Sheesha, Dice & Beer



“That’s a foul!”
Some angry fan was shouting at the top of his off-beat voice.

It’s football season around the globe. I took a comfortable corner at a Sheesha café along with my friends, who were equally caught up in the World Cup frenzy. Things are unexpectedly changing everywhere – India gets a government with landslide victory, troops are being withdrawn from Iraq, Angelina buys an island for Brad and to top it off, Spain withdraws from the 2014 World Cup. Nothing could be even more disappointing for its followers. I even saw some of my friends desperately clinging onto the past, by wearing Spain’s T-shirt. Well, not that it bothers me. I am a supporter of Germany and there is sometime before I turn into a laughing stock.

All the more, a game fever is something which unites people irrespective of their race or language. While the audience howls every time a goal is struck or moans when it’s missed, there is a commonality among them. As an Indian, we lack the luxury of having our own national football team. Our people are always a generation behind the world’s pace, in sports. At a time, Indians were wizards of hockey. From there we slowly migrated to cricket. For Russell Peters, it might seem easy to pick eleven athletes to make an Indian football team. But, as always, I make painful efforts to understand why anything nearly impossible for us. The way I see it, selecting eleven people out of a billion, is way more time consuming than selecting out of a million! So, while my nation focuses on ‘grandpa cricket’, let’s pivot to matters of global importance.

That particular night at the Café was not to be missed. Suarez showed his ‘hunger’ on the field against Italy. Well, people say Italian dishes are lip smacking. But Indian foods are irresistible. Probably, another reason why we don’t have a team. The game ended and all the hush and cries subsided. I enjoyed the grape-mint flavour of my Sheesha. We began a pointless discussion about the game, like all commentators – like how the rains would affect the victory, if someone did score from the corner kick, or even what would have happened if the game was hosted in Russia. I mean, come on people. This is not an exact science. Some people desperately need jobs to keep themselves busy.

Out of nowhere a dice suddenly flicked onto my friend’s shoulder from our neighbouring booth. I returned it to the humble folks who were playing Snakes & Ladders. It was really soothing to watch them play the game. It’s been ages since I have even thrown up a dice. As we mature, the games that we play tend to narrow down (unless you are unemployed for no reason). Finally, there I was watching football with my Sheesha buddies, totally unaware that a zillion marvellous games had existed when I was a kid. I miss arranging matching numbers on a domino. Those days, you could get an 8-in1 games kit which had ludo, checkers and lot more that I don’t remember. But right now, this moment, we have an app for everything. Which is why, it makes the whole concept of social gaming unbelievably boring. Whenever I had a weekend, I would lie to my parents that I had done my homework. The only event I would be looking forward, was to gather my friends for a game of monopoly. Damn, I was in a hurry to own stuff so young. It was whimsical. Yet the gathering made sense. I don’t know how many of us even play chess these days, let alone own a chessboard. Times have changed and we all have moved with the forceful flow of it. People enjoy ‘shooting birds onto pigs’ now.

My friend was relocating and he wanted to get rid off many of his old belongings. I was excited to know that he had a Tamagotchi, which I called dibs on. I am way too old to nurture a digital pet. But I would want to savour it. It’s an epitome of technology when I was a kid, and owning one couldn’t replace the joy of even owning a Mac. It’s impossible to relive the 90’s now, unless you disprove Einstein. But someday, I would love to sit down with my friends around a monopoly chart and throw the dice, sipping a bottle of beer. And I believe that would be the best way to recapture our glorious childhood as matured adults.




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I am the kind of person who continually keeps changing. Some call it restless. But I call it evolving with time. I am an Engineer by profession, a Coldplay fan and a pure Socialist at heart. I believe that one should not stop dreaming and that dreams install hope in this world

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