A ‘bet` is an interesting concept. For both Sachin fans and chiropterologists a ‘bat` might seem a better concept but for a gambler like me, ‘bet` is definitely ‘bet`ter. Now, you know why the word ‘better` is not spelt as ‘batter`.
My first bet in life was when my close friend and 7th standard classmate MN Devarajan (if you are MND, I have been looking for you for 15 years!) and I fought over who was Indira Gandhi`s father.
I was saying she was Mahatma Gandhi`s daughter while he stuck to Jawahar Lal Nehru. Like it always happens in a bet, there were indications that it will be a hands down win for me…after all why would Indira`s second name be Gandhi if she was Nehru`s daughter?
Today, people settle their bets in two seconds flat (that`s the time Google takes to throw up the results). Back then we didn`t have Google…so bets took a while to be settled. We went around asking our seniors in school. While they didn`t know the right answer, they started taking sides…soon enough everybody in the school was involved in the bet – each individual was siding with either Nehru or Gandhi.
With everybody in the school looking up to us to decide on who won, we were under tremendous pressure. With nothing else to do, MN Devarajan and I went to our History teacher and asked him: “Sir, who is Indira Gandhi`s father – Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi?”
“You came to the wrong place sons…you might want to ask her mother.”
After a week of questioning people, a man whom both of us thought was a CBI detective posing as a begger in front of our school told us that Indira was Nehru`s daughter. Apparently, Feroze Gandhy (Indira`s husband) changed his surname to ‘Gandhi` …probably to align himself closer to the Mahatma…just before his marriage.
Many years have passed by since my first bet. Just to recollect some of my statements which forced me to enter into a bet and lose –
â€¢ Viagra was invented & subsequently named by a guy who was traveling ‘via Agra`
â€¢ The Indian book with maximum number of pages is titled ‘List of things I can`t afford` and was written by Mukesh Ambani
â€¢ If you want to lose weight, always drink a ‘diet coke` with your chicken burger with extra cheese and large fries.
With years…experience has taught me that while agreeing on a bet, if it looks like you are going to win…chances are you are going to lose.
If you are a good actor like me, you can use the ‘art of betting` in office to turn things in your favor. I have many a times walked up to my boss and said: “I know for sure, this wouldn`t work.”
Obviously, it would work…and then I would walk up to him/her and say: “You were right…that was awesome foresight. How did you manage that? No wonder you are where you are!”
The boss will obviously go “blah blah blah” which you can ignore and once he gives you two seconds to sneak in a question, ask: “So, where do you want me to take you?”
Thus you get to spend some quality time with your boss, and impress him you`re your knowledge of the French wine.
With girls, the art of betting takes a totally different turn. I had a friend called Rohit Delhiwala who once got into a bet with a girl.
They had been going out for six months and had started spending hours on the phone – sometimes up to 5 a.m. in the morning. While I thought this was outrageous…my friend wouldn`t agree. He said, he enjoyed it and wouldn`t mind doing it each day.
One day, with nothing else to do…my friend and his girl friend decided on a bet. One Saturday, the two were not to speak to each other from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.. The partner who called up the other first would lose the bet. The loser was to buy a gift of the winner`s choice the next weekend.
My friend called in at 10.45 p.m. and lost the bet. Today, they are a lot closer than you and I can imagine. My friend had lost the ‘bettle` but won the war!