Mar 8, 2010

DD National and The Better God

Weary eyes were overpowering my will to go for the TV remote, lying 1 meter away from me. I picked the remote after it struck me that the one day match between India and South Africa was to take place that day - Feb 24.

I browsed through the channels in RGV horror movies style. My eyes were looking for some blue amidst green and my ears were anticipating the great Indian uproar/some child plan ad. After a while, i succeeded. My eyes automatically went to the top left corner for the score. The weary eyes doubled in size and luminosity after a glance at the score. I raised the volume to enjoy the uproar. Indians produce this Jungle music when Sachin, in his nineties, takes a single. Just then i heard the word "Khuda-na-khasta".

My heart beat went down. It was some Hindi-Urdu commentary on the platter and the dialect was straight from the Mughal era. With complete disbelief in the idea of entertainment i looked at the top right corner of the TV. There it was - the hallucinating logo of DD National. DD stands for Door-Darshan, which in Hindi means something metaphorically close to hallucination! I sunk in to the logo for a second before my consciousness revived back to self-consciousness.

So i browsed again, this time not for the blue-green and the uproar, but for the correct logo (Neo Sports) on the top right corner. Sadly, NEO Sports was not there. I came back to DD and out of disgust threw the remote 10 meters away. I decided to try and focus more on the uproar than on the commentary. Here are some excerpts as a proof of my intrinsic disgust:

1. On Sachin approaching 100, given that his total no. of centuries in Tests+One Days were also approaching 100: "Shatkon ka shatak lagane ke liye apne aaj ke shatak ki taraf badhte shatakveer Sachin. Jaise hum roz chai peete hain, ye shatak lagate hain"
2. On Kallis, after he bowls a slower delivery: "Lagta hai Kallis DD National ki commentary sun rahe hain. Maine abhi kaha ki ye slow bowl acchi dalte hain aur inhone daal di"
3. On a pending 3rd umpire decision on Sachin for a run-out when he was on 157: "Person1: 'Poora hindustan pareshani mein hai - aap bhi lag rahe hain - apne pair kyun hila rahe hain' .. Person2: 'Aji pair kya cheez hai - jab Sachin musibat mein hote hain toh sab kuch hil jata hai!' "

Sachin was now in 190s. The commentator had started shouting his lungs out. Urdu was now impossible to decipher. Hindi turned into Sanskrit. Mughal era became the Mahabharata era. I pitied on the wet mic. I now realized why they never show the commentator's face on DD National.

I couldn't take it now. My ears were bleeding. I felt like sitting at the Hard Rock Cafe with a 70's Transistor on full volume. I hated God for the situation i was in, but it was the magical Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar displaying his masterclass, for whom it was all worth it. He took the final run, reached 200, raised his bat for one more time and looked at the sky for one more time. Only this time he asked God, "Howzzat?".

For a moment, i didn't listen to the public uproar or the screaming commentator because he stood there - The Better God, asking all my neurons to focus on signals from him, which unfortunately were only the visuals ! ..