HYDERABAD: Sunday, July 11 (Hyderabad Standard Time, in our current universe) was the world’s first one-day Olympics. Well, sort of. With four major finals of three different sports being played within hours of each other, the television had no idea it was in for a long Sunday.
Indian parents woke up confused and were left wondering why their kid was up so early on a Sunday? That thought was instantly followed by ‘why is he shouting so loudly at the TV?’ Little did they know that their kid was shouting because the world’s greatest footballer had won the trophy that had eluded him. Argentina had defeated Brazil in the Copa America final and it wasn’t even 8 am yet!
The television, who usually sleeps till late on a Sunday because of Saturday’s binge double shift, wasn’t too pleased to be woken up this early either but was convinced he’d get enough time in the day to make up for it. He was wrong.
What followed was the exact opposite of a silent, peaceful nap. It was UFC’s pinnacle clash between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Before ignorant cricket fans could ask ‘are you still watching WWE?’, the world’s most hyped fight of this year had ended in a single round with Conor’s broken knee and a billion broken hearts. Everyone was sad except the TV -- who celebrated this early retirement like Hyderabadi students in 2009 celebrated Telangana bandhs.
But the TV’s joy was short-lived. After Messi and Poirier, it was time for Djoker’s moment to shine. By 6.30 pm, even the most hard-core cricket fans on my WhatsApp -- who had vowed never to watch anything other than cricket -- couldn’t resist the enchanting to and fro of the tennis ball.
‘What does love-15 mean?’ asked one message. ‘Why doesn’t the score go from 30 to 45?’ asked the other. ‘Do tennis players get cricket elbow?’ asked yet another one. No one had the answers but by the end of the game, Bharat Army loyalists were up on their chairs cheering Djokovic (while struggling to pronounce it).
But the best was yet to come. Just past midnight, it was time to find out if England were really bringing it home (lol). The television couldn’t believe that the day wasn’t over yet. As Italy and England kicked off in the Euro final, the television prayed for a power cut. The only fuse that went out was that of England’s penalty takers.
The 16-hour sports-mania had finally reached its end. It was all people thought of for 16 hours and that’s where the true beauty of sports lies. Not because it made you forget that there’s a pandemic raging, but because it made you forget that the next day is Monday. Just ask anyone that realised it at 3.30 am, right after Saka missed his penalty.
English fans were sad they lost. Indian fans were sad Sunday’s over. The only people happy were the Italians and my TV.
(Bhavneet is a stand-up comedian and this may be his new material)
The Rare View Bhavneet Singh