Sunday, January 24, 2010

The new girl on the IPL block

The new chic on the IPL block

The day of IPL 2010 auction saw new chic on the block Gayatri Reddy (seen here besides Preity Zinta) in-charge of the bidding business for Deccan Chargers. As she sat there outbidding others for Kemar Roach of the West Indies, the curiosity level jumped as to who is she?

I did a google search to find that she is the daughter of the franchise owner T Venkatram Reddy and she is involved in Deccan Chronicle as well down south. Gayatri has been there for cheering her dad’s team but this season I bet we are going to see more of her. She was present at the auctions with her brother for company as the second edition champions spent bucketloads ($718,716) to get a relative unknown from the Caribbean. But yeah, I have seen him bowl to Ponting in Tests, and he is good. Anyways, the public I think were more curious about Gayatri Reddy than Shilpa Shetty atleast ;who for me, just doesn’t make the cut as a franchise owner .Preity Zinta has better credentials ,who incidentally is launching her own tv show titled ‘Behind the seams with PZ’ … ehhh? Come on Preity you could have come up with a better name .This one can easily be a title for a fashion based show, not to forget that its easy fodder for comics all over, owing to the meaning the words ‘seam’ can take. Sorry if that sounded cheeky, but I promise I wouldn’t say, didn’t I say so when it happens. Did she forget about the ‘Bublee episode’ of last year? Having said that I really respect her for her vision .Unlike other Bollywood wannabes want to chuck into IPL business now that it is such a worldwide phenomena, she was there right at the outset with then beau Ness Wadia. And they remain cordial and professional despite parting ways.

You will see what I mean when two more cities would be up for grabs in February. Everyone wants to be famous by being associated with a successful model, be that as brand ambassadors or owners with minority stake trying to convince the public that they have a deep bond with that state and city. Club owner wise, I think Nita Ambani has matured the best, followed by Preity .We are bound to see more glitterati this season and some more chics on the IPL block, remains to be seen who?

On a footnote,i certainly think that the whole Pakistani players situation could have been better handled,but that is in another post.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fiction can save television


The concept of seasons have come up in the Indian television milieu courtesy rampant adaptation of foreign reality show concepts ,but its just a misnomer as this is just because the duration of the reality shows can’t be over a stipulated number of weeks due to the concept of the shows .

Once the winner is found on a show, they quite simply move on to the next season ,which is easier as there is no read to go and write an entire season, but instead the need to just to hold fresh auditions for casting –be it for talent or celebrity based shows.

This is quite unlike the west where every ‘fiction’ show has an overarching storyline for a season and each studio or satellite channel renews the shows for the forthcoming seasons based on its popularity and ratings.

This is quite unlike the west where every ‘fiction’ show has an overarching storyline for a season and each studio or satellite channel renews the shows for the forthcoming seasons based on its popularity and ratings.

TV has to move from dailies to weekly shows, because it is impossible to create a 20-22 minute script that is entertaining day in and day out without compromising on content and quality .Looking back at the finest produced serials in India –Hum Log, Buniyaad ,Nukkad, Mahabharat, Ramayan, Circus,Wagle Ki Duniya, Shrimaan Shrimati,Malgudi Days et al and we find that all were aired once or max twice a week.

But the today, the quality of fiction writing has sunk to such depths that each episode is comprised of 2 dialogues and 1 monologue with jarring sound effects and pliagiarised soundtracks of hindi films.Each episode should tell a thing or two,else it’s just an insult to the viewers’ intelligence.I seldom find it on Indian television.

TV content should become so good that people don’t see television as a conduit or passage to the film industry. For that, TV has to raise the bar of its own performance, enhance its production values and push the envelope, tear it -if need may be. A lot of stars from the film industry have come into anchoring and judging on reality shows on television, because the money influx has been huge .But they are not in TV for the same reason as say Michael Douglas in ‘The West Wing ‘or George Clooney in ‘ER’ or Alec Baldwin in ’30 Rock’ who do quality work in TV despite being huge Hollywood stars, and they are able to do so on the back of quality fiction .

It’s such an empowering medium and its reach is humbling, yet the content remains shallow and misrepresentative of our times. There is a need that is unrequited, potential that is unexplored ; markets,fans and people waiting to be tapped and that is a huge opportunity in itself.Do you really think if given a choice,the youth would watch what currently is on television?Some major game changer ,say a major production house should see this as opportunity and delve in TV production,which respects the intelligence of the audience.

Fiction has reached excruciating depths ,but nobody seems to care.The channels never take a risk,never show content that can engage people and not make couch potatoes out of them.They don't have the guts for it ,not one single one of the general entertainment channels(GEC's).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Science and faith

Laws of physics like religion are never questioned

an article by Paul Davies

Tempe: Science, as we are repeatedly told, is the most reliable form of knowledge about the world because it is based on testable hypotheses.Religion, by contrast is based on faith. The term doubting Thomas well illustrates the difference. In science, a healthy scepticism is a professional necessity, whereas in religion, having belief without evidence regarded as a virtue.

The problem with this neat separation into “non-overlapping magesteria" Stephen Jay Gould described science and religion is that science has its own faith-based system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn't be a scientist if you thought that the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe into a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they. Expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order. And so far, this faith has been justified.

The most refined expression of the ration intelligibility of cosmos is found in the laws of physics, the fundamental rules on which the nature runs. The laws of gravitation and electromagnetism, the laws that regulate the world within the atom,The laws of motion- all are expressed as tidy mathematical relationships. But where do these laws come from?And why they have the form they do?

During our student days, the laws of physics were regarded completely off the limits. The laws were treated as "given"-imprinted on the universe like a maker’s mark at the moment of cosmic birth-and fixed forevermore.Therefore, to be a scientist; you had to have faith that the universe is governed by dependable, immutable, absolute, universal laws of unspecified origin. You have got to believe that these laws won't fail, that we won't wake up tomorrow to find heat flowing from cold to hot, or the speed of light changing by the hour.

The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti -rational. After all, the very essence o of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaningless and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.

Although certain scientists have long had an inclination to shrug aside such questions concerning the source of the laws of physics, the mood has now shifted considerably. Part of the reason is the growing acceptance that the emergence of life in the universe, and hence the existence of observers like ourselves, depends rather sensitively on the form of the laws.

A second reason that the laws of physics have now been brought within the scope of scientific inquiry is that the realisation that what we long regarded as absolute and universal laws might be more like local bylaws. They could vary from place to lace on a mega- cosmic scale. A God's eye view might reveal a vast patchwork quilt of universes, each with its own distinctive set of bylaws. In this "multiverse",life will arise only in those patches with bio-friendly bylaws, so it is no surprise that we find ourselves in a Goldilocks universe-one that is just right for life. We selected it by our very existence.

Clearly, then,both religion and science are founded on faith-namely,on the belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws,maybe an ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.

This shared failing is no surprise, because the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientist squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendental realm of perfect mathematical relationships.

And just as Christians claim that the world depends utterly on God for its existence, while the converse is not the case, so physicists declare a similar asymmetry: the universe is governed by eternal laws(or metalaws),but the laws are completely impervious to what happens in the universe. It seems to me there is no hope of ever explaining why the physical is as it is so long as we are fixated on immutable laws that exist reasonless or are imposed by divine providence. The alternative is to regard the laws of physics and the universe they govern as part and parcel of a unitary system and be incorporated within a common explanatory scheme.

In other words, the laws should have an explanation from within the universe and not involve appealing to an external agency. The specifics of that explanation are a matter of future research. But until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ke$ha -Tick tock single

I was watching The Tonight Show with Conan O’ Brien aired on January 6 yesterday.Conan ,was as usual at his witty best with his side kick Andy. With the special guest being Matthew Broderick ,who came to promote his upcoming movie opening next week. Robin Tunney from CBS’s supposedly hugely popular ‘The Mentalist’ was the second guest. I haven’t seen it yet ,but have been hearing that it is getting good reviews into its second season.

Anywho,that is not the reason for me this writing this. The reason is - the musical guest was Kesha,who set it alight with a crackerjack of a performance of her Smash hit single,Tick tock from her debut album –The Animal. It has as Conan said “set a record for a female artist to sell 600,000 digital copies of the hit single ‘Tick tock’.

"Tick Tock", her debut single, was released in August 2009 and reached number one in five countries .Kesha describes her dress sense as "garbage-chic" to Entertainment Weekly and named Keith Richards as her fashion inspiration.

Check the official music video on the link

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sydney -an advertisement of Test cricket

Yesterday saw the incredible and seemingly improbable close to one of the finest test matches that you could choose to begin a decade with .A decade where the young upstart format has challenged the intermediate format of ODI’s already.

The New Year’s test started on a cloudy and gloomy note as the rain sprayed the first two sessions and Ponting was inviting criticism when he chose to bat first on such a pitch in such conditions. The Pakistani attack performed admirably and within no time, the aussies were folded up for a mere 127.I woke up a little late and dreary eyed, I opened the television to see Pakistan at 0/14 and I surmised that it must have rained and had a late start .But then I registered what havoc Asif,Sami and Gul had wrecked on a waning Aussie batting line up .The next day saw typical Australian grit that restricted the Pakistanis to lead of just over 200.The third day ,now christened the Jane McGrath day witnessed Australians climb back and finally ending with a lead of 80 with just two wickets remaining .Fourth day came and history beckoned for Pakistan, first test victory over Australia since in over 15 years. But Hussey brilliantly shepherded the tailenders especially Peter Siddle en route to a chanceless century that more than doubled their lead and set up 176 as the target.

In effect, on all four days, it was Pakistan’s test for the taking. All through Australia were playing catch up and catch up they did and astonishingly overtook the opponents when the time came .Pak rolled over to just 139.So chasing in Sydney is difficult as Ricky Ponting had thought at the toss on day one. In a sense it was the bowlers won it for Australia, with their tail wagging and inspiring and supremely confident spells. Special mention for Brad Haddin for that stupendous catch down the leg side that started the downside. Australians are lucky to have had keepers like Healy, Gilchrist and now Haddin over the last two decades. They continue to eke out victories despite having lost half a dozen legends over the last 3-4 years.

This Sydney test follows last year’s test against South Africa which was yet another last day nail-biter ,preceded of course by the acrimonious but brilliant Test against India in 2008.If anything, the Sydney Cricket Ground with out fail produces a true sporting wicket ,every time that guarantees cricket of thrilling nature and most of the times of highest quality.

It was a wonderful advertisement of the truest form of the sport and a delight for neutral like me, but I am neutral for all matches whether India play or not .Kudos, the best ground in the world- SCG!!!