As the build up to the finale for one of the most electrifying football World Cups reaches a crescendo, Indians - and many on this side of the Greenwich Mean Time - face a peculiar problem: the Monday morning.
An football fan kicks a ball behind a sand sculpture of the Fifa World Cup trophy between the German (left) and Argentina flags alongside the finalist captains Philipp Lahm (left) and Lionel Messi created by sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik at Puri beach. (AFP Photo)
Beginning at 12.30am Monday, the match will go on at least till 2.30am. Thrown in the inevitable post-match frenzy - celebration, mourning, game post-mortem, et al - and you have half the city up at an ungodly hour. Suffice to say then, that Monday the 14th may be a day of excuses.
HT asked its readers to share how they plan to tackle their work or studies after a long night.
"Sorry Sir for coming in late. I was stuck in the elevator for 4 hours," wrote Twitter user @SimplyShil, clearly prepared.
Another user @HimPhuk tweeted, "I got bitten by a dog, had to go for anti-rabies injections." But when it came to finality, we think @Mayur_J's "My mother-in-law (is) coming home..." was quite unshakeable.
One of the best responses was that of @ghoshyamal, who said he would tell his boss he "Had terrible hangover after drinking German beer with Argentine port wine...."
The Facebook responses were in similar vein. "Boss I Am in Love..." Ajju Bhai commented on our post.
Outlandish wasn't the only flavour of the day. Regular excuses such as 'alarm conked off', 'loose motions', 'fever' and 'had-a-flat-tyre' made it on the replies as well.
Some others, however, have decided to bunk work altogether. "Monday comes 52 times a year, WC Finals comes once in 208 weeks!" wrote @thedarkrebel, making a compelling argument for his decision.
And then there were the more fortunate ones like @shailendranrb whose office officially announced 'flexi time' to allow late arrivals. Some schools too have postponed their Monday tests.
But, like HT reader on Facebook Rishabh Gupta puts it, "who'll be (the) one (we) tell the excuse to? everyone would be late..! (sic)". Hope, clearly, springs eternal.