Sunday, 7 September 2008



Enough! Ladies and gentlemen… will you stop cribbing about those silly circular objects? They mean nothing to me… those medals that people compete for in the Olympics. Please realise that gymnastics, tennis and what have you, are wasteful, western, bourgeois, anti-people impositions. We must ignore these capitalist traps and utilise our traditional and innovative prowess. Grow up fellow Indians. Let’s revamp the so-called ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ and show the world that our Indilympics will be the real one — the ‘Great Greater Greatest Show.’ We will make the competition more exciting with new events that will make us victorious all the way.
Let me then announce the formation of our own Indilympics Committee. This glamourous pan-India Committee will have number of businessman-turned-filmstar-turned-politician, mostly from the south. Also, few ‘pinchster’ ex-police officers from the northwest will be good to spice it up. You too can recommend yourselves, and your relations and friends as office bearers. 
In that spirit, let me propose and accept my name as the lifelong president-cum-treasurer of the Committee. And in that capacity, let me now disclose the sports that will be our forte.

Indilympics will have Crabnastics. It will be more non-violent than boxing or wrestling and better than gymnastics. There will be a ladder and when the competitor of another country climbs it up, we will literally pull his or her legs to bring that person down just like crabs. We will definitely be the champions. Each Indian, after all, knows how to react when someone else moves up in terms of social and official status. 
To be in the Indian Crabnastics team, you can prove your mettle in multiple ways. If your colleague is becoming the blue-eyed boy of the boss, then make the equation sour. If your middle-aged neighbour Mrs Mitra tries to become the housing society’s cultural secretary or something, then spoil her chances. Persuade neighbourhood’s ‘Deepika Padukone’ slim and fashionable Miss Shetty to give that fat Bong a hard fight. All men will surely desert Mitra for Shetty. 
Additional skills required: 
* Nose for gossip — Like those journos, keep your eyes and ears alert, and think like intellectuals. What has that engineering student of Block B got to do in Block C, every afternoon? Why did that girl get a pay hike that stands in disparity with designation? * Rumour mongering — “He plans to change the entire set-up, once he is promoted above all of us”; “She will make fish and rashogolla mandatory”; “They sleep in separate bedrooms.” List them on your CV and meet me to cash on such achievements. But, no hidden cameras please. 
And then, we will even defeat the Koreans, despite their excellent Crabnastics across the north-south divide. When they will try to pull us down, we will use the good old mustard oil on our skin like the nocturnal intruders. The opponents will never get their grip right. 
Any objection to our oil tactics will be beaten back by the great Behenji. Amma from Chennai will be her chief coach. 

Replacing ‘long jump’, this event will see a competitor jumping on a small dais while reciting rhymes. The higher you jump, the better. Also, the rhymes must sound meaningful. To judge, there will be three umpires and a panel of text-messaging audience, just like television reality shows. 
We will show the world that India is the best in rhymeping. With Bollywood and other southern woods backing us, India cannot lose to anyone, be it those Russian balletwallas or Brazilian sambawallas. 
I want Katrina Kaif to take on the Japanese. They can’t beat her with their robotic moves or Haiku. Judge this creation of mine, and imagine Ms Kaif dazzling the stage along with her jump and accented recitation: 
Salman shallow wallow
Shadow follow mellow
Why dig the hole
Ash in chicken roll
I am sure you have understood the deep spiritual and philosophical message in it. Even if you haven’t, please don’t admit it. Don’t be like that kid who couldn’t see the Emperor’s new clothes. Instead, lend your support for the great multi-lingual Indian Rhymeping team that will keep the Indilympics umpires completely baffled. They would keep thinking what to do with us? Send for a Dope Test? Or hail us for creativity? 
But, when they will understand that Amhala alu, tumhala vindalu; Mahi ve bolo sanam, dur kore dao venom in the rhyme Humlog Always Barobar is actually about ‘nationalistic sharing and caring’ and not food or snake bite, they will declare us the winner. No Jackie Chan can get past Ms Sawant’s hot moves to the doggy tunes of Mr Reshaaa…. whatever.

Who says Chinese students are the best at mugging-up answers and vomiting them on answer scripts? What do you think our exam Boards have been doing all these decades?They have developed a system that enthuses Indian students to accurately memorise each step of complicated Calculus without even bothering to know why they are doing that. 
Like ostrich, our examinees can sit through a test to write long essay on Emperor Akbar aka Prithviraj Kapoor aka Hrithik Roshan. So, we will shine at the Indilympics when muggery replaces archery with three-hour ‘exam reality show’ on habits, vital statistics and more of the film actors, from Brad Pitt to Meghna Naidu. 
Babes, don’t worry about those hyper-systematic, computer-dependent Americans. They follow their ignorant Bushy leader who had no clue about the South Asian leaders. 
Indian team will comprise mostly of those knowledgeable people who eat, sleep, drink and blabber about films. With my long hair, high-powered glasses and brown-dusty beard, I will deliver lectures on Film Appreciation like a moron. I expect the training camp to become a rare rendezvous of Bong intellectuals, Keralite film critics and Mumbai taporis. They will exchange notes on Sherawat’s ‘item’, Norwegian films in Malayalam and creations of Kurosawa. Taporis will educate others about Kareena’s ‘zero’ diet, Yuvraj-hugging Preity, oomph factor of Karan after he drinks ‘Koffee’, length of Dhupia’s face and hit films of Bobby Deol. 
Desktop film buffs from Delhi will reflect their profound perspectives on ‘World Famous in India’ government-funded films that were never screened. Day in and day out, our team members will shout loudly all the answers to the possible questions and commit them to memory. Power cuts, fuel price rise or goofed-up drugs test can’t stop them. 

In this game the competitors will first stop the opponent team, grab their possessions and then break them with hockey sticks. Score more breaks to win; it will be Breaking News everywhere. 
Get into the team by proving your expertise in forcibly stopping everything — from trains to surgical operations in hospitals, beating up others and destroying bus, offices, signboards and camera of poking journos among other things. Burning flags and effigies will be added qualifications. It will be fantastic if one can shout slogans like a drunk pirate and show red eyes, if not flags. 
Bandh-aka-hartal-loving, ever-agitated Bengalees like me know how to do that. We can block roads and bring life to a standstill on any pretext; Buddha’s Nano, Chidu-type inflation, privatising airports so that cows don’t have free run on the tarmac — we oppose all such anti-people, anti-animal moves of the establishment. 
So, even if you call me provincial, I want half the Indian Stopgrabreak team packed with Bengalees. However, being a self-proclaimed nationalist, I also want ‘pitch-digging—taxi-breaking’ Marathi manoos and gun-wielding Bihari bhaiyas to join the effort and make the nation proud. 
There are other sports in the offing like Bragtalk, though Americans are the best, and Bomb4Nothing in which, unfortunately, Americans and Russians lead the pack. But, don’t worry. Indilympics will include Ten10Gilli-Danda as well. We will use money power and television rights to have the final say. Trust me! As of now though, let’s break for Mama’s pasta with Amar’s biryani. Meanwhile, others can mail their suggestions to me. 
(Published in Sakaal Times of Pune on September 7, 2008)(ILLUSTRATION: MANISH CHOURE)