Malay Desai

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Malay Desai is a feature writer with a penchant for travel, food and test cricket. But as none of those pay his credit card bills, he runs the content firm Punchlines.'

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Longevity? No thanks, IPL was always about last night’s game

May 28, 2013

Folks with grandparents, you’d know this. Most seniors are able to vividly recall an incident from 1942 about one cranky neighbour with the nasal twang who had his door painted blue on a warm May afternoon... but ask them what they had for lunch this morning, and they’d be clueless. Not that we’re decoding the salient functions of the cerebrum, but given your excitement over how Malinga’s bouncer foxed Raina and how Pollard smashed two sixes in the last over and how much cash one Gurkeerat Singh received at the presentation, we must warn you that unlike octogenarians, you won’t be recalling any of these ‘epic’ IPL moment after a few weeks.

Our sources in the mental health department have shuddered at your Ghajini-like behaviour in the past two months, but the silver lining is the few hundreds of megabytes of your recent collective memories about IPL 6 are defragmenting already and making way for more significant ones (such as Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’s next season and Vidya Balan’s next saree). Among all the monumental things our Indian Premier league is reportedly offering, there is no space for longevity, a la lasting memories. The tournament is only as good as last night’s game.

At the risk of sounding as someone born in the 50s, we’ll point out that in the post 1983 World Cup era, the Indian squad (not just the playing XI) enjoyed massive public adulation and knowledge about their game and personal lives. (Note, there was no Google and tabloids were still learning how to get intrusive.) Ask any self respecting cricket fan from then, and they’d be on the ball on how many yards Kapil ran to catch Richards in the final, what Amarnath’s favourite songs were or later, what Vengsarkar averaged in tests and why.

Remember that time when we were all pissed at each other.. was it this season or last? Pic via: indian-cricket-team-updates.blogspot.in

Remember that time when we were all pissed at each other.. was it this season or last? Pic via: indian-cricket-team-updates.blogspot.in

Cut to the ’90s; those who witnessed Wankhede’s first day-and-night game will recall Tendulkar’s heart-breaking score, followers of the India-Pak Toronto series will smirk on remembering why Inzamam once climbed up to a stand and began hitting a spectator… or how many boundaries Azharuddin hit off one ill-fated Lance Klusener over during an Eden test. There are dozens of such moments stacked in the vaults of our minds, and YouTube is simply a key to open them and relish them occasionally. We had about fifteen admirable heroes from across teams, not forty-five ‘good players’ across clubs, attached to particular innings.

Unless you have been a team owner’s executive manager or a security guard at a TV showroom, we doubt if you’d recall too many durable moments in the six years of IPL. Heck, to test this, try asking a random person on your right to enlist all the six IPL winners and count the pauses. Or the names of all players of their ‘favourite’ club and count the winces.

The unfortunate bit about this IPL-induced memory loss disorder? Most of your ‘heroes’ often struggle to make a return to your memories. We just peeped into the forgotten files folder of your head and found one Manish Pandey, a Paul Valthaty and a Something Sangwan languishing, waiting for a brainwave.

That said, there were memories that had made it to your long-term vault. Few years down, when you recall IPL seasons, they will appear like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episodes – ‘The one when Sreesanth cried,’ ‘The one where they threw Modi out,’ ‘The one when SRK had a row at Wankhede,’ and ‘The one when I realised it was all WWE’.

In case some of you ‘IPL purists’ are cringing and preparing some expletives for the comments section, let’s assume that you are a true-blue fan of say CSK or a worshipper of some outstanding Kolkata players. You do know by now that there are chances of your player or worse, your entire team being scrapped overnight, right? That will be a Yes Bank Maximum for your loyalties. Ask any Deccan Chargers fan who gave away a cherished team jersey to their driver. We hear many drivers in Pune are expecting a jersey windfall this season.

Finally, we must also remind you that there’s going to be a fresh player auction next season. Which means same players, different teams. Which means it’s going to be Nolan’s Memento crossed with Inception crossed with a pointless Rohit Shetty film. The mental health department passes on their best wishes for IPL 7, if it happens at all.

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