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(Published in, on 25th March 2011, retrieved from


Sachin jumped up and high-fived Arjun, who hugged him, screaming, “India-Pakistan! India-Pakistan!”

“It’s as if they made India win,” Samyukta smirked, looking at her brother and the other four-and-a-half foot creature swaying around the room with him, before nodding at the television screen, “that’s exactly what Yuvraj and Raina are doing there. It’s creepy when men hug each other.”

Arvind laughed, like all straight men will at anything that stirs homophobia, and added to his daughter’s sentiment, “It’s not as bad as Paes and Bhupathi’s chest bumps, though.”

“Let them celebrate a little,” Sunita said, not making it clear whether she was referring to Sachin and Arjun, or Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, “India’s won, after all.”

“Look at that loser!” Samyuktha laughed, as a bandaged Brett Lee stared dolefully at one of his teammates.

“India won because they knew their houses would be tarred if they lost before meeting Pakistan,” Arvind said, “that’s our biggest motivating factor. They get cars and houses if they win; they lose their existing cars and houses if they choke.”

“But it’s not only the Indian people who do that. They did the same thing in Bangladesh. No?” Sunita frowned.

“Probably. At least they didn’t send those guys to work in quarries like Kim Jong-Il did to the North Korean football coach,” Arvind said.

“Did they actually do that?” Sunita gasped, “what happened to him?”

“I’ll ask next time I meet someone from that mine,” Arvind promised his wife.

“Did you observe that Australia and India were fielding like each other?” Arvind’s father called, from his reclining chair, “absolute shame!”

“You think that’s fixed too, Pa?” Arvind asked.

“I think it’s divine retribution for that sidey video Brett Lee made with Asha Bhonsle,” Samyuktha grinned, “the ball did what everyone across the world wanted to do to him after it came out.”

“Asha Bhonsle made some video with a foreign band also, no?” Sunita said, “Scarlet Boys or something? Why does she do all these things?”

“Code Red,” Samyuktha said, “though Scarlet Boys would suit them just as well.”

Her grandfather turned, “I don’t think it’s fixed. But Modi probably had some black magic worked on the Australians. They broke an LCD in his dressing room, no?”

“The Australians went to Modi’s house?” Sunita asked her father-in-law.

“No, no, Ponting broke a TV in the team dressing room in the match against Zimbabwe,” her husband said impatiently, “after he was run out.”

“He can’t even aim his cricket kit properly,” snorted Arvind’s father, “no wonder the team didn’t make a single direct hit. With fielding like that, you don’t need the bad luck a broken mirror brings.”

“Does an LCD qualify as a mirror, Pa?” Arvind asked, innocently.

“He’s only continuing the curse,” his father answered, “remember, Hayden broke a mirror in Sydney during the Ashes series.” He added sinisterly, “remember what Ranatunga said. Remember where they come from. Crime is genetic.”

“That was in 2003. Didn’t seem to bring them much bad luck,” answered Arvind, “if you ask me, it’s the WAGs.”

“Wives and Girlfriends,” Samyuktha explained, before her mother could ask.

“What about them?” Sunita asked, curiously.

“The Indian WAGs create a scandal if someone finds a picture of them smoking a few years before the wedding. The Australian WAGs make news when they show up wearing see-through clothes at dinners. Which team do you think was more distracted?”

“So your theory is – in order for a team to perform, they need behnjis for wives?” Samyuktha scoffed at her father.

“Didn’t another one of the...WAGs, is that what you call them? Didn’t one of them get caught in some photo scandal? Bungle or something?” Sunita said.

“It’s a pity it couldn’t happen in the Eden Gardens,” Samyuktha said, “the crowd would have won it for them. None of the Australian cricketers would have been able to go near the boundary rope.”

“Yeah, and the match would have been awarded to Australia,” her father said.

“It’s all because of the mirror, I’m telling you,” his father declared, “you cannot damage a Gujarati’s property without consequences.”

“Like black magic and bad luck?” Arvind suddenly paused, “Pa, if only you could be in charge of a world-wide organisation for racial profiling, the Indian government would have fewer protests to lodge.”


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