• Kitaabfarosh

The Kocchi-coo of cricket

When today will be yesterday, this will be our Twitterchalisa.


Once upon a time in a land wow-wowed as Youngistan, there lived a saint. Saint, because he had seven lakh followers in his kingdom called Twitterdom. He spoke a different language called Tweet! He Sashayed Through (did someone hear Shashi Tharoor?) his tweets with holy cows and cattle class. His tweets were sweet to his followers but gave swe(a)t to others. He was strangely handsome for his age, more strangely accented and most strangely was never politically correct. He was the face of easy activism for the young and the issueless (market killed the restless). On every issue and every problem, his tweets were eagerly awaited. His followers increased. Clean in his actions and clear in his thoughts. Clean and clear or should we say fair and handsome. He assumed he was a saint, revered in the kingdom of Twitterdom. But alas, he assumed!


In Youngistan, it was the time of market renaissance. Reason was dead and money was the new 'god'. Everything was for sale. In this globalized greed, the profit libido was liberalized and money privatized.


Folklore has it that a sport called 'cricket' was practiced at that time. Some believers even say that it was a religion. It was a fairly simple game with all its glorious uncertainties. Nations with miles and miles of land battled it out on a 22 yard piece of land. And that was the catchword--nations. Nations tossed on the pitch. Players foreplayed on the ground. Spectators climaxed on the stands. And viewers erupted in a wild orgy at home. Patriotism at its reproductive best. A skewed ideology of patriotism, but ideology still.


In an age of the market, ideologies are often timed out and substituted by ideas. An idea to convert the dust on the cricket pitch to gold dust, an idea to convert players into products and connoisseurs of the game into perpetual consumers. An idea to exploit the bruised egos of 'slumdogs' to fan the profit egos of 'millionaires'.


And so debuted another saint. Saint of the market. Strangely, he called himself Commissioner. He came with auctioneers and hammered the cricketers, reshaping them to fit into the sizes of franchises' pockets.


An ancient text Wikepedia described 'franchise' as a magical cult of market, which did an abracadabra on the nation, hypnotizing it into an unreal world of money and more money. Every now and then, it took out a cheer girl from its proverbial magical hat to 'oomph' the nation into believing that they have 'peaked'. The nation is sexed up with thy neighbour's money and thy neighbour's honey. The game goes on. Hammer, hammer, hammer and the player is sold. Buyers cheerlead the cricketers who dance their way to the bank. And Mr. Commissioner is the happiest. The high priest of market fundamentalism sold everything.


Strangely the nation was also rejoicing. Perhaps too mesmerized and tricked by the shrewd innocence of the market. Zoo-zooism, you can call it. Both on and off the field, everything was sold. A Karbonn Kamaal catch becoming the Citi moment of success preventing it from becoming the DLF maximum. Post match the products (known earlier as players) were launched into the market of sleaze and parties. A night 'match' over different 'maidens'. So far the match was on and the 'nation' was zoo-zooing over this market success.


The Commissioner became a big shopkeeper. And one day the Saint of Twitterdom came to his shop. They tweeted. And as they say, the rest is Shakespearean tragedy. Their tweeting assumed epical proportions. Although it was the shortest tweeted epic (not more than 147 characters), yet it was demonic. Diabolical characters were delivered at every strategic timeout. There was free-hit of accusations and counter accusations. The commissioner tweeting the saint of sweating it out for the equity. The saint counter-tweeting the commissioner of kissing and telling.


It was a no holds barred match. The commissioner claimed that the saint was not all clean and clear, that his was a tale of love, sweat and equity. The Saint could not manage his 'internal' leave alone 'external affairs'. His love's labour was lost in Kochi, which became his Waterloo. He was banished from the kingdom. Before he could be baptized, he crucified himself. And the drama was called Love, Equity aur Dhokha.


Unabashed, unfazed, the Commissioner continued with his bouncers. He tweeted - there has been behind the doors 'rendezvous' of 'unholy consortiums'. How dare he? The new owners hammered back. The Commissioner is a liar, a cheat, they retorted. The skeletons in the cupboards woke up. They were waiting for this tumbling down moment. But before the skeletons could tumble out, a lot of flesh was still left in the epical scandal.


Blue money, green money, orange and purple money, money of all hues padded up the game. Put together it became 'black money', which is dark and dirty (economic racism!!). The Commissioner was accused of ball tampering errrr.. money tampering. How could he bat the deliveries from far away Virgin lands all by himself. Shouldn't Power (did someone misread Sharad Pawar) be distributed equitably amongst all the shopkeepers of the game? The cricket entrepreneurs had the answer. 'Yes, he should have shared the 'power-play'.' They came rushing to their Lord, the cricket evangelist who was about to become the Pope of International cricket. He sermonized the commissioner through his various knights and bishops. Soon the sermons became invisible diktats. But by this time the Commissioner was deaf. The Pope then withdrew, but not before lending the daggers to the rivals. The Commissioner was one Frankenstein monster. He had to go.


History and tragedy have a horological connection in this ancient land. Both are played at the stroke of midnight. The Commissioners' Et tu Brutus moment was near. The man who sold everything remotely connected to cricket was himself sold out overnight. Hammer, hammer, hammer and the Commissioner was gone without a price.


Epilogue


The Saint and the Commissioner were good with their fingers. Even though their tweets had dug their graves, old habits die hard. They were last seen playing Oongli Cricket.

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