Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Set of Completely Kick-Ass New Year Resolutions for 2015

By the time you read this, your wall would be inundated with Happy New Year messages, pictures, and updates.

The whole concept has baffled me no end. While I have never found it any reason to celebrate, I haven’t let it come in the way of getting piss drunk anyway. At those New Year bashes.

They are all the same. Pubs that are cursed with a steady footfall of pedophilic middle aged men all through the year. On the final day of the year, they get back at the public.

new year party

Inside, it is absolute war. There are about five couples, and the boyfriends, like Pandavas, are fighting off 100 Kaurava stag brothers, fighting to get on the floor and shake their booty. The free drinks are prepared in a way that you puke after three, and order some food to placate the world war ensuing in your insides. The only ones enjoying the new year Bash are the bouncers, shoving and punching people.

At the end of the night, you go home war-weary, your brain unable to locate where your body is. You wake up the next morning, your head bursting into a million pieces, to see updates about New Year resolutions.

While I like to believe that the whole concept of resolutions is frivolous, I have had many of my own. I have weekly resolutions, monthly resolutions, fortnightly resolutions. All shattered to smithereens by Madhuri Dixit High Resolution.

The whole process of thinking them up, adhering to them, giving yourself a false sense of nobleness, knowing all the while that in three days, you’re going to slip – it makes you feel like an alcoholic kleptomaniac kidney-selling relapsing smack abuser.

And yet, that was my routine every year. Getting piss drunk at New Year Extravaganza (With DJ Kashmakash) and faulting on the resolutions that I myself drew up. The entire first week of every new year has been a rather painful experience.

This year, I have the solution.

Resolutions serve more to make us feel better, than help us achieve anything in particular. Have you ever heard of a guy say ‘I’ll be the Prime Minister. That’s my New Year Resolution’? Most of the resolutions are small, harmful things that could or could not be achieved, with some resolve.

It’s not called New Year Resolve, just resolution. Which will inevitably break, that’s in its nature too. If you wish to change your life on the day humanity passed from one calendar year to another, I’m sorry but that’s shitty motivation.

And hence, I have my resolutions ready with me.

Awesome New Year Resolutions that are easy to adhere to, and make you feel great about yourself.

  1. I’ll eat everything that comes my way.

Yes. I will eat everything. Laddoos, gajar halwa, 35 rupees worth of pani puri, followed by chicken roll and ice cream. Pork chop, dog curry, alu-poshto, chalk. Just about anything that can be chewed and ingested, I will eat.

Eat everything that comes your way, and then wipe off with a few pages ripped from Mens Health. Tell the world that you will not fall for its evil schemes to decide for you your self-worth.

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like an Arab Sheikh, and dinner like Kim Jong Un.

  1. I will be brutally honest.

A lot of us are dishonest for completely shallow reasons – he/she will get offended, why just cause trouble to others, etc etc. But at the end of the day, we are all going to die sad deaths, staring at the ceiling, waiting for the Mallu nurse to come administer drips, hoping in the corner of our minds that she’s the adventurous sort, only to hear the ECG machine beep, to die with the horrifying realization your last thoughts revolved around a Mallu nurse. So why do you care?

Just be brutally honest. Your friend boring you over some drinks? Just say ‘Dude. Maushichigaand to you, bro. Stop talking.’ Software friend sharing half-baked political propaganda? Send him a copy of Class 9 NCERT course for Civics.

We are lucky that the world we live in considers it a virtue to be completely honest. Yudhishtra was known to never have lied.

‘Do you want to play another round?’

‘…yes’.

‘…you have nothing left, might have to keep your wife at stake. You still want to play another round?’

‘Yes.’

(Of course, the Mahabharata being epic as it is, he went on to say the only lie in his life so that his teacher could be beheaded from the back. Well played, bro).

 

The point that I failed to drive home, is that people will respect you for being honest. While you came across as a complete lunatic so far, you will now shine in the virtue of being an honest person.

  1. I will not exercise.

Let’s face it, we don’t exercise. It’s not a part of Indian culture. We haven’t done it for all these centuries, why will we suddenly start trying to exercise?

All western ideas sold by conniving conglomerates to weaken the fabric of our awesomeness. Hence, just firmly resolve not to exercise. Everytime you cross a gym, look up at the heavens like Virat Kohli and blow kisses to Parveen Babi. If there’s a tennis court, wade across like a majestic hippopotamus. Leave some dung also, if you possess those kind of skills.

When you see people exercising, smile benignly at them. Indulge their futile pursuit of perfection in the world where everything ends with a Mallu nurse. If you don’t feel good about yourself at the end of the year, I’ll change my name. (Have thought about it. HoneyRanjan).

4. I’ll wear shades all through the year.

Since I have been wearing spectacles from Class 9, I had never known the joy of wearing shades. Of course, there were those lousy ones that came free with Cadbury’s Bournvita. I wore them and walked around the colony like an idiot, giant grey circles over my face. I mean, I was a loyal customer, having never cheated on it with Horlicks or Maltova (even when they gave cricket bats for free!). And what did Bournvita give me? A pair of shitty, grey sunglasses.

It was cathartic when I heard the news of worms being found in Cadbury’s chocolates, taking the expression ‘Tere mooh mein keede pade’ a little too far.

Years passed, and online shopping became a big thing, and there came along this wonderful website called Lenskart. I ordered myself a pair of wayfarers, adjusted to my power. (Have you wondered why Indians call myopia as power? Tera kitna power hai? Mera -5 hai. Wow! Yeh kitne fingers hain, bata?)

The day I received the shipment, my life changed for the better. I could wear shades and not bang into stray cows on the road. I simply refused to take them off. I wore them all day, and often in the night too. Because I could.

Just wear shades all through the year. Remember, whatever it is you are doing, it is cooler with shades on.

Don’t fall for the trap set by shady bars and facebook pages. Do your thing.

Happy New Year!

A Dressing Down in the Dressing Room

ravishastri-getty909-630

The white plastic chairs are set around the table. They trickle in one by one, each taking a chair and easing himself on it.

He waits for them to settle down, cursing under his breath, but holding the cool exterior that he was known for. When the last one of them had settled down, Ravi Shastri began speaking.

‘Right, so here we are in the dressing room today…and it looks like this one is going down to the wire’. ‘Cliché’ mutters someone under his breath as the bowlers begin to giggle. Shastri glares at them and they stop.

‘We have been asked by the higher-ups to have a meeting and discuss what’s happening. One just gets a feeling-‘

Suddenly, Varun Aaron stands up, yells, and charges at the wall. He crashes into it, then turns around, and charges towards the opposite wall. Dhoni shares a glance with Shastri. They understood.

Ishant Sharma sat on his chair, his lanky frame hunched. ‘Idontwanttobowlwiththenewballbutbehnchodtheseguyskeepaskingmeto…’
‘Is there something you want to say, Ishant?’
‘Mmmmmgrumblegrumblemumblemumble’
‘You are the leader of the attack, you need to pull up your socks now.’ Ishant stops, bends down near his bag, pulls out his socks, and runs out of the hall. Dhoni shrugs his shoulder and looks at Shastri.

Ever so slowly, the chairs begin to shift a little, gravitating towards comfort zones of their own. Dhoni is gradually surrounded by the calmer ones – Pujara, Rahane, Ashwin, Vijay and Shami. Towards the other side, Virat, Rohit, Dhawan and Yadav are forming a circle of their own.

Shastri looks at the team, wondering if he should have brought Sunny along. But Sunny was growing older, and one couldn’t control what he’d do to the players when he lost his cool. Shastri’s mind went back to the last time Sunny bhai had addressed the team. Sreesanth had picked his nose, and Sunny bhai abruptly poked a burning agarbathi in his cheek. May be he was better off doing this by himself. We have to fight our demons alone. He had jumped at the opportunity to guide the team. Little did he know he’d have to deal with such nutcases.

He cleared his throat. ‘Alright, bright sunny day out here in Brisbane today, packed crowd, you can feel the excitement out here…’ Suddenly, a loud crash was heard from the other room.

Yadav ran across, and dragged Varun Aaron back to the room. He had charged at the television and smashed it into bits. ‘Leave me, I’m a fast bowler,’ he kept grumbling, but Yadav made him sit on the chair.

‘Right. So let’s begin with the meeting. I’d like each of you to state out the reason, according to you, for our loss. Let’s begin with Pujara’.
Pujara:
Shastri: Are you sure? But what about the wickets?
Pujara:
Shastri: Alright. Now let’s move on to Rohit. Why did we lose the match?

Rohit stands up, pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket, spreads it out on the table, and begins rolling it into a ball. Shastri is now losing his cool. ‘Let’s move on to Virat, then.’

Virat stares at him for a while, anger writ large on his face. And then, he speaks – ‘Motherchod teri maa ki choot saale bhonsdi ke haraami kaat daalunga saale behenchod harami’.
Rohit Sharma quickly turns around, takes out a notepad, and jots down some points.

‘If only he did that for his cover drives too,’ Shastri thinks, but knows better than to tell the players anything. He had been like them once – young, hot-blooded, brash, arrogant. The team managers had tried to stop him too, but it was a lost cause. His mind went back to that mad drunken night when he had 17 beers and humped Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. The world was shocked when he announced his retirement later that month.

‘Alright, then. May be we should move on with the-
Suddenly, Varun Aaron was up again. He took off his shirt, bellowed like a drunk bull, and charged at Shastri. Dhoni shook his head, looked at Kohli, and cursed under his breath.

Kohli, Rohit and Yadav ran to hold Aaron down, when Ashwin flung a chair at them. Enraged, they ran towards him, when Dhawan twirled his moustache and slapped his thigh, egging them forward. Rahane now stood up to block the marauding gang, but they got to him and slammed him down on the table.

Chairs were flying around, the screams inside the room had reached a crescendo. The voices grew louder and louder, as furniture, plastic, cloth, and bottles were flung across the room.

Dhoni sat in a corner and was quietly doodling on a piece of paper.

Two mountains, with a half-sun peeping out between them. There were a few clouds, r shaped crows, and a river that began at the point where the two mountains met. He proceeded to draw a house in the plains below, with three steps leading to the house. Should I add a window- BOOM!

There was a monstrous noise, as they all froze, and turned to look at the door.

Dressed in a black leather jacket, brown corduroy trousers, and dark brown boots. The jacket was open, revealing chest hair, and his hair was carelessly thrown across his forehead. There was no mistaking that look, no mistaking the magnetic power it had all over all – man, woman, object. It could only be –

Jackie Shroff. He walked towards the group, the click-clack of his boots echoing in the new silence. He said nothing, walking till he reached Dhawan.

‘Maushichigand!’ he slapped him hard across the face, as Dhawan flew across and landed on his knees. Dhoni made a mental note to put him in the slips.

Jackie walked on to the rest of the group. ‘Mach mach mach mach, all you fuckers do is talk all the time. But when it comes to playing-

He pulled Rahane up by his collar, till his toes were hanging in the air, shook him violently and threw him back on the chair. Rahane, facing yet another unplayable delivery, fainted.

‘And you,’ Jackie spat, his eyes on Varun Aaron. ‘You make even that monster (pointing at Yadav) seem like Gandhi in comparison’. He lifted Yadav and threw him on Aaron. Aaron yelled and began to charge at Jackie. Jackie raises his hand, and Aaron stops, whimpering and simpering.

‘And you’, He turned to Kohli and raised his hand. Only to smile and high five him. ‘Your girlfriend is hot. Kal dekha main. Kadak item hai’. He then turned to Pujara. ‘Do you have anything to say?’ Pujara stared – his lips moved, but you couldn’t hear what he was saying. Jackie lifted him up and slammed him on the table.

Ashwin was punched in the stomach once. And then kicked in the balls. ‘That’s the doosra, asshole. Use it’. He walks across to Rohit Sharma. ‘You. Talented cricketer. When the fuck is your talent going to win us matches? Or are you happy hammering West Indian bowlers in Vadodara? Behnchod go play in Ranji, then.’ He raised a beer bottle and smashed it down on his head.

‘And you’, he said, turning to Vijay. ‘Your name is Vijay, but you never get your team to a winning position. Look at me, my name is Jackie, and I’m Jackie Shroff’. He slaps him hard across the face.

Finally, as the rest of the team lies on the floor, twisting and writhing in pain, He approaches Dhoni, who seems unfazed by it all.

‘Abey oh, cool customer! Maushichigand!’ He lifts Dhoni up and choke-slams him down on the floor. ‘Don’t give me that calm and composed drama, understood? I played Shirdi Sai Baba for fuck’s sake. No one can be calmer than me’. With this, he lifted Dhoni and slammed him down on the rest of his teammates.

Amidst the noise, Shastri listened from the opposite room. He had sneaked out just in time, and sat huddled next to Duncan Fletcher on the floor. Jackie walked around the room. Varun Aaron stands up, looks at Jackie, but folds his hands in obeisance to The Lord.

‘Motherchod. I wake up every morning at five o clock, only to see your sad, idiotic drama. Maushichigand!’.

His work here done, Jackie gives the team a look of disdain, and leaves.

As he retires to bed that night, Jackie is a relieved man. Tomorrow he’ll wake up to watch the third test.

***

Movie Review : PK. Mostly OK, but a little pheekay.

Five minutes into PK, you feel a familiar sense of joy.

There are very few filmmakers in India who transport you into a different world like Hirani does. Of course, there is Bhansali, but the worlds he attempts to transport you to seem like the shreds of a bad MDMA trip.

Hirani, meanwhile, is a good tab on a sunny winter morning, where you can feel the chill on your skin, and the warmth in your eyes. And as you look around you, everything in your vicinity transforms into a joyous, delightful utopia.

Hirani’s films are distinct in their imagery – you could tell a Hirani film just by looking at a frame. The skies are blue, the clouds carelessly white. The buildings blemishless, the people good natured. And amidst the wonderland, is a hero who sets out to make you think.

image

I shall waste no time in going through the premise, as most reviewers and channels must have done it for you. What I’d rather say is that PK grips you from the very first frame. A joyride that barely lets you take a breather, PK is a winner all the way.

Watching it in a single screen theatre in Bhubaneswar, PK reminded me of the magical quality of films. There is no director in present day India who elicits the whistles, hoots, applause, laughter and tears in the way Rajkumar Hirani does.

Watching PK was cathartic for me. A throwback to the days when films could move an entire audience in a tidal wave of emotions. In a time of such attention deficiency when even two free seconds mean a quick message sent over the phone.

The person sitting next to me had his phone out in the beginning of the movie. But ten minutes in, he couldn’t do it anymore. He slipped his phone into his pocket, and his abnormally large elbow on the arm of the chair.

Every few minutes, his elbow would jiggle. And somewhere in the climax, he moved his elbow, ran his fingers along his face, and quickly brought the elbow back to the arm.

Sitting right next to me was a living testimony to what Hirani does with the medium of cinema, in a way that only he can.

If you haven’t watched PK yet, please go ahead and watch it.
***

Please do not read any further if you haven’t watched the movie. I’m serious. It’ll ruin your experience, and a brave, endearing film as PK deserves to be watched for an honest, unbiased first experience. You can always come back to read this section after watching the film, and tell me if it makes sense.
Good. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here is another opinion on the film.

I laughed and hooted and cheered, but deep within, I felt a pang of pain. After the interval, the film slipped into familiar rhetoric territory. Somewhere in the beginning of the second half, I knew how the story would end. In my mind, I drew gigantic story arcs, connecting dots and covering up loopholes.

Deep within, I was fighting the greatest fear I have for a filmmaker – predictability.

In his last four films, Hirani has used a fairly simple but utterly remarkable formula. A charming hero who takes on a gigantic systemic bull by the horns and brings it to its knees in the most humane manner possible. Through the journey, Hirani makes you laugh, cry, and question a few things.

And yet, in PK, even though the theme is a pet peeve of mine, I felt uneasy. An hour into the film, I recognised the villain. Hirani’s villains are not so much characters, as they are ideas that prevail in our society. After that, it was a case of how, and not what.

My biggest fear is that Hirani will turn into a Madhur Bhandarkar – who uses the same character (a vulnerable pretty girl in a bad-wolf world) in different scenarios. Or a Shankar, whose hero singlehandedly sets right cancerous illnesses in society.

There’s nothing wrong in being a Bhandarkar, or a Shankar. Only, it kills the joy of listening to a story. Of having it throw you off your feet.

It was a wonderful film, Mr. Hirani, but may be it is time to show Vidhu Vinod Chopra the finger. He has made crores and crores riding on your immense talent, and spawned off many bastard children with the golden cow you gave him.

May be it’s time, Mr. Hirani, to do a quirky crime thriller next. Or a gut-wrenching epic saga. The pothole is right in front of you, Mr. Hirani, each getting larger with every outing of yours.

Please be a Woody Allen, whose only predictability is his brilliance. Not a Madhur Bhandarkar, who, well, is a bit of an idiot.

Of Amul Surabhi and Kinetic Luna

Long long ago, before television became about quarreling women and fake reality stars, television was a much saner experience. Adding most of the sanity to the hallowed rectangular box was a programme called Amul Surabhi.

image

From 1993 – 2001, Amul Surabhi acted as the window to the world for middle class Indians. Presented by Siddharth Kak and Renuka Sahane, the show presented well-researched segments on history, cultures, science, sports and music. It was a show that the elders of the house wouldn’t miss for anything in the world, and sitting down to watch the show would earn children some brownie points for the immediate future.

This was the age before SMS, call, like, share and subscribe. The only way to reach out to Surabhi was through post, by writing a letter to the show. There was a sense of belonging that Amul Surabhi brought in to television viewing. People would send in artefacts created by them. Sometimes, letters of appreciation would be read out, while at other times, errors pointed out by viewers would be graciously acknowledged.

I was watching one episode where a girl named Shazia writes to the show. So inspired was she by their section on underwater life, that she had decided to research on it. Renuka Sahane immediately announced that all the research material that the show had collected on underwater life, along with the footage, was being shipped to Shazia!

While such moments brought warmth to the heart, there was another reason for which I watched the show. Surabhi being among the most popular shows of the time, their weekly contest was much coveted for. And what prizes they were!

Trips aboard the Orient Express – the luxury on wheels train, stays at premium hotels in travel destinations from Rajasthan to Kerala, goodies worth 1000 rupees (in 1993, mind you) from Amul. And in case of the bumber prize, a fully paid trip to South Africa, Greece, and other such exotic locations!

You can imagine the dreams they triggered in us. Every week, someone in the family would be allotted the responsibility of noting down the question (‘No, you give it to her. She can write fast, na’). While there was general excitement about the question, I had been possessed by dreams of my own. My hopes were pinned on the one item –

Kinetic Luna.

image

Kinetic Luna was generally the 3rd prize, but it had captured my mind in a way that the magnificient palaces of Rajasthan, or the lush backwaters of Kerala coudn’t.

I had seen advertisements for Luna on television, and had been suitably impressed. It didn’t seem intimidating (like the Rajdoot and Bullet), appealing to the slim and let’s just say, agile like me. I had also seen a number of Lunas on the road, and the humble moped had acquired decent street rep in quick time. It was supposed to give you good mileage, and it was easy to ride. It had pedals, so if you ran out of petrol, lalalala you could always cycle your way back home. And then, it was very handy for carrying luggage. In fact, if you loaded up a Luna to its maximum capacity, people might mistake you for Nadir Shah, returning home after ransacking Agra.

Also, I knew some relatives who had not one, but three-three Lunas at their home. What freedom, what joy! I envied them as they rode by themselves on Thursday evenings for bhajans – the wind in their hair, vibhuti applied over the forehead – coolness was made of stuff like this!

Having decided that it was the Luna that I aspired for, I had my task cut out. I had to find the answer to the weekly question. The only problem was that the questions weren’t dumb, like the contest questions of today: What do you need to score a girl? A: Axe Effect B: Tax Effect C: Wax Effect. Screw you.

Amul Surabhi’s questions were dug out from the deep pot of knowledge that appeared in the promos. Unearthed from this great treasure, was a question that required you to run around, to pursue its answer with passion and perseverance.

There was no Wikipedia, no internet. One had to remember the question, and spend the next few days hunting for the answer, a knicker-clad Indiana Jones bustling about in every home. One had to request to be taken to a library, or heckle a knowledgable relative, or go to a Book Fair in quest for the answer. You had one week to send in your answer, and parents were lending their support like typical 90s parents. “Arey, you can’t trust this postman-vostman fellows. You better send it in 2-3 days, what if there is a strike?”

After spending a few days finding the solution, one had to scribble down neatly write down the answer on the yellow Competition Post Card (sold at the nearest post office), and send it to Sawaal Jawaab, Amul Surabhi, Post Box No. 2453, New Delhi – 11.

Having gingerly dropped the post card in the shiny red box, the rest of the days were spent in flights of fantasy. My Luna!

My green, shiny Luna that I would ride on. Zipping through the streets like Jackie Shroff in his youth, charming one and all with my daredevilry. Riding on it into the sunset like Alexander the Great, my faithful Luna, that I would use to rescue people in distress. And sometimes, if my friends requested, I would even let them ride pillion behind me (but not all the time, for one doesn’t want them to get used to the luxury).

And then, in two weeks, it was time for the results to be declared!

The lights would be switched off, and the melancholic signature tune would float out of the magic box. Renuka Sahane and Siddharth Kak would smile, and inform us of all the wonderful things they would tell us about on today’s show. Interesting snippets from history, an exciting new excavation that sheds light on our glorious ancestors, and the beautiful apple gardens in Himachal Pradesh. And all the while, I’m fidgeting on the floor, thinking ‘Yeah yeah, India is a beautiful country, now let’s talk about the prizes’. And three rounds of advertisements, and a good number of nails on my fingers bitten off, Renuka Sahane would smile and say, ‘Now it is time for the weekly contest’. My back would stiffen.

Voiceover: This week, we received 48,986 letters in total (accompanied by footage of men carrying letters in suitcases). ‘Out of which, the number of correct replies were 4,756’ – shot of the letters being sorted out, cut to Siddharth Kak and Renuka Sahane sitting in front of a huge pile of yellow, 15 paise post cards, with names, addresses, and middle class dreams scrawled on the back.

‘We will choose four lucky winners for this week…’ and as Renuka Sahane slipped a delicate hand into the heap of letters, I handed over a quick mental prayer to all my favourite gods. My Luna was the third prize, so I waited with bated breath…

And the winner is, (Renuka Sahane would pick a post card, show it to the camera, the camera would zoom in…)

“…Random Kumar, from Nashik”.

My heart sank, but not for too long.

“…cos now it’s time for this week’s contest question…”

I would run to grab the notepad and Reynold 045 Fine Carbure. Another question, another expedition for knowledge, another date with the Luna.

*
I never won the Kinetic Luna.

In fact, I learnt to ride the bicycle quite late in life. In Class 3, while my classmates were zipping around in sleek, red BSA Mongoose bicycles for the annual cultural event, I was put in a dumb drill called ‘Horse and Stars’. Which involved running around with a plastic horse head attached to a stick, in between one’s legs (10/10 for symbolism), AND gigantic golden stars stuck on both of one’s palms.

Even today, when I see a Kinetic Luna zipping about carelessly on the road, laden with bags, vegetables, and fruits, I feel a tinge of pain. But then, I notice the cop whistling at the Luna and asking him to pull over, and I feel alright.
*
Amul Surabhi. Kinetic Luna. Simpler days with simpler daydreams.

Even now when I watch episodes of Amul Surabhi on YouTube, nostalgia often gives way to some pain, hidden in remote corners of the heart. I put my faith in you, Amul Surabhi, and you never returned my love.

You never chose my letter, Renuka Sahane. And Siddharth, you can suck my Kak.

*
(Crass jokes such as the above would never feature on Amul Surabhi. It was a classy show. Just saying)

How To Survive the Agony of an Australia Tour

An Australia tour is an excruciatingly frustrating experience. 

Once you get over the initial excitement of bouncy green pitches, an overseas tour, and the experience of waking up early to watch cricket, history hits you like a gigantic Amrish Puri slap. 

Your mind trudges back to all those tournaments when you pinned your hope on your favourite hero, only to watch him walk back to the pavilion, his stumps in disarray thanks to an Aussie fast bowler you hadn’t heard of. 

And then there’s Glenn McGrath. Not content with wrecking India’s happiness consistently over the last two decades, the guy will appear on television with his standard prediction – 4-0. There will be people talking about why this time there are better chances of winning a test, but deep within, your mind is saying LOL ROFLMAO. 

The entire experience of watching India totter its way through four test matches, each loss more brutal than the other, is utterly painful. And yet, we as cricket enthusiasts fall for it every single time. 

For all you heartbroken fans out there, here are some ways that could help you soothe the pain. 

1. Watch the matches online: If you’re watching the matches on TV, good luck to you. Not only are the matches generally depressing, the ads on TV these days could force you to look for a long rope. The agony of watching Hema Malini handing over a glass of water to you, and speak in that refreshing alien voice of hers, could drive a sane man into a Sreesanth. 

To give you something to cheer, watch the matches online. The commentary is far more interesting, the ads are even better. Then, when you’re done with one live streaming channel for a while, switch to the transmission of another country. Do this on and on, every few hours, till you land up at a Pakistani live streaming website. Your day, dear friend, is made. 

2. Watch Zee Cinema: In case you’re still wondering, Zee Cinema is the greatest TV channel there is. At any given point of time, you turn on Zee Cinema, and it turns you on back. In fact, the films showed on Zee Cinema are handpicked by God himself (once he has allotted the requisite 72 virgins to members of the ISIS). And since matches in Australia are telecast early in the morning in India, Zee Cinema is at its peak. If the cricket doesn’t interest you, switch to Zee Cinema and watch as sounds and visuals keep you enthralled. If you’re in luck (meaning if your maid doesn’t turn up early in the morning), you could even, you know, spend some quality time with yourself. 

3. Place bets on how many overs Shikhar Dhawan will survive: When Shikhar Dhawan arrived on the test scene, he hammered Austalian bowlers to all parts of the park. Since then, every time he has toured another country, he has given new meaning to the term ‘Shaktimaan at home, Shakti Kapoor abroad’. And since it looks like he’s going to be opening batsman this time, make sure you earn money while he’s earning brickbats. Choose a fellow sufferer among your friends, and place bets on how many over he’ll survive. Raise the stakes if Mitchell Johnson is bowling. 

EDIT: But be careful guys. Don’t take it to an industrial level – Meriyappan. 

4. Make use of the early mornings: If you’re waking up in the mornings anyway, you might as well make good use of them. Once you’ve switched on the TV and seen the score (75/6), grab your shoes and step out for a run. I generally imagine I’m a warrior charging at the Australian team with a sword in my hand. It’s amazing the difference that the right motivation can bring you. 

5. Follow Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar: Finally, if all fails, make use of BCCI’s annual Sarva Nidra Abhiyaan – Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar. Shastri, who is renowed the world over for introducting the Clichean language, is a force to reckon with. Watch him as he mouths out your favourite cliches – That went like a tracer bullet, That’s just what the doctor ordered, or One just gets the feeling… Place bets on how many cliches he can deliver in a minute, and smile as he reads out the score even though you can see it in large bold letters on your screen, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. 

And then, there’s always Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, the one reason the world of cricket hasn’t degenerated into Ice Hockey yet. The BIS standard hallmark on cricketing ethics, basics, and values. Watch him launch into a tirade against hapless, uncultured Australians as they make the grave mistake of picking their nose on camera. Watch as Gavaskar decides for the world how unethical the Aussies are. 

And then, just as Australia wrap up the series 4-0, watch Shastri remark that in the end, cricket is the winner.