Readers Write In #11: The World Cup that wasn’t

Posted on March 23, 2017


India Won! The entire country won! The 11 men on whom hopes of 1.2 Billion people rested made the nation proud. A billion dreams, as someone wrongly said it, was made into reality. People were happy, which is good. However, I have just one problem with it.

It seems to me that pride and nationalism swells in our country when a team in the name of the country does well. Think about it for a second, has any team united the entire nation like the cricket team does?  The UPA, The NDA?  “Men in blue” can eat the “saffron team” for breakfast, and finish off the “dynasty team” for lunch. I don’t think it is necessarily the greatness of the sport. Maybe it’s the competition and the trophy that gets the people going, the sexiness of standing alone and at the top, and maybe the humiliation of a loss. The fact that they would run into people from other countries, and would not be able to face them with a loss. This is not unique to India. Other countries take their teams seriously too. I mean how else could some country show patriotism than by killing their own team’s goal keeper who conceded a goal?  True patriots.

It was one of those early mornings where you don’t get morning wood, nor you go on twitter rants like strong leaders do, but you get some random ideas. Ideas that appear mildly, and then turn into a raging shit storm.

What if we had a world cup on something which was not as interesting as putting a ball through a hoop or smashing a ball out of the boundaries, but something mundane and boring like Infant Mortality rate.  Wouldn’t it be interesting? I mean we can have all countries participate except for South Korea (Name was changed to protect identity).

A logo for the world cup can be created, like a fetus inside the womb hangs itself with its own Umbilical cord, the gorier it is, the better. Advertisers would pour in, with condom makers and gynecologists charging the highest. The weird ways in which the ad-industry works.

Now that I think of it, it can also be a reality show. I am sure one leader would be totally up for that idea. But I do want to tell you more about this idea.

A knock out draw, where each country goes head to head with another and presents its Infant mortality rate against the other country. This is how it would look. You go head to head and talk.

“I am USA. I am from the country where C-section was first done. My IMR is 6 per 1000”

“I am Singapore. I am a 2.5. That is Rome and Fuck you” BOOM! The match would be over.

No balls, no pucks, and no diplomacy. Just mere facts that decide the game. Oh, yes, we would have fact and alternative fact checkers, a fact review system.

And in the next world cups we would look at growth, and not proficiency so that any country can win. I would have the tournament advisers work on a detailed document to explain this to the USA. You got to help the weak students in class.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a World Cup where, for the first time, for the first fucking time, the important players in the competition would be women? Anyway, I digress.

And then we would have our first match. India going head to head with the Honduras. Honduras, a country whose mere existence puts people like you and me on an even keel with Alia Bhatt. But who cares, it’s going to be a walk in the park for India. Both the captains go in.

“I am India. I am a 30”

Honduras says something. Wait a minute! Theirs is lower. India can’t believe it. India go up for the fact checker review. They are not quite sure. But with the evidence that they have, they believe the decision should stay.

Oh no! India lost. The country lost. 1.2 billion people lost to this country for no good men, Honduras. I mean this must sting! Billion dreams and several fetuses crushed in few minutes.

Newspapers would have flashing news with Ministers, doctors and politicians’ jobs on the line. Ravi Shastri would be eyeing his spot as the country’s health minister. Random guys would criticize the team for not having done well on Infant mortality. Meanwhile, a son-in-law would be defending himself by saying that he was just an “infant enthusiast”. That didn’t sound, right did it?

People would be mad. How could we lose? Who didn’t perform well? Which players or states fucked it up? The people shout out slogans “Change the system! Improve the health care, take care of the women, have a selection process.”

But hey there is always a silver lining. We found out another way to beat our nice neighbors once again. It looks like their World Cup woes start from the womb and never seem to end.  (India 30 –  Pak 65)

And then the system starts to change. There are too many people watching, and too much money involved. The team must improve. They need to.And then one day, maybe one day they would lift that world cup. The day we bleed blue! The day we feel proud!The shit storm of an idea subsides, and I go back to doing what men do best in the morning.

Authored by Sanjay Madhavan, an eclectic person who loves ‘Blue Sattai’ reviews as much as Baradwaj Rangan’s.