The matches were starting from today. The opening ceremony was just as hyped. A show of extravagance! But the Baruah house hold was in complete flutter. Oh no there were no marriages or Anna-prasannas but the festive air was simply for the benefit of “Gangs of eleven man from various country” as Aita says who have literally booked their TV space for the time to come. Baruahni had stocked up on all sort of eatables- both fancy packaged stuff and also home made delicacies as a precaution. Aimony there 17 year old daughter had taken special leave from her music classes just to watch the matches. And Baruah? He had meticulously planned his routine in such a way that leaves him enough time to watch match till late night and still have his full quota of his sleep. It is another thing that his sleep quota has to be completed at the ahem ahem office. The only person who seemed subdued was Jun. – their 16 year old son. He had lately started remaining very quiet . Locked up in his room with his iPod and playing guitar. Maybe this world cup will bring him back again to the mainstream from the throes of puberty. And of course Aita, always hyper, she of course was full on against the hulla balloo about the World cup in the process creating more noise than all three put together, but what actually did the World Cup mean to the Baruah household? Aita , sweet and simple though a bit acid tongued was not at all in the loop and nor did she made a show of it. In fact she made a whole drama of being completely against this concept of eleven running after one laokhola (or football).
Our characters had just made themselves comfortable in the sofa to watch the first match. Only person missing was Jun. who was tinkering in his own room and inspite of sending several invites he had not accepted the audience request. Hmm Baruah was munching on some tamul and ruminating about… wait a min! Would you like to see inside his head .. well lets take a quick visit…
“ Seh! What is all these going on? Is my eyesight failing? I can’t seem to tell one player from the other and this Foreign players – all of them look the same? I have to look up the review from the newspaper tomorrow morning. Commissioner Sir is so much into football. If I will not put forth my observations then he will think I am a good for nothing. Seh! Where is Jun? Maybe he will be able to explain what is going on? I don’t even know the rules? “
Ha ha ha shocked?
Let’s proceed on to his wife then for her views. Maybe she has better football sense than Baruah.
“ Hmmm ! The match looks good in the LCD TV. Saikiya always brags about her 29 inch TV. This time I am going to be one up o her in the Sunday meeting. After all we have just got our LCD TV. I will love to see her expression when I tell them how lifelike the matches look.. It is like being in the “balcony” and watching it. We can see the players clearly. Their every feature. And once I bring the fully automatic machine the…”
Well that was not much of a surprise isn’t it?
But Aimony belongs to today’s generation. And she had taken special leave too. Lets see what is she thinking, concentrating so hard?
“Now isn’t he( a player) totally handsome? Reminds me of Bhaskar. There is some resemblance. Hmmm! Is he interested in me or not? He seems to talk to Vandana a lot. Maybe if he knows that I watch football, he might be impressed. But if I have to watch these every night for a month I will go mad. I have to do something fast to hook him. Shall I wear my world cup t-shirt to college tomorrow. He might see it and…”
But at that same moment our protagonist Jun decides to saunter in for a glass of water from the refrigerator. But purpose over, without a second glance at the TV he walks to the door. And that is when Baruah calls out to him
“Jun! Are you not going to watch the match?”
“Why? It is so exciting. Come, come have a seat. What were you doing upstairs? Studying?”
“Deta I don’t want to watch.”
All the family members started looking at each other perplexed. A guy of fifteen and not watching the world cup? Either he is mad or he isn’t a … ahem ahem. Or he isn’t well.
“Is it a girl, Jun?” His mother asked with concern written all over her face.
“Oh come on! He replied exasperatedly. I just don’t want to watch it.”
“Aimony have you said something to him that u shouldn’t have. Fought with him?” His father asked sternly.
Before a scandalized Aimony could say something Jun retorted angrily and quite fiercely, “I don’t want to watch it cos I don’t like football”
But u don’t like cricket too , Aimony asked puzzled
“So? What is this? Some subject choice of school? Like Sanskrit or Geography? Cricket or Football? Guys I don’t like sports. I m not into it. So please let me be. I like playing the guitar. Listening to music…”
“Are you mad? What will people say? He is duffer ! He doesn’t understand anything so he is not watching…” oops Mr Baruah blurted a little too much I think.
Jun turned slowly towards Baruah and said calmly, “Yeah I don’t understand the game and I’m not ashamed to say it, But Deta do you understand it? Do you want me to take a quiz on it? Ma! You? Aimony! What about you? Does all of you understand the game?
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