Sanjay Dutt's surrender or Sreesanth's spot-fixing? The electronic media and social media were surely spoilt for choice as to which of last week's two scene-stealers spelt more entertainment, eyeballs and engagement.
The surrendering star may have been only too relieved to see the spot-fixing shame snatch some spotlight away from his walk through the Howl of Frame. But a political player may have been miffed that suddenly his plank of "Parivartan" became more synonymous with the cleansing of a cricket board, which was good only at fielding the blame game, than with his own batting from Battlefield Bihar for changing the power game. Left, Right and Centre.
Munnabhai & match-fixers
Sanjay couldn't have chosen a worse, or better day, to surrender, depending on how you look at it or who looks at it. Sanju baba's date with the law in the matter of arms possessed stood eclipsed simply because the long arm of the law was more engaged in booking players who had plenty to do with bookies of T20.
Tamasha TV had a tough time deciding how to do justice to these two burning matters of law, which one to make "breaking news" and which "braking news": Sanju's surrender or cricket's credibility gone asunder. So, tamasha news surrendered to a compromise formula: some enterprising eyeball-enticing channels aired in the same frame footage of the Sanju surrender and Sreesanth blunder.
The small-screen commentary thus sounded something like: Cricket's Black Day… After a sleepless night… Star was seen making an exit along with… D-company …. Star not to get five-star treatment but allowed bites from home, bed mattress and… Bookies… The star will next be sighted only in a comeback role... Satte Pe Satta… This spells the darkest hour for the South star….!
Seeing how the sound bytes of Sanjay's surrender were all mixing with the fixing, the makers of "Munnabhai" flicks could script a sequel suitably titled: "Munnabhai meets his Match!"
It's a s-ad ad world!
Nobody could have felt themselves more in troubled waters than the makers of the TV commercial for an aqua purifier.
Little must the ad-makers driving the Kent purifier campaign have thought that it would not be so much the purity of their product that would be in question as much as the purity of one of the three Rajasthan Royals faces endorsing its product: Sreesanth, who starred in the ad along with skipper Rahul Dravid and Ajinkiya Rahane. What more to dilute the brand's credibility than sporting a face that was now more synonymous with dropped catches than filtered drops!
So, the spot-fixing taint of one of its brand ambassadors put the brand-builders in a position quaint. To filter or not to filter the tainted face from its commercial, that was the advertisers' dilemma.
Seeing that it was too much water under the bridge, the brand makers did what was under the circumstances best: swim with the tide. And viola, the purifier ad on the small screen was made to hide!
Even the Kerala government's Karunya Lottery ad dropped the state's discredited pacer quite like a catch. Lady Luck-driven lottery seemed the last thing that could be promoted by Misfortune's child.
The only commercial that seemed to stick still with the cricketer who was at the receiving end of overnight ill-will was none other than a brand that knows only too well that there's one thing that doesn't last: Good Times.
So, the only reason Kingfisher may not have dropped Sreesanth from its "King of Good Times" commercial could be a soaring empathy, a fleet-ing fellow feeling. After all, who better than Kingfisher to know how it feels to be grounded!
In all the sound bytes that were flying around thick and fast during the high drama from exiled former league chief Lalit Modi blaming it all on the BCCI's "Frankenstein monster" ensconced in Chennai, to the calls for "Parivartan" coming not just from Lalu Prasad Yadav but also from cricket lovers of fair play the anthem driving Season Six of cricketainment sported a whole new twist.
With predetermined no-balls throwing in the towel for fair play, the "Jhamping Jhapak" signature song driving the T20 league campaign with the catchphrase "Sirf dekhne ka nahi" tossed up a fresh spin.
Season Six's ode to the spot-fixed, no balls-driven tournament: "Sirf phekne ka nahi!"
The writer is a columnist and social media critic.