Two years ago, Shreyas Talpade, the actor who played the aurally-challenged Iqbal in the heartwarming eponymous film, was asked why the movie was such a big hit despite a low budget, its almost-unknown cast, and being almost entirely shot in a rural backdrop rather than glitzy Mumbai. Talpade said: “Well, it’s all about cricket, but it’s a bit melodramatic, and it’s a bit about enjoying the revenge of the lovable underdog. We love that, don’t we?”
This week, left-hand batsman Yuvraj Singh, and a billion Indians, agreed. At the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, the left-hander hit England fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes, just two weeks after being clobbered for five off his own bowling at the Oval by Broad's countryman Dmitri Mascarenhas. Yes, it was all about cricket, it is kind of melodramatic and we all enjoyed the sweet revenge.
On YouTube, with nearly half a million hits in just three days, Yuvi’s videos are fast climbing up the charts. Most videos also show the confrontation between the Indian left-hander and England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff just before the Broad over, an exchange that possibly charged up the Punjab lion. We don’t know what was exchanged, but revenge, as the Klingons say in Star Trek, is a dish best served cold. Even on YouTube.
As uplifting that moment may have been for the Indian psyche, an equally denigrating event in Britain has given just the bad name that YouTube would not want. Twenty-seven-year-old Anthony Anderson was smoking a joint and drinking with his two friends when he saw a 50-year-old woman collapsing on the opposite street before dying of pancreatic failure.
He promptly went and urinated on her, shouting, “This is YouTube material,” while his friend reportedly recorded the incident on a cell phone camera. He then doused her with water and for good measure, applied shaving cream. YouTube’s impact on popular culture across the globe has been immense, but, evidently, there is no shortage of madmen. On the brighter side, the video never made it to YouTube.