The Indian cricket fans can now © Getty Images
The Indian cricket fans can now get back to their favourite sport © Getty Images


By UnReal Mama


Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction


Millions of Indians in the wee hours of dawn grooved to the beats of the samba as the curtains fell on the 2014 Football World Cup. They were celebrating not because Germany had triumphed but because they could finally stop pretending to be crazy about the beautiful game and get back to their usual pastime of languidly following the wavering fortunes of the Indian cricket team.


“Truth be told, it’s been quite tough to keep up with the act of being crazy about football,” confided Sandeep Dikshit, a quintessential Indian cricket fan. “And it didn’t help either that the India-Bangladesh series was going on when the World Cup started. I had no choice but to stay up at night to watch these matches, though to be totally honest, I found the India-Bangladesh ODI matches to be far more engrossing. But what to do? It would have been so uncool to reveal that I was not into the football World Cup.”


Over time it got easier for the likes of Dikshit to cope by simply logging on to Twitter, quickly scanning over how the goals were scored, memorizing some of the jokes, and then reading the match report on, say, to be able to hold forth intelligibly with office mates during the course of the day. “Yeah, the challenge was to appear very excited about what had happened overnight. That and of course pronouncing the names of some of the Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Latin American footballers. Otherwise the genuine football fans that closely follow these players in the football league matches throughout the year will immediately show you out as a fraud. That’s why I initially confined myself only to analysis of the English team until I was confident enough of pronouncing their names.”


Some of these pseudo-football lovers also manufactured allegiances. “I cottoned on a little late to the fact that these Latin American teams,” revealed Amol Dighe, a Pune based software engineer, “Especially the Brazilians, are renowned for a very rhythmic, aesthetically pleasing style and that it’s cool to support them. So I would pretend to be a passionate Brazilian fan and root for them the way I would for India.”


“The downside to this strategy of course was that when Brazil was mauled by the Germans in the semis, I had to pretend that I was devastated. I tried to think of India’s World Cup semi-finals loss in 1996 to convey my sense of pathos over Brazil’s loss and some romantic drivel about how Brazil is the soul of the game. But it was worth the drama since it won me some brownie points with the fairer sex in my office who are none the wiser to both the so called gentleman’s game and the beautiful game,” Dighe boasted.


A few others coped by pretending to be Messi or Ronaldo fans. “Well, I hadn’t heard of this Messi chap until the World Cup started. But since his name appears quite frequently in print, I decided to model myself as a diehard Messi fan. That helped my contribute my 2 paise to discussions near the coffee machine in the office,” confessed PT Vivek, a Chennai-based Chartered Accountant.


“Anyway, glad it’s over, man,” PT Vivek said, echoing the views of millions of others. “Can’t wait to log onto in the evenings from office when the second Test starts and crack a few Ishant Sharma jokes. Life is back to normal, now.”


(Originally published in www.theunrealtimes.comUnreal Mama” is the pen name of CS Krishna & Karthik Laxman, founding editors of the site which is India’s favourite satire, spoof, parody and humour portal.)