Saturday, July 08, 2006

What a Cheeka Bugger !!!

It was evening to remember. A talkshow with Boman Irani and my childhood hero, Krish Srikkanth. Having attended previous such shows (Once with Boman Irani & Siddharth Basu and once with Cyrus Broacha and Navjyot Sidhu) I knew that this evening would be just as good.

It was. That and then some. Boman Irani was fantastic. Had us all in splits. We shan’t talk about him too much because this isn’t a Theatre Artist Blog. This is a cricket blog. Which is why we will spend the rest of this blog talking about Krish.

The one thing that Srikkanth does, is radiate energy. A volatile, nervous, Okay-It’s-Going-To-Explode-Any-Minute kind of energy which is extremely funny to watch. I was seated on a table right next to his table (Riggs is Posh, Riggs gets good seats) and the first thing that strikes you is that he is as fidgety at a table as he used to be at the wicket. I don’t know what he was saying to the others on his table but they were going completely mental.

Anyhoo, as they say, the show was a complete blast. Cheeka was in his element, talking about his cricket, his wife, other cricketers and other funny anecdotes.

Whilst all this was happening, I was using a Teacher’s HighnightS comment card to jot down the funniest bits, all for your enjoyment. I felt very reporter-like. (Clark Kent, not Piloo)

And, Cheeka said :-

‘When we went to the ’83 World Cup we didn’t think we would do anything. We never won anything in the ’75 World Cup. Even Sri Lanka beat us and they weren’t even a test playing nation. Then ’79 happened and we beat a county called East Africa. No one gave us a chance in 1983. Not even ourselves. In fact Sunny had booked us a tour of the US after the World Cup. To play cricket there in some cities. Sunny, Sandy (Patil), Ravi (Shastri), Yash (Yashpal) and myself were booked. We thought we’ll go to London, have a nice chutti, then watch semis and finals (as spectators) at Lord’snd then go to US. You won’t believe me… I promise … but our tickets were booked ‘Bombay – London – New York’ ….

‘In the 83 World Cup, aiyyo, West Indies , what a line up! Greenidge, Haynes, Larry Gomes, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Faoud Bachus…’ *pause* and a heckler from the crowd yelled ‘and the bowlers’ .. to which Cheeka, laughed and said ‘Macha I don’t even want to remember them. They are best forgotten. MarshallHoldingRobertsandGarner’ *all in one breath*

‘Kapil? He is the greatest Indian cricketer. A complete Punjab-ka-paththar’

‘Against Zimbabwe, My God. My wife was at the ground. She came to see me play. I struggled for six overs and scored 0. Then everyone went and as you all know we were 17-5. In those days we had strict rules. Wives were not allowed to sit in the players enclosure. So I was sitting outside the enclosure. That ground Tungbridge Wells is a small ground, no proper pavilion. So I was sitting outside next to the players enclosure with my wife. Soon Kapil started hitting and the score reached 75-5. The Mann (P R Mansingh, the Indian Manager) told everyone that no one should move from where they are sitting. Us cricketers are a superstitious lot. My wife and I were freezing and Mann woudn’t let us move. I wanted to take a leak because it was so cold but Mann never let me move. He said he didn’t care and I could piss in my pants but I was not to move. People always ask me about that innings and I always want to tell them I watched it sitting outside the players enclosure in the freezing cold and badly wanting to take a leak.’

‘Arre yaar I was never a tuk-tuk player’

‘In 1986 England had dropped Botham. I was batting and was on strike and suddenly there was a streaker on the ground. Naked woman, right next to me holding a banner that said BRING BACK BOTHAM. I didn’t know what to do. Whether to look at her or not to look or take strike. And at the other end Sunny was laughing like a madman. Anyway. That naked woman was taken away by the police and all. Then I got out 4 runs later.’

‘I used to hit the ball man. Tapal. Six. I was a tapal player’

(While narrating how he dropped Lance Cairns, then didn’t attempt a catch of the next ball, was moved to square leg and the catch came to him again, which he took) ‘That Lance Cairns, you know, Chris Cairns ka ppithajee, he had arms like three of mine’

‘Yes the Indian Team boycotted me during 2003 World Cup. It was all because of a media misunderstanding. One of the channels called me and asked me where I think Sourav Ganguly should bat and I as a joke said at Number 14. Haha. But see now, it’s true. Woh Sourav number 14 mei hi batting kar raha hai’

‘Even I took 5 wickets in a one day match twice. And I am a poi bowler. You know Poi bowler? Jiska balls bas poita hai’ (Po = Go in tamil. By which he meant his deliveries would ‘go’ straight on without spinning.

It was the most brilliant evening. Cheeka also took time out to pose with an adoring fan. Me.


Blogger RUMS said...

Wow! Riggie!!! Now am curious... me wants to know what boman said ... ;-)

2:31 AM  
Anonymous peccavi said...

i need new cheeks, new sides, new tummy...the works everything hurts from laughing too much and also falling off chair laughing.

UNFAIR - i want a COMPLETE NARRATIVE...everything feels incomplete...more about the world cup, more about lance cairns, more about wife, more about saurav (sneaky - to get bart's goat - tho what u need one for beats me, more about cheeka....more more more....

And i havent even started on boman - am sure i want to read every word spoken by him too.

u think u could get tapes, better still videos of the show and share with us - your faithful blog readers/ cheeka & boman fans?


7:11 AM  
Anonymous Riggs said...

Pecs ... Only for you, my man. Wasn't paying much attention to Boman, but here's what springs to memory :-

I had a troubled childhood. For years I would leave the house whenever the dhobi came home because I thought my mother was having an affair with him. Why? Because whenever he came home, she would say *in typical parsi accent* "haan dobee tum baito hum kapra utar ke lataa hai". And when we laughed he called us cruel for laughing at his troubled childhood.

My Uncle Neville was an old Parsi gent. One day as he was gettin onto the bus the conductor rang the bell and the bus moved. With Uncle Neville not on properly. Once he got on he yelled at the conductor 'hum khara hai, ek pair road mei aur ek pair bus mei aur tum beech mei tinktink karta hai hadamcore' That one officially had me fall of my chair.

Do you know Parsis? They are those people with long noses. You know? Like JRD Tata. Like Homi Baba. Adi Godrej. Freddie Mercury. The Queen. Prince Charles. I mean, have you looked at THAT nose?

The event was Teacher's Highnights. When he was first contacted to do the show, he was asked whether he had heard of the Teacher's Awards for Excellence and Teacher's High Nites. He obviously had to lie and said Yes. He was caught out immediately because he said 'Anything for the teachers. I am there for them anytime'.

He also sang We are the world. In different voices. His Ray Charles imitation was so good, he almost Hit The Road, Jack !

Will give you more dope as I remember. Or maybe Hipps can add his two-paisa too. The bugger was there as well!

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheeka is due in Doha -come October. Some Kirkitt tournament being organised by the Embassy. The Organ raisers ooops organisers want me on board to cover and present Cheeka to teh Arab world. So altho i am somewhat green with envy I shall wait for my Andy Warhol moments :))
Mebbe i should get one of them Salma Hayek Dray Nicholls bat and get Cheeka to autograph one :))
and then Rigga eat your heart out!!!

10:37 PM  
Anonymous peccavi said...



now how about you also try to get the video of the show. AM SURE someone was there with a vid-recorder, trailing a long wire (if he was from the paleolithic age) trying to trip anyone unwary enuff to stand up and try to walk :).

You could try borrowing or stealing the tape. If it dont work....go down on them knees :) and earn our thanks.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous peccavi said...

wot Boman sed about the dhobee is so true. As my sil once pointed out to me - the dhobi is the only one who can say to us in perfect gravity - aap kapde nikal ke rakho, main abhi aa raha hoon :))

12:41 AM  
Anonymous G said...


Cheeka is my childhood friends uncle. He often comes our way and yes we are always entertained with his stories.

1:02 AM  

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