At 2.30 pm on Wednesday afternoon, Ranjit Gulvady will not, as per schedule be attending his Physics class, but will instead be propping himself in front of a large screen in his hostel at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay in Powai armed with a bowl of popcorn and a whole lot of hope.
On the day that India takes on Pakistan in the semi-finals of the World Cup, Mumbai will be breaking away from routine, and skiving off to ensure they catch the much-touted humdinger.
“I won’t be going to class or to the lab and I have told my guide that I will not be able to work on my thesis on that day,” said Gulvady, an MSc student at IIT-B.
“Since they are putting up a big screen at our hostel, everyone is planning to bunk class and many people have spoken to teachers about postponing tests.”
At Pooja Jhaveri’s home, the usual private tuitions will end by 2pm and her students will be dispatched to their abodes in time for the game. “The students may be present physically, but they won’t be mentally so I thought there was no point in holding classes,” said Jhaveri. “My husband might also close his shop for the afternoon in time for the match.”
Even students in the throes of exams are exempting themselves from studying on that day.
“I’ll probably wake up and put on my India jersey and spend the day watching the game, I don’t think I’m going to end up studying on Wednesday,” said Abinandh Baradwaj, whose Class 12 CBSE exams are still on.
And for those unfortunate few who are forced to travel, the airport has put up 50 screens for fliers to catch every ball till they board.
A few corporate offices such as Viacom 18 Media is putting up a big screen for employees and an array of snacks.
“It will be a working day but our employees will get to catch the match on our big screen,” said Jimmy Hiramanek, director, administration, Viacom 18 Media.