The IPL finally came to a close. But the IPL drama is only just beginning. (And I suspect we’re going to get quite tired of it in the not too distant future. We’ve already had a bit of an overdose).
The closing ceremony, like the IPL itself, had a solid dose of Bollywood glamour. First A R Rahman appeared on the scene and sang the Badhe chalo song from Lagaan (hope Lalit Modi was listening intently to the lyrics) while dancers dressed in the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings costumes marched around, periodically raising clenched fists in the air.
Then a hovercraft glided onto the field bearing a lone passenger, Bipasha Basu, clad in shorts and boots, showing off her brand new body, which she has apparently acquired after spending about 12 hours every day in a gym. She also wore dark glasses which she took off before dancing.
Then suddenly a whole lot of other people erupted on to the field — women in feathered headgear and men on stilts — creating a circus-carnival-type atmosphere. Everybody sang All the best! All the best! from the film called, well, All The Best.
More hovercrafts arrived, and one of them had Shahid Kapoor in it, wearing blue jeans, and — the trademark accessory of every celebrity, day or night, dawn or dusk, summer or winter, rain or hail, snow or sun, indoors or outdoors — dark glasses.
After he had danced for a bit, Shahid ran nimbly from the stage (which was in the middle of the field) to the edge of the stadium, perhaps to show everyone how fit he was. He even sang on the way. Shahid, you dance like a dream, you can also run like a dream, just wish you could sing like a dream.
Maybe inspired by Bipasha Basu and Shahid Kapoor, A.R. Rahman put on a pair of dark glasses when he appeared for a second time, to sing what has become his anthem — Jai Ho. (He also sang that other anthem — Maa tujhe salaam).
Oh, and in between all this the figure of a giant batsman was wheeled into the field (perhaps to remind us that this was a cricket tournament?)
Yes, there was a cricket match too.
If this was the big end to a big show, there was also the big beginning of another big show — Indian Idol (Sony). The music talent hunt began with auditions in the North (mainly Delhi) and I think the entire population of North India turned up to try their luck. The main hosts this year are Abhijeet Sawant (winner of the first Indian Idol) and Prajakta (one of the participants of the first season). Abhijeet may be a really talented singer, but I’m not so sure if he’s an equally talented host. Ditto for Prajakta. (I always thought Mini Mathur, who has hosted some seasons of Indian Idol in the past, was great — bright, peppy and friendly).
Anyway, the opening episode followed pretty much a well-trodden path as it zoomed in on the crazies who come to audition (the comical ones, the ones who can’t hold a note but think they’re Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar or Lata and Asha rolled into one), some genuinely talented singers (all of whom happen to have very touching back stories), and other ‘normal’ candidates who go back disappointed and dejected. Judge Anu Malek, as usual, contributed the drama, Sunidhi her blue-painted fingernails and Salim Merchant his, um, rather interesting hairstyle.
But I watched the show with interest — it was a bit like having an old friend in your living room again.