Rush The Floor

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Ravi Shastri walks into the Indian dressing room. India’s World Cup squad is sitting there; a few of them more than a bit nervous about the pep talk to come and the heads that shall roll, financially committed as many are to playing the game till they are 37.

Ravi Shastri: “Now look here boys. I am a no-nonsense guy and will cut straight to the chase. Many of you may be asking why I have been chosen to be coach. After all, I was an unexceptional batsman, a mediocre bowler and while fielding would go down on my knees and wait for the ball to roll into my hands.

However there is one thing I was the undisputed king of, and still am.

That being the art of seduction. The art of the fling.

That art is what, my dear boys, I, Shastri or “Sahasra Stri” (the one with thousand women), the king of the Mumbai party circuit, have come to teach you.

And lest I forget, if there are any doubts about my legendary chick-magnetness, let me remind you that I am the only Indian cricketer to have had a movie named after him (Still from movie: Ravi Shastri to the top left)”.

Dravid: “Wait, wait. Look here Mr. Shastri. We are cricketers. Many of us are married men with kids or in committed relationships. We need to learn fielding and perhaps all other basic skills. Sure. But the art of seduction–why? What does it have to do with cricket?”

Shastri: “This is precisely the wrong mindset that has led to the atrophy of this once great team. Let us take Sachin here. When he came as a young kid, I think it was Bishan Singh Bedi who said that the older women all wanted Sachin Tendulkar. When he said “wanted”, he meant “wanted”. And Sachin knew it. He was cute, sexy, dashing and debonair. He batted like a hormonally charged kid, caring not for bowler or pitch.

Now look at the same man. Married with two kids. When he goes out to bat, he looks like a dad going to pay his son’s fees at school. Careworn and deliberate and mostly ineffective. Why? Because somewhere down the line, that super-achieving stud became a family-man taking all the cares of the world on his shoulders, only thinking about the next paycheck.

Sachin, unless you use it to pick up girls what good is your beloved Ferrari? Even an Ambassador with AC will get you from one point to another.

Remember that the main action in a sports car happens in the back seat.”

Sachin: “Ailaa..”

Shastri: “That’s why I am here. I am going to teach you to live a little. Party again. Little unofficial matches here and there…nudge nudge wink wink…a little 20-20 ehhhh? And maybe those thundering drives through cover might just come back.”

Now Shastri moved to where Sourav Ganguly was sitting.

Shastri: “Dada, when was the last time…”

Ganguly: “Yes I know. I know. I have not made a century against decent opposition for a few years. That’s your point is it not? I am aware of the fact that you have always, ever since I came to the Indian side in 96, called me a regional politics selection….

Shastri smiled :” See this is the problem with you. I did not even finish the sentence. When was the last time you had an extra-marital dear Dada?”

Ganguly: (flustered) I do not know what you are talking about….emm….whatever….

Shastri: “2002. Yes that was when the affair with weighty Southie actresses ended and the crouching tiger metamorphosed into a paw-licking pussycat. Remember when you came into cricket, you were having a forbidden romance with Dona…the daughter of your family’s arch enemy. There was spice and excitement in your life. Your passion found outlet in the swinging of your bat, and spinners all over the world felt the rumblings of the volcano inside.

Then there was the affair with Nagma and at least one more reported dalliance. Such were the stirrings in your soul at that time that you took off your shirt publicly, so ready were you to leap into action at any provocation.

And now? When the ball comes out of the bowler’s hand, I can detect the hesitancy —on one hand there is that basic instinct that tells you to dance down the track, abandoning all prudence, and then there is that other part which, afraid that you will lose your place in the side, keeps you back. Just like the dilemma of the married man when a beautiful woman walks past. Should I stare or look away? He usually does a little of both and this ends up being an embarrassment for all concerned. Kind of like your aborted swing which ended up in Murali’s hands in the Sri Lanka match: the roaring, unrepentant tiger that you used to be would have sent that into the stratosphere.”

Sehwag: “Sirr…mera kya hoga?”

Shastri: “Sorry Veeru. You are beyond help. All your mother’s halwa has accumulated here in your tummy. To top it of, you have lost all hair. It’s tough for even me to teach you any tricks….very sorry to have to tell you this.”

Shastri: (Turning to Dravid): “You sir. Girls died and still die for you. Your posters have adorned many pink walls while you concentrated on being the Wall. Remember the ad you did many years ago: surrounded by many models, taking photographs. Recreate that scene with real ladies: show the world that even the Wall can have a ball.”

Shastri (to Yuvi): “I agree with Chappell when he said that maybe you are too talented for your own good. You are a really handsome dude. You are young. You should be playing the field. And what do I hear? You were pressurizing Kim Sharma for marriage and that it was she (wise lady) who was not ready for commitment. You? Asking for commitment? What are you maann?”

Dhoni sniggers.

Shastri: “Now this Dhoni kid. I am telling you. He is the real deal. Not even two years and he has already been linked with Tanusree Dutt and Koena Mitra. And the sixes this boy hits: you know which part of himself that is coming from.

Bhajji. Do you realize why you no longer get wickets? If you use the “doosra” every ball, then there is no variety: it is like getting committed to your “doosra” girl-friend. You need, my young man, a very hush-hush “teesra” and a “chautha” —-understand?

I can go on forever but the thing is I need to have individual coaching sessions with all of you. Yes you Sreesanth, I like the way you move your hips. Just wanted to tell you that. And Pathan. Do it faster. Really. Right now, your bowling speed is close to what a Frenchman would say is ideal for foreplay. Not for taking out the middle stump.”

“Realize this all of you. When I see India on the field, I see a bunch of care-worn 9-to-5-ers walking out with the cheerfulness of one approaching a loan officer for a second mortgage or going to the train station to receive his mother-in-law. And then I see the Bangladesh team –taking the field with all the eagerness of men on forbidden, impulsive journeys caring not whether their path ends in fulfilment or disaster, secure in the knowledge that the magic that happens tonight, they shall carry with them. Forever.

Go out men. The grass is green.

Spread the joy.

And, most importantly, get some.”

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102 thoughts on “Rush The Floor

  1. Well Arnab, tongue well in cheek , you have have hit the nail on the head. It’s the level of ‘energy’ that has come down.

    To me , in the recent years the most memorable cricketing memory of India is of Sreesanth hitting Nel for a straiht six after being given the tongue and then doing an impromptu Mithunda on field.

    Cricket is a game of the mind and the lighter is it, the better the ‘on field’ movements.

    After all,most of the cricketing folklore is from people like Botham, Warne, Imran and their ilk, isn’t it?

  2. “you were having a forbidden romance with Dona…the daughter of your family’s arch enemy.”

    dona is dalmiya’s daughter? hmmm … that’s news to me!

    – s.b.

  3. I wondered how you would link Ravi Chandran’s photo with the story – didn’t know about the movie till I read this.
    Sreesanth’s unforgettable samurai dance 🙂

  4. Wonderful post Greatbong….probably the best in the World Cup series…(if that is the right word).
    Ofcourse Shastri can always cite the illustrious examples …both home and abroad…a la Sandip Patil, Solkar (old timers would know), King Viv’s dalliance with desi Ms Gupta etc etc

  5. Ahh…that was nice. Loved the Sahastra Stri dig…wonder what the head honcho of a certain sponsor would have to say about that.
    Welcome back, Arnab!

  6. Wow this is too good….. this sentence sums up all “Just like the dilemma of the married man when a beautiful woman walks past. Should I stare or look away? He usually does a little of both and this ends up being an embarrassment for all concerned”

    Just what is happening with Indian Cricket

  7. Awesome Dada.. Every line is a master stroke.. 🙂
    But ya, the subtle hint at the dipping enthu levels in the team will be as usual left unaddressed.. let’s hope Shastri does make a difference to the team..

    Regards,
    Ganga

  8. Excellent post!! Among other things PASSION is one of the primary ingredients missing from this Indian team and Dravid’s captaincy.Not sure if Shastri would be successful in injecting the same…however yours is a hilarious description of how he might take a shot at it:-)

  9. Great Post as usual GB.
    I just feel that we all have too much of cricket on and off the field, so I think the criticism part is now overdone(my feeling).

  10. Hey GB,
    You are married i heard..have 2 kids? Still manage to write with so much passion and hit sixers after sixers eh? 🙂
    Anyway, really hilarious. Enjoyed reading.

  11. Great Post
    As Shripriya wrote..I too would pay for someone who delivers this to the Indian Team.
    Just Imagine
    What if Mithunda was made the Indian Coach
    Govinda the Bowling coach & Rajnikanth the Fielding coach and Shotgun Sinha is the Media Manager

  12. Fuck! No Seriously, fuck!! Awesome post, the very best of Greatbong!!!

    Prabhuji must be grinning and scratching his crotch in Ootie! 😛

  13. @Somebody: That there exists a man such as yourself who thinks a) a person can have only one enemy b) in 97, when SG got married, Dalmiya was his enemy is news, to me. Wait, it really is not.

  14. “…would go down on my knees and wait for the ball to roll into my hands”

    Rock and roll GB !!! This is the blogger I voted for in the Indibloggies…

  15. @GB – Strangely, everything in this blog makes perfect sense. That is exactly what the Indian team has lost their collective MANHOOD!!

  16. Factual Errors. Sachin, Tamil Movie, 2005. Yuvraj(u)- Telugu movie (2000). IF you say with surnames on, yes, then Ravi stands alone, though I remember vaguely a movie called Kapil Dev in Tamil sometime in the 80’s. Need to confirm though.

  17. Awesome!!! Apparently frivolous but hits the nail on the head!
    Of course I hope the men in blue don’t read this post and take you very seriously! 🙂

  18. Aha. However the rate at which Dhoni is partaking of butter and ghee and Lalooji’s love, his tond is beginning to aquire a distinctly Sehwagian appearance. The women won’t stay much longer, sadly. 😛

  19. unexceptional batsman, a mediocre bowler and while fielding would go down on my knees and wait for the ball to roll into my hands.

    For a moment I was stunned because I read unexceptional as exceptional. WTF I thought… But GB is unerring.

  20. Boss,

    Everyone sees this post as a hilarious one. It is, no doubt. But the way you have ended it makes it damn meaningful and really quite pertinent:

    “And then I see the Bangladesh team –taking the field with all the eagerness of men on forbidden, impulsive journeys caring not whether their path ends in fulfilment or disaster, secure in the knowledge that the magic that happens tonight, they shall carry with them. Forever.

    Go out men. The grass is green.

    Spread the joy.

    And, most importantly, get some.”

    Loved the post. Keep rocking.

  21. Awesome! Makes hilarious reading. Can’t say more. Btw, this passion thing with Women in sports comes up occasionally during Soccer world cups, with every team having it’s own rules and curfews during the tournament..

  22. Man !! this is really cool.Certainly will be one of the top 5 humourous posts ive ever read ;-)Esp , these below lines – realy awesome !!

    “And now? When the ball comes out of the bowler’s hand, I can detect the hesitancy —on one hand there is that basic instinct that tells you to dance down the track, abandoning all prudence, and then there is that other part which, afraid that you will lose your place in the side, keeps you back. Just like the dilemma of the married man when a beautiful woman walks past. Should I stare or look away? He usually does a little of both and this ends up being an embarrassment for all concerned”

    Caution: this will become a forward without ur name mentioned , alas !

  23. Pure Class. But even a post this good is not sure of a place in the top 10 humor posts of this blog. Such are the high standards that Arnab sets for himself, a bra which other bloggers strive to attain, without ever coming close.

  24. LOL… too much… this was really hilarious… class apart!
    Actually this is true … if your personal life is spicy and moving … you progress in work life too… 🙂

  25. awesome, awesome. this will go into the gb hall of fame. right up there with desibaba and mithunism. looks like you got some recently!

  26. Its amzing how you present the real point wrapped with humour.

    I must say, I didnt like your previous posts on WC. But this is just original GB! 😀

  27. Hee… heee… this advice would take our team to great heights much like what cheerleading did to American sports and groupies contributed to Rock music.
    High time to get both for our team and Vijay Mallya should be appointed as it’s chief selector.

  28. How about a litle non-cricket themes, as am waiting to hear from you on Namesake, Provoked and ShakalakaBoomBoom (rhyming with Doom) and the upcoming HR film!! (Himesh Reshamiya.

  29. GB
    Awesome!!! You are a real creator; you spell magic with your thoughts and imagination.
    Just a quick question: What do you think of Sneha [the babe with Ravichandran in the photo] and her pairing with Ravichandran?

  30. do you have some research team working for you who get hold of all the precise info exceptional images for your posts?!

    amazing how you get time off from your day job, family, personal commitments…etc and entertain us with your random thoughts! 😀

  31. @Anirban: And IVA Richards.

    @Kits: Thank you

    @Somebody: As Rohan pointed out, people can have more than one arch enemy no?In this case, Dona is the daughter of a once-family friend of the Gangulys who subsequently had a bitter parting of ways.

    @Giri: And Nel is quite a character too.

    @RahulGhosh: 🙂

    @Nishit: So it does.

    @Pchakra: And Gary Sobers too.Not to speak of the great Warne.

    @Mohan: Evidently.

    @J.A.P: No Freudian analysis here please.

    @Shripriya: 🙂

    @Nandan::-)

    @Bhopale: Thanks.

    @Slashgod:Thanks

    @Zulfi: At least with the established stars.

    @Rossoneri: Thank you.

    @Gangadhar:Will Shastri be given a full-term appointment is the question.

    @Anirban: Chiltua ki didi?

    @Binoba: Well at least Shastri has a lot of experience in Indian passion.

    @RJ: 🙂

    @Divya: Thought of putting it in…but I think the point had been gotten across by then.

    @Anon: Perhaps.

    @Joyjit: 🙂

    @NS: Thanks

    @Vanessa: And where did you even get the impression that I have 2 kids !

    @Dev: Thanks

    @Kalias: Mithun-da as coach.Oh the possibilities.

    @BongoP’o’ndit: Thank you

    @Rishi: Thank you

    @Mukul: Thank you

    @Rohan: And thank you too.

    @Kunal: 🙂

    @Rohith: True.

    @Raj: Factual errors? I did mean full name….of course there is a Sunny Deol movie called “Ajay”…(Ajay Jadeja)…hardly the same effect as a movie titled “Ravi Shastri” with the hero having a mild resemblance (at least in this picture). By “partial name” reasoning even I have a movie named after me…that too Hollywood….”Ray”.

    @Manasi: I hope not.

    @Mou:His flowing locks will disguise his “tond”.

    @Sriram: 🙂

    @Anirban Ghosh:ZK is doing his stuff….but he needs to follow through…like those blown kisses to the girl in the stand. Did he follow through with that? Unlikely. Thats his problem.

    @Ranjeet: Thanks

    @Wendigo: Thanks

    @Asterix: I said “Indian’ cricketer.

    @Anonymous: Thank you

    @Raj: Thank you

    @Browser: Thank you

    @S.Pyne: Thanks

    @flaash: Sigh.

    @Jasmine: A bra?Aha.

    @Uday: Thanks

    @Abhishek: And so you do.

    @Silverine: Thanks

    @Subh: Merci.

    @Pras: 🙂

    @Prateek: I “got some’..? Ahem…

    @Emmanuel: Thanks

    @Surendra: Why didnt you like them?Style or content?

    @Dipanwita: Yep! Review of Namesake will follow.

    @Aby: Sneha? Mm….healthy lady.

    @Vinay: Thanks

    @Bonatellis06: Thanks

    @Sang.Froid: Heh.Nope.Only me.

    @Shiva: Thanks

    @G@||E$#: Thanks

    @Rima: “BTW, didn’t know u had 2 kids.”

    Neither did I.

  32. Superb stuff. Gr8bong, way to go man !!!!

    Having said that, it gives me immense joy to see the discomfiture of “die-hard” Dada fans out here.
    To think tht Dada fans here were suggesting/hoping/shouting/arguing tht Dada shd be recalled as captain – Tht too when the man had ignored the messages from management conveyed to him, 7 times in all, to increase the scoring rate.
    Exceptional !! Gr8 leveller – mother nature !!!!

    I used to get similar joy when I cud see Sachin fans groping for words whenever he used to fail in a critical match. I must admit tht I dont find it enjoyable anymore, what with even the “most stupidest of Sachin fans” turning into his fiercest critic and showering his “fallen idol” with choicest abuses nowadays 🙂

  33. I couldn’t resist the temptation!! The comments were stuck at 69 and it seemed appropraite, but the spoil sport that I am, I had to comment. 🙂

  34. My colleagues from neighbouring cubicles peeped aross to see why I was laughing my head out.

    Sachin – “Married with two kids. When he goes out to bat, he looks like a dad going to pay his son’s fees at school.”

    Priceless !!!

  35. As far as the Ravichandran , the hero of Ravi Shastri, goes, let me give some inputs. He is hero, director, producer, music director, lyricist , dialogue writer, screenplay writer, storey writer etc etc everything in one. But avg at everything. Prolly like our allrounder Ravi Shastri.
    Coming to seduction game, Ravichandran is the man for softpr0n, double meaning dialogues and of course seduction ! He sometimes does movies only to get some heroines from other languages to act with him.

    Great post but saying that anymore is mere formality for your posts.

  36. Arnab, great post. Hilarious, I had to read it again & again and everytime you could find something new in the post. A deeper, hidden meaning. Just like Satyajit Ray movies. I had to say this, not trying to praise you just for the heck of it.

    Incidentally, few days back my ‘better half’ mentioned that Ravi Shastri was a great Cricketer. I said WHAT !!! This was before Ravi Shastri was appointed coach….just after Indias exit from WC’07. She justified by saying that she remembers clearly that after playing every ball Ravi Shastri would look at the Audi. And he did win it. Since he achieved his target, he was good. The present day cricketers can’t play even if you tell them they will get millions of Rupees if they get into the Semi-Final / Final. (PS: Reminded me of Pataudi and his six hitting the lights).

    Call it passion or balls, the ‘Men in Blue’ definitely don’t have any. Noone would employ them even in ‘blue’ movies 😉

    PS : I stand corrected on ‘Border’. You are so very smart with the fine print 😀

  37. “…And then I see the Bangladesh team –taking the field with all the eagerness of men on forbidden, impulsive journeys caring not whether their path ends in fulfilment or disaster, secure in the knowledge that the magic that happens tonight, they shall carry with them. Forever.

    Go out men. The grass is green.

    Spread the joy.”

    Oh my God! How did I miss this? The last few lines of this post actually contains my name… I feel so honoured.
    Jokes apart, wonderfully hilarious post GB. Keep up the good work.

  38. @GB:U see I and a few others have been requesting u to name say 10 of your best general posts and 10 of your best humorous posts and write about why u think so. Now your father too has congratulated u on this post so I think it is about time u pay attention to what ur readers (including your father) are wanting.
    @Joyforever: shouldn’t u acknowledge the source of ur amazement?

  39. Yourfan writes:
    I made the above comment to GB and to joyforever. sorry that i completely forgot to mention my name.

  40. Brilliant pep talk. Now the action item: bring back desert cricket. No, not in Sharjah, but in Vegas. A significant-other-free week of Indo-Pak cricket in the sin city should do the trick for both teams. Yes, it is not just India’s problem, even the great Rawalpindi express was vilified and emasculated. Did it ever happen to the great Pakistani players of the past? As a true fan of subcontinental cricket, I promise to share all the numbers I picked up the last weekend. And those who always cry match-fixing with the mention of desert cricket must be all horny teenagers, we the 30 could use a few fixups.

  41. Oops! The kids thing came from ur earlier post – Mutter with Megha – only thing conveniently remembered was some vague line about “taking kids on a trans-Atlantic journey”

    Read it again and realised – oops. Sorry 🙂

    btw, How many kids do you have? 🙂

  42. LMAO, this was such a sexy read haha, couldn’t have instilled a brighter LOL in the office. Great stuff and keep writing more lol. This stuff owns, im gettin everyone to read it.

  43. @silkboard- You said it man. “Blogging is for lesser mortals.” Most serious Indian bloggers are failed journalists and foolish cricket writers who WONT get their views published anywhere else. GB started out quietly and never blog whored for any of his articles. And then he moved from strength to strength. The way he won this year’s Indibloggies is a pointer to the fact that the difference in class between him and other Indian bloggers is as wide as the Pacific Ocean. In just a few words, he conjures up magic that lesser bloggers cannot even with many blockquotes and a thousand hyperlinks. That actually is not a surprise as poor writers often find blogging tools like links and quotes as handy and fascinating as a cripple does a crutch.

    But now hes at the top of the pyramid. He has nothing more to achieve in the blogosphere. Perhaps he will stop blogging and start writing a book or a screenplay. Perhaps he will never do justice to his writing talent, which is comparable to Gabriel García Márquez’s. But whatever he does, we wont forget the moments of pure unadulterated joy that he has provided us. Even if he stops writing now, his status as a legend is indisputable.

  44. I’ll add to the accolades. I have gone on record messaging my friends on Orkut and all over the map to read this one blog post. This is one of your best ever! Well done, GB! You have more fans than you know.

  45. Hahahaha. I think we really needed Shaz as the coach of the Indian cricket team back in the nineties when our ‘fast’ bowling attack was spearheaded by the awesome twosome Karnataka double barrel – Srinath and Prasad. They looked like unemployed people in line for the daily ration the way they played their cricket.

  46. GB I have read some of your stuff before, all classy but this one is just too hilarious…..and hats off to your imagination.

  47. Pingback: Last Cricket Post…ever « Unjustly

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