DD comes of TVS age

BHARATAN

SO the Medusa haired Meera (Om Cricketaya Namah) Vasudevan is not the only one to metamorphose as the Fair & Lovely "tubey". DD too was viewed, at long last, to undergo a TVSachin sea-change on the Challenger screen. Meera V, for a debutante, has come up with a World Cuppy kolam catchy performance in RULES (Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula). By femme fatally holding Milind Soman in his hulky place with her "Tanujaunty" persona as the chanchal charmer. How rewarding to find that, on DD, it was not only Meera Vasudevan spot reinventing herself as something more than the coffee complexioned foil to Krish Srikkanth. DD too came of TVS age as a Challenger channel able to rise to the Bangalore occasion.

Sridharan Sriram won many accolades for his sparkling 70 in the Challenger final. — Pic. K. BHAGYA PRAKASH-

The visuals were crystal clear this DD once. So that, for the first time in our telly history, domestic cricket got its true pictorial due on DD, notorious DD. The images of ever so many Challenger freshers are, consequently, still vibing vivid on the canvas of my mental screen. That is a tribute to the totally new avatar in which TVS cast the DD crew. Only the TVS scoreboard needs urgent computerised updating.

The prize distribution ceremony, too, could have been better "stage" managed than it was by Atul Wassan, generally an articulate DD commentator. Maybe Atul here would improve with internet practice. In sum, the revolutionary DD picture transformation is something for which TVS merits instant kudos. The Challenger camerawork was near world classy. Action replays came slick and fast. On the dot — no 5-ball overs for a happy bowling change! Indeed the action replay was of a calibre making it easy for the Third Umpire, on the button, to make and communicate the right decision. Congrats, TVS, you have accomplished the near impossible by seeing to it that DD visually uplifted itself. That in a Challenger tournament projecting the nucleus of our cricket talent at its athletic best.

Both L. Sivaramakrishnan (of the 35mm name) and W.V. Raman (of the 16mm name) were clear headed and clear spoken as commentators. They could both still eliminate our South Indian tendency to speak a little too fast. Forgetting that, on the Little Screen, the visuals speak for themselves. On TV the com is required merely to gild the Lillee that L. Balaji is, potentially. It was a becoming gesture by Sachin (88) to make over the Final Man of the Match prize to Sridharan Sriram (70). But this looked prearranged — a "set-up" that should never have "shown" in a happening-happening medium like TV. But the TVS mandarins are still new to live telly coverage. TVS has at least revealed a commendable stake in ensuring that, in our cricket, Young India has matching visibility on the Small Screen.

I write this before the Irani Cup. Yet after "Tulsi" Irani tele enlightened us viewers that, by way of a gharelu-bahu nine yard saree dress rehearsal, she once washed dishes at the phoren McDonalds for a Rs. 1800 per-month living. Actually, the real screen test for us viewers (during that Sunday 14 September Challenger Trophy Final evening) arrived at 9.00 p.m. When it came to picking and choosing between either hearing L. Sivaramakrishna Iyer hold forth; or listening to a Mahalaxmi Iyer in terrific sur — Astitva ka daaman thhame chalte jaana hai. This precisely was the hour in which the highly sensitive Niki Aneja Walia's Astitva screen persona decision, for us, was instantly made by DD's Challenger Hindi commentators.

By Hindi coms unerringly picking on that 9 p.m. Sunday slot to make their screamy intervention felt. By then, Anil Kumble had already shown his brainy paces as a skipper no longer the Challenger, regrettably, to the Indian captain as holder. In fact, in the Challenger Final, all was over bar the hooting — in the case of the Rahul team — even before 9 p.m. So that viewers, so "inclined" on their sofa sets, could concentrate on the insightful interplay of emotions as between Varun Badola, Niki Aneja (from the original Jalan Filmistan stable) and Harsh Chhaya.

With what control does Ajai (Hasratein) Sinha still wield the megaphone in persuading viewers to move away, from the cricket, for that vital Astitva half-hour! I touch upon Astitva (as no serial killer) vis-a-vis the shrill BJPreachy tones assumed by Ekta Kapoor's nonstop soaps of late. So much so that we find even the Sourav smitten Mouli Ganguly — Kaahin Kisii Roz — consigned to the 11-30 p.m. slot. Needless competition, in the result, to STAR viewers' last chance, before midnight, to warm to Jason Dasey on Sportsline.

Dave Roberts here has still to encourage us to sit up that late to hear him Sportsline unfold.

Meanwhile, Ekta Kapoor's serials have certainly lost the TRPower to draw away viewers from the cricket even momentarily. As they were viewed to do during those "other" matches in the World Cup. In "hind" sight, Sakshi Parvati's dated alongside Smriti Tulsi. In such a "set" milieu, TVS did a national service by keeping us cricket absorbed. By ensuring that Milind Wagle just did not resurface on DD. Still I would not write off Milind Wagle on DD — not yet. Let a non-Test match, or a non international one-dayer, move to Mumbai, my Mumbai, and I feel sure Milind Wagle would stage a magic "Ranjinnee" comeback. Remember, DD and Milind Wagle are made for each other.

In this third light, what about the Charuchi that Mandi is supposed to be showing in DD — as the "bird" soft landing on the National Network along with the Kiwis? No real confirmation yet that Mandira, here, is the On DD Thing — with her Domes of Doom. A "pair" is something Chika somehow deftly steered clear of in Test cricket. So that his Ayyangaroving eye needs watching at this fantasizing stage in Chika's winking-blinking career.