Reactions to “Paadum Office” on Star Vijay

December 8, 2007

Amid my channel surfing to catch highlights of Yuvraj Singh’s sensational Test century today, I stumbled upon “Paadum Office”, a music contest for folks from the Chennai IT sector on Star Vijay. Incidentally, I had watched the earlier round last week and was surprised to find new snottier judges on today’s program. As I watched on, I had a strong reaction to a few things about this programme:

1. What exactly is the point in having a contest for IT professionals? To me it seems like entertainment for the sake of it, without any end to the means.

2. The snottiness and arrogance of the judges, esp, the Music College Principal appalled me. I understand that some contestants aren’t exactly nightingales, but to eliminate them even before singing one full line seems more like a witch hunt aimed to embarrass the contestants. A rebuttal to this concern of mine would be to say that one can tell a talented singer from a less-endowed one within seconds. Agreed, but, we must remember that these contestants aren’t professional singers, are bound to have some initial nervousness and need a few minutes for scale/shruthi alignment. What was completely “over-the-top” for me was one of the judge’s criticism of a contestant who chose to sing the shruthi-alignment phrase “Sa-Pa-Sa”. If neither of these arguments seems convincing enough, I will accept even that, but why broadcast the embarrassing bits? There is something called editing right?

I leave this with a note to Star Vijay and perhaps more precisely to the judges: treat the reality show contestants on this program with the respect that they deserve. These are responsible people who have a life, a job, and are trying to quench their thirst for exhibiting their music (which might have been their childhood passion, or something acquired in adolescence or later) by participating in the show. Treat them like human beings, nothing more!

“The Princes” Yuvraj and Ganguly Rock Bangalore – 3rd Test Day 1

December 8, 2007

What a day of cricket! After having won the toss and electing to bat first, India were off to a disastrous start. If Rahul “Wall” Dravid’s fall very early in the day to a very un-Dravid-ian shot seemed like a bad omen, the unthinkable happened when Laxman was shockingly bowled for a meager 5. Within the first hour and a half, India had lost 4 wickets and were tottering on 61-4. It was then that that Ganguly and Yuvraj brought forth a mind-blowing, record breaking 300-run partnership to electrify the crowds at the Chinnaswamy Stadium (and TV viewers alike) and take the momentum away from Pakistan. Both played their natural games: Ganguly with his experience-laden vintage knock and Yuvraj with his aggressive attacking style that is bound to give the shivers to many opponent bowlers.

The experienced southpaw offered good support to his younger teammate; and I say support not because Ganguly merely supported: his consecutive ton in this series deserves all the praise and more for the endurance, adamant patience, and positively attitude. I say Ganguly supported only because Yuvraj bedazzled everyone with strokes of absolute brilliance. Sambit Bal writes it was a touch of Brian Lara, but to me Yuvraj replaced Tendulkar in a very different way: he made batting look ridiculously easy; that, a statement often said of Tendulkar.

The Ganguly-Yuvraj partnership had many things in common. Apart from the fact that both were left-handers, they played several strokes with the arrogance fitting of their princely nicknames. The positive attitude shown in a trying time sets an example for many young and upcoming cricketers. All cricketing apart, to me the most wonderful moment of the day was Ganguly’s celebration on Yuvraj’s century.

Dada celebrates teamates's landmark
Sourav celebrates Yuvraj’s landmark
Pic courtesy: Hindustan Times

It was honest and from the heart – almost like an older brother, ebbing with pride of his younger sibling’s success – so much that Ganguly celebrated his own century with much less ado. Sambit Bhal puts this beautifully; he writes of Ganguly “..Not that he would have grudged it [Yuvraj’s belligerence] a whit: his eyes shone brighter when he celebrated his team-mate’s century than when he reached his own” (emphasis mine).

Ganguly and Yuvraj celebrate Yuvraj's ton
Ganguly congratulates Yuvraj on ton.
Pic courtesy: Cricinfo

But sadly, like all good things must end, so did the Yuvraj-Ganguly partnership after reaching a landmark 300 runs with only 5 overs to spare till the end of day’s play. I had expected Ganguly to fall earlier and Yuvraj to reach 200, but it was Ganguly’s partner who perished to a shot that he didn’t seem to have commited to. With the spectacular innings from Yuvraj coming at a time when everything from his technique to temperment in the longer version of the game have been questioned, he leaves the selector’s with a happy headache.One couldn’t help but notice the difference when a rattled and tentative-looking Dinesh Karthik took Yuvraj’s place at the crease. Karthik seemed to be looking to survive the day, and he did having scored 3 from 10 balls with Ganguly on 125. Personally, I would like to see Ganguly get to 150, though a double ton to him would be a great morale booster before the tour of Australia. As long as Dada stays, India will see some runs, after that, only Pathan (if he doesn’t run out of partners very quickly) might add some quick runs. Until then. Go Yuvi! Go Dada! Way to show ’em how its done!