This was a column that never saw the light of day. Puchho kyon? Because the Editor chickened. Said it was way too dicey, since the owner of the publication was also a team owner. So much for freedom of expression. Khair, I had to share the axed column with my beloved Blogdosts. Aap hi bolo - what would you have done in the Ed's place???
Lessons this season of the IPL taught us....
For a cricket-ignoramus like me, the IPL is about entertainment, not cricket.
Several cricket buffs whole- heartedly agree. But refuse to admit it. I feel like saying, “Ït’s okay, darling. It doesn’t make you less of a cricket fanatic to say it. If anything, it will establish your credentials as an asli cricket fan, who loves the game but also enjoys a side-show called the IPL.” Which is why I don’t feel in the least bit embarrassed when I declare unabashedly that I totally loved this sleazy season... and I am ready for more. This was by far the most entertaining IPL to date. And forget all that breast beating about which match was fixed, which wasn’t and who made how much money betting on what. Come on, guys. This is Bharat Desh. And we are discussing commercial cricket. Not gilli-danda. Of course, there’s betting. Of course some naughty cricketers are taking cash for throwing matches. Of course, humungous amounts of money has been made by oily dalals. That’s what makes the IPL so much fun! Which other sport in moralistic India offers such an amazing bouquet of thrills? Where else do you find so much sleaze? Name one national pastime that has as much masala. Why, even all the yearlong shenanigans that take place in Badnaam Bollywood look bhola bhala and innocent in comparison to the high drama of the IPL.
If you ask me, the two heroes of the IPL-5, were Viraat Kohli and Siddhartha Mallya. Viraat came into his own and showed fans what a greenhorn Captain is capable of if entrusted with responsibility. It doesn’t matter that his team didn’t make it to the Finals. By then, Viraat had picked up his own momentum, bagged lucrative endorsements and broken several hearts. He’d also undergone a flattering make over that showed off his better physical attributes, and gave him a new swagger. At 23, Viraat can be forgiven for strutting his stuff on the field and showing off. Give the guy a break. He’s playing good cricket with a straight bat. He is the future Captain of the Indian team. That is, once Captain Cool decides he’s had enough of cricket and joins Bollywood officially.
Siddhartha Mallya may have found himself in a spot of trouble with ‘that’ tweet. But there were several young people who secretely agreed with his views on how a ‘Future Wife’ should behave. Personally, I was vastly amused, and for the longest time my Gmail status read: Are you a Future Wife? I wrote two columns on the subject and received an avalanche of reactions. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the phrase Future Wife’’ sneaks into the popular lexicon soon. I’m seriously thinking of asking Sid Mallya to write a book on the subject. You know why? Because somewhere beneath those jibes and hoots that greeted his tweet, there was a grain of truth buried in there. And”frisky young women( groupies!) who like their drinks and IPL parties, were asking themselves a little worriedly whether or not they would make the cut as Future Wives! So Sid, you really did trigger off something there, even if you don’t know it.
The IPL is about sex, booze, drugs and parties. Why not just say it out loud and be done? So what? If, in between all this off-the-field action, a few decent shots are played ( Dhoni’s magnificent 50), and a few great balls delivered... good for the fans. But we have finally reached that mature stage to boldly acknowledge a couple of home truths. The first one being the IPL has very little to do with the great game of cricket. Once we accept that premise, the rest is easy. Equally, the IPL will attract all types. Women like Zohal Hamid and others with no known antecedents. This is a worldwide phenomenon. Where there are sports stars, there are chicks. Where there is big money, there is betting. Where the stakes are high, there are fights. Deal with it. Grow up! Men will be men... they will fall for ‘honey traps’( don’t you just love that description?). Ladies with a penchant for jocks and instant publicity will cash in on opportunity. Some bad eggs will be caught on camera fixing a match. Some will be caught with their pants down. Others will blow a fuse and hurl filthy abuses at officials. Hota hai. But that’s exactly what makes the IPL format so irresistible. Imagine if all those good looking players ( some with great butts), were to be good little boys, retiring to their rooms after a testosterone-driven game and tucking themselves into bed with a harmless comic, after drinking a cup of hot cocoa. Lights off at 10p.m. No masti, no girls, no booze ( Chris Gayle – are you reading this , and falling off your chair with laughter?). B-O-R-I-N-G!
I can’t wait for IPL-6. Here’s hoping there will be many more juicy scandals and fisticuffs next year. And someone, please, please invite Zohal Hamid back to cheer for Luke Pomersbach, now that they’ve kissed (?) and made up . That is, if Luke is still in the team, and Zohal has not become a Past Wife!