The Crickety Wedding Season

WALK the Mandiramp, `figuratively', did the Bedi `Deewana Bana De' Girl for a full 42 days while The World Was A Cup from which we imbibed cricket, compulsive cricket.


Rohan Gavaskar and his wife, Swati, seen with Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar at their wedding reception .-Pic. PTI

WALK the Mandiramp, `figuratively', did the Bedi `Deewana Bana De' Girl for a full 42 days while The World Was A Cup from which we imbibed cricket, compulsive cricket. So much so that Sharjah came as a yesteryear damper. The bounce here struck you as low. `Low as Low Rise Jeans — Dangerously Low'! The Sexy Shot `Fitness Beach' spot (on Ten Sports) lending verisimilitude to the idea. For all that, once our film floozies refused to be seen at that jazzy venue, Sharjah shed its sheen `The Gulf' between Sharjah and South Africa was there for all India to tele-glimpse. To be fair, after the phantasmagoria of the World Cup, any cricket spectacle was bound to come through as an anticlimax.

Indeed, what a vacuum there was on our telescreen once Australia shoplifted the World Cup! The Sourav bat-pad gap so created, our TV was in a tizzy to fill. `Pierce' that gap, as the prospective neo-007 Beauty, did Ms. Rai. Leaving tubewatchers in no doubt about the `Aishwaryardstick' by which to measure her willowy reach. Cutting across international lines came Ash's "Bond With The West" punchline. Not by sheer accident had the Oberoi Boy refused to `Vivekiss' Ash tele goodbye. Vis-�-vis the Cell Rival playing the genie not easily to be squeezed back into the Coca-Cola bottle! The Dream Mainstream Cinema launch was this for a cricket-starved Hindi `Star News' channel (groping for an ethnic identity all its own). But `Aaj Tak' was not to be so easily upstaged. Determined to retain the `thick viewership edge' it had got to the white ball with its frenetic focus on the World Cup, `Aaj Tak' never once relaxed its hold on Ash's hour-glass waist.

If I column spotlight such a `remote' screen happening you might view as `not cricket', it is because, after being held SonyMax captive through six weeks, telebuffs just did not know what to make-believe. Yet the Swati-Rohan get-together was very much the real thing. The footage the Mankar Girl got — as the `Swatirandaz' aiming her screen bow across Rohan's heart — derived from the tremendous Gavaskar aura, without doubt. The event thus came across as the Wedding of the Cricket Season ending. If only because our TV, by then, was looking for new heroes. It found an icon's icon in Rohan. If no left-handed Kanhai, a Rohan certainly held back by the Gavaskar tag from attaining his full potential. Like Bradman's boy renaming himself `Bradson', it may be too late for Rohan, in 2003, to assume the mantle of `Gavason'. Here comes the `Bombay Scottish' bride who, no way, is going to give up her privilege, now, to be addressed as `Swati Gavaskar'. More run-scoring, run-saving power to your elbow, Rohan! Let us wait and watch if Mankar `Swatilts' your career for it to extend beyond the East Zone of Sourav.

Sourav, as the Howrah Bridge between East Zone and North Zone, had `Yuvy' meanwhile to safeguard as India's southpawing `finisher' answer to Australia's Michael Bevan. "Yeh hai dil ka connection!" was the Shilpa shape-up call Yuvy overnight got. A call leaving Our Man Geoffrey (on the path to recovery) `high and dry' in that cramping corner of the Harsha screen! Lose your wicket to a spinner but never your heart to a swinger, Geoffrey! Yuvy was swift to deny the Shilpussy link. But then the Shetty Limb Loosener is Shilpart and parcel of the Big Bad Screen. Where the very promptitude with which a relationship is denied is interpreted as but confirmation. Still we will take you at your Ma Shabnam-passed word, Yuvy, when you say cricket, as the game with the beautiful name, is your one and only sweetheart to this day. Tomorrow is another CEAT awards nite! The kind of show in which the superstar cricketer of today meets his glam `match'.

His mature match in Raveena did Rahul, for one, appear to have met. Actually Ravs, till the other day, knew `Vijeta' as symbolising but our 1983 World Cup win. If, (`Bees Saal Baad') Ravs at all recalled Govind Nihalani's `Vijeta', it was as a bygone Rekha-Shashi starrer. `Stumped', therefore, felt Ravs, by Rahul, to find that, even as her third eye-catcher took off the big gloves after the World Cup, it was merely to welcome Vijeta, as anchor, into his batting arms! Ravs hadn't a clue about Rahul being such a Nagpuritan as to flip for a `Kreeda' Vijeta hailing from the city of C. K. Nayudu. A rare flat-batted six, this, by the straight playing Rahul who (Ravs should have known) never was one to stray from the Bangalore strait and Nagpur narrow.

So, where Rahul is not, Raveena is still single and eligible. On the Akshay Kumar martial arts' rebound did Raveena come to Rahul. Thinking Rahul had become adept at taking one `on the rebound'. After the catches to which her fall guy had latched on, standing up, in the World Cup. Evidently only the large gloves here were for the well-rounded Raveena. Now Rahul moves back to slip slickly. Slick slimly into Bangalore does Vijeta for their Garden City wedding on the first Sunday of May. Trust the marriage to be plane sailing, once Wing Commander-father S. P. Pendharkar stylishly lands his Vijeta in Rahul's hold on that May 4 date with Dravid destiny.