As imagined by a very brave Deepak Gopalakrishnan, who now risks bricks being thrown at him in public
Following the retirement of possibly India’s greatest ever batsman, Sachin Tendulkar, there has been predictable widespread grief on the streets of the country.
Unfortunately, some, for whom the batsman is more than just a mere cricketer, have taken things a step too far. Apparently a group of them stormed into a newspaper office after it was learnt that they dared to publish something other than something related to ‘God’ and set the editor-in-chief’s desk on fire.
“Sheer nonsense! Our Lord has decided to stop playing, and these fools dare publish nonsense like some state splitting up into two, Narayana Murthy’s outlook on Q2 and Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize win!”, seethed a gent who described himself as a hardcore ‘Tendulkarian’, having got all of Sachin’s Test and ODI scores tattooed on himself. “No other news shall be on our papers for the next 2 weeks!”, he said, wiping a bead of sweat on his forehead between tattooes 143 (Sharjah) and 0 (Kolkata).
Newspaper editors are not quite sure what to do. “I mean, they didn’t even let us publish news of India’s victory in the T20 game against Australia!”, lamented the publisher of a leading English daily.
Not all newspapers are, however, disturbed at this. “Actually, our writers have been writing goodbye articles about Sachin since 2009.”, said an editor in Bangalore. “The accumulation was a little too much – we even had to buy an extra hard disk to put all the files in. Finally, now that he’s retired we can print our 5-year-awaited Sachin Tendulkar special.”
Other media are not taking a chance. As soon as someone on Twitter pointed out that only two of the daily ten trending topics were related to Sachin’s retirement, the microblogging website immediately ensured all topics were changed at once. “We really didn’t want people beating down on our doors asking why insignificant things like #JustinBieber and #ReplaceMovieNameWithZero were trending. We just decided to create a script that would add random Sachin keywords to any tweet – hence ensuring that all trending topics were related to him.”
This possibly explains why Lady Gaga tweeted out, “I can’t wait to perform at Sharjah 1998 :):)” and why Barack Obama opined, “The US shutdown won’t last for long because… Aila!”
The Sachin constraint has led to some interesting articles since newspapers are not allowed to report anything else. A leading financial newspaper put together the case for a Sachin Tendulkar Mutual Fund – made up of all companies that he endorses or has endorsed over the years. Another piece talks about how fans of Harry Potter should get together to find out how to make Polyjuice Potion and then get strands of the legend’s hair.
Another newspaper decided to conduct a survey on how the nation felt now that Tendulkar retired. While 87% respondents were depressed (a certain subset suicidal), 12% were relieved that he finally quit, 0.9% felt indifferent (“We’re football fans, yo!”) and 0.1% (representing all number 4 batsmen in domestic cricket) were elated.
Disclaimer: For those of you wanting to kill me, please refrain! I used to be a hardcore fan but felt he needlessly prolonged his career, sabotaging his own reputation.