Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last few weekends

Last few weekends were quite good.

Watched a play with friends in Ranga-Shankara called - "An idiot for dinner". I came to know that this play and the movie Bheja Fry are both adaptations of a French movie. I was very happy when Bheja Fry was made. I was under the impression that it was a movie in its own league and was probably a very genuine effort by Bollywood. Alas...

The play was quite good. The performance from the tax inspector was spectacular. After the play, there were shouts of once again and the tax inspector did not disappoint the crowd. The thing to note here was that he was such a seasoned and fantastic actor that one moment he was talking to the crowd - "what part you want me to enact again?" and the very next moment, he had already slipped into the character. Quite amazing.

My brother in law was here for a few days. He was playing Age of Conquerors, and that took me back to my IIT days. Those days, I used to play AoC all night, and in the morning, the whole AoC gang used to visit Maddu mess to eat "Anda Dosa, Medu Vada, Idly, Sambar" at 5:15 a.m. Needless to say, I used to sleep till evening. Those were some days. Anyways - had a couple of nice AoC games with my BIL, to the utter annoyance of Richa.

This weekend, I saw a couple of movies - "Before Sunrise" and "300". Plan to see "Before Sunset" coming weekend, and only then will I write about the pair. 300 is a good movie. It definitely arouses ones interest in history. Damn! I have to start reading history - that's what I had decided some time back, but this damned office work doesn't give me any spare time.

Rakhi Ka Swayamvar

Atrocious. TV has become atrocious.

In the name of reality TV, anything and everything is acceptable. The quality of programmes on TV has become abysmally shallow.

When I was growing up, my family did not impose any restriction on my TV viewing. TV was clean then. We had only 1 channel - DoorDarshan. The quality of programmes on DD is still unmatched. It had poor technology, and ever so often we used to have "rukaawat ke liye khed hai", and the colored vertical bars. As far as the content is concerned, DD was miles ahead of Zee and its siblings.

In the words of Nicklaus Worth, the inventor of Pascal (for the uninitiated, its a programming language that not many people have had the opportunity to learn) - "Pascal is a great improvement over many of its successors".

Similarly, DD was miles ahead in terms of content. Its a totally different story of what has become of DD. However, even in its dilapidated present form, it cannot be as bad as others.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Continuing with Cricket - T20 World Cup

Cricket has become a non-stop business. As soon as one tournament ends, we have another. The bosses of Indian & world cricket are milking the cricketers day in and day out. We keep enjoying the IPL and T20, but we don't realize that we are being taken for a big ride.

Lets get into some specific details and ponder on a chain of events -
  • After India's 2007 world cup debacle, the Indian audience was fed up with cricket. The mere mention of cricket would annoy people. The TRP ratings had plummeted, and ad revenue related to cricket for channels had gone down. With it had plummeted BCCI's prospects of making more money. The ICC was also losing a lot of money. They had to do something to bring back the Indian audience to cricket. Immediately after the world cup, we had T20 world cup, and who wins the tournament - India.
  • In the last year or so, the situation in Pakistan has been turbulent. No cricket has taken place in that country. PCB has lost a lot of money. Although the ICC has made a lot of money from Indian cricket, not much has been made from cricket in Pakistan. Pakistani audience too is not interested in cricket these days - they already have so many things going on in their day-2-day lives. What needs to happen - Pakistan has to win the next T20 world cup. Who wins the tournament - Pakistan.
  • Now lets look at the manner in which these teams have won the tournaments. When India won the tournament, nobody would have given India even 10% chance of winning the tournament. Australia, South Africa, SriLanka, NZ were the strongest contenders. Who won - India. Who would have given Pakistan any chance this year - only the most zealous of Pakistani fans. After losing to a newbie team like Scotland / Ireland - only the idiots would have given any chance to Pakistan. Who won - Pakistan.
Guys. Make your own conclusions.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yeh Cup Kahan Jayega

I am amazed to see the T20 campaign - "Yeh Cup Kahin Nahi Jayega". Last time there was a world cup in England (I guess the 1999 world cup), India did not make it past the super 8 stage. In 1999, the world cup was being hosted in England for the first time after 1983.

I remember the hysteria that the media had built up. Simply because the world cup was being held in England, and India had won the cup in 1983, India will win it again - was the prevailing logic.

This time around, we were the defending champions of T20 world cup and thats why we were the favorites to win. Many things went wrong in this campaign. Some of them are -
  • IPL - by playing too much in IPL, we were tired by the time we got to the world cup.
  • IPL - by playing too much in IPL, we have exposed all our strenghts and weakness. Others, who did not play that much role in IPL, were not idiots. They were watching us from the sidelines, and making their plans.
  • Too much expectation - India has always performed well when there is absolutely no expectation. Whenever there is an iota of expectation, we fumble. In 1983, nobody expected the team to win the world cup. After the debacle in the last world cup, nobody expected the team to win the T20 world cup.
  • Illogical bowling - look at the lengths Umar Gul is bowling, and look at what Ishant Sharma is bowling. It is self explanatory.
  • Poor fielding - we gave away 2 boundaries where there was not even a single run. We lost by 3 runs.
  • Jadeja - the guy is practically useless. He can only poke around. He cannot hit sixes. Not even 1 shot that he hit was convincing, and he wasted too many balls.
  • Raina - when he was being peppered with short balls, why the hell he has to go for a pull. He could have helped the ball on its way above the keeper. In short, lack of committment and lack of brains. One dimensional batting. This is where you need people like Tendulkar.