Bangalore: It's best called the idiot smile, and most sports fans can relate to it. It's usually accompanied by the faraway look. You can see a lot of them around India these days - in the stands at cricket matches, in restaurants and airport lounges, at office workstations.
Behind the idiot smile lies bittersweet emotion. It's prompted by recalling the highest of highs, but it also comes tinged with the realisation that life will never get better. Spanish football fans experienced it at Soccer City last July, and the Fenway-Park faithful felt it come on when the curse of the Bambino was finally overcome. Now it's the turn of the Indian cricket fan.
The Indian Premier League's opening game, in Chennai, didn't attract a full house. A day later, in Kochi, the massive Nehru Stadium was less than half-full for the Tuskers' first game. The state assembly elections, to be held this Wednesday, might have been a factor, but the vast swathes of empty seats would certainly be of concern to owners who hadn't been especially keen to play in Kerala in the first place.