I'll just come out and say it. I need an extra 'World Cup bonus'on the lines of the 'mehngai bhatta' that people in the 80's used to get. I've never followed a football (wanted to write soccer here to get a few purists tearing out their hair. Then desisted - these soccer fans can be quite crazy. Dangerously crazy.)World Cup with so much dedication and perseverance. Not to mention the economic hit. My monthly budget lies whimpering in a corner in tatters.
I've been going out almost every second day to this place screening a match or that place with the best football fans or this friend with a 42 inch LCD TV. And all this going out doesn't come cheap. You're always with some people following the football tradition of watching matches with your favourite healthy beverage and fresh foods (yeah, right). And try as I do to sit in a corner without troubling the waiter too much, these guys are trained to spot attempting freeloaders like me and to impale us with tremendously guilt inducing stares.
And then they hover around glancing at you and the empty table in front of you. The glances get progressively threatening and accusatory with every free kick awarded in the match. Eventually just as they confer with their manager and award a free kick of their own, you succumb and order something. And do NOT think that the prices have not been padded up with the World Cup in mind. Yesterday, at the biggest game of this World Cup (Argentina - Germany) I happened to be at my local watering hole. This place is popular but it has its ups and downs and I've seen it overflowing and empty in a span of two -three days. What I mean to say is that it is my regular place where I know the people and the way they charge. Yesterday, they stopped me at the gate - "Cover charge?". Of course I didn't pay it, being a regular and all (and, you know, being from Delhi. Rules are for losers). But even this place was getting into the World Cup money making way of things.
Hence I propose the following:
1. FIFA should allocate a certain (substantial) part of their funds for free distribution to people bordering on destitution due to their World Cup spendings
2. The government should reduce all taxes on eateries and pubs and all other places showing the match. And the benefit has to be given to the people who visit the place.
3. Employers should change work timings to accommodate late night matches. Efficiency metrics should be relaxed for the duration of the Cup.And for another two months to allow for people to normalize
4. More movies to be released, parties to be thrown, events to be organised starting at the end of the Cup. I am already dreading the withdrawal symptoms once the Cup ends. (C'mon, tell me the truth. Didn't you feel all disoriented when there was no football for two days between the Round of 16 and the quarter finals?)
5. Special camps with trained (preferably pretty) psychiatrists to deal with the post-Cup trauma.
These are my simple requests. But we need to make a national, nay international movement to get these perfectly reasonable requests, nay demands met. Send all your support in the shape of cheques to me and I shall take the lead in starting this movement.
Power to the fans!!