Predictably we’ve been literally swamped by the IPL juggernaut. Knowledgeable cricket lovers swear that the cricket is still great, despite all the tamasha surrounding the matches. Not being a knowledgeable cricket lover, I’ll have to take their word for it, but even in my capacity as an ignoramus, there are a few things that have struck me with great force.
Top of the list is the TV studio anchor Samir Kochchar’s hair.
By the way, is there some deep, unfathomable connection between cricket and hair?
In the early days of the IPL, Charu Sharma kept us riveted with his extremely, er, intriguing hairstyle. Then came Harsha Bhogle who suddenly grew a full head of hair, but didn’t really tell us how, why or where he’d got it done. (And begging your pardon, Harsha, but we rather preferred you in your earlier, more natural avatar. At the moment we get a little confused — it’s as if the real Harsha has gone away somewhere and we're looking at an impostor. We truly miss the real thing).
And then came Virender Sehwag who went the Harsha way but decided to turn his hair transplant into a beneficial commercial activity by endorsing the procedure after he’d had it done. It’s difficult to say though, if Sehwag’s looks have, um, benefited. Maybe we should all just concentrate on how his batting looks.
Back to Samir Kochchar’s hair. Every time he comes on the screen, it’s impossible to concentrate on what he’s saying, because your eyes are drawn, fascinated, to the two or three strands of hair glued on his forehead (like Meena Kumari’s kiss curls, except that hers were circular and his are in straight lines). What on earth was the hairstylist thinking?
Equally, what was the clothes stylist thinking? I’m referring to the person who has done Navjyot Singh Sidhu’s wardrobe. Jackets with white piping on the lapels, shiny shirts that would make disco lights blush - Sherry paaji (no, really, that’s what they all call him) needs a wardrobe update with immediate effect.
As to what all of them say when they’re sitting in the studio, well, it’s all about cricket, but every time Sidhu starts speaking, it’s about all sorts of other things too, including homilies and similies. We’ve been hearing Sidhu for many years now and what was once a unique style doesn’t sound that unique any longer. And even back then, it was a bit of an acquired taste.
But frankly, does it matter? With cheerleaders bouncing up and down (shown all too fleetingly, to the vast disappointment of most male viewers), and the IPL teams apparently playing proper (as in — or so I'm told — good, aggressive, entertaining cricket), no one cares about Samir's kiss curls or Sidhu’s sartorial sense.
The entertainment channels always go into a decline during the IPL and this time is no different. Except for Colors which - apart from its entertainment tie-up with IPL — has been milking Anandi’s ‘death’ (Balika Vadhu) for all its worth. First she ‘died’ (we heard the doctor say ‘Sorry couldn’t save her’ with our own ears), then miraculously came alive again, then had an operation after which the doctor said ‘If she doesn’t recover consciousness after 24 hours, I can’t say anything,’ then she recovered consciousness and the doctor said ‘Hosh aa gaya hai’ and then Anandi’s mother-in-law asked Anandi the mother of all questions: “Tu theek hai, na?”
In the course of all these episodes, everyone in the serial (and outside) has wept so copiously, the ratings have jumped up.
I don’t know about Anandi (will she have partial amnesia? Or will she be fully fine?) but Colors to bilkul theek hai.