Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cricket tamasha, the TV way!

After stumps at Day III of the Ahmedabad Test match, a TV correspondent makes the worst possible mockery of the game of cricket, courtesy his blissful ignorance.

(Bored by all-Obama bites and visuals on TV, I chose to go for some cricket analysis)

Anchor in the studio: What do you make of today’s play?

Reporter: The century by Rose Taylor (Jessy Rider was the lone centurion) has put NZ back on track. (So far, not so bad. Maybe, just a slip of tongue)

Anchor: You’ve covered many matches at Motera (Expectations heightened!). What should be the strategy of MSD tomorrow, on Day IV?

Reporter: See, the match is headed for a draw. (It wasn’t by any means then). If Indians manage to take a couple of wickets by lunch and a couple more at stumps (taking total wickets to fall to 9. Why leave one?), India can get crawl back in the match.

(He preserves one wicket for the last day !!! and expects the remaining two innings to finish in less than a day’s play)

The anchor senses that his colleague was not making much sense and chips in: Dhoni must try and bowl NZ out before lunch and, by way of a possible blitzkrieg from Sehwag, India can set a target for NZ.

The reporter, bent on putting his nonsensical theory across, insisted: If India take two wickets by lunch and another two at stumps, Day V can well turn India’s way. Otherwise the match is poised for a tame draw.

(Why two wickets a session??? After the NZ skipper, there was not much batting to follow. And why leave one wicket for Day V?)

The anchor changes the subject: The NZ spinners took the last seven wickets. Why do you think our spinners failed to use the track to their advantage?

The reporter makes several retired players and those who did not bowl at all “roll their arms over” without much success. (He was not even aware of who all are playing – keeps looking at sheet of paper he’s holding while presenting his idiotic ideas)

He again gets back to his “incredible” theory of India trying to take wickets of four tailenders in the three sessions of play, with the same élan, leaving the last one for the final day!

The anchor, while politely dismissing the idea, concludes the chat by putting a theory across (and rightly so) that India must bowl out NZ quickly and score briskly to set a target and make a match out of what may be heading for a draw.

And he sheepishly thanks the reporter.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anjali was a great teacher, It always is

Recent mention of Anjali on FB brought back old memories.
I still remember Sir's announcing in the class that Swabhiman, an NGO, was going to organise a children’s festival (for special ones), Anjali, in Bhubaneswar. He wanted some of us to go there and cover the event. This has been a tradition at IIMC. Every year two groups of students — English and Oriya — go to Bhubaneswar and take out camp bulletins on a daily basis for about a week.
Sir chose me, Dipshikha Chauhan, Dipshikha Bhattacharya, Amrita, Puru, Shishir, Sudip and Himani and a few other Oriya journalism students.
Most IIMCians came out to see us off. We were all very excited. We reached BBSR in the evening, had dinner in a restaurant, the girls had a lot of fun with the timid waiter. We finally got to the place where we were to stay for close to a week.
It was a huge festival with participants from all over the country. There were separate halls for girls and boys — but we stayed together, almost. We were to talk, have fun and enjoy every bit of the life that we had got outside the campus. While some made the most of it by interacting with people from abroad, others looked to eat whatever came their way. Some actually tried to understand children with special needs.
I effectively headed the team and studied the camp bulletins of previous years. From tomorrow, we had to do the same job, but in a better way. Sir, while briefing us about the task before we left the campus, had termed the performances of previous batches very good.
But going by the print-outs, I straightaway knew we could do a better job of it. My experience was to come in handy. I could get better stories, give more attractive headlines and make neater pages. I discussed this with other team members. We took the task seriously. We were raring to go.
I didn’t go looking for stories. I gave ideas and assigned stories to other people. Short of ideas, I roamed around at the venue. I revised copies and gave headlines. Each member did his/her job. As not many people were familiar with QuarkXpress, I did the bulk of page-making with assistance from Amrita. We had a small makeshift office to ourselves.
There was a slight distance between the place where we put up and the festival venue. We used the organisation’s bus to shuttle, and while doing so we always thought of stories and planed pages. It may sound stupid, but the camp bulletin was quite a task.
We would take some time off and go around the camp. We would also go to a nearby restaurant and have good food. We had loads of ice-cream and coffee throughout the camp. We had the maximum fun while getting back from work at night.
We brought out camp bulletins with smarter stories and better design. It was also acknowledged by the CEO of the NGO, Shruti Mohpatra. She called us and said, “I’m proud of you boys. You have all done a great job.”
At the last day of the camp, Sir and our other friends joined us to take us back. It was like a reunion. We met after more than a week. People cried, screamed, hugged and kissed. A photo session ensued. Sir looked happy with our performance. I went up to him and touched his feet. He said, “Good job done.”
I convinced Sir that we, the reporters, could not leave that night with him and other batchmates as the concluding ceremony of the festival had still to be covered. So, we stayed back, worked hard and once the job was over, had a lot of fun. We ate, sang and danced. We proved ourselves.
We were to return with a lot of positives.