Sunday, April 6, 2014

This Mughal is a Rajput fan

Today is the big day, when a Rajput king (who was a second class ticket examiner for the Indian Railways in a previous life) rides into battle. His top general is a Tamil Brahmin who terrorizes the enemy with a carrom ball. They also have a die-hard fan who has traveled half the world to say hello. What is so special about him is that he belongs to a tribe which has sworn to fight a thousand year war with the Rajput Tamils.

Normally this would be an unremarkable story, especially so as Mohd. Bashir's wife is from Hyderabad (India) . Lots of Indians would also support Pakistan if the latter was playing (some "Indians" support Pakistan even when playing against India). But still as Dr Omar says, as long as the 2-nation theory lives out its zombie like life (and it will do so till Kashmir is normalized), these stories do make a few bright splashes against a perpetually cloudy sky that is SAsia.
There is one thing about Mahendra Singh Dhoni that even his staunch critics will applaud. Whether he is on or off the field, he loves to walk the talk. So, when he declared that the hostility associated with an India-Pakistan encounter is long over, Dhoni meant it and his latest act has proved it.

The Indian captain on Saturday arranged a complimentary pass for a die-hard Pakistani cricket fan Mohammed Bashir, who came all the way from Chicago to support his team.
Although Pakistan were knocked out in the group stage, Bashir has stayed back to watch India play the final and now has become a "die-hard Dhoni fan" having interacted with the Indian captain.
"I was watching India's training session yesterday but I didn't have any tickets. Dhoni is familiar with my face as he has seen me before the Champions Trophy's Indo-Pak game in Birmingham. I told him that I don't have a ticket to watch the finals.
"Dhoni then called some "Kaka" (trainer Ramesh Mane or 'Mane Kaka') and told him to arrange for my ticket. Kaka promptly gave me a complimentary pass. I am completely moved by his gesture," the new "Chacha Pakistani" said on Sunday. 

"He (Dhoni) asked about me and I told him that I am settled in Chicago. Since I was standing there for a long time, he told someone to give me fruits. I am a Pakistan fan but for today, I am a Dhoni fan. Also I have another India connection. I am Hyderabad's son-in-law as my wife hails from the region," a proud Bashir said flaunting his final match pass.

During Pakistan's matches, Bashir, who would be in his early 50's, could be seen wearing a giant sized kurta in the design of his national flag. He has also been a big hit among the local fans after supporting Bangladesh during one of their matches.
Bashir runs a Mughlai restaurant in Chicago named "Ghareeb Nawaz" which specialises in biryani.


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