IPL T20 – the premature ejaculator’s One Day International – was inaugurated with heavy, roaring, pouring rains. Perhaps this was actually part of the plan, so they could blame all the slips on the ground being wet. As a result, the cheerleaders, drummer, anchor, and Shoaib Akhtar had to deal with Sidhu for that much longer (Thoko thaali!).
Cheerleaders, because ten guys running after one ball isn’t sexy enough.
Shoaib Akhtar, because you need someone strong enough to pull Sidhu out of the frame from time to time.
Sidhu is that insufferable elderly person in every family: used to be great back in the day, but all he can do now is yap about it. The only reason everyone tolerates him is because he is a sharp dresser who makes illiterates laugh. His cricketing career spanned sixteen years, and you know this only because of Wikipedia. Sheri Paaji’s Shaayari is what happens when you open Pandora’s Box. But, turbans off to the maestro, for only he can provide entertainment that can’t offend. The kind everyone takes for granted, and never gives a fuck about.
The rain had reduced Salt Lake City to a used maxi pad at the end of a heavy flow day. But of course, that is no reason to postpone the inaugural ceremony. Heavy rains stop play? Not today! After the soulful rendition of a Bengali song penned by the only Bengali writer everyone outside Bengal knows, things shifted to the center. For the first time in history, things starters going downhill on a flat surface. Enter Saif, the host for the odd evening. Like the on-location correspondent of a poorly funded news channel, every third word the Nawab uttered went unheard because the sound systems gave up on him, before anyone else could.
Saif: “Come on, Kolkata! Make some noise!” (Because I clearly can’t. Bad mic, you see?)
Saif: “Come on, you can do better than that!” <Insert TWSS joke here>
Kolkata: *cue awkward silence*
When the mic wasn’t at fault, Saif faltered. With all his might, he yelled “Shikhar Dhawan!” and out popped Rohit Sharma, who spent the first few seconds sniffing around Saif like a lost puppy, before walking right onto his team’s banner; where he would mistake a light stage for his podium. Then, it was Ravi Shastri’s turn to turn up the heat and, not to mention, the volume. He first tried being polite with the mic, but when it started being a bad boy, Shastri began spanking it, hard, with his voice. If he had been handed a mic, he wouldn’t just drop it; he’d trample it and sell its remains on OLX. He began his speech with “Cricket must be played hard” and concluded it by urging the captains to “Come together around the trophy”. Haww, Shastriji! Now we know what you mean by “That’s a big one!”
And then, it was Shahid Kapoor who set things in inertia of motion, by riding a superbike in super slo-mo and banging into lights and fixtures. If texting and driving is dangerous, braying “AYAMA DISCO DANCER” to a Bengali audience slowly losing its patience is fatal. You can’t really blame him – he was talking to the crowd that was sitting miles away. A crowd that could see him clearly on big TV screens. A crowd he clearly missed through his dark glasses. Once he was done completely insulting his bike by not shifting any higher than first gear, he took his time looking for the side-stand. Once the side-stand was deployed, he stumbled once more as he sidestepped onto the podium before going on to deliver what can only be called a footloose performance. Saree Ke FALL Sa? Ooh, we see what you did there, Shahid!
By now, Saif had realized that this was a one-take thing. This is new territory for him, no retakes and all. But, thinking on his feet (since he wasn’t offered a seat), he came up with two foolproof tactics to gain the crowd’s trust.
Tactic #1: Mention Dada every ten minutes, because he’s sitting there watching the whole thing go down (literally). But, being the Prince, of course the Bangla Bandhus will cheer for him. Well done, Saif!
Tactic #2: If the crowd starts sinking into awkward silence, say some random shit and end the sentence with KOLKATA!!! Bade aaraam se.
After Shahid was done stumbling through his routine, Saif went “Give it up for Mithun Da, everybody!”, because AYAMA DISCO DANCER. Such reference. Much wow.
Now it’s time for Anushka to take the stage. Saif announces her arrival, but she and her stiff upper lip take their own sweet time getting there. So, thinking fast, the Nawab squeezes in a joke “Ladies takes some time”. Quick, go HAHAHAHA before a feminist can go “Aha! I knew Saif was a sexist!”
Anushka shows up wrapped in black and white looking like the fifth penguin who didn’t make it to Madagascar. Half of her routine comprised of smiling and waving at the crowd, who in turn smiled and waved at Virat. The cameramen took the opportunity to focus on him whilst Anushka lost herself in song and dance. It wouldn’t be surprising if tomorrow’s TOI read “Anushka performs in IPL 2015, just in case Virat doesn’t” The other half of her routine consisted of her being lifted up and down by the able-bodied backup dancers, as Kohli stood watching helplessly from the stands.
After that, Farhan Akhtar emerged and went on to spend the next fifteen minutes trying to clear his throat. He cleverly slowed down the tempo of his songs, enunciating every syllable; just in case the mics failed. Right before his last song, Farhan shrugged off his leather jacket. He didn’t take his shirt off, because that’s Dada’s territory. Such presence of mind, no? When he was not busy singing, he could be spotted doing lunges and squats – showing the audience the warmup exercises he had to learn for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
By the end of this performance, the common man had learnt a few things about Rock music.
- It’s not Rock if the performers don’t rock side to side.
- The guys playing the guitars should have long, curly hair, or no hair at all.
- Everyone should wear T-shirts with random graffiti, Jack&Jones, or some unintelligible shit like that written across the front and back.
- There should be at least two guitarists running around like headless chickens in the background, with the third guitarist pointing in some random direction.
- Head bobbing is a must.
- There has to be at least one extremely skinny or moderately voluptuous backup singer. Purely for sex appeal, glamour quotient, and gender equality purposes.
- Screaming. Lots of it. Like a cat is scratching at your eyeballs.
Post the Rock concert, it was time for the trophy campaign. The audience would be treated to a few minutes of fuckall bullshit that would explain what is so special about the trophy. After all, everyone knows that IPL is never about the money. It’s always been about who wins the trophy.
Suddenly, unannounced, Mr. Hrithik Roshan starts busting his moves on stage, leaving aunties climaxing in his wake. He performs a montage of his best dance moves, which can be found on YouTube for free. He is the true showstopper – you already know the show will stop once he concludes. Hrithik brings the show to an end with a Bang Bang. Ohh snap, Mr. Roshan! We see what you did there.
By now, Saif has learnt his lesson and hands Hrithik a mic.
Hrithik: “Kemon acho, Kolkata?!” (Because saying two words in Bengali is the easiest way to get accepted in Bengal)
Hrithik: “I’ve always got the maximum love from my friends here.” (Unverified fact. Who gives a fuck anyway?)
By now, Saif has had enough. He hugs Hrithik, retrieves the mic with masterful sleight of hand, and invites all the performers to the stage to say Goodnight to the audience. Yes, because a Goodnight compensates for all the shit that ruined what would have been a good night.
Saif: Can we have the performers on stage, please? Shahid, Anushka, Farhan, Pritam Da. Come on, guys.
Hrithik: (whispers) Dude, you forgot to mention the dance company guys!
Saif: Yeah, the dance people also.
All in Unison: Goodnight, and thank you, Kolkata!
The fun didn’t end there. After the show, Archana – the filler girl who would tell those watching from home when they can take potty breaks between performances – caught up with Anushka and Hrithik to talk about nothing in particular. With Anushka, she discussed NH10. The inauguration wasn’t so good anyway, so let’s talk about movies. When asked about her different roles in movies, Anushka responded that she wants the audience to completely forget who she is. That would’ve been possible before that lip job. Not anymore.
With Hrithik, Archana was too busy creaming her panties to hold a real conversation. Now that he is officially single, she didn’t have any problems stuttering and stumbling and making up filler words in the two minutes she spent with him.