Friday, December 3, 2010

Have I Made it Large or Will I Make It Large

Last night at my office sitting and watching the Royal Stag Advertisement which said Have I made it Large. I thought of the same thing. The advertisement was amazing , it actually ran goosebumps into me but also raised a question.

Well three years back I still remember the day I entered the Symbiosis Campus when there was a huge crowd outside the Symbiosis Auditorium. I still remember the speech by UKC (Obviously not me ).It made me feel as if this is the best place to learn media on Earth and if Barkha and Rajdeep would have had studied here . They would have been whatever they are 10 years earlier.

But I also saw the huge line which had people from almost every corner of the country. Smart , fools , handsome , beautiful , hot , dumb , clever , nurds. And I one of them and which one I really don't know. That was one moment in my life when I thought that if on earth I clear this I will make it large.

Well I cleared it , God knows how but I did . Then coming to my first day at college. Believe me guys I got scared. Young bright talented smart faces. What will I do how will I survive. But i learned fast and I think I managed to swim my way through in these three years.

Today sitting at the office watching the huge queue of journalists whom I have to compete with to become the next Karan Thapar. I think that will the line which started from the GDPI when the dream was born ever end.

And when I look at the never ending line....I just say ...when will be the time when you can feel you made it large ...Coz if you are large someone else would always be larger ...Till the time you don't end up being the next Obama...COz I think Manmohan Paaji also thinks Sonia Ji made it larger...

And then it reminds me of the song from "Luck By Chance". "Bagiya bagiya baalak bhaage , titli fir bhi haath naa lage . Is pagle ko kaun bataye .Dhund rha hai jo tu jag main . Koi jo paye to man main hi paye."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Indian Football- Who is going to save the game

A few days back while sharing a tea with Pranay I had a talk with him about the Indian Football and its future. And that’s why I started searching some information about the Indian Football. There were some facts which really cheered me up but some were really depressing. When will India will be able to qualify for the world cup for the second time. For all those who don’t know, we did in 1950 but we had no footwear for the game and wanted to play bare feet and hence were disqualified. We have taken over teams like Australia, Japan, North Korea and France. Except France which we lost by 2-1 in 1948 we have defeated all the rest.
Then what went wrong, why after the 70’s we never moved up. Is cricket responsible for the demolition of football in India. Well can’t deny that. Indians saw Sunil, Kapil and Sachin probably the best in their game and forgot the football stars. We could have moved up but our whole concentration went to the gentleman’s game. People say lack of funds caused the death of the game but I say lack of efficient and committed sports authorities were responsible. I’m sure AIFF is not the most dedicated sports organization and the officials don’t dream of game upliftment every night they go to bed. Money minting sports officials are happy to let the game die till the time their pockets are full. And that’s not just the story of football; look at Hockey a game which bought 8 Olympic Gold medals is craving for life and a proper governing body. Look at Cameroon, Ghana the day a child is born he dreams to play football for the national side and they are not one of the wealthiest nations on the globe.
There is no point craving about the past and the mistakes we made. It’s time to put life into the game however it is. This is weak time for Indian Football, Mahindra United’s decision to abandon the Club due to lack of funds has seriously raised concerns about the future of Club football in the country. If a giant like Mahindra is not able to feed the club, just think in what condition other clubs would be in. I read it in a telegraph blog “The amount of people coming to watch a club match is less than a 5th day Inter State Cricket Tournament”. It’s time for us to stop worrying about Manchester United and think about the Mahindra United. It’s the Indian Media , the Indian Public and the Indian Corporate Giants who need to step up to infuse blood in the dying baby.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Conversations with my fate

When one masters this wretched Desire, So hard to overcome.
His sorrows will just fall, like a water drop on lotus petals.
These were the ending quote which appeared on my laptop screen while watching the movie “Siddharth- The Prisoner” at five ‘o clock in the morning. At a point of time , when nothing seems to go your way and everything you want to do ends up landing in deep shit . Some quotes like that can move your mind and soul. A fortnight back everything seemed perfect to me, I was just ready to set the stage on fire. Back to back challenges, and commitment and passion to win over them running in my veins. I felt the fire within me and was all ready to win everything coming my way.
But as time went by I saw each and every brick of my dream house falling down and my ambitions tearing apart in pieces. I was never afraid to lose and can handle defeat easily, but the agony is I was never made to participate. Some time the challenge itself stood cancelled and sometime I was disqualified from the competition. It just looks like your house is on fire but you can’t do anything but just see being a mere spectator.
Every time I failed, I just said “ALL IS WELL” considering that there are still more opportunities waiting and I will suppress the pain of my defeat from the joy of the Victory which seemed certain. And every defeat made my belief to win the other challenge stronger. But as I said I participated in none. And after the last nail in my coffin was put I said boss all is not well. There is something going wrong and started questioning my fate.
And then I finally realised that I never accepted the defeat, and I just wanted my fate to give me that share of joy into the other. This is not sportsman spirit, not something which I reckon as a true player. Whatever little I have achieved in my life and whatever I’m proud of is actually not all hard work. A major share of it goes to the fate that actually got me everything I wanted and now I was questioning that same fate. I had lost belief in it.
I think whatever happened; there was some reason to it. I needed to understand how defeat looks like and how everything you want does not come true but you have to face it. Even your parents never gave you everything you wanted so that you also learn to resist your temptations, and be happy and satisfied in what all you have. But now I don’t want to regain what I have lost because I think it was just not for me. One of my friend said that whenever you don’t get something just think you have bigger things waiting for you in your life and those were not worth it. I can’t say that those things were not worth it but was not made for me. I’m happy because from here I have nothing to lose I will only gain from here. And every step I take will only help in my improvement. I’m happy carrying no burdens of expectations from life and feeling light. Its six o clock in the morning and I can feel that it’s time for that early morning tea and Pranay is waitng for me, will leave you with some original line of mine-
“Jeet aur haar to jeevan ki nishani hai,
sabke hisse main sabkuch hai nahi kisi ki manmaani hai.
Jeet ko to apni dulhan banna kar har koi saath le jaata hai,
Par haar ko bhi jo bichde yaar sa gale lagaa le,wahi to dildar ki nishani hai.”

Saturday, April 10, 2010

IPL - A platform for the struggler's dream

4.5 Dole to Gilchrist, OUT, Gilly out on dole! It was short in length and Gilly goes for the pull shot but mistimes it completely and has been caught in front of square-leg. Entertainment ends.
AC Gilchrist c Lumb b Dole 34 (17b 3x4 3x6) SR: 200.00

17.2 Muralitharan to Ojha, SIX, Ojha keeps swinging and gets into his 80s, getting under a length delivery and lofting it over deep square leg

Well these are some excerpts from cricinfo commentary which regularly keep an eye on.
IPL 3 would have been mix of good bad and worse performances , people may believe that it is marketing of cricket and IPL is only ruining cricket. Apart from all the allegations on IPL , I personally believe that I would not have been able to see such commentaries soon enough in my life.
Aditya Dole, a player from our nearby Pimpri-Chinchwad gets a chance to open the bowling attack when Gilchrist is on strike , and he strikes . The last match against Deccan I distinctly remember Amit Uniyal opening the bowling attack and striking in his second over . Naman Ojha hitting sixes on Brett Lee , Shane Bond , Murlitharan . Saurabh Tiwary striking with his power bat and there are many faces who have got a chance to prove their worth and a platform that would never have made available to them. Or they would have to strive really hard to strike.
IPL has come up like a boon to those players who from years have been struggling in their domestic formats and never have been able to find their place and recognition in front of the audience .Sadly, in our country if you play for your country you have name fame recognition and everything else you want. But if you play and perform for your states just one level below you will always be looked down upon the profession you chose and will always be considered as a loser. Either you are THE eleven or you are no one. And these years when you play for nothing and you are never recognized comes as a toughest part in your life and you need to have the patience and the courage to carry on with your dream, I respect that. And if once in a blue moon they get their share of credit and recognition which they deserve, I’m very happy to take it in lieu various allegations put on IPL as a bad form of cricket.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

CULTURAL SHOCK- I think I'm over it

One of my friend while having an ice cream at Naturals was discussing about cultural shocks , and suddenly I realized that I also went through one coming to Pune , there is a great difference in Bhawani Mandi and Pune. He told me that I have adjusted well into the new culture. I gave a thought over it..You know what it took me more than a year to actually adapt to it or understand it. The first year I never tried adapting to it but rather tried getting into it being a part of it without knowing it. I tried and missed , once again tried and missed and again tried and tried, Till I came to know that adapting to a culture is not all about being a part of it but understanding it . Its not that to adapt a new environment you have to change yourself , or you have to leave everything of your past, Its just to broaden your mindset and create a space for some more to enter.
What is a cultural shock ? Experiencing something which you haven't till now in your life. New people , new customs , and new thoughts. We often tend to run away when we experience something like that and try defending our thoughts and accuse others for their perception, But I believe the key lies and giving a chance for them to make a place in our heart and mind. Understand them , there must be some reason for what they are and for what you are neither are wrong but none is superior. So be the way you are but open your mind for anything to enter.......

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Take it in a sporting way

Once I met a person days back who used to work in a national news channel and when he told me that he works in the news industry, I promptly replied “Never saw you on the channel, what do you do then”. That was my perception about the news a month before I joined IBN 7 as an intern. Even if I go to my home town and I tell people that I am doing a course of mass communication and I intend to be a journalist the first question they shoot on me is “to kab dikhoge TV par “ (when are we going to watch you on television), therefore I believe that it is a general perception too. When I entered the internship, if any perception of mine which has shattered into pieces is that there is much more to journalism than well dressed faces in the studio and running correspondents i.e. there is much more to journalism than on-screen presentation.
The day I entered the IBN office my eyeballs were rolling finding those only well-dressed people who were the sole contributors of the journalism industry to me till then. But slowly I realised that it’s a team effort which makes a story work. I was assigned a job at the Sports Desk and I must say that I was fortunate enough that in my one month of the world of sports witnessed a lot of newsworthy events including The Kotla Incident , Hockey Crisis , Bindra and NRAI incident , Shiv Sena vs Australian Players , and a lots of cricketing action with India playing Lanka twice and Bangladesh , Australia vs Pakistan , South Africa vs England and a nail biting Karnatka vs Mumbai Ranji Final. Every event I witnessed was an amazing experience for me to learn news aspects of journalism.
I always thought of the fact that how can the sports journalists show us the whole match report as soon as the match gets over with all the visual shots edited and graphics in place with the score card . Then I came to know that as the match progresses the match report progresses and it happens after every 15 min or half an hour till the whole match gets over and the graphics and score card also gets updated till the last moment . Mind you it’s quite a tough job and a lot of prediction also works in the field. You can be sure that if an accident has taken place in some part of the country you can make a story on it as there is no possibility that during your programme those dead will come alive and your whole story will go waste. But if you have to do a story on the match between the two teams and specially when India is one of the sides then it will get at least a 15-20 min coverage as soon as the match gets over you can never really trust which side is going to make the mark specially the one which goes down till the last ball and and prepare the story accordingly .You have to have a plan B if something unexpected happens .And that needs quick responses you have to be quick if you are covering the sports industry unless you cannot deliver the stuff on-time or will do a messed up report with no content in it

I went on three on field shoots from where I actually learned a lot and I believe that each of those outings was a great learning from your side. My first shoot was a Christmas celebration of commonwealth games where I was just supposed to place my mike when every other reporter is doing the same but I never knew when would they do so , my second internship was a press conference where Gautam Gambhir was being attached to Royal Stag ,well that was a big moment I was nervous I think it had to happen the first time you go to an Press Conference after a lot of mind buckling I got a question to ask him but in the process of preparing myself to ask it from him I did a big mistake that I never heard what others were asking , I also got scolded for it but I believe that it was good that it happened in an internship not in a job and I went their make mistakes and learn out of them. I remember how difficult it was for me pronouncing the full name Gautam in front of other senior journalist and I almost stopped 5 times at Gau and could complete my statement before that anyone else would have had shot a question on him.
After this blunder I desperately wanted another chance to prove myself that it was just that first time excitement that I made a mistake and I am capable of doing much more than that and I got that chance in the last days of my internship when I went to take a bite of Manoj Prabhakar and I almost was successful to get a one on one tik tak with him after the press conference was over but I almost got each and every of my query answered in the conference itself and this time I was also aware of what had happened.
One of my biggest learning experiences was when the match at the Kotla Ground was abandoned between India and Sri Lanka due to the fact that the pitch was declared unfit. It was a cold and foggy morning in Delhi and everything in the office was moving smoothly as everyone was busy dealing with Ruchika and the injustice by SPS Rathore , Sri Lanka was batting poorly and all the batsmen were struggling to get there Bat between bowl and their body and suddenly the fourth ball of Sudeep Tyagi’s Over jumped unexpectedly high , and the Srilankan Captain Sangkarra made a gesture to stop the match and from then the silence of the news room turned into a market cry. Then I came to know that what actually is breaking news and how is it being covered. Live phone-ins, chats from the studio to the roof top everybody was busy looking what can exactly be added into the story, all those bad balls were taken from the match and being shown on the TV screen regularly.
Now here is where smart minds come into action , the sports editor Abhishek Dubey , a bit-fat looking guy with a mixture of grey and white hairs often in mess , carries a weird and confused look on his face , managed a copy of the ICC Pitch Report about Kotla on 4th Dec around 20 days ago from the match which clearly said that the pitch needs a lot of work to be done .Now this is what created the exclusive content for the channel , all the news channels were found presenting the same report a day after IBN 7 and that what I would refer as a smart move.

Even the Hockey Crisis was also an amazing experience for me to learn in which the press conferences by the players and the reactions from the old players and the conferences and decisions by Hockey India and their reactions. Once more I experienced the exclusive content and I remember was when the Mumbai Sports correspondent Shushobhan had gone to Pune at the training camp during his live chat at the evening show he brought along with him Prabhjot Singh , member of the Hockey Team which was once again only on IBN 7.
At the ending days of my internship Shiv Sena threatened that they won’t allow Australian Players to play in India because of the injustice happening to the Indians in Australia , the next day there was a news that Adam Gilchrist won’t play in the next IPL because of the threat , and every media house covered the story and then our senior reporter Vimal Kumar rather than running the news on the basis of the rumour called up Adam Gilchrist himself and he replied that he would love playing in India and feels safe playing here . This eroded all rumours and baseless news which almost channels were covering and once again the phone interview became a hit.

By all these three experiences I learned that it’s all about what extra can you provide to the audience , and on the basis of which facts are you making your story on . If you are providing a clear picture to the audience rather than confusing them going round and round around the story which normally happens in the media industry. And none of these three people come under those well dressed people for whom I was rolling my eyeballs all around. I believe my biggest earning would be that next time when I would go through a story I would not only look at the onscreen presentation but also admire the Producer ,Scriptwriter and the editor which actually are the back bone of the industry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hockey Crisis-Its ultimately the game who is losing

Indian Hockey, Iam talking about a sport which won the first olympic medal in 1928....four years before cricket got its official status in the country. Indian Cricket won its first world cup in 1983.....till that time Indian hockey had 11 olympic medals and a world cup in 1975 only.India won 8 medals at the olympics in a row,and the record stands till date unbroken.
But then what happened to the game..what happened to its players....and what happened to the country men .Hockey got registered as a national game in the books but failed to register as a national game in our minds .In 2008 Indian Hockey Federation's Chief got into a corruption scandal and the federation was dissolved .....And today the condition is that a month prior to the World Cup the players have stood against Hockey India to pay their dues or they won't practice.
14 months before the Cricket World Cup a pitch in the country was declared unfit for playing and we all know how much importance was that given by the media , by the government , and by the people. Iam not against the game of cricket , a good score by Sachin makes my day also pleasant but I feel that the game of Hockey also demands its due respect.
Now who is responsible for the death of the game......Players , Media , Federation. Players-I dont think they are the one to be blamed I feel Dhyan Chand also played the game with the same passion as Sachin does. Media is a follower it will start covering gilli danda matches also the day you start promoting it. I believe poor administration is the reason why people lost interest in the game.
But what is happening right now is not a pleasant scene. I met a girl who was once the member of a national hockey team and I asked her why do you stopped playing she replied "there is no future in it". . I believe that the players should also relaize that they are playing for the game and they are playing because they have a passion for it. And these issues can also be solved once the World Cup gets over. And the Sports Ministry should realize that its not only passion and patriotism which fills in the stomach of a player but he too needs money.
I hope the crisis to stop quickly ..not for the sake of players , not for the sake of the World Cup, and neither do I sympathise with Mr. Matoo who openly declared that he does not have enough money for the players to play. But for the sake of the game coz its the game ultimately who is losing