Yesterday in a first class compartment in a Mumbai local, a man sat huddled near a window seat, hiding his face from the group of bhajan playing fellow passengers. Suddenly the train passed a spot where a ray of sunlight struck his face and a man close by touched him roughly. “You are from Ranchi aren’t you?” “No!” said the man trying to hide his face. “He is from Ranchi!” shouted the same man; the singers stopped their bhajan singing stared at the frightened man with fury and pulled the chain. “What are you doing?” asked the terrified man as the local came to a grinding halt and they hauled him to the door.
“Out!” they shouted, “We don’t want your Ranchi or anyone from Dhoni’s place in our train!” At the Bangalore airport, more or less the same anger was seen as passengers got of a Mumbai plane and walked to the terminal: They were met by a furious manager who stood with arms akimbo at the entrance.
“Cowards!” he shouted. “Why?” asked one of the passengers. “Does your Sachin know cricket?” he hissed. “But jut six months ago, he was a hero?” they told him. “Not hero, zero!” shouted the airport manager to the Mumbai passengers, “Go back to Mumbia and live with your Zero, we don’t want you all here!” In Kolkatta the mobs rushed to Ganguly’s restaurant. “Our hero!” they cried, “put on your cricket pads and batting gloves!”“Wait!” shouted Ganguly, “I have to take off my chefs apron!” “Go!” they shouted, “Go to England and win for us again!” In Delhi the Prime Minister scratched his forehead at the early morning call, “Yes madam,” he said. “I just got a call from our coalition partners!” she screamed, “They will withdraw support if we don’t do something!” “What do we do!” whispered the PM into the phone. “Get the water cannons out!” said Sonia from her hospital bed. “What do we do with the water cannons?” “Aim them at the cricket team when they get down from the plane. Douse them and send them back, or our government will fall!”
“But Madam, all our cannons are aimed at Anna Hazare!” “This is a worse threat, douse the Indian cricket team, otherwise we are finished!” Like I said, in India we take our cricket very seriously.