On the Small Screen set

Rahul Dravid... the Big Gloves are off. — Pic. N. SRIDHARAN-

SO soft-Scot.land did Our Manly Rahul (with his Vijetamer bride by his seat-belt side) that Dravid says he would like to go back.

SO soft-Scot.land did Our Manly Rahul (with his Vijetamer bride by his seat-belt side) that Dravid says he would like to go back. Go back to Scotland with his Dimples bride for a second honeymoon! After discarding — as too cumbersome in love making — the Big Gloves. Starting with the Kiwis and the Kangaroos.

Those two K's are bound to have Rahul minding his Test batting P's and slip-catching Q's. While Laxman stands mooning by Rahul's slip-side. As one still to touch Dante Peak. Which Beatrice could possibly settle for Lax's right foot remaining so firmly planted — as to make his advances from that point look a crease occupational hazard — is a matter for comely conjecture. But Rahul, for his discreetly wedded part, never had it so good. Where Raveena never had it so rude.

Still just like Ravs to take the Rahuls of the World Cup in her still Mast mast stride. But why only Ravs Bound To Rebound? Look at the style Fresher Meera (Om Cricketaya Namah) Vasudevan's brought to conquering the Rahul heartbreak. One moment Meera V "spot"— looks to be coffee complexioned — like Krish Srikkanth. Next she is so Fair & Lovely! So much so that even Chika knows he has met his Fair & Lovely Ayyangar match in Meera. Single minded Chika never was. So the vision Meera now looks, through the Fair & Lovely tube, must come as a revelation to the Mandi pulling Chika.

The cine camera could be ruthless in getting the Sexpot of Gold to shed sheen. But "Kolameera" Vasudevan emerges from the stern screen test as if she's faced the movie camera all her life. So much so that you can't wait to watch how Meera's "faired" opposite Muscleman Milind in Rules:Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula. Here's hoping the creative Parvati Balagopalan, as director, projects the nubile Meera in such a Third Eye Light as to make this Oomph Oozer forget all about Rahul As The Royal Ditch.

What Meera overlooked in the Rahul Test case, is that eligible men from the South have this handy fixation on flute playing. In a Hariprasad Chaurasia strain ("all embracing") of Shyam Terie Bansee Ko Bajne Se Kaam. As our cricket's, Krishna Kanhaiya, Rahul (the Vadudevan Vixen should have known) personified the "On Song" concept of Radha Ka Bhi Shyam, Woh To Meera Ka Bhi Shyam! It thus took a Nagpuritan like Vijeta to discipline Bangalorean Rahul in the matter of getting his roving eye in. Upshot — shipshape for taking on New Zealand and Australia is Rahul — in Vijetalisman company. Content (with intent) to remain Sou's second in command. Leaving it to Ten to "ton" as Mumbai's quizzical captain yet again. Oh for those times when Bombay's captaincy was considered the passport to Indian's captaincy! For the Rest of India, Rahul is the ideal "crossover" TV. Careful never to drop front leg-guard if, perchance, the Indian captaincy comes his way. Here is where Anil Kumble came Fevicol Replay unstuck. Following that slip of the tongue by which Anil said "About time too!" as the Indian captaincy fell into his laptop.

Wasn't it Harsha who posed that teleloaded query to Anil about India's captaincy? As the "Harshahenshah" Of Presenters & Commentators, the Bhogle Boy's completing 25 Years In Journalism was a happening-happening thing. Sadly, the evening to honour Harsha came as a let-down. I don't know quite what I expected. But I certainly didn't anticipate the evening being turned into the Mahesh Kumar style of mimicry-gimmickry. If anything, I thought the fittingly adulating audience, here, would be sitting up to collect some real nuggets about the Life & Times of Harsha Bhogle. Considering the scale of young achiever Harsha's been. But someone parodying the playing action of one Indian star cricketer after another somehow looked something somewhat out of place.

Maybe the fact that I have seen this kind of thing performed so often, so predictably, on the movie stage acted as a mental deterrent. But my wife (as a seasoned cine writer herself) defended Harsha. Arguing that he is doing such a pressure job that he would have just liked to relax by letting his evening hair down. How much hair Harsha has left to let down may be a point for debate. But I certainly expected a better standard of presentation from our cricket commentating community — congregated there that evening. If only because I wanted to know more about how Harsha accomplished so much in such a short span. I would have liked a fellow TV commentator (Sanjay or Ravi) going up there on stage to tell us how Harsha did it. If this was not feasible (since it is "bulldog eat bulldog" among our commentators), even Tom Alter, there at the party, could have done a swell job as emcee. With his Shatranj Ke Khilari Satyajit Ray dimension of voice projection.

But after so many years live with Harsha, I really got to know nothing tangible about his formative years at the end of a show that should have been a showcase. Harsha is a writer with a feel for words. He is full of ideas. Gives expression to those ideas with flair and originality. As a commentator, Harsha's enviably mastered the art of holding the mike-balance exemplarily even. As a presenter, Harsharp draws out his subject with such savoir faire. Verily is Harsha a Small Screen Icon, status-symbolising the Spirit of the Age. That is why I looked forward to that evening in the C K Nayudu Hall. As a presentation to be made with a sense of occasion. I certainly didn't bargain for the purely populist stuff side-dished out. What a landmark opportunity missed to project, captively, a remarkable media personality! As one on the cheetah spot without fail.