Telegraph Calcutta

Game Of The Season: Jhootbol


Four years. It is a four-year thing, this Jhootbol. Goes away and comes back around every four years. Each time a gladiatorial champ it crowns, each time that gladiatorial champ tries another grab at the crown. Great game this, Jhootbol, they call it the greatest show on earth. Mahadeb comes close, any day, I promise you, but Mahadeb isn’t putting up a show at the moment. He is off stage. Gone.

What you play Jhootbol with comes pumped on accumulations. Of bombast. The more the bombast, the fatter this thing grows and the more perilously close it gets to exploding. This thing called Jhootbol. And when it is in year four is when that is most likely to happen. This business of exploding. It is not unlike the mythic paap kaa ghara which bursts when it gets fuller than full and can take no more. So with Jhootbol. Comes a season, every four years. Jhoot. Jhoot. Jhoot. Jhoot. Jhoot. Then: Boom! The Greatest Show On Earth!! The moment the paap kaa ghara bursts, JhootBol!!! Celebration time.

You might think it is about to happen, this Jhootbol extravaganza, later this week. But you are, as very often, misinformed and misled. It isn’t your fault, it cannot be. You are being constantly and mercilessly misinformed. You are being belligerently misled. Not your fault at all. It is the year of Jhootbol. But it all began quite a while back. And for a while you were taken and did not realise. Jhootbol is not about to begin, it began four years ago and you’ve been lavished with it all this while, bhaaiyon aur behnon! Jaago! And the misinformation industry is pumping on all six, as they say about horse-power driven things, to mislead. For reliable details go to FaultNewsDotCom, but meantime, stay here and be further entertained. Please. Do not please drive me to pleading, else I shall break into Jaaiye aap kahan jaayenge, yeh nazar laut ke phir aayegi, and, you will be the one suffering, ByGodPromise, you will suffer so much you will tell yourself why did I not agree to stay here and read in the first place. Stay. Or regret. The choice is yours. Many people chose an option that they are regretting four years on, so you will have company if you choose to leave and regret. Thirty one odd per cent, or probably fewer, because not everyone is smart enough to regret, or even to know what regret is. It is a higher thing, the sense of regret, you have to know, you have to know differences: this is right, this is wrong. That doesn’t come easy. Differences don’t come easy. It’s hard, it takes time and investment and perseverance to know right from wrong. To know differences. But anyhow, let’s not dwell too much on higher things. This is a newspaper, after all. And we are in Bharat. And we can only play Jhootbol. And we have our undisputed Jhootbol champ, the OneAndOnly Messy, of course, the one who specialises in messing everything up and then plays such a stupendously mesmerising game of Jhootbol, the rest of the field is left gaping in awe.

Like when MessyJi went to Champaran in the province of Beehar recently, the land of the Mahatma of the ExperimentsWithTruth. He went and he made a total Champhaaran of Champaran, I mean MessyJi messed with the truth so rapaciously, there are no words for it; he shredded it to ribbons, poora Champhaaran. He proclaimed, before an oceanic jansabha – his jansabhas are nothing and never less than oceanic – that eight and a half hundred thousand toilets had been built in Beehar over the previous week. Blimey! Imagine the volume of shit Beehar shits! Eight and a half hundred thousand toilets in a week? Which means 5,059 or so toilets built every hour? Which means 84 toilets built every minute? Which means 1.4 toilets built every second? Does that help us come to some approximation of kilo quantum of shit shat per second in Beehar? We might want to know. We might desperately want to know. Because this is a four year thing. That Jhootbol is filling up. And the one filling it up, pumping it, is none other than our MessyJi, undisputed champ of Jhootbol. And we can only hope, folded hands to the high heavens, that the contents of it are not this accumulating shit from Beehar because we would not like a shower of it when it bursts. Please.

And because my apprehensions and anxieties must remain riveted now on what happens next in Jhootbol, I am unable any more to spare any and am therefore borrowing, with due gratitude and commendation and apologies to whoever wrote this in the first place:

Seedhey rastey ki yeh
Tedhi chaal hai
Goal-maal hai bhai
Sab goal-maal hai.

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