'Mauka mauka': Long wait with box of crackers

Last Updated 17 June 2019, 09:00 IST

"Mauka mauka, mauka mauka!"

A person is bound to hum after reading these words with an amusing smile on the face. Now, the tune cannot be anything one wishes it to be. It must follow the specific "qawwali'' style that a famous ad prescribed. Well, this is the same ad that made "Mauka Mauka" a household banter and became the most talked about sports ad in recent times.

1992 World Cup, India vs Pakistan. A young man is watching the match in which Pakistan's legendary batsman Javed Miandad famously taunted India's wicketkeeper Kiran More by jumping at the crease. The young man, with his joyful eyes transfixed on the small television set, too jumped in anticipation of Pakistan's victory. But he recoiled on his couch at the end of the match, as the glum eyes mirrored his dejection. Silently, he picked the box of crackers and dumped it in the waste bin.

And thus, began the "Mauka Mauka'' ad, Star Sports' brainchild for the 2015 India vs Pakistan World Cup match. The ad traced the journey of a Pakistani fan over the years, as he eagerly waits for his team to win against India in a World Cup, and dumps the box of crackers at the end, every time.

India has never lost against Pakistan in any World Cup (an impressive 7-0 lead), and the young man represented the wait of every Pakistani fan. He becomes a father and the wait continues with his son. If someone finds any resemblance with Vladimir and Estragon from Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot', no coincidence.

Four years later, another World Cup, and "Mauka Mauka" is back with another piece of banter. This time, the Pakistani fan has a new companion -- an avid fan of Bangladesh. The Pakistani fan announces that one should never lose hope, with a great dash of enthusiasm and optimism, adding in the end, "My father used to say so". This is just like Ellis Red, when he told Andy Dufresne "hope is a great thing, may be the best of things" in the film 'The Shawshank Redemption'.

The new 'Mauka Mauka' ad

But, a young bearded man clad in the Indian cricket team's jersey interrupts the two hopeful fans in the ad. He scrutinises them for a moment, and says "When did I say such a thing?", and the camera then focus on a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, smiling. The India vs Pakistan match in this World Cup is on June 16. Ring a bell? Yes, on 'International Father's Day'. Found any reference? Well, the caution is already given.

One interesting feature of this new ad is the inclusion of Bangladesh. In a way, it shows the growing rivalry between India and Bangladesh, with the latter emerging as a strong force to reckon with in world cricket. But the focus of the banter is still arch-rivals, Pakistan.

Godot never arrived. In the 2019 World Cup, India defeated Pakistan by 89 run, and the wait just got prolonged. Nostradamus did not predict about Pakistan's conquest of the 'final frontier', so only time can quench the thirst of curiosity of their fans. Till then, the box of crackers will remain untouched, in the desolation of defeat and the dejected fan will be asked the famous question, "patake kab phodenge?".

(Published 12 June 2019, 10:44 IST)

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