From India losing, our nose cutting the team has

Muhammad Tauseef A. Bajwa

Senator (1k+ posts)
From India losing, our nose cutting the team has
By Sarfaraz Memon
Published: April 1, 2011

One fan bets his moustache, another his goat much to their regret over the Pakistan defeat to India. DESIGN: AMNA IQBAL

In the throes of cricket fever, Abdul Ghaffar Brohi aka Chacha Brohi, betted the one sacred symbol of masculinity that a man possesses his moustache. If Pakistan loses to India in the World Cup semi-final, he said, mein apni mooch mundwa-doonga. He would shave it off. Now, he cant leave the house.

After the defeat in the cricket match emerged, men from the neighbourhood gathered outside his house and kept ringing the doorbell in jest, for he is well-respected figure. Chachas moustache looks real good on him, quipped a young man. But were just here to tease him. He was nowhere to be found.

While Chacha Brohi may not have to go through with his bet, others were not as lucky. With a heavy heart Ali Mohammad Soomro, a dirt-poor washerman, handed over his prized possession, his goat, to a neighbour. He didnt have any money to bet, so he put up the next best thing.

After India won, Mithai shop owner Abdul Hafeez switched off his cell phone and went home. Customers had placed orders from Tuesday for delivery the next day. My staff worked through midnight and all day on Wednesday to prepare the sweets, he said. But on Wednesday evening, people started calling to cancel the orders. Master tailor Mohammad Bux Shaikh had ordered five kilogrammes of mithai, although not from Hafeez. India se har ke hamari naak katwa di hai, he fumed, cigarette in hand. Weve been shamed in front of the whole world. What is more shocking, is that we lost to India. His friends tried to calm him down. OK, now forget about it, said one. Forget it? Are you crazy? Everything has been ruined.

Mohammad Bux flung a sewn shirt to a staffer. Go get the buttons put on.
Tell me, how much you lost, asked another friend. Paise pe ****** bhejo, came the tart reply. Who cares about the damn money. The cricket team lost our izzat [honour]. Even the Sukkur residents who werent in town on Wednesday for the match tried to keep up with the action. Passengers on the Karakoram Express from Karachi were all on their cell phones, busy sending or receiving messages and updates on the semi-final. One young mother was so carried away on her cell phone that she didnt hear her three-year-old son begging to be taken to the toilet. Eventually, she chucked the phone aside. We lost, she said, to no one and everyone. I personally felt cheated. I dont know why. I had not betted anything. But at least we shouldnt have lost to India.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2011.