So the IPL's come home. Don't know whether I'll be able to say the same about myself when the opening match of the tournament starts at 8 pm. My first reaction on realising that it's that time of the year again was asking myself what the time difference was between the venue and my humble abode in daredevilish Delhi.
A voice inside me that sounded incredulously like Sachin Tendulkar (Praise Be Upon Him) told me that it didn't matter: whatever the time difference may be, the Lalit Kala Academy would ensure that it was prime time viewing here. But faster than it takes for an innings to get over in Twenty20 cricket I remembered that this time the IPL has come home to India. And then the looping worry of reaching home to catch the match between the Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knightriders started anew.
Usually, in such situations, I prefer hopping across to the dive near my office to catch the match. While I prepare myself to say all the right things the day after a one-dayer or after the second day of a Test match (“The wicket will start to turn from the third day” or “The outfield doesn't seem to make those cover drives carry to the boundary”), with a Twenty20 game on, all I need to think about is not blinking at the wrong time and breaking speed urination records in between overs. For this purpose, the local dive serves me well.
But a year has passed since the last IPL and I've become more responsible. The risk of the bar or restaurant not being allowed to show the match because of legalese, even after being dispelled by my cricket-understanding colleagues, has stuck to me like a ball creeping up on the batsman and lodging itself inside his pad. So here I am driving on fifth gear as if my destination is a maternity ward and not in front of my bedroom TV. For nostalgic reasons, rather than anything to do with titles of Ekta Kapoor serials or Karan Johar movies, I'm siding with the Kolkata Knight Riders tonight. Now to just jump another red light and make it home. The IPL has come home. But will I?