September 2008 - Posts
One came across the following report on a newswire which was read with incredulity. It ran something like the following -Gone are the days when Kurta Pajamas, loose fitting tops and trousers, were the only acceptable cricketwear for Indians. ODI cricket was aptly named 'Kurta Pajama Cricket' to celebrate India's success at the Prudential World Cup in 1983. It was pruned to 'Pajama Cricket' after an Indian captain took off his Kurta at Lords 20 years later. But even that term is in dire straits now with winds of change sweeping the cupboards of the Indian cricketer. Indian professional cricketers are now spending a lot on sportswear to fit in at matches abroad or while hosting international teams.
"It's a drastic change from before," Mr.Taylor, the head of Hike said. "We've already had a lot of requests from cricketers, say from small Indian cities, who want to know how to dress for a cricket match in London. Some of them have ended up leading the national team. They want to impress. Appearances matter now with all the sponsorship deals being lined up"
The reader may be wondering about the mental stability of the writer and he has valid reasons to be concerned. Well one woke up from one's dream sweating profusely. But when one tried to delve into the freudian reasons for such a dream, one remembered a reading a similar article sometime earlier. Well here goes.
By Lyndee Prickitt
MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - The big mustache, silk shirt and gold accessories-look that survived for decades is now being replaced by a haute couture hero: India's men are taking their fashion cues from the global scene.
And this fashion fever is not just for the rich -- India's growing ranks of wealthy, well-heeled and Western educated professionals with careers in multinational companies and a chunk of disposable income are leading the change.
India's economy, one of the fastest growing in the world, is also turning the Asian country into an international business force, which in turn means more global exposure for businessmen who are keen to look the part.
On Monday, men's magazine GQ India hits the newsstands, following in the footsteps of other male-only publications such as Men's Health, Maxim, and FHM, and experts are saying this is further proof that Indian men are embracing more global fashions.
"A certain segment of male Indian society has always pampered itself and spent a lot on clothes," Che Kurrien, GQ India editor, told Reuters.
"Add to that a lower strata of society that always wanted to spend lavishly but couldn't afford to. Well, now they can. Combine the two groups and you have a huge market."
Gone are the days when sherwanis, high-collared knee-length coats for men, were the only acceptable businesswear. Professionals are now spending a lot on officewear to fit in at meetings abroad or while doing business with foreign clients.
"It's a drastic change from before," Kurrien said. "We've already had a lot of requests from men, say from small Indian cities, who want to know how dress for a business meeting in London. They want to impress. Appearances matter now."
Here's the link to the complete article - http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE48S0VD20080929
One has considered oneself to be a 'professional' for the last few years but this article rudely shook one out of that myth. One has, but been a pseudo-professional. Not having worn a Sherwani for any client meetings instantly disqualifies one.
GQ has been a household name in India for some decades now. It would have been giving the TOI, Hindu and related publications, a run for their money, if it was launched earlier in this country. Naturally for people from small cities in India, GQ is the first name that comes to mind when they decide to overhaul their wardrobes. One is rushing to the news stand to figure out if socks are really needed to be worn with shoes.
Hats off to the newswire report. Or should one say Pagdis off?
After HIS elevation to the chief selctor post; the first thought that came to my mind was that since listening to his brilliant insights over the last few years on NEO sports; I would finally get rid of him. If KS decides the way like he talks, only the god almighty can save the Indian cricket team. But the fact that he might not be haunting us for another 3 years as a commentator/ expert is more than a silver lining.
Make no mistake. I really hope he proves me wrong as the chairman. But if history were an indicator, I am not very hopeful.
Twenty minutes into the most high profile match of the current EPL season, the irritating ring tone on my phone, which has created a mini storm in marital bliss, informs me of an incoming message of supreme importance. The next 90 odd minutes are going to one of the toughest tests of my married life over the continuous ringing of the SMS alert.
The SMS waxes eloquent on the end of the 84 match unbeaten streak at home for Chelsea. Man United have scored a goal and the message sender is going gung ho over it. A calm-down request from self, pointing that the match has another 70 minutes left falls on deaf ears.
Next message is from this side of the fence blasting Joe Cole for blasting the ball over the goal. A lot many messages are exchanged on the favorable treatment meted out to MU by various referees and comparisons with the Australian cricket team are used in abundance.
The other side is under the impression that the match is being watched at a watering hole and on the motto of ‘chance pe dance', goes on to hail Scholes as the ‘best midfielder in the world'. Seriously, this is one of the better jokes I have heard in quite some time and the appreciation is instantly conveyed.
By the end of the first half, the other side is going ballistic on all the first win at Stamford Bridge since almost 4.5 years. The 2nd half is as exciting as it can get with one team in complete control. Anelka and Joe Cole keep on missing the target with boring frequency. I get delirious messages when Ronaldo is introduced. "God has arrived" is the gist of most of them. ‘God' has an immediate impact on the game by falling at the slightest touch. A few messages discuss the ‘ground beneath his feet'.
The rescue act is done by Kalou. 1-1. Suddenly the victory dance has stopped and tension mounts. After 90 minutes of intense football the match is drawn. The SMSs continue for another half an hour post the match. The final SMS from the other side says ‘1 point was what we came to Stamford Bridge for and so we go away happy'.
The wife can't take it anymore and snatches the instrument and changes the SMS alert tone. "Were these exchanges about the MU-Chelsea match?" she queries. "Yes" comes a sheepish reply.
"But why were you so worked up? You support Arsenal don't you?"
Being constantly bombarded by the daily headlines screaming multi million dollar deals for buying out football clubs, exorbitant transfer fees for football players funded by petro dollars, and the ever rising prize money (which seems to be giving a fight to the rate of inflation in Zimbabwe) for various professional sporting events, one had started to question the very existence of sport being played for enjoyment. It was becoming just another entertainment industry like Hollywood, pop, porn or gambling. All one had to do was find a bunch of talented players across the globe, locate top coach, throw obscene money at them and make a winning team. Chelsea was a prime example, which didn't live up to the standards that its owner set. Manchester City joined the club (pun intended) last week by signing Robinho. One is taking football only as an example to put one's point across. This phenomenon is being replicated in many other sporting arenas as well (more in team sports one would add).
Formula One hasn't been an exception in the recent past with the budgets of the top 2-3 teams putting a few emerging countries in the shadows. The 'also rans' were there to make the numbers, with little money to invest in technology or hire drivers with proven talent. The minnows had to get the engines from the Big Boyz and give chances to untested talent. Winning a Formula One race wasn't within the realms of reality. Picking up the crumbs left for the 6+ places in a race was the best they could hope for.
There was an air of expectancy at Monza on the 14th of September 2008, when a laggard team's driver was going to start at the pole position on the grid. The pole was attributed chiefly to the rains during the qualifying sessions and nobody really expected a rookie with an average car to hold on to the lead for too long. It was a flash in the pan, more like the lighting in the storm clouds that hit Monza on the Saturday qualifying sessions. Sebastian Vettel proved everyone wrong by a mile and more. Controlling the race from the beginning, the 21 year old drove a dream race, winning it comfortably in the end. It reaffirmed one's faith in the uncertainties of sport where by every passing day; the odds on the favourites have been shortening. It encouraged the willingness to dream, the willingness to believe that impossible is nothing and that even in this Orwellian world of 'some people being more equal', fairy tales do happen. Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso have given every F1 lover a reason to cheer, a reason to smile.
But one doesn't want to stop where most fairy tales end. What happened to David after he slayed Goliath? Did he become another Goliath? The philosophical problem here is that once David has slain Goliath, he doesn't remain a David. He is not an underdog any more. In Vettel's case, we may hear in a few days that he will be driving for a Ferrari or a McLaren. One tends to read these stories of small football clubs unearthing talent and then being forced to sell the talent to a bigger club because 'the player wants to play the champions league'. One can't argue against the individual player's right to define his career goals and priorities. And the romantic idea of 'sports for sports' sake' can't and won't stop the commercialisation of sport. Gravity pulls everything down and money is the gravity for today's sports.
Maybe it's still all about money!!!! But maybe we can return to being cynics tomorrow...
Here is another story about a coach. To say that he also is an Australian is saying 'roses are red.... ' and all the related ho hum reactions that come with it. Guru Greg, it seems, has invited the Australian team one week ealier than it's scheduled itinerary, to Jaipur to get used to the tough Indian conditions. He, the master innovator of failure, the destroyer of budding careers (Irfan Pathan anyone?), the middle finger man (instead of asking for a thumb from others, he gave them his middle finger.. such largesse!!) has actually had the gall to call his countrymen to Jaipur to help them win because he is currently employed by Cricket Australia as the chief of it's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
This report in DNA gives the details http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1188252
What he forgets is that he is currently also a consultant at the Rajasthan Cricket Academy and was till recently in charge of the facility. Actually he hasn't forgotten his position at the RCA. He obviously is using it to further Australian interests. What he has forgotten is a word called 'professionalism'. What he has forgotten is that he also has some responsibility to this country as the RCA is affiliated to the BCCI. No one denies the right of the Australian cricket team to get more practice n India. The way in which it is done is what causes a frown. The BCCI, it seems, has not been intimated with this change of schedule. Obviously Lalit Modi and the RCA are equally to blame for this faux pas. But CA by bypassing all normal channels of communication, gives this entire episode a tinge of slyness. The same Australians who were cringing to tour Pakistan for the Champions trophy due to security concerns are more than happy to go to Jaipur which was a victim of bomb attacks recently, smacks of duplicity.
GG has already commented on the Roy episode. It seems he is also giving tips to the Australians about winning in India. Given the brilliant results of his tutorship in India, take it with a pinch of salt mate!!!