Thursday, 30 April 2009

T20 madness

It is a crazy form of cricket.

Surprisingly, in this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), bowlers have come good, there are batsmen who still play their trademark classic shots, the art of picking up one's and two's has never been on better display and the fielding standards of teams have often altered the match result.
Yet, there is a sense of loss, of the leisurely atmosphere that test cricket and one-day cricket provides. Test cricket has an atmosphere akin to cows grazing in a field, for the audience, that is. It has a sense of poetry at times, rarely seen in sports nowadays, how 22 skilled men spend five days on the field, all dressed up in whites. One-day cricket at its best, is an epic battle that sways either way the whole day.

In subsequent posts, there shall be talk of the current IPL matches and about the league itself.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Movie Review: Monsters Vs Aliens: 'Seen that before' fun with variations

You have seen it before. The spoofs of Hollywood alien attack movies, absorbed into an animation superhero flick. Unlikely social misfits, draw inspiration and save the world, while passing off funny one-liners. Monsters Vs Aliens is an entertaining film in comfortable, tested territory, only that it doesn't try doing anything else.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Village Tales: At the beach

Then we ran down the sand and met the waves and drenched ourselves, tasting salt in our tongues.

At low tide we crossed the river with a fishing net and dozens of crows followed us, swirling blind with hunger.

The night was a falling curtain across the sky when we returned. We had live crabs and small fish that we could fry for dinner, so small that they would melt in our mouths, all meat, bone and skin.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Village Tales: Language crisis


Back then, if you did not speak the local language, you needed to know enough in order to convey your ignorance.

Here are some samples of what a rootless city-bred boy used while making friends with the local kids playing a cricket match:

"Nanage Kannada Barudilla"

"Tulu bodchi"

"Malayalam aruyula.."

They look at each other and manage to get through gesticulations - what do you speak then?


"Ha, Hindi..Hindi...," they repeat, trying to invent a word for my comfort.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Village Tales: Sand miners

The sand miners are already there before the break of dawn. They work stealthily, rowing their boats with long thin poles and one of them supervises, sees to it that no sand is being drawn from the shore.

There are more flats coming up now, nobody wants to live in tiled roof abodes, the thieves have it easy, they say. So there is more sand gathered from the river bed, drab multi-storied blocks come up, and people spend more time locked up in their homes before the TV, even as the clouds darken and a light drizzle makes countless ripples on the river's gentle ebb...

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Village Tales: The gates

There are no gates, only pillars, it is just that everyone has got used to saying 'the village gates'. Two moulded lions stand on either side of the road, mounted on the unimaginative plain pillars, their mouths open to a roar - that wasps have built their nests there....

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

DVD picks: North by Northwest (1959)

An advertising executive, Roger Thornhill,is mistaken for a secret agent, kidnapped and an attempt is made to murder him. Thornhill would like to know why. Thus begins an incredible journey of deceit,an unlikely romance and discovery.

Director Alfred Hitchcock is at the top of his game here. A classic action-packed entertainer in technicolour (the photograph conveys otherwise), North By Northwest is two hours of riveting cinema.

They don't make it like that anymore.

Photo courtesy: