Saturday, August 30, 2008

If Harry Potter played Cricket

Or rather, the opposite.

A recent conversation about Harry Potter and cricket*, I realised that there were quite a few similarities between Indian cricket team and Harry Potter world. I am pretty sure there is a HP-inspired movie hidden somewhere here.

And the casting is:

  • The Boy Who Lived – a.k.a. The batsman who stands at one end, while wickets keep falling “like bicycles in bicycle-stand” on the other end. Did you get flashes of a stormy evening at Sharjah (amongst others)? Then again, Harry does spend equal time being revered and hated in the books, so there's one more point matched.

  • Albus Dumbledore – my first thought was this was a role custom-made for John Wright. But then, there is past individual performance to be considered, so apne Kapilpraaji or Sunil Gavaskar will fit this role better.

  • Severus Snape – A person who almost everybody hates, but there are some who will always root for him. In the end, does he come through or not? But he is powerful, babumoshoy.

  • Rubeus Hagrid – A reliable person. May make mistakes, but will usually come through in a pinch. Always standing in the background, some might say like a Wall.

  • Fred and George Weasley – The terrible twins. Not the most perfect technique, but effective enough for all. Extremely flamboyant, and have got a way with ladies. If you need more clues, don't forget that incident with the girl (note the singular) in post office.

  • Colin Creevy – There is only one “kid” in recent years, and he is not exactly a genius.

Now, the roles of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters depend on the opposing team, so the actors playing them change often enough. But one role is perfect match:

  • Draco Malfoy – Spoiled rich kid, too full of himself and his status. Just wears the green cap, instead of green robes, in the Muggle world.

On that note, am I the only one who thinks that it is not a coincidence that Slytherin students wear baggy green?

I know the casting isn't perfect. There are some roles which are yet to be cast, and I have overlooked more than a few characteristics for matching the roles with the men. Then again, you may disagree with some of this, and may want to change the roles.

But hey, my blog, my post... suggestions welcome.

So, any takers for this Harry Potter-meets-Lagaan(-meets-Chak De?) extravaganza?

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

* While I was commenting on Amrita's post on “Hari Putter” controversy, there was a curious confusion between Abra ka dabra and Chain Kulli ki Main Kulli. While clearing this confusion, I started commenting on the similarities between Indian cricket team and Harry Potter world. And as usual, I converted the comment into a post.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

3 Days in the life of a Nation of 1.1 billion

3rd August: Vishwanathan Anand wins Rapid World Chess Championship at Mainz...

marking the 11th title (9th consecutive) in the 13 year history of the tournament. He also broke his 38-2 record of simultaneous play by conceding only 2 draws in 40-player simultaneous display. The World No. 1 (since April 2007) will be defending his title later this year.

11th August: Abhinav Bindra wins Gold Medal in 10 meters air rifle event in Beijing 2008...

and becomes the first individual gold medalist for India. The whole nation celebrates, with a frenzy of congratulations and self-congratulations erupting all over the place. A competition starts between various state and local governments to declare prize money for the winner. The sales of guns hit a all-time high.

15th August: Independent India turns 61...

wishing Anand's successor will come from the land where Chess was born, and at least one gun in thousands bought within this week will bring another medal in future. Among some spectacular and some disappointing performances, 3 Indian boxers reach the quarterfinals in Beijing'08, keeping alive the hopes of another medal.

But many people know that most (if not all) guns bought this week will be lying around gathering dust once T20 starts in December, or even next month, with the Champions Trophy. The rest will be searching for facilities which face lack of monetary and other support.

And only a quiet minority will be monitoring the news when Anand goes into his third year as undisputed World Champion.

But for now: Congratulations Anand for the continuing winning streak! Congratulations Abhinav for your well-deserved Gold Medal! Congratulations India for turning 61, and for all these achievements! We will be waiting next time around to celebrate all your achievements once again.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Statutory Warning: This is going to be complete rant. If you don't want to get into a royal funk, you can skip to the photos at the end.

I am assuming all the people reading this love to read rants, so here goes:

Search for "Indian Government + State Funeral" on Google, and you will get two results at the top, about Ishmeet Singh and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. Look at the wording in those news now, and you will know who gets the honour in India. The honour is limited to "public figures", which of course includes people in government, influential leaders, and apparently, winners of reality shows*. But evidently, you have to make an exception, sorry, a "rare" exception for India's first Field Marshal, a man who won a war which created a nation, a man who is a national Hero in his own right.

Oh, and the Defence Minister was not able to make it due to "long flight followed by journey by road". You think the family of the deceased should have had more sense to have the funeral in a more accessible place, don't you?

And while we are on the topic of Indian Armed Forces, did any of you remember that 26th July was Vijay Divas? Nobody? Don't beat yourself up, neither did our Government.

And we wonder why there is a dearth of officers in Indian Army**.

On a positive note, I have changed my opinions about the new and improved Mahabharat. I didn't know it would prove to be such a veritable nail-biter, not to mention a great source of knowledge. I mean, how else would we have known that the "son" Satyavati proposes to use to continue the Kuru lineage is Ved Vyasa and not Bhishma? And in the recent episode, I was completely sure that the God had pulled a fast one on Kansa by talking about Devaki's 8th son, when it was clearly a daughter. Luckily Vasudev cleared that mystery up, otherwise the suspense was killing me.

Now that I have put you in a very bad mood, here's something to make you happy. There's something for everybody in there:

And don't worry about me. Reading Spanish novels on top of everything else does this to me sometimes. Not to mention, the database and the server refuse to start properly, thereby dashing all my hopes of getting any work done today. I will be back to my regular self soon.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

* I haven't heard Ishmeet Singh sing and don't know much about him or his life, and I am not commenting whether he is worthy of the honour or not.
** I am completely aware of my status as armchair critic in this matter. I know that my only connection with Armed Forces is some cousins and friends serving in different branches, and the closest I have come to the service is 2 years stint in NCC. So don't send me any comments saying "if you feel like this, you should join army". The point here is not that.