Friday, January 14, 2011


Recap:- We started with the classification of movies and discussed about various schools of modern Indian cinema . Many people call the Indian Film Industry as Bollywood. Even I hate Indian Film Industry to be called as bollywood, we should not be copying the name from Hollywood by placing a B for Bombay in front of it and silencing the ‘visarg H’ (people who know Sanskrit will understand, rest just leave it, it is not that important). We have an independent film industry which has its own large infrastructure and the only thing(s) we took from Hollywood are the scripts, music, screenplays and action sequences, rest all is thoroughly original. Oh! I forgot this is the TV episode so let us continue……………………..

Unlike movies the evolution and growth of Indian television is new and started in late seventies. So like Himalayas this is a young source of entertainment. But like movies evolution of Television also followed an adventurous journey. When it started Doordarshan was the only source of entertainment. DD Metro was only for Metro cities. Chitrahaar and Rangoli were the only source for Film songs. VIBGYOR on your TV screen and ‘Rukawat ke liye khed hai’ were quite common scenes.

With the advent of cable networks and private television channels the entertainment industry at home has seen a 180 degree phase shift or I should say ‘face shift’. It was comparatively easier to classify modern cinema in various schools but TV is typically more complex. I was once going through an interview of a great Indian television face lift pioneer Ekta Kapoor. As per her if Cinema is for men, then TV is for women who spent most of the time at home. So as I suggested earlier it is comparatively difficult to classify Television because of the complexity of its audience (no offence intended). But still let us try to classify the modern Indian television with the simple approach.

Broadly the Television scene in India can be broadly classified under following heads
1) Soap
2) Reality

Soap – Till the beginning of 21st century soap was used for cleaning ourselves and clothes, these days it is used for ‘brain washing’ as well. Quoted earlier as well this culture was introduced by none other than Ekta Kapoor who is the God Mother of Indian drama dailies. There are certain very unique features of these soaps.
a. Watch any of the show from 6 PM to 11 PM on any channel. If you are a first timer you will not be able to differentiate if the show has finished and a new one has started.
b. Mother in law is the deadliest creature ever existed in the history of Earth. Even deadlier than Velocy Raptors.
c. Also derived from Karan Johar school of cinema and everything applies here as well (nobody is poor, everybody is very rich and even if anyone is poor by chance, he does not look like one. They have other complicated issues.)
d. Who says we do not have enough GOLD in country?
e. The bad characters can be identified by the makeup. Specially bindis and sindoor.
f. There is no one like male protagonist. If there is a male counterpart for the leading lady he is the dumbest man alive. Generally a guy with six pack abs who does nothing except being bluffed and weeping.
g. Story is written for first 2 episodes (used as pilot). The story writer is later fired.
h. When you think that the show is going to end someone dies.

Reality – Now this one is the youngest kid on the block. Started with shows like Indian Idol, Roadies etc Reality has reached another height in today’s television scenario. Reality can further be classified under various heads
a. Talent Reality – Usually singing and dancing shows. One of the contestants is for sure from a poor family. All the judges adopt that contestant. One of the contestants for sure perform when he/she is either ill, has sore throat or a broken leg/rib. Nobody among the readers of this post votes for the contestants still vote count is always in millions.
b. Adventure Reality – Mostly a show with participants on journey facing challenge of elimination. Everybody is crook. Use of slang is the USP. Judge/host of the show is more dangerous than your school principal.
c. Reality of leisure – This is the youngest breed of reality television. This is for the actors, sports persons, advocates, and singers etc who are out of work. They will either go inside a house for 40 days or go to a village leading village life or to a jungle. Anyway it does not matter to them as they really have nothing else to do. As there are Soap actors we have different set of actors called Reality TV actors that will keep returning through new shows.

NEWS – This is the oldest surviving entertainment medium. Earlier it was part of regular TV channels interrupting the entertainment, Cricket matches etc. These days they have a separate bandwidth for interruption. As a medium for contribution to information, these channels spread maximum awareness. Some of the examples are cited below:-
a. It is because of these channels that our parents(specially mothers) know that using Credit Card can lead to total robbery of your Account. Mobiles can boil eggs and many other informative bytes.
b. Channels like Aaj tak and India TV convince the people that Earth is going to be destroyed.
c. Aliens also know the benefit of Cow’s milk and they are not lactose intolerant.
d. 4o feet tall mummy of ghatotkach was actually found.
e. The issues like CWG, Ayodhya, Indian defeat in World Hockey can be sorted out by having a discussion panel consisting Chetan Bhagat, Jaipal Reddy, Javed Akhtar, and the likes.
f. Arnab Choudhury and Prabhu Chawla are the journalist to whom you should not go for interview (if you are a celebrity) because they do not let you speak.
g. Rakhi Sawant should not be invited to any show.
h. A Cat unable to step down of a tree is a breaking news.

As I stated earlier even after writing more than 1000 words about television, there is plenty more left to be written. We will however restrict our study to this point only. In the final edition we will return with Print Media, Advertisements and some more of News.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

No One Picked Ganguly!

One of the New Year resolutions for me was that I am not going to give air to any controversy this year, but we are all born with our destinies. This weekend I saw two great movies. One was No One Killed Jessica the other being “NO ONE PICKED GANGULY”.

The IPL auction going live this year was equally an extravagant and entertaining event as IPL itself. Money poured, players became super rich and drama was at its all time high when suddenly a name appeared from the sack of players. ‘Opening Bid for Sourav Ganguly is 400000 USD, any takers’. What followed was ‘SILENCE’, a dark deep silence, and the verdict player remained unsold. The story remained same the next day as well, no takers for probably pioneer of aggressive cricket in India.

There are a lot of debates going on across the country, on television, streets, offices, colleges and name any place in your mind. I am not going to be judgmental whether it was correct or not for the teams to not pick Ganguly. All the franchisees are matured enough and have their strategies and homework done before going to Auctions. The point of concern here is how it is going to be taken in the Bengal Tiger’s own city. I learned today that already a community of KKR haters has gone online in Facebook, twitter is flooded with anti KKR pro Ganguly comments. The risk is high because we have already witnessed what happened at Eden Gardens during 1996 World Cup (and to me what forced me to take the resolution).

Ganguly has been an exceptional player during his tenure and certainly there is no doubt about that and as an Indian cricket fan and left handed batsman myself, even I felt a little moved by the decision. But practically thinking he is not playing much cricket since last 2 years and he is out of touch, teams had to bid for next 3 years and would have weighed their respective prospects before going into the bidding. Ganguly, Dravid and Kumble raised their base values from 200000 USDs to 400000 USDs before going into the auction. Kumble stepped out of auction and joined the RCB selection committee at the last moment; this is what I would say a graceful way to make the exit. Rahul on other hand had a slow start in auction but finally he was picked, reason might be he is still playing at international level.

This has certainly been a problem with Ganguly’s career that there is always a controversy blown out of proportion when he is taken away from the game. Mat Hayden and Gilchrist retired when they were at the peak of their batting form, Steve Waugh on the other hand forced to step down even when he was performing great. This happens to everyone at some point in their careers. Looking into the present scene could Ganguly have made a way more graceful exit from International Cricket scene and from IPL itself?

The positions are still empty for uncapped players and all the franchisees still have a lot of sum remaining in their budget. He might still be picked by any team, but will it be any more satisfying for him as a player? The problem with the fan base will however persist because we as a nation are still idol worshippers, only the faces of Gods have changed.