Bokaro businessmen organise a yajna on Friday to pray for Team India’s victory against Sri Lanka in the World Cup final. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Ranchi, April 1: Match of the century and some fans out for a duck.
At a time when almost 1.2 billion people are glued to their televisions, laptops, radios, cell phone updates, et al — not to speak of the lucky ones in Wankhede — for a live ball-by-ball coverage of tomorrow’s India-Sri Lanka face-off, some unfortunate cricket buffs will experience the slip between the Cup and the lip, er, eye.
Doctors J. Nath and Yogesh Gambhir of Raj Hospital will be among the unfortunate few. Nath will be hard at work at the intensive care unit (dialysis) where there is no television. “There are TV screens at the hospital, but I can’t leave my work,” he said.
Gambhir, also the hospital owner, said a key meeting in the afternoon and an oncology seminar at a city hotel in the evening will keep him away from the action. “I don’t watch TV during work because if I do so, my staff will follow,” he said wryly.
But the plight of doctors is same everywhere. In Dhanbad, doctor of medicine A.K. Verma at Patliputra Medical College and Hospital, missed his Mohali date thanks to OPD duty. “I’ll miss the Mumbai show too. I will try to get updates from friends, but can’t compromise with duty,” said the doctor, who’s otherwise an avid cricket buff.
Airport Authority of India (AAI) employees on operational duty at Birsa Munda airport will be grounded, too. Those deputed at air traffic control, fire safety, among others, will miss the match, said Dhananjay Tiwary of AAI.
They aren’t alone.
Traffic cops who had played truant during the Indo-Pak epic battle on March 30, said they had nothing to control on empty roads. But a surprise inspection by IG Police and traffic SP on that day left them red-faced.
Sunil Kumar, a traffic munshi, had a harrowing time on Wednesday. “My chowki doesn’t have a television. Even work pressure was high. I received a minimum of 200 phone calls on that day from seniors for deputation of forces depending on the match situation. Bad time,” he said, adding the pressure would be less tomorrow.
The rider? “I can’t budge from work. My duty is from 1pm to 9pm,” he added.
Constable G. Tiwari will be posted at Sarjana Chowk. “It’s a strict order. Whether there is traffic or not, no one will leave the post,” he said.
Cops missing tomorrow’s match may offer solace to prisoners, including inmates at Birsa Munda Central Jail, who will also miss the historic moments.