I've watched television over the last couple of days. Seeing that I've barely heard the word 'television', much less seen any for the last 30 months, that's a fair bit of television viewing I've done in the last couple of days.
I was watching India's latest exploits in the Twenty20 World Cup, both on the field as well as off it.
On the field, we did pretty well, winning both our games against England and South Africa and sailing through to the semi-finals while we left the vanquished eating our dust on their way out of the tournament.
We forged 2 very good partnerships in the England game - between Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir for the first wicket, and between Andrew Flintoff and Yuvraj Singh for the nineteenth over. Both partnerships had the vital element of clear communication, so crucial to their success. Each member of either partnership was left in no doubt as to what the other one was saying, be it about a possible run or the genealogy of the other.
The South Africa game: I think Sreesanth is setting himself up for a plum Bollywood role, after seeing his bowling performance against the Proteas. He's already got an album under his belt, now he has the chance to get a movie. And Bollywood, being Bollywood, will seek inspiration from Hollywood. And hence, we will get to see the Hindi version of Major League with Sreesanth essaying the role of "Wild Thing". His awfully sporadic bowling will be rectified by the introduction of nice thick glasses (he wore almost invisible glasses while batting earlier in the tournament). Heck, I'll even go to South Africa and play "Wild Thing" from the stands every time Sreesanth comes into bowl and every time I feel like complimenting any one of those ultra-hot female cheerleaders. Drool, drool!
No cricket match on the telly is complete (or incomplete, for that matter) with the constant advertising breaks. I was watching television for the second day, and I was already sick of the ads. And they are so bad, almost every one of them. They just reek of petty commercialism and poor creativity as well as myopic brand management. Pepsi My Can, Reliance Mutual Fund, Zen Estilo, Havell, Nokia, Brylcreem and Vodafone.
Yes, Vodafone, with the little pug adopted from Hutch along with a screeching remix of the "You & I" song. The guys at O&M are really starting to get on my nerves. When Hutch first broke its first campaigns across Bangalore, it was a welcome relief from the clutter that cluttered the Indian advertising space. It was nice and clean. But then, after a while, it becomes irritating. Especially when O&M tried to keep a good thing going. The pug with the kid did wonders and it was a nice campaign too, but in my opinion, it was the beginning of the end, it was the top of the hill from where it was all downhill afterwards. I think the street lingo for this sort of thing is the "Mario Puzo effect". Your first piece of work (The Godfather) is so bloody good that you just can't top it. You are doomed to relative commercial failure because of your commercial success. So everything became crappy for Hutch after that, with over-simplified advertisements that sounded almost childlike and made me feel quite stupid. I can only hope that the advertising (as well as the service) for Vodafone improves. I don't want to see Hutch ads in red instead of pink instead of orange. And if "Hutch is now Vodafone", then why does my phone still show Hutch as the network provider? Shouldn't all Hutch phones now be saying Vodafone?
Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that Airtel and Vodafone might be using very similar brand colours. Now, for somebody like me who is colour deficient, that is a big problem. Atleast I could make out between the bright red, the loud orange and the positively garish pink. Now I have two shades of red to choose from and I am completely at a loss. I already have enough trouble figuring out which red I ought to be talking through and which red I should not be drinking (Coca-Cola, you nitwit; don't you know it's harmful for health, along with all its collaboratora and competitors?). And now this. I think I ought to become a painter (an artist, a painter of easels, not of walls, although I think painting walls is kind of therapeutic, as is painting of easels; let's just say painting in general is therapeutic, now shall we?).
So anyway, television sucks, except for a decent cricket match watched with friends, or the usually brilliant programming on Discovery, History, Travel & Living, National Geographic and other such channels. Amen!