I hope you are coming for the unveiling of the sports auction items tomorrow,’ I asked my friend Cyrus.
‘I thothawasawthe 29th?’ he mumbled, his mouth full of a chicken burger.
‘The auction is, but we’re having an unveiling of all 25 pieces tomorrow evening. It’s going to be historic!’
‘What’s so historic about it?’
‘Cyrus, don’t irritate me. We’ve got some incredible stuff.’
Cramming the remaining half burger into his mouth, he said, ‘Yarrhlakwah?’
‘Sachin’s given us his fourth highest ODI scoring bat.’
‘Yeah. You have one of Sachin’s most treasured bats and I am Michael Jordan.’
‘What’s wrong with you, man? Vishy Anand’s also given us his World Championship gold medal that he won against Kramnik!!’
‘Are you crazy? Have you completely lost it?’
‘You’re going to pass off some random brass tattu medal as Viswanathan Anand’s World Championship medal??’ He took a deep sip of his chocolate milk shake with chocolate ice cream.
‘My dear friend, Vishy, gave it to me personally! In his house in Chennai!!’
Cyrus clucked his tongue pityingly. ‘Tch, tch, tch. See how you quickly you’re exposed. We all know Anand lives in Spain.’
‘His home is in Chennai!! And what about Abhinav Bindra, huh? What about his gun? You think that’s also a fake?’He smirked.
‘What? What??’ I screamed.
‘Have some shame, Rahul. You’ll get arrested. Really.’
‘Dude, you need a license for these guns. You can’t just take someone’s gun and put it up for auction. How stupid are you??’
I breathed deeply. ‘Cyrus, it’s an air gun. Abhinav shoots with an air gun. You don’t need a permit to use an air gun!!” Cyrus wiped his mouth and sat me down.
‘Rahul. How long have I known you?’
‘Thirty five years. What does that have to do with…’
‘Thirty five years. So listen to me. Write an article telling people you are selling some fake items and that you apologise, but they’re very good fakes and so appeal to people to buy them, because the money’s going towards a good cause. After all, even I’ll say your foundation’s doing some decent work. And stop lying. Next you’ll be saying Saina Nehwal’s given her favourite racket.’
‘But she has!!’
Cyrus patted me paternally. ‘Of course she has, of course she has. And I’m Roger Federer.’
‘Yes! He too…!’ But, by then, he’d left to buy some chicken nuggets.