It was the 2nd of November, I remember. Being Diwali eve, the day had been hectic and painfully taxing as the final round of Mission Clean-the-Fuck-Out-Of-the-House was successfully accomplished. My mother wasn’t satisfied till she wiped a couple of layers out of the steel dishes and spoons. The few vessels we had were sparkling like a clutter of diamonds, and my mother was pleased and proud. Our small house looked beautiful, clean and comfortable.
You kind of deserve a nice Tv time after mopping racks covered with moleshit and lizardshit. So I switched on the Tv and my family crashed on the sofa, which smelled of lavender thanks to the expensive air freshener we had won in Dainik Jagaran Lottery. Had I been alone, I’d have watched porn, or Saavdhaan India had I been feeling less horny. But I was sitting between my parents, and I wanted them to enjoy as well, so I switched to the cricket channel. It was a one-day match and Rohit Sharma was batting like he was in white clothes. I faked interest.
“Who’s this guy?”My mother asked. She always has to know things, even if they’re as useless as cleaning instructions on the tag of a shirt.
“He’s Rohit Sharma. “
“Why is he not hitting a boundary? “She asked. Even I wanted to know that.
“He can’t hit every ball. “My father said.
“What’s so difficult about hitting every ball? “She asked.
“It’s difficult. Sometimes you miss. The ball is fast. Sometimes it turns. “My father tried to explain the concept of swings and turns to my mother. She wasn’t convinced.
“Well, Gopi Bahu is a better batsman, I’ve to say. “She said, and we all agreed. Gopi bahu is like the Chhota Bheem of ladies-world; she can do anything.
The match progressed and Rohit got Virat run-out. A furious Kohli stomped back to the pavilion screaming supreme cuss words. My father successfully suppressed a chuckle.
“This guy?”My mother frowned, her eyebrows stitched together.
“He’s Virat Kohli. “
“Well, he could do with some education. His mother hasn’t done much for him, I see. “
“Well, he is just angry. Otherwise, he’s a nice guy. “I defended Virat. My mother said ‘whatever’ and went back to staring at the screen.
Rohit switched the gear after getting a hundred and the atmosphere in the room became bubbly and joyous. He slaughtered the bowlers one after the other and got his double century with a six. I sprang at that shot. My mother was clapping in appreciation. My father was praising the boy. That moment was the perfect Diwali surprise for one billion Indians.
United by the religion called Cricket, we all stood and hailed the boy who had always been an underdog, but who had always risen up and shut all his critiques with one spectacular show of his batting.
Today, he was in a similar form again. He scored 70. Let’s hope India wins.