Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cricketer Under Cover

The Fake IPL Player has been evoking a lot of interest. I have been seeing the rate at which he attracts comments, and I must admit, I have seen such frenzied hits on one site only during online contests like Klueless.

Part of the reason for his popularity is that he is in uncharted territory. Given the importance attached to this game in the country, and the way lobbies work their way through the system, any little detail leaked to the public will go a long way, polarising many in its wake. The players know this, and therefore what happens in and around the dressing room, is largely kept to themselves, rarely coming out from under the honey-coated, politically correct blanket. 

Take for example any development in the recent past - senior players not wanting to play under Dhoni, Dravid resigning as captain, the coaches who came and went, the Ganguly-Chappell emails - all exhibited signs of dissent and conflict of interests. Rather than being a cohesive unit, the team sought to be content to co-exist in an environment of mutual exclusivity. 

In that respect, Fake IPL Player (if he is a player), is blowing a very loud whistle.

Part of the reason is also that he gives a tiny window into the other life of these demi-Gods. A life which spans five-star hotels, uptown nightclubs and flashy discotheques around the world. A life where an inebriated star making small talk with a local chick suddenly brings him down from his lofty pedestal to something not very different from what you and me see or do. 

In their defence, tours abroad may be the only chance the stars get to let their guard down, especially coming from a land where all it takes is a single photograph for the media to proclaim a cricketer and a movie starlet as a couple. Still, you get the drift.

However, the biggest reason contributing to the player's popularity is that he is under cover. He is a mole. A double agent. No one knows who he is. He leaks their secrets. He gives words to the steely stares. The team management is determined to snuff him out. The owner is having sleepless nights (unless of course he has conjured this up, in which case we may have to doff our hats, all this muck and mudslinging notwithstanding). There have been attempts to ban internet, laptops etc in the hotels, but this guy manages to stay a step ahead, blogging via SMS etc.

Like the backbencher kid who cracks jokes while his headmaster berates him, he takes on the mighty cricket establishment and pokes fun at it. He mocks the system that tries to unsuccessfully stifle him. 

It is this in-your-face irreverence that the masses are cheering.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Iranian Deserts

A few days ago, local newspapers reported that the residents of Broughton village here blocked the entry of a Google Street View car and prevented putting their village on air as they thought it intruded upon their privacy.

My views on the Street View feature are rather desultory. Useful? Perhaps. Intrusive? Maybe; but one thing is for sure. I would never have found out where these stunning locales were from, if it were not for Google Maps.

I took these photographs from the plane when we flew back here last June. The flight attendant told us we were somewhere over Iran, giving us something to start with when we came back home.

After unsuccessfully locating various other lakes, I did find out the place. It is the Orumiyeh lake in Iran. See Google Map embedding below. The faint line joining the green to the brown is the unfinished bridge. Zoom in to see more.

View Larger Map
Some googling also revealed that the unfinished bridge has considerable history behind it. Here is a photograph from one side of the bridge.

Take a look at the deserts and the terrain. You can sense the dusty, earthy feel to it, a quality which implores the traveller in you to leave everything behind and experience the weary, rough nomadic life. I hope I get to walk on those sands someday.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Here I go again

Its been a long time coming, but here I am. Marriage didn't kill the blogger in me, after all! And it feels good to be back!

More later, but soon.