Saturday, 26 April 2008

The point being?

“Whatever you say about this new principal”, mom told me, “he’s the only one, and there have been three since I joined the Centre, to actually greet, shake hands with, and hug the children”
Ok sir, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. You’re a good guy, I see…

I took advantage of an impromptu sleepover at Sneh’s on Thursday to enjoy their dishTV connection. NDTV was on that day, with a debate about the IPL cheerleaders, whether they should be banned.
“Their obscene costumes appeal to the viler base instincts of the Indian male!” spluttered one of the participants, “And they take attention away from the game! I mean, we want to watch cricket, someone hits a four, but instead of a replay there’s these girls in skimpy skirts!”
Yet another participant said maybe the costumes were a bit…on the invisible side, but cheerleading as such is not a bad thing and not really distracting.
Hmm, I don’t think the guy holding up the “I’m here to watch the girls NOT THE CRICKET” poster shares that opinion.
And besides, said the more sympathetic participant, what about the costumes worn by dancers in Bollywood movies? Isn’t it almost the same? All right, maybe some of the cheerleading costumes are a bit low in the neck and high in the leg….maybe whoever hired them should respect Indian sensibilities a little and get costumes that cover the midriff…..But cheerleading as such, not bad. They do their job well, these girls.
Almost as if to prove a point, a song-teaser of Tashan shows up, with Kareena in hot pants and a tiny sport bikini top thing, grooving away.

“So what’s IPL all about really?” I ask Sneh. Having no cable TV, no Pehla, no jingalala, no dishTV, it kinda blocks me out a bit.
“Nothing man,” she replies tetchily. “Players ke boli lagate hain. They auction off players to all these industrialists and people who have too much money who want to form a team. It’s all about money.”
“So it’s nothing to do with place really?” I ask.
“No” her sis says, “The senior players, they play for their region, like Sachin’s playing for Mumbai, but the other players are sold to the highest bidder.”
Yesterday morning, on NDTV at Sneh’s, I saw something about “Will IPL get better ratings than Primetime television”
So what, really, is the point of having this tournament? Because the whole thing seemed to me like an irrational video game thing. Are we having the tournament just for the ratings? Or for the money? Or what? Once again we see this fragile world built on a shaky foundation of money, cash, moolah, prosperity, that makes this world go round, it seems.
The class (my friends, those I talk to now) disagree. When IPL discussion started I was greeted with a barrage of conflicting opinions… “promotes harmony among the team players, Brett Lee and Sreesanth get along so well now, didn’t you see that” … “Regionality promoted!!” (This was Sneh again)… etc.
Today after tuts a friend got a text, Kolkata night riders had won today. She hadn’t wanted them to win, she said “Shah Rukh Khan overdoes things.”
The mind boggles. SRK now owns a cricket team? O_o

Also seen yesterday morning at Sneh’s, making me think at first “Hey, I wanna audition!” but later giving me thoughts alomg the lines of soul-selling : MTV Roadies 5.0. Now I like Roadies, kinda. I watched a bit of Roadies 4 when I was in Delhi-Bombay year before last, and I kinda liked it. Sneh’s sis later informed me that Roadies was a copy of some other show. I guessed Fear Factor. Which I greatly enjoy. Much more than Roadies, now. The difference between the two? Politics, politics, politics. Who goes ahead on Fear Factor is solely determined by how well they do the tasks. No vote-outs, no conspiracies. On the Roadies episode I watched, their ‘money task’ was to eat various Thai ‘delicacies’. Worms, frogs, locusts, squid, sea snakes. Ugh. For phenomenal amounts. I’d rather not have the money. Really. I mean…(yeah, even on Fear Factor I don’t like the tasks involving eating gross).
The ‘advantage task’ was a Muay Thai boxing match (now that I’d enjoy. Really.). It was only after 6 hours training that the Roadies found out they’d be fighting each other.
“Think about what’s more important here,” said Vijay, the MC, “Your survival on this show, or your ‘dosti’” God, I hated that. The way he said it. Because here it doesn’t matter who you hurt, you just need to get ahead. Roadies seems cool on the surface, all those daredevil tasks, the bikes, but what I couldn’t ever do is the metaphorical grasping hands just to pull the other down, I couldn’t befriend someone knowing I might have to betray her sometime in the near future.
Nihal was the one most expected to get voted out, but in the end, it was Varun who got unlucky.
Nihal grinned triumphantly into the camera. “You might have beaten me up today bacchu, but I did the politics.”

“People say such great things about the youth of India”, Sneh mutters “what to do if the youth is only like this??”
Sigh. Whatever happened to honour?
Money talks. I wish it’d shut up.


Bubbles of FireWhiskey said...

well yeah... money talks... and i was finding it so wierd that of all the things that the could classify as a "burning issue" the government actually spent two days descussing the cheerleaders... screw whats happening to the people man...

Espèra said...

The point being that no one actually works, everyone just wants to show that they do.
You're not worrying about poverty in India, or AIDS etc, ah no, the burning issue is the cheerleading team.
You aren't helping out people in villages, educating children or even getting educated yourself, ah no, you're being a "Roadie" who appears on TV and gets a lot of moolah.

Since cricket is also just another form of entertainment, I don't mind IPL.

But Roadies practically promotes cheating and backbiting. Surprisingly, the last year's almost winner won because he was everybody's friend and everybody trusted him. So maybe all is not lost.

To some extent, even if Roadies were not there, would politics and cheating really go away? Is it just showing what there is? Or is it promoting it?

Invincible said...

gr8 post..

Crimson Feet said...

just one side of the coin kid... or rather of the prism..!

dont worry... theres enough goodness in the world to counter these pointless acts... and you can add to it by being good to others yourself!

taurius1 said...

IPL? It's all about the money. Nothing more. :)
The English crickets players have threatened to not take part in the next year's international cricket tournies, if they weren't allowed to be a part of the IPL next year. :D

P.S. Roadies is MTV's own take on the idea of travelling + dares + elliminations spin for a reality TV show. It's kinda hard to come up with a completely new concept now....

The Snitch said...

IPL is's basically a result of the ego issues that the Board of Cricket Control of India had. When a different channel decided to come up with a Twenty20 league, the BCCI decided that they'd not let it survive and created their own league. Since the BCCI is the richest board around, it threw money and got a bit of glamour and cheerleaders into the game and now it's about everything except cricket. That's IPL for you.

And Roadies is a cool show alright. Even I thought I was gonna audition for it but when I saw that crap eating episode, I decided I won't do that. And also I mean..Roadies has been better. This lot we have in here is only majorly interested in bitching and planning. That's part of the game agreed but in here, that has become the game and they're not really interested in the tasks. Some of them have done well in some tasks but nobody has been extraordinary or consistent.

Enchantress of Florence said...

You've got an amazing blog!!!
You kept me interested for nearly an hour.From what I know about IPL it seems to be very much a fast food variety of cricket holding no potential as a connoisseur's delight.Yeah,it is a very vulgar display of wealth .The gentleman's man game is now being held hostage by wine merchants.Needless,to say it is exploiting the cricket -loving people of India.
Keep blogging!!!

theludicrousone said...

no matter what be said about IPL being all about money and stuff, u gotta agree that it has exposed the game to a wider audience than ever before. a game like cricket, stereotyped as boring and drab for so long is finally appealing to the masses. and being a cricket lover myself i think thats a very positive thing. positive enough to outweigh the negative. but i definitely do agree with snitch. this form of t20 league is the brainchild of the zee group, but since the bcci had ego issues as snitch rightly pointed out and also since they didnt want some1 to break their monopoly on the cricketing market, they started the ipl. dirty play by the bcci(to say the least).

Enchantress of Florence said...

Well,you know what cricket needn't lose its essence to become appealing.The objective of IPL is SURELY not to popularize the game.Cricket need not be the only game played and watched in the country.All the talk about providing exposure to upcoming cricketers is an eyeawash curtaining the actual motive.I can bet my life that not one of these youth sahll be given any opportunity to play in the international arena.

theludicrousone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theludicrousone said...

lose essence?? i dont see how cricket has lost essence in the IPL form. come on yaar, things change with time. and cricket is changing with time as well. cricket would no longer be played if it were to be so stagnant and never get out of its english countryside origin. why isnt league and club football criticized? a whole greater amount of money is there in club soccer, the NFL, MLB, MLS, NBA, etc. so whats wrong if cricket has a new format which proves financially beneficial? just because the team owner with more money can afford better players doesnt malign the game in any form. granted that a lot of money is being made out of the IPL, but whats the big deal if money is being made out of it? in the end everyone benefits. the players are exposed to competition and have better monetary incentives, the investors make money and we get our share of entertainment. win-win situation. and if it really were such a bad thing, i dont see how it has come so far as to be embraced by the entire cricketing fraternity who im sure can judge the merits and demerits of something like the IPL.

Mystique said...

2 bubbles: exactly. the priority has not just shifted, it's disintegrated.

2 espera: politics....will always exist. anywhere and everywhere, the many bloodsucking insects will find their way.

2 invincible: thanks

2 crimson: i know, there is, but this world it focuses on negativity

2 taurius: INDIAN pl. then why are there brits and aussies playing???