Dastaney-e-Delhi football: Captain Modi, yeh AAP ne kaun sa game khela hain?
New Delhi, June 19: It's the season of underdogs at the FIFA World Cup 2018 underway in Russia.
Miles away in Delhi, a far longer, exhausting, intriguing and twisted version of the game is keeping the ball rolling. In this cricket crazy nation, suddenly, football has become the metaphor for one-upmanship over protest politics. On the one side, there is the 'giant' Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) team and on the far end of the goalpost, is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) squad.
Somewhere in the field is the Congress, looking visibly confused and contradictory. Cheering the underdog (no not Mexico or Iceland) AAP, are a host of regional satraps--Mamata Banerjee, Chadrababu Naidu, HD Kumaraswamy, Pinarayi Vijayan, Uddhav Thackeray and Tejashwi Yadav.
Will the AAP be able to break the BJP 'wall' and score an earth-shattering goal like Mexico did against defending champions Germany? Or will the AAP be able to hold Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in a 'draw' like Switzerland and Iceland did against Brazil and Argentina respectively?
In Delhi, unlike in Mexico where tremors were felt after ecstatic fans jumped in joy to celebrate their local heroes' victory over Germany in Russia, earthquakes--both manmade and natural--are pretty common.
While 'bookies' in television news channels are closely watching the Delhi Phephra (lung) (pollution from toxic politics is far more injurious than life-threatening emissions from cars, factories and cigarettes) match, keeping their cards very close to their blackened chests, it is the voters, who are fast running out of water and electricity, have been reduced to footballs, quite literally, minus any gas.
The constant kicks, tricks and headbutts by politicians have left the Delihites and rest of Indians so badly injured that they are in no position to stand at the pavilion and cheer for the party they once claimed to be loyal to.
While a few raucous, die-hard football fanatics from West Bengal and Kerala have depleted all their bank balance to fly down to Russia to have a glimpse of their favourite players Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez (Isco) or Neymar, rest have to endure the desi Phephra cup.
It's choking in Delhi, right? Hell, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's way of telling his mitron (friends): "enjoy football in Delhi". Here the biggest loser is democracy.