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Harbhajan sing or Harbhajan spin?

by Gaurav Sethi

Harbhajan Singh’s surprise inclusion in the one-day squad is giving sleepless nights to the Singh household. Even though Bhajji’s marriage to Geeta Basra is on 29th October and the India-South Africa one-day series’ last match is on 25th October, this latest development has upset the family no end. A visibly shaken elder from the family, Mr Singh said that R Ashwin should have timed his side-strain better – “why didn’t he choose his own marriage, why Bhajji’s? And don’t tell me there are no other spinners in the country? This is selfish of the selectors, and a conspiracy to undermine Bhajji’s wedding.”
The duration of big, fat Punjabi weddings is well documented and Bhajji’s will be no different. The preparation and functions were already underway during India’s Twenty20 series with South Africa (2nd – 8th October). That Bhajji only played in the second match has upset the elders even more. Another irate elder, Mrs Kaur said that Bhajji lost out on vital preparations for the first and second round sangeets – “even though Bhajji is a fabulous singer, they must understand, this is his wedding and he deserves to get all the practice he can get – don’t want him rusty for the final rounds of sangeet. Also Bhajji doesn’t want any favours to qualify for the later rounds just because it’s his wedding and he’s a fabulous singer...he was also hoping to upload a few YouTube videos with Yuvraj Singh who had agreed to dance in the earlier sangeet rounds. Now we’ll have to get fresh dates from Yuvraj, who even though is Bhajji’s buddy has prior commitments to top brands.”
A distressed Mr Singh interrupted his missus, “Between you and me, not just Yuvraj, even Sreesanth and Jayasuriya who have excellent experience in the dance and music business had volunteered to be part of the early sangeet rounds. Bhajji was hoping to make a Reality TV serial of the sangeet and market it to some channel, he was hoping all this will pay for his lavish wedding but now he’ll have to use his hard earned cricket money.”
Bhajji however said that cricket comes first and if Ashwin’s side-strain doesn’t heal, and he’s picked for the Test squad, he’ll even play on his wedding day – “It’s a huge honour to play for my country, and if I’m asked to turn up on my wedding day, I will ride on my horse with the barat to the cricket ground. Of course I do not plan to play in a sherwani and will keep my cricket kit ready at all times.” When reminded that the Test series gets underway only from 5th November, Bhajji snapped, “If I have to, I will leave my honeymoon for cricket, what else can I say? Anyway, the first Test is at Mohali, which is my home-ground, and playing there will be like a wedding gift from the selectors to me, not that I want them to show any partiality. Hopefully Ashwin will be fit by then.”  
When asked about his preparations, Bhajji quickly enquired, “Cricket or Sangeet? So far I have bowled only 4 overs in the series, that too for only 20 runs in the second T20, I was one the most economical bowlers.  Too bad the 3rd match was washed out, I had some fresh dance moves for that. As for my sangeet, I’m looking to give the ball more air (haha) see there’s so much on my mind these days”
Bhajji’s good friend, Sachin Tendulkar hopes to make it for the big day, as also old mates, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman. When asked if he had invited MS Dhoni, he said the guest list was top secret, hoping the press would respect everyone’s privacy. Asked if Virat Kohli will be in attendance, Bhajji looked delighted, adding “Of course, long as you respect his and Anushka’s privacy, they should be there!”   
Some quarters’ criticised Bhajji’s invite to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi saying it coincided with his inclusion in the one-day team, while still others demanded why the off-spinner had not invited the Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari. Bhajji said he did not want to politicise his wedding and would much rather talk about the Bollywood themed party at a Delhi farmhouse – “Do you know, Sachin has agreed to look into the menu, and we’ll be including some of his favourite fish and prawn dishes, who knows maybe even crabs are flown in from...”
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)

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