By Jackie Thakkar Mar. 22, 2019
Here I am, starting my new innings in politics, standing next to Arun Jaitley. Who'd have thunk it? Then again, I've made a career out of making hopeless partnerships work. Record scratch. Freeze frame. Yep, that’s me, Gautam Gambhir. You’re probably wondering how I got here...
Phew. Sorry to start off on that crass note, but my inner-Dilli has been feeling very suppressed lately. First my PR made me release a 12-minute cringey feels bomb in the guise of a retirement announcement. And now, I’ve had to come out of my closet as a full-fledged Modi supporter. It’s a lot to process. Anyway, I’m glad to announce that I love PM Modi, yaar! His vision, his discipline, his close ties with the Ambanis, it’s a perfect fit! He is the reason Nirav Modi is being arrested in London, and he will also be the reason India’s black money problem finally ends. Plus, our beloved PM has also proved how much he believes in charity, by casting Viveik Oberoi in his biopic. Imagine having a big enough heart to cast Viveik Oberoi in anything in 2019, let alone your friggin’ biopic. Dariyadili ki misaal only, Modi ji is.
But in fairness, it’s been a tough few months for me, even though I’m no stranger to being the nice guy who finishes last. The insensitive media, coupled with ungrateful fans, have driven me borderline insane with speculation. Some are claiming my foray into politics is just a way to stay relevant and earn the big bucks well after retirement. To these anti-nationals, I ask this: BC, Sachin kare toh chamatkaar, mein karu toh brashtachaar? Bloody double standards! These are the same morons who fail to mention my contribution in the 2007 and 2011 WC wins when introducing me on panels, and instead choose to fawn over the last decimal of Kohli’s amazing strike rate every time he scores a century while chasing. Anyway, point is that BJP and me have a lot in common. In my batting heyday, I was known for my strong and silent approach. BJP, too, is famous for their strong approach when it comes to any opposition. And their silent approach anytime the nation needs their PM to speak the fuck up. We are like Kabir and Jazz from Made in Heaven, people just know we’re meant to be.
Speaking of which, I could have gone to Bollywood and earned the big bucks with a biopic movie deal. But no, I want to serve this country. And if my IPL career is any indication, I have always had an uncanny ability to take trash and turn it into treasure.
Until 2017, I was captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, unarguably one of the most successful franchises in the IPL. But even the most passionate Korbo-Lorbo-Jeetbo chanters didn’t believe King Khan’s team could win a title before I arrived. It was only after I took over the captaincy from Dada that Kolkata’s fortunes turned in a big way. After leading them to IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, I ensured KKR a berth in the playoffs every year since joining. Do you know how immense the pressure to win a trophy is, when your boss is Shah Rukh Khan? The man wins tons of awards every year – I’m pretty sure they once gave him a Filmfare for merely breathing!
BC, jab Sachin kare toh chamatkaar, jab mein karu toh brashtachaar?
Anyway, Kolkata expressed enthusiasm in retaining me in their 2018 squad. But banda hai bhi emotional na. I decided to follow my heart and told the KKR CEO that I’d like to end my career where it began – with Delhi Daredevils.
I don’t know what I was thinking, but it all went downhill from there for my cricketing career.
It began with Ricky Ponting laughing in my face during my welcome back party. I thought it’s some silly initiation thing but when I overheard him and Glen Maxwell say, “Mate must be a sucker for punishment,” it finally hit me. I’d made a huge mistake. But I trooped on and began prepping for the tourney.
The IPL is weird. I am still counted as a mediocre captain when there are flukes like Rohit Sharma out there. God! How I envy Rohit and his good fortune. In the first few games of every IPL, his awful captaincy makes the most successful team in the IPL look like modern-day Satyagrahis: They just can’t beat anyone. But somehow, they literally always end up with a Top 4 seat. It’s uncanny!
While part of KKR, I featured in more ads than anyone else in the IPL. Which is great because it really prepares me for my new life in the spotlight now. SRK has taught me that a little bit of wit and a cheeky smile is enough to win over voters, or fans. Now only if my smile didn’t look like I am secretly plotting the murder of your entire family. Hmm.
Politics is easy once you get the hang of it, but the IPL is a cruel mistress. When I retired as the DD captain, I even gave up my salary out of guilt. Meanwhile Rohit Sharma is shooting for Season 2 of Cricket Fever at Antilla probably wondering, “Hmm, Gauti Bhai gave up 2.8 crore? Lol 2.8 Cr toh Nita Aunty ka nail polish budget hai.” It was also a body blow to my ego that I had to go out losing to RCB. It was so bad that post match, I decided to actually go up to Virat and get some anger-management tips. That’s when I knew I had truly hit rock bottom. That’s when I knew it was time to join BJP.
In the end, the losses I can handle. And I know I’ll do great in politics because I’ve always been a team player, I don’t like to remind people of my match-winning contributions to India’s biggest World Cup wins in 2007 as well as 2011. Oh wait I mentioned that already up top. Fuck it, people don’t say it enough anyway.
But please, I hope the media doesn’t continue their abusive narrative. If all I wanted was abuse, I’d simply make a long-distance call to my old buddy, Shahid Afridi. And in the long run, I’m positive that my political stint with the BJP will reap great benefits. Today is a big day for me, aaj mein kar ke aaya hai. I know that Navjot Singh Siddhu and Imran Khan haven’t kept the bar too high for cricketers turned politicians. But I’m Gautam Gambhir, damn it! 2007, 2011 and now 2019; I always shown my worth in the finals.