IPLitis - The Male epidemic
Every time I think of the IPL, I can’t help but remember a story told to me by a friend.
She was working out at the neighbourhood gym when she caught a rather good-looking boy glancing towards her. She smiled, obviously flattered. The boy continued stealing glances in her direction—even as he pumped iron, dumb-bells in hand. By this point, my friend was furiously blushing, a silly smile plastered on her face. It was love at first sight! All romantic illusions were quickly destroyed, however, when the poor woman realized that the boy was not looking at her, but at the cricket match playing on the television behind her.
If you’re a woman, you will agree that IPL season does strange things to the men around us. It’s almost like a sweeping epidemic of sorts, which takes the male species by storm and then vanishes wordlessly five weeks later.
For those five weeks, cricket comes first, everything else be damned. Not so much as a ball can be missed! My mother discovered this the hard way when our cook threatened to quit unless we adjusted our meals around the cricket match timings.
Offices become suspiciously empty whenever there is an IPL day game scheduled on a weekday. A corporate exodus of sorts! The intern will suddenly complain of a stomach ache, the Vice President will disappear for a ‘client meeting.’ Everyone knows what’s really going on, but will feign ignorance anyway.
Have you ever noticed the manner in which men watch cricket? It is usually more amusing than watching the game itself! Their eyes will have a glassy, glazed over look; their mouths will hang slightly agape. The world around is dead to them, by and large.
Continue observing them—wait for that moment when something ‘happens’ in the match—a wicket, a missed catch, a bad umpiring decision. Suddenly, the mildest of men will miraculously develop vociferous ways. The poor television screen will be subject to an endless volley of profanities. They will shout, hurl insults, punch the air with their first—anger and annoyance its masculine best! (At this point, women, we advise you to make yourself as inconspicuous as possible. Keep away for your personal safety, preferably at a distance of ten feet or more.)
Cricket makes men emotional. Uncontrollably so. I could have sworn that my boss is incapable of exhibiting emotion, until I saw a silent tear of happiness roll down his cheek when Sachin Tendulkar raised his bat up to the skies. My six-foot-tall uncle, an army major with a penchant for hunting and heavy artillery, broke down and wept when his beloved team was knocked out of the IPL.
With the IPL season inching closer, the male species is preparing to bring out their curious cricket-obsessed avatar yet again.
I, for one, am very excited!
Do forgive the gender stereotypes which may litter this piece. All to be taken in good humour, really!