Tis the World Cup season.
And that can mean only one thing: Bedi.
No not the perennially pissed-off Bishen Singh Bedi.
“Bedi” jalayi leh jigar se piya
Jigar maa badi aag hai
Mandira Bedi is here.
And this time she has, in her own words, “Dravid across my chest”.
A little background. Introduced into the commentary box as the voice of the “Indian fan” in 2002, it was however during World Cup 2003 that this lissome lass with her India-coloured bangles, her noodle straps (a term she claims to have invented), her flashing smile and her neckline which dipped faster than Inzamam’s average in 2003, put the “oo” in the doosra and revolutionized the way cricket is packaged and presented. For the first time more Indian men were watching the breaks than the game itself, Charu Sharma was not the most inane person in the room, tarot cards for predicting the game made more sense than pitch reports and watching the eyes of the fellow male commentators became more fun than hearing them speak.
And with the next World Cup here, Ms. Bedi is doing what she does best: cheering up the Indian team. At a glittering function organized by e-bay, Ms. Bedi unfurled her latest creation: a sari with the autographs of all Indian cricketers. While we do not know whether the Men in Blue signed the sari while Mandira was wearing it, what we now do know is that it is Rahul Dravid’s autograph that runs across her chest. Which means that Dravid has exercised his executive privilege by putting his name on prime estate. Maximum visibility is consequently guaranteed.
Touting “Go India Go” as the slogan for this year’s corporate cheerleading (which may become “Come India Come” very soon), Mandira Bedi informs us as to how you can get hold of Mandira’s “special” saris:
As soon as I wear them, they get couriered back and they are up for grabs.
So why should people be grabbing her used saris? Well according to Mandira, the saris will be “bright, colourful, Caribbean, cricket-oriented with lots of cricket animation”.
How animations can be put on saris may be open to conjecture, but that men will become animated is of course beyond doubt.
Lest people think of all this as yet another squalid money-grabbing exercise, Mandira when asked whether she is supporting social causes said:
I am always up. I always put my hands up.
Touching. And uplifting.
May the games begin.