With the IPL fever gripping the nation once again, our reporter, Ramachandra Mutt (RM) visited the teams to cover their practice. “But wait,” he cried! “Where’s the cricket?”
“Humne appko bohoot miss keeya,” chanted a group of foreign players as RM entered the changing room. Overjoyed by this welcome, RM turned towards the voices only to discover that they were working hard at learning Hindi. As they started chanting, “Eendeeya eik bohoot achha country…” RM noticed that one of the Indian players was learning ventriloquism. When he asked him why, RM was blasted with a volley of gaalis, including maa-nkey, donkey. Throughout that time, the player’s lips didn’t move at all. As RM backed off, he snickered, winked and whispered, “This time I won’t get caught!”
Shocked, RM moved away from the bad-mouthed voice thrower and bumped into another small group of players that was dancing. A professional choreographer was teaching them a bizarre combination of bhangra and salsa and they were obediently following his instructions. When RM asked the reason for this weird inclusion in cricket practice, they said they were expecting to be called in one of the numerous dance reality shows to promote their team.
“Best Baniyan is the best baniyan in the world,” said another cricketer when RM interrupted his acting practice in front of a big mirror. He shoved Best Baniyan in his hands and promoted the latest brand that had signed him for another few crores.
As RM entered another team room, he was immediately relaxed by the quiet and serene atmosphere. Soothing music played in the background and a lot of players were standing with one leg in the air. They were also quietly drooling over their teacher as she taught them yoga.
Although RM hated leaving the room, he noticed a very popular superstar who was also the owner of a team and rushed to question him about the captain of his team. The superstar, apparently still in character of his previous film, clapped his hands over his ears and started running like Charlie Chaplin, screaming “no no… no no no…no…”
Dejected and hurt by his response, RM was pleasantly taken by surprise when another team welcomed him with open arms, quite literally! Inspired by their owner, they had developed a ‘preity’ habit of hugging everyone. RM asked, “How is the practice going?” He got a hug in reply. “How do you expect to perform this year?” A hug. “Where is the wash room?” A hug!
When he finally located the loo, he was surprised to find it filled with players who were making constipated faces in front of the mirror. He was about to ask the player closest to him when he suddenly turned towards RM and gave a loud frightening yell. Emptying his bursting bladder there itself, RM rushed out of the wash room, scared out of his wits. He later learned that all of them were practicing the art of scaring their opponents during the match.
Unable to cover any practice, RM was about to give up when he spotted one player actually practicing cricket! Overjoyed, he rushed to him and asked eagerly, “How come you are practicing when all the others are…” The player gave an exasperated sigh as he turned to look at RM with a ‘duh-uh, isn’t it obvious?’ kinda expression. “The better I play the more ads I get. Get it? Jeez, you people are so dumb,” he snorted, returning to his practice.