Cricket Connects

Cricket is the passion of a billion Indians - from the richest to the poorest. A game that can soothe the nerves when we are tense and lift our spirits when we are down. This blog is about Leather, Willow & Timber from the comfort of my living room.


The "RCB Ramayana" "script" has also been posted on the official website of Royal Challengers Bangalore under the Fan Club posts.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

RCB Ramayana - Our City, Our Team

Dravid being out of RCB is much like Lord Rama being exiled! And Bengaluru fans are reacting in much the same way as people of Ayodhya did! Perfect setting for a fertile mind to script a play!


The brain has two halves – right brain and left brain. A dominant right brain gives us the ability to imagine, see and distinguish “patterns” better than numbers. The right brain brings out the creativity in us.

The left brain gives us the ability to be logical and analytical. It is strong in remembering numbers and text.

To put it in a simple language, people who can recognize faces but cannot remember names are right brain dominant. And vice versa. In most of us, one of them dominates over the other.

Another example of right brain dominance is “some get a gut feel arising from their stomach; some others see images of patterns in their minds that tell them what has to be done to achieve a certain goal – numbers and text cannot explain such feeling.

Illogical, it may seem – but they cannot change that feeling! That’s Mr Vijay Mallya!!

Mallya has expressed his "genuine affection" for Dravid, saying he has known him since he was a small boy, that his father was working with the UB group, that Rahul is like his own son, etc. We should not doubt the sincerity of his feelings. At the same time, Mallya has another child – RCB. He wants RCB also to do well and come out top, exactly the way Rahul has scaled peaks in his career. This is the context in which he made the decisions he did! And plunge whole of Karnataka into grief!

Isn’t this similar to how Ayodha plunged into grief when Sri Rama was banished to exile by his step mother, Kaikeyi?

A perfect setting for RCB Ramayana to be scripted! My figment of imagination has made a beginning – though it is far from perfect!

In the RCB Ramayana I am scripting below, Dr Mallya is in an ideal position to play the dual roles of Dasharatha and Kaikeyi. Dasharatha to bring out his left brain characteristics and Kaikeyi for his right brain characteristics.

RCB Ramayana

Injecting the Poison
In May 2010, the time to think long term over his Kingdom of RCB had arrived. Torn between affection for Rahul and love for RCB, Mallya was often seen getting into deep contemplation as to how to do the tight rope walk and achieve both. His non-cricket business management team was unlikely to give a rational advice. His cricket management team’s advice in the past 3 years hadn’t helped either. So inside the UB think-tank, he spent a lot of time, sitting alone.
In June 2010, Gayatri Reddy – the Manthara of IPL – called up Mallya and suggested a “brainstorming” meeting of all IPL2010 non-finalists to find solutions for their problems that look similar. At this meeting, Gayatri suggested that “the iconic oldies are an obstacle to success, drain them financially and their larger than life public image stops owners from building their own persona and earning a niche in the hearts of the fans. The sooner we get rid of the icons, the better for our businesses”.
Shah Rukh Khan seconded her idea and said that he will definitely go with this suggestion. Preity Zinta also found this idea “cooool” since Yuvraj is getting fat and no one listens to Sanga.
Mallya had his reservations – he mentioned that Dravid and Kumble are in a different league and Bangalore is a different place when it comes to cricket. He gave examples of how Bangalore reacted when Dr Rajumar was kidnapped as well as when he died. He also mentioned about how the whole of Bangalore went into mourning when another celluloid hero, Vishnuvardhan, died a year ago.
SRK mentioned about Saurav being an equally great legend but he is taking a risk. They all cajoled Mr Mallya into being with them – and that if all do it together, it will be easier to handle negative sentiment of the fans. Mallya wants to, but fears the repercussions and eventually agrees but waits for CLT20 to get over.
The lone dissenting note came from Shilpa Shetty who felt that apart from being a legend, Dravid has been an extraordinary human being and that he should be given the privilege of deciding when to hang up his boots, She further made it known that if Mallya is dropping him, RR would be too happy pick him up. Shilpa gave her team’s success in IPL1 as an example of the value of “golden oldies”.
Mallya thanked Manthara for her plan, kept it a closely guarded secret till the auctions and decided to execute it when the auction begins – knowing fully well that he would be dropping an icon not just of Bengaluru but of world cricket.

Other External Forces

In another meeting in November 2010, Mallya discussed with N Srinivasan of CSK the IPL landscape as it would emerge post the auctions. In the course of the discussions, Mallya mentioned, in confidence, about the importance of Manish Pandey to RCB and that he would go any distance to get the young man.
Srinivasan – being a Narada and hence not the man to keep secrets – lost no time to call up the Ambanis about Mallya’s plan. That’s when the Big Ambani swung into action – he has always seen RCB as a threat to their own plans of lifting the IPL Trophy in 2011 and began to think of ways to weaken RCB.
His wife, Nita (Mandodari), did not approve of this. She told him that there are many young players who are unsung heroes and can be looked at rather than troubling Manish Pandey. But there is no way Mukesh would let go of a chance and a way to weaken the opponents. In the first of these plans, he suggested to BCCI that uncapped players be excluded from the auction. A suggestion accepted in a hurry by BCCI – without proper consultation and feedback from other franchisees.
Because in IPL, it is really The Big Ambani that calls the shots – invisible but powerful! The only thing Big Ambani can’t do is “buy the trophy!” – because Narada’s men are too strong and powerful to be overpowered without a contest!

Communicating to Rama - In Full Public View
When the auctions began, the Kaikeyi in Mallya - who was serious on executing the plans - took a prominent place at the auction table. She asked Mallya to banish Dravid to the forests – whichever forest can accept him! Sumantra (Brijesh Patel) advised him against doing it but there was no way Kaikeyi would relent. She ordered Sumantra to simply do his job of dropping Dravid in the forest in a Kingfisher flight!

A stunned Bengaluru watched the television with shock and dismay - till Arundhati (Shilpa Shetty) - the Morning Star of the Sapta Rishi constellation - put her hand up ans said "We want him". Almost the whole of Bangalore blew kisses at this beautiful damsel who saved "their hero in distress". Twitterverse was flooded with "I love you Shilpa" tweets for extending Dravid's cricketing journey.

And Dravid, the Sri Rama of Bengaluru Cricket, is banished to the forests of Ranathambore, near Jaipur. Dravid willingly but with a heavy heart, agreed to go and sought the blessings of his mother Kousalya (Katrina Kaif). A sad and sobbing Katrina blessed Dravid.

People of Bengaluru are upset, offended and were (and still are!) found wailing on the streets as well as on the internet. But the Kaikeyi in Mallya is unmoved.

The Journey Begins
Losing no time, Dravid packed his bags and got ready to head for the forests of Ranathambore. As he was about to leave, his step brother, Ross Taylor, decided to accompany him. And there was no way Manish Pandey (the sufering Sita in this family drama) would stay back in Bengaluru. Together they set out for a two year “Vana Vas”.
On the way, the three discussed about how nice Bengaluru and its fans have been, how they are worred about the health and success of Mallya and how evil Kaikeyi has been! At the forest, Dravid is welcomed by the representatives of Sage Valmiki (Lalit Modi) who wash his feet and garland him.
Dravid is also very impressed by the peaceful ambience in Valmiki’s hermitage. He is told that they will practise yoga everyday in the company of a yogini of international fame, who will also condition their minds for peak performance.
Virat Kohli is taken by surprise and is really unprepared to rule RCB – apart from love for Dravid, there is also the question whether people of Bengaluru would accept his coronation! Kohli visited Dravid in Jaipur to plead with him to return but was asked to take care of the fans of Bengaluru and not abandon his responsibility. Dravid, with his extreme love for Virat, gifted his shoes to him.
Overjoyed, Kohli consulted with astrologers and on an auspicious day, stepped into Dravid’s shoes. He now rules the kingdom from Nandi Hills, outside Bengaluru and has asked Abhimanyu Mithun (Shatrughna) to stay put at the KSCA and keep a watch on the emotions of the fans of Bengaluru.

The War Is About To Begin

Let's hope Dravid will ensure Shilpa has no anxieties like these

In the IPL battles that will follow, Dravid, Ross, Manish will go through lot of hardship – physical, physiological and psychological. It is two years of “ordeal by fire” and they will meet every kind of enemy – wicked, evil minded, enemical characters – some ferocious, some cunning and some jealous. But eventually they will surmount every obstacle with fortitude.
(At the time of going to press, Sita has already been kidnapped and a full search is on)
At the same time, Bengaluru also goes through many pains and pangs – although the administration and performance of RCB goes on as usual, the absence of Dravid, Manish, Uthappa and Ross does hurt the morale of the Bangalore fans.
We will not discuss whether RCB achieves its dream of winning the IPL Trophy! We shall leave that to our respective imaginations!
Two years from now, we will see if the extraordinary power of Kumble – the Hanuman – can reunite the original royal family. So that the King of Good Times and the young prince of RCB will have a team that can see the IPL trophy glitter in Bengaluru for a long time!

Dramatis Personae:

If you want to know some of the main characters of Ramayana and how they relate to the RCB Ramayana, take a look at the cast in the table below:

(Obviosuly, it is impossible to get a perfect 1 to 1 match between Valmiki Ramayana and RCB Ramayana! I am sure some characters would exist in the real RCB Ramayana! )

The IPL-RCB Ramayana Scene
Vijay Mallya
(Left Brain)

As Dasaratha
Good and noble King of Good Times, based in Bengaluru. Loved by cricket fans for his interest in the game and its fans. Treats RCB as his own baby-for-ever! Gives RCB the best of attention. Genuinely wants RCB to be at the very top.

Places Dravid in the same step of affection as his son. Dravid was the superstar of Indian cricket when IPL started and logically, was given the pride of place by Mallya within RCB.
Vijay Mallya
(Right Brain)

As Kaikeyi
The ambition for “her pet son, RCB” to win the throne makes her go to any lengths to go in pursuit of what she wants.

Hated by Bengaluru fans for leaving out their iconic cricketer from RCB.
Katrina Kaif
As Kausalya
With the King through thick and thin, though doesn’t necessarily approve of his actions; was very sad when Dravid had to be sent out of RCB. She also identified Dravid as one of the most gentlemanly cricketeres she has come across.

What more can we say of this beautiful lady, other than that she would have wished Dravid the very best of moments of his life on a cricket field in IPL4!
Rahul Dravid
As Sri Rama
For being the chosen one by Kaikeyi to be banished to exile and live in the forests
Ross Taylor
As Lakshmana
Has endeared himself to fans of RCB in particular and to whole of Bengaluru in general.
Manish Pandey
As Sita
Has to bear with serious hardships from time to time. The apple of the eye to many wild owners in the IPL jungle
Anil Kumble
As Hanuman
A very emotional friend of Dravid. Shows empathy for Dravid’s plight; helps Dravid take on the Ravanas of IPL and emerge victorious.
Virat Kohli
As Bharata  and

Abhimanyu Mithun
As Shatrughna
Steps into Dravid’s shoes after Dravid is sent away to Rajasthan.

Rules Bengaluru from Delhi, and asks Abhimanyu Mithun to guard the Bengaluru Palace at KSCA

Mithun and Virat are the only two ‘sons of original RCB’ left in New RCB. Mithun has the huge responsibility of keeping local fan interest alive.

We can expect these guys to be extra-charged up against DC!
Robin Uthappa
As Sugriva
Dravid and Robin work out a symbiotic relationship by which Dravid would help Robin get back his lost glory. Robin, in turn, would help Dravid through Kumble to get Manish Pandey for Rajasthan – since Manish is unwilling to go to Bengaluru without Dravid!
Preity Zinta

As Surpanakha
Made a half-hearted bid for Dravid. Jealous of a bid by Shilpa Shetty, put up a counter bid. She loved to have him but not willing to pay the price.
Sid Mallya

As Vishwamitra
Sid probably had no serious objection to Dravid but dad had made up his mind. Sid therefore arranged the “Swayamvara” of Dravid with Rajasthan Royals.

Sid was under considerable pressure from friend Dipika Padukone who would have not have allowed Dravid to be left high and dry!!
Dipika Padukone
As Menaka
With her enchanting beauty, she manages to convince Sidhartha that Dravid should be retained by RCB. If that is not possible, she coaxes Sid to ensure that Dravid is sought after by at least one team. She is the author of the arrangement that “if no one really bids for Dravid, RCB would bid and take him!”.
Mukesh Ambani

As Ravana
Smitten by the glitter of the elusive IPL Trophy and wanting to get it at any cost, any price. Mukesh Ambani is bent on demolishing RCB – seeing it as the main obstacle to their quest for trophy - and the best way is to chop off  Dravid and Manish. Very powerful man and can make anybody get into or get out of any IPL Team
Nita Ambani

As Mandodari
Nita is a concerned that in his pursuit of IPL Trophy, husband Mukesh is targeting Dravid and Manish as a way to remove the main obstacle, RCB. Being the righteous woman that she is, speaks to friend Shilpa Shetty and requests her to save Dravid by bidding for him. Nita also tried her best to let uncapped players stay in auction but Mukesh did not agree. Finally, she offered an option to Manish with some attractive side deals too.
Lalit Modi

As Valmiki
The author of IPL. What more shall we say of the man who got it all correct as long as he was at the helm!
N Srinivasan

As Narada
Mallya told Srinivasan that Manish is a good guy and he would bid him for any price. The higher the price Manish gets, the happier Manish would be. Srini probably leaked it out to Mukesh Ambani who promptly sent the suggestion for excluding uncapped players from auction.
Gayatri Reddy

As Manthara
At a meeting of non-finalists of IPL2010, she whispered into Mallya’s ears that she is packing of Gilly and VVS in her preference for youth. Not to be left behind, Mallya has followed suit.
Raj Kundra
As Vasishta  and

Shilpa Shetty
As Arundhati
Raj wished that his team should have a legendary Indian batsman in his team. Being in possession of the holy cow, Kamadhenu and its offspring, Nandini – he had the power that any wish that he desires would be granted.

Shilpa is the embodiment of all of the virtues of a married woman – she prayed for the fulfillment of her husband’s wishes.

Lovely couple!!! Bengaluru fans waved kisses at them when the couple  bid for their hero, Dravid!
Subroto Roy

As Jatayu
Manish Pandey is being coaxed into joining Mumbai Indians. Pune Warriors step into save Manish from the clutches of MI (the people responsible for getting Manish excluded from auction. When they are about lose Manish, Pune inform Rajasthan Royals who decide to take on the battle with MI.
Harbhajan Singh
As Kumbhakarna
When Indrajit hugged and lifted “mom” Mandodari Ambani after a win in IPL2010, every player wanted to be in MI! That wa an awesome display of mon-son affection, bond and emotions. “Dad” only confirmed it by showing his possessiveness for son by retaining Indrajit for IPL2011

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Based in Bangalore, I am an IT Strategy, Business Process Management and ERP Implementation consultant in media research and healthcare domains. Writing on social media/technology and cricket is my hobby and special interest. My cricket blogs can be read at the Royal Challengers website.

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