Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Dead Team's Chest

It’s official now – Indian Cricket is dead!

Thus ended the story of the supposedly great team called India. What with everyone jumping on to the Blue Billion, World Cup Co la and all funny fantasies; it was made to sound like the ultimate victory that the pride of the nation hinged on. Now, it’s back to the pavilion where the customary rituals remain.

Enough post-mortem has been done over the reasons why the Indian team’s world cup dream died a premature death at the hands of more focussed individuals and teams. It’s time we realised it’s not just the death of a dream but the death of Indian cricket as such. It’s not just the world cup fiasco that prompts me to declare the demise of Indian cricket; it has been remaining in brain dead condition for a while now, with just the body in place, and no soul at all. With this World Cup, officially, Indian cricket is dead.

But, there is a ray of hope for the untamed optimist. Yes; as the rumour goes, the Dead Team’s chest has a heart that beats in it. The trick is to get to the chest and get the heart back into the body. And there are ways this could be done; there are ways Indian cricket could be revived!

Indian Corporate sponsors should sign up the Australian Eleven and the South African Eleven as their Brand Ambassadors in India. Every Indian name associated with cricket should be dumped into the grave yard by the corporate sector, mercilessly. The Indian Consumer Forum could even issue a legal notice to the Advertisers to this effect.

Further, the Indian Government could officially announce the Indian cricket Team and its coach and Selection Committee as “Non-Performing Liabilities”. The External Affairs Ministry could get in touch with Argentina and try to negotiate the exchange of Mr Q with the Indian Liabilities. To get rid of the same old faces into Latin America, from where there would be no escape route, is the name of the game. (Losing them in the Caribbean Islands was the best chance though).

Every Indian citizen would have to cough up a fine every time he mentions of Indian cricket and should be arrested should he spread the rumour that Indian cricket is still alive. Instead, every Indian should become supporter of any other team than India. There is absolutely no patriotism involved in such a stupid scandal as cricket. A game is after all a game; every Indian should announce with pride which country he support; and the Government must provide tax benefits for such supporters.

Finally, if at all the infamous eleven are to get back into the scene of action, if at all they should be allowed to lay their strained hands on the Dead Team’s chest, there are some stringent conditions that need to be fulfilled: The eleven Pirates should turn into Professionals and agree that they would not take up modelling ever, even if forced to utmost poverty and desperation; they should do nothing but practise cricket till the next World Cup, with none of their faces in any form of media whatsoever; they should part with at least a portion of the fortune they earned modelling and donate it for the development of other sports that India has good potential in; they should all release statements in the press continuously for the next six months announcing that it is Hockey, not Cricket, that is India’s National Game, till every Indian has read, pondered over and digested the harsh piece of news.

These are the last few ways of reviving the lone heart that still beats in the chest. But for the chest, Indian cricket is dead. And there shall be no face of the remnants of the team in any form in any media whatsoever, till the dead team’s chest is found and the team, revived!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mr Q and a Thousand Dogs

Clearway gets Mr Q on-line and catches up with what he’s been up to these days.

CW: Would you please identify yourself?
Q: This is Q.

CW: Thanks for coming on-line Mr Q.
Q: Shoot.

CW: No, we are not here to shoot you Mr Q!
Q: Hmm. I mean, shoot the Questions.

CW: Where are you now?
Q: Argentina.

CW: Why have you been dodging the Indian authorities all these years?
Q: I was dodging them. I am not dodging them now.

CW: So, are you willing to surrender?
Q: Of course.

CW: Then why are you not doing that?
Q: Your Government has no treaty with Argentina.

CW: But that’s only for extradition. Why don’t you surrender?
Q: Because if I do, there isn’t any guarantee for my life.

CW: Do you mean you are perceived as a threat to Indian big shots?
Q: No comments.

CW: Why is your extradition taking so much time?
Q: Because the reports need to be translated.

CW: But the Indian Ambassador to Argentina said the reports were already translated when they were sent to India.
Q: I’m talking of the reports that your Investigation Bureau sent in Hindi to Argentina.

CW: What do you think of our CBI?
Q: They have been looking for me since the times of Rajiv.

CW: What do you have to say about BOFORS?
Q: I hear the CBI officers are well paid. Let them do some work.

CW: How is your relationship with the ruling dynasty?
Q: Extremely pleasant and amicable.

CW: Mr Fernandez says Mr Vajpayee had instructed against acting on your file.
Q: Fernandez is one of your country’s acute and chronic problems.

CW: Are you aware that Q is the most popular English letter in India these days?
Q: I thank the media for all the publicity.

CW: Why do you think the BOFORS case is so important?
Q: The importance of any case depends on the number of heads that could roll with it.

CW: If you were an Indian, what would you have been?
Q: A politician. I could have earned much more and need not have gone underground.

CW: Why are there so many scams and scandals?
Q: Scams and Scandals are like Item Numbers in Bollywood movies. They spice up life. The media sells by publishing them, the public enjoys reading about them, the government stays on power blaming each other, and we live our lives swindling. They are a blessing for everyone.

CW: What do you think of India?
Q: It’s a good place to do business in.

CW: So, if invited, would you start a business in India?
Q: Well, I already have some invitations. I’m just waiting for some fresh passports.

CW: We heard you had an aversion towards dogs?
Q: Yes. They need to be killed at a rate of a thousand a day.

CW: But where do you think they could be killed in such large numbers?
Q: While I was in India, I had visited the Parliament and a few Legislative Assemblies. They are spacious halls with a good capacity.

CW: And then?
Q: Hold fresh elections.

CW: What’s your message to the Indian government?
Q: If you keep searching for me for some more time, I would die of old age.