go and get bowled. In fact, BCCI should nave this series as “Lara Trophy”. That will guarantee an Indian win as long as Clarke is leading Australia because Clarke believes in giving up on Lara as soon as it becomes slightly elusive.

Phillip Hughes – Shave off Ishant Sharma’s head and nick name him as “Martin”. As soon as Ishant bowls to Hughes, Hughes will surely find a Guptill in the field and lob him a catch. In fact Harbhajan can be named as Guptill for the mysterious injuries he carries sometime – like the one happened in England in 2011.

Virat Kohli – Virat doesn't score anyhow in a series unless it is the last match. So wait till the last match and tell him just before it “BCCI and CA have planned one more match after this”. That will do.

Moises Henriques – Simply ask him- “Are you the same player who used to play for KKR? You played under Ganguly or was it McCullum? Was your coach Buchannan?” Such was the legend of KKR in those days that Moises would prefer using his hands to hide his face than holding the bat. Oh BTW, was he part of the KKR which lifted the IPL trophy? Ask him about the celebrations in Eden. That will do.

Shane Watson – Just tell him that the man who elbowed him in 2008 is from Delhi, the Delhi. By now Watson would have heard all about Delhi by now. I am sure Watson will rush back to the pavilion and from there to the airport.   

Virendra Sehwag – Nothing needed, not even bowlers. Sehwag will find a way to get himself out.

Sachin Tendulkar – Tell him that while his test average stands at 54.32 right now, it is not far from his buddy – Vinod Kambli’s test average of 54.20. Forget getting out, Sachin may announce his retirement. I am sure that after 23 years of such high class batting, he would not like to get indulged in the talk mentioned below

Sachin – “I played for 24 years, scored over 30,000 runs, 100 centuries, own a bungalow in Bandra, have sold a Ferrari and now I am an MP now. What have you got?”

Kambli – “Test average which is higher than yours”

R Ashwin – I am not too sure about Ashwin but I know how to get his partners out. Whoever is going to bat with Ashwin, just tell him - “We have told him that in cricket, you CAN take a second run”. Obviously, Ashwin will never take a second run and the purpose will be served.

Nathan Lyon – Tell him that given the skills he has, his only chance of making it into an IPL side can come as a curator and MSD loves curators. I am sure he will do whatever is required for the sake of greener pastures. Oh yes, if he manages to make it to CSK – do tell him that MSD doesn’t like a green pasture.

MS Dhoni – One doesn’t need to worry about him. Simply, for the formality sake, tell him that this is test cricket and not ODIs and MSD will oblige. It is in ODIs where he doesn't get out. Maybe MSD doesn't know that if one remains not out in a test innings, it also boosts his averages.

SIR Jadeja – Nothing is going to help. Let him score his customary triple hundred. In case SIR is in kind mood, he can oblige you with his wicket after scoring a triple ton.

PS: Work of fiction.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Her, Him and the Valentine’s Day!!!

He had been ringing the bell for ten minutes without much luck. He has had a bad day and this was the last thing he expected – struggling to get inside his own house.
Finally she opened the door for him.
“What took you so long?” he asked.
“Oh sorry, I was sleeping” she replied.
He walked past her, threw his laptop on sofa and sat on a chair. Disgust was written all over his face. He wasn’t looking angry, he was fuming.
“What happened? Why are you looking so upset?” she asked.
“These bankers, these bloody bankers, I hate them. They didn’t disburse the loan today as well. We are losing money because of them” he said while throwing his hands in the air.
“Calm down. It will get sorted out”
He looked into nothing for a few seconds and asked her “Hey, can I get a cup of tea please?”
“Yes sir, why not. That’s why I am here, to make tea, to make dinner, to do this, to do that. That’s why I am in your life. That’s what I am in your life” she said with a stone dead face.
They says that sharks can smell blood, astrologists can predict future and SIR Jadeja can implant the seeds of respect in batsmen for his bowling hence they get out bowled without offering any stroke. There is one more thing that they know but don’t say – an intelligent and experienced husband can sense trouble.
He was intelligent and had five years of experience in being a husband. He knew something was wrong.
“What happened?” he asked. This issue needed immediate attention. Everything else could wait.
“Nothing” she replied in same tone.
“Tell me. I know something is wrong” he asked back.
“If you know something is wrong, you should also know what is wrong”
“I don’t know what is wrong. That’s why I am asking you”
“If you don’t know, I am not going to tell you. You should know what is wrong”
Five minutes of silence followed. He was making his mind run like a tracer bullet to find out what was wrong. 
“You don’t love me anymore. You surely don’t love me the way you used to before marriage” she said.
Love? Last time she used this word, I ended up buying a pendant worth 50,000 for her. Something is surely wrong. His mind was acting fast.
“No sweetheart. I do love you. I have always loved you. Tell me what happened” from now on, every word was going to be crucial. From now on, he was on a knife’s edge.
“You know what day it is today” she spoke after five minutes. Her expressions didn’t change.
“It is 14th of February. It is not our anniversary. It is not your birthday. In fact I cannot recall any significant event related to this date. Only thing that should have happened was our disbursement which those idiots didn’t do. I hate bankers” he said.
“That’s the problem with you. You have changed. It is Valentine’s Day today” she said with a tone of anger in her voice. Tears in her eyes were waiting to get the marching orders.
If you are telling a colleague of yours that your boss is a loud mouthed martinet who is nothing but a lecherous parasite, must be fried alive in olive oil till he turns red, then served to crocodiles while he is alive and suddenly find your boss tapping on your shoulders, you would achieve something not many humans have capability to achieve – absolute blank headedness. That’s what happened to him. He knew he was dead and buried.
But that’s where experience comes handy. He knew he had to fight back. Surrender would mean a brutal massacre. He quickly opened his mental notebook and picked up all the weapons. Within in a second, he was ready.
“What, Valentine’s day? It is today? Oh, off course it is today. That’s why you are angry”. This one is going to be easier than last time when I had forgotten the anniversary.
“Yes. That’s why I am angry. Before we got married, you used to gift me roses, chocolates and what not on this day. Now, you don’t even remember this day”
“Well, that’s obvious. Isn’t it? We have been married for five years”
“So? Things change after marriage? I think love is immortal, it is ageless. Alas, there is no chemistry between us now as it used to be.”
“Darling, we are married. After marriage, there is crockery and there is grocery. There is no room for chemistry” he had to play his cards well, really well.
“There is more to life than grocery and crockery. There is love. Unfortunately it isn’t happening”
“Sweetheart, it is life. It doesn’t happen the way they show in movies”
“What doesn’t happen?”
“Love is no accident. It doesn’t happen. Love has to be made. And we have made it, plenty of it” he said with a wink.
“Yes. As a result of that, we have made a baby too” she said in a sarcastic tone.
“Isn’t he lovely” he said while pointing towards their one and half year old son. “Heeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy……..” he shouted and ran towards the baby.
The baby was jumping on the laptop with full force. Had it not been in the bag, the laptop would have joined the list of those who sacrificed their lives in the name of future.
“How many times I need to tell him? I don’t know why he thinks my laptop is his trampoline” he was complaining to her.
“Isn’t he lovely?” she asked while giggling. Satire would’ve been an understatement.    
“Yes he is lovely. But my laptop is expensive” he said while putting his laptop in a safe location.
“That’s what I mean. You have become too materialistic and that’s boring. There is no romance left in you. Rut of life has killed it.”
“Yes, I have become boring. In fact I am boring. Life is boring. Love is boring”
“No it is not. It can be exciting. You know my friend Simran, the one who makes you and your friends drop their jaws. Her boyfriend gifted her white gold necklace. Tonight they are going to a disc. You know how long they’ve known each other? Hardly a couple of weeks”
“Oh yeah, Mr. Moneybags. I saw him buying an entire pack on the medical store last night. Trying to woo the voters by distributing freebies so that you can win in the elections, it is called politics” he said in a firm tone.
“Oh you and your filthy mind. You know my friend Rosie, one who makes you and your friends drop their jaws. Her husband gifted her heart shaped pillow which has her name stitched on it. It is so cute.”
“Yeah, I met her husband. He was cribbing about paying Rs. 2000 for a pillow which isn’t worth Rs. 100. Making a customer’s mentality your slave and then selling dirt at exorbitant prices, it is called business.” he said in a firmer tone and continued “Oh by the way, I don’t know about my friends but none of your friends make me drop my jaw. Only lady who is capable of doing so is you and only you” he knew he was winning but he did get a lesson. He needed to be extra careful while looking at Simran. A thing of beauty is surely joy forever but under wife’s observation, it can be lethal.
“Leave it. You will never understand me. You will never understand love” she said.
He knew this moment would come. This meant he had won the battle of logical arguments. All that was remaining was war of airtime – and time to strike had arrived.
“What? I don’t understand love. I know all about it. You know what is love? Do you” his tone was becoming sterner “You know, I have no interest in politics, none at all. But whenever I talk to my father, I discuss politics with such interest that I come quite close to beating him in his interest in politics. He loves to talk about politics and I love him”
Suddenly she had become quiet. She was simply looking at him. He continued “You know, we have known each other for ten years and have been married for five years. I can safely say that I know you more than anyone else, better than anyone else. I know you even better than your mother.
But whenever your mother goes on and on about you – how you were as a kid, how you are now, how good are you in this, how good are in that, how lucky I am to have you as my wife, I just listen to her and nod. That’s because she loves you and so do I.”
Emotions on her face were changing. He knew he was on right track “ You know, whenever I come home I listen to cribs about your workplace - your boss is a loud mouthed martinet who is nothing but a lecherous parasite, must be fried alive in olive oil till he turns red, then served to crocodiles while he is alive, I just listen to you. Not that my boss is any different, but I think you need a vent out more than I do and I listen to you. That’s because I love you.”
A tear rolled down her eyes.
He knew his trophy was there to be taken.
“I love you too honey. But I just thought….” she said.
“What did you think?” it was his turn to attack.
“It is Valentine’s Day today, the festival of love. I thought we must celebrate it”
“Oh common, my parents never celebrated it. In fact they didn’t even know that something like this existed. I am sure the case would have been same with your parents too”
“But there time was different. That age was different”
“Is that so? I thought love was immortal, it was ageless” he mocked her.
“Still” he persistence was weakening.
“See, we celebrate Dussehra because on that day Lord Rama killed Ravana. It was an occasion. We celebrate Diwali because on that day Lord Rama returned home. It was an occasion. Holi is celebration of an occasion, so is Janmashatami, so are all other festivals. We celebrate occasions. Is love an occasion? Not for me at least. An occasion is about a moment, the moment. Love isn’t just a moment, the moment. Love is about continuation. Love is like breathing, like heartbeats – they go on till we are alive. It is love, not politics or business. At least not for me”
She came near him, put her head on his right shoulder, rested there and slowly said in his ears “I love you”
The battle had been won. It was time to rule “Same here. Now can I have a cup of tea please?”
“Darling, I have had a long tiring day. I was so tired that I dozed off as soon as I came home. I have been sleeping for past two hours and have a bit of headache right now. Can you make a cup of tea for me, please” she said with a smile. The tables were threatening to turn.
“Okay. I will do.” he said and got up. Although it was like losing your won ground after you had been declared victorious, but holding ground meant more fight. He was exhausted.
He switched on the TV. They were showing India-Australia 2011-2012 series on Star Cricket HD. If there was anything more pleasing to eyes than Sunny Leone’s performance in Jims 2, it was seeing Channel nine’s coverage in HD. However, he preferred watching Star Cricket (without HD) where highlights of WC2011 finals were shown. Reasons, ladies and gentlemen, were obvious. He moved towards the kitchen.
She followed him.
“Why aren’t you watching Star Cricket HD? The quality of broadcast is just brilliant. Instead of that, you are watching WC2011 finals highlights – you would have watched it more than 2011 times.”
“Well the cricket series Star Cricket HD is showing, we lost badly in it. After such a long day, I would like to sleep with happy memories”
“You just love to watch cricket, don’t you” she said and tapped slowly on his right shoulder.
“Yes I do”
“I am so thankful to all mighty for giving me a partner like you. You understand me completely. You really know what real love is. You know what real love is. You really know what real love is”
“Thanks a lot her highness. That’s too much of reality for one sentence”
“Oh God” suddenly it looked as if she was Cinderella who had forgotten to go back in time.
“What happened?”
“Thank God for using the world reality. I am going to watch Big Boss. It’s the final today”
“But I am watching cricket” he pleaded. He knew this is one battle he was going to lose no matter what.
“Oh really? Taking solace in a distant past because you find the recent past painfully killing, it’s called denial” she said took control of the TV remote.
And as it happens, in the fight between reality and love, reality won.
PS: It is a work of fiction. But just in case you find any similarities between your life and this piece, remember – truth is nothing but well-disguised fiction and fiction is nothing but loosely bound truth.