My non-opinion on the non-event that is FIFA Bollywood Awards Cup for Times Of India (Pg 10), 30th June, 2014
There are 4 kinds of people around me these days.
1. People who love football and are genuinely enjoying the FIFA world cup.
2. People who are being paid to love football and talk about the FIFA world cup.
3. People who want to love football to be able to talk about the FIFA world Cup.
4. “FIFA was that Bollywood awards ceremony in Tampa Bay, Florida this year na?” (Oh, IIFA? Then who is this FIFI?)
Because I have as much interest in football as a fruit fly would have in reading Dante’s Inferno- one of my favourite things about the football World Cup, is the song. Every year it is some variation on the word ‘Ole’- which you have to admit might be the catchiest word to the human brain. Merely reading it has sent many of our heads into “Feeling hot, hot, hot….”(Arrow) or “Here We Go…” (Ricky Martin’s Cup of Life) or “7 signs of Aging” (Olay Total Effects 7-in-1) or the appropriately nubile Saif Ali Khan’s “Jab Bhi koi ladki dekhoon….”. I almost can’t believe no one has done a mash-up of “Oles” yet. Since ‘Ole’ also means sleet in Hindi so it also gave us a minimum 20 mins of entertainment to sing these songs whenever it falls from the sky.
If I watched a football match, it would be for the same reason that a man goes to a dance bar- to see some good looking people in small clothes, sweating it out and having a good time while I yell out instructions that like “Arrrree move move move, take it to the back, now forward, arre” at them from where I sit.
I imagine that with the budget of 15 million dollars the money will have to be spent somewhere and so the promotion of it has been as subtle as a football to the face. That’s why souvenir shops are leaking at the pores with keychains and mouse pads and hats that scream “buyers remorse.” The maid is eyeing that Dri-fit jersey of your team you bought for too much money. She is worried that it will not make an absorbent enough poccha for the floor when we are done with your FIFA fever. Also, in this weather, that material is just not appropriate, body odor wise. People who dress up in their team jerseys and watch a game (“Players”) are like people who dress up as characters from Chetan Bhagat novels (Chetyas) to go for his book reading. It’s only fair that they both made get fun of equally. (Though it’s easier to make fun of the “Chetyas”, because the “Players” will beat you to pulp, so you have to pick your battles really.)
McDonalds has partnered with the World Cup releasing a burger called McBrazil burger. The country can now finally move away from its label of inspiring the name of naughty waxing styles to those of hamburgers. While the bun of the burger has the markings of a conventional football, the actual footballs used in the game have moved from the conventional black and white design to look like Wilson, the basket ball that was Cast Away with Tom Hanks with it’s random squiggly red pattern on it.
So my guide to identifying the 4 kinds of people you will meet in the world these days
1. You can identify a true FIFA world cup fan by the dark circles they sport in the office every morning. Suddenly the word ‘Messi’ will throw them into a rage/tears of joy when you didn’t formerly know them as being so particular about cleanliness.
2. You can identify the one who is being paid to talk about the FIFA world cup because they have already scored all the the freebies that they are supposed to be talking about.
3. You can identify the people who want to love the FIFA world Cup because they will be hanging out with the people who are being paid to talk about football, getting the freebies and wearing ALL of them at the same time.
4. You can identify us because we are still wondering what Sonakshi Sinha wore on the red carpet at this year’s IIFA World Cup. (Oh FIFA? Then who is this FIFI we keep talking about?)
Also, do watch the razor sharp (and possibly racist) John Oliver on why he’s CONFLICTED about FIFA. (Thank you GCPP-8 classmate, Shanbog Rachna for the link). It has a Brazilian waxing analogy that will blow your mind, not even kidding.