Twenty Two Yards of Bollywood Yarn

A nice funny and witty article by the Fake IPL Player published in the current issue of Forbes India magazine

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It’s that time of the year again. As the air gets warmer and power supply gets rarer, top cricketers from that part of the world which is not Pakistan have descended on to India. The third season of the biggest reality show in the world is in everyone’s faces. Welcome to the Indian Premier League: Tritiya. (Out of consideration for this magazine’s reputation, I will not conjecture on what the fourth edition will be called.) You can love IPL or you can hate it, but you can’t ignore it. And that’s just the way Lalit Modi likes it.

Like the past two seasons, this year too advertisers around the country would be comfortably snuggled in with the knowledge that, for once, their entire consumer base can be found in front of the TV, watching the same channel, despite the channel’s best efforts to put them off. It’s a throwback to the Doordarshan era, when everyone watched Ramayan and Mahabharat. As per latest data disclosed by the Bureau of Useless Information, Government of India, Modi was shown on TV a record 78,623 times last season. This year he’s all set to break the 100,000 barrier. It’s advisable not to entertain any thoughts of relief once the league is over . The boss makes his presence felt through the year.
Spare a thought for the cricketers, though. Forty-five days, a possible sixteen games for some players. Add to that the travel, photo shoots, booze binges, dancing, press conferences, post-victory parties. Even if there are ways to minimise on the last one, like KKR did last year, it’s still back-breaking. And we haven’t even started on the effort that goes into counting notes. No wonder players have been complaining of burnout.

But then, if you’re at an age where you’re still counting chest hairs and suddenly find half-a-million dollars in your bank account, burning out is the last thing on your mind. Quite the opposite. You put in the extra hours to hone your soft skills.

Take Wayne Parnell. So IIM-trained were his responses after his IPL jackpot that it made people wonder if Career Launcher had opened a CAT coaching centre in South Africa. “Myyyy idollll is Asheeeeesh Nehraaaaaa,” he screamed from the top of his roof. From the look on his face, Nehra actually believed him. For all you know, Parnell was just happy that he wasn’t picked by Chennai Super Kings. He may have had to start idolising Balaji.

A little short-changed, though, is Mathew Hayden. He spent two years proclaiming his spiritual connection with Chennai only to face the prospect of a transfer next year. If his attempts at staying in Chennai don’t work out, he is, no doubt, hoping for the new franchise to be from Kanpur and praying they take him. Perhaps he sees a possible endorsement deal with Kanpur’s famous sweetshop Thaggu ke laddoo. Probably, something in its name that Hayden, like many of his other Australian colleagues, identifies with.
The guy making all the right noises is Shane Warne. From hanging out with the Indian community in Melbourne, to wearing his India-love on his twitter page, he’s doing it all. And, he hasn’t forgotten the Shiv Sena either. No, he isn’t learning Marathi, but he is talking to dear friend Shilpa about a possible movie that ends with him saying ‘My name is Warne. And I am not a racist.’

In some circles though, Warney’s tweets are increasingly being seen as offensive. One, he openly peddles his brand of underwear on Twitter. And then he tweets @iamsrk asking ‘howz da kkr shaping up.’ A more pun- and innuendo-laden tweet has never been tweeted in the history of tweeting. Warney knew very well that the said team had just lost an underwear brand sponsor. And he also knew it was because Dada walked out of the shoot of the underwear ad when he learnt that he’ll have to take off his pants and swing it above his head screaming ‘Yeh andar ki baat nahin hai!’

Just when people thought KKR can’t have it any worse, they prove the world wrong again. They change their colours from eyesore black to hideous purple. “Dada likes purple; my daughter feels I look good in purple. We’ve changed everything. We want to leave everything behind and start afresh. Also, the girls like it. So, we will make money out of it, and the girls will be all on our side,” said the King, displaying his trademark wit. (Take your time. Read the quote a few more times to make sense out of it.)

Dada’s taken charge of the team in vintage style. Training his boys hard for the tournament ahead, egging them on, pushing them the extra yard. From the sidelines. But you got to give it to the guy. He may not be a runner, he may not be a diver, he may not be a catcher, but he is a true inspirer of young souls. With him as captain, don’t bet on the team finishing last this time round. A seventh or a joint sixth position is more likely.

I predict that the team will soon delete lorbo and jeetbo, and keep their slogan to just korbo. That way, come what may, nobody can accuse them of having failed.

Fallout of the times we live in. The Deccan Chargers have been forced to increase security around the team… for the sake of all the women who will be interacting with them. The incident involving Mandira Bedi last year has prompted the move, coincidentally announced by the team management on International Women’s Day. In the accused player’s defence, he says that he was just following Guru Gary’s mantra.
While Hayden has still not gotten past poda naaye in his Tamil learning efforts, Sanga takes charge of the King’s XI Punjab after having mastered the right pronunciation of ‘penh’ in the popular Punjabi greeting that rhymes with ‘Pant-Coat’. Apparently, knowledge of the word will come handy as captain of the King’s XI Punjab.

IPL means many things to many people. But there are some for whom IPL presents an opportunity to simply remain relevant. Ms. Zinta, for example. No films in the recent past, none in the foreseeable future. The image of her jumping up and down in the Kings XI T-shirt is now so strong that eleven-year olds around the country know her as Cricket Aunty. But, sources reveal, she’s determined not to let a certain Ms. Shetty steal her thunder this time round.

Last season, Beautiful Shilpa, also known as BS for reasons other than the initials, was the toast of the town. Her nervous gasps, exultant jumps, and near-fatal hugs to her beau are now part of popular folklore amongst nomadic tribes near Jaisalmer. But none of it was as memorable as her off-field press interactions. Sample this.

Journalist: So, how does the ball look?

BS: (Looks down sheepishly. And giggles.)
Journalist: What do you think about Asnodkar’s running between the wickets?
BS: (Giggles. And tickles.)
Journalist: Are you concerned that Shane Warne is not able to bowl the flipper?
BS: Have you seen my ring? It’s bigger than my nose…(and giggles).

Finally, with the next round of auctions around the corner, most of the young Indian players are, quietly and not-so-subtly, lobbying for a place with the Chennai Super Kings. Just the way the quickest way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach, it’s now common knowledge that the quickest way to the Indian team is not through the Ranjis. It’s through the Chennai Super Kings team. Vijay, Badri, Balaji, Goni, Tyagi, Ashwin to name the last few. The only guy to buck the trend was Joginder Sharma, but he doesn’t count. But, of course, this rule is for mere mortals, not for a certain Superman who, not being a part of the Super Kings, danced in the chairman of selectors’ son’s baraat, saving the venerable chairman money otherwise meant for hired dancers, and continued dancing his way into the Indian side. May his appams always be soft.

The Fake IPL Player urges you not to believe a word he says. “It’s all fake,” he says. “Didn’t you see my name?”

Source: Forbes India Magazine of 02 April, 2010

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