Watched a great movie the other day. It had Shilpa Shetty and Elizabeth Hurley in it. Some great song and dance numbers, even. And in the end, the Rajasthan Royals lost by 8 wickets. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I'm pretty sure they might even have played a little cricket.
You know, cricket. A sport where a team of 11 men gets on a field and spends hours, or if you're the Kings XI Punjab, years, trying to beat another set of 11 men. Or at least that's what it used to be. Now it's a four-hour package of cheerleaders, movie-stars, egos and inanities (also known as "Ravi Shastri") that gets piped into my living room every night for six weeks straight, bludgeoning my senses into apathy. There was a time I'd wake up at 5 am to watch a game in Australia. Today, I couldn't be bothered at 5 pm. And given the way the Aussies have been playing recently, it would appear that neither could they.
This is India, and while I like my
as much as the next guy, someone needs to pull the plug on this sideshow before it turns a religion into straight-up sacrilege. Do I really need to listen to
every time Sachin hits a four? I'm pretty certain his straight-drive's more fun when I don't have to be reminded of Uday Chopra every time I watch it. And when I want to watch three Ukranian women perform a badly choreographed dance, well, I have broadband. And a sketchy browser history.
The IPL is like Big Bazaar. Everyone wants in, and everything's for sale. Even basic sporting jargon. And so Keiron Pollard hits a DLF Maximum, and Shane Warne's sublime spin often gets him four Citi Moments Of Success every game. The English Premier League is arguably the richest league in the world, and yet, I've never seen Wayne Rooney score a beautiful Nike Net-shot. But I can't wait until IPL XII, when they'll celebrate the "DB Realty Match-Fix of The Day" and the "Enron Moment of Tiny Joy That Turns Into Deep, Horrifying Moment of Pathos born of Insipid Mediocrity".
And it's not just on the field either. They even have cheerleaders prancing around when they cut back to the studio for post-game analysis. The cheerleaders look embarrassed, the anchors look embarrassed, and the BCCI would look embarrassed if they weren't too busy bathing in a giant pile of money.
And because inanity leaves little room for literacy, this is what passes for analysis and commentary today:
"So Ravi, great match today!"
Yes. It went to the boundary like a tracer bullet.
"Um, but, do you think Sachin will be the factor that makes the difference?"
I think that whoever wins today, cricket will be the real winner.
"Ravi, do you have anything to say that's not a generic, studied platitude that makes little sense?"
"Ooh look, Vijay Mallya!"
The bottomline is this. I couldn't care less who won the IPL this year. (Go Mumbai Indians!), and I'm tired of this sideshow. The good news is, it doesn't last all year round. It's only on for a total of DLF Maximum weeks, thank god.
Writer Rohan Joshi is also a Comedian, Bombayite, Grammar Nazi, Bengan, LOST fan, Astronaut, Nobel Laureate and slight-stretcher-of-truth. Follow him on Twitter at