By Niroj Dash
Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya might have tried to play up his “scoring” skills on his appearance on Koffee with Karan, but ended up running himself out by making a litany of ill-informed, crass statements. Pandya crashed and burned so hard that the halo of his embarrassment also enveloped his fellow guest on the show, KL Rahul, leading to the BCCI’s Council of Administrators issuing them a show-cause notice to the players and considering imposing a ban on them.
In order to salvage (or more accurately, reboot, since this is effectively his first brush with fame) his tattered image, Pandya has acquired the services of a crack team of PR professionals, whose resume includes image rehabilitation for such stellar companies as Union Carbide, Monsanto, and East India Company. These experts called a press conference to announce their strategy for turning Hardik back into a PandYa from a PandNo.
“Hardik Pandya has understood how risky it can be to appear on a talk show or give an interview without proper practice and preparation. Henceforth, we will be taking a page out of PM Modi’s book and sticking to the script all the time,” said Mr BA Bysitter, Pandya’s newly hired PR manager. “We accept that Mr Pandya’s initial apology reeked of as much insincerity as Kevin Spacey’s, but rest assured that this will be the last time he is allowed to run his stupid mouth with no supervision,” Bysitter continued.
It was only after a nod from his PR manager that Pandya leaned forward and spoke into the mic, “Unless there is a bound script given to me ahead of the interview or talk show, henceforth I won’t agree to do it. I have to get the answers reviewed by Ravi Sir or Kohli Bhai. Whatever the case, I cannot allow myself to be carried away once more.” Reporters who were still suspicious of Pandya’s intentions after this move were left guessing, as his PR team shuffled him off stage, and chose to answer any questions thrown at them with the cryptic catechism, “Puducherry ko vanakkam!”
Disappointed journalists at the press conference remarked how this feeling of being left high and dry is one they had only associated with PM Modi’s press interactions, which proves that Pandya’s PR team’s newest strategy is working. Whatever the context or scenario, being associated with Modiji is always better than being associated with KJo’s self-indulgent excuse for an exciting talk show.
In a press release distributed to reporters at the close of the conference, Mr Bysitter outlined his vision for the Swacchh Hardik campaign. “The PM hasn’t had a tough interview in the last four-and-a-half years, because he hasn’t faced a tough question in all that time. Modiji shows us the easiest way to appear cool and collected is never put yourself in any kind of pressure situation, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Going forward there will be no more sleazy, off-the-cuff tann ki baat, only well-rehearsed, politically correct mann ki baat.”
How this new approach benefits Hardik Pandya going forward is yet to be seen. However, latest reports claim that in the wake of this image makeover, Karan Johar is considering stripping Pandya of his Koffee Hamper.
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