Monday, August 18, 2008

On the insightful commentary by DD experts at the Beijing Olympics

We have been watching with pride that great spectacle of sporting action, The Olympics. Currently being held at Beijing, an important research centre for the effect of smog on human endurance, one of the highlights is the Indian contingent, which has done more for international goodwill than any other country.

It has achieved this by the elegantly simple expedient of letting others win which, as the reader will readily acknowledge, is a delicate art.

This year, of course, the well oiled Indian Sports Establishment slipped up and allowed a winner to participate under its banner. A shooter, Abhinav Bindra, not only insinuated himself into the contingent but went on to win a gold medal, to the embarassment of Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the Indian Olympic Association.

"A lifetime of patient work has been wrecked by Mr Bindra" he is reported to have said. "God knows how many young people he will inspire to try and win."

God of course is the well known power that has helped many athletes to achieve greatness, though nowadays nandrolone is considered to be superior. But we digress.

Coming back to our main topic, Mr. K. P. S. Gill was equally upset.

"Make me the chairman of the IOAC" he said. "I ensured that under my expert guidance, the Indian Hockey team did not even qualify. As chairman of the IOC, I will ensure that the next olympic contingent will consist only of officials and coaches. No participants."

A bold claim, but knowing Mr. Gill and his capabilites, not unrealistic.

Shocked out of their complacency, the officials huddled into an emergency damage control exercise and decided that while nothing could be done about Abhinav Bindra, they could make the rest of the coverage so boring and lifeless that the nation would tune into the many exciting cricket tournaments being played around the world and watch a ball being senselessly hammered around a field. Future generations, instead of running, jumping and shooting, would settle down to the much more financially rewarding pastime of hitting balls around and being called little masters.

The main task of making the coverage boring was rendered difficult by the excellent camera work of the Chinese crew, a most tiresome bunch of perfectionists, if we may say so.

But Mr. Kalmadi and the other officials had farsightedly included Hindi and English commentators who could obfuscate and uh-um-aah through anything that might happen in a stadium. In addition, they had been selected for special sentence-construction skills.

For example, one commentator, who spoke about Akhil Kumar's performance in the boxing ring, said that he "boxed very very good today." Then, thinking this over for a second added that "he boxed EXTREMELY very very good", leaving the viewers in no doubt.

These are high standards, as you will doubtless agree, and well worth the several million dollars that the Government is spending, taking them on an all expenses paid vacation to the Olympics, because when you have a billion people in your country, you never know which one will take it into his or her head to excel.


chutneycase said...

DD Commentator 1: "Nayxt kantestaent, Misster Shenai. Shenai is seeniar kantestaent, but yexcellent. He is having yexcellent faarm."
DD commentator 2: "Yaes, Yaes. Yexperience the sport aaf...yexcellent sport which is..ah"
DD commentator 1: "After the break please"

Nandini Vishwanath said...

:D You should listen to the American commentators. They have immense knowledge of the sport, but are condescending towards ANY other country that beats the US!

Nandini Vishwanath said...

:D You should listen to the American commentators. They have immense knowledge of the sport, but are condescending towards ANY other country that beats the US!

Wicked :D said...

This article was very very funny. No! This article was extremely very very funny.

maxdavinci said...

I was watching the I-Day parade, that was a bit apalling as well esp the english portions!

Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

I second Nandini's comments. I was watching the women's beach volleyball semi-final between the US and Brazil today. In the second set, the US commentator said something to the effect, "the US team is just going through these motions, they should just go to the finals"

Anonymous said...

If dry sense of humour were to be made an athletic sport, India would probably have the most no. of gold medals! Shabaash! Subhan Allah!

P.S.: Still looking forward to the story behind 'Theory of Relativity'!

Praveen G K said...

Mr. Shenoy, not that the American commentators are extremely insightful :-) Absolutele lack of interest to anything outside USA :-) Some of the post event interviews have been forgettable :-) So, there is good competition everywhere for the "best" commentary :-)

Anonymous said...

AM GUFFAWING! too good.

Arun Sundar said...

You should send this post to some newspaper. Worth publishing!

Krish Ashok said...

The DD commentators talk way too much, instead of just showing us the action, and here is a highlight from their "insights" into global sport (and geography to boot).
"Germany has won silver in the Yachting competition. It's amazing because Germany is a landlocked country". Of course, Hamburg is on the shores of the North "lake". And did you observe how all the Hindi commentators put the last name first? Powell Asafa, Stewart Kerron, and my favorite, Dix Walter, which ended up being a rather fortunate error, because had he got that name right, it could have been Walter's ....
And the morons compeltely missed the 1500m final yesterday, showing instead a dreadfully boring game of Hockey for the full 70 minutes.

chutneycase said...

Gasp! More medals coming India's way. Such Blasphemy I say. The Sports Ministry must be shattered.

Magadi Kempegowda said...

I am not sure why you, an Indian in India was 'watching with pride' the best Olympics by far that China has come up with and their haul of 45 golds? Any lingering doubts about where India is heading?!!
As far as American commentators are concerned, it is the familiar American problem-underestimating others! Majority of Americans do not have passports, do not travel abroad and have poor geographic knowledge. Sports commentators particularly do not know much about abilities of athletes of other countries that their own are facing and hence the often silly comments from them. After all, Americans did know about where Arab oil -rich Sheikhdoms were in only during 1970s oil price hikes!!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

*gasps* it might overshadow from all the insult lobbying and the mudslinging and the hide and seek between parties and the sparring matches that happens within the managing committes!

Prats said...

Extremely very very good post!!! And after each win, the media frenzy that accompanies it sounds more like some huge event is taking place...that the whole day, they tear up the entire life history of the winner to bits....making him such a small entity and the program co-ordinator the more dignified personality....

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘Autobiography of an ordinary man’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

You can also win an exciting t-shirt by winning the contest which is going on in…. hurry up the contest is from 10 – 24 august…


Anonymous said...

As one of those new age illiterates (meaning I can't watch TV, and hence most social conversation topics go beyond me), I can only laugh at this super-duper post, and say 'Thank You' to you!
Some of the comments were super, too, esp. chutneycase.

Preeti said...

Uncle S! LOLing as always!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

hey, mr. shenoy. sorry i havent been here for a while...hmm, i don't see u on the favorites list of MBP anymore....did u decide to opt out of MBP?

Amrita said...

LMAO!! Btw, have the Olympics done the impossible and knocked kirkit off the screens?

desigirl said...

Your blog is hilarious!! I am so thankful to Krish Ashok for giving you an award and thus pointing me in the right direction. Ok dont want to waste time prattling - have got to go and catch up with your previous posts.

narendra shenoy said...

Howdy folks. Sorry for not being around. I've been in traveling salesman mode last couple of weeks.

@chutney - :) Were you one of the commentators by any chance?

@nandini - True!

@wicked:- :)

@bhel - Supercilous guys.

@sthitha - Will do, brother. Thanks.

@praveen - They used to call India 'the largest unimportant country in the world'. We fixed that of course, with the outsourcing thing.

@arun - Thanks! I have yet to find any newspaper guy remotely interested in publishing any of my stuff. I used to send them long articles about this and that, but nothing ever resulted. :(

@Krish - Thanks! They're lucky I haven't yet usurped power in a coup d'etat. Should I have them shot or should they just be flogged?

@Chutney - Absolutely shocking!

@magadi - true, sir

narendra shenoy said...

@cynic - This gives me an idea for a post......

@prats - Thanks! You are most kind.

@ray - Thanks! I checked out but then lost track in my travels. Will catch up soon. And I'd love to have an exciting T shirt. My old ones are extremely boring.

@rambodoc - Thanks, doc!

@preeti - Hi. Been out of touch a bit. I'll hop on to your blog in a while. Thanks, BTW

@lakshmi - They must have thrown me out :-(
But how're things with you? Hope you've settled in by now? I haven't seen your blog in a while. I'll remedy that right away!

@amrita - Knock out kirkit? Nevvah! But some of the stuffing seems to have gone out them pompous so and sos.

@desigirl - Thanks!

Vanilla Vats said...

This post is extremely very very good. :)