Under the sun

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman Is No More

He was 89.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rhythm And Harmony

"Raja, rajadhirajan indha raja" (Agni Natchathiram).

Raaja does not use any instrument other than percussions for rhythm
(except for the backing bass guitar ,which is again for rhythm). No keyboards, strings or wind instruments.

Only Raaja's 3 point harmony - 3 voices in 3 different pitches [easily discernable using headphones]

seriyA thAn pAttukku thalaippu vechirukkAinga

P.S: In the whole album, he does not use the tabla

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Is Going To Stir

Vijay TV's "KalakkappOradhu yAru" and "King Queen Jack" remind us of the stark difference between good stand-up comedy and crap. It's difficult to decide who is the most irritating - Ramya, Jagan or the 'comedians'. On the other hand, KY Part 3 is so much fun and awesome entertainment. Atleast most of the time. The final was on Friday (the telecast is delayed by a week here) and it was a one man show. Sivakarthikeyan. He was fuckin awesome. He saved his best for the last round. The results have not been announced yet but it can't be anyone else.
I never get bored of mimickry and though he does mimickry in all his rounds, he is fast, innovative and never fails to make us laugh. TR and Captain always receive special treatment from him. His lines border on slander and blasphemy but i'm sure Captain himself will laugh his guts out if he watches him.
In the wild card round, there was this guy who performed this 'gig': how would it sound if different animals made sounds (mating calls) like actors? The best was with Vinu chakravarthy as a cow and K.Bhagyaraj as a goat! Unfortunately, i don't think he qualified for the final.
Apart from the participants, host Sethu, in my opinion is the best mimickry artist around. Check him out doing a V.S Ragavan and you will see why :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Indian Bowling

  • Kuil Kumble cannot bowl to left-handers. Not even to save his life.
  • The whole point of a googly is to fox the batsman into playing for leg spin, while the ball spins in the other direction. Hence, the batsman should not pick it up (atleast till the point of delivery). Holding the ball with the thumb and index finger (like picking up the ball from a drainage gutter) is like announcing to the batsman "Here comes a googly!". It's a different matter that there *are* some batsmen who fail to read even a Kumble googly
  • All that said, sadly, Kumble is India's only strike bowler at present. Or atleast the most consistent.
  • Winning test matches is essentially about bowlers bowling out the opposition twice. Yes, the batsmen must give them enough runs to do that but the common practice of blaming certain batsmen for failing to "win tests for India" is rubbish. Obviously, the batsmen are to be blamed for failing to chase a target like 120 but the general tendency is to hold certain batsmen responsible.
  • How can someone like B.K Venkatesh Prasad be the bowling coach?
  • What the fuck happened to Lakshmipathy Balaji? Is he not better than atleast Ranadeb Bose and Ishant Sharma? Hasn't he recovered from his injury?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Serve And Volley

I don't watch much of Tennis these days. I manage to catch the action sometimes in Grand Slam finals. I wish to follow tennis more regularly going forward. With my touch with tennis (watching!) being almost non-existent over the last few years, i was shocked when i first found that the art of serve and volley was dead. No one did that even at Wimbledon! Navratilova, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, Sampras - the best of tennis that i've seen were from these server-and-volley-ers.

Nirmal Shekar writes:

The great left-handed conjurer is still around, in these
parts, keeping us entertained from the commentary box. But the stroke that he
played with such breathtaking virtuosity — the volley — is on its way to
extinction. When the odd player now chooses to serve and volley on every point,
it almost seems like a vestigial trait

Even Roger Federer, who can masterfully play every stroke in
the book — and some that are not there because the ones who wrote the game’s
manual could not have even dreamed of his brand of shotmaking genius — has won
at least three of his four titles (barring the first, in 2003, when he served
and volleyed for the most part against Mark Philippoussis

Update: I'm glad that Federer won last night but i have a question (guess its obvious to regular tennis watchers). Federer is way behind Nadal on clay while Nadal is relatively closer to Federer on grass. Does it in anyway raise a question mark on the claim that Federer is the greatest ever? Yesterday, it was Federer who was made to run around. The rare trips he made to the net resulted in him missing the simplest of volleys (atleast twice, and in crucial situations). I missed the most important part of the match when Federer saved four breakpoints in the final set and i rejoined the action to see Nadal serving at 2-5. That must have been something. All said and done, it was immensely satisfying to see a clay court specialist - having said that, like Vijay Amritraj said, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between Nadal on clay and Nadal on grass - losing.