12 May 2011

Shivdi + Wadala + Haji Ali + Santa Cruz












Great Gamblers.

I think it was in one of Salman Rusdie's Mumbai books that he tells a story about people betting about the time taken for ships to pass between two streetlight poles near Gateway of India or something to that effect. The point I'm making is that if there is a chance somewhere, there's bound to be Mumbaikars betting on it.

If you like to gamble, you have more than enough options on the streets of Mumbai. Simple street games, lottery shops outside most stations and next to desi daaru shops, video game parlours, carrom clubs, BSE, etc. The list is long and betting on cricket matches, which is illegal, is somewhere up there on the list. Especially now, during the IPL season.

These days I'm working with a group of people who seem to have lost interest in the progress of IPL. If Mumbai Indians or Tendulkar's team is playing, you will hear a question or two thrown in the direction of the only person in the group who seems to be following the progress of the match. No sms alerts, transistor or portable TV for him, he has a laptop connected to the Internet with two tabs open on his browser - Yahoo Cricket (it updates fastest apparently) and Betfair. His Android powered HTC phone is also always busy. He's cashing in on the live streaming cricket information he's hooked on to. With a big smile he says, "I follow cricket but for a different reason. And there's a cricket match being played somewhere in the world at any given time of the day. "

Legalise it and tax him, I say.





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