My friend Srikant and I were sitting in a restaurant.
'Whatever you may say Ramen, the auction of Indian players for IPL or the Indian Paisa League was too much. It was like a village haat where cows and bulls are auctioned off.'
'How can you say such a thing Sri? I have never seen a greater example of nationalism than this. '
'Nationalism? Are you crazy?'
'No I am not. But since you do not have my superior intelligence I'll explain. February 19, 2008 will go down in history as the day of renaissance. In 1857 Mangal Pandey fired a shot and unleashed the first war of Indian independence. The mighty British were shaken and the Queen herself had to step in and take over. In 1942, the Mahatma launched the Quit India Movement and the Sun hastened the process of setting on the British Empire. And on February 19th, Lalit Modi, the modern Midas, showed the world saare jahaan se mahanga Hindustaani Hamara.'
'What do you mean?'
'Come on dude don't you get it. In the auction didn't we proved that wekaalas are much better than the goraas. Our Honi was sold for 6 while their Pintinggot only 1.6. Doesn't it make you feel proud to be a Hindustaani?'
'What about their Symonds? He got a handsome price.'
'That is only because we Hindustanis have great fondness and respect for monkeys. Don't we worship Hanuman?
'Well'if you put it this way I have to agree.'
'Good. Now come to another issue. Why do you think a film star like Shacrook Khan got into the auction.'
'For money of course!'
'Horse manure! Narrow minded people like you can never ever understand the magnanimity of Shacrook.'
'Magnanimity, my foot. He is in it only for publicity and moolah, nothing else.'
'No. He is buying the players as a part of his company's Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.'
'Bullshit. Where does CSR come into this?'
'He wants to give an impetus to all the sports which are neglected in India. He has already done more for Indian women's hockey than what Amitabhi Bachha has done for Ulta Pradesh. His participation in the auction will give a huge impetus to every sport.'
'How will that be?'
'Once the avenues in Cricket are exhausted he will move to tennis, basketball and so on. And can you imagine Sri, what tomorrow holds for Indian sports?'
'No,' Sri said.
'We'll soon have a player's auction for IGDL.'
'Indian Gulli Danda League. And in the auction star performers from Mozambique, Guatemala, Turkmenistan and Rwanda will participate with obliviously the Indian captain getting the highest package.'
'Will this make the sport popular?'
'Won't it? It will first become an Asian Games event and then an Olympic one. In the first year of participation we'll surely get the Olympic gold. After that of course we'll regularly be thrashed by China. There is also every possibility that Omeer Khan will even make a film on it: Gilli Dande Par' which will end up winning an Oscar.
'But whatever you say Ramen, should sport be reduced to mere entertainment?'
'Come on Sri, isn't this the age of entertainment and TRPs. In fact I have a plan to make this format even more exciting.'
'Tell me,' he said wearily.
'The most valuable player will get to play in proportion to the price he has been paid.'
'I didn't get you.'
'Honi will get to bat three times in every innings and Heshan't Sharma will bowl eight instead of four overs.'
'But that is ridiculous.'
'No it is not. Honi and Heshan't have been paid huge amounts because their EQ is high.'
'No dumbo their Entertainment Quotient. Public will want to see more of them. And what public wants IPL gives.'
'Good logic. Any other change?'
'The commentary team will have to undergo a complete overhaul. We can't have old, withered and balding cricketers doing the honors. We'll have only heroines like Malika Sherbat, Rocky Sawant and Malai Kha Arora , clad in itsy bitsy bikinis, describing the proceedings.'
'But they don't know anything about cricket.'
'But have we been talking about cricket so long.'
'Haven't we?' asked Sri in surprise.
'Of course not. We have been talking about what intellectuals like me call the Great Indian Tamasha and which morons like you confuse with Cricket,' I declared and walked out singing to the tune of a Kailash Kheer hit:
Yeh cricket ik tamasha
Bas Paisa iski bhasha
Chak de phatte!