Sunday, September 30, 2007

India says Chak De, Team India says show me the money

I have been watching my father ever since the Twenty/20 cricket World Cup started till it ended with the Indians winning the final this week. Every time he and his friends would sit down in front of the telly, analyse the teams and the prospects of winning and losing for each team, how the players would fare, weather conditions, berate the umpire if they gave decisions that were though to be 'foolhardy.'

It was quite a sight. Every evening, since the tournament started till it got over, my dad would be seated on the floor with his face glued to our 21 inch tv screen. For him cricket was the new serial. No more BS from the house of Radaan (Radhika Sarathkumar's production house, if y'all follow Tamil serials) or unbearable melodrama from Devayani (Kolangal).

One of my father's friends is a roly poly Iyer mama, a travel agent who takes care of our ticket needs, out ticketmaster, be it my fathers trip to Kerala or my Patti's yearly sojourn to visit her son in Florida.

Everytime there was a match involving India, I would make comments such as
"All out for no loss", "The Indians are going to lose today. They will never get to the finals."

His face would turn beet red with anger and he would say "Poda badava. Nee enkitta adi vaanga porai."

Oh FSM , the sadistic pleaure I got in subjecting him to my remarks. Mu ha ha.
I hate cricket, I still do. I was a fanatic. I used to be a stat freak, following the exploits of our team and the records of some of our 'stars' till the match fixing scandal after World Cup '99 left a bitter taste in my mouth, something I can't seem to get out of my head. Some folks tell me to get over it, its been 8 years, move on. Not me un uh. Public memory may be short, but I can't forget what happened.

Even when India was playing Pakistan on Monday, I was watching Philip Seymour Hoffman beat the crap out of Tom Cruise in MI-3. So the team has won. A major victory in a long time. Something that was unexpected. With the "hope of a billion people riding on their shoulders", so said some people. What humbug. So Y.Singh hit Stuart Broad for 6 sixes. So we one the final by 13 runs.

So Malik made a remark that people in India think is in bad taste -
"I want to thank everyone back home in Pakistan and Muslims all over the world. Thank you very much and I'm sorry that we didn't win, but we did give our 100 per cent," Malik said at the presentation ceremony, after losing to India by five runs in the final of the inaugural Twenty20 World Championships in Johannesburg."

Great, Barring Malik's comment, the Indian public can now shower praises on the team, take them through the city on an open air bus , something that is done for football champions in Europe. We can now forget our pathetic display in the West Indies and England, and ignore other sports. Brethren, bactrack to a few months back, July - August to be precise. The Indian football team won the Asian Cup in Delhi, in front of a crowd that included balding has-been Virender Sehwag. Then we won the BSNL sponsored hockey tournament held in Madras city. The mass media went over board. Some of them were pompous enough to say that this could revive interest in our national sport- hockey and the worlds most famous game - football. All of that will be swept under the carpet by the 20/20 cup win.

So what happened when we won the football and hockey honours? Were the players paraded in a motorised cavalcade? Were they promised huge sums of money, like the $2 million that good old frog face has pledged from the BCCI? Did Shah Rukh Khan travel to Chennai to cheer India in the hockey cup final? (I think he should have considering he played a washed up coach who leads the ladies team to the hockey finals in Chak De, a movie people are raving about.)
There is a great disparity between cricket and other disciplines. Even if corporates pump 5% of what they spend on cricket advertising on sports as varied as hockey, football, bodybuilding, athletics, people would not have to resort to dubious practices to win or live in penury for want of financial aid.

One of these days things are going to go out of control. My mother told me contrasting stories of a football player and Sreeshanth, both of whom have been playing for a while. Sreeshanth, has a Rs 75 lakh house and 2 cars whereas the football player is struggling financially. So go figure.
That about sums up my rant. I could keep going on and on about this. Ho hum. Might as well wait for the webcast of the Mr Olympia bodybuilding championship that starts tomorrow.
PS: The title of my post is a modification of the name of a team that participated in the 2007 Landmark quiz competition. They won the prize for the best team name, as a matter of fact.

Related reading - Financial windfall for players .

Do we really love cricket

Update - The aftermath of all those bozos announcing mega cash deals for the World Cup wining duffers in blue - the Asian Cup winning hockey team is to go on a hunger strike to protest step motherly treatment . Isn't that a shame? The same politicians who have announced lakhs and lakhs in prize money have not even bothered to do something for Indian hockey's finest, even though the babus represent the state these players come from. This is douchebaggery at its best.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jason Bourne - here I come

Finally, I get to see the Bourne Ultimatum, the last of the Bourne series today at Sathyam cinema. What beats me is why the buggers took alomost 2 months to release the movie in Madras, when it has grossed over $250 million dollars at the box office since its release in August. I loved the first two movies, I am expecting the third one to be a cracker. Critic reviews have been postive, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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