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Do sport films help make sport popular?

24 Dec

Do Bollywood sport films help make sports more popular?

With the release of movies like Dangal and Sultan, I wonder if the larger-than-life portrayals of sport stories on the big screen affect the popularity of the sport they are based on: Did Chak De India, in any way, contribute to the rise of hockey? Did Bhaag Milkha Bhaag get individuals to take up athletics? And will the recently released Dangal inspire more women to pursue wrestling?  Keep Reading:


Hand-to-Toe: My first Yoga experience

15 Oct

I was more than happy to guest blog for SportsJig, the sports networking app that promises to do great things for people – it encourages an active lifestyle, and their initiative surely ‘moved’ me. Below, a post about my first yoga experience:

Hand-to-Toe: My first Yoga experience

I am not flexible. The only time I stretch is when I stretch out on bed, lie down and go to sleep. The feeling is quite heavenly. Ask me to touch my feet though, and I go through hell. “Also, you need to do it without bending your knees,” taunts the pesky, heavy kid next door, munching on colourful candy. “See, like this…”: Candy in mouth, head bent, his hands touching his toes, knees straight, he was eager to demonstrate the antic until a drop of candy-filled saliva touched the ground. That, he took as a signal to straighten up. Sweet.

I’ve always wanted to practise Yoga – it’s pretty cool to be able to stand on your head. (Cartwheels seem like fun, too, but we’ll keep that aside for awhile.)  Keep Reading…


One Super Bowl, Two Crazy Brothers-in-law

5 Feb

AImage second-by-second lowdown on the Super Bowl thanks to two frenzied brothers-in-law back in the US of A has left me sleep deprived, cranky and googling. For those of you, who, like me, don’t know what Super Bowl really is, it’s got nothing to do with a large helping of food. Actually, it may have something to do with food – A Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving, but that’s besides the point. More importantly, the Super Bowl is the most watched American broadcast of the year.

I can fathom the coolness of this event only by the fact that the numbers watching it is more than the ones that watched the final episode of M*A*S*H. Now, I know M*A*S*H is cool because this dude – Charlie’s dad, actually… Do you know Charlie? No? Ok, never mind! – not one to shed tears, actually cried when he watched the final episode of M*A*S*H. So yeah, Super Bowl is cool… like Star Wars, maybe!

It was half-time: the best part of the game, according to my sister, a true Indian girl who prefers cricket to American football, any day. Beyonce’s performance was apparently very oomphy. One of my other brothers-in-law described it as ‘Bootylicious’ (with an exclamation), while the other felt quite bad that he was discussing Beyonce’s sensuality with his wife’s cousins on a social platform. However, they both were at much ease when my sisters, their respective wives, gave them a thumbs up, because they, too, thought Beyonce was hot, and honestly, quite out of reach!

The excitement was interrupted by a power outage. Someone cut off the power chord in the stadium, and around 80,000 people were ‘stranded’ and felt ‘cheated’. My brothers-in-law included. Outrage. ‘Typical New Orleans’ the puny one typed, in all CAPS. So much anger. It was terrifying.

While impatiently waiting  for the television to find its ‘connect’ in order to air the Super Bowl, my bro-in-law (not the puny one) found something else quite interesting. This time it was a YouTube link. Click. Now we see Kate Upton washing the all-new Mercedes Benz CLA in slow motion. I really didn’t know what to make of the ad or the man my sister has married. Anyway, they then spoke of some amazing ‘Doritos commercial – the one with the goat’, and how ‘Terrible, terrible’ some pistachio ad was. Nuts.

Power restored. Back to the game. It was supposed to be getting interesting now. They cheered some ‘touchdown’, a term not to be taken literally (All it means is that a goal has been scored). It was by Bryant McKinnie, who stands 6’8” tall and weighs 365 lbs. They called him ‘the beast’. This was followed by my puny bro-in-law asking the not-so-puny one to look up Haloti Ngata – He earns a whopping 2.9 million a year.  And they both – one an environmentalist and the other some finance guy sitting in a corner of some office – were encouraged to take up football professionally, until they were reminded that they have to be strong, very strong to play the game.

Offended, they claimed Mighty McKinnie would make a good groom for me – just like that, out of the blue. I guess they say these things just to say these things, without realising what a rich lady that would make me. They then discussed Michael Oher – ‘Blind Side’ was based on Oher – and suddenly I felt a little closer to American football than I’ve ever felt before.

Okay, so the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl XLVII. And some Joe Flacco (Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens) who was announced MVP (Most Valuable Player) was caught saying ‘f***ing awesome’ on camera, and the people went plain crazy.The Americans went to sleep, and we Indians didn’t wake up because we hadn’t slept in the first place.

Having spent hours following this update, I assumed that Baltimore Ravens was the side my brothers-in-law were cheering. After all, McKinnie, Ngata, Oher – the ones they had spoken about – were on the Ravens Team. But when asked if they were celebrating the win, they used words like ‘Yuck’ and ‘Never’ and asked if I were mad, and what had gotten into me. And then complained about how the wrong team had won.

They eventually went back to discussing Kate Upton and the Doritos commercial, the one with the goat. And I didn’t know what to make of all this, or the men my sisters have married.

Why I felt like Tendulkar on Marathon Day

23 Jan

Mumbai MarathonThe Mumbai Marathon is the most important day for the city of Mumbai. Mumbaikars put their best foot forward on this day, and the City with Heart looks its best with bobbing heads and thumping feet against a lovely skyline.

Here is an attempt at capturing the Mumbai Half-Marathon experience as Guest-Blogger on, a site that highlights everything Mumbaiya. Read on, if you will:

(Image: PTI Photo/by Shashank Parade)

Then we came to the end…

5 Oct

… A fabulous book by Joshua Ferris, but none of this has anything to do with that.

‘Then we came to the end’ just seems to be the mantra of the Sports World these days that has left many, I am sure, distraught, disappointed and utterly dismayed.

Stalwarts whom we looked up to – those who hit the ball very hard, those who drove cars really fast, and some wonderful defenders and centre backs (never mind their off-centre views on a myriad other things off the field) – have forewarned that they may be calling it a day in the world of sport anytime soon!

Now with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Schumacher and John Terry having announced their retirement (or on the verge thereof), there seems to be a dullness in the air – the grass on the cricket field seems to have withered at the news; the race tracks seem to have gone dry (for a second time); and the hysteria in the football stadiums has probably died down a bit. The class acts of these men will never be forgotten, and will often be referred to – just like classics in a library. We’ll see them around – sometimes in the commentator’s box, sometimes as spectators, sometimes supporting a cause or then promoting the sport they belonged to, or even – hold your breath – in Parliament (Why Sachin, why?).  But we won’t see them doing what they did best!  Score!

When athletes retire they make their ardent followers feel old. And that’s the one thing that hits us women the most! It makes us realize that we are a part not of Gen Next but Ex-Gen. It’s time to wear the sunscreen more regularly, maybe dye the grey, and time to accept that the men we shall now ogle at on the TV screens are going to be way younger than us – that would put us in the category of …  well, whatever!

It’s a changing world, and the process has already begun. The damage is done. Yes, Virat Kohli is hot, Messi bends it like Beckham and Sebastian Vettel seems to be steering right.  But Sachin, Schumi and gang – Nah, He just don’t make it like ‘em anymore!

Yes, my heart is broken. But it shall be completely shattered the day Roger Federer keeps his racquet aside, and when Usain Bolt hangs up his running shoes. Until then I’m running, baby! I’m running… 34!

Who is Lukas Rosol?

29 Jun

The answer is: The man we’ll never forget!

Standing 6’5” tall, Lukas Rosol the aspirant metamorphosed into an inspiration on June 28, 2012, as he stunned Spanish tennis stalwart, Rafael Nadal and the world with his spectacular conquest in a 5-set match that lasted all of 3 hours and 18 minutes on Centre Court, Wimbledon.

Taking nothing away from his remarkable game and histrionics, the truth is that Czechoslovakia-born Rosol himself doesn’t know what hit him; Nadal doesn’t know either, and spectators like Yours Truly are left blinking not knowing…errr…what hit them!

In fact, Lukas confessed that he was excited to be on Centre Court at Wimbledon just to see what it looked like: the spectators, the surroundings, how it’s all done. The 26-year-old was there to first take in the experience, and then play the game. He wasn’t sure if he was there to ever win.

The match between Nadal and Rosol had a semblance of the David and Goliath fairytale. Only who was David and who Goliath, no one could tell.

The question now being raised is: Is Lukas (Seeded 100) just a one-match wonder, or is he one to look out for? The tennis player himself may not be able to answer this one as he basks in the glory of his astonishing but well-deserved win; he describes the feeling as ‘dreamlike’. At the same time, an unhappy and extremely disappointed Rafa brushes off the upset and says that ‘it was not a tragedy, just a tennis match’.

For Rosol though, this was surely not just a tennis match. It was much much more. Pinch, pinch.

Related Link:

There’s no infidelity in Sport

28 Jun

FootballSome things in life come with unwritten rules. For example, once you choose a football team to cheer, you stick with your pick till the day you die! So whether you beat your chest and rant ‘Glory Glory Man United’ or then believe that ‘Blue is the colour and football the game’, you put your right hand on your heart and do your part. You take the pledge.

Now what pledge, I’m not sure, but it could go something like ‘I promise to cheer you tirelessly; In good times and in bad, I’ll rejoice when you win, When you lose I’ll be sad; I’ll never say goodbye, not till I die; even when in my grave, I’m sure you’ll be brave; and score goals so that I remain one happy soul. On this day, I pledge to you my support.

You can then lock yourself in the room and prepare your arsenal; bond with those who root for the same squad, and give ‘the look’ to those who don’t. Don’t compromise. Don’t miss a single game; save your pocket money to buy tickets. Sport the emblem. Sport the jersey. Rope your dad into your plans – he may be the dude you’ll watch the maximum games with; it’s probable that your girlfriend won’t understand the fanaticism, that’s okay, you could just leave her; but don’t ditch your team! That’ll be utter character assassination. Blasphemy. You’ll be judged, and tried in the court of life, and I wouldn’t think much of you.

In fact, your support for a side ought to be so permanent that you could have the logo of your team tattooed on your back, crack or wherever else and people would understand.

Sport teaches you to be loyal; even if on the offside, we occasionally hear of the likes of John Terry and Ashley Cole in a penalty spot – playing their own games away from home. Tsk, tsk to that, but their WAGs usually take care of it – throw a fit, kick them good, file the papers, tweet the bad stuff, and sometimes walk out. Even then, the pretty girls want their favourite team to win, for more reasons than just hefty alimony, I’m sure.

A little about the on-going UEFA Euro2012
UEFA is the European Football Championship often referred to as the Euro Cup
The full form of UEFA is Union of European Football Associations
This year’s Euro Cup is hosted by Ukraine and Poland
Like the World Cup, it takes place every 4 years
No. of participating nations: 16
Spain beat Portugal just yesterday to enter the Finals
Germany to play Italy in the Semis today
The winner of Euro 2012 gets an automatic entry into FIFA 2013

NOTE: We share the same world map: Please don’t go about saying that you are rooting for Brazil or Argentina in the Euro 2012. Brazil and Argentina don’t play the Euro Cup simply because they are a part of South America and not Europe!