How IPL brings families together - a humorous observation
“Delhi ki pehle batting hai. Pant marega.”
I can hear some random kid shout at the top of his voice as he informs his friend about the coin toss. It’s 7:30 in the evening. He still has time to wrap up this final game of dim-lit cricket before the ‘real game’ begins. His daily pilgrimage to the TV is so robust that he even missed Mr. Ahuja’s farewell party to avoid missing CSK vs RCB. How can he even miss his two favorite players battling each other on the 22-yard turf?
He is one such devotee of this extravaganza in a country where cricket is synonymous with religion. And IPL is a feast, in every sense. Such is the charm and power of this league that it’s been doing small wonders in so many households daily.
Priya and Harsh know longer fight over who gets to control the remote in the evening. They have reached a consensus during IPL. Priya still believes that her knowledge of cricket is more than her brother. She keeps asking him questions which irritates him more. How can she even expect that he would remember in which year Balaji took a hattrick? But comparing statistics of the game have brought this sibling together more than anything else in the recent years.
Not just the siblings, grandparents too. Nothing gives Mr. Das more pleasure than telling his children and grandson the stories of ‘the glorious past’. Listening to Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev in the commentary box acts as a trigger to recall all those moments- from buying his first television set to lighting firecrackers three months prior to Diwali. He still believes that Gavaskar is the best batsman that the game of cricket has seen. No wonder his son is named Sunil.
And who said that cricket is a gentleman’s game. The ladies in the house are equally (if not more) excited. From debating whether the 19th over should go to Kumar or Kaul to studying Afghanistan cricket team's Wikipedia page, they have done it all.
The summer heat calls for ice cream. The innings break and the timing to go to the shop to get those vanilla family packs have been cleverly coordinated by Harsh. Though sometimes, it means that he has to miss the replay of that excellent catch the fielders orchestrated at the boundary rope. Priya had almost screamed, “Six!”.
The scene at the ice cream shop is also not one to miss. Mr. Chopra in his Hawaii shorts and cigarette in his hand is still the analyst even after office hours. Only now, he is analyzing the total on the board and not the stock markets. Mr. Singh believes 174 is not a good target. He keeps on reminding everyone in the shop about the ‘dew factor’. Dew? In May? maybe for Mr. Singh. The conversations get interesting with Mr. Lal joining in. The debate is on whether MS Dhoni should upgrade himself in the batting order. Stephen Fleming should come and hear the arguments, CSK would be indebted forever to Mr. Lal. Harsh wants to stay and partake in the discussion, but will have to leave for his home. The ice cream is melting.
In bringing players from all around the globe under a league, IPL has not only brought the world a little closer but also brought people and households a little closer too. These are just a few things that happen every day. There are many more. IPL is more than just cricket. It’s entertainment- on the field. And, off the field.