'Most anyone who knows me over the past three years knows how much I hate the 'Mumbai Indians'. The name itself is a double whammy. First, it murders the name of my city. Then it claims to be a bunch of Indians, casually ignoring the fact that one each of the opening batsmen and bowlers are Sri Lankan. And that logo. *throws up*
Excuse me. Sorry about that. Anyhoo, last night, I was in a bar, meeting The Shrew and The Little Lady. This particular watering hole, popular amongst The People, was playing the match, and most were in attendance on a Wednesday night just for this reason. As the evening wore on and the spirits began to settle well and truly in bloodstreams across the room, the spirits of some of these MI (I can't even stand to write the full name) supporters began to soar, and they to become more more vocal with their support. Every time those blasted MI batsmen managed to get the ball past the boundary line, they'd cheer. This was more than I could bear on a quiet evening out with friends. This. Was. The. Proverbial. Sparta.
In the calm before the storm that was to be the next ball, I yelled, "Come on Jumbo!" Two people, thus far hiding their faces in their beer mugs in corners of the bar, afraid to show their true colours, saw their leader and yelled their support for their new champion. Said bowler ambled up to the crease, swung his arm and let loose. A telepath in the room may have, at this point, passed out from the sheer weight of prayers for a boundary.
The ball sailed through the air, flighted. The batsman misread it and swung wildly, knocking the ball straight up in the sky. Having just issued my challenge, with the surge of adrenaline and testosterone still coursing through my veins, I raised my voice in an emphatic cheer, joined in by my two I'm-too-scared-to-stand-up-for-what-I-truly-believe-in-without-a-strong-leader-type-to-show-me-how supporters. The sphere was now on its descent, gracefully parting the air before it, heading straight for the waiting hands of one of the Non-MI kids on the field. Projecting all the confidence I could safely muster without busting every electrical fuse in that room, I crossed my fingers behind my back.
The boy caught it. As one, my heartless supporters and I turned around, cheering loudly. Inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things, but loud for the three of us, anyway. By the time we were finished, we turned to smile (read: gloat) at the crowd behind us. Only to find them grinning back at us. I faltered. Hesitantly, I turned back to the television. Only to see the umpire framed gloriously on screen, one arm held out beside him. And then they erupted. Jumping in their seats, their yells much louder than ours. Jeering, leering, hooting. Defeated, I turned back to my glass.
And I grinned. I don't care either way. But those people there, when they go home, or meet their friends, they have a story to tell.
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