This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Thousands of fans screaming the names of their favourite players and trying to get autographs and pictures at almost any cost (one of them lifting up his shirt to show Virat Kohli the likeness of him he had tattooed across his stomach) didn't show up to greet the Indian team at the airport as the players arrived from their tour of Australia.
Instead, the airport wore a deserted, almost unrecognisable look, as players stood around waiting for their bags to be brought to them before realising they were going to have to do it themselves. Media crews assembled outside the arrivals hall, cameras popping wildly and reporters at the ready, failed to do any of those things, as they weren't actually there either.
Neither was this reporter, having had something more important to do instead, like download the latest version of Angry Birds, if there is one. In fact, he had to rely on reports from players' families and friends for the purpose of this article.
According to them, the players were able to unhurriedly exit the airport at their leisure, without incident. Players who live in or around the city were able to leave through the main exit as opposed to the customary "VIP" wing, which, incidentally, they were barred from entering. Those who caught connecting flights to other cities were asked to join the lines of other people doing the same.
"It's great to be able to walk around like a normal person for once," tweeted Virender Sehwag. "Not one person has come up for an autograph. I feel like a free man," he said, though this was quickly followed by: "Starting to feel a little weird, though".
Later in the day Sachin Tendulkar could be seen pacing the balcony of his house trying to sight a news crew so he could tell them how thrilled he felt to be able to appear on his balcony and, for once, not worry about a news crew trying to video his every move.
"So great to be able to walk down the street to the corner shop for buffalo milk and bread, and not worry about being mobbed along the way," said MS Dhoni, according to his mother. "I can take one of my bikes out for a ride and I don't even have to wear a helmet." According to his mother, Dhoni then broke down and sobbed in her lap, asking why no one cares about whether or not he plans to grow his hair back.
As per eyewitness reports there is little else known about the details of the Indian players returning to their homes, as there are no eyewitness reports.
A majority of Indian people seemed indifferent or unaware that the team had arrived. Indeed, reruns of highlights of the recently concluded series were reportedly going unwatched by India's traditionally sports-inclined television viewership.
Most viewers had apparently tuned in to other programmes, one of which might come as only a mild surprise to the players and officials who run cricket in the country: the newly inaugurated World Series Hockey league.
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All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
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