After the India-Bangladesh match, you could have cut the gloom with a knife. Friends lucky enough to be on holiday said their holiday was ruined. Those unlucky enough not to be on holiday said their offices had turned into mourning centres. Colleagues languished in corridors. Everyone wore black shirts. Smokers smoked sad cigarettes all day long.
For those lucky enough not to have an office, the situation wasn't very different. The maids sulked. The maalis watered the tiles instead of the pots, muttering darkly to themselves. Even the urchins at the red lights, instead of enthusiastically trying to break your windows, contented themselves with a couple of listless taps at the glass.
Fast forward a little. The mood has lifted somewhat after the India-Bermuda match. I saw the picture of a victorious Virender Sehwag on the front pages of all the newspapers, looking like he had just vanquished Attila the Hun's predatory hordes, instead of a bunch of very fat men in a team few people had heard of before the World Cup. I certainly hadn't. But then what do I know?
Here's what I do know, however. If we manage to win the match against Sri Lanka, everyone will start smiling once again. Office colleagues will skip down corridors. Maids will sing "Ooh, aah India!" as they do jhaadoo-pocha. Urchins will be back to banging gaily on your windowpanes.
And if we don't win? National catastrophe and calamity. Riots, demonstrations, mobs, police. Dravid and his "boys" had better come back to India in burkhas, or better still, have a sex change operation and become "girls". That way, no one will ever, ever be able to recognise them. They'll be safe for life.
As for me, there's no hope. The World Cup will end one day (a very, very far away day), but there will always be a bunch of "boys" hanging around a field, throwing and hitting balls. Excuse me while I get myself a paper bag.