© Getty Images
© Getty Images

“What’s your name?”

Ji, Pyarelal.”

“What Pyarelal? Give me your full name!”

“It is only Pyarelal, Sir. That is it.”

“What do you mean? What is your surname?”

“Are you crazy? Since when did ghosts start having surnames?”

“Rrrrright. As for the age…”

“Since birth or since death?”

“Are you kidding me? What do you think this is, a joke? Did you go through the eligibility criterion for the auction?”

“Sir, as you are probably aware of, I am an illiterate; do not give all this criterion-nonsense to me.”

“Listen, the rules say you cannot be dead for more than ten years.”

“Let me think… no, it cannot be more than five. There was some big cricket thing India won in Mumbai, when was that?”

“2011. Just about five years. I need to see your ID proof.”

“Here.”

“Hmm, seems in order.”

“Er, when does the auction start?”

“At daybreak, to suit both parties. Where are your credentials?”

“Cre… what?”

“This. This is why I don’t want to handle illiterates. And yet, the franchises insist on these creatures. Fine, listen: I need a list of your abilities, of what you can do, what your powers are. There is a form for that. Have you even seen it?”

“I used to be an illiterate…”

“Fine. You just answer these questions. I will note down. Oh, are you aware of who the purchasers are?”

“Yes yes. Eight IPL teams will buy ghosts. Ghosts of farmers. We need to help them win, just like players do. We need to confuse the opposition.”

“Fine. Now tell me what you can do. Can you enter the bats, in person? Can you make the bats stronger and lighter, so that batsmen can hit even harder?”

“Yes. I wish I could do the same when I was alive. It would have helped with ploughing.”

“Don’t deviate from the topic. We buy abilities, not stories. Can you get into the ball as well, making it work the way a bowler would want to?”

“Yes.”

“Remember, the opposition will also have ghosts like you. Can you get into their bats or balls and fight their ghosts?”

“I used to be the strongest man…”

“That will do. Oh, and can you urinate on the ground? To increase the ‘dew factor’, that is…”

“What does ‘urinate’ mean?”

“Bathroom…”

“You want me to piss on the ground?”

“Eww, that sounded crass! Do not use when they bid for you!”

“Anyway, all ghosts can do that.”

“But can you urinate anywhere?”

“Wherever you say. We never had toilets when we were alive. And we are certainly not choosy now.”

“Great! You are likely to be a marquee ghost this time! I mean, you will be sold at a high price. What do you think your base price should be?”

“Base?”

“Your base price. The minimum price for which you will be sold. They will bid above that. Given your talent, you will be sold for much, much more.”

“They told me we will get water…”

“Of course you will get water! Suppose your base price is set at twenty thousand litres. The franchises will auction on top of that. Suppose your final price reaches, say, thirty thousand litres. This would mean that thirty thousand litres of water will be sent to your family. It will not be taxable, either!”

“This sounds good. Very good, in fact. Will this auction happen every year?”

“Of course! It has been happening since the first edition of IPL!”

“Is thirty thousand litres a lot of water?”

“Plenty. More than what you have ever seen in your lifetime.”

“Enough for a season’s worth of wheat?”

“Of course!”

“This is great news. This means that I won’t have to see my son in the auction next year.”

“Yes, yes, oh, just one thing: I need your fingerprint. Yes, right there.”

***

Original story (in Bengali) by Tanmay Mukherjee

Poorly translated by Abhishek Mukherjee

(Tanmay Mukherjee aka Bongpen is a Bengali blogger who loves the internet, food, cricket and Kolkata, and is keen on compiling trifles)

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor at CricketCountry and CricLife. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)