The end of another day; today was a little significant because I finished a lab for this Sem. The exam went on shockingly smooth without any major twists or headaches. The heavily speculated viva turned out to be a cake walk. So, I had a whole evening of fun ahead.
Mission one was accomplished in the afternoon. I was thoroughly satisfied after watching John Travolta and Denzel Washington in “The taking of Pelham 123”. I had a short nap and then settled myself snugly into an easy chair to watch the third ODI between India and Australia. By the time I switched on the TV, the first over was being bowled and Sachin was on strike facing the last ball. He played a beautiful cover drive that reached the boundary in a flash. Before I could even savor the delight of the moment, the screen switched to a commercial with grumpy people on a train who get all hyper after some dude starts humming the du tu du… theme of DOCOMO. I was pissed and irritated. Why couldn’t they show just one replay of the shot before moving onto the commercials? Nevertheless, I went on to watch the match. Somewhere in the eighth over Shewag got clean bowled by Mitchell Johnson. This time the replay was shown from four different angles. One from the top, one from the bowler’s side and one more from the stump that got dismantled in the process. X(
As the match went on, the screen used to go small all of a sudden with Hrithik Roshan popping up on the sides of the screen, trying to lure people into buying the new “Hero Honda Karizma ZMR”, which I heard was a major let down in the Karizma series. And this mostly used to happen when Dhoni or Yuvraj were maneuvering a particularly different run. My heart almost popped into my mouth at one instant when I heard a cracking crunch from my heavily amplified 1500 watts sound system. The thought in my mind was that; someone was bowled. But when the sidebar ad disappeared and the screen returned to normal size I was relieved to find out that it was just the sound of the bat when Yuvi was on forward defense.
As a fan of cricket and particularly more so when India progresses on a winning note, I kept watching the match though sidebar ad’s kept popping up regularly and there were ad’s every time the players paused as much as for a breath. By the end of 35 or 40 over’s, I memorized SRK’s lines in one of the Airtel ad’s, understood how special effects could be put to good effect after watching Hrithik brave a tornado for his lost cap because he had a Karizma ZMR, also how people could become more friendly when some random guy in a train starts humming the incomprehensible..
Du du du… Tu tu du…
Do do do.. co co co co.. mo mo mo…
(I’d rather prefer giving him a tight slap rather than humming something so dumb!)
The next irritating part came up when Dhoni started brandishing his bat with some super duper hits to the fence. The people who pay millions to secure the rights to broadcast matches were not observant enough to follow the ball when the guy hits the ball in a particular direction. One particular ball, the camera went completely haywire and turned leg side, while later I figured out that he cut the ball square on the off side. This happened few more times after that, with the camera going berserk in all random directions. This was particularly annoying because it happened only when Dhoni was hitting boundaries.
Anyhow, India did win the match in the end with Suresh Raina hit a four flicking it behind the wicket keeper. I saw Suresh Raina go and congratulate Dhoni for his superb captain’s knock. My chest swelled with pride as Dhoni lifted of the stumps. As I was admiring the men in blue as they walked onto the field to envelope the batsmen into a sea of blue, the screen changed abruptly changed and I saw an Oral B toothbrush ad right at the time when the celebrations must’ve been going on. Too bad. Even after the post match presentation ceremony I was alf expecting to see Yuvi ride his Man of the match present; the Karizma ZMR. But there was no time for showing that two minutes of joy in the commercial ridden cricket match.
Few years back, broadcasting of cricket matches was not this commercial. We didn’t have models going around interviewing cricketers (it’s actually a welcome change I’d say ;) ) or neither did we have bikini clad models dancing each time a player struck a boundary or picked up a wicket. Channels were also generous enough to let people enjoy the few minutes of national pride before they went on to justify the millions they were paid to show diapers and toothbrushes. After all, in India cricket is never a sport, it’s a religion. Makes me remember a slogan on one of the placards that I saw in one of the matches,
Cricket is our religion and Sachin is our god.
Hope the good ol’ days come back again. :)