!!!A CLOSED OPENING CEREMONY!!!!
I did not know the reality of it back then, my father used to say I am so busy, flesh and mind, I forgot days. I sometimes forgot even to eat. Those were the time in my high school, when I toiled hard for the holidays. During high school, you did not lose count of the holidays----the Puja holidays, the Easters holidays or the Christmas Eve or the actual Christmas. The regular Saturdays and Sundays? They were printed in our brain.
Dad! Today is Sunday. What about the promised meat curry every Sunday?
History repeats itself, maybe really, at least for me. After 35+ of my life, I just happen to retrace the life of my father. I forgot days. And, more often than my father, I forgot to eat. So unfortunate for me!! My father was born macho, big bones, big head with dark skin. Any damn skipping of food for any damn day did not lessen his built a bit. But alas!, for me, even one less handful of food below my regular diet has its tolls. I grow thinner. Very bad.
Like Father, Like Son: it is true. However, I seemed an exception. I am like my father only in some certain ways, and on those things I could not be like him are the things that derailed me strongly. For instance, being born thin and short.
I talk about something else, when the real topic is World Cup 2014. On second thought, I think of deleting the first two paragraphs and start straight to the topic. But I cannot do that….. yheeeuuu!, I have my father as a benchmark. Good or bad, I only have to retrace it back from my father, who gave me life, and success and failure, remembrance and forgetfulness, smiles and tears, and more, just like his life was.
World Cup 2014! I have waited for so long, for a good four years. You see World Cups grew so inherent in us that we instinctively waited eagerly whether we realize it or not. Any World Cup ended with more expectation of vigour and excitements and you just stretched your mind to the next world cup, 4 years away, into the future.
I clearly remember those World Cups during school days. We considered it as a must watch. As children and teenagers, we did not know much of the World Cups. But the airs it spread told us it is a must watch. We would wait till 1 a.m., 2a.m., even till 3 a.m., mostly not for the game, but for current to come. I always cheered for Argentina, I don’t know why? (Maybe my father cheered for them or maybe because of Maradona). I still remember the blue-white stripes T-shirt they wore. You know! Some things can be really crazy-after, and you are just in the spirit without knowing the spirit and without knowing much why?
I did not miss a single action of World Cup 2010, from opening ceremony to the end. I was in Shillong, and the hotel where I stayed was fuming with the spirit. Good! I had plenty of other guests to remind me. I watched every match and every move with absorption.
I am hassled by life now (Like my father was). I forget the opening day of the World Cup, the 12th June, 2014, once in the 35+ years of my life. It was weird. Fortunately, on the day my wife informed me through phone. I left my office at 6 PM, and reached my place at 6:30. I felt the house was empty or rather emptier. World Cup night and empty house? Very odd! (It is my first experience) Back then, fathers, mothers, teenagers and children would sit around a TV, late into the night, cheering.
I called all my friends to come to our house, to celebrate the opening ceremony. I called up Johnny Tusing and Peter Tryte. They already glued to their TV and barely even have time to talk to me. I was so unsuccessful in inviting them. I called up my native place, asking whether they will watch it. You know! It used to be a competition to watch the world cup ceremony.
Desperate situation demand desperate measures. And my friend Lalsiesang Inbuonz came up to my house from his lonely hole. It was 9:00 PM. He felt bored watching with his Land Lord, so he came out of his lonely hole to us.
He switched on the TV. No pictures. Only then did I realize that the TATA SKY had been kept uncharged, dormant. Oh! What a forgetting!!
This had been our practice for a year now. My wife and I did not have time to watch TV and so we would keep our TATA SKY uncharged, dormant, and make it active only when we have guests by recharging through the internet. It was easy, and always successful.
My wife pulled out the laptop, humming an eager sound of World Cup 2014, and tried recharging it. She tried three times and every time was a message: server error, refresh the page. I was sweating, time was running out. I soon found out that the TATASKY website was jammed, not the fault of the laptop or internet. We tried, tried and tried again and this time not only with a laptop but with two internet phones. Still JAM, JAM, BLOCK, BLOCK, everywhere, and I felt like an eternity was lost. We called up dukans and friends for the recharge, but everyone reply the line is so slow, I cannot do it.
I give up, but my wife did not. She tried maybe ten times. At last she proclaimed ka recharge thei ta. HUI HA!! I got a message: Thank you for recharging your TATA SKY with Rs. 600. Now available balance is Rs. 603.
But the TV was blank. I changed the channel, no signal. I rushed out to turn the disk, no help. We then called up the TATASKY customer service. They were polite, but not polite like other times. Business! Right? There was such a demand for their signal for world cup 2014, even to reach them, to make payment was a Herculean task. I told the customer guy my problem. He said that I called him very late and that the problem will be solved between 11 AM and 7 PM the following day. I asked him, that’s it. He said that’s it. I want to say F**K Y*U, M****r F****r, but I don’t say out. I played with my patience. As I had worked at the Call Center, I know that every conversation are recorded and the more he can satisfy me (or the more I appeared to be satisfied) means more positive points for him. I just feel pity for him to spoil his points…. you know! I guess I could be the angriest, but softest TATASKY customer that calls TATASKY customer guy in the most important night of 2014.
I detected something. The tree leaves were tall over the disk. I asked myself, Why to live in the most forested state in NE. Siesang Inbuonz climbed the tree and cut the branches of the tree. But still no signal.
The end result was a world cup night with no TV signal. I didn’t understand.
The following day, one fine young man called me up, to repair the TATASKY. I dashed out of my work. He was there waiting for me near the round gate. He opened his airbag, took out strange equipments (I surveyed at them closely if I know anything about the equipments. You see I should know how to fix my TATASKY for World Cup 2018). He was one real hard worker in this place of the world; he tried five, six, seven times, maybe, running between the TV and the disk. The signal was full, but no pictures. He gave up. He told me to call up the customer service to ask for REALLOCATION OF THE DISK, for which I didn’t have any more time and patience for. BULL SHIT! I said to him WC happened only after every 4 years, and we ended up not watching anything the previous night, and that if we were to start afresh from calling customer supports it was going to take another week.
He put aside his packed bag and asked, Sir, aap ke paas dau (Knife) he? I ask, can you climb trees? (My worries are that if he falls, my responsibility). Kawsish ka runga. He cut the branches, in fact, only three small branches, and the signal was okay. And then he started complaining (Just as I had expected). Mera kam to kya hai? Ek din ghar ka upar zaia ga! Ek din peer ke upaar! Dusra admi aiaga to, bahut daar pahla choor re ga!!
I was feeling with emotions, what a job, but I didn’t show it.
I paid him 100 rupees, but he asked, Customer care lok ne ketna paisa dene ke liya bola hai…sir? (He was expecting more). I kept quiet. (I want to say, customer care didn’t mention anything about money. That’s charity from my end. Shut up and go!). He earned too much for the day, cutting three small branches and 100 rupees.
We watched World Cup 2014 highlights from the second day. All the teams whom I supported were losing.
Greece…..how can they lose? I learn Pythogorus, Athens, Olumpus, Marathon from them. They shaped the world and they left it? (Ha, maybe I confined only to the small history I had learnt). England lost. Who invented the game football and cricket, England…isn’t it?
I got a call from a friend from Delhi. I asked him if he watched the World Cup ceremony. He said that there was load shedding and missed the whole of it.
And then I said to myself that everything is 50-50. I opened the refrigerator and took my favourite 50-50 biscuits. Deforestation and afforestation. I missed the first night of WC because of afforestation here in Tripura. People in Delhi missed the same because of deforestation, maybe? Everything is 50-50. The factories and the greenery; the scarcity and the plentiful. What is there is not here. What is here is not there. And life rolls on and on.
Oh! Today was Fatherʼs day. Oh! No! No! At least not this time on this type of a day!!!