Love thy neighbours. Send them home.

This is it. The Final Four. India, Pakistan and two other teams that could be Togo and Burkina Faso for all I care. Because nothing else matters until we beat Pakistan. You know a match is important when even Manmohan Singh decides to attend, taking time off from duties that include being walloped by Ms. Swaraj (currently known as the Raghu Ram of Parliament)

The PM has also invited Zardari and Gilani for the match. That’s nice – it’s always good to see Pakistanis enter the country legally.

Meanwhile, employees across India have already started working on their excuses (“The dog ate my grandmother.”) Even the BJP has planned a spur-of-the-moment walkout for Wednesday, with the Congress guys also hoping to sneak out using Gadkari for cover.

I wonder if the English had anticipated the extent to which the rivalry would build up back when they created Pakistan. I imagine it was a complex, gut-wrenching decision, involving heated debates on politics, religion and morality.

Mountbatten: OK, so if we divide the nation, it will lead to an immediate bloodbath, followed by decades of turmoil and strife…

Aide: Yes. But the cricket will be awesome.

Mountbatten: Chal done!

And now, a quick recap of the World Cup’s most memorable moments. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. The opening ceremony, starring Bryan Adams, is arguably the largest sporting event held in Bangladesh since their Taslima Nasreen Hunting Tournament a few years ago. (Fun Fact: Bangladesh was formed in 1971, which means Bryan Adams is actually older than the country he performed in)

2. Sehwag publicly chides Sreesanth for his poor bowling against Bangladesh. He forgets that it’s unwise to piss off the guy in charge of your drinking water.

3. Ads get more ridiculous, with Dilshan being forced to flick a pallu at the behest of Anjala Zaveri, an actress so obscure that if you search for her online, Google asks you to stop and think about what your life has been reduced to. Meanwhile, another ad gets downright smug as it challenges a country of brown men to “make it large”.

4. The West Indians skittle out Bangladesh for 58. Later, the West Indian bus is stoned by irate Bangladeshi fans, who mistake it for their own team bus. These IQ levels indicate that Bangladesh would be a great market for Sajid Khan films.

5. Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien stars in their whirlwind victory over England in Bangalore, scoring the fastest century in the history of the World Cup. O’Brien admits that he just wanted to wrap the game up quick so that he could reach the pub before 11.30 p.m.

6. During a group match, the Pakistanis gang up to sledge Canadian Balaji Rao. He responds with choice abuses in the native language of Canada – Punjabi.

7. India meets Australia in an epic quarter-final. Ashwin does well with the new ball, Sachin crosses the 18000-run mark, Gambhir tries to get run out and succeeds, Raina shines, Kohli flies, Brett Lee bleeds, Ponting slumps and Yuvraj smashes the winning boundary. I’m trying to type a punchline here, but my fanboy erection keeps getting in the way.

Three days.

Three days to go for one of the most awaited contests of this decade. Three days to go before Rameez Raja wets himself every time a Pakistani player does something extraordinary, such as inhale. Three days to go before otherwise cultured Indians and Pakistanis start exchanging pleasantries about female relatives. In the spirit of cricket, all I’d like to say is that may the best team win – as long as it’s Indian.

(Note: This is my HT column, dated 27th March, 2011)

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39 responses to “Love thy neighbours. Send them home.

  1. Hilarious! The dog ate my grandmother is a line I think will work!

  2. hucareswatisay

    super and may the best team be India!

  3. This is one of the best pieces written by you ever…..
    You rock mate!!!

  4. Pingback: Love thy neighbours. Send them home. (via Ashish Shakya) « ResOnAncE

  5. Hehe.. nice one..
    that “That’s nice – it’s always good to see Pakistanis enter the country legally.” was damn damn damn hillarious.. 🙂

  6. Agree with Shashwat. One of your best pieces.

  7. ‘Three days to go before otherwise cultured Indians and Pakistanis start exchanging pleasantries about female relatives.’

    Is this EPIC or what ?

  8. Man this is just too good. Bryan Adams in Bangladesh hahahahhaha this is written so well. respect.

  9. “The Dog ate my grandmother”, the female relatives bit, the jab about Pakistanis entering the country legally… and so many more sublime lines made this a really funny post to read 🙂 Great work.

  10. Man.. this is a brilliant piece mate..

  11. Was laughing like crazy …. before I could finish this comment.
    Thanks for writing such an awesome post on my birthday. 🙂

  12. Aur yeh chaukaaaa! Ballebaazi ka behtareen pradarshan kiya hai Aashish Shakya ne.

  13. u always come up with something awesome. my favourite was bangladeshi IQ level and Sajid Khan films. hahahaha

  14. “These IQ levels indicate that Bangladesh would be a great market for Sajid Khan films”

    Well no surprise in this. Chunky Pandey was a big star after his left Hindi cinema for good. Bangladeshis do take his shift to justify all the illegal immigration from the other side.

  15. The conclusion says it all. Diplomacy? Yes, indeed!

  16. bloody brilliant.
    regardless, wednesday shall be killer.

    ciao

  17. awesome! Hilarious! Loved the bit abt ‘pleasantries reg female relatives’ suitably subtle!!
    I’m glad I read this on a monday morning!

  18. Did you see the debate up on NDTV with manishankar aiyer back to his rhetoric “We are not an oppurtunistic party”. Ofcourse inviting pakistan’s leader was embedded in rig veda

  19. Still cant stop laughing bout the dog ate my grandma joke! You ROCK!
    _/\_

  20. Awesome post! Read on the paper first, but could not resist reading and tweeting it again! Hope India wins!

  21. just loved it…really liked the humor….

    Bryan Adams older than then bangladesh…., Rameez Raja wets himself every time a Pakistani player does something extraordinary, such as inhale., Anjala Zaveri, an actress so obscure… Bangladesh would be a great market for Sajid Khan films., native language of Canada – Punjabi..,…way to go !!!! lol

  22. Pakistanis entering the country legally… Was the best line in the whole article!! Great work.

    “These IQ levels indicate that Bangladesh would be a great market for Sajid Khan films” – No wonder Chunky is a big hit there…

    Oh! and you forgot Sonu “English Song Writer – Cum – Crooner” Stealing Bryan Adams’s Thunder during the opening 😛

  23. BTW – Where were you hiding all these days 😦 .. and how come I did not come across this blog earlier 😥

  24. Krishnendu Sanyal

    Great read!!!

  25. hilarious…good read to ease off the nervousness 🙂

  26. Nice one

  27. It is great !!! Keep it up !!! Brilliance. 🙂

  28. Given that they were all Indians before 1947, either way jeet toh Indians ki hi hogi.
    =)

  29. achcha hai.pressed the like button…

  30. Too gud man its really speechless piece.cheers INDIA… 🙂 \m/

  31. kahan chupe the tum 🙂

    …someone posted this on Facebook … loved the article and ended up reading all your posts till now … you have got a new pankha now

  32. Kya baat. Kya baat. Kya baat.

    You had me completely at ‘That’s nice – it’s always good to see Pakistanis enter the country legally.’ One of the best pieces I’ve read in a while.

    @tantanoo

    (btw, came here via. Daddy_san’s article, another superb post.)

  33. Awesome post !
    One of the best blogs ever read .
    All the punches were hilarious 🙂
    Looking forward to more of your good work .

  34. I do not know many people who speak the language of sarcasm in such a good manner. 🙂 Love your work as you do not try too hard to make it interesting. You are gifted 🙂

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