Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Two to Tango

I still haven't figured out whether I find the Indian Cricket League a good or bad idea. Meetings are being held, data is being crunched, information is being gathered, journalists and clients are calling. I am reminded of what Subhashji said at the 2006 Goafest in reference to the two TRP systems then being debated (yours truly having fuelled the fires in a 'historic' Business Standard interview). He said, 'Competition is always good. The incumbent wakes up and gets better. Monopoly breeds complacency'.

The Zee group sure believes in this dictum. I stumbled upon it when I tried naively to bring the NRS and IRS together - Pradeep and his ilk offered the indisputable but heart sinking logic that if the two would merge, a third would emerge anyway. Ditto for the TAM-aMap story. And now there's BCCI-ICL.

Subhashji has a point of course. Overnight the BCCI have upped player salaries and prize money by over 50%. Star Cricket, ESPN and Ten Sports will need to relook at their rate cards as Zee Sports begins to serve up prime time 20-20 fours and sixes. A new breed of brand ambassadors will step out of the pavilion and wave to the crowds. It could all well be a marketer's dream.

Has Zee really done this for cricket, for the country? The ICL format will encourage a more aggressive energetic game for sure. But I can't help thinking - oh no, it's not about a patriotic zeal to create Indian winners, any more than the Times is really looking for the next Indian leader. It's simply about the money, honey, always about the money, and that's what has murked the muddy waters of the BCCI to begin with.

And many other waters too, alas.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Amazing India

These are two of the posters sent out by our HR department to mark our I-Day celebrations tomorrow, this year's theme being the Magic of India. The office is already looking so festive, it leaves very little room for each department to dress up their areas even more to win the theme prizes.

Parel and its inhabitants are special people indeed, insulated as we are from all the hot air in the ivory express towers. Take a look at the server room floor flower rangoli.
And also to all my angels in Gurgaon, MG Road, Ballygunge and Mount Road, a happy independence day to you too. God bless us all and our motherland forever.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

'If I were a rich man'

Zee Studio aired Fiddler on the Roof last weekend. I can see this film a thousand times and then a thousand times again. I like Tevye's conversations with God best of all. Like a best friend, he questions Him, humours Him, makes fun of Him, loves Him, hates Him, but always always defers to Him. With so much talk of money circling the hallways these days, his mocking frustration-airing appeal before launching into one of the world's most famous songs, takes on a meaning of its own. (I can almost see another bearded gentleman take Tevye's place, in my cheeky mind's eye! Can you?).

Well, I'm not really complaining.
After all, with your help,
I'm starving to death.
Oh, dear Lord!
You made many, many poor people.
I realise, of course,
it's no shame to be poor.
But it's no great honour either.
So what would have been so terrible
if I had a small fortune?

Here is a video of the song, complete with the impromptu jigs, the screeches, the pony whistle, animal sounds at just the right moments blending perfectly with the musical instruments, the staircase going nowhere just for show, the peacock strut, the double chin, the 'ifs'.

The 'ifs'. Without the 'ifs' in our lives we'd have nothing to strive for. Enjoy.