Monday, October 27, 2008

A walk in the night

With the weather pleasant and after a good session of tennis I just felt like walking back home. The straight route was on the busy main road of the town. So I took a winding and longer but quiet road to make my on-road time as pleasant as possible. The time was 7:30 pm, when I came to a narrow alley onto which one of the town schools premises ends. I was just wondering at the unearthly hour when I found a conglomeration of students of all heights and ages in the school ground. And of all the wildest things I could imagine, they started singing a prayer in unison.

God Bless Mummy
God Bless Daddy
Help me always
To keep them happy

This struck a chord or two in my imaginative juices. One was the good old days when I used to join in the chorus of my class mates before starting classes in the morning and the other, the present relevance of this particular prayer in our day-to-day life.

The first two lines stand good whichever times of age or era one could speak of, as they are mere wishes without any human intervention. The next two lines are the ones that bothered me. They embody the efforts that the progeny should make and take to keep the happiness of their families intact.

The fact that I did some research on the recent increase in the number and trends in old age homes and orphanages for my own reasons immediately put this line of thought into perspective. The growth in the exodus of people seeking job opportunities to places across the globe directly impacts the lives of the parents of the job goer. It is not unusual that we see a steep rise in the number of old age homes and watch movies like Baghban when parents are tagged as unwanted, a burden on the social lives an obligation in our daily lives.

A sudden doubt stopped my thoughts delving deeper. Do any of these students actually know what they mean by this prayer or are they just going through the motions the way they got used to the present education system? I was in no mood to get the answer for that question as I knew that I wouldn’t, even if I wanted to at that moment. So I just went ahead homebound. And more than anything else, the reason of enjoying the quietness tugged me along and leave the thought-chugging at that.

P.S: There are so many other reasons that affect the lives of many a family but the bottom-line of a good chunk of children neglecting their parents' care remains a blatant fact.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sachin, the Sachin

It is only with blood and sweat that we get contentment. We seek the blood of those who fail one day and drench in the showers of the sweat of the same proclaiming their success as ours, the next. Pulling down people with one hand whenever possible and taking shelter under their success is not new to this cricket-mad country.

If there is anyone who withstood all this, time and again, for eighteen years of his career, it is Sachin. (The last one year saw vultures seeking even his blood). Today, this landmark of being the highest run getter in the history of test cricket is a moment parallel to a nation’s flag being hoisted. It is no mean achievement. All one can do is stand with veneration and bow to this small man with all humility.

Whether the record remains forever or overtaken as years go by is immaterial. Let us all cherish this moment and wish the Indian team all the luck to come out on top in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar test series against Australia.

P.S: I personally am at a loss of finding adjectives that describe him. Sachin cannot be anything other than Sachin himself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Indian Sporting Culture reflected in movies

I was watching a small clipping of Chak De India on TV that prompted me to think about movies related to sport made in India. In a span of 20 years, I can recall only Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Iqbal, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, Awwal Number and … and … Damn!! How can I forget Lagaan!!!… and I am still thinking to find a few more. Leaving Awwal Number, coz I don’t know much of it, all the other movies were received pretty well by the viewers and all of them did a pretty good job at the box office. So, there is no harm done to any segment linked to these movies, commercially, as well.

When Chak De India hit the screen, everybody started chanting its title whenever India played cricket matches. Incidentally, India winning the T20 world cup added spice to the movie’s success.

Lagaan, so far, is the only movie from India to figure in the last five Oscar nominations in the best foreign film category, as everybody would know. Though, its not absolutely sport centric, the usage of sport in the scheme of things makes the movie fall in this category (my opinion). I don’t have to write much on this movie for obvious reasons.

Iqbal showcased a completely new dimension of sport on screen. Its fresh treatment and the subject made it work well with the audience and critics alike.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar is a movie that stands on its own. It has all the ingredients that a successful commercial movie has and still catered to the sporting senses. All these movies provided a momentum to unite, in the general public, towards heroic deeds in the true spirit of mankind, which is what sport is all about.

Why is it that Indian filmmakers are apprehensive on making more movies on sport? Is it because of the lack of a sporting culture in us or is it the acceptance of the movie sans romance is highly impossible or is it something else?

Why can’t we take a leaf out of Hollywood where movies are frequently made on sports, either based on real life incidents or fictitious? Teams watch these movies as preparation to an upcoming tournament, giving them the added pep to perform to their best ability.

We have very good storytellers in the industry and the crop is growing by the day. With the present crop not deterring from experimenting, I feel that this could be a good time to think of making movies with sport-centric subjects that could inspire people in general and sportsmen in particular.

For us to see more Bindras, Nehwals, Sushils and Jitenders; we should start contributing for them on all spheres that can be counted as influential.

When we are ready to do something for our sportsmen as our contribution, may be then and only then might we have a reason to crib on the poor performance of our sportsman. Till then, be a part of the event or go apart from the event without raising voice against the sport or sportsmen. I don’t see much choice there.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A puzzling insight

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
- Douglas Adams

Well… this theory has puzzled me for quite some time. I definitely understand its implications and its possibilities in all probability. But the thing that puzzles me is HOW does the process feel like?

I tried a lot of ways to understand that, even to the extent of asking everyone around me of that question… :-) Suddenly, the process of asking questions itself has provided me with a provocative insight into the system of solving.

An analogy.

We are taking an exam of answering questions on a topic. We find that the moment we answer a given question, we are posed with another question in its place. And the moment we solve this new one, we are given one more question in its place and so on. The process is never ending. Will there be an end?

Amidst all this, if the invigilator asks this question, “Have you finished the exam?” Imagine our plight!!! Pretty awful! Isn’t it? There is no way that one can FINISH such exams at any given point of time as the questions coming are never ending.

A parallel.

Consider any crime as a question posed to the police to crack.

The police would never know when they would be given a question to solve. But when they do get one, they will be running against time to solve it in all probability at the earliest. By the time they succeed in solving and announcing the subject from which the question has come, they are forced to focus on one more question but from some other subject. This process continues till mankind remains on the face of earth. And no one is sure of how many subjects exist in this syllabus. All the more reason for further and higher complications!!!

When such is the situation, imagine the plight of the police force when the media asks them, “have you come to the end of the trail, when are you planning to reveal the subjects, why are we (you) allowing such questions to be posed at all and blah … blah… blah?”

Which question to answer and how to answer that question? Kindly guide me…