An Indian sports fan has some recurring dreams. India qualifying for the football World Cup (and not as hosts), India winning Olympic golds, Indian tennis players doing well in singles, Indian cricketers not copy-pasting tweets, and so on.
Another dream shows our politicians doing fitness tests, since sports stadiums are often named after politicians in our country.
The dream has become more frequent since the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi was renamed as Arun Jaitley stadium a few weeks ago. It will continue to visit us now that the Sardar Patel stadium has been renamed Narendra Modi Stadium.
These are the fitness tests taken by usually overweight, SUV-loving politicians in the Indian sports lover’s subconscious.
The Costume Test: It involves politicians running laps dressed as the leader after which that particular arena is named. For example, in Nehru stadium they do a 100m sprint wearing a Nehru coat and cap. In Narendra Modi Stadium they run laps wearing outfits with ‘Narendra Modi’ written all over them. At a venue named after a warrior king, they dress like him and try to ride a horse.
The Statue Climb: We have many statues around the country. And we are building more. They are bigger and very expensive because as we all know, statues make a real difference to the lives of people.
In this test, politicians, including the great Mayawati, climb a large statue. These folks are good climbers in the social and political sense. But this exercise develops their mountaineering skills, and makes them worthy of a stadium name. In fact, with our love of statues and the overcrowding on Everest, we can someday build an 8,000m statue which will serve as an alternative to big peaks.
The push-your-car test: Because of rising fuel costs, a lot of petrol tanks of automobiles around the country are empty. Many people are pushing their cars to work. The CEOs have it slightly better. They sit on top of the car, practising their jargon, while their subordinates push the vehicle.
This test, conducted in Delhi, involves politicians pushing their cars from their homes to their workplace, a recently renamed Kapil Dev parliament. This is a dream, remember, one based on the principles of equality.
The account number test: This is a version of the mobile number workout, which many athletes do. If your number starts with 98211, you run nine laps of a ground, take a breather, then eight laps, and so on.
Our noble politicians do the same with their offshore company account number. This test is conducted at Marine Drive in Mumbai, off the recently renamed Sunil Gavaskar Mantralaya.
The facing Ishant Sharma test: The fast bowler has played 100 Tests. It is an achievement considering the demands of his job, and the length of his hair.
This test involves politicians facing Sharma bowling at full tilt. They find it hard to see beyond their stomach, but they are quite good in the art of ducking bouncers.