Rahul da Cunha: IPL & I
So, I've been an IPL addict since 2008.
I love all these nations coming together, playing under the same banner, wearing all these bright colours - reddish shirts and green pants, like teams of Robin Hoods and male Red Riding Hoods.
Players from opposing test teams who were giving each other 'ma behen ki gaalis' in February, are, in April, hugging each other like Amar, Akbar and Anthony in the climax scene.
A month ago, every Australian, except perhaps Hugh Jackman and Mel Gibson, was having a go at the Indian captain. Ex-player Brad Hodge, while sunbathing in Sydney, tweeted, accused Virat of feigning injury for the last test match to prepare himself for the IPL season. He then realised, a week later, 'Oops I'm also Gujarat Lions coach, better apologise," and so tweeted again, 'I didn't mean that."
Which part, Mr Hodge, did you not mean, I ask.
Then there's the curious case of the Pune team, which has changed its name, for better luck, it seems. (I always thought 'Rising Pune Supergiants' was a bit Anglicised). Maybe Shivaji Super Soldiers or Bajirao Peshwas could have been more powerful nomenclatures. Or, chalo, as many celebs do, draw upon astrology and add some letters, like Vivek Oberoi became Viviek Oberoi (his career didn't take off post name change, but that's another matter). But, the Pune team, which could've made it Rrising Superrrgiants, merely dropped the 's' in supergiants. Yes, dear reader, plural becomes singular. So, now they're Pune Rising Supergiant.
Then the BCCI paid for the whole of Punjab to vote for Congress so that Navjot Singh Sidhu is forced to finally do some political work, and attend Rajya Sabha. Not unleash his shayris at us on Extra Innings.
Then there is a new unit in IPL 2017. It is an NGO called the Mumbai Indians. They play cricket and also impart education. The alphabet goes such - A for Antilia, B for Best Network is called Jio, C for 'Chalo gotta go, Kieron Pollard just hit a six', etc.
On another note, the Russian/Uzbek cheerleaders have been found a bit wanting. Rumour has it, between overs, when the little Zoo Zoos run around on our TVs, when the camera is off them, Farah Khan and Shiamak Davar, dash in, teach them some quick coordination so at least they may dance in unison.
Then there's Preity Zinta, Kings XI Punjab's owner and the most exuberant cheerleader of them all, has shown much improvement over the years. In 2008, she was often seen jumping up and down at the fall of a wicket, only to be informed that it was one of the players from her team who had been dismissed
This year, she leaps up, spins around and high-fives anyone behind her. Last night, she slapped her palm into the popcorn seller. He hasn't been heard of since.
Finally, rumour also has it, that IPL 2018, will field two new teams -one called the Osamabad Sandal Slappers - they don't carry bats, only leather slippers. Up against them will be another tough unit, named the IA Airlifters.
And, finally, Abhay Deol is buying a team that will be called the Supreme Dark Warriors. Their main sponsor - Fair & Lovely cream.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com