The IPL is finally about to finish, leaving behind a storehouse of abiding memories, nothing much to do with cricket though. Here are some that cannot be erased even by Lacuna Incorporated.
1. The KKK in the opening ceremony: Some hundreds of young boys and girls dressed like they had raided a store which only sold Ku Klux Klan-ish costumes. Somebody needs to investigate this as well if they can.
2. Andy Bichel – the legend: I used to think if there was someone who could beat Brad Hogg’s commentary. His former teammate put his hand up and foot in his mouth. There was so much fun when he was doing the dug-out gig.
Other commentator: Andy is out around the boundary. Let’s go over to him. Andy, has the dew started taking effect yet?
Andy (takes a longer pause than IPL allows): ………..er………firstly…..I will answer your question.
If he took time out from something else he was planning to do, to “firstly” answer the question, what was he planning to do? Swim in the dew?
Another occasion, he struggled to say something which he could have easily said from the commentary box. At the end of it, as if searching for the “Hence Proved” moment, he just dramatically turned his arm towards the pitch in slow motion as the camera followed him… and said nothing.
The funniest instance however was when he, in the commentary box this time, praised the camera-work during a run-out appeal. The problem was, the shot he praised was not from a manually-operated camera but from the side-on run-out one, whose lot it is to stay looking at that part of the ground regardless of someone liking it or not.
3. Miss Universe: There was this woman who frequented the party pages of newspapers for a while. She was supposedly a former Miss Universe. I did see her hanging around the stadiums at various times and she looked young, but not Miss Universe material. But then, you know that not the best contestant always wins it.
It came as a big surprise when I checked Wiki to learn that she had won in 1992. So she wasn’t the oldest winner to grace the IPL this season as the 1994 winner was around Kolkata at times I think.
4. Blimp: The word that should by now send shivers of embarrassment down commentators and MRF faithfuls. One of the most inept pieces of advertising this season, the Blimp became the butt of many jokes and turned normal cricket-watching public into crazed, revenge-seeking zombies. For those that wanted to pierce an arrow into it or wished the GSLV had crashed into the blimp at least, there was more bad news. It appears that in some cases there was no Blimp at all. Warring zealots who bought maybe-real-maybe-fake-but-surely-expensive tickets with the sole intention of doing a voodoo on it never got to see it in stadiums. The Blimp was on TV but not in the stadium. Another IPL chamatkar.
5. Harbhajan’s weight-lifting skills: “If anyone had a cheek to do it, it was him,” said Harsha on commentary as Harbhajan lifted the second name for IPL charity, Mrs. Ambani, off her feet. But even he wouldn’t dare lift Mr. Ambani off his.