If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Virat Kohli’s Aggression is Essential to Who He Is

If a rupee was donated to the Reserve Bank of India every time someone said “Virat Kohli is such a great batsman, if only he controlled his aggression a bit…” we could bail out all the struggling public sector banks in the country. Twice.
Virat Kohli is not the best batsman in the world, across formats, despite his aggression and combativeness, he is the best because of it. Like all elite sportsmen and sportswomen at the very top, Virat Kohli hates to lose. He hates conceding even an inch, or being bullied on the pitch. The relentless and unending desire to win every single moment in the game, to dominate every ball with the bat, to stop every single run on the field, to encourage his troops every single minute on a hot day of a Test match, to constantly be performing at 100 per cent, is what makes him Virat Kohli.
With great success comes greater criticism, and this is true for all sports. From the ranting John McEnroe, to the short-tempered Wayne Rooney, and angry Serena Williams, premier athletes have always come under heavy criticism for their competitive, aggressive, and in-your-face attitude that has been an essential part of their sporting make-up and what elevated them to the highest level in their field. As fans, we wish they were perfect athletes without the aggression, forgetting that without the attitude they would’ve not come this far.
Kohli wouldn’t be half the player he is if he didn’t ecstatically send off every opposition batsman or show his disappointment at every decision gone the other way. If he is your captain, you love him to bits for how passionately he backs each of his teammates. If he is your opponent, his brash and arrogant presence makes him the perfect bête noire.
Kohli loves a challenge, a fight, a combative experience. If you give him a daunting total on a tricky wicket in an ODI game, he thrives on chasing it down just to prove all his critics wrong. If you taunt him to find a gap while batting, he will take on the challenge and pierce the field to establish his supremacy. If you try to intimidate him with bodyline bowling, he will eventually hook one for six to let you know he means business. If you try to get under his nerves by sledging him, it only charges him up further, bringing out the best in him. Ask Pat Cummins.
The aggression and determination goes far beyond his mouth, his expressions, and his provocative fingers. It is ingrained in his personality – a typical Delhi chaud, if you will. On the third day of the Perth Test on a difficult wicket, Kohli was first hit on the elbow by a Pat Cummins delivery, and then on the forearm by a searing Mitchell Starc bouncer. The physio was on the ground and play was halted for a good five minutes as visuals of Kohli’s swollen arm beamed across the world. Injury scare? From Kohli’s body language during treatment, one could almost hear him say, “How dare they try to intimidate me, I’ll show them.” Virat Kohli did what Virat Kohli does, scoring a fantastic 123 as more records tumbled.
Columnist Rohit Brijnath writes about Kohli, “Why he has a beard and tattoos is unknown because he is intimidating enough. His look is plain: Are you ready because I am.”
Actor Naseeruddin Shah recently commented on the Indian captain, saying he is the “world’s worst-behaved player”. He may be right in his assessment. But Kohli doesn’t take the field to be the world’s best-behaved player, or the world’s worst-behaved player. He goes on the field to win. And you might say what you like but the truth is, that is what it’s all about – winning. “The Gentleman’s Game” is an empty moniker that has long stopped meaning anything, with the incredible money, pressure, and stakes at play.
We either have Virat Kohli with all his hundreds and his motormouth, or we don’t have a Virat Kohli at all. I much prefer the former.
Friendly banter or sledging isn’t an excuse for horrible behaviour, which is why we have umpires, match referees, and microphones on the ground. Checks and balances exist in the system, and the ICC must come down strongly when the line is crossed. Kohli has been fined in the past, and should be heavily in the future as well, when fault has been established by those in charge. But as long as the chatter is healthy and within the rules of the game, it should be allowed to flow, as has been the case in the India-Australia series so far. Human sport should have human element to it, because without the emotions of those playing it, sport might just be a boring endeavour of athletic display by robots.
As  a fan, I will chuckle for years at gems like “Shaam tak khelenge to inki gand phat jaayegi”, as well as enjoy the majesty of the 123 scored on a challenging wicket at Perth. Let the bat, as well as the banter, do the talking, as long as it lies within the rules of the game.

Leaked! RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s Resignation Letter to the Indian Government

Dear Government,
Congratulations on the Statue of Unity, it’s a marvellous structure. While I appreciate you building a statue for one Patel, I am uncomfortable with the idea that you wanted to turn another Patel (me) into a living statue. Accuse me of overreacting, but how did you expect me to feel when so much happened in the last couple of months? The independence of the RBI was under so much threat that I had to change the subject line of my resignation mail to Preserve Bank of India.
I preferred our arguments over those long mail threads with half the office marked, but when Arun Jaitley decided to make the feud public, I had no choice but to awaken the Gir Lion inside me. On purpose, I chose a guy named Viral to issue comments on my behalf so that the message would be loud, clear, and… viral.  
I get it, this is election year and you want more money so you can roll out some schemes and campaign across the country to tell us what an awful Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was. Who doesn’t want to dole out cash just before election season? Even my neighbour’s three-year-old son wishes he could buy a new phone everyday but it’s a stupid idea and that’s why he doesn’t handle finances at home. Remember the time you thought demonetisation was the best thing since sliced bread? The brahmastra that the Indian economy needed – and you laboured that metaphor further by calling it a “surgical strike” on black money? Well, guess what? You asked for our advice and we told you it was a shitty idea but like that drunk friend who texts his ex, you went ahead anyway. How did that work out for y’all?
There’s a reason the RBI and the Finance Ministry have distinct jobs, and it’s best if you didn’t interfere in ours and we didn’t interfere in yours. Did you see what happened when Raghu Ram was asked to do comedy in Tees Maar Khan? People are still recovering in hospitals. At this point, our story feels like a retelling of A Series of Unfortunate Events. In August, you appointed S Gurumurthy, an RSS ideologue, to the RBI’s central board. First off, the only thing the RSS has in common with the finance folks at the RBI is a terrible fashion sensibility. But Gurumurthy surprised everyone when he claimed that India’s liquidity problem could be solved if the power to print currency was in the government’s hands. My economics degree from Yale University cried actual tears.
I really wished you lot could make up your minds. One day we were accused of reckless lending in the past that led to the current bad loans crisis. The next day we were accused of choking up the banking system with too many regulations. Which one is it?! Aadmi kare to kya kare?
As we speak, you are drafting new regulations to enable closer supervision of the RBI. Why don’t you take my Gmail and Windows password while you are at it, eh? You also wanted to invoke section 7 and give us direct orders, something that has never happened in the RBI’s 83-year old history. Sure, that’s what I want on my CV – to take directions from people who thought demonetisation was a great idea and get blamed for the next blunder.
I have to say, though, that I have one thing to thank you for. For the first time since the RBI started, the general public is aware of what goes on behind our closed doors. Even when Raghuram Rajan was the governor, folks would only discuss him as a thirst trap. Now, however, people ought to be discussing the India-Australia cricket series and not RBI vs Government.
I know you don’t like me, and can I just say, the feeling is mutual. You may not have respect for me and the institution I represented, but the markets and the world looked at us as an independent regulator with a strong influence on monetary policy. Now that I have quit right before a national election, congratulations on the alarm bells and the ripples that will be felt in the market. It’s like changing the captain from Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma in the middle of the World Cup, you simply don’t do it.
Now that I have quit, I am looking forward to grabbing a drink with my mates Raghuram Rajan and Arvind Subramanian so we can do what employees usually do after quitting – bitch about their former bosses.
Yours faithfully,
Urjit Patel

Isha Ambani’s Sangeet, aka Gujarati Coachella, Has Set #WeddingGoals that No One Can Match

Is it an Apple product launch? Is it an award show? No, it’s Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s sangeet. This is Gujarati Coachella, the sangeet of the century, one that will set #LaganNaGoals for years to come.  
Ordinary Gujaratis have a three-hour sangeet celebration where everyone first dances to garba and then the DJ plays “Gangnam Style”, “Despacito”, and other songs from his 2016 playlist and you once again break into a garba. But not the Ambanis. For one, it’s not called a “function” (so middle-class); it’s called a pre-wedding bash. And secondly, they don’t play songs from a pen drive on a music tape like us mere mortals from Malad. They get Beyoncé to sing for them and the whole of Bollywood to dance for them.
The Ambani sangeet is nothing like what we’ve seen in recent times. The Virushka shaadi created history – this is the first time someone used an ad to announce their wedding. The DeepVeer wedding was full of drama and suspense: Will Ranveer and Deepika fight over a lehenga? And Nickyanka took the hype to the next level, with choreographed Instagram posts and Sansa Stark doing an item number. The Indian public thought they’d seen it all.
But had they?
Mukesh Ambani reportedly saw the footage from these events and said, “So cute these guys try so hard to hype it all up. Why can’t people keep it simple like I did for Anant’s fifth birthday party, where we got Messi and Ronaldo to play football for the kids.” On a scale of Diwali firecrackers, if Virushka, DeepVeer, and Nickyanka were sutli bombs, then the Ambani shaadi is like 10,000 ki ladi. It was loud, non-stop, and made at least three people go, “Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan?”
Obviously, everyone at the sangeet was either rich or famous or both (except Anil Ambani). Karan Kundra and Anusha Dandekar might be cool at the Nickyanka wedding, but there’s no place for mediocrity at the Ambani-Piramal sangeet. The last thing Mukesh Ambani wants is for a drunk Jackie Shroff to start misbehaving with former First Lady of the United States Hillary Clinton. Yes, Hillary Clinton was in the house (palace, actually), as was former Secretary of State John Kerry. How well do they know Isha Ambani? Who cares, just enjoy the carnival.
What can you do in life with hard work, determination, and a net worth of $43.1 billion? A lot. For one, you can get Salman Khan to be a background dancer to an even worse dancer in Anant Ambani. On a Shah Rukh Khan song. And in an embarrassment to Gujaratis everywhere, the GUJJU song from Kal Ho Na Ho was recreated on stage (who woulda thunk?), which led to thousands of people throwing up in Surat and Ahmedabad. Mukesh Ambani has single-handedly managed to do what no director in Bollywood has managed to do – get Shah Rukh, Salman, and Aamir to perform on one stage.
The sangeet was a Christmas miracle in itself – Abhishek Bachchan managed to “dance” (if we can call it that) for more than three seconds. Hillary Clinton finally got more than half the crowd on her side as her bhangra performance with John Kerry was cheered by all. My faith in the power of money was restored when Beyoncé, who has never toured India, agreed to perform at the sangeet and risk her credibility by following Salman and Abhishek on stage. It is amazing what you can get people to do, if only the right amount of money is on the table. India’s Richie Rich was the conductor and the whole world was dancing to his tunes.
The Ambani-Piramal duo has blown the world away, and the wedding hasn’t even begun. This was just a pre-wedding bashHow do you top this? Is the wedding going to be on Mars? Is Modi going to announce a special currency note with Ambani’s face on it? At least one thing is loud and clear: Stop trying, everyone else, India’s Royal Wedding has arrived and it has won the wedding season.