IPL High Five

I love IPL. Of course, just like most self-appointed cricket pundits, I blame it for everything—from Sehwag’s creaky shoulders  to the declining moral standards of today’s kids (so much so that women are now being provided official “male escorts” in an IIT ). But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, at least as much as I enjoy national treasure and  my choice for the next President of India  T Rajendar showing how…well…you decide [Video]

Correction. I used to love the IPL. A long time ago. This was when Lalit Modi, the second most controversial Modi in the country, a visionary like the Ringling brothers and Heff, used to be the impresario. He realized that people don’t as much love the game as they do the excitement. And so he manufactured it. Four-play. Fore-play. Fashion shows.  Passion shows. Hyperventilating anchors. Hitting the sweet spot while being DLF-ed. Quick strategic time outs with just enough time for an out-and-out strategic quickie. Citi moments of success on the ground. Many more off it.

Sure it was not cricket. But why should it have to be? As a matter of fact, when I close my eyes, the most pleasant recollections of IPL are almost never truly cricketing. All the games have simply become in my mind, a continuum of vaguely formed images, set to Ravi Shastri  saying “Nomoksar Kolkota are you ready?” , Arun Lal exclaiming “The excitement at the ground is just so exciting”,  and Sunny’s contented “Mmm…mishti doi”.  All a mess in my mind, a flicker of randomly moving  bats and bouncing balls, jumbled up like the sequence of events or the faces of the actors in a porn video, sought to be recalled, years later.

Instead what remains in my memory, pure in its pristine tranquility, is Sreesanth, bawling like a baby whose diaper has not been changed by a forgetful nanny. Priety mam hugging every “Chikni Chameli” member of her team. Bhajji having his greatest moment after the 2001 Australia series, doing that “Dirty Dancing” lift immortalized by Patrick Swayze. And finally, those images from “IPL Nights” where the players were seen playing with comely lasses, and doing what they do best on-field—pinching a single, squeezing a double and surreptitiously stealing a triple.

Then they got rid of Lalit Modi. Of course, the hypocrites of this country could not tolerate a geeky guy having fun and then rubbing the faces of the rest into the mud with his “Doncha just want my lifestyle” arrogance. He was replaced by humorless, excitement-sucking Dementors, whose idea of fun lay in changing auction rules at the last moment, making rules that benefit some teams and not the others leaving a few with bigger purses than the rest, and in general being gigantic killjoys. As a result, when IPL 5 came along, I was feeling the same sense of excitement  as I do after reading a tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office. The only saving grace in 2011 had been the orange-jerseyed, old-age-home that was the Kochi Tuskers and even that they had been done away with. Which is why for the first time since IPL began, I did not pen a pre-IPL  post on the blog.

I thought I had grown out of it all.

I was wrong.

The first stirrings were felt when I saw pictures of the sumptuous Katy Perry, who by virtue of having solemnized her now-broken marriage in India is an honorary “gaon ki beti”, being held “cross-seam” by Douglas Bollinger (pic courtesy Gulf News), in a very Bullah mood. This was IPL gold. The second fauladi mukka was the news  that Salman Khan’s bodyguard had been hired to protect the Rajasthan Royals. As a keen between-the-lines-reader, I saw the item for what it actually was. No. Not a move to protect the players from the fans. But to protect the fans from the players. From a particular player, to be precise. Namely RR’s newest acquisition, Sreesanth, who had already gotten into trouble for scaling a wall, a fact that would not have gone down well with either the wall or “The Wall”, or for that matter with the franchise owners, who have been worried about unwelcome intrusions ever since baboons got into their room during IPL 2.

More was to come. While I was reluctantly getting adjusted to Archana Vijay, who honestly is a far less pleasant sight than Murali Vijay (Archana Vijay may be the better batsman on current form though), I perceived the new Rabindra-sangeet-friendly KKR cheerleaders. A sharp intake of breath. A romantic sensation. Just like the first time I saw Peter Jackson’s imagining of Saruman’s genetically-manufactured uber-Orcs, the Uruk-Hai. Beautiful.

What really shivered by timbers however was the incident in the match between the Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians. In it, after a decision went against them, Bhajji and Munaf Patel went ape-shit on the umpire (image via MSN), in a way that made Gatting of Gatting-Shakoor Rana fame look positively Gandhiian. I thought to myself then “These guys would be lucky if they get away with a 3-game ban. Honestly the captain should be put away for the tournament.” Till, of course, the camera moved to the franchise owner Nita-bhabhi who had on her face, an indulgent “Kindly adjust or you are a child-hating curmudgeon” smile, the kind a guardian gives while her cherubic wards trash your living room. I knew it then. Nothing would happen. And I was right. Well, to be honest, the two men were chided a bit for being naughty. What punishment did they get? The same that Ganguly got for wearing improper dress.

And now with all this happening, I can truly say that I am getting into the IPL groove once again. Sure the Pied Piper is no longer there. Sure we miss the South African beauty queens, the “brand ambassadors” and the “motivators”. Sure the Bangladesh Premier League and the Duronto Rajshahis have taken some of IPL’s thunder. But there are other things going on, like Priety Zinta’s endearingly animated khalbali after that doubtful catch was upheld against Marsh and Sania Bhabhi and Pakistan-putra becoming official Pune cheerleaders.

I will just have to keep my eyes open.

Any cricket I see will be purely incidental.

44 thoughts on “IPL High Five

  1. first!

  2. First! Great post as always! BTW, it was Shaun Marsh’catch… not Hussey! Cheers!

  3. @dada my iPAD now 😛

  4. That Munaf incident was shameful. Modi would have dealt with it firmly by banning him from after match parties. Or forcing him to attend a party featuring Bobby darling.

  5. The antics of IPL are on the way like that of US Minor League Baseball !

  6. Munaf ko ‘Gan*d’ main ungli karne ka shuak hai that is why he was showing finger.

  7. On a serious note I find this year’s IPL bit more competitive atleast at this stage. Among on paper stronger sides CSK, RCB got bowling line ups which can be taken to cleaners anytime and MI, KKR can choke under pressure anytime; The strength of DD as a team gets compensated by having the wrong captain.
    The old horses Ganguly and Dravid enjoying some shine and respect in the end. I sincerely hope they walk out after a top 4 finish this season. In any case Ganguly is a far better captain than viru, gauti, bhaji, yuvi.

  8. Also this season’s IPL demonstrates players like Rahane, Dinda should have been playing for India ahead of say vijay or vinay kumar over past 1yr.

  9. Oh then surely am a cinic to think that its there in the heart of every possible Match fixing scandal… best was the CSK RCB Match where Virat bowled some juicy stuff to suit A Morkel.. its just lost it, infact it wasnt there. Hope it gets chucked next season. A Break is needed.. It’s a disgrace and I agree with Mr Ranbir Kapoor and Pepsi, time to change the game at least for sometime

  10. Arvind, A bigger disgrace is someone who claims to be a cynic but spells it as “cinic”.

  11. @GreatBong: “IPL Nights” were like the Sex ki Goli Bulla bought for Chutiya from London. Without them IPL is like Chutiya without his libido.

  12. someday u should write a post about Ganguly’s amusing performance in current IPL.

  13. I tend to disagree on the part that memories associated with IPL are mostly non cricketing.I still vivdly remember the match between Rajasthan and Deccan in 2008 season when RR chased over 200.Then again,we had the semi final between Delhi and Deccan in 2009 when Gilly single handedly took the game away.Then Yusuf pathan’s 37 ball 100 against Mumbai.Well there are countless instances when cricketing moments have been legendary and a true supporter would never be able to forget them.But I do agree that a lot of non cricketing moments are also memorable…….

  14. Want to see some new style of writing from you now, Arnab. 🙂

  15. easy dude.. surely i offended the sentiments of an IPL fanatic or a cricket passionate..but i guess IPL is losing its sheen.. or lost it after the second year itself.. fine its a no brainer that most of its matches are scripted like the WWE but the entertainment they try to provide is also so plastic and pseudoish..
    guess cricket may also see its natural perish like hockey did and India hopefully takes on to football soon.. lol easy, its just another bait to get the frustrated cricket fan out of an English infatuated, long live cricket and may IPL be chucked at least for a season soon..RIP at least momentarily

  16. unrelated but had to share.
    Tragedy unfolding in pakistan as hindu girls are abducted everyday and married off after forced conversion.
    Marvi sirmed and a handful of others are trying to do their bit. Even supreme court of Pakistan seems hand in glove.

  17. @Lalit
    Poor girl ! Being very pretty hindu girl is a crime in pakistan.

  18. GreatBong, write a post on Pope Abhishek please.

  19. IPL is not that bad common. Sure, the “glitz” surrounding the cricket becomes too much to tolerate sometimes but then, you can easily avoid all that to concentrate on the match at hand. Yesterday was one such instance. Delhi were precariously placed at 23/3 and that when KP decided to unleash his firepower… that too against Deccan who soled him to DD few months back. Now, this is called “juice”.

    As for “death of cricket” and “accent of football” – please! The so called “soccer fans” in India cant even differentiate between Sunil Shetty and Sunil Chettri, leave alone playing the game.

  20. Lalit and Sunny,
    Since you brought up Rinkle case, there is not much we can do anymore legally (on these 3 cases), even though nobody is giving up. But, there are atleast 20-25 cases like these than happen every month and it has been happening since the past 60 yrs. They have to stop.

    The important things that Hindus in India can do, is
    1. Sensitize their media report on these as much as possible.
    2. Help the educated Muslim class in Pakistan undertand and respect their glorious Hindu past, through people to people to people contact.

    Hindus who live in European and American continents can-
    1. Educate their local lawmakers and media to report and understand these cases of forced conversions.
    2. Advocate criminal proceedings againsts people like Mian Mittho (relevent to Rinkle case), and involved Sufi/Salafi/Shafi shrines and darghas and madrassas that provide logistics and support for these forced conversion of Hindu girls. It effects their bottomline when foreign accounts/travels of many of their leaders and institutions get blocked/seized.

    I will not comment further on this totally irrelevent topic to this post.

  21. I think the anchor in question is Archana Vijaya and not Vijay. Nevertheless, a great post:-)

  22. It should be Dada’s Amazing performance and not amusing performance as a captain

  23. Matches are not bad in this year’s IPL.The crowds seem to be having a good time. Moreover we should make sure the IPL stays alive just to mess with the trolling phirangs on cricinfo and its twitter feed

  24. Some thing never chang like Ajit agarkar’s good first spell and worse last spell.

  25. Pratim Banerjee April 22, 2012 — 8:51 pm

    Reading your comments on IPL, and also watched the KKR match, and there has been some comments about Kallis’s GF also.

    Good start of Sunday as your team has won. It’s pretty hard to watch from here US though.

    It seems Kallis’s Girl-friend is pretty much obsessed with SRK ha ha. In recent a TV interview on an Indian news channel also she mentioned SRK’s name quite few times. When the interviewer asked her about SRK, She just blushed in a quite susceptible manner. It seems not only the ground but in the dressing rooms also SRK mania griping. And today she also set near to SRK, and she seemed too concerned or in other words too involved in the game or More for SRK’s team.

    If you all noticed she was not only concerned about Kallis only but also seemed too much concerned about how the entire team or all other players of were of KKR playing. She has bn biting her nails when Pathan, and Bisla got out or if they missed playing any ball ha ha.

    It means too much involved or concerned about SRK’s team. Thank God SRK is married otherwise Kallis might have been in trouble of losing her GF. Beware Kallis your GF in awe of or totally charmed by SRK who is a real lady stealer, ha ha..

  26. @Pratim – Great observation man. However I would like to tell you that being married or not gets tossed out of the window when you are on the road with IPL. SRK has money, power and fame. He knows how to make a girl drool. Kallis is a good man but his skills lie elsewhere. SRK’s age old strategy- to make women laugh, then throw a few emotional lines and then once they are so ensconced that after a few drinks, rom then on, its a;l;l green lights. I wish Salman Khan owned an IPL team. IPL needs characters. And as GB observed, Lalit Modi was a character. IPL and lust go hand in hand. It had a Vegas type attribute to it. Some of GBs best articles were for prior editions of the IPL.

  27. @Mayank … ascent of football and death of cricket is a relative term because the ascent you refer to is the marketing driven ascent that can attributed to Premier League telecast and the promotions surrounding it. There are parts of India … West Bengal, Goa , Kerala and possibly the entire North East where football was always more popular than cricket and more by miles. Infact the Ganguly factor along with decline of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal on the I League stage meant that football was going down in popularity in West Bengal rather than the other way round.

    Sunil Chettri and Bhaichung Bhutia are kids on the block when it comes to Indian football and its actually a sad state of affairs that they are seen as the figureheads because most people arent even aware that the IFA run league in Kolkata has been around since 1898 (IPL was how many years later ?) and Mohun Bagan did a real life Lagaan in 1911.

  28. Madhurima Mukerjee April 24, 2012 — 2:15 am

    I am also a techi from US, in fact quite many of my Indian friends read this blog. I think both Pratim and Youfan has got a point. But here I am to deliver my views.

    Yup but SRK is much more popular with women. Salman is not that popular with women or girls if u notice. SRK not only has money, power, family, popularity or charm but he has every quality to charm women. If you notice properly you will find clearly most of Salman khan’s fans are boys or Guys more than girls or women. Reason is that, as from Guys prospective they think being a beefy body is cool to impress any girl but from girls prospective it’s completely the opposite.

    A well toned body (not necessarily beefy) with charming looks, dashing personality, who understands women better is more than enough to make any women to drool and YES of course a very very few can do that. How many times you have seen some girl has a boy friend like Hulk Hogan!! Hardly seen of course right!! Because girls don’t want or like someone like Hulk Hogan, they are smitten by an SRK or Brad Pit like men. No wonder SRK has females drooling for him everywhere. Its needs both body and pleasant Personality together to impress girls and buffalo like oversized body and or a puffed up face with steroids won’t work there ? ?

  29. Hi Madhurima,

    Great comment there. Sometimes hot chicks take it on as a challenge while cheating- how to have sex with a married man. As having sex with a married man is a bigger challenge. That is why so many cheatings happen- it takes two to tango. But while I completely agree with you in the fact that SRK is a phd (naturally, didnt have to work for it) in “making chicks to like me”, you are selling Salman Khan really short by comparing him with Hulk Hogan. Look, I am no chick, but I think Sallu has a very cute face. In fact, he was once voted as one of the top 50 or so most beautiful men in the entire world. Then there are girls who have it in their dna to be attracted to real jerks- and they would prefer Sallu to SRK. But SRK does know how to charm women- and he knows that too, as does Kjo, and that is why they repeated the same formula in so many of those bs movies/products.

  30. Madhurima Mukerjee April 24, 2012 — 4:55 am

    Ha ha nicely written youfan, but still I think you misunderstood me. Look I am not taking anything from Salman Khan, he is good but In terms of drawing women/girls, Salman doesn’t stand a chance with SRK. SRK will beat him 100:0 so if Salman or any of SRK’s counterpart shouldn’t challenge him for that.
    Girls with whatever DNA they have (please don’t generalize women in that way also) SRK will have clean sweep of them. As a women, I can tell you that and please don’t bring those polls, it’s kiddish. You and I know how these polls are done. If Salman has won one than SRK has won ten of these stuffs, which doesn’t mean anything anyways.

    I am not saying Salman khan doesn’t have women fan following but if he compares himself to SRK in this regard he simply stands no chance. SRK will simply beat him 100:0 and that’s why he was always in worried while Ash and now Katrina works with him. And honestly speaking Salman should stay away competing SRK in that regard otherwise Ten out Ten times he is going to lose to SRK badly and it’s already happened earlier quite number of times. SRK is really really strong in this rematch in this regard. To be honest he is such material which every woman wants.

    So, again I say to get a women just building a body won’t work you need much more than that. Of course a good body is a bonus not too necessarily it has to be a beefd up one but a well toned one will more desired along with intelligence, being suave, good personality and knowing how to treat woman will do wonders for you to attain any woman you want or in other words you ndnt hv to chase the women of ur dreams rther she will run after you if you have those, anywys thnks for sharing u view

  31. @Madhurima

    Interesting discussion. So much so that I couldnt resist wasting my time by commenting on such ‘non-trivial’ things 😀 . But seriously, despite all of what you have written about the kind of guys a girl ‘desires’, most of them still go for the least denominator i.e. a Salman-isque dude with a super big car .. irrespective of the fact how he treats his lady. And needless to say, most women end up getting hurting emotionally in due process.

  32. Madhurima is absolutely right. It doesn’t need to a have a specific DNA of women. In side every women is same. Yes primarily some women may like pretend to different types of guys but if exposed to both type of guys Salman Khan type guys simply stands no chance to SRK. It’s different prospective of seeing. It’s not Salman to ditched the ladies but it’s the other way round. Perhaps it hurts Salman Khan type guy ego.

    And for the SRK, Salman thing simply it’s funny. Salman simply doesn’t have any chance in that regard. It’s simply too funny to compare. SRK is Super Charismatic, Dignified, intelligent everything women want, Salman lacks these qualities . He is good but definitely he is not a lady charmer in anyway. Being rich, famous and take out for Ladies for a dinner doesn’t prove he is lady charmer. If same ladies are exposed to the real lady charmers like SRK, guys like Salman only have to bite his nails. And it happened again and again and will happen to such guys who think like that.

    No need to go far, see all the costars who worked with both SRK and Salman amazingly all drools over SRK. Everyone them says SRK as their most favorite co-star. Right from Kajol, Karishma, Kareena, Priety, Shilpa, Raveena, Priyanka and even Legendary Madhuri Dixit clearly says (in her recent BBC interview) in her recent interview SRK is her most favorite co-star, and SRK is well ahead than any other stars. So, think about that there must be a reason why all of them owe him.

    Amazing to let u know all of them have worked or exposed to both SRK and SALMAN but all of them owes only SRK. There must be a reason for that think about that, and going for argument it can continue as long as anyone wishes but after presenting those details every easily I hope the debate ends here. I hope u know now what type of guy women adore.

  33. Who is this T.Rajender, looks like pretty decent guy to be India’s next president

  34. Awesome comments girls. You have convinced me why SRK >> Sallu in the eyes of the girls. Do you support KKR as well?

  35. Too bad that Madhurima and Priynka all comment from the same IP address. As well as Pratim Banerjee. Dear girl(s), please do not try to comment under different aliases and then try to agree with each (other). I am enjoying the content of all your (singular and plural) comments though.

  36. GB …whata 3some those guys must be having!!

  37. @Pratim/Madhurima/Priyanka


    Put some thought into those names, eh?

  38. GB, these comments remind me of the ones posted on your SRK/LoTR post. All SRK fans were going Gaga about Shahrukh. Someone even compared him with Lord Krishna. *facepalm*

  39. Prasun Banerjee April 25, 2012 — 7:49 am

    @GB … Can Pratim, Madhurima and Priyanka be different ppl using the same computer from a cyber cafe ? Ha Ha Ha

  40. Great post!!!
    I liked the comments! the comment Bancharaam great!

  41. hilarious! I miss Mody two too 🙂

  42. Who do you think will win this IPL?Delhi Daredvils?

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