- Ruby: Kaleel, Sivakumar, Shunmugavel, Venkatesh Prabhu, Sarath, Sunil Kumar V, Karthik, Rathnam, Mansoor, Raaj Sree Ram, Ramganesh, Santosh.
- Diamond: Guru, Subramaniam, Prabu, KapilDev, Sanjev, Ramananda, Murali, KumaraSarma, Sriram, Thulasi, Dilip, Sivasankar, Radhakrishan.
- Platinum: Mohamed, Abuthahir, Ajith, Arun, Dhanaram, Harish, Himath, Jaishankar, Kowshik, Krithik, Rex, Vidhyasagar.
Advertisements these days have adopted a very uncanny way of imparting a message to the public, be it social, political, diplomatic or religion. And of late, this has immensely impressed me, especially a few, which carry a strong yet intrinsic and valuable meaning.
I have always believed that Advertising is a dynamic profession and they are an indispensable part of our daily lives. Be it at work or at home, at parties or movies, advertising has been the name of the game. I admit that it does have it’s own set of drawbacks, but we have to keep in mind that anything which depicts itself in such an explicit fashion and thrives to survive in a very sensitive and fragile environment, is bound to have certain flaws. But it cannot be denied that over the years, advertisements have always had their own set of admirers and that in itself, for me, is a phenomenal achievement. And the trend still continues.
I have been watching IPL whenever time permits, and the Vodafone clips are really refreshing. The animation is simple but provocative and conveys the message straight. Some time back, I came across some Airtel ads which were equally thought provoking. It seems that the cellular services are hell bent in reaching out to their customers by coming out with such entertaining and sensible stuff (I would be happier if they devoted some more time in making their respective networks more reliable). Some of the Insurance and Banking advertisements are really leaving their mark with some smart and juvenile comments, which reciprocates common man’s thoughts and sensibilities.
Gone are those days when advertisements used to be fillers to some of the most watched epics and mega serials in television history. Today, as we are gearing up for greater altitudes, I would not be completely surprised if this happens to be vice versa.
When the Indian Cricket Team sealed a 1-0 victory in the test series (before mauling them 3-1 in the ODI‘s and it could have been easily 2-0 in tests) in Wellington, we probably did not realize that an entire generation or to be even more precise, an era witnessed history being scripted in the land of the indomitable Kiwis.
The very fact that this has not been accomplished for the last 41 years, speaks volumes about the greatness of this achievement. And since I have been an avid admirer and critic of our Indian Team (ever since I played cricket for a very brief period in the CAB under 16 & 17 tournaments or when I have enjoyed the glorious sport as just a mere spectator), I think it would be apt on my part, to pay rich tributes to this Indian Team, which is blossoming under the mercurial leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
We all have seen our Indian Team, emerging from being the minnows to the underdogs till we came to the forefront as favorites. And many would agree with me that all said and done, we have never been a great force to reckon with, in spite of possessing prodigious talents such as Sachin, and rare gems like Dada, The Wall, VVS, Harbhajan and Sehwag, to name a few. Even when former greats like Gavaskar and Kapil were ruling the roost, we were always considered to be a bunch of exceptionally talented players, who were extremely inconsistent (despite ‘Tournament Winning’ performances in World Cup, 1983 and World Championships, 1985) and under performed when required, especially overseas where we had to bite the dust on numerous occasions. We have watched some magnificent exploits on field, from some of the finest players, the world of cricket has ever seen. But all these attributes notwithstanding, we were always considered as one of the best, but certainly nowhere near the Best.
All that is gradually changing now and especially after the victory in New Zealand, I can sense an aura of invincibility, engulfing our minds. I might be over ambitious, but I am certainly not lacking in confidence, when I say this. One of the major concerns that confronted Indian Cricket team in the last 15 years has undoubtedly been Captaincy and lack of quality openers, in both versions of the game. And this seems to be slowly turning out to be our biggest strengths. We have always had and will continue to have, great players, probably extraordinary players who can carry the Indian Torch for years to come, but our search for a great captain has always been explicit. We had skippers, but they all were reluctant and that compounded our problems. A reluctant leader can never motivate his team and is a threat to the team’s morale. But Dhoni seems to be the answer for all our questions, which have been lingering in our minds, for more than a few years now. And I am glad we found him. Gambhir is developing in to a very skilled craftsman and if he can be consistent, along with Sehwag, they would definitely leave a legacy behind, which could be talked about for years. A Champion side needs a formidable opening partnership. Be it the Windies in 70’s or the Australians from the late 80’s till now, both had fantastic opening bats. Their success has been critical to the team’s overall performance and statisticians would unanimously nod their heads for this piece. And the arrival of youngsters has helped the team to jell together and perform as one unit.
Dhoni‘s captaincy may not be very appealing, but it certainly has been effective and beginning to deliver results. We could easily question his abilities as a batsman (purely on his technique and shot making), but as long as the runs come and the outcome is favorable, his presence would be a great asset for the team. At least, this has been true so far. He still has a long way to go, but till date, his resume is probably the most impressive of all.
I am still a bit worried about couple of factors, especially in the Test arena. Another 2-3 years and the test side would lose some of its most reliable pillars for the last 20 years. Sachin, Dravid, and Laxman would be on their way out, and suddenly our test squad may look ordinary. We have to be consistent in all conditions, and at the same time build a dependable bench, who could come in for our stalwarts. And this for me is India’s biggest challenge in the progressing years.
This is the beginning of a new era in Indian cricket. And this team is already being hailed as THE Best Indian side to have set foot on a cricket field (Many might debate this but the situation demands logical reasoning). Let us hope that this ushers a new wave of energy and exuberance in our brand of cricket, which would eventually catapult us to the top of the world.
I have been forced to publish this article of mine, thanks to the extraordinary ‘hype and hoopla’ created by Danny Boyle’s latest offering about a ‘Rags-To-Riches’ story, set in the background of the Mumbai’s slum dwellers.
I happened to see the movie yesterday and to be very frank, couldn’t garner many positives from the script, which in itself, I believe, is mutilated but not exaggerated.
To begin with, I must furnish a brief synopsis of what I felt about ‘SM’. An engrossing tale of a young guy from the slums who fights gangsters, nepotism and his own existence to win crores and subsequently his love, is appreciated. But I need to confess that the very treatment of the subject matter supercedes the technical aspects of the film. The flaws are extremely explicit. The greatest examples are the scenes where children in the slums suddenly switch to ‘English’ language and some people are made to speak the language, just for the sake of it. As someone who admires good cinematic values, this one reveals a lot less. I could feel that ‘American’ touch in it, which is, quite inevitable. But exploiting the grey areas, zooming them to maximum effect and portraying a nation’s values in negative shades, is something which is not acceptable.
Something which I just couldn’t digest was this particular scene where a young Jamal is beaten up by the locals after a tourist’s car was looted. The young boy says, “This is India for you.” And the woman reciprocates, saying “This is true America for you”. And then his companion pulls out his wallet and throws away some dollars to the boy. I would, rather, ask all my readers to comment on this. What did that imply? What was Mr. Danny trying to impart? I am just lost. I understand that there is a strong message conveyed in this. But was the context right? Even the scene where a younger Jamal rushes to Amitabh Bachchan for an autograph, with excreta all over him, was quite bewildering. I am still wondering about all this, especially when the entire world is going ‘gaga‘ over this movie and it is winning every possible award that it comes across.
As far as the casting and performances are concerned, I sincerely believe that some of our finest talents have been wasted. Irrfan Khan and Saurabh Shukla were hardly there. I had no clue what Raj Zutshi and Mahesh Manjrekar were doing in this flick. Anil Kapoor as the mysterious and egoistic host tried his best to be in his usual self, but had to deal with a script which was custom made. And the newcomers were decent. As far as ARR is concerned, Rahman’s genius is not new to Indians and predictably, the soundtrack and background score is outstanding. But I felt that he could have given this one a miss, especially after considering the script and editing. And I am sure that he doesn’t need a ‘Golden Globe’ or an ‘Oscar’ to prove that he is one of the best. Well, if it calls for something like ‘Global Recognition’, it could have better come through a more substantial and unbiased script. Moreover, for America, ARR’s music is new and innovative. For us, he is a household name. I guess that says it all.
I would love to see a movie winning plethora of awards, not just for entertainment, but also for a superlative script and a strong, yet appealing, social message,that’s endearing to one and all.
To sum it up, ‘SM’ could have been much better. For me, it doesn’t live up to the expectations. It’s a good attempt, but the manner in which the storyline and the charactors evolve, lacked authenticity.
Most of them are expecting that ‘SM’ will go all the way to win the ‘Academy Award’. If it doesn’t, I would be least disappointed.
To start off, let me confess that I am a hardcore movie buff (that’s one of my known and disclosed passion) and the technical aspects of the film making business has always fascinated me. Every time I see a movie or whenever I ecstatic about a supreme cinematic experience, do I realize that it is, arguably, one of the most powerful medium of entertainment and communication all over the world. And pretty evidently, it has become an indispensable part of our lives.
Over the years, I have watched plethora of movies and possess a decent collection of some of the classics that I have enjoyed immensely. I am fortunate to have watched some absolute gems while some are not exactly convincing, to say the least. But I have always been a very positive individual and hence, would like to learn the good things from whatever I see and discard the negatives, if any.
One thing that I am convinced about is, that movies always depict our very own lives, directly or indirectly. They are a replica of our experiences in daily lives, with a pinch of exaggeration in it. But film making is also a human activity and it is a known fact that we as individuals, have a tendency to add more spice and salt to our depictions and performances, on stage or off stage. So, I guess, it is very natural that human nature reflects in ‘Cinema’ as well. But I am sure we all would agree that movies are inspired by human lives, great personalities (not always) and their subtle mannerisms. That’s why ‘Cinema’ exudes confidence and makes it so endearing, yet so powerful.
Great film makers, Legendary Directors, Entrepreneurs(famously known as producers) and Larger-than-Life actors. They all exist and survive due to the unique nature of human relationships and the complexities involved in our emotions. And that’s what I admire in ‘Cinema’. Personally, I like to learn something from a film and try to evolve as a person. I am not ignoring the commercial part of it or the entertainment part of it. How can I when I am so aware that ‘Cinema’ cannot do what it does without the Media, The ‘Glamour & Glitz’ that surrounds the ‘Tinsel Town’. And this aspect of it is universal. But inspite of all the commercial hoopla around, I still would prefer ‘Cinema’ as a motivating tool, as it is much more than all that. If 2 individuals become Superstars, there are 200 people behind them who make it happen. So I guess, it all boils down to ‘Hard Work’ , ‘Dedication’ and ‘Conviction’. It’s just that we get overawed by our celebrities, and prefer to ignore the dark and bitter realities, that unfold behind the screen.
I would sum it up by reinstating the fact that ‘Cinema’ is a reflection of Human Lives and not vice versa. We need to be intelligent enough to recognize this and appreciate quality stuff, we would end up admiring ‘Human Creed’ by doing so.
And I believe that I have tried my best, to adequately convey this message to all my readers :).
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