Saturday, April 25, 2009

Royalty, Cricket and Mobiles

The title of my post reminds me of the name of a Kannada movie - kurubara lakkanoo elijabet raaNiyoo - "The shepherd Lakka and Queen Elizabeth". Perhaps appropriate.

Whenever I see the signs of Britain's preoccupation or fascination with their royalty, "we were amused" oops, I mean, I am amused. Their monarch reigns over a country where the sun almost never rises having once reigned over an empire on which the sun never set. Well he does rise but is obscured by the clouds, most of the time.

My amusement itself amused me because I myself belong to a country where royalty is not even officially recognised any more and we are still fascinated with it. The privy purses they were entitled to was abolished in 1969? But we too are still fascinated by our former royalty.

I was once incenced that the Deccan Herald referred to Srikantha Dutta Narasimha Raja Wodeyar (the son of the erstwhile maharaja of Mysore) as the "Raja himself". The papers and tabloids refer to an actor, the son of a former Nawab as the Chote Nawab. Nawab of what? Bollywood bunkum? There are many politicians who contest elections under the name of Maharani so-and-so and such. 60+ years after gaining independence from the biggest imperial force of the times should have made us immune to royalty. But alas, it has not!

The latest instance of our preoccupation with royalty is evident in the names of the teams of IPL. Royal Challenger, Super Kings, Kings XI (Roman numerals, for chrissake!). The most ridiculous is the Knight Riders. The only (k)night we ever knew was the long night of the British rule.

So being completely democratic I have decided to support only those teams which do not have a royal name. That leaves Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers. Which one of them should be my favourite?

Mumbai has usurped the title Indians. If there was another team with the name Indians attached to it, I would not have minded. So, Mumbai is out. Daredevils. I don't care all that much for daredevilry, so Delhi is out. That leaves the Deccan Chargers.

Now here is a name that is truly pan Indian - even though The Deccan itelf is not. We are neither a very equestrian nation nor do we have a great cavalry tradition. So, the only charger we know is the battery charger. It appears to me that the whole of India is preoccupied with mobile phones. Someone recently wrote that in India there appears to be an unwritten law which goes like "Thou shalt answer the call on your mobile, even if you are at a wedding and it is your own" Next to the phone itself, the most important gadget is the charger.

So Deccan Chargers it shall be that I support!


  1. Anonymous4:23 pm

    My son and I just had a similar conversation !!!! This is eerie ! I have got to show him this write up.
    We mock-named the teams as Kolkatta commoners / comrades, Punjab pouras...etc etc :-)

  2. Ha ha ha! Kolkata Komrades, Hyderbad Mians, Chennai Machas, Bangalore Gurus, Delhi Dudes, Mumbai Manoos

  3. Good post, Anil. About the Banagalore Royal challengers, I think Mr, sorry Dr Mallya, was flogging that old moonshine of his of the same name.

  4. Moonshine indeed!

    Proxy advertising at its worst. It went to court and the good dr (ha ha ha) won! I wonder if it was a "high" court.

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog, Anil. Here's a link to a wonderful piece of investigative journalism re Dr Mallya's 'doctorate'

  6. I am not a big cricket fan. There is only one match that I have seen so far and I simply cannot tell between Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh. Before the doubts arise, I am very much Indian and a proud one at that. Loved the "kurubara lakkanoo elijabet raaNiyoo" link..:)