After being cleared on Tuesday of making racist comments on the pitch against Australian Andrew Symonds in Sydney, Harbhajan ‘Maa ki’ Singh is a new man. Keen to meet the likes of Nelson Mandela, Australian aborigine tennis icon Evonne Goolagong and other anti-racist forces, he has quickly become the brand ambassador of racial tolerance and stump microphone manufacturers, Opto Acoustics. In a tumultuous week for
Bhajji, we see how a spiritual transformation happens:
Saturday, Jan 26: I’m not bad, eh? Scoring 63 off 103 balls yesterday. The only thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was that I snicked a delivery from that monk... that sabzi, Symonds. And to think I patted him on his butt a few weeks ago.
Sunday, Jan 27: Just talked to my mammi. It turns out that Sehwag’s mother had called her up saying that she got a call from the BCCI who said that they will support me in the racism case thick and thin. That’s nice to hear. She also told me that if they slap me with a racist offence I should tell the judge that Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting had said something nasty about Indian women. The only trouble is that I’ll have to tell my mother to tell Sehwag’s mother — who has the whole world in her mutthi — to tell the BCCI to tell the ICC to include a brief track in the stump microphone recordings that have Ponting and Symonds say those nasty things.
Monday, Jan 28: Oof! We lost the series and now I have to wait for the verdict tomorrow. Everyone in the Adelaide hotel room is suddenly calling me ‘Sir’ for a change. I wonder what made them stop calling me those cute nicknames, ‘Cauliflower’, ‘Stinkji’ and, I never understood this one, ‘Ash Hull’. Some Australian thing, I guess.
[That night Harbhajan tosses and turns in his sleep]
Andrew, well bowled, Andrew. Abey, well bowled bola. No, of course, I don’t like your bottom. Just couldn’t reach your shoulder! Andrew, don’t tell my mother that I touched your bottom. Please. Please! PLEASE! [He wakes up drenched in sweat]. Was it all a dream? Andrew? I mean, Irfan?
Tuesday, Jan 29: I’m not a racist! I’m not a racist! Mammi, I’m not guilty! That bloody firangi, from New Zealand, New York, whatever, said that he didn’t have enough evidence against me. Mammi, please thank Partapbhai from me. Without him hacking into the ICC computer records and deleting old files recording my previous bad behaviour, the White judge would have been severe. Now I just have to forfeit half my match earnings. But the Government of India has told me that they are proud of me for showing how India can punch other countries in the face and are compensating ten times the amount. Your blessings Mammi!
Wednesday, Jan 30: The best-selling mobile tone ring is now my voice saying, “Abey maa ki...”
Thursday, Jan 31: The second best-selling mobile tone ring is now my voice singing, “Play that monkey music...”
Friday, Feb 1: God, now I’ve been hauled up for calling Dhoni a seven-letter Hindi word! And it’s not even