New Delhi:It's a player, it's a coach, no it's Anupam Mukherji. The Fake IPL Player of 2009 is all the buzz since he revealed his identity this week as a marketing communications professional whose life changed when he started the blog about purported inside goings on during the Indian Premier League 2. We caught up with the man who had the nation riveted with his characters like Bhooka Naan, Appam and Little John.
We had 20 questions not for Anupam Mukherji but the Fake IPL Player, whom Mukherji graciously resurrected one last time.
1) What compelled the birth of the Fake IPL Player?
A) Economic recession, unemployment, psychotropic substances, and a lifetime of stupidity
2) Where were you born?
A) On one of the moons of the planet Krypton.
3) Was it a difficult birth?
A) Personally, I have no recollection of it. I am sure it must have been painful for my mother although she claims raising me was far worse. Over the years, lot more people have borne the pain of me having been born.
4) Was it cricket-envy? Are you the kid that didn't get picked to play for the school team?
A) That's true. I never got picked to play for the school. But that's not why I started the blog. This was because I wasn't picked for Harsha Ki Khoj even though I worked hard at developing his hairline and toothy grin.
5) Why did you pick on the Kolkata Knight Riders in particular?
A) I didn't pick the KKR. They picked me.
6) Of all the characters and names, which was closest to your heart?
A) Like a mother who can't pick a favourite out of her children, I can't pick one out of my characters. But Big Sister was on my mind all the time, especially when asleep.
7) Which would you say was the most popular?
A) Appam would have won the popularity contest hands down if he had managed to get into MJ's trousers to make it to the stage on time.
8) There were many conjectures on which player this was. If you had decided to stretch the hoax who would you say best fit the bill as the Fake IPL Player?
A) John Buchanan's laptop
9) How were you able to convince people that you were writing out of the dressing room. Did you have a mole in there?
A) The only place where I have a mole is my right cheek. I didn't have to convince anyone that I was writing from the dressing room. The newspapers did it for me.
10) How many times did you feel an intense urge to laugh and say Ok Guys this is who I am?
A) Never. If I was better looking I may have thought about it.
11) Did anyone else - parent, sibling, friend, spouse - know it was you?
A) A couple of very close friends knew. And I told my Father once I was in serious danger of getting arrested.
12) Since you had an opinion on all things cricket, do you think spot-fixing or match-fixing is a part of the IPL too?
A) IPL is the super-set of everything in cricket. If there's filth anywhere in cricket, rest assured its there in IPL too.
13) Is there a film in there after the book?
A) I am sure there is. I am just waiting for Danny Boyle to pick up a copy. But, I am writing a film on a different subject altogether.
14) Did you expect such wild success? Or were you just plain lucky to be at the right place, at the right time?
A) Plain lucky. Not just right place right time, but my stars were probably in a once-in-a-lifetime alignment when everything I touched turned to gold. In retrospect, I should have planned a bank robbery or bought lotteries around that time.
15) If you were to do this again, which industry would you pick next?
A) If I tell you now, I won't be able to do it.
16) What did Shahrukh Khan say when KKR finally won a match?
A) Jeet ke bhi haarne vale ko KKR kehte hain
17) What did Sourav Ganguly say when KKR finally won a match?
A) Boys, don't take off your shirts and fling it over your heads until you've spent at least two years in the gym. It doesn't look good on TV.
18) What did Yuvraj Singh say when Sangakkara was made captain of Kings XI Punjab?
A) Just being captain doesn't mean you can pop the bubbly. You got to win first.
19) Are you very smart or are people out there easy to fool?
A) No matter how smart I may be, Lalit Modi is the smartest. And he has shown that people out there are really easy to fool.
20) Is there a career ahead for the Fake IPL Player? Or do you kill him?
A) Fake IPL Player is dead and right now he is getting a burial worthy of his life.
Anupam Mukerji worked as a marketing strategist at Wipro after completing his MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research Mumbai. Not too long into his job, he realised that he wasn't quite cut out for a corporate career. He successfully quit Wipro before they could sack him. An alliance with Career Launcher followed during which he tried to kick start a TV career with documentaries based on Science in Sports. Despite that, he found the TV industry not ready to accept him into their fold. Livelihood issues led him to start a small marketing communications firm in Bangalore. And just about the time he was coming to terms with his fate of spending a life of doing something that he wouldn't necessarily choose to do, Fake IPL Player happened, altering the course of his life forever. The blog led to the book The Gamechangers. And now, he is associated with a startup story-to-script company Metaphic, writing a political thriller set in Kolkata.