Friday, March 26, 2010

Obligatory IPL Post

  1. The level of commercial crassness has gone up (c.f. the middle-of-the-over ad intrusion). No surprises there.

  2. The slipping in of sponsors' names at the drop of a hat continues to irritate -- Citi moment of success, Karbonn Kamaal Catch (or is it 'Katch'?), and the worst of them all: the fricking MRF blimp that serves no purpose other than for the camera to be aimed at it and the commentators reading from the script ("do you know that MRF makes motorcycle tires too? MRF Pace Foundation blah blah Dennis Lillee blah blah 20 years blah de blah").

  3. What the hell is Mukesh Ambani's wife doing, sitting in the players' dugout with a bored yet stoic expression on her face? It's not like she's in the same boat as Preity Zinta, with a need to grab whatever chance she gets to be in the limelight -- she's got enough money to take out full page ads for a year with her portrait on them, for heaven's sake.

  4. Testing the patience of the viewers eager to know the third umpires' decision by delaying the result with animations of flying jets is not a Good Thing. In fact, empirical studies have shown that such practices may result in an 8% drop in airline passenger revenues. To be fair, the Kingfisher ad featuring the singing players is almost as good as the zoozoos.

  5. What's up with Indian spectators? All you have to do is train a camera on them, and they faithfully prove Darwin's theory over and over again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

One-line question; 8000-page reply

From The Hindu:
It was quite literally a bundle of a reply that left its recipient flummoxed. Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislature Party in Madhya Pradesh, received a reply running into 8,000 to 10,000 pages to a one-line question he had asked in the State Assembly. The bundles of paper were sent to his home through an autorickshaw.

Mr. Chaturvedi called it a “cruel joke.”

“During the monsoon session on July 7, I had asked a question to which the State Housing and Environment Ministry last week sent me a reply in the form of number of huge bundles,” he said. The reply came early this month.

Mr. Chaturvedi said he had asked Housing and Environment Minister Jayant Malaiyya to state the names of industrial units which were issued No Objection Certificates from January 2006 to December 2008 regarding permissible emission limits.

“I was astonished when eight to 10 bundles containing the answer were delivered at my residence,” he said
Technology provides a way to deal with such intransigent babus: ask them for the documents in soft copy, host the entire thing in a server, and let the crowds pick them apart. Oh, and by the way, ten years' hard labour for any bureaucrat exposed because of this scrutiny (twenty years for the smartypants who came up with the 'let's send them an autorickshaw full of documents' idea).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The world's first green legislature building

Instead of shouting from the rooftops about the world's first green legislature building -- a singularly worthless distinction -- how about spending similar effort on taking care of the people's problems for a change? Making sure that commuters are not put to hardship because Mount Road was shut down for three fricking hours so that the Security Liabilities can whiz by in their cavalcades would be a good start.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Let it go

To all the people bemoaning the step-motherly treatment being meted out to hockey and writing letters to newspaper editors in anguish: let it go. Face it, hockey's heydays are over; people have voted with their feet and wallets, and the -- ahem -- national game lost its deposit. The best thing to do would be to strip the game of this meaningless title and allow it to claim its rightful place, which I surmise would be somewhere between kabaddi and kho-kho.

The reasons for hockey's demise are quite obvious: the resources needed to play this game are beyond the grasp of most people (as opposed to cricket, where all you need is a rubber ball, a plank of the right size, and some chalk to draw the stumps on a gully wall). Also, maybe it's just me, but watching a hockey game is pretty much an exercise in frustration: compared to a football game, there is very little scope for a good rhythm or flow to build up -- the referee's whistle blows with a much higher frequency than football ("Did the ball touch your feet? Sorry. Oh, did you touch the ball with the wrong side of your stick? Oops." You get the picture).

Thursday, March 04, 2010


About the tracks displayed on the right: no, I haven't branched out to the nursery rhymes genre -- it's my daughter's Amarok playlist.