Our finest football hour, DD style

Published : Aug 09, 2003 00:00 IST

HOW historic the East Bengal win! How prehistoric the camera through which DD brought such a momentous occasion "live" into our living room!


HOW historic the East Bengal win! How prehistoric the camera through which DD brought such a momentous occasion "live" into our living room! Nine goals to Bhaichung Bhutia making him a folk hero. Yet not one Bhaichung goal-smashing close up — of a pictorial calibre designed to match Sourav square cutting. How lucky that Sourav, during his shirtless years in sultry Kolkata, plumped for cricket. For, in football shorts, Sourav could no more have "dodged" DD mediocrity than did Bhaichung now. Really DD is not DD if it does not visually fail India in its finest sporting hour. Such a flavour to savour, East Bengal's 3-1 Asian breakthrough. Yet I challenge you to spotlight one Bhaichung goal (captured DD tellingly enough) to grandsweep our mind and heart at this distance.

This when, for making Kangaroo mincemeat of Bangladesh, the focus Steve Waugh (156 not out) got came through as a telepicture crafted to make it look a 32nd Test hundred beyond Sachin compare! If only DD could look and learn, for instance, from the super camera angles Michael Vaughan (156 off 286 balls) was blessed with in underscoring that he is indeed the world's top Test batsman, today, in judging line and length. "Spotting" line and length is one thing, Sachin, judging line and length is quite another. SKY's down to earth camera "placed" Michael Vaughan in a vivid enough position to play his shots with a fluency that, in a classical light, put Graeme Smith's 277 in the shade. How the British make their one world-beater achiever look larger than LIFE magazine. While here in India we are telestuck with a DD whose Hindi football commentary is a scream.

So much so our eardrums, urgently needing a respite, switch to hearing Lata Mangeshkar perform under the Sahara Manoranjan baton of A.R. Rahman! Some instant relief, that! Don't tell me the technology that made us lose our football-bearings (during the East Bengal hour and a half) was not under DD's Jakarta camera control. If DD could get Nine Network so eye arrestingly to update its cricket picture, what deters it from setting fresh Bhaichung goals for itself in football? In cricket, what (by itself) is DD Sports if not DD Spots? In football, it almost looked DD vs East Bengal.

"Om Footballaya Namah!" still would have been the spot mantra of Meera Vasudevan — given a soccer crazy Bengali mother to go with a crickety Ayyangar father. That is, if this Kalyug Kii Meera had been active still on the telescene. A sex bomb set to explode — as all Sony upholstery — was Meera V, fantasising Rahul as her knight at arms. This precisely was the moment when "The Dimpled Vijetalk Of The Nagpur Town" chose to cut the cricketing ground from under Meera's thundering thighs. For all that, the Sexpot Of Gold On The Silver Screen is Meera right now. As she measures up to the body language Supermodel Milind Soman employs in moving her round like a Kookaburra ball.

Rules — Pyaar Ka Super Hit Formula (at least the movie's promo) has Meera Vasudevan revealing a swinging screen presence. In the face of that Milind threat to turn this minx turn-on into a Plain Jane. "Plain Jane Russell" is the image telebuffs still carry of Meera as the Om Cricketaya Namah nymph. In this third light, how the lotus eyed Meera now fares, as a big screen heroine, is something that must interest tube watchers no end. Fortunately Meera has, in Parvati Balagopalan, a director creative enough to ensure that Milind's subjective Pyaar Ka Super Hit Formula does not star-turn Meera into a mere sex object.

Meera, at a time when "tasteless remix" is the order of the one-day, should be grateful she has escaped being typecast in this highly dubious mould. The remix trend, if disturbing, is sheer gimmickry sure to run its course. Even while notatingly noting this, it is deeply dangerous to suggest that such unbridled plagiarism should go tele-merrily unchecked. Seeing how remix could even make inroads into cricket, telegenic cricket. Shall explain how in an instant. Meanwhile, anyone justifying remixes as "the spirit of the youth and the age" is talking through his Pepsi straw hat. To uphold remixes as the vogue is to argue somewhat in the vein of the self-styled "Pele of Music" — Salil Chowdhury. As Salil condescended to go on the piano (upon my urging) in his Kolkata home, this composer's composer did not deny that the number he was playing, Lata-Talat Mahmood's Itna na mujh se tu pyaar badha (from AVM's Chhaya), was Mozart in G Minor Symphony. Salil proceeded to show me the way he had got Lata to transform the Itna na mujh se beat. "Doesn't it sound exactly like Bhairavi?" Salil sought to know. "If it's copying, it's creative copying. Even Shakespeare plagiarised!"

If we are to extend Salil's "Parallel Mozart Music" to cricket as a telematch, we could get a hitz remix of, say, Sachin and Sehwag! After all, Viru too did smash a few as Sachin powered his way to 98 in that March 1 Centurion rollercoaster banishing "Pakistand-out" Wasim Akram from international cricket. Just imagine the visual if a Naqli Harsha, unplugged, took it into his head to remix Sachin and Sehwag here and now. Envision the picture if a cricket pirate decided to computer superimpose Sehwag on Sachin — re-playing each one of the shots Ten did in that 98. The twain, Sachin and Sehwag, can mix. But "remix", can the two?

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