Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Misplaced Arrogance : The SRK-KKR saga

A giggle happy crowd mills around a deep ditch. People from all races, creeds, origins and intellectual levels nudge each other, in an almost perverse sense of guilty pleasure, and coax each other to fling another one. Another well aimed stone that will sail across the grim air and land on the bleeding head of the injured one. The one who does not look up anymore to blow kisses from behind dimpled cheeks or wave generously from behind a curtain of expensive cigarette smoke. No. His still and downcast body only shivers occasionally in the heat of the impact each misshaped stone makes against it. But for a brief capsule in time. And then it is over. The perversity has ended, the injured still lies where he is and the crowd disperses guffawing at one another only to return at another ditch, a day later, and fling a few more.

The reason I chose to portray the situation the much esteemed “King Khan” finds himself in today was because I cannot help but be part of that crowd. Sure, I may choose not to strike his head with a mass of verbose intellect but then there I am. Still standing with the rest and looking down upon a man who, for some reason, actually had my respect for his cocky self-confidence for quite a while. Be it from the eager-to-please-the-masses days of “Deewana” or the eager-to-scratch-his-creative-conscience ensemble of “Swades”. Yes, I was there for most of them. Whenever he would make a witty remark in a press conference or giggle, albeit shallowly, at a movie’s premiere, I always felt he had his head on his shoulders. After all being “someone” in the B-City isn’t easy without a Godfather or two, now is it? That said I have always admired people who have cut through the BS and made it big on their own. And yes, that aspect of it might make me slightly inclined to label him “King” since we have a lot of genuine kingmakers in India and not as many genuine kings anymore. So here was, a king in both the figurative and literal sense. Fair enough.

And then came the Indian Premiere League’s second offering. I had not followed the first one since I wasn’t really sure I wanted to see traditionally famous rivals pat each other’s backs on getting another fellow countryman out. Say, for instance, Shoaib Akhtar getting Sachin out and getting appreciative hugs from Ganguly. Sorry, despite the basic nuances of team spirit and camaraderie on the field this essence of sweetness between two teams whose matches shut down an entire nation just didn’t go down my old school honed system. And so I didn’t want to be witness of such, for the lack of another expression, absurd friendliness. But that somehow changed this year. Maybe it was because our famous rivals were not part of it, I don’t know for sure. But I decided to follow IPL 2. Sure, I didn’t have any “favorites” but given that my personal connections now span across three cities – Bangalore (where I am from), Mumbai (where my fiancé is from) and Chennai (where my future in-laws’ are from) – it became quite pertinent that I keep a tab on these three teams.

Now let us stitch this into context. Given the eye blinding glitz and jaw dropping oomph that IPL provides, it was only a matter of time before cricket started sliding into the backseat. Sure, we do see some insanely wonderful shots all over the park, but more often that not it lacks technique. Wham! And the ball sails into the stands. Wham! And the ball goes between the stumps. Hence the meaningless factor of aforementioned “Wham!” Nevertheless, I still watch it. But what has happened now is I also watch matches that have the Kolkatta Knight Riders (or is it just Knight Riders now?). Reason? Well, just because I think with every defeat they are pounded with (and boy are they being pounded good!) something convinces me that justice is still part of today’s world. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have cared less for KKR hadn’t SRK given his infamous “go get your own team if you want” snip at Sunil Gavaskar. Sure, Sunny is no saint. I have seen him walk out of matches because he didn’t think he was out even if the umpire did. But notwithstanding that outrageous past he has, the last person to tell him what to do when it comes to cricket would be SRK.

I never understood this – how can someone who has never played even one international cricket (and this applies to everyone standing above the ditch awaiting their turn to fling one in) have any idea what it is like to win/lose an international game? How does that even work? Even when I read Herculean blogs about people recommending strategies and writing convincingly about what the captain ought to have done…I can’t help but nod my head in disbelief. How can any of us know what managing an international team (with players stuffed with egos larger than their mansions) can be like? Hence, even if it means one has come up in the B-city on his own and has more money than all of middle class India, he still needs to zip it. It is like a man opining about a woman’s menstruation cycle or childbirth. Sorry dude…just doesn’t count.

So here I am. No stone in hand yet glad that SRK’s much needed reality check is finally happening. I know it is probably inhumane to side someone’s downfall, but sometimes even “Kings” need to get down to our humble levels and feel the same heat as we do day in day out. Only then, maybe then, they can actually remind themselves about how honest and straightforward they used to be some years ago. For that, I can be part of any crowd over any ditch any day.


2 reflections:

Anonymous said...

I think behind that facade of a cheering SRK is an astute businessman. I think he would be sad more for the fact that he would lose money on his investment. But my guess is he is smart enough to get the team going in the next season...

btw..i liked that clock...very romantic :)


ShaK said...


Thank you for the compliment on the clock! :D Glad you liked it. Well, I am not sure if his business bone is that astute anymore considering his recent choices with the coach and his consequent decisions. I do want his team to succeed of course but then not at the cost of shallow blowhorns that have nothing to do with game strategies and are just overhyped hooplah for his exageratted persona. Thanks for the comment!