Sunday, January 6, 2008

In continuation with the last post

Talks are also on between Australian players and CSI over whether or not the averages should be calculated keeping in mind the umpiring blunders. Australian players are claiming that these things should affect the averages because they believe these things will even out over a player's career span and in the case that certain people and teams are lucky enough to have things in their favor its not their fault, as such things do happen in the game of cricket.

Ricky Ponting is quoted as saying "Listen mate.. We got 10 lucky breaks in this match and if you look back at all the matches we have played over the last decade I am pretty sure it all evens out. You need to play cricket in the Right(ya, with a capital R) spirit mate". However he did not elaborate on what he meant by right spirit and whether standing your ground after gliding the ball into the wicket keeper's gloves and claiming a catch after having rested in briefly on Mother Earth (as if she didn't have enough burden already) would qualify as Right spirit. And also maybe crying foul when an opponent utters a word or two of aggression towards them when you've been doing this for years now. After all the game needs some cleaning up and racism will not be tolerated. Andrew Symonds in addition to being a good batsman, a decent bowler and a great fielder also seems to be in the team in his capacity to draw racist remarks from the opposition. So next time you say anything to the Australians, make sure you are facing away from Symonds lest they use it to their advantage.

Also, he claims, you get back what you give. The Aussies take good care of the neutral umpires when they visit down under and its only natural that they look to reciprocate such warm hospitality. Maybe BCCI, the richest board in the world, would do well to take note of this fact and treat the umpires well and bother about the players later. After all once the umpires make up their mind it doesn't matter whether the player is good or not or whether its out or not. All they have to do is show their finger at the right moments. As far as the Indian team is concerned they'll be justified in feeling they are at the recieving end of the wrong finger at the moment.

Scorecard changes and battle royale

Following the post-mortem of the second Test match between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground the Cricket Statisticians Inc. (CSI) have decided to ring in a few changes to the scorecard. Now instead of just reading out team scores like 209 for 4, we'll be reading out individual scores in that manner. For instance Symonds' innings will go down in record books as 162 for 3, Hussey's as 145 for 2, Tendulkar 154 for one and Ponting 55 for one. This they say is necessary as they think this will be more revealing about the standards of umpiring in the match and would help in making sure the umpires involved are forced to take this to their graves. However, CSI has decided against it having any effects on averages as they feel this will be unfair on the modern day batsmen as the olden generations are likely to go unaffected due to lack of necessary documentation to apply the new rules to them. However, CSI has said that talks are on to try and fit in an additional column "Wickets Denied" to give some of the due credit to the aggrieved bowlers. Also on the anvil is the possibilty of using half an asterix to indicate when a batsman has been ruled out unfairly.

Another report coming in is about how the best of pals in the Indian team and partners in many run chases seem to be not in talking terms after altercations over who would partner Deepika Padukone. Of late both of them don't seem as chirpy on the cricket field seeming to indicate that they would rather focus their energies on settling this off field issue. It has taken on such draconic proportions that both Yuvraj and Dhoni, keen to spend as much time with Deepika are ensuring they don't stay on the crease for too long and give the least bit of advantage to the other. One only hopes that with Indian batting struggling Deepika tells them she'll prefer the one who performs better on the field. That would be the perfect script for the revival of their batting form.

Friday, January 4, 2008

How to name it (III)

Moreover, considering that the "angel" was at that point in time inside the manger's room was a positive as far as PLC was considered. Suddenly he felt in a manner unlike any other he had experienced thus far. Was this what they called "Love"? Will this mean that he would soon one among the many who called up on the dial in shows of music channels daily, to either boast of their relationship or try and put forth the problems in their relationship to a couple of people who didn't look like psychologists but did a fairly decent job or convincing the world they are indeed love experts, if indeed there existed any. Quickly banishing these rather disturbing thoughts he knocked on the manager's door half expecting him to ask him to hang on outside for a while and also hear stifled laughs and giggles from inside.

Distracted by this totally new line of thought that his mind was taking, PLC missed the first time that the manager asked him to come in and it was only when a slightly agitated manager called out to him loud the next time did he look up with a jerk and the fashion of his entry into the room did absolutely nothing to instill any confidence in him. Sheepishly grinning and eyes scanning the room to catch sight of his lady love ( yes, by now at least he had made up his mind about what he thought of her. Her impression of him be damned, at least for now) he made quite a sight and very fortunately for him the manager decided to put it down to the normal bouts of nervousness that any new comer faces on the first day of office. With a pleasant smile on his face the manager made sure that PLC was feeling comfortable and the by now settled look on PLC face seemed to convince him that he had made the correct impact on the young man. Little did he know that the look on PLC's face was more due to his success in catching the attention of the other inhabitant of the room. By now PLC had decided that she would be the guardian angel in his life and would do quite a good job at it (and it is this impression of her on PLC's mind which helps establish her name as Guardian Angel Par Excellence or GAPE in short). His focus was more on how to make a good first impression on her rather than the manager and in this moment PLC represents many of the ordinary people who tend to get their object of focus wrong at critical moments. So while the manager was discussing details of his training, PLC was busy training his eyes to follow every little movement of GAPE.

All of a sudden and with a jerk similar to the one at the door PLC realized that he had missed out on a considerable part of his manager's discourse so far. And just as he was starting to get involved in the conversation the manager decided to wrap things up and asked PLC to make a move on and get himself acquainted with the others in the office room and especially TIC who would be his mentor during his early days at work. Considering that PLC was just taking his baby steps in the organization, he decided he could do with a close friend or two to guide him through this phase. Having no one he knew earlier working here, he was forced to go through the whole process of working towards a close friendship again. Desperate as he was to quicken the process ,he hit on the strategy that had seemingly worked so wonderfully for him earlier. He had always noticed that the more you reveal about yourself and your little secrets to someone the more they seemed to draw closer to you. Deciding that he knew enough of TIC (and more than enough of CCW) for him to begin a close relationship with him. He decided to fast track the process by letting TIC into the details of the happenings in the manger's cabin, seek help in figuring out what the manger could have told him and profess his liking for GAPE. The point that PLC missed was that while it's all well and good revealing your little crushes to someone whom you have known for a while and have built up quite a bit of trust with, it's dangerous to do the same with someone whom you barely know.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


This is not about the mega budget dance and song extravaganzas which appear from time to time in Hollywood (and strangely is the description given to any Indian, or should I say Bollywood, movie in the western media). This is about the ones which last for barely a minute and appear on TV. Of late there have been quite a few commercials which have depended almost entirely on their music, to succeed. Two such which stand out and I guess this qualifies as success are strangely from the same field, mobile service providers: Airtel and Vodafone.

When, AR Rahman whose initial works include some memorable ad jingles, Leo coffee being one of them, signed up as brand ambassador for Airtel after having refused to enter the ad market till then, it caused a flutter in the industry. The question being raised was whether he was still in touch with the world of commercials to be able to churn out one more hit. He answered it in style with his theme for Airtel which , 3 or 4 years after its introduction, still creates an impact each time its on air. The sheer range of visuals it has accompanied and the perfect changes (though slight) made to the original to suit the mood, and yet not diluting the flavor of the original bears testimony to the brilliance of the composition.

Vodafone, from the Hutch days, though not boasting of a high profile composer ( at least not one I am aware of) has relied on its music to add immense value to its ads and has come out trumps. The "you and I" track remains one of the most hummable ad tunes in recent times , though sadly it is currently "out of circulation". The latest series of ads from Vodafone. on the additional services, are an absolute revelation. Highly imaginative and touching a chord with the common man in terms of the situations portrayed and yet managing to add on such a wonderful comic layer to it, is something not too many ads can boast of, certainly not those without any dialogues. This is where the accompanying music has played an amazing role, in the Art of Living ad more than the rest. The jingles manage to create a humor effect that has never been experienced before in such ads and with stupendous success.

If one were to draw a comparison between the advertisements of these two then one would have to say that while the Airtel jingle adds grandeur to majestic and moving visuals, the Vodafone ones create magic with, and not despite, their simplicity.

Quote uncouth

Following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the tv channels worked tirelessly, vying with each other towards providing a information hungry nation the latest form the ground in Pakistan as well as trying to increase eyeballs by getting political office bearers past and present to give their views on the dastardly act and its repercussions across the globe and more importantly, on India. The experts with their repetitive views did get boring after a while and it did help that no one was on for a prolonged period of time. Also helping the viewer stay glued were the slip of tongues and the like which the politicos managed.

Topping the charts was Natwar Singh, who in a bid to remain in the news (or at least on the news channels) seemed to have given his assent for an interview to quite a few news channels. So when Barkha Dutt asked him her first question pat came the reply: "May I know who am I talking to". Old age i guess. Retirement plans?

Next in line was former J&K CM and presently out of favor politcal heavyweight Farooq Abdullah. Though excusable his statement on how "Benazir Bhutto, India's former PM" death would affect relationships did nothing to boost the present day politician's image of one who talks, then thinks and finally denies the statement. A point worth noting is that Mr. Abdullah was very quick to correct himself on this.

Not to be left behind was Pranab Mukherjee, who holds the post which Natwar Singh so dearly wants, while reading his statement decided to be very correct and read the statement as"... comma ... ". I am unaware if this is the usual practice and if it is, excuse me. But that does not stop me from wondering why they do not take slightly more effort and make sure that full stops are also carefully noted down.

Adding to the fun were the editors at a couple of rival news channels who decided that since there was nothing much to differentiate in terms of content and the details regarding the assassination the least they could do is to use different weapons of attack, while one channel proclaimed it was a sniper which got Benazir, the other claimed it was an AK 47. In the end I guess it was neither. One only wishes that in their over eagerness to win the race for breaking news they do not bury the fundamental principle of journalism which is to ensure that the information being broadcast is correct. This is the very least that we expect from our media.


Couldn help but wonder at how things have worked pretty similarly over the past year or so for Dravid and Ponting, the stars for India and Australia on India's tour down under. 2007 was the worst year for both with their year average hovering jus below 40, an utter disappointment to their legions of fans not to mention to the two legends themselves. Of considerable intrigue is their scores thus far in this series. Both of them failed to get going in the 1st test and now they have both manged to touch 50, in contrasting styles but with the same measure of luck. If this trend of tracking each other continues then one will have a tough time in picking whether we'd want simultaneous failures or for both of them to shine. Devil or the deep blue sea anyone?