Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I just wish though that the Indian commentators would be a little more glorious

Jalsa , Mumbai               Mar  18/19 , 2012               Sun/Mon 1 : 28 AM


Late again .. DHR did not mind .. was watching replay highlights of the cricket India vs Pakistan .. always a show stopper .. did not see the live broadcast .. India lose often when I do … so ..

Magnificent play by all our team .. Virat Kohli scores 183, and is fast becoming the darling of the country .. just 23 years and playing like a dream … inspiring and so committed .. a great example for the youngsters that watch him and aspire to be playing for the country. I just wish though that the Indian commentators would be a little more glorious in praise for our achievers. I hear some of the other commentators from other countries, and when their team plays, they concentrate more on them than the other, even though they are meant to be neutral. They are not entirely biased, but you get a sense that they are more interested in their boys and their play rather than the victory of ours. Even when their team loses, they make it sound as though they won – just a slight slip and they would have been victorious ! Is really their point of view .. I mean Virat will be hitting the ball to the boundary in succession, but the commentator of the opposing team will be almost talking to the player on the field that that is not where they should be bowling and that the field placement is wrong. Not a word about the brilliance of the shot played by Virat …

The art of commentating needs very deft handling. I feel its not enough that you are an expert of the game. But because your comments are going to the universe they need to diplomatically enhance the mood of the audience that listens to them too. Especially when the country you represent is playing. Our masses need to be carried along too. Keep their hopes and spirits high, and maybe, just maybe, the collective positivity that is exuded by the commentator and the millions that hear him, could all reach out to the players on the field. A packed stadium cheering for the team works wonders at times, and I believe so can this medium of comment …

A collective slogan screaming from 50,000 voices could move a mountain .. but we need that slogan. A song maybe, sung by all in the same voice … music and drums and noise that identifies India .. flags, banners what ever ..

When you see the soccer for example, and see the enthusiasm with which the crowds backing a particular team cheer for theirs, its a revelation .. its a different world altogether .. can we not strive to build that in the games where our boys and girls play. I saw PT Usha the 400 meter athlete at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1982, win the first position in the most important Heat for her event. In the final she lost by a whisker in winning a medal, by coming 4th. I am almost certain had she the strength of a mass of Indians cheering for her it may have inspired her just that little to do better. On the day when she ran her Heat, a friend and I were the only two Indians in that vast Coliseum, screaming our lungs out through some very puzzled looking spectators. Another 100 more would have done the trick for her. I see at such events, especially the jumps and track events, the contestants asking through hand gestures from their countrymen in the stadium to clap and cheer for them to raise his or her adrenalin before they start off ..

It works for public figures too. A large boisterous crowd is a boon for us at an event or at a public meeting. Suddenly the tired legs spring to life, the voice becomes strong and confident. I experience it every Sunday, as I did today through the 28 years of its existence …makes one feel wanted and loved … nothing more important for a public figure than this .. watch ….




And as I conclude music again to put the day to an end .. a beautiful charming folk constructed by that duo of Amaan and Ayaan Ali, sons of the Sarod maestro, Amjad Ali Khan and a group of sufi singing 'qawwals'. The Sarod the most loved instrument by me .. sonorous and subtle … an instrument of the nature of the Sitar, but more difficult to play, because it does not have 'frets' unlike the guitar or the Sitar, so one has to practice for years to hit the correct note without any assistance. And Amjad, not from the films, a dear family friend and both Amaan and Ayaan growing up as little kids in front of our eyes, and great friends of Abhishek and Shweta and the family. Ayaan the younger one now married to Nima, Billu Sharma's daughter. Billu, Romesh Sharma close family friend, producer of 'Hum'.

( Some of the greatest Indian classical events have been the 'jugal bandi', or dual players – Pt Ravi Shankar on Sitar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on the Sarod, and the great 'tabla' player Allah Rakha, father of present time great Zakir Hussain, in a combined concert .. ah !! pure music magic .. unbelievable moments .. leaving you in absolute ecstasy for hours and hours till the morning light appears, having started playing late into the night, in an open auditorium. What one not give to see them recreate that magic … alas now only on film or record !! They shall never make the likes of them anymore … Ustad Allauddin Khan the great maestro and the guru who taught Ravi Shankar the Sitar and Ali Akbar Khan the Sarod, was Ali Akbar Khan's father .. Ravi Shankar married Allauddin Khan's daughter and sister to Ali Akbar Khan )

'Bahut din beete, piya ko dekhe .. ' many days have passed without seeing my beloved …

Repeatedly been listening to this throughout the day, from their, Amaan and Ayaan's latest album, RANG, Colors of Sufism .. it has the smell of the earth of Uttar Pradesh and my hometown Allahabad .. simple, endearing and almost going into a trance of the atmosphere of the times … could spend the entire night just with this .. but it is past the hour of 3 am .. !!

Wide awake and willing to continue with this music the entire night ….

Amitabh Bachchan 

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