Thursday, July 14, 2005

National Awards

One would think, and be completely reasonable in thinking so, that when a national award is given in a particular field, the recipient of the award has done something which deserves recognition on account of being of great importance to the country. For example, some works of great national importance & hence deserving of a 'national award' could be laying out your life as a soldier, making a great discovery which solves country's energy problems or spearheading a revolution which wipes out corruption in the country! Less dramatically, in the context of cinema, it would be perfectly 'reasonable' to assume that the kind of movie which may deserve a national award will have some important social, political or economic issue at its heart. However, as it turns out, 'reasonable' could mean different things to different people. Your and my idea of reasonable could be completely different from the idea of a dumb-witted lunatic or the committee deciding the national awards for that matter. So, the commitee in all its 'wisdom'(giggles) has decided to bestow the honour of national award to a movie which displays the lives of the rich & the famous in all its naked glory.To top it off, the national award for acting went to a wooden actor for playing a casanova in a rehash of a stale Hollywood movie. But, what really had me in splits was a comment from one of the esteemed jurors lauding the actor for "his sheer ease, subtlety and spontaneity in portraying a complex and demanding role." I can't help but think what if we put these esteemed jurors in other national award committees. In that case, national award for sports may go to KPS Gill for "his valuable contribution towards Indian hockey", national award for journalism may go to Times of India "for their painstaking & thorough coverage of matters of national importance like sex lives of Britney Spears & Angelina Jolie" and national award for social service may go to Dawood Ibrahim for his "relentless zeal & passion for an extremely difficult job of controling India's population by exploding as many bombs as possible." As I said 'reasonable' can mean different things to different people.

Outlook India's Sci-tech edition

It is not everyday that a popular magazine considers it worthwhile to devote an entire issue on Science & Technology, so when that happens , the event does deserve some sitting up & taking notice. OutlookIndia's effort is certainly commendable and is guaranteed to sell more copies as well in an Indian middle class society, which covetes scientific & technological achievements.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Swiss juggernaut rolls on

Another Wimbledon, another title, another bemused opponent and plenty of happy Tennis fans all over the world. The story reads the same, as it has been for past 2 years running, what made it different this time that Roger played better than what he did at last year's Wimbledon Final (as if that was even possible!), 49 winners, 12 unforced errors, only one service break and plenty of "how did he do that!!" shots. The statistics are notorious for lying but this time they did not. Roger's astonishing game has prompted debate over his greatness, Hewitt calls him "one of the greatest", Mcnore says "the most talented person ever to pick up a Tennis racquet", Laver is honoured to "be compared with him"! Roche calls him "the most complete player of all time" and Roddick hopes "he gets bored or something" so that he may have a chance. Well, he does not seem to be yawning as yet and till then Roddick & co. will have to figure out some way to atleast make him sweat on the court. Until that happens, the juggernaut will roll on, the trophies will pile on and Roddick will have no need to buy that extra seat on his trip back home.