One more of the (Jest)in beaver rants!
You can pretend to play the guitar. What one calls the Air Guitar– Sure, you can!
But, you can’t pretend to play the Air Guitar. Can you?
But this rant is coming with no strings attached. The IPL 2021 is upon us. Under six months of the curtains coming down on the previous edition. Yes, it has come thick and fast.
The sport light here in this ‘ peace de assistance ‘ is on ex India cricketer Mohammed Kaif. Now part of the Coaching staff of the team Delhi Capitals as Assistant Coach. All through the IPL 2020 campaign, i.e. around the 16 odd matches that Delhi Capitals played (including the finals against Mumbai Indians), he carried his customary spirited, committed, effervescent attitude. What we also noticed was he always carried a notebook with him. Every single match. Probably all 300 pages of it. After all, observations, insights, learnings etc have to be recorded. Competitive sport is as much about what happens outside the playing field as it is about what happens on it.
But, if you were to be Rajat ( or Sharma) or Scholar or Navneet or Apsara (or Pari) or any of the other stationery brands that make these notebooks, you would be very worried. They would be really struggling to read between the lines. Something was just not write. What prevented Kaif from putting pen (or pencil) to paper throughout the last IPL season that left a completely blank notebook at the end of almost a 2 month campaign. Let’s examine it in the write earnest:-
– Kaif was only pretending to write (just like playing the Air Guitar)
– He was distracted by how Ricky Ponting(Head Coach of Delhi Capitals), who he sat next to always in the dugout could chew on two things at the same time: gum and nails.
( As we know, Ricky has been stretching his ‘ gum se rishta ‘ for far too long)
– He was using a special type of invisible ink, visible only to no one, never to be noted!
– Between picking up Ricky‘s Tasmanian accent and Vijay Dahiya‘s ( another s’pport’ staff of Delhi Capitals) Sonipat(Haryana) one, he was hard pressed to fit in his Kanpur dialect
( BTW, in Delhi, the letter ‘ u ‘ in support is not needed, so kept it at bay, please don’t treat it as typo- u get the point right?)
– He was only making mental notes. The notebook was willy nilly merely a non contributing involuntary ally
– He was worried that in case he wrote anything, ‘ COACH tho log kahenge ‘
– He had Writers Block and he was waiting for a Block Buster to start writing. And during Covid, there were none releasing
– Someone had read out the Write Act to him, hence he did not want to write
– There were no lines in the notebook, it was all blank. So, to maintain sanctity, he retained the original look. And didn’t cross the line
– He was afraid of Lead poisoning. So, he refused to pencil anything
– Being a very private person, he did not want to make his notary public
– He missed out the ‘special orientation‘ that Brendon McCullum had conducted for all coaching staff on how to write, how much to write, what to write etc during the IPL matches
– He was aware that the impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself
Later this evening we get to see Kaif yet again as Delhi Capitals take on Chennai Super Kings. And hopefully the ‘ notebook ‘ too. Unless, he has decided ‘not(e) again!’
” Our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable ‘I.’” —Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook “.
Post Scriptum: I have nothing more to write!