Before the advent of ATN, we used to watch Ind-Pak series at Sak's place. His house was centrally located (close to the highways), he had satellite, the TV was big and in the big basement. Everyone I knew from the Bengali community (and some) used to show up for those games. I have noticed that the 'uncles' who come for the games can be divided into the following categories:
Genuine Cricket Lovers: These are uncles who come because they love the game and cannot watch it elsewhere. Sachin would hit Danish for a boundary. One of these uncles would then comment, "Oh, that's just like 1998 in Sharjah when he cover drove Shane Warne for a boundary on the 4th ball of the 26th over." Another would then follow, "Yes, but what about the 5th ball of the 15th over in the Chittagong test in 2004?". All of the group would then nod knowingly.
Support-The-Mussalman-Team Group: Having noticed I was cheering Sehwag boundaries with a bit more enthusiasm he asked me if I supported India or Pakistan. Upon hearing the reply 'India' he almost had a stroke. "You canNOT support India," He thundered, "they are a Hindu team!!! Thou shalt support our Muslim brothers of Pakistan. Do you know how much harm the Indian spies are doing in Bangladesh?" Lot of uncles belong to this category. Makes no sense to me. I prefer watching good batting to good bowling, so support India. Other times I support Desis, so if Pakistan is playing England I will support Pakistan. These uncles forget that a lot of Bengalis, Pakistanis are Hindus, and India has more Muslims as a whole than Pakistan.
'If-The-Devil-Plays-Pakistan-I-Will-Support-Devil' Group, also known as the 1971-ers: These will immediately counter the previous group, saying Pakistan did this and that during 1971, they are not an example of true Muslims and so on. Again, batting, bowling and other cricketing reasons are thrown out of the window. Yahya Khan, Tikka Khan and that 'hated Bhutto' will enter into the realms of discussion.
'Cricket-Can-Be-As-Exciting-As-Hockey' Group: These uncles emigrated to Canada in the 1980s. There were hardly any cricket lovers, much less cricket, on Canadian TV back then. In their attempt to assimilate they had to forget cricket and start liking hockey. Now, isolated from their fellow desi uncles, they come to these matches just because it is the 'cool' thing to do in uncleland. They will provide comments such as "I don't know why we play 50 overs one team and then another team plays 50 overs. It should be 10 overs one team, then another team 10 overs, then back to first team for another 10 ...", or something equally hockey-like such as "Kaif should just punch Afridi and smack him with 'those' sticks".
'I-Am-Still-In-Bangladesh' Uncle: Usually the group with only one or two members, having recently emigrated. They do not understand why the Pakistanis here don't get a flag, jump on their cars, and roam around the neighbourhood tooting the horn and disturbing everyone's peace because they won a ODI match against India that will be forgotten in a couple of days. After all they did that in Danforth when Bangladesh beat Australia. Everyone saluted their first victory by greeting them with a closed fist and one finger extending out to prove how peaceful Canada is, tai na.
Tags: India Pakistan Series Cricket