Illustration by Prakash Dhole
Illustration by Prakash Dhole


By Rahul Namjoshi


Santa and Ghanta were two brothers who had conflicting opinions on Shahidbhai’s age. They could either solve the issue in a socially acceptable manner by going hammer and tongs at each other or take the tougher way out and appeal to a higher authority.


Having decided on the latter option, they went to their mum and asked her to resolve their dispute. They always thought their mum could bat better than Shahidbhai and was better at bullying their dad with her verbal googlies than Shahidbhai was at bullying the hapless minnows. Santa thought Shahidbhai was younger than their mother, who herself claimed to be 32 years old. Ghanta completely disagreed saying Shahidbhai was older than their mum. Now this was a tricky question and deserved to be considered from various angles. But their mum was confidence personified in promptly concluding that Shahidbhai was older than her.


Santa was unhappy with the decision and promptly went to their dad who, in turn, checked Shahidbhai’s birthdate on the internet which confirmed that Shahidbhai was only 31 years old and opined that maybe Santa was right. Being a veteran husband, he had learnt rather quickly to never take a firm stance against his wife! With this fresh evidence in hand Santa, Ghanta and their dad went back to the mum.


Being provided with the new evidence, their mum icily stared at their dad and said that she knew better anyways and Shahidbhai was indeed older than her. Santa couldn’t believe his ears and eyes and protested vehemently. He had proved to her that Shahidbhai’s date of birth was after hers and that was evidence enough. She said that this proof wasn’t conclusive enough as everyone knew how flimsy the evidence was. She was the final authority in matters cricketing and he had to abide by her decision.


Santa and Ghanta’s dad knew their mum’s ‘real’ age, which was closer to 35 and given that Shahidbhai was shown as only 31 Santa was the winner. But he was in a quandary because he didn’t know Shahidbhai’s ‘real’ age and he wanted peace reigning in his house, so the final decision lay with his better-half. Thus Ghanta was hailed as the winner.


A few days later they had an argument about which team would win the World Cup? Santa used to follow Darren Gough, Ian Botham and David Lloyd on Twitter and was convinced that England had it in them. Ghanta on the other hand followed Aaj Tak, Navjot Sidhu and most Indian bloggers and felt that England would not win it. Again they went to their mum who immediately said that Bangladesh would win the World Cup and no other team had any chance. Logically it meant that England wouldn’t win the World Cup and hence Ghanta would be the winner again.


Again, both went to their dad who also thought that England had no chance and that Ghanta was right. So it was again Ghanta who emerged the winner. Their mum could have been right about the final outcome of England not winning the World Cup, but her logic was flawed. Their dad too had a different logic to arrive at the same conclusion.


The next day Santa, while batting against Ghanta’s bowling, was given out lbw by his mum. He had edged the ball on to his pads and he looked at his dad who was watching too. Santa threw his hands up and asked his dad’s opinion. Dad said, ‘Sorry son, you have used both your referrals.’


Moral of the story: The on-field umpire is like the lady of the house, while the UDRS is the dad in the family!


PS: One hopes the name Ghanta does ring bells in the minds of the readers!


(Rahul Namjoshi, an utter failure as an MBA, has no published novel to boast of and hence trying the next best thing – blogging. There, too, the results there aren’t too encouraging)