There have been occasions when I have wondered what it is like to be Maria Sharapova – a 27 year old gorgeous 6ft plus blonde who has the tennis world at her feet with 5 Grand Slam wins to include a Career Grand Slam, who is also the richest sportswoman in the world and owns a delicious sounding candy brand ! I am sure the answer is as if ‘you are on top of the world’.
Also, for the record I am not a cross dresser or a drag artist wanting to unleash the woman within!!! I have wondered this about Federer, Ronaldo, Nadal and yes ..yes…wait .. Sachin Tendulkar .(The last name has saved my Twitter & Facebook account from crashing within 5 minutes of my posting this!!! )
Coming back to Maria Sharapova.
She had her world turned upside down between 28 June & 03 July 14 when she lost in the Wimbledon fourth round & also found herself on the receiving end of the wrath of India’s net savvy & cricket mad netizens.
And from being on top of the world she found herself under a heap of cricket bats , balls & stumps!!!To top it all, no amount of high decibel screeching (and when Maria screeches all the night owls of the world listen in awe…and her opponents are left in shock!) was going to get her out of the mess she found herself in (did she find Ness there? He’s in a mess too😎 ; read my earlier post ‘A Preity -Nessy Affair ?)
Sharapova’s travails began as an outcome of an innocuous query asked by a journo during the post match press interaction after her third round win at Wimbledon on 28th of June 14.The match had been witnessed by a number of famous sports personalities including David Beckham (English Premier League, La Liga & England Football star),Andrew Strauss (cricket) & a third idividual about whom the journo simply asked that;
‘Sachin Tendulkar was the other person who came in at the same time as David. Do you know who Sachin is?’
Just as she said it,the world came to a stand still in a mythical land named India..where tigers roam free and play cricket!
8For my non Asian friends (it should be non SAARC readers actually)I wrote what I meant .I did not mean ‘play with crickets’..yes..cricket is a game too..no..not played by insects or not about insects! Do you not want an Indian visa ever that you don’t know this most important virtue of Indian-ness?!!!( Ness again..This time I am not promoting my blog 😎) Wonder if cricket forms part of the test on British way of life that immigrants in the UK have to undergo..especially with the Britishers having invented the game! David Cameron..hope you are paying attention !!)
Okay ,we were at the world having come to a stand still.And when it moved again Sharapova was directly behind the after burner of an Indian backlash! Her mesmerising beauty counted for not even the cheapest cricket ball in India. When she said she did not know Sachin Tendulkar she had lived a part of her life for ever.From here on Sharapova will refer to her life story in two parts..Before I Knew Sachin Tendulkar. ..and… After I Knew Sachin Tendulkar !!!
How could you do this Maria?Even my smart phone knows him !!! The moment I type ‘Ten’ it fills the rest with ‘Tendulkar’!!And don’t even try misspelling Tendulkar as the damn set shuts down on its own and doesn’t rev up till I have recounted Tendulkar’s feats at least ten times over!!! The immediate reaction from the land of 17.5% of the world population was one of utter disbelief. Sharapova doesn’t know Sachin Tendulkar??? Sachin Tendulkar??? Sachin Tendulkar – The God of Cricket??? So she must pay for it! The high priest of the temples of Tendulkar had thus ordained that Maria Sharapova be taught a lesson for her sacrilegious ignorance.She was to be put on a rake for being an atheist as she did not know God!!! She was condemned to a life in hell!!
Angry supporters of Tendulkar, indignant at their God being a non entity for Sharapova, trashed her Twitter & Facebook pages with the choicest of abuses & insults. It came in such torrents that her page was swamped by 50000 messages in three days, castigating her for such blasphemous ignorance!!!
The storm did settled down, but not after Sharapova begged for mercy ,but when the social media buffs in India found another serious topic to lavish their attention on.And thankfully for Sharapova this time it was the speculation of Tiger Shroff ( a new comer Bollywood hero) being none other than Priyanka Gandhi (daughter of late Rajiv Gandhi) and the ambush marketing tactics of Neymar in favour of the makers of his underwear! (Did you think they were going to talk about the Union budget or women’s safety!!!)
A flip side to all this was the heightened sale of Sharapova posters (so these could be burnt during processions😎) and the possibility of Sachin Tendulkar being nominated for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Physics, Neuro Science, Biology and whatever else.This way the world would come to know of the game of cricket and it’s God!!! And being Indians we have been reasonable as we haven’t demanded the Nobel Prize for Sports , which doesnt exist and also for English and Peace as the former is the sign of slavery and has British origins (never mind that Cricket is a British invention too)and the latter will be opposed by Vladimir Putin as he is the main contender for it on account of the peaceful disintegration of Ukraine! (A certain George Bush and Tony Blair have all the reasons to be miffed as their efforts in the unravelling of Iraq have gone unnoticed by the Nobel Committee!)
All in all the incident was quite a hilarious example of the reach and ‘over reach’ of the social media and the netizens in general. The ‘over the top’ reaction of the Indians did not factor in the fact that cricket is not part of the sporting culture of Russia and even Sachin Tendulkar will not know the name of the all time great of Russian Ice Hockey, a game followed with as much passion in Russia as cricket in India.
So Sharapova dear, don’t lose heart as your spat with ‘Soldiers of God (Sachin Tendulkar)’ in India or the ‘Mujahideen’ (literal translation) or should I say with the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ 😎😎😎 hasn’t made you lose fans instead it has earned you millions more! How? Well, your supposed ignorance has been splashed on the front pages all over India even in the vernacular press.That’s the segment which out numbers the netizens & the English speaking people by millions and millions! So stop wasting time and close down your ‘Sugarpova’ outlet at Wimbledon and open hundreds of them in India & a business tip that will surely work is to wrap the candy in Sachin Tendulkar’s visage based wrappers and give a free cricket ball as an incentive too.This way you would have atoned for your ‘sins’ as well as made money too! (Hire me Maria..hire me!!)
The incident was controversial enough to find favour with the Amul ad line & important enough to feature in the midst of the FIFA 2014 / World Cup 2014.
It depicts a tennis player, a pretty blonde, sitting with her racquet and scratching her head to desperately figure out who the gentleman is who is trying to introduce himself to her.The girl has the face of the Amul Girl but her hair style, pink dress, with matching shoes depicts the style of Maria Sharapova. The gentleman talking to her is in a black suit and shirt & tie & holding a poster of a cricket player in India colours with Sachin printed on it.The man is depicting Sachin Tendulkar, his body structure, hair style & his dress is the same as was worn by the original the day he sat next to David Beckham while witnessing Sharapova’s 3rd round match.Details have been well picked up by the creator. The Tag Line…Maria , Share-a-poah with Sachin..is a wonderful take on the name of the tennis star Maria Sharapova & has combined it with the name of a delicacy of Maharashtra (the home state of Sachin Tendulkar) -Poha- is asking Maria Sharapova to share a Poha with Sachin Tendulkar & to get to know him better😁
The Punch Line…Known Everywhere…is once again establishing the universal appeal (in India) of the Amul Butter & takes a dig at the unseemly controversy about Sachin Tendulkar not be in known everywhere!!! I still feel that the winner is Sharapova as she is better recognised in India now than what Sachin would be in Russia as I wonder if the Russian press devoted any worthwhile space on the matter.
Lastly, this incident has come as a shot in the arm for the beleaguered intellectual capabilities of Alia Bhatt who has bettered Maria Sharapova as the former knows Sachin Tendulkar & the latter didn’t!!
As of right now the two protagonists of the strip are yet to comment on the controversy.And in the ‘After I Got to know Sachin Tendulkar’ phase of her life Maria Sharapova is bound to see better days as a celebrity in India & better sales of her candy product line! For her too ‘Achche din aayenge’ & she has Sachin Tendulkar to thank for it.God tussi great Ho! !! Really!
My advise to the social media buffs is that India is not the centre of the universe or the earth and claim to the ‘Middle Kingdom’ tag is of the Chinese! And don’t mess with the Chinese for they are better & meaner at computer games😎
Leaving you with the best memes on the Sachin Tendulkar -Maria Sharapova (needless) controversy.