Skip to content

The Referees Are Here!

September 28, 2013

On the sidelines of the inquiry on the irregularities that have been alleged by Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and their other anti-Ashram colleagues, someone who has been watching all these events keenly but from a different angle, has given us an account of the first face-off between the two sides that were called upon by the inquiry officer.


Where is the Referee ?

The Rans and the Gups had reached once more the final of the New Age World Cup. Both teams were hot favorites. Very hot, said the British.

They had players of international standard — some young and some very old, some passionate and some rather impavid but quite experienced.

They had excellent attackers and amazing defenders. Mid-field was a bit shaky but on the whole they held their ground reasonably well. Both teams had also made a name for themselves thanks to their ‘hand of god’ last-minute goals.

Finally, both teams had five managers of world-class reputation.

At the time of going to press, the game was well into the second half, and the whole stadium was on its toes because both teams were locked in grim battle : the score, at 10 PM,  was O-O.

The Gups had missed quite a few opportunities while the Rans had kicked a number of times very hard on the bar (on the field and in the court also). Both goalies had made impressive saves: the Gups’ goalie from free kicks after each Ran foul (every five minutes).

The Rans have a formidable back-centre-forward who, not unlike Lie-O’knell Messy, has mastered the art of making long sleek curved shots to the left of the posts, which fly actually to the right before ending on the post where they leave their unmistakable stamp: a sword of Damocles above the head of the Manager in chief. The French, always ready to make fun of every ‘baudet’, call him ‘le nouveau Messie’. (“Il se prend pour le Messie ou quoi ?”)

But the Gups’s goalie was very experienced and could anticipate the Messyest of moves.

Now, the Rans strategy has been the following: suddenly they all rush forward at the whistle, and as suddenly rush backward towards the goal. God knows why but no one else but God knows why, and it’s rather disorienting.

The Rans goalie wears formidable gloves that look more like a boxer’s. His five-years league-boots measure close to forty inches.

The Gups are a very well organised and organic team, though their midfield is sometimes a bit slow to react, maybe due to the fact that they don’t receive enough healthy food at half-time. But their backies are simply out of this world: they can head the ball anytime anywhere. The Rans Bank on State of the Art side-kicks and corners. And mainly on tackles. Vicious tackles, say the French. Don’t listen to them.

Many Rans players are sitting on the bench. They all wear golden cuffs and wait patiently and often endlessly for their turn. Their key players are indefatigable and their captain has an absolute faith in their ability to win all games on penalties. They all felt like they could scale not one but two Annapurnas. Such was their indomitable spirit.

One major difference between the two teams, is that the Rans’ five managers are extremely vociferous at half-time in the dressing-rooms and during injury time (every five minutes as mentioned above), while the Gups’ captains remain utterly silent.

When a Gups player is hurt, they never utter a word. Nor when they are themselves hurt. They make deep long slow very symbolic gestures to the team. And the mid-fielders sometimes wake up and run in all directions.

One problem with the Rans is that they often lose on self-goals. Mostly head-goals.

Some supporters, of course, did not appreciate the fact that before the final the Rans had put posters of the five Gups managers, denigrating them in a most unsporsmanshiply manner. The Gups were outraged and the head of the Football Association was approached. He promised to change the ball, a move that was rather unexpected, by all standards.

As you can imagine, both teams are the best. That is human. All paths lead back to Rome and Rome leads back to Romulus and Remus who lead back to the wolf. Homo homini lupus, “comme disent les Syriens.”

Now the most extraordinary part of the story is yet to come. Let me tell you — believe it or not — that  after having played for about an hour, the players realised that there was no referee !

The Rans managers had fought hard to impose their own referee and it had been disagreed that a Mexican linesman living in Switzerland and known for its impartiality towards the Swiss living in Mexico, would referee the match. He would run on roller skates pushed and pulled simultaneously by semi-impartial advisers, advertisers and well-wishers. The result was far from encouraging.

But the crucial question remained unanswered : who had blown the whistle for a long hour? Who was there and not-there ? Whose absence was not felt, then felt ? Only the grass offered some answer : it was more and more dry and less and less green. As the sand on the beach, if I may pull up this italian metaphor.

Now, at the end of regular time, the score was still 0-0. All players were rather and leather exhausted, but the little energy that was left within and without them was spent in frowning and smiling to their tense supporters — who were no longer on their toes but on fire. Two hours of play and no goal !

So the decisive expected hour of extra-time was nearing, and the Mexican linesman was perspiring profusely.

Then the head of the Intrernational Football Association had only one choice left before him : he woke up Pele, who had just fallen asleep next to him.

Pele rushed into the field, and blew the whistle. But no sound came out.

10.30 PM. Breaking news.

Extra time, I must say, was played very slowly, still without a referee though Pele was blowing with full force. There were plenty of sudden and deadly counterattacks and a good number of fouls. But at the end, the score remained at a miserable 0-0. There were rumours and tremors all over the stadium, and even underneath. The richest scale was perturbed. Then the players fell flat on the burnt grass, some on top of each other, others below. They tried to catch their breath and if possible their opponents’ throat at the same time. They did it pretty well.

Now there was no escaping the hard truth: the game would be decided once again on a penalty shoot-out. That’s what the Rans had been actually praying for all the time, for their players were expert in the art. Pele threw the whistle on the grass.

So the players were getting ready after hearing the last advice given by their managers in the court of the stars…

Suddenly, as the first Rans player, the center forward, was about to shoot his famous (some said infamous) upward side nord-south downward western kick with his eastern boot while uttering the new Gayatri mantra : « May the friends of my enemies become the enemies of my friends ! » —, a formidable silence fell upon the stadium.

The players stood still.

And we saw, to our utter stupefaction, coming from the horizon two persons, human or divine we could not tell, approaching as if on wings. They landed upon the grass as softly as butterflies.

One was all golden with long hair flowing upon his shoulders, his wide dark eyes deeper and softer than the evening sky.

The other, a lady of unimaginable beauty, was wearing a white and golden dress flowing in the starlight.

They smiled.

Without a second of hesitation, we all knew that the Referees had come at last.

– A Keen Observer


From → Inquiries, Satire

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: