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Sunday, April 5, 2009

I "Pee" L

Scene1: A bachelors room in Velachery Chennai Date: April 2008. A dozen men sit beside the television. Its Chennai super kings vs. Bangalore royal challengers. We sit with our fingers crossed, We want Chennai to win over Bangalore, not just because of cricket but for a thousand other reasons. Chennai wins by13 runs. We win and the room erupts to joy, not just there we hear the shouts of victory all our the streets, all over the city and all over the state.We head back to dinner and a friend of mine calls me from Banglore. He says "Mams, we were in the stadium today, u guys should have been here, nothing has made me so happy, we won over these ass holes. We sat in a stand which had more banglore fans, n we shouted to our peak voice, when we won i raised my middle finger and showed to all those who were dressed in red, i showed my middle finger to all of Bangalore, i don't even care if we loose the series, we won over these people at their home that's enough, its Chennai, its US".There were hi-fives all over and some beers then everybody went to sleep with the sense of victory from vengence.

Cut to scene 2: A crowded pub in Scotland jan 2009. A friend of mine visits the pub for a drink and the inmates eyes are fixed on the huge televison display boards. its Man U vs. Chelsea. Football fans dressed in red and blue sit in opposite corners of the pub, the silence after the screms look even more disturbing. ManU wins over chelsea by three is to nill. The men and women dresed in red erupt with joy and from somewhere comes a broken bottle flying in the air and piercing the head of a ManU fan. Blood dribs all over the floor and the angry blue mob gets to an ugly fight. the disturbed alchoholics fight like animals and many are left with the hands broken or the heads split open. My friends runs to escape for his life and all over the streets he sees the same sight, young men carryig their respective club flags flock the road they break the windows and urinate infront of their "enemy" fans house. Some face fatal injuries and the scream and slogans are heard all over the streets and the nation. The club culture which has almost divided England into hundreds of tiny nations. England is not the same before and after the invention EPL.

India is just years behind to what we read above.My question is to a nation which loves to divide itself based on religion, castes, sub-castes,inner-sub-castes, culture, language, dialect, locality, skin tone, aryan, dravidian, and a thousand more criterias, do we really need something called the IPL?. We call ourselves a nation built on unity but we cling to our diversities not moving an inch from them. We are happy do divide into sub-groups to the most minute level.Tats not a problem cos that is the way we are, but IPL? First the teams competing in it are not the identity of a city as they promote it, a cricket team owned by a few greedy businessmen can never be the face of a city, but they market it and will make us believe that Chennai is what the Superkings and Mumbai is what the Mumbai Indians are. Secondly as an event its intentions are nothing but to keep the cash machines ringing, not to promote the real spirit of the city or its culture but to earn out of peoples love for their town, so they build something called team loyalty in the minds of people to make them spend. IPL is just another face of consumerism where the consumer spends even without knowing that he intends to. IPL and its concept of city based teams owned by men for their own private cause should not lead to become the face of the city. How can a team containing random people (who don know how to go to tambaram from guindy) become the identity of a city like Chennai which was grown by the blood and sweat of local men and women? I have no problems boasting over the supremacy of Chennai over Bangalore, but do i need a cricket team to prove that?. Looking back at the history of clubs all over the world, the path that lies before us is already defined. Moving forward the clubs will be fiercely marketed, mainly in the minds of the teens as in the long run they are going to spend on the brand name(super kings juniors, king club are just a few tricks) , then as it happens in English and Spanish clubs and all over the world the rift b/w a few teams will be blown out of proportions, the historic misunderstanding b/w cities like Chennai and Bangalore will be made use of and the these matches will be indirectly marketed as a fight between two cultures., the loyalty you show to the team becomes the loyalty you show to your culture and your loyalty translates as money to busty men like Mallya and blondes like Shilpa. After the match we fans will be fighting for the team raising curses,  throwing bottles at each other while Preity, Mallaya and Shilpa will be drinking from the same bottle at the post match parties. Evil isn't it? The truth is more than cricket, more than entertainment, more than city loyalty IPL is pucca business which tries to capitalise on the new wave of spending amongst the urban Indians.IPL is bound to become the face of Indian sporting, no one can stop it, but what do we get in return except to fall prey to an artificially created loyalty. All thse are bound to happen in the near future cos IPL is business and business can go to any level to earn. After decades when we look back we can find that there is one more split added to our already existing bundles of divisions, an artificial split imposed on our people in the name of cities and cricket. They split us to sell their beers, cements, newspapers. They split us to earn money and all these happen invisibly, they say its sport but its business in its most collective and meanest form. Feeding on peoples love for their city. And also when compared to the social structure of England, we as a society are still immature, we are imbalanced and we are filled with regionally biased emotions. When something like IPL comes our way its obvious that an average Indian is going to take it to the heart, and he being a fanatic by birth will get confused with the identity of the team with that of the city.Unlike in the English clubs, clubs here are built based states, which are in turn divided based on Linguistics, so mostly a tamil ends up being a Superkings fan, a Andhrawala as a chargers fan, a kannadiga as a Challengers fan, a bengali as a Riders fan. Where does it take us? NO-WHERE. It only adds oil to the fire. Everybody in India is someway attached to the region they live, i see nothing odd in a Tamilian identifying him self as tamil or a kannadiga as himself. But when that comes to a game which united this nation for years, when the fan finds the game as a way of venting out his regional emotions? what happens then? the split becomes wider. I had no issues when IPL season 1 happened, i was as much into it just like any other cricket fan of this nation. I observed everything from how they branded the teams to how the event was marketed and had comments on everything. I went to chepauk dressed in yellow, dancing and waving inside the crowd, shouting insane over the teams victory. I enjoyed every minute of the entertainment. But now i feel IPL is not just going to be entertainment, its a business and there is no business without blood and greed. Beware of IPL, i really mean it. Lets just love the game, lets not attach our emotions to it. Lets not be fooled by it. Seriously, Or lets just bunk the games and let our granny's watch their soaps.


Haiku Poems said...

gr8 post i have ever seen.nice.
Write poetry

The Seeker said...

Hey!!! Voiced everything that is happening in the industry, Media and sport. Who are they fooling in the name of cricket. Remember times, when we have branded our friends, Pakistani lovers, just because they adored and cheered for Younis and Akram, so now, we're again gonna label people just because they cheered for their favorite player. and this time, it is going to be regional.. Sounds Interesting.....
well. Still Lets wait for the game, Be a sport vicky!!!

Anonymous said...

What would you have done if you had the money and fame of a SRK?

Give me a answer that strikes your heart, not just a word from your finger tip.

Vignesh said...

@ Haiku Poems

fuck off u phisher...

@ Barath

Rightly said da,// well. Still Lets wait for the game, Be a sport vicky!!!

ill be watching it 4 sure not as a fan of any club but as a fan of cricket... Jus wanted to be aware of whats happening in d background so we could be clear with the game

@ Umesh

As we discussed putting up our chat..

me: What would you have done if you had the money and fame of a SRK?
i din get u da?

umeshkarthy: wouldnt u have bought a IPL team and been one in the elite?

me: hw do u want me to answer assumptions?
PM what if i was bill gates? what if i was dhoni? im just myself da

umeshkarthy: i just meant they are living their opportunity... simple.

me: a normal guy earning for mouth so this is his views :)

umeshkarthy: i didnt mean you shouldnt have your view.. 'but looks like u are too hurt by the political divide.. the religious division thats getting created..

me: the politics and the private benefits behind d divide

umeshkarthy: the regional divisoion too...

me: ellame than da
PM things that guys say from Uk is shocking

umeshkarthy: hmmm.. but not to forget that we as a nation have always lived and thrived with this... :D

me: namba aalu yearkanave emotional
all may lead to something tat was my concern that i voiced out

umeshkarthy: hmmm...

me: im not against d game but
d politics n motives

umeshkarthy: i know i know...

Venkat said...

It is true that IPL hyperbolizes the loyalty of the state citizens towards their team even though the composition of the team consists of many alien players. But IPL as a mere entertainment is a good concept borrowed from other existing premier leagues, leave alone the bloodsheds that happen when some team zealots bang the other.

Yet another good post! Great work da. :)

Vignesh said...


mams, its entertainment, pure and complete. I agree to that, my concerns is this should not kindle the already passionate indian... but EPL can never be matched.. just an opinion

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