The Animal Times of India

After a long time, I found interesting news in the front page of The Times of India (Kolkata edition). Readers would note that most of the news involved animals! Here are some (all in the top half of first page of TOI, December 20th, 2007):

  • Elephant goes berserk for mate in city circus. Not surprising at all... what do you expect of an elephant without a girl friend? He was 45 years old though, but we know older human males to act crazier; even use small blue pills!
  • Tigers kill visitor at Guwahati zoo. Now, picture this... the victim put his hand inside the cage to take a photograph of the tigers!
  • Mom fights off leopard in Thane. Now, that was a brave (and natural) thing to do.
  • CRPF officer gets death for hiring goons to kill son. Adult male killing young offspring... I know the Hippos do it, the Lions do it...
  • Finnish woman raped in Mumbai. No comments.

Getting over it

I admire the quality of people to get over anything easily. I know some people, my Ma included, who can get over an argument, a fight within minutes.

I, on the other hand, don't get into confrontations easily, but once I do, it takes me quite some time to recover. I ponder, reflect, retrospect, philosophize, and then finally maybe, forget!

I hope I can learn how to cool off easily!

A league of extra-ordinary cricket-men

I saw a couple of ICL matches this weekend, and I am already hooked. It is nice to see some players like Lance Klusener, Inzamam Ul Haq and Brian Lara back in action. And the fact that some of them are playing together in one team, competitively, for the first time is exciting as well.

The teams are well balanced, as evident from the points table after two matches each: one team winning both matches, four teams winning one and losing one, and one team losing both matches.

The match coverage is good so far, with experts from all over the world commenting, and the commercial advertisements under control. On the other hand, the Doordarshan coverage of the India - Pakistan cricket matches is pathetic. The video follows the English commentators, and the Hindi commentators seem to translate whatever they can. And even in a test match, they would not give up one chance to show an advertisement. Even if the bowler is standing at the top of his run-up, and the batsman is tying his shoe lace, the channel would quickly figure out that there is a 30 second slot to be utilized there and shows one (sometimes half) advertisement. One player gets out, and even before you realize who is out, they cut to the commercials!

The fielding of ICL players is outstanding! Compared to that, the fielding in the India - Pakistan Test match looked like school cricket standard. Does the fact that the ICL teams have been training together for quite some time, and each team training with their own professional trainers, play a part here?

If you like cricket and haven't watched ICL yet, check it out. And in case you are not biased, check out my team, the Kolkata Tigers.

What makes a successful movie series?

As I mentioned earlier, I was reading Harry Potter books recently. And this other day, they were showing all the movies in the Star Wars franchise, back to back. I saw one of them as a nostalgia thing (The Return of the Jedi was the very first movie I went and saw with my friends without my parents). And suddenly I realized there are certain things which are common between the three most successful movie series in recent times. The three movie series I am talking about are Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter series. Of course there are other movie franchisees but they are successful sequels rather than a tight chronological series e.g.- Indiana Jones, James Bond, Die Hard etc.

To start with, all three are set in fictional world and involves a lot of magic / supernatural powers. Then, in all three series, there are groups of good guys fighting the bad guys, and in all three there are good guys turned into bad guys! All three movie series required a huge amount of Special Effects / Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) without which the movies could not have been made.

There are several other common traits in these movies! Guess what the next big movie series' theme will be!