Saturday, April 11, 2015

Oh Dear Gandhi! - Part 2

continued from part 1

“Get the hell out of here, all of you” roared Gandhiji, evidently suppressing his rage, jaw clamped tight. Everyone except his close allies left the hall. There were just five people standing, Gandhiji himself, Rajendra Prasad, Nehru, Jinnah and Yuva, staring into the silence, which stretched into longer and much intense quietness, making the sound of rain spookier coupled with the howling wind as if foreboding an onset of disaster.

After making sure the crowd left, still in a suppressed tone, teeth grinding, Gandhiji asked, “Please tell what they said was a lie, Yuva.”

Yuva replied in a hollow and a far off-ish voice, licking his lips nervously, “Bapuji, I’d have given anything in this world to have what they said to be a lie, but sadly it’s not. They were telling the truth. I helped them manage their team and set up a national team.”

Glaring red, Gandhiji asked, “Yuva, you? I cared for you like my own son and yet here you are hatching a diabolical plan right behind my back, you filthy half-blood.”

“Half-Blood? What’s that supposed to mean.”

“It means you’re only half-Indian, and the other half of you reek of British.”

“Now, that’s offensive. All I did was help them set up a national team, as they are playing really good. They were even able to defeat other nations,” said Yuva in his defense for Gandhiji’s words stung him a lot. Growing up in the Sabarmati ashram, he never considered himself British, though he is half British. He has been working with Gandhiji towards Independence of India since he was a mere child.

Gandhiji was now shaking with anger now, with fists tightly clenched, “Who the hell are you to set up a national team for my people?”

“Oh come on, Bapuji, now you’re just behaving like an unduly overprotective father, it’s just a game, and I just helped them set up a national team, since I felt they were particularly good at it.”

“Of course I’m behaving as a father, I’m the father of the nation, you moron. And it’s not just a game, its cricket, a congenitally British game. And you say they’re very good at it, which only proves that they’ve been playing and practicing since so long. Bloody rascals!”
There was a prolonged silence.

“You know what Yuva I think I know exactly how to make them shred the cricket out of them. Once they understand that they can’t win at it, they will soon forget it and some other Indian game will take that place in their hearts.”

“But you can’t do it Bapuji, they’re naturally skilled at it, and they are only going to extend their wins.”

A dark silence ensued, Gandhiji, broke the silence, suddenly laughing eerily, a mocking mirthless laugh, like a mad scientist, “Oh is it? Let’s see. What if they have either batsmen or just the bowlers but not both? Such combination can never continue their winning streak.”

“I agree, but why would they choose such a pathetic team, when they’ve great bowlers and excellent batsmen at their disposal?”

“Oh no, they’ll not, but they will be forced to. What if India is divided into two countries, one which has all the batsmen and one which has all the bowlers? That means there will be two teams, one team bad at bowling and other bad at batting. Such team can never win and after some time they will lose their heart and hopefully an indigenous game like Kabaddi or Kho kho will take its place.”

Understanding slowly dawned upon Yuva, and he saw that Gandhiji was not joking and was talking in a serious business-like tone, “Bapuji, please don’t do it, I beg you. It’s just a game, and our people love it.”

“You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” replied Gandhiji and added, “Till now you’ve seen a very saint-like Gandhi, now is the time to see the evil genius version of me.”

Yuva always had a little sadistic desire, to see Gandhiji loosing cool at someone and shouting at them, but now that it’s being done to him, he didn’t entirely liked it, “Bapuji, please don’t do it, it’s not going to work. Love for something can’t be tweaked so easily. Opinions, interests and love are subjective matters and can’t be interfered with.”

Gandhiji spoke with obdurate determination, “I’ll only accept that cricket is not just an English game when they replace the tea-break in the game with a filter-coffee-break. Can you convince them to do it?” questioned Gandhiji, and Yuva had no answer for that.

Gandhiji continued, still glowering at Yuva, “I can’t let this happen, because of cricket, my own people told me lies, knowing fully well how much I worship truthfulness. Truth the unique, absolute, ultimate and eternal thingummy,” said Gandhiji.

“Truth is subjective and sometimes irrelevant,” contested Yuva.

“What load of gobbledygook you speak? The Truth is never irrelevant.”

“Say, a drunkard comes and ask you how many floors you can go up such that you throw a cat down and it wouldn’t be hurt.”

“What the deuce has it got to do with the truth,” replied a confounded Gandhiji.

“Just answer my question.”

“I don’t know, maybe seven?”

“Here the truth should be saying I don’t know, but such answer won’t satisfy a drunkard, so if you say you don’t know he’ll go and attempt the experiment. Instead if he asked me the question I’ll reply, that cat landing on its feet is a myth and it’ll die even when thrown from the first floor. I maybe saying a lie, but I do it with a hope of discouraging the person so that he won’t attempt his experiments and harm the cats in the process. So you see Bapuji, the truth is subjective and contextual, and in some instances totally irrelevant.”

“And here I thought you didn’t like cats.”

“I don’t like cats, but that doesn’t mean I want them hurt or dead. I don’t love someone doesn’t mean I hate them. Not everything in the world is black and white, or truth and lie. Some things might belong to both the orders or might be part of no classification at all. We should able to accept that. Just like we should accept our people’s the love towards cricket. Bapuji, please don’t go ahead with your partition idea, moreover it’s never going to yield the result you are expecting.”

“And why wouldn’t the idea work, because, it’s my idea? You think me as idiot? What the heck, I’m one of the brightest minds in the world. I’ve a major degree in law from University College, London. Just wait and see how my idea is going to end cricket in the subcontinent,” and added Now, Jinnah I see on your face, that you’re dying with excitement to tell me something, what is it?” 

Jinnah replied, words tumbling from him in his excitement, “Bapuji, I even know a good excuse to implement that partition idea.”

“And that is?”

“We say that Hindus and Muslims have different ideologies and hence need different jurisdiction saying which we propose a two nation theory.”

Nodding vigorously Gandhiji said, “Preposterous, yet I suspect it will be a highly efficient plan. Nothing works better than religion in sub-continent. Now come on in Jinnah, we’ve got a lot to discuss.” Gandhiji saw Yuva was trying to say something, so he raised his hand signaling him to stop, “Yuva, nothing you say will change my mind now, and I’m not the sort of person who changes his thoughts after committing to an idea and get out of here.”


Gandhiji turned a deaf ear to his pleadings and proceeded with his idea, and so born India, Pakistan, and later Bangladesh. He was successful to a certain extent. Certainly India's strength has always been its batting line-up with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid; and Pakistan has always been the bowling studded with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar . But Just as Yuva predicted the partition couldn’t stop either India or Pakistan from winning a world cup and leaving aside the victories and defeat the partition failed to hamper the feverishly divine enthusiasm cricket enjoys in the subcontinent, with the most loyal fan following. What more the sub-continent people took their love with them to all the places they’ve gone too and almost infected the locals there with it. South Africa and West Indies stand testimony to that.

Yuva, now an elderly man, reflected the incident while folding his team India blue jersey just having returned back from Cricket world cup in Australia. His daughter booked tickets to the couple to all the world cup matches. She knows that her parents loved cricket. Well, more like her dad loved cricket and her mom liked to be with him.

“Why so serious?” said Shruthy laughing bringing two cups of filter coffee, “What were you musing on so seriously?”

Yuva took the plate from her and set it on the teapoy, and took Shruthy into her hands, “I was just wondering, how come you’re so beautiful, even after becoming a grandma to two kids.”

“Shut up, you.”

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