Bachchan — 424

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“T20 Finals tomorrow !! What a disappointment that India lost out, but what an amazing surprise that Sri Lanka and Pakistan are in the finals. Who would have ever thought this would be the final judgement. Destiny has many smart moves and it will play one of them out tomorrow.”

One Response to “Bachchan — 424”

  1. [I too am pleased about a subcontinental final and I too rue the fact that India wasn’t able to make it. But note how India was the one team without their ‘old timers’ (those reliable yet increasingly much maligned, certainly less appreciated old timers!) and meanwhile many of these teams definitely had experienced players in their squad. Every so often one sees the brashness of today’s generation on display with calls for Laxman’s head and Dravid’s head and so on. Even a titan like Sachin is not spared such vulgarity (recall the ‘End-ulkar’ headline after the last World Cup? The single most offensive one in this context in my memory! But Sachin really made them eat their words twice over!). I am not against the new, the fresh or ‘change’ but it seems to me that the old timers still have a lot of cricket left in them and the younger generation has not even come close to proving it is worthy of taking over the mantle. Unfortunately there is a level of crassness that has become the order of the day in this ‘new India’ where increasingly the finer points of the game lose out to this mob addiction to boundaries of all kinds. No one has the patience but more importantly not the know-how or sensibility to understand what really constitutes a well-played innings, a well-bowled over and so forth. The game has just been converted into a modern arena of gladiators where the ball is supposed to be pummeled hard and harder still each. That’s all people want. One is alternatively amused and infuriated when one sees such folks commenting on a genius like Tendulkar.

    It isn’t just about cricket of course. We have seen the very same attitude in great abundance in the film industry for close to two decades now. The cluelessness on display, the shocking arrogance, the complete divorce from history, the absolute indifference to what is most important about the medium in an aesthetic and historical sense, the total inability to ‘learn’. There are still exceptions, very few though and they constitute an endangered species. I often turn to older eras of Hindi cinema and I am always amazed (in a very sad way) at the gap that has occurred in every department of filmmaking. Yes technical standards are better than they once were though even this cannot be held as a universal statement. Glitz cannot be equated with technical finesse. But really from the language used in both dialogue and lyric to the richness of narratives there is really no comparison. Yes, change is inevitable but why does it have to be so much for the worse? Tamil cinema offers the example of an industry that has ‘changed’ in ways not unlike those of ‘Bollywood’ but has nonetheless retained a certain rootedness as well, a certain link with the history.

    As you know I get into this diatribe at regular intervals! I don’t mean to be harsh. There are indeed good film-makers today as there are good films and things have certainly improved greatly since the ’saccharine 90s’. But I cannot be satisfied with crumbs. The fact is that only a small fraction of films released in any given year can be seen at home with one’s finger on the fast forward button, let alone in the theater! On the other hand in the 70s the average film was far more entertaining. A film just being engaging enough to warrant that ‘one timer’ tag isn’t too hard a standard to attain. Sadly ‘Bollywood’ does not meet this most of the time.]

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