Kolkata: What’s common between Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh from Sooryavansham, Welcome’s Uday Bhai-Majnu Bhai and Pradhanji of ‘Panchayat’? Apparently nothing, one would say. But the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has brought all of them— and many more from the silver screen — together as India’s stellar show has opened the floodgates of memes on social media that are giving new dimensions to the gentleman’s game after every match.
If you are a social media user, these memes have certainly flooded your timeline by now. If not, it’s unlikely that there hasn’t been any forward on Whatsapp so far. Be it Akshay Kumar’s Rajiv (read Sri Lanka) complaining to Nana Patekar’s Uday Bhai (ICC) about the thrashing by Majnu Bhai (India), Md Shami saying “ghar mein ghuske maroonga” in Sunny Deol style or Paresh Rawal donning the hat of Rohit Sharma and telling Rajpal Yadav’s Hardik Pandya: “Teri judaai ka gaam main seh lunga”, scenes from timeless classics to new-age romcoms have found a twist this cricket season. And they have become an instant hit among cricket buffs and those who have no connection with sports whatsoever.
“Meme is the most hard-hitting platform at present. Memes help you say the most unpleasant thing in an easy way. Just a picture or two and a couple of words can do what an entire paragraph can't. They also have a lasting effect in the memory of the consumers. So it is more than natural that social media will get flooded with cricket memes when India is playing so well," said Sayak Sarkar, an online content creator and a student of the Institute of Engineering & Management.
“India has been on a roll this World Cup. After every match, I wait for the memes on Facebook the next day. They make the wins more entertaining,” said Akash Kulu, an avid Kohli fan. His friend Jayanta Kundu has been following a routine over the last few weeks. “Normally, I watch cricket matches with my grandfather. I read out and show the meme videos to him. He doesn’t have an FB account,” Kundu said.
While most of the memes celebrate India’s dominance in the ongoing World Cup, there are scores that highlight the current form of other teams, like the Proteas failing to break the knockout jinx, Afghanistan emerging as the giant-killer or the early exit of England. Many have taken a dig at the poor show of Pakistan as well. “I am all for memes but they should be in good taste. Making fun of other nations is something I don’t support,” said Biswanath Pal, a teacher.
The Indian juggernaut has caught the fancy of the authorities as well. Both Kolkata Police and Delhi Police had shared memes on their Facebook pages after Angelo Mathews was “timed out” against Bangladesh.