Friday, April 13, 2007

PROLOGUE

ISLAMABAD 5.30 AM Local Standard Time

In the fading light, as the Irish pegged the last nails into Pakistan's coffin, a top secret meeting was being held in Peshawar. Consisting of a motley bunch of tribe’s heads, army generals, former prime minister Benzene Bonito, the famed mafia don Donald Brahmin and irrelevant cricket administrators; it was presided by his Excellency himself- President Muskrat. Such was the magnitude of the crisis that was about to unfold, that he had get personally involved in the matter. Greed and corruption had seeped into Pakistani cricket just like tea from a tea bag. So much so; that the brew was no longer edible. Drastic steps had to be taken to make it edible again.

Having watched the game was itself bad enough. Convening the meeting at this unearthly hour had really ticked off the president. That Donald Brahmin was getting a little too big for his shoes. Something had to be done. He was totally okay with the betting part of it that don had initiated and controlled. His own bank accounts in the Bahamas were brimming. But there was a limit to how much it could control the game. Not at the cost of national pride. As all human experiments to control such probabilistic events went, it turned out to be disastrous. Look at the team now. It was in tatters. There were reports of leaks to the press. Some said the firang coach knew more than what was good for him. Something had to be done.

There was an air of icy chillness in the room. A couple of mullahs too had decided to join in to decide the fate of the national cricket team. The selection committee chairman himself sat at the end of the table, cowering in fright. The mullah from Sind impatient as ever, started off giving no respect to the prez’s presence.

I want Shaheed Afreez as captain. Look at what happens when you have aloos leading the team. He thundered!

Blooded into the national team at the tender age of 17, (although he looked ridiculously older than that) Afreez was the golden boy of Sind-a land as ancient as the tribes that roamed its dusty dry earth. Where people tended to goats and played cricket. A true blue Pathan, he had caught the cricket world’s eye when he scored the fastest century in ODI’s in a fixed match at Nairobi. However the numerous conflicts he had with his teammates over the years had made him vastly unpopular for him to be made captain. Some said his boyish charm had won over the other players wives during long away tours. This was supposed to have created a major rift in the team, almost splitting it into two. Whatever the reason, despite his impressive credentials, he was never allowed to be the captain. Back home in Sind, people looked up to him as a savior of the people and the region. He was their pride, the one thing you could look up to. HE was the rightful heir to the captaincy.

The prez nodded. That wasn’t really why the meeting was called. Sooner or later, he would have to make a decision on that. But right now, there were more important thing to take care of. He had not time for the ranting of an old fool. The only reason he entertained him, was in the hope that he would one day reveal where that fellow O-Sami was hiding. O-Sami had made life hell for the prez. Life after that was a delicate puppet act pleasing mad mullahs, the media and George’s bush. Anyways, he now looked towards the don. He held the key. Up until now, he was sitting there, chewing rajnigandha with a bored expression on his face, without a care for the rest of the assembly. The president’s relationship with the don, had been a rocky marriage at best. Even when they had interacted during the planning of the 93’ Bombay bomb blasts, he never really liked the way the don operated. Now he was in Karachi, controlling the betting racket. It was whispered that Shoaib Akram used to visit the don every month. Soon there was no need for people to whisper. He promptly got his son married to the daughter of Javed-ul-mian, revered ex-cricketer, scorer of the last ball six that burnt a permanent sore in India’s skin. This further expanded his tentacles within the cricket board. Now it was official, to the extent of being outrageous. The Prez was used to more subtle and planned action. Like the bloodless coup in which he had himself taken control. He cleared his throat.

How much does he know?

From what I could gather-EVERYTHING. I got his cell phone bugged. He’s planning to write a book after he gets off from the job.

Having said that the don got back to chewing, maintaining the same dull expression he always wore. Across the table, Benzene Bonito wondered why he was wearing those outrageously large and out of fashion Ray-Ban's at five in the morning, that too indoors. The decision was made right then. The coach had to go. There was no other option. Threats would be issued to all the players and their families. They better shut their mouths. It was ironic that, the coach was chosen for that very reason. Having worked with the late and disgraced South African captain, Fansie Oraange’, it was widely believed that he was a insider to the whole betting issue. It turned out to be a major intelligence mishap. Some one had to be blamed. The Prez’s cold gaze shifted to the end of the table, where the intelligence chief sat cowering in fright. He knew his fate surely as the silver bullet nestling in the Prez’s Smith and Wesson.

Sighing, the prez picked up the pink hotline phone to give his orders….

6 comments:

Jyotsna said...

heh heh... nice.
Love Prez Muskrat...
"tea from a teabag !!" ha ha ..
But i want Sayeed ... and Andria !!

Prashant Das said...

O-sami ! hehehe...
sugaso puzo in the making ! :D

Puthali said...

'm dumbstuck... :D

the persistence of time said...

dumbstruck? why?

Deepu said...

hmm... write more often. and the blog-god will bless you. and ya, you have been commenting on very old posts of mine. this is my recent one http://emotionalcommotioncommotionalemotion.blogspot.com/

goooooood girl said...

Very fine......