Friday, February 24, 2006

Game, Mirza.

The 19-year-old supposed Indian prodigy is the latest-Indian-public-advantage taker. Oh sorry, let me rephrase that, she is the latest media-exploited personality to storm into the Indian sport/media scene. After her breakthrough into the international tennis circuit, a year back, things looked extremely bright. Not that they don't now, she is 19, but the first thing India did to her success was take advantage of her endorsing potential.

She had won the hearts of most Indians, especially the youth, with her attractive charm and one hell of a killing spirit. And then, enter media. We started seeing her in more advertisements, starting more 'clubs', and being in the papers more in her sarees than her sport-skirts. One minor WTA triumph in a below-standard line-up is basically all that she has to show.

Last year, her breathtaking performance against US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova in Dubai left me mesmerized. Even though she wasn't the fittest, or the fastest, it seemed that this teenage sensation was soon going to make her mark, not only on Indian tennis, but also globally. But a year has passed, and I see no progress. Her same lack-lustre fitness, slowness on court and unnecessary unforced errors is still in prominence. Where is the improvement? Yes, she is still 19, but so is Sharapova. No sorry, Sharapova is 18! It took her only a year to reach the number one spot, and she is only becoming better.

Who is to blame for this? Is it Ms. Mirza for getting transfixed into this media swoon, or is it the media who have pulled her in?

Sania does have potential, her power and killing spirit and are two resourceful positives. All she needs now is practice, and some magical spell to avoid media distractions.

But besides the tennis, she has now, probably because of media hype, earned enough money to last a lifetime. So the money she hasn't won in prize-money, she has got through endorsements. But is that all? Is that all the spirit of sports is about - Money? I feel she is the latest breed of an Indian cricketer - she has the support of a billion people, and she uses a bat (yeah I know, a racquet), and a ball to earn her 'cash'.

There is a lot of time for her to improve - I agree. 'Yeah someday she'll make it' - but that's not how we should keep putting her aside.

Anyway she has the money. So is it game, Mirza?

I can't wait for your responses.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


If you thought I was decent at football, or for that matter Daniyal or Aaron - watch this kid, and then let us all stop playing football.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bored At School! ~ ?

Eamonn, Shrivats, Kaushik and I are sitting in the school's IT Centre doing 'precisely nothing' - as Shrivats put it. Youtube, and Miniclip are our sustainers - and I have exposed these naive twins to the beauty of the internet (or Youtube). They are quite fascinated by some of the videos we saw. ;)

So if you, are ever bored, sitting in your school's 'IT Center'. Here is some really funny stuff you can watch - if you have not already!

If you, like me, fell for the infamous Nike ad, when Ronaldinho hit the bar four times on a trot -you need to watch this!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What Happened On Your Historic Birthday?

Well, for all of us self obsessed and jobless people - here is something you might enjoy, if you have not already done it! Check out all the events that took place on your birthday in the past!

Like on my birthday, Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga football team was founded! - hah Harry!
The American Civil War took place - it started or something. Quite fascinating!

Valentines' Day & Grandparents' Day? :S

Yes today is both Valentines' Day and Grandparents' Day and no, I am not wishing you either. Today, there is a 'special' day for anything, absolutely anything. It has almost become a mockery. Yes Christmas, Diwali, Eid, and even birthdays are exceptions. They have been there for quite some time, and have good reason to exist.

But nowadays, these 'special' days of 'celebration' are produced - literally! Our society is waiting to find an excuse to celebrate some occasion or the other, or to remember some person or the other, or to express your love for some relation of yours or the other. And wait, the main instigators of such a trend is the media. They obviously make maximum profits from those people who are caught in the web of love or from those who are just looking for an excuse to celebrate friendship (it should be celebrated, but not only on some particular day). Yes some of these days are seem important, such as the 'Van Mohatsav' day (save-the-environment day), so that there is sudden number of increase in the number of trees in the world? Some might say that it is required by the society to raise awareness, or express love. Yes it seems all reasonable, yes there should be days such as these! But...

But why should we choose one particular day (let’s say today) to declare our love for someone? Why can't we just express our feelings for whomever whenever required?

Why should we select one particular day to plant trees? Why can't we make it a regular slot in our timetables?

Why should we choose the 19th of June to show our fathers that we really care? Why do we have to wait, and give him a 'thank you' card only on that day? Hasn't he supported us for all our lives?

Why do we have to choose 'World AIDS Day’ to remember the victims of this fatal disease? Why can't we pray for its cure everyday? Why can’t we raise awareness in the world regarding matters such as poverty, population and so on, on a more regular basis, and not rely on some particular day?

People may argue that such 'special' days are required to keep the spirit going. I agree, but what I personally don't like is that there are so many of these unnecessary days of 'celebration' and 'remembrance' and the fact that it has almost become a farce. It has become almost an excuse to throw a party and enjoy the supposed 'meaningful' day. My point is why do we need an excuse? It has almost become like, what, we don't have 'Great Grandfather's Brothers' day? Do we actually need these concocted dates to express ourselves and actually care?

Again, it is debatable - so your opinions are welcome, but I hope no one jumps on me like they normally do!

Just for your information - here are a few 'days' that our world apparently celebrates:

Australia Day
April Fools Day
Arbor Day
Bank Holiday
Chinese New Year
Day of the Dead
Earth Day
German Unity Day
Groundhog Day
Hallie Parker Day -
Hangul Day
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
International Lighthouse Day
Inventor's Day
Lantern Festival
Lunar New Year
Mardi Gras
Martin Luther King Day
May Day
Mole Day
New Year's Day - January 1st
Pi Day
Presidents' Day
Saint Patrick's Day
Shrove Tuesday
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Valentine's Day
Veterans Day
Victory in Europe Day
Victory over Japan Day
Women's Day
World AIDS Day
World Ocean Day
World Water Day
(Fathers, Mothers, Childrens, Teachers, Grandparents) x Day - (imagine a maths equation)

Do we need so many?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Melodramatic Idol!

Yes, we all watch American Idol. We all love watching American Idol. Some of us watch it to spot new rock talent ( :D - for everyone who knows me or Ali Yar Khan), some to compare ourselves with the American talent, some just for laughs and some, because everyone else is watching it.

But let me get to my point. The American society is supposed to be one of the most developed and educated societies of the world. Everyone knows their rights, and their rights to sue. But it is almost farcical to see many, if not most, of the participants of American Idol announcing to the world that they are going to be America's next idol, when they can't even sing one bloody note in tune. It is unbelievable! And what's even more bizarre is that when the judges try to punch some sense into these 'American idiots' (no pun intended), they brush it away and say, 'Simon is a *******!' Hello, you self centered freaks, you can't sing! Hear yourself! I laugh when I see them behave so arrogantly, but then again every time, I also feel a sense of irritation. There are a few decent, logical participants and they are the ones who usually win, or come close to winning.

Also, the producers of American Idols are the smartest television broadcasters ever. They show footage that we want to see, and what we want to see is all the emotion and the drama, and the crying and the abusing. Hell, this reality show is more like a soap opera. And I bet that these producers pay loads of money to Mr. Simon Cowell, just to continue increasing their viewer ship. How we love watching him bring people back down to earth - most of the times unsuccessfully though. Oh, and in the show there are also a group of people who overdo it just to be on TV. Would you do that? Well honestly, if I felt really jobless, it does sound like fun.

This show has been so successful that it has inspired almost all the nations of the world to start a similar show. So as a result, SONY started Indian Idol (which is supposed to be good, but I hate the fact that they copied every element of the American version, even the layout of the opening credits), Pop Idol began in the Middle East, and for that matter even 'The Best of the Best' started in the UAE, on a much lower scale though.

So in affect, what I am trying to say is that we(as in the non-west people) tend to imitate the west even when we consider them to be over-doers. A lot of the times, I feel, we lack originality, especially in the Indian cinema, Indian television industry and lots of other ideals. Well lets not get too much into that, I know what happened last time.

Ok, I am straying now. Well a lot of people are going to find points I have mentioned quite debatable and I want your views on this - so please do drop a comment.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

One Hell Of A Small World!

The coolest thing happened today. It all started with an excited and frantic phone call from Ali, who was waiting to tell someone about this. Tejas was busy, and Romit was being stubborn - he just refused to believe it. But this actually happened.

It all started back when...
Tejas Menon, a very good friend of mine, got entangled in the world of blogging, and quite unknowingly started his own Vlog (a video blog - yeah that phrase does exist) on youtube. I followed, and then it was Romit's turn. What we do, when we are really really bored, is make videos. The Backstreet Boys were our inspiration. We just had to deride their gayness, and that lead to the rise of 'The Frontroad Mans'. (wait, read on, you will find out more) We made a video imitating the Backstreet Boys - with all the 'Yeah's and the 'I Want It That Way's. We then dwelled into other spheres of videography and also tried to make a scary video (it wasn't successful so we called it 'Not So Scary'), some 'Matrix Shit', a news report, a puppet show, a music video (literally) and lots more. So what we did was that we put it up on the World Wide Web for the public to see. And we were waiting for some kind of a reaction. We got views but no comments. We brave souls didn't give in and kept uploading videos, still waiting anxiously for some reaction. That's when Ali's phone call comes into context.

Ali told me to go check out this link, and it left me flabbergasted. We were the topic of discussion for the past two days among some people we don't know because they came across our video on the internet. How cool is that? He had his roots in Dubai and therefore watched our video, more precisely our first production - 'The Frontroad Mans - Incomplete'. Joseph Akkawi (he) put it up on his blog and there are two pages, yes two pages of comments on it. Unbelievable! And as Ali put it, 'We are famous!' I bet you are eager to see our videos now and the comments page too, so if you are as jobless as we are, do the following, you will enjoy it!

1. Visit this link - (This has all our uploaded videos - see as many as you want and do leave your comments. But definitely see Frontroad Mans - Incomplete)

2. The Visit the link below and watch how a bunch of people marveled about the video 'Frontroad Mans - Incomplete.

3. If you are really really jobless, also visit this link. My short-story, which I had written when I was in Grade 9, and which got published in a very amateur magazine - Young Times, caught the attention of some person. He liked it and put it up on his blog. I find that too cool. It is an okay story, but again the brilliance of the World Wide Web is what I want to highlight.

The internet has certainly made the world smaller and has connected us, the people, all over the world. The connecting power of this medium is unbelievable and God bless the person who came up with this, that is if He, as in God exists.

P.S. Shrivats please comment on this. You can start off by telling me who this person is, as in the person who discovered the internet. I know I can just 'google' (I just love that word) it, but I am feeling very lazy, and it is a good excuse to get you to comment!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rang De Basanti Adds Colour To Bollywood

This past Tuesday night, I witnessed a glimmer of maturity and intelligence in the Indian film industry. Yes, Rang De Basanti has struck all the right notes, and delivers a strong and awakening message. I am very critical when it comes to films, especially Hindi ones, but this one was pure class.

From the introductory scene to the very last shot, every scene was well thought out and brilliantly directed. Every shot was either an emotional punch or a gut-wrenching laugh. The first half of the movie was truly commendable, extremely funny, and beautifully set up for the finale. But as I absorbed the second half, I felt a sense of unrealism. The unrealistic nature of Hindi films is what I hate the most, so before the movie ended, I almost made up my mind about it - it had a good start, but then it became too unreal. But only after the movie got over, did I realize the genius of the film. The extreme nature of the end was the reason why, the message, that the film wanted to deliver, came out so strong. So even after I got a feeling of 'what the hell' in the middle, I have to appreciate the brilliance of how the movie got out its message. It was strong and hard-hitting. It affected me and most others. I laud the effort of the makers of the film and hope that more movies of similar nature are produced.

I find Bollywood quite shameful, because even though it produces the most number of movies, it produces the crapiest ones. Only a few have stood out to me, like Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai and now Rang De Basanti. Unrealistic, unoriginal and not satisfying are the three adjectives I normally use to describe any Hindi movie. Bollywood is plagued with the worst sickness. Its sole aim is to earn money, and now it has found another way to earn more ‘cash’– sex! And then they say, look the Indian film industry is maturing. Indian producers produce movies to please the general public, which clearly does not include the intelligent or well-educated class, and feel that producing serious or thought-provoking films will not give them enough money. But what they are unknowingly doing is throwing the fickle-minded into an unreal world, a world where they start to believe that impossible miracles can take place, like ‘Jadoo’ crash-landing on earth, or ‘Shaktiman will save me’! This just continues to highlight India’s backwardness, and instead of using media to, in some way or the other, help the country grow, they are contributing to its stagnation. Yes some films are taking steps to incorporate both aspects – please the public and also leave them with a sense of reality. But it’s rare, and let us hope it doesn’t stay that way. In that sense, Rang De Basanti was quite uplifting. In its own way it has made Bollywood more colourful. Its high time Bollywood produces more films like that.

And about the Television industry of India, don’t even get me started. I think that they spent the most amount of their time on sound effects.

It is a very open topic, so please feel free to give me your opinions.