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When Bollywood met Cricket

May 23, 2010

Lalit Modi, whatever his other faults maybe, managed to combine the two biggest brands in India – Bollywood and Cricket.

Did he tweak some rules, do some under the table work for this? Maybe. (I was reading up about him wondering what exact career path the man had taken, and it never has been too clean. Anyway….) But the general public doesn’t really care about it. Infact, all of that might just add more intrigue to it. After all, Bollywood has the scandals of who is sleeping with whom and cricket, every since the match fixing scandal, is used to things like this as well.

And this is also a common man’s dream – all those beautiful women they see on the screen are now smiling at them standing a foot away… So I guess as long as the matches weren’t rigged, most fans will not just care but even forgive the ‘managerial’ issues.

So I guess it was only a matter of time before Sahara entered the picture, and there was “IPL Awards” ceremony. And when that happened, ShahRukh Khan was the most natural choice to host it, along with Karan Johar.

SRK is an entertainer. And a very astute businessman too (yes, KKR lost. But check their endorsements). But the man has molded himself into that exclusive ‘entertainer host’ position. I enjoy watching him any award ceremony… perhaps he is one of the few guys who has the clout to make certain statements and get away with it (Actually, I respect the guy ever since he refused to bow to the Shiv Sena over the My Name Is Khan movie) or the writers figure he can take a little heat, but the script is no longer politically correct. And in an atmosphere (both cricket and bollywood) where everyone is being saccherine sweet, that is such a relief.

He made Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly dress up women, Adam Gilchrist dance, he ragged Yuvraj Singh (that’s pretty much all I saw actually)… and it was fun. (And we’d like to imagine the ragging some of the guys would take in the locker room). As opposed to Bollywood where everyone is polished and tries to speak in english etc etc, cricket has (had?) people who were picked for talent one and are only one developing the pretenses. It is nice to see people from humble origins making it big… remember Yuvraj Singh when he first came? Before his playboy days? Virender Sehwag, who couldn’t speak english. Harbhajan Singh. OF course, that trend is fast changing. Fancy suits, shiny hair, dancing and white shoes.

I do wonder what will be the future of Indian cricket though? I mean… the national team is already using the IPL as an excuse for their pathetic performance in the World Cup. “Parties caused fatigue” apparently. Which is exclusive to Indians alone, the rest of the world played alright.

Haven’t football clubs been doing this forever? Can David Beckham complain about fatigue?

Oh well… considering the amount of money in both these industries and the public appeal, both of them had to come together on an official platform sooner or later. So yeah, it is a larger-than-life, all the money you can blow, all the booze you can drink fiesta which leaves people a little uneasy and extremely hung over when it is over. And makes some people who were in the right time at the right place, extremely rich.

The rest of us.. we watch, and we envy.

Side note: There were quite a few ads of paan (what is that rajnigandha sorts called) while the awards were on. And I notice there are several familiar faces now advertising these things. Have the people gotten cheap or these companies making so much money that they can hire these notable names for their ads now?
And Nirma found a new girl.. and she is no where as cute or hot as Sonali Bendre. Oh I miss those old ads!! The Liril girl dancing under the waterfall – most of them made in big in Bollywood, starting with Juhi Chawla. Sonali Bendre trying out bracelets in Nirma. That little girl in a white frock circling around and around for the Nirma Washing Powder (I even remember the jingle). And the Diary Milk ad – where the girl dances out into the field to hug the blushing batsman when he hits a six.
Most ads these days aren’t half as interesting. The cutest I’ve seen is the Tanishq one. Some don’t make sense. Some look good so you don’t mind that they don’t make sense. Some just have big names. And some have asses like the Reebok one. I did like the concept… of course, today I noticed that they showed only the shoes, no more butts.

Song of the day: aahun ahun – Love AAj Kal

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