Hardik Pandya Might Become a Better Celebrity, But it’ll Take More than Our Outrage to Change Him

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Hardik Pandya Might Become a Better Celebrity, But it’ll Take More than Our Outrage to Change Him

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

had no idea who Hardik Pandya was until I saw the shredded remains of a reputation he might have had splattered all over my Twitter timeline. As I acquainted myself with this enigma, I learnt that he had done the unthinkable. Pandya forgot to wear the mask of the liberal sophisticate when he made his debut on the now infamous Koffee With Karan couch. I didn’t even have to watch the episode – and now I can’t, considering it’s been pulled off by Hotstar – to know that for Pandya, women are trophies meant to be picked up from nightclubs after he’s done with the fourth shot of the night. And then, like a dutiful son, proudly brags about his conquests to his parents. The only upshot is that Rani Mukherjee wasn’t lurking in the background in her neon-coloured glasses so Pandya’s mother was spared from being accused of raising a first-grade asshole.

It’s not difficult to pinpoint the cause behind this eruption: Pandya mistook a chat show that airs on national television for the privacy of a locker room. He didn’t realise that the trash-talking, sleaze boy personality that he was trying to project on Koffee With Karan would end up covering him in bile that Twitter would throw up in copious quantities. The unprecedented online backlash against his statements even alerted the BCCI to issue a show-cause notice to both the cricketers. They’ve now been suspended pending an inquiry into their comments.

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