You can imagine my reaction when a friend told me that he had good seats for Saturday’s Mumbai-Pune T20 match at Wankhede, and invited me to join him. I believe my exact words were, “Sorry, I’m not in the mood. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go up on stage and deliver a monologue about my lady parts.”
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point, I just lost interest in the T20. I think it was around the third edition, which I would not be surprised to know,is still going on. But I have managed to catch bits and pieces of the action so far, including the opening ceremony, which was held in Kolkata and featured the one and only Pitbull. But enough about Didi.
I understand that there have been a few changes this time around. For example, T20 6 features something called a Sunrisers, which is a great name for your team if your entire line-up is just one box of cornflakes. (Still a faster bowler than Nehra.)
Thanks to Jayalalitha, Sri Lankan players will not be allowed to play in Tamil Nadu this year, as a sign of solidarity with the poor and hapless Jayalalitha who needs votes. It is a great idea, reminiscent of the time we eradicated terrorism by banning Pakistanis from the T20.
You can’t help but feel bad for Sri Lankan players. There aren’t too many friendly venue options open to them now. Chennai’s out, they get called chuckers in Australia, while Pakistan insists on reminding them of home, especially the Jaffna region. I just hope that things don’t get to a stage where they have to roam around the streets of India, beseeching kids to include them in their one-tip-one-hand gully cricket match. That’s bound to be awkward:
Cricketer: Hey kid, can I join in?
Kid: Who are you?
Cricketer: I am Kulasekara Mudiyanselage Dinesh Nuwan Kulasekara.
Cricketer: Surname is Super-califragilisticexpialidocious
Kid: I’ll just call you Thambi.
On a more serious note, it is heartening to see players and fans from all around the cricketing world come together under the T20 banner to celebrate the most noble aspect of the game: cheerleaders. These fine women are founts of hope, which you can see welling up in the eyes and other regions of the Indian male spectator. (Note: This does not apply to Pune cheerleaders, whose signature steps include the classic Mera Aadmi Bewda Hai and Memsaab Main Kal Kaam Pe Nahin Aayegi.)
To try and counter this runaway hormonal train, the T20 unleashed ‘Jumping Jhapak Jumpak Jumpak, Thumping Thapak Thumpak Thumpak’, a song which, when performed by otherwise hot cheerleaders, makes them as desirable as socks on a wet floor. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to grab your dancing shoes and throw them at Farah Khan, but you’re afraid that might look like an actual step.
And finally, at some point, the cricket kicks in. For some reason, the broadcasters thought that it would be fun to read out tweets that people send in during the match, which means the commentary sounds like this:
Commentator: Oh that’s a good delivery, now let’s see... @AjaySingh22 has tweeted to say “Can I get Rochelle Rao’s number?”, and and oh, what’s this... “Yo momma so fat she drank all the water in Maharashtra...” Goddammit, that @LalitKModi is drunk-tweeting again.
One of the more interesting reports to have come out of T20 6 involves a PIL filed in the Mumbai High Court by Aam Aadmi Lok Manch (Hindi for ‘Unemployed’) which claimed that the public auction of players was a gross violation of their human rights. Yes, I’m sure the players feel terrible about being sold like cattle, and often cry themselves to sleep on aromatherapy pillows stuffed with coke and angel feathers.
Do you know what really violates the human rights of a cricketer in India? Being a hockey player. Besides, for ages, Indians have paid good money to buy the services of a man. It’s called dowry.
It’s only been a week since the circus began, and it’ll be a while before it ends, sometime in 2027. In the meantime, please feel free to enjoy this earworm: DIL JUMPING JHAPAK JHUM-PAK JHUMPAK, THUMPING THAPAK THUMPAK THUM-PAK GILLY GILLY *shoots self*
Ashish Shakya is a stand-up comic. He co-writes the TV satire, The Week That Wasn’t