“Don’t turn on the TV.” The husband commented, a little too casually. “I mean, you can turn it on – just don’t watch the cricket match.”
“But I want to watch the match.” His wife replied, confused, her finger frozen on the ‘On’ button on the remote.
“I turned it off because we’re not doing so well.” He still hadn’t looked up from the newspaper he was hiding behind, pretending to read. The tone of his reply indicated that the matter was settled.
Boy, was he wrong.
A moment later, the loud, raucous cheers of an entire cricket stadium filled the living room.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m not going to stop watching the match just because of your silly beliefs.” She scowled, eyes tracking the activity on the screen.
“Silly beliefs?” He sputtered in disbelief. “SILLY? This works every time! And since when do you watch cricket?”
“I love cricket.” She said, and received a snort in response. “I do! I used to watch it all the time when I was younger.”
“Well, you’re a lot older now.” He muttered, but not loud enough so she could hear.
There were a few moments of silence as they continued to watch the match; him, tensed and nervously scratching his knee, her, devoid of any expression.
And then another wicket fell.
“LOOK WHAT YOU DID!” He had erupted from his chair like lava from a volcano and though his eyes were still glued to the TV, his words were directed at his wife.
She was not impressed. “How is this my fault?”
“I told you to turn it off! Every time India starts losing early on in the game, I always turn the TV off. And you know what? They win. Every time. I’m not making this up. Now, will you turn it off, please?”
“How do you know they win then? If you’re not watching?” His wife questioned, definitely making no move to turn the TV off.
“How did Aamir Khan know his daughter won the gold medal in Dangal?” His words were like bullets, immersed deeply in sarcasm. “This is India vs Pakistan; every one is going to have firecrackers ready to burst the moment we win. The minute I hear the firecrackers, I’ll know.”
He didn’t mention that he had some himself, saved for such occasions.
“How does this ‘not-watching’ work exactly? I mean, what about everybody else? What about all those people in the stadium? Do you think they’re sitting there with their hands covering their eyes?”
And suddenly she started laughing hysterically, thinking of all the people sitting in their homes, in restaurants, at malls, in the stadium, anywhere they broadcast the match, all of them with eyes shut tight.
Her laughter was cut short when another wicket was snatched and another batsman in blue walked away with a heavy heart.
The husband simply got up and walked out, down two flights of stairs – without any shoes on – to his friend’s house, where he could hopefully not watch the match in peace.
The wife, unperturbed, continued to watch the rest of the match, short as it was.
And the rest, as you know, is history.