Reciting a verse composed by his father, the biggest connoisseur of Indian Cricket enters the stage amidst loud cheers and applause. Amitabh Bachchan, an eminent reciter and part time actor, has taken the art of narrating someone else’s composition to a whole new level, creating a platform for all aspiring reciters (unemployed and confused e.g. his son). His resounding voice reverberates through the stadium while the organizers look at each other “was he supposed to recite his dad’s poem again?”
Music cues and lights beam, the stage is set on fire with some scintillating performances by Priyanka Chopra, Katy Perry, Kareena Kapoor, and Salman Khan. Most of them follow a similar exercise regime during their aerobic sessions barring Salman Khan. His high quality and somewhat involuntary epileptic seizures can be seen on every screen space which he occupies. And in come the least important people of the evening, the cricketers; ashamed and embarrassed of their existence. They stand in a line like security guards as Priyanka Chopra peppers them with some profound questions demonstrating her cricketing prowess. However, her ‘beginner’s guide to cricket’ fails to sustain the pressure, ergo she decides to head back to a more familiar territory and asks them to dance. They try their level best but can only manage to make a complete hash of it. Everyone laughs and they were ushered out of the stage.
Ravi Shashtri, the eternal announcer cum mike-testing boy takes the podium in the elite company of Srinivasan, owner, Chennai Super King/MD, Chennai Cement/President, BCCI and ubiquitous Rajib Shukla, profile – unknown; it’s the turn of all the captains to stand like security guards now. Evincing an exemplary munificence, they announce their decision to liberally distribute some funds amongst the destitute cricketers of yesteryear’s (give them benefit of doubt because it looks more like a case of poor sentence formation than slanderous remark). Pre-recorded applause plays in the background and the biggest cricket carnival kicks off in style.
Match day – Camera zooms on Sameer Kochhar as he enters the studio dancing with few cheerleaders, and then welcomes all viewers and two guests; Ajay Jadeja and Navjyot Singh Sidhu. Now, for heaven’s sake don’t look up on google for Sameer Kochhar, it will return the following result:
“Your search ‘Sameer Kochhar’ didn’t match any documents, try more general keywords.”
Ajay Jadeja, the epitome of moral and ethics, a legend in his own right, talks about the spirit of the game, fair play, and code of conduct on the cricket field. While he analyzes the strengths of both the teams and how the toss could play a vital role, his inner voice screams out “why cannot they decide the result of the match in advance?”
A frenzied Sidhu intervenes “Pitch is as dead as a dodo. My dear friend, experience is like a comb that life gives you when you are bald. Khatak.” An air of bewilderment descends in the studio.
A standup comedian is called to perform an act. Sidhu interrupts him 5 times during his 2 minutes act, asks him to repeat the punch lines again and again. After sometime those punch lines don’t look like punch lines anymore. He can single handedly destroy anyone’s career. The comedian curses the day when he agreed to perform in front of Sidhu, leaving his livelihood at the clemency of this savage character. Dan Morrison makes a sleazy remark from the field and the faces in the studio glow momentarily.
Match starts. Ravi Shashtri in the commentary box with his read-along commentary. A very useful delivery method, especially for people like me who finds it difficult to read numbers on the screen. From scores to ads, he reads everything that appears on the screen. However, in rare occasions, he goes that extra mile with his match assessments, but more often than not he has to follow up his statement with another one starting with ‘correction,’ ‘I beg your pardon’ et cetera. He runs through the team lineup and other inane details before moving onto more important matters i.e. the features of the car which will be presented to the man of the tournament.
The ball is hit fiercely towards square leg and Ravi Shashtri exclaims “that’s poor fielding; he just let the ball go!” However, he soon realizes that the person standing at square leg was the leg umpire and he shouldn’t ideally be stopping the ball. Batting side looks happy at the end of first innings as they scored 30 runs more than what was expected at the beginning; Sidhu revises his prediction. A quick 60 seconds recap of the first innings is shown, two thirds of which covered cheerleaders’ dance.
Second innings starts. One uncapped player drops a catch. Gautam Gambhir yells at him. He never looks so stressed while playing for India. He exhibited similar emotions only when there was an income tax raid in his house. He looks at the ostentatious owner of the team from the corner of his eyes, who is currently talking about his upcoming movie, perspiring profusely sitting 90 yards away from the centre. When asked about the match he says “winning and losing is part of the game but the effort should be there; strategize, plan, and execute. Remember, how my astute coaching helped India win the world cup hockey in Chak De?”
“But that was a movie.”
“Life is a movie my friend.” He retorts. “The boys should give their best.” He talks on more realistic terms now “we need Gayle’s wicket. Played three seasons with us, didn’t score anything and now he is hitting sixes.” He looks at that uncapped player who dropped Gayle’s catch; a resentful smile creeps onto his face.
Match is interestingly poised. The batting side needs another 40 runs from 25 balls. Gayle hits four sixes and the spectators proceed towards the exit gate. While attributing this impending victory to Gayle and his brute power, Gavaskar ponders “just 4 balls! Just 4 balls decided the fate of the match! We hardly had any result after 5 days of drudgery. And what did the board give us? Tambura? Look at the way Kohli is flaunting his watch in the ad. Tomorrow Rohan will come for his pocket money.”
An identical thought crosses the mind of Amitabh Bachchan as he looks at Abhishek and growls “did you get a movie?”
“ummm…..no but Ash said I should try in Hollywood, some secret agent kind of role.”
“Or may be a cab driver.” Amitabh broods.
Host team loses the match. Camera zooms on SRK’s seat, which suddenly looks empty; he has already taken preemptive measures. Jay Mehta appears on the ground for the presentation formalities. While he hands over the man of the match cheque to the opposition player with a fluctuating smile, he looks more like a person who is lending some money to his friend.
Cheerleaders dance in the studio again and experts do a post mortem of the match. After heaps of commercials, Sameer turns towards Sidhu “any final thought on the match?”
“Sarfaroshi ki tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai. Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai” Sidhu concludes.
(While writing this post I saw KKR actually won the match but it was too late for me to make any changes.
All the fans of above mentioned celebrities – expletives in the comment form please.)