Monthly Archives: April 2011

Kate weds Williams and the world goes crazy

Kate and William are now man and wife.

Add Duchess of Cambridge and Prince to the above mentioned names and the world goes into frenzy over what is termed as the Royal Wedding. Or at least the media makes one believe so.

The Royal Wedding showed the world in the modern era of democracy monarchy still has many takers when it comes to celebrations.

To everyone its own, interpretations of the wedding and the significance of hosting a lavish gala was debated by some, but for most in Britain and elsewhere the well marketed wedding was a get away from the daily dose of gloom.

Marketed to the hilt and planned to perfection, the event made into an extravaganza even in times of austerity.

The Guardian stressed how the Duchess of Cambridge was denied the title of Princess.

It reports:

“The Queen’s conferring of the ancient title of Duke of Cambridge on her grandson just hours before the ceremony deprived his wife of the title Princess Catherine. But she is a duchess, which is several rungs up the social ladder than her standing before entering the 1,000-year-old abbey this morning.”

A hint enough that class still matters in Quality press as in Zone 1-2 circles of London.

Its counterparts in Britain treaded similar lines and speculations depending on their inclinations and those some 7000kms away (read Indian media) though not much aware of the customs, traditions of the British royals were busy debating about the dress of Kate middloeton..err the Duchess of Cambridge, or whether or not she will make it on time and the best was saved for the guest list.

After flipping through some five Indian channels all I could understand that the only call it elite/celebrity guests invited were Sir Elton John and David Beckham with his wife Posh. Rest they and their overseas correspondents were clueless on the guest list.

Barring the report in TOI which talked about austerity and tries to put things in perspective no body in Indian media seems to have any clue, but were busy dishing out the Royal wedding in one of the most trash formats.

The best part of the coverage was when an English news channel anchor asked the guests on air to rest their voices for a while and let people see the Live images. That silence for me was golden, it shoed me what was happening on ground sans trash commentary.

Thankfully unlike the weddings of Indian celebs which last a couple of days, in a matter of couple of hours the Royalty wrapped the show and invited 650 of the 1900 guests for the reception, leaving the rest to devote the rest of airtime, fill reams of newsprint and people like me to blog.

Best wishes to the newly married couple, wake up in the morning and relive the frenzy this time courtesy scribes.

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Cup of Comfort: MSD does what MMS can’t

World cup revelries continue to make headlines in India.

Euphoria is still in the air; sense of being the world champions has started to sink in and will take a while to settle.

MSD has done what MMS couldn’t – make Indians smile and cheer at least once.

Comparing cricket with politics is a colossal mistake and at this hour irrelevant to most, but for me it seems relevant for the time being. New York Times reported something on these lines.

The victory not only ends the 28 year-long wait for the cricket crazy nation for regaining the crowning glory, but it brings in a relief from all the sad and scandalous headlines.

Though I posted few days back saying there is media mayhem in India and now for the next few days will mark feel good headlines.

The victory is also a welcome break for the common man from news which meant nothing seems to be working out for him. He who won’t mind the taxpayers money being distributed at free will by various politicians across the country as Prize money for World cup winners.

This would be at least one of the few safe money transfer involving politicians and to top that the politicos will not have to worry about how public money being spent and no one will probably raise inconvenient questions for this.

But here is why I feel Mahender Singh Dhoni scored over Man Mohan Singh.

MSD’s scorecard read and meant the same for all Indians. The man on street was as happy as the occupants of billion dollar mansion Antila in South Mumbai, with Mahi’s scorecard and run rate.

Whereas MMS’s scorecard (read budget) always has different meanings for different people living in different addresses.

While the daring and fearless Mahi steered and led from the front steering the team to victory, picking the right men for the right day and role. MMS barring a few instances has shown no daring, invariably picking the wrong men for the right jobs and his decisions are more or less steered by coalition compulsions or madam factor plays a role.

It’s the dare factor that separates these two men of integrity.

Dhoni’s men rose to the occasion while Singh’s men let the nation down on more than one occasion.

Stains of Commonwealth game Scams are still to be washed, while the world is moving towards 4G we are yet to fix our 2G. Even as Men in blue were fighting hard to bring laurels to the nation, Central Bureau of Investigation was busy filing charge sheet against former telecom minister A Raja.

Not to forget the Adarsh Society Scam and skeleton’s of cash for votes. Still nothing is being fixed; wonder if that will ever be fixed.

Dhoni and his men managed to pull the reclusive UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi out join the common man and not seek votes. They deserve all the credit for this miraculous feat which is no less than their triumph.

Enough of Singh bashing.

The courteous Mr. Prime Minister did call captain courageous and lauded his leadership skills- Sir its time to pick a trick or two from Dhoni’s book and go the Mahi way.

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Cup of billion dreams

Over a billion dreams came true as India wins the cricket world cup defeating Sri Lanka convincingly by six wickets.

With captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hitting the winning six, a nation erupted into euphoria beyond its geographical boundaries.

Indians living overseas were filled with joy witnessing the men in blue come in their true colours to lift the coveted trophy which has eluded the cricket crazy nation for close to three decades.

The game does unimaginable things to this country; it brought two neighbours at loggerheads together on a peaceful platform a couple of days back in Mohali.

And if you think cricket diplomacy was the height, big surprise came when the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi joined the aam aadmi in celebrating the country’s biggest success in recent times.

Superstar Amitab Bachchan tweets: “It is MADNESS outside!! Abhishek, Aishwariya and me on the rooftop of car, waving tricolour and just screaming!! Hundreds with us.”

Indeed there were billions, even outside India.

Watching the final at a pub in Wembley was nothing less then being inside the stands of Wankhede Stadium.

Every run was cheered with uproar, every time the ball went past the ropes the drums started beating and the decibel level increased with every passing over till the time when the pub fell silent when Lankans broke a partnership.

Within minutes of the victory, the usually silent London streets resembled the familiar chaotic streets back home; people came out on the roads and jammed the traffic, dancing to the dhols.

The triumph is going to last long and should. After a long wait Mahi and his men have given the nation a reason to be one in the true sense of word.

It’s just been awesome. Let the revelries begin.

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Will India get 11 new champion faces?

Will April 2 give India the country of 1.2billion 11 new faces?  Faces who will replace those who have reined the headlines every four years since 1983 when cricket world cup is around.

Will the cricket crazy nation get 11 men who will withstand pressure of playing equal opponents for 100 overs ensuring that the billion hopes come true?

The billion rupee question will be answered in matter of hours.

As the India team takes on Sri Lanka at the Wankhade stadium in Mumbai riding on the crest of two testing victories, last against arch rivals Pakistan most people are celebrating as if the cup has already been won.

Taking nothing away from the fans it’s their obsessive passion for the game that lends superstar status to the men in blue.

It’s not limited to India, in London the euphoria and anticipation are in equal fervour. When the men in blue with take on those in darker shade of blue, billions of hopes will be at stake.

But on the field the two teams are equally matched, for the swashbuckling Sachin and Sehwag that give India an edge when it come to openers, Jayawardene and Sangakara make the no.3/4 spot for Sri Lanka stronger. For Zaheer there is Malinga and so is the spin section balances.

What makes this spectacle a match to watch out for is that batting maestro Sachin will like to sign off adding the elusive world cup medal to his innumerable honours while spin whiz Murlidharan will like to double his tally of WC medallions.

It’s the contest between the two stalwarts of the game and the roles they will play for their respective teams is something that makes this contest special.

Though India were in WC finals in 2003, this time they can feel they stand a realistic chance for the simple fact that the last time around the finalist were unmatched in terms of experience, talent and class.

While India then had seven of the eleven playing their first WC final, Australians had six players in their squad who had earlier lifted the cup.

This time around the setting is even, teams are balanced and their forms are impeccable. It’s a matter of nerves.

The  stage is set and may the best team win. Hope the best team is India.

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