Experience of a different level

29 08 2005

I had my first brush with the Delhi Metro today. And I can say for sure that it was a mind blowing experience. Given the traffic woes of this city, it is hard to believe that such a modernized and systematic means of transport is finally available to us citizens. All I would say is that the Delhi Metro is going to be the coolest means of transportation in the years to come.

It’s a breeze going thru the process of travelling by the Metro. You take a token of the selected value (from INR 6 to 14, with prices to be revised shortly), get down to the station, board the train, reach your station, return the token and you’re done! For outsiders, it is mainly a ritual that they’ve known for years but for us Indians it is a very new concept. Even the now well-known Calcutta Metro looks like a leaf out of the middle ages when compared to the swanky looks and sophisticated technologies in use by the Delhi Metro.

What’s the coolest feature of the whole Metro system? I believe it is the ticketing system. The ticket (called token in Metro slang) is made out of a plastic coin which ensures that no unauthorized person enters the actual platform of the Metro station.

There is still a lot to be done. For instance, the Connaught Place station is centrally located, but there are no sign-boards around the Inner Circle indicating the path to the station. I guess they will add it in the times to come. With the line-3 nearing completion, people in this part of the city are getting all the more excited. I am one of them, as a Metro station is due to come up just half kilometre from my home. It is still 6 months to go before the line-3 connecting Connaught Place to Dwarka will open but the anticipation is high in the air. Let’s hope all goes well and it opens on time!

Just random thoughts!


Zee is as bad as DD

22 08 2005

When it comes to television coverage of Cricket matches in India, there was nothing that was comparable to the good old DoorDarshan. In recent times, cricket matches have been inundated with advertisements to such an extent that the viewers end up watching 5-ball overs instead of the usual 6-ball overs. So when the TV rights came for renewal last year, an average viewer would have thought that it will give a welcome break from the good ol’ DD, where we would watch more ads than the match. But thanks to the controversy created by the surprise of Zee, the viewers were left with no choice but to watch the Australia and Pakistan series on DD as well.

Now that the Afro-Asia Cup is being telecast on Zee Sports and Zee TV, we are getting a glimpse of how Zee would have managed the matches had they won the TV rights for matches being played in India. The first of the three matches of this Cup didn’t have too many advertisements in between the overs and during the drinks break and at the fall of wickets. But the second and (today’s) third match had as many ads as would have been on DD during a typical match. So much so that we weren’t even able to hear the commentator’s comments in their entirety.

If Zee’s coverage for the matches was bad, then Super-Sports (South Africa) too haven’t done a good job covering the matches. They’ve reminded the viewers (especially the Indian viewers) of the pathetic production coverage of DD in the ‘80s. The camera would be going on the off-side when a shot is being played on the on-side; the Snickometer and Hawk Eye are missing and they are not measuring the speed of the balls being delivered by the bowlers. Imagine Shoaib Akhtar steaming down the track and delivering a toe-crusher, an average viewer expects to see the speed of the ball that was bowled but it’s not there, completely missing!

This is the scenario, given the fact that I have always liked the TV coverage of matches being played in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. But today it’s a different story. Sky Sport’s coverage of matches from England is the best. They use every technology that is at their disposal, the Hawk Eye shows the replay almost as soon as the ball is bowled, the Snickometer is there and they have a wonderful commentary team (minus Michael Holding).

Let’s come back to India now. With fresh tenders being floated by the BCCI, Zee is all but out of the race. Let’s just hope that the rights go to ESPN once again. I personally won’t mind it if Ten Sports too suddenly pips everyone and wins the rights, because they’ve been better than ESPN lately. All this is of course, from the viewer’s perspective, I leave the economics and accountancy if winning and losing the rights to the concerned parties.

Just Random Thoughts!

KBC is a Farce

20 08 2005

I have followed Kaun Banega Crorepati since it’s first avatar that appeared on Indian television in July 2000. (The Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire ). I was a curious college going brat at that time and maybe I didn’t see the gimmicks that they played around at that time. But today was the worst of all their gimmicks.

Today, they started the show with Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta. The ostensible reason being today is Rakhi day and they want to collect money for charity. The real reason behind it all was that it was done to promote Yashraj’s new movie called Salaam Namaste which released today. It was clear, as Saif was wearing the same yellow jacket that he supoosedly weared while shooting some scenes of the movie. So what better promotion can they get than by sending their leading stars on a winning spree on KBC.

The farce became all the more clear as the show went along. Twice I found that the contestants were not sure of the answers they gave and still the Big B locked their answer and pronounced it right. And I was observing the behavior of Preity and Saif. Their body language suggested that they knew the answers beforehand. Amazingly they had won 25lacs without using any of their 4 lifelines. Does that suggest that they are super intelligent? No, because the questions that they were being asked were like peanuts, even I could answer them without any hitch.

Contrast them to the show where Madhuri Dixit appeared nearly 5 years ago. She looked ravishing in her sari and sounded like an average intelligent person. She even took the pains to call up her husband based somewhere in the USofA when she used the phone-a-friend lifeline, and acted like a perfect actress, giving the audience and the viewers the impression that she really didn’t know the answers to some of the questions. But then such celebrity guests only add some much needed masala that helps the TRPs grow to new heights.

Even the Harshvardhan Navathe episode seemed like a farce. I can go to the extent that entire episode was fixed. The Star guys had to create a crorepati before the Zee guys launched their dus crore show. And what better timing could there be than to make a crorepati just a week before the Zee show’s launch!

And people dont realize that with all this farce going around, the Star guys are raking in the moolah, the Airtel guys are emptying your pockets and cash registers of MTNL/BSNL are ringing all the more loudly. Us gullible people want 2 crores and at least one crorepati, but the Star guys are determined to create a few more farcical Harshvardhan Navathes.

Just random thoughts!

Why should I write a blog? I really don’t know. Th…

16 08 2005
Why should I write a blog? I really don’t know. The dictionary that I have with me is an old one, published in 1992 and obviously, it doesn’t have the meaning of blog. So let me try to write a meaning of a blog by myself. I would describe a blog as random ramblings, something that I can write just for the heck of it, or maybe random thoughts that I just want to pen down. I don’t know maybe it can have a few more meanings but let’s just say that these are the ways that I will define a blog.I actually cannot think of a topic to write a blog about. But still I am writing. Why? Well, this blog is just for time pass. I am just killing time by writing this blog. How did I get into blogging? A friend recently said to me – When you have nothing to do on the net, just read blogs. Hmm, that’s what he does, but should I also do? I thought of giving it a try and that’s what I did sometime last month. I knew of 4 blog portals – Blogger, Yahoo! 360, MSN Spaces and Rediffblogs. And I already had an account of each of them, although none of them was used even once. With a little bit of research, I found that blogger is the most happening of these 4 portals and I chose to start with it. I logged in to my account, read a few blogs, thought of writing one, but didn’t know what to write about. Then it hit upon me that I can write about astrology, a thing that I have always hated in my life. I wrote about it in my last blog.

But then what should I do now? Can I write more blogs? Thanks to Mouthshut, I know that I can write well enough. The added advantage of blogging is that there are no restrictions on blogger which exist on MouthShut. I can write just about anything and everything. A brief comparison between blogging and mouthshut told me that I can continue to write on Mouthshut as I have been doing for the last one year but I will use blogs to express my thoughts on things and topics that cannot be a part of mouthshut.

I know that there are a lot of problems associated with mouthshut, but still I like to write on it. It gives me happiness as I get to interact with people there and their varied responses are sometimes difficult to reply. I like that, and I am being honest. I have a lot to talk about and mouthshut has given a mouthpiece to my thoughts. Today was a happy day for me as I wrote my 50th review and have got a good response from mouthshut members. But blogging is different. There are things and topics that cannot be added to the mouthshut database, for obvious reasons as well, and I have random thoughts about them too. It is for this reason that I have started liking blogging.

For instance, my last blog was about astrology and its various aspects. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that it cannot be added to the mouthshut database. That’s why I wrote a blog on it. The added advantage was that I was able to write a much longer blog than what I could have written on mouthshut. Plus, there is the added advantage of having privacy in that I can hide my blog from public view, but I cannot hide my review (of mouthshut) from public view.

Even while blogging, I run out of ideas. One moment I had like 10 topics hovering in various corners of my mind but as soon as I sat down to key them down, I lost all the thoughts. That happens a lot. Mind wanders all over. Even as I write this blog, my mind wandered back to 1998, as I remembered going to PVR Anupam (Multiplex) with my friends to watch Kuch Kuch hota Hai (A Bollywood movie). I just recalled the fun we had extracting Rs. 250 out of one guy who was late for the show and we nearly managed to miss it thanks to him.

My mind again wanders back to PVR Anupam, although the year has changed to 1999, as I recall myself and some of my friends ogling at girls from a nearby college. I really can’t do much about my mind; it has a tendency to wander everywhere. It is still wandering, as I listen to a sad song at midnight on a local FM radio station. But then let’s just say that these are meaningless random ramblings. To be honest, I don’t know why I should write it and go to the extent of posting it on blogger.com

Another random thought – just moments ago, I heard on the radio that Indian hockey team has lost a match to world champions Germany. No wonder, our sports teams are hilarious. In fact, we Indians are really hilarious. We go to the Olympics, Asian games, the Commonwealth games and fail to win medals. We play Cricket, the country goes crazy about it, and we end up losing to just about everyone on planet, including club-class teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. And yet, we hail our sportsmen, calling them heroes. When they win, we raise them to cult status and when they lose, we dig their graveyards. And at the end of the day we believe in the Olympic philosophy – that victory and loss are part of the game, and we must not give a thought to it. Given the competitive nature of world sports, we must stop thinking on those lines and start looking at our sporting resources in a more positive way so as to achieve some good results.

Just random thoughts!