Vinay Kanchan

A Time for Mundial Madness!

Now before you break out into your best Bollywood Bhangra jig, at the mention of the word 'Mundial', know this; that it usually refers to the football World Cup. And the 'l' at the end of the 'Mundial', is not as silent as some famous politicians we know. Though to be fair the impending soccer carnival, which kicks off in Brazil this week, does imply some truly wild dance moves-both on and off the playing pitch.

Once every four years, the attention of the entire planet is monopolized by the activities of a rather humble sized sphere.

Grown men cry. Grown women groan. Tough clients melt at the mention of their favorite players exploits. Bosses appear a lot more human, especially if you happen to support the same team. Accountants scrutinize your vouchers less stringently, if you ask them about the previous night's match. People, who have had nothing to share over the years, finally find something to talk about. The world itself seems to draw closer, at least until the half time interval.

However that is just one brighter side of the picture.

And unlike most politicians, I would like to dwell on the bleaker aspect of things as well.

For in the lead up to the tournament, when it is on and perhaps even a bit later, a dreadful disease overwhelms the general populace.

It creeps up on us like a Cristiano Ronaldo blindside run. It affects our behavior in ways we cannot really predict, like defenders floundering to guess which way Messi will turn. It slowly ekes away at our consciousness, like a short pass infused Spanish move building up.

Come June the 12th, most of the globe will be infected by 'Mundial Madness'.

Here are a few tell-tale symptoms…

Terminology Trauma

One of the first signs, that you have been infected, is how 'Mundial Madness' begins to affect your daily speech. Clearly the next few weeks can be taxing on people around you, trying to engage in a meaningful conversation. This is especially the case for those who don't share the same passion for the game (yes amazingly, such folk do exist).

Picture these situations.

Your boss enquires about your numbers projection for the coming month, and you reply almost automatically. 'Before the final whistle blows, and if no fouls stop my surging runs; I should be able to kick in fourteen thousand goals, even as the crowds wildly cheer me on.'

Or if your better half casually asks you 'How do I look in this dress?' You find yourself retorting, 'Just like an Italian defensive wall, which has slyly crept up to a much wider size than the referee allowed.'

Needless to say the implication of such 'disease stricken' statements; are likely to be felt both on the bank balance and on the social charts.

Ritual Rampage

The World Cup saga is replete with gloriously fascinating rituals.

Some of these are around the very functioning of the game. Others might dwell on the uninhibited nature of player celebrations. Quite a few might tell stories, about how audiences chose to have their own bit of fun during matches.

None should be attempted within the serious confines of a conference room. And yet you might find yourself doing any of the things mentioned below.

When a meeting is excruciatingly dragging on, you might indulge in an impromptu 'one person Mexican Wave'.

Faced with someone who simply refuses to stop talking, you might inadvertently silence them with an ear splitting, shrill blast from a referee's whistle. This could be followed by you earnestly trying to eject them out of the room, by showing them a red card.

If you manage to get your ideas through, in a highly competitive setting, you could stumble upon yourself rubbing it in the faces of your rivals, by screaming 'GOAL', in the quite inimitable style of those Latin American commentators.

If that itself was not enough, you could then start running around like a prehistoric bird discovering flight for the first time. You might dearly want to rip off your shirt during this celebration, but extreme caution is advised, especially given your current 'abs status'. Even an apparently cultured, well behaved white collar audience; can only take in so much.

Managerial Misadventures

As the illness progresses further, you might find your aspirations (and actions) reaching more advanced stages, at least as far as the corporate ladder goes.

Just like most white collar workers dream of the time, when they will be above operational assignments, and be able to extravagantly throw around words like 'strategy', 'vision' and 'competitive advantage', without shyness or shame. This illness also tends towards coaxing its victims on, from mere player antics to the more elevated art of managing things.

Here you might insist people sit around meeting tables in certain formations- perhaps you decide to open with, three at the front, three in the middle and four at the back. It is conceivable that an hour into the meeting, you might want to shuffle things around…a possible side effect is participants might want to do the same, with most of your vital organs.

Then on spotting from a distance, your coworkers moving towards the boss's office, or en route to an important client meeting; you could furiously exhort them with exaggerated hand gestures, to move quicker in that direction, shouting 'encouraging' words like 'come on faster…FASTER!!!' all along. Just to mess with their minds a touch more, you could violently gesture in the opposite direction once every while, giving that whole trip ominous connotations.

As can be gathered, it helps if you have the right words printed on your visiting card in such situations, else you could be up for a tough sentence.

Technology Timeouts

Blame it on the high quality of these match telecasts, but viewing those does spoil one's expectations of the real world.

You will begin to want exhaustive audio visual coverage, for simply every event in your life. Perhaps some might argue, once the trend of selfies began, it was always going to be a slippery slope towards that.

For instance, you might signal for a 'slow motion, multiple angle playback, with full audio capacity referral'; to settle an intense argument with your oppressive landlord. Then you could condescendingly smirk, how he does not view the problem (you) from all sides.

If you closely miss out on an increment or a promotion, you could demand an 'instant freeze frame replay', to establish exactly how near you really were. If the office, due to a lack of budget or inclination, declines your request, you have the cue to nonchalantly shrug your shoulders, and remark how the system sucks.


And these are only a few signs, hopefully you get the drift.

As a concerned world citizen, I found it my duty to alert fellow earth people, of the dangers which lie ahead. For once afflicted, your conduct is completely and hopelessly out of your hands; akin to your favorite team's fortunes, in a much dreaded penalty shootout.

So if you find yourself doing some Neymar like quicksilver step overs, as you walk along the corridors of power, pause to think if all is well (just don't pause mid stride). If you look in the office mirror and see hideously bright colored jerseys every single day, it is time to seriously contemplate. If you start sizing up every new person you meet, from the perspective of where exactly they might slot on a football field, perhaps it is time to call in the men in white coats-no, not the toothpaste endorsing dentists.

Enjoy the World Cup…but be warned!

Have news to share? Write to us