Sunday, June 30, 2013

The show between power and play

Book Review: Fiction/ Power Play by Parinda Joshi, Fingerprint, 292p; Rs 250(Paperback)
Parinda Joshi exudes hope for the standard popular fiction and streamlines it with the wider spectrum of readers through her unwavering lucidness in narration. She is distinct among the writers of her generation, with gifted command to present the spontaneous development in her novel—through rare ease and versatility.

Earlier Live from London and now Power Play: The game is on, leads her writing for permanent high acclaim, which she unquestionably deserves. Parinda is a writer with effortless wit and sensibility—Power Play reveals it emphatically.

This book rests around the back-kicks’ nefarious world—posed in professional mould. At the center stage is IGL—though reader can easily read it as IPL—a maligned territory for what Ashish Nandy has to write something strikingly different from his earlier classic-The Tao of Cricket, where memorably he termed cricket as an Indian game, accidentally discovered in England.

But in the changed time—it could be paraphrased, as the disastrous version of cricket/IPL was accidentally born in India with having all the nonsense commercial attributes of American club sports. Theoretical exercises could go on indefinitely—as the cricket is a real business now. But that real business is so ugly, it makes cricket lovers feel cheated by icons.

For revealing the wider truths—this novel delivers a lot. The incomprehensible role of consulting firms to cheer leaders—it is very difficult to draw a parallel line. The IPL game has jerked too harshly on the collective interest for cricket—once it was indeed a game, and amazingly closer to the masses.

Parinda sets a good picture through the characters of her novel—how fumbling morale, spares no stakeholders. So, one can read over the pages—how love, lust and tussle make the rule of unethical way of gaming and business streamlined. If the IPL (here IGL) has weakened the spirit of cricket, it has also left the business morale scratched.

This book indirectly and in light narrative refers on those happenings. So the intervention is well timed, even if it merely comes like knee-jerk. The fiction has its own territory—where beauty of expression hano bounds, but not always maintaining forthrightness is simple here too. Parinda wins over such hurdles, and like a master narrator successfully weaves the complete picture of backdoor drama from 20/20 world.

This game is not an evening entertainment session, where every sort of grouping can be rejoiced. The oft repeated term—innovation—is swiftly losing its real meaning, since it was wrongly dragged as mask for IPL. The spell of cheap money is too high and it is a life time opportunity to stakeholders in making the game—corrupt and hence terribly productive.

Few years back—we could not imagine a sensible fictional work on this particular subject. Parinda, has edge of knowing the sports culture as an insider (she played chess religiously and rose to the national level before finding her new pastime in writing)—and also as a business professional. With fundamental strengths, she has succeeded to write a lively account of seriously wrong IPL (here IGL) phenomenon.

Power Play deserves good readership —those from disenchanted class and also from the believers of new cricket, which is hardly a game. But certainly, it is a high end business, with no underlying moral restrictions. This book has greater leaning on this side, rather going too deep towards the impending consequences that would unprecedentedly affect the game.

Power Play is a remarkable entry of this year—and going to be in memory for long. With rational interface of sports and business—this novel starts a new trend in popular fiction writing, which is constructive and full with vision to see the changes around.
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in Rising Kashmir on June23,2013)

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