Monday, March 09, 2009

India, This Past Fortnight (III)

Due to lack of anything interesting to write about, and due to the lack of time to do anything interesting (so that I can later write about it), I post yet another edition of India, This Past Fortnight (originally published on Mar 5th). If you like pictures, click here to read the article.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently barred1 two Indian Cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik, from playing in an exhibition game in New Zealand. The reason given was that they could not play alongside Hamish Marshall, who is part of the un-sanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL). My sources in New Zealand tell me that the BCCI also forwarded a 4 point document to the Indian Cricket team that they have to strictly follow:

1. Must not eat at the same restaurants as other ICL players.
2. Must not acknowledge the presence of another ICL player.
3. Must not apologize to an ICL player if you accidentally bump into one.
4. Must not accept that Kapil Dev, Chairman of the Executive Board of the ICL, ever played Cricket for India.

The Indian Cricket Team was never known for having a vibrant or even remotely interesting looking team uniform. It used to be light blue, with the team sponsor’s name smacked right across the center of the t-shirt. Now it is dark blue, with the team sponsor’s name smacked right across the center of the t-shirt. It so happened that this change in uniform coincided with India losing both their Twenty20 games against New Zealand. As expected, out-of-work Indian astrologers began to attribute the color of the uniform to India’s falling fortunes. Other Indian fans felt similarly too, with one especially intelligent one saying “Let’s not bring any superstition into this. The dark blue has prevented Indians from thinking clearly.”2

Yes, it’s always nice to hear sound logic.

Recently, musical genius was acknowledged on a world stage when AR Rahman won two Oscars for his work in Slumdog Millionaire. It was, however, clear that Rahman had not spent too much time on his acceptance speech. He started off with a joke that fell flat (”Before coming, I was excited and nervous. The last time I felt like that was during my marriage”) and then quoted a lame dialogue: “Mere paas Maa hai”, from a lame Hindi movie. But then, I will never be able to delight billions of people with astounding music.

So I should probably shut up.

Staying with music and the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, the Congress party in India has acquired the rights to use the song ‘Jai Ho’ in their campaign ahead of the general elections3.

At least their empty promises will sound better to the ear now.

It’s quite clear that the Congress wants to ride the Slumdog wave. They’ve even gone on to take credit for its tremendous Oscar success - “All this has been possible because of the conducive environment and good governance of the UPA.”4

Hmmm, have they seen the movie?

A US collector, James Otis, recently decided to auction some of Mahatma Gandhi’s possessions. This led to an uproar in India, and there were requests made to the Indian Government to bid in the auction and make sure that the possessions returned to India. Apparently, the Indian Government made an offer to buy the items off Otis. This was declined by Otis who, when queried about the magnitude of the offer, had this to say, “It was financially so small that I would not like to repeat it.”5

Good news is that Russell Peters now has new material for his stand up.

To read more ‘India, This Past Fortnight’, click here.





5 Economic Times

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