Friday, May 25, 2012

IPL - Big Toys For Grown-Ups

Disclaimer: Most of the people mentioned in this article are those who have achieved success and fame on their own. Their skills and talents are beyond doubt and no aspersions are being cast on them. This is nothing more than a hilarious ‘Theory’. And as with all theories, this can be right or wrong. And I’m usually wrong..

Remember the movie Sharaabi? That little pest (later Amitabh Bachchan) wouldn’t sleep nights. So single parent, Pran, would feed him a spoon or two of alcohol and in a snap the little monster would fall into deep and peaceful slumber. In later years alcohol becomes his favourite toy. Well, all parents aren’t that creative. Most sing a lullaby or put the little one in the cradle and rock it. At other times when little ones wail parents try hugs and  kisses but most often hold out a squeaking toy or a one that goes “ting-a-ling” and in a few years this graduates to Barbie dolls and stuffed toys and even attractive guns that create a racket. The addiction to toys doesn’t end even as adults for some of the rich and famous kids and especially spouses. So give them a few millions or crores and indulge them in their own toy-world. In later years there might be other toys like Las Vegas, Monaco or Atlantic City. Sooner or later even those toys get boring. So they found a new toy - the IPL (Indian Premier League).

I will avoid going back to the times of Dhirubhai but let’s start with his kids and spouses.  Since she got married to Anil Ambani what exactly is Tina Ambani doing? She maybe a board member of Anil’s part of Reliance but I am not aware. However, there is a business fully operated by her. Heard about it? Not sure about the entire Vimal operation itself but Tina does operate Harmony Furnishings. Now Vimal and Harmony aren’t in anyway the biggest businesses of Reliance anymore. For a woman who was active in the film world there had to be something to keep her occupied. So let’s say Anil gave her a big toy. ‘Harmony furnishings’!  You run it, play with it, make profits or losses and do whatever you like! That keeps Tina occupied and allows Anil to run his businesses peacefully.

What about Mukesh Ambani? You won’t find Nita Ambani routinely involved in petroleum or gas or stuff like that. She operates her own domain of education. There’s the Dhirubhai International School and the upcoming Reliance University and she’s involved in a lot of related areas. That occupies her most of the time. Make no mistake that is some good work being done by her. She’s also the owner and the most prominent face of an IPL team, Mumbai Indians. Naturally! The name Mumbai Indians clearly distinguishes them from, say, Cherapunji Indians. And you’d never see Nita jumping for joy and hugging them 11 pins anywhere else. Of course, with those toys go fantasies of royalty. Some team names would outline that obsession. Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkatta Knight Riders. Yeah, that should tell you how deeply rooted in democracy we are.

Remember Shashi Tharoor? He had to resign as minister just because he was accused of gifting a toy worth 70 crores to his spouse Sunanda Pushkar. She is a businesswoman in her own right according to reports. But hey, even they require toys, don’t they? Unfortunately, the move backfired like some Chinese ‘toxic’ toy and now Kochi Tuskers are no more part of the IPL. It is intriguing though how the IPL ended up with so many film stars and celebs who have nothing to do with Cricket at all. Let’s see, Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airline has been in trouble for a long time. So he brings in his son Sid Mallya (He can’t sue me for not calling him SidharthA) to help resolve many of KF’s problems and set the airline back on course again. Oh wait! No, that’s not what he did! Instead, he bought an IPL team and gave it to his kid to play with it. The little one is the Director of RCB and now manages its affairs. What’s the risk, if you ever break that toy we can just go buy a new one. Yes, RCB is in the news lately and not for cricketing reasons. Don’t mess so much with those toys!

IPL Women - Big Toys Are Fun!
Preity Zinta, the successful film actor, hasn’t done a movie in about 2 years. She was associated with Ness Wadia and was helping him in managing the many Wadia group companies. Aha, you say! No, none of that. He bought her a team, KingsXI Punjab, and she’s so happy and thrilled with that toy she sometimes even invades the ground like those WWE tag team wrestlers who suddenly jump into the ring. What about Raj Kundra, the trading magnate, who married Shilpa Shetty? Given that Shilpa is originally from Rajasthan (!!!) nothing beats a wedding gift like buying an IPL toy – Rajasthan Royals. Raj Kundra is a stingy husband though. His purchase, compared to other IPL toys, was quite modest in expense.

And there’s Shah Rukh Khan, India’s greatest opening batsman ever. Both he and co-actor Juhi Chawla have long been good friends and business partners. Jay Mehta, Juhi’s husband, wanted to gift her an IPL toy but to his great joy he found that SRK was joining in. Imagine, the man who invented cricket himself is a partner in KKR. As Juhi tweeted from Florence, Italy, on May 19: “If today SRK were to get upset and quit the IPL I wonder if there d be any people watching the matches .. In wankhede or any stadium !!!” I completely agree! SRK has to be the IPL Toy Story’s biggest ambassador. Then there is that wonderful journalist called Gayathri Reddy who runs a newspaper called Deccan Chronicle. Hmmm! Newspapers only report news but playing with toys can create news. So DC gifts good looking Gayathri an IPL toy – Deccan Chargers. You hear their name and would imagine they would go hammer and tongs at everything. Well, doesn’t matter what they do as long as the toy is still wound up.

What about Delhi Daredevils. It’s one team where its owner, GMR, doesn’t want to be seen in public playing with the toy. So sometimes they get stuntman Akshay Kumar to show how to really deal with toys. Subrato Sahara Roy has the credit of being a big time cricket sponsor. But being that he spends so much money on the game he had to struggle hard to gift a toy for his son. If instead Roy were a film actor it would have been easier. Well, all ends well, his son Sushanto Roy finally has his toy. Sushanto manages the real estate business of Sahara group.

The truly odd one in the group has to be N. Srinivasan, the current BCCI president. He wants the BCCI, the IPL and CSK toy all for himself and nobody else. Haha, selfish bastard! Reports say his son is not on good terms with daddy since he became a homosexual. If he weren’t that, he would have possessed the most expensive toy in the IPL. And as all the celebs play with their toys, dance in the stands, bring in some cheer-leaders why leave the media out. Let them have a good time too with at least 2 to 3 hours of Toy Story every single day. So, politicians, film actors, real estate giants, media crooks did find a substitute to exotic casinos. It’s just that there is a thing about toys. Sooner or later the owner gets bored with them and needs a new toy. IPL was a made for media soap-opera and now the challenge is to make it even more raucous and tasteless. 

There’s a good part to all of this. You see, unless these rich kids and spouses are given some big, expensive toys, they might break something else. In the meantime, let’s play!


  1. Yeah.. Its an apt analysis of present situations and manipulations done. But the biggest casuality in this is cricket. If you buy a ticket for 20000 or so,you can attend the party post match with players. You can rub the shoulders with the greats with glass of wine hand which reduces the great players to be glorified campanions. See how they are treated. Cricket has taken back seat. Due to brutal power of money in BCCI, none of the other boards raise any issue. in transit, we lost Gayle,Narain,Malinga wonderful cricketers. Malinga took early retirement from their country's team and rest preferred IPL over country. Hence now its a question of saleability and not patriotism or pride any more.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Rephrased
      Ravi Sir,
      Its great to see much awaited blockbuster on IPL. Thanks a lot for wonderful article. Little bit about the IPL mess and role of LKM would have added much needed flavor :) Especially the way LKM stole the idea of from Kapil Paaji's ICL .
      Thanks again ,
      Vikash Kumar Roy

  3. great Ravi .. one thing i would like to add .Last sunday on May 20 Preity Zinta started a #pzsundaychat on twitter . i was not aware that she occasionaly does a chat like that on twitter.The topic was somthing like this "should we speak our mind or be diplomatic". The chat has just started .And it was also in news that film industry stood with SRK that he could not do this .. So i tweeted to PZ ..#pzsundaychat hope da film industry speaks its mind and not being diplomatic abt SRK fiasco... And what was her reaction .. she blocked me and called me badtameez ..Had i done any badtameezi was just a simple query and very conducive to topic of chat .. the industry people are so fake and is so superficial out there ..

  4. Mr. Ravinar,
    We are following your blog/tweets regularly for the last few years.. needless to mention the thrilling revelations, stories, analyses and issues covered... For long we have felt that there is a Hindi readership also for these posts who like these details and issues in Hindi.
    Kindly permit us to translate and publish some of these articles in Hindi on our blog. We will send you the translation for your evaluation in advance.. Anyways, your "NO" is also not going to affect the respect we possess for you/your articles. Kudos!!!

    1. Feel free to translate in Hindi and publish on your blog... but sending to me wont help as I am not an authority on Hindi. Whenever you post a translation do provide a link in the comments section here.

    2. Why just Hindi? If someone could translate these blogs in Tamil, Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi, that would be very very good.

  5. Replies
    1. Nice translation and to my surprise your Hindi version has got more comments then English...

  6. Quite frankly, what is the point of this article. I seem to support and agree with a lot of your other articles, but if I have to sum this article in 2 lines and try to extract a message, it sounds like you are arguing for the sake of argument and there is really no substance in this post. Sounds more like a jealous rant taken too far.

    Seriously, what is the point. I don't get it

  7. IPL is such an irritation! and it's drama and more drama...2 weeks ago they said the matches were fixed and KKR is all set to win this season of IPL. Till now, that seemed true and just a day to go to see the truth of that hell with IPL!!

  8. After serious isuues, its fun to read this. The poor little rich!
    You gave rich information which helps to pass some general knowledge tests about IPL and it owners.

    Would like to know more about you Mr.Ravinar. A brief bio data will do.

  9. Friends if Dawood in Bollywood and friends of Pak Cricketers in Bollywood and IPL must be quizzed and investigated. Dawood, Jawed Miadad, Shoiab Akhtar, Shaid Afridi, etc., have very close friendship with Bollywood and connections in IPL.

  10. If he weren’t that, he would have possessed the most expensive toy in the IPL. ipl betting tips 2014


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