Thursday, April 30, 2009
000,02 Leagues Across the Sea!
Folks and Folkettes,
I have been wondering whether I have put this hobby of mine to rest when suddenly that latent writer-monster-thingy in me awoke with an ear splitting yaaaaaaaaaawn. All the flowers and the brickbats for the text below should go to the WMT and not me. Anyway, I have been fascinated by how two things that the Indian people crave about and are crazy about are happening simultaneously.
1. The pentennial democratic extravaganza
2. The annual muscle-flexing exercise of the BCCI, the Indian Premier League
Hmmmm, so what am I excited about the most? Tough ask really. On the one hand there is the IPL with all its hype and hoopla, with its superstars, the Shah Rukhs, the Preitys, the Shetty Sisters and the Ambani Bros, chirping around, giving out fascinating sound bytes. There is this 450 sec 'strategic (also read money spinning, time-wasting, and boring-the-hell-out-of-the-spectators) time out', in which one team say to themselves "We need to score faster mates!" and the other team thinks "Yeah, now we realized, we need to take wickets yaar!". I have no idea what the players do in the remaining 449 seconds :P
And then there is Mr Lalit Modi, who realized that he did not market himself too well in IPL 1 and is more than making up for it here! Every third frame in the TV shows His Modiness' inspired, proud figure doing different kriyas...Lalit Modi in the dugout, Lalit Modi in the presentation ceremony, Lalit Modi in interviews with Mandira (who, for some strange reason, looks like an Afreeki mem in that hairdo of hers), Lalit Modi signing autographs for his 'fans'(come on...believe me, he has 'fans') and so on; in short, he's all over the place, you see. Oh yeah, and there are the cheerleaders too, whose cloth covering is inversely proportional to their distance from Sainiks. Whenever we watch the IPL in the TV room, there is always a fierce debate as to which team has the best CLs. Happily, Deccan always comes out trumps!
There are over-enthusiastic commentators who say things like "The last 10 overs are very critical!". Excuse me...its a 20 over game, not a 50 or a 450 over one!
Aaand yes, there is good cricket as well...the tables have turned on many teams, and some teams just don't change. Still, it is always exciting to see how Indians and foreigners gel together...kind of like watching a multi- multi-starrer movie really!
The sum of all these parts adds up to more than a whole, and makes the IPL a summer-tolerating remedy for me.
And now to the big one, the centre stage of the hypocrites...err...democrats(not starting with a D), where we get a darshan whom we have elected 5 years ago for the first time (Caution: If the person isn't contesting again, then there is no first darshan at all). And what don't they do to woo more than 1 billion Indians(themselves included)!
Thinking of it, that IPL and this IPL(Indian Politickers League) have too many similarities to be ignored. Every politician, irrespective of his success has an oscar winning actor in him. This should give you an idea of the magnitude of Indian politics: there is atleast one Lalit Modi in each and every constituency. And when it's time to turn on the heat, there they are, all over the place, making democracy into 'dramacracy'. Promises galore! Money, gifts and liquor unabashedly change hands with the speed of light. An interesting anecdote. I should be writing this tukda of prose in sweltering heat and sweating profusely in the unbelievable humidity of the Mumbai air. Because normally for about three hours every morning, the electricity just gives up and takes rest. Guess what...today, on the election day, it doesn't happen! Coincidence? Perhaps. Serendipity? More perhaps.
TV analyses, exit polls, innovative and freakishly omnipresent campaigns (you do find one face staring at you whenever you open a website these days), leading to mind numbing permutations, combinations and probability distributions as to who would win, by how much and who wouldn't and by how much less.
And right in the middle of all this pandemonium and bedlam, there are poor voters like me(I haven't had the chance to vote this time though), who don't know whom to vote for. Each alternative is just as bad as the other, just like the multi starrer teams of the IPL(oh they aren't bad, the political parties are).
It's a carnival happening here on either side folks, and I'm stuck in between. Which one possesses greater enticement? The theatrics of the IPL or the extended melodrama of the Indian Democracy? Judgment reserved.