Archive for November, 2005

I am an avid listener of GO 92.5FM, a radio station in Mumbai. Every day, through the day, they have news updates… One of these is the morning 9 am one “Sports Talk with Annie”. This is the newsreader profile and this morning, I swear I heard her read this out:
The abandonment of the Chennai match thanks to rain, after a strong South African win in the first one-dayer, and India’s emphatic response in the second, has only served to keep this series on an even keel longer, setting up the fourth ODI at Kolkata deliciously. Whoever wins here knows they are guaranteed not to lose the series, and that brings its own pressure on both teams not to lose.
The talk in the series has been tough to read from both camps, as no clear trend has emerged, no team has seized the initiative, as was the case when India drove down Sri Lanka into submission. Graeme Smith has relentlessly talked his team up, and occasionally taken a dig at the Indians. Smith didn’t reveal much about the composition of his side for the match and said that South Africa “have 15 to choose from for the game”. Rahul Dravid has been understated as ever, and any statements from the Indian camp will come through bat, ball, or result in the Kolkata match.
Nothing wrong in the content or anything else, just that this is the same content available in the preview by Anand Vasu on Cricinfo.com.
The reason I remember this at all is the use of the following: Abandonment, Submission and “no clear trend has emerged…”
Ideally, I would like to hear from both parties as to who was the original author. If this indeed was a newswire story, why has Cricinfo.com attributed it to Anand Vasu? If this is his original story, why is Go92.5FM reading out stuff verbatim?
One way or another, there is something fishy… unless we don’t know of a content-sharing agreement.
Can anyone answer?
Update: I have e-mailed Go 92.5 FM to an e-mail ID on their site (the producer) and to the Feedback section but no reply. Ditto for Cricinfo.com.
Cross-posted on We, The Media
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Shame On You, Afridi

Reading about how TV cameras caught the swashbuckling Shahid Afridi scuffing up the pitch on the second day of the second Test against England brings back memories from the early ’90s when charges of ball tampering were rife against Pakistan bowlers because they got reverse swing. Unfortunately for England, they could never prove those charges because (we have to believe it now) they were unsubstantiated.

But this, Pakistan cannot escape. What Afridi was doing trying to dig a hole is anybody’s guess. How did he think the match would have progressed if he would have succeeded?!?

Seriously, though, hats off to the usually laidback Roshan Mahanama in imposing a fine and a ban. It’s a lesson to all those criminal-minded cricketers who would like to tamper with things they aren’t supposed to. And we are still talking cricket, by the way!

The same could well have been the case with Rahul Dravid when got himself into a slightly sticky spot (pun intended) some time back with a chewing gum episode in Australia. And another interesting not from that episode was how the then captain Sourav Ganguly had sprung to his defense. Ah those days of brotherly love!

I love watching movies (as is evident from this) but the recent installment of the HP series: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire was anything but enjoyable. The primary reason being the choice of theatre.

There is a reason the multiplex revolution has everyone in its grasp… they offer a comfortable viewing experience, complete with good seats, good sound and visual and generally, a good atmosphere. Unfortunately, I saw HP and the GoF at Sterling, one of Mumbai’s grand theatres from yore.

The seats were rickety at best and I was mildly surprised to notice that they did not recline when I did push into them! The second shock was the fact that there was no cupholder for my bottle of water. Time: 9.40 pm. Three hours to go.

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Piracy As A Tool?

Piracy of just about anything is deeply rooted in modern India. We almost never want to pay full price. That means, we never want to pay taxes. Multiple reasons for this, surely. Despite understanding the fact that by buying stuff legally (with bill and warranty as it is referred to) that will help improve the overall fiscal state of the country, we often head to the streets looking for deals.

Seriously, when was the last time you were not tempted to buy a cell phone off the grey market? We often even have ‘contacts’ who will assuredly supply us with good stuff at unbelievable prices. Before I put forth my theory that piracy is indeed a self-defence mechanism or indeed a means to revolt, the question needs to be asked as to why it has come to this stage.

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Seriously, would you drink it if it cost so much? I would maybe resell and make more money!!

Overpriced Bottled Water

Even the creator of Dilbert is not spared. Kind of reminds me of those ICICI Bank credit card salesmen in grocery stores. I sympathise totally.

Escapes

The past couple of weeks have been relatively relaxed in terms of workload etc and I have had a fair amount of time on hand to catch up on some much-delayed reading and movies. The reading has already been chronicled but the movies haven’t…

Interestingly, though, my choice of movies was vague at best. I picked up Escape from Sobibor (info about the uprising), Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, Million Dollar Baby and Schindler’s List. Of this list, I only chose Schindler’s List. The other three were recommended by the wife. That three of these movies have something to with struggle and freedom (from life, oppressors or whatever) have nothing to do with my situation in life!

Of the lot, though, I was truly enchanted (if I could say that) by Escape from Sobibor. For one, it had some fairly intense and believable performances (as did the others, but no one in this movie was a known name) and the whole production looked rather low budget. Again, two of the four were movies inspired by real life incidents and both from the same era – World War II.

Schindler’s list had its length going for it but was not as striking as I imagined it would (or could or should) have been. Yes, it was perhaps Steven Spielberg at his best, but Escape from Sobibor took the cake.

Yes, Million Dollar Baby was a good movie too and deserved all the Oscars it won… I quite liked Morgan Freeman in his role and the guy who played ‘Danger’, the obviously ‘mad’ boxer. But these two WWII flicks were truly great.

For a measly Rs 149, Escape from Sobibor is a great movie to own and one you can watch over and over. One final explanation: I have no clue why I chose two WWII concentration camp-related movies in the same week. Don’t try this at home!!

Live (Hungover) TV!

I would strongly agree with the point of this author: Don’t go on live TV if you are hungover.

Video at your own risk!

Punishment!

We’ve all been there, done that… as in skipping school (Ow, my tummy hurts), not doing homework (my dog ate it) and what not. We have hence been scolded, shouted at punished and at times even hit. But this is crazy. What’s truly worse, though, is that the mom looks rather smug and happy posing for the photo! Geez.

The Kite Runner

Totally rocks and is a must-read. 

Beg, borrow or steal. But don’t miss.

Greg Chappell has introduced a way of ‘capping’ new players. Commendable and I agree with this report that Sunny will be happy!

Unfortunately, Indiatimes.com seems to have no respect for the nations sporting (or other) icons. Take a look at this slideshow and you will know. More specifically, this line [from here]: “This sporty siren is sure to get you all worked up in the bedroom. The spunky gal will not be a passive partner so get ready for some fireworks!” is what has me up in arms.
Rather distasteful considering it’s 20-year-old Sania Mirza they are referring to. She is the one sportswoman who has worked hard and made the country proud. This is no way to write about her as if she were some bimbette. In very poor taste.

I Am Shocked!

I have recently been researching on post production and visual effects and the like in movies and what I have found has left me shocked. Needless to say, while movies are dreams on screen, there is no truth to whatever we see.
While this may be good in the case of movies that need effects, there are also movies that employ post prod and VFX for just cleaning up and at times, hiding their mistakes.
I may never enjoy a movie again.

Nach Baliye

I have to admit that I am quite intrigued by this show and over the last couple of weeks, do watch it with unerring regularity. Not really normal for me when it concerns TV shows.
The thing is, this is a chance to see the hitherto typecast TV actors in a totally new light (no allusions to Hindustan Times, please). It is good to see them dress normally and not as dolls dolled (sic) up for a wedding everyday.
Coming to the show and the performances, the chemistry between the older couples (Sachin and Supriya & Archana Puransingh and Parmeet Sethi) is visibly better than that of the younger ones. Of course time plays a part.
I have now seen two consecutive weeks and thankfully the performances on Nov 3 were accompanied by no crying and some rather stern judging (although two teams managed scores of 29 and 30 out of 30). This was the time to seperate the wheat from the chaff.
And I also agree with one of the judges Farhan Akhtar when he says anyone can win. A word of advise for the judges: Being American Idol-esque is fun. Please don’t be Mr and Ms Goody-Two-Shoes.
My money, though, is firmly on the aforementioned older couples. For one, both these couples can shake a leg (or four) and also emote when dancing. As for the others, there are some couples which should dance with a warning that reads: For The Stiff Bodied Only. They are actually worse than I am! Heh!

Sillyness

Yes, it is rather silly. But this is also interesting as to how our brain fools us. Click and enjoy.

Also, my old blog is worth a fair bit of money. This one, though, not so much.

Old Blog:


My blog is worth $10,161.72.
How much is your blog worth?

This Blog: $0.00.

Where do I encash this?

Socked ‘Em!

And how! Yesterday’s win by India over Sri Lanka announced one of the most emphatic results in Indian cricket for a long time.
Not since Mohd Azharuddin’s team humiliated the visiting English 3-0 (Tests) back in 1993-94 has Indian cricket enjoyed such a resounding result.
And the reasons: Greg Chappell, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and the new blood in the team. The captain himself said so!
Thankfully, he also warned against unnecessary zealousness over the results. Is the press hearing?

The thing I truly enjoyed about the match was India’s use of the Supersub Suresh Raina. For the first time it would seem that a supersub was brought in at the right time and with the right effect. Of course, it could have been a different story had India lost the toss and batted first. But this added dimension to the game is indeed an exciting prospect. Much more than the proposed use of technology for every decision. That, in my humble opinion, would merely slow down the game no end.

What I did not enjoy about the match(es) is the coverage by Doordarshan. In their commentator line-up, they have Ravi Shastri (6/10), Arun Lal (5/10), L Sivaramakrisnan (6/10), Rabil Abeynayke (who he? 3/10) and the now-crestfallen Ranjit Fernando (4/10).
In the studios, we have Charu Sharma (1/10), Kris ‘Cheeka’ Srikkanth (0.5/10), Jimmy Amarnath (0.55/10), Atul ‘discard’ Wassan (0.52/10) and Anjum Chopra (0.56/10). What they speak is (a) incomprehensible (b) utter nonsense (c) such utter nonsense that nonsense makes sense. It also does not help that neither has a sense of humour or good looks (hey, it’s live TV).
As far as the management of matches at the various stadia in India goes, most post-match presentation ‘ceremonies’ look like a wedding is being held on the pitch. Why oh why must there by 100 people when only 3 would be presenting any award and one would be doing the blabbering? Can’t we make these presentation ‘parties’ leaner and more professional-looking?
And yes, the end-of-the-match request by the Hon Sharad Pawar to Ravi Shastri that prompted a question in Marathi was slightly out of place. Playing to the galleries, obviously but let’s maintain some decorum (again, who dat?).

Lighting Up!

I am talking about Diwali and not of the other ‘lighting up’ which can lead to illusions and hallucinations. Not interested, thank you! But the last week has been quite fabulous. For one, I went off to Pune and turned off my cell phone. I switched off the TV. I closed the room door and opened only one thing… no you perverts, not that. A book! And then another. And another. It was quite riveting. I thoroughly enjoyed lighting up during Diwali. I mean, enlightening up! One of the books I finally managed to read was The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The other I am reading is the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Both seem to be marvellous books and the time I have spent on this, is perhaps the best I have in almost six months (alone, that is). I am yet to finish Angels and Demons (also by Dan Brown) and Kite Runner, though.
More on that later (regarding why prequels are released as prequels and not the first book).

There are obvious joys in being alone and spending time the way I did, but at the same time, it is also important that one knows the whereabouts of time and not just lie about all day lost in the fabulous world of books. In my quest for solitude, I lost track of all… now I know what the cost of solitude is!

Anyway, wishing everyone a Happy Diwali and a great year ahead.

Migratory Issues

Now that I have migrated and tried (unsuccesfully) also to import all posts from Blogger, I have figured that this is the best way. Following are links to posts made in October at the old blog.

All new posting will happen right here.

  • Egads It’s Flying In My Kitchen [here]
  • Eating my words and enjoying it [here]
  • ‘Dost’ and ‘Ypun Aur Sheher’? [here]
  • IIPM v Blogosphere [here, here, here, here, here] In reverse chronological order
  • And then what? [here]
  • Diwali, dude! [here]
  • Victory [here]

For all previous posts, just click the months: October 2005, September 2005, August 2005, July 2005, June 2005, May 2005, April 2005, March 2005

Any Day Now…

I will soon be moving to a new blog… a WordPress one. Why? Because they are easier to maintain and offer better navigation and categorisation options.
Also, I have an invite to give away… please me and it’s yours!

My new address will be: Scribbler On The Net.

See you there.