At the time of writing, my heart goes out to the Great Indian Advertising Machine, which lies in unhappy disarray after a hat trick of tragic catastrophes in the land of the Carib.
The first, of course, the still mysterious death of Bob Woolmer.
The second, the ignominious exit of Inzamam-ul-Haq from the World Cup and one-day cricket.
And the third, the great party thrown last night by my friend of fourteen years, Rajeev Rajagopal, in expectation of an Indian victory. I do hope your bladder did not reject the copious intake of beer.
There is a line that Bruce Lee Mani wrote in ‘Potatoe Junkie’ – yep, the one that starts with ‘turn it on, turn it on, turn it on, mass communication junkie’. It goes ‘veto is your right, you can’.
And that illustrates why, after much deliberation and many arguments with my wife and turning a tone-deaf ear to the rants of my friends, I took the Luddite, quasi-Amish stance of outlawing cable television from my house. All for reclaiming the one thing that television had killed (along with the radio star).
Which is why when a small band of friends gathered at my place this bygone Monday, they found that the only way they could follow India’s fortunes against Bermuda was (for a price) on their mobile phones, or via my broadband connection. If my home were like any other, we’d be sitting huddled before the electronic teat, suckling away at ads with bits of match thrown in between.
Instead, we had a great time. We made plenty of satisfying, aimless conversation. And everyone, even Nishith Singh, enjoyed the Keema Mutter.
So, my dear Rajeev, I hope you slept well last night. Because the men in blue will return, and the men in blue will reappear on television as if nothing ever happened to taint their blushing blueness. And Mahendra Singh Dhoni will still drive around with his hyper-tinted power windows up, and the righteous cops who book him will be transferred or suspended. And between two slices of a match when Sachin is in reality unhooking his gloves and walking back to the accustomed air-conditioned comfort of the pavilion, he is still guzzling the secret of his energy and swiping his Visa power. While someone else is devouring a breakfast of champions. And still someone else is telling you what you always knew: that wherever you go, their network will follow. And Sehwag’s mom is slapping down a spatula of butter to soothe her unbruised gladiator’s breakfast.
But we at Thermal And A Quarter will keep on fighting till the end.