May 1, 2010

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The League of Extraordinary middle-men



Perhaps it was the mauling that Bangalore suffered in the semis, perhaps the resignation of Shashi Tharoor, perhaps Sanjay Dutt’s stellar performance in an overwhelmingly stupid sequence of Pepsi ads, perhaps allegations of match-fixing, perhaps the imminent sacking of Lalit Modi or quite possibly, even that thing on Harsha Bhogle’s head. Perhaps a combination of all the above factors, in delicate proportion, have me itching to put in my two cents

As the dust begins to settle on a rather eventful past 44 days, smeared with B-grade advertising and IPL nights, tight schedules and even tighter cheerleading outfits, Income Tax irregularities and sweat equity, public displays of affection between the (erstwhile) Minister of State for External Affairs and the (soon-to-be-dismissed) IPL commissioner, the liberal use of stereotyped, scripted jargon by underqualified and overpaid commentators, controversial tweets and proxy ownership, benami holdings and missing bid documents, unduly exuberant corporate prefixing of blimps, time-outs, sixes and catches, ignorant Bollywood imbeciles naïve franchisees and aged cricketers on the comeback trail, purple caps and orange caps, it is my privilege to announce the nominees for the IPL awards 2010.

Categories:
Least thought out advertisement
Mother of God. Where do I begin? Kudos to the ad agencies responsible for decisively proving to us that sheer brainlessness should not serve as an impediment, but a prerequisite. These were the guys responsible for creating the magic that engulfed our TV screens during time-outs, between overs, after dismissals, and on occasion, between deliveries. I must admit, I’m not quite sure what kind of invertebrate came up with these ideas, but here’s the cream.

Pepsi: Congratulations, sirs, you’ve done it once again. With an irrepressible combination of aerated water, 60-something villains, 20-something heroes, annoying midgets, witless multiple-choice questions and a make-up artist from Hell, is it any wonder that your timeless product finds application primarily as pesticide in rural India? “Youngistaan ka Wow” gives new meaning to the term tag-line, and is a source of great comfort in times of trouble. Some day, I hope to meet the team of nascent baboons that came up with this wonderful concept.

Idea: Abhishek Bachchan and his 2 accomplices perhaps drew inspiration from the Pepsi School of Logic, to unleash upon us the new phenomenon that’s taking the world by storm. It’s called Oongli Cricket(man, have I got an oongli for them) and it is proof of the irreversible degeneration of our society. An Idea can sometimes ruin your life, sirjee. (Aside to Abhishek: curl up in bed with Aishwarya, and pray for public anger to subside)     


Most inconspicuous player
Right. Back to the cricket. This edition of the IPL saw several excellent performances from vastly talented players, but this category caters to the few that were able to maintain their dignity and composure amidst the otherwise chaotic world of T20.

M.S. Dhoni: Thanks for so eloquently describing the lost art of sneaking out unnoticed, on your bike, at night into the “red-light areas” of Chennai and having people come up and speak to you in Tamil. You are, no doubt, wiser from your experiences. You are also, no doubt, the perfect role model for any aspiring cricketer/gigolo in the country. (Aside to Dhoni: Saturday night party ke pogallam, variya?)

Harbhajan Singh: Hearty congratulations, dear Turbanator, on showing us the most appropriate way to fondle the team owner’s wife after a hard-fought win. Recent studies have shown, beyond doubt, that you are missing the where-to-draw-the-line gene. A pat on the back(or, more precisely, perhaps a swift kick in the nuts) from Mr. Ambani is in the offing, for the now infamous public groping. The good news, however, is that Nita aunty is no longer in any doubt as to the meaning of “Youngistaan ka wow”.     

Sreesanth: Words fail me, and that, in itself is probably the greatest tribute to your buffoonery. How someone can get angry with the umpire, after having been no-balled for overstepping is beyond me, and possibly, even beyond the understanding of your ever-decreasing fan base. You, sir, are most definitely God’s own cricketer. This is a new low for you, even by your getting-slapped-by-a-Turbanator-and-bawling-like-a-baby standards.


Cliches
Thank you, start-up cellphone manufacturers, loss-incurring banks, infrastructure groups and Chennai-based rubber factories, for making life during the IPL a sheer pleasure. Thank you _ _ _, for inspiring us to reach for the stars, by stationing a motionless balloon in the sky. Who am I to question <insert commentator's name>, when he says that you are at the forefront of technology in India? Thank you _ _ _ _ Mobile, for those 2-and-a-half minutes of bliss, at odd and unpredictable stages of each match. Personally, I would recommend a greater investment in telecommunications and a slightly more withdrawn role in corporate gimmicks. Thanks to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ mobiles, for explaining to me the difference between a catch and a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ kamaal. Perhaps someday, I can explain to them the kamaal involved in recovering a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ mobile from the colon of the guy who came up with this idea. _ _ _ _ moment of success. I will never understand how those 4 words got into the same sentence, and neither will the American taxpayer, I’m guessing. And finally, _ _ _ maximum. Which once again, makes no sense whatsoever, but hey, they are the main sponsors of the IPL, so lets give them some “creative” leeway. 


Next IPL commissioner
This is a moment of great uncertainty and turmoil for the IPL. It is becoming increasingly clear that Lalit Modi must go, but finding a replacement for a corrupt, lisping, tweeting Gujju is no mean task. Over the past few days, there has been a lot of speculation as to who would replace Modi, and the following 2 gentlemen are my pick for the next IPL commissioner.
 
Ravi Shastri: You have clearly made the transition from expert all-rounder to idiot commentator without much fuss. Your commentary is reminiscent of a Winamp playlist in repeat mode and the sight of your flaring nostrils is sufficient to make my blood curdle. However, I firmly believe that cricket administration should be left to former cricketers, and therefore, I am pleased to announce that you are the least of several evils.   

Sharad Pawar: A truly versatile politician, who has shown us that being Agriculture minister, by itself, is not a very time-consuming/challenging job. What, pray tell, was his chiseled silhouette doing as Chairman of the BCCI from 2005 to 2008? With over a billion people to choose from, surely we could’ve done better? Over the past few decades, Mr. Sharad Pawar has proven himself to be a gem of a scoundrel, and this, along with his obesity, charming good-looks, white outfits and blemished record, qualify him to be the next IPL commissioner.

(This section was written well before Modi’s dismissal and Chirayu Amin’s subsequent appointment. Therefore, it pains me to announce that in this category, nobody wins.)  

So there you have it. The nominees for the IPL awards 2010. It has been a wonderful, controversial and exciting past few weeks. Best wishes to Chirayu and his cronies, as they attempt to resurrect the Indian Pensioner’s League.

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