Sporty Spirit

Back to the world of board games

I PLAYED SCRABBLE TODAY !!! AFTER YEARS !!! :):)

Well yes, the thought of having played Scrabble today, for real and not some animated computer version of it, makes me feel really really happy! I’ve never really been a fan of computer games- never really tried any of them except the occasional NFS or Counterstrike. I do have a lot of friends who are literally addicted to some of these games, willing to spend whole weekends killing the “enemy”, collecting health and buying weapons. Though I don’t have anything against these people (I try to remain unbiased! :P), I somehow never really got any of that adrenaline rush from playing them! I did always love board games though- like the good old Scrabble, Monopoly, even patte (though I’m not really good at any patte games :P)

But these smart ass computer guys (I’ve always hated them !! :P) always manage to come up with e-versions of games, and to attract players, they add all these special effects and sounds to them, making the whole thing look very chic and stylized. I know, because I keep getting updates on Orkut and FB about someone looking for “a purple poker chip” in Mafia Wars (duh !!) and scoring 76584 points in WordTwist !! And then there’s this game called Crazy Taxi and Texas Hold ’em Poker (or somesuchthing !! :P) Now imagine- if you’re going to keep people busy with racing taxis around the place, where is there time to even have a conversation, leave alone play a board game !!

Even I had completely forgotten the pleasure one can get from playing a real, real game, until I went for a friend’s engagement last month. That is when I played Pictionary for the very first time !! (Yes, I’m equally surprised I hadn’t played it before!) And I cannot even explain how much fun it was! I sucked at the first few words, but then came the big one- Obamania- and you may call it bragging but I did manage to pull that one off pretty well !! Of course, it helped that we had brilliant players- we didn’t just split the word and draw each bit, but we actually built a story around each of them! Sample this- We gave this guy in the other team the word “penance” and he went on to show a guy who rapes a girl and then (coz he feels guilty about it) decides to leave the city and move to the khets of Punjab. While sowing seeds in the fields, he spots God standing right in the middle of the field. That is when he decides to sit under a tree and meditate for the rest of his life !! Well, the other team did guess the word eventually, but you can only imagine the hilarity of the situation! I really wish I had that notebook we drew all our words in- It’s worth saving for the sake of posterity! I really wonder if our kids will know what drawing with an actual pen on a real page made of paper pulp is ! 😛

Anyway, I was bored after a long day of thesising last week and that’s when I spotted the box of Scrabble by my bedside. One of my friends had given it to me when she left Rochester last September, but I somehow never actually got around to playing it even once! This time though, I dragged PD to play with me (he’s another computer game addict !! hmmmpppfff :P:P) And I cannot tell you how much fun it was! The first time around, we came up with the usual 3-4 letter words kike hat and cat, but the second time it was brilliant! We managed to build some pretty unusual words and so what if we tweaked the rules a bit too (He allowed me Rehab and I allowed him Prez!) The sheer joy of being away from the glaring computer screen and playing something for real was brilliant! Scrabble is definitely going to remain on my list of favorites for a while! I am still in the process of persuading PD to give Pictionary a shot. And while I am at it, I plan to treat myself to a 4th of July gift- the original UNO card game !!! (Boy, I used to LOVE that game as a kid !!! :):))

And well, after we were done with the game, I was so happy that I actually clicked a snap of the board! 🙂 Here’s to more such evenings! :):)

Go Knight Riders !!!

The million dollar question of the year is- Will IPL work?! People are talking about it all over, my dad and I have been discussing it for the past month…it’s created a frenzy even before it began! Anyway here’s why I think IPL will work this year- Pure beginner’s luck! See, the media hype over the event has crossed all boundaries- the auction, the filmstars/industrialists/other party people (That’s what you call Vijay Mallya right!? ;-)) bidding for players, which players end up together, the whole speculation about whether the event will even see the light of day etc etc… has definitely managed to grab more than the attention of the Indian audience. The adventurous ones are looking forward to it; the sceptics are waiting for the whole thing to fall on it’s face so that their bhavishyavani can be proved right…but either way, people are going to watch the matches!

Some will buy tickets because for them, live cricket is the real thing, hardly matters whether its India vs Pakistan or Chennai vs Mohali !! Added attraction, of course, is the Bollywood quotient! Another section of viewers will be curious to know how many people land up at the stadium, so they’ll go to see that. Same goes for the TV audience! And it’s a T-20 format, so you blink and it’s over…doesn’t disrupt the sanity of the house too !!

So basically, the team owners and sponsors earn their money, the cricketers get their money, the viewers get to see innovative cricket…everyone’s happy! Whether the trend will continue next year- now that’s something that can’t be predicted right now !! So enjoy it while it lasts…

Anyway, I’m supporting the Kolkata Knight Riders !! They’re easily the best team- Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Murali Karthik, Chris Gayle, Ishant Sharma…and of course Shah Rukh Khan…aur kya chahiye !! 😀

We’re too hot,
We’re too cool,
We are the King’s Men,
We rule !!!
Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo reeeee…!!!

//www.youtube.com/get_player

Check out this ad too. SRK is like the marketing God !! GO KOLKATA !! I’m lovin’ it already !!! :-D:-D

//www.youtube.com/get_player

So…which team are you rooting for ?!

TRRP and Sports movies…

One fine day, a pit-stop tire changer speeds along the roads of Manhattan in a taxi, coz he’s late for an appointment; in the process, he’s discovered by the team manager of a failing racing team, goes through some stupid selection and next thing you know, he’s a professional racer! Two days later, he’s won his first race, and subsequently goes on to win 50 titles over the next few years! This is the story of the first one hour of Ta Ra Rum Pum.. Now I didn’t know racing was that easy! No practice sessions, no rigorous training, no planning or talking sport with his teammates- all Mr. Racer dude does is sing and dance on the roads of NY with his lady love, get married and have children…and yes, race on the side! Interestingly he comes to know about the “bump and run” technique used in auto racing, only when he’s 50 laps through his first race; yet he sure becomes No. 1 !! And this is exactly how sports movies in India are made. Now if you are going to spend Rs. 25 crore on those racing sequences (which were really good, by the way), you might as well add a two minute prelude showing the guy practice a few laps, right ?!

See, the logic is simple. The focus of your movie may not be on the sport itself, but if your movie is about a sportsperson, do justice to the sport he plays. So if you have a movie on boxing, show the guy practice his footwork and pump some iron, coz without that, he’s not going to win those matches! Firstly, very few movies on sports are made by Indian filmmakers, and the ones that get made focus more on the iconic status and glamour of the “stars”, conveniently sidetracking the hours of sweat and grime.

I think one of the best Indian sports movies ever made is- Iqbal. (Of course, there was Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar and Bend it like Beckham too; but JJWS was the one of the first movies of this genre I think, and Bend it.. isn’t exactly Indian, so I’m leaving those out) Coming back to Iqbal, the movie’s main focus was on the protagonist overcoming his disability, going against his father’s wishes and fulfilling his dream of becoming a cricketer. But what made the movie stand out was that it didn’t glamorize cricket as a sport (For a change!) It showed the protagonist go through intensive practice sessions, Ranji selections, strategizing, dejections, rejections and lots and lots of hard work. (I specially loved the training using the buffaloes and the chakravyuh concept.) That is what added so much credibility to the movie and the character of Iqbal. No wonder attendance at cricket camps went up after the movie was released.

I don’t know why filmmakers shy away from showing the non-glamorous side of the sporting world. It’s something that everyone knows exists, and it’s rather illogical to show absolute novices become overnight superstars! I hope someone understands that!

By the way, apparently Abhishek Bachchan and Bobby Deol play boxers in some movie called Jhoom Barabar Jhoom or something! Bhagwan hame bachao !!

And while we’re on the subject of movie themes, I think someone should make a movie on doctors too! Yes, people who know me know of my fascination for this profession, but seriously, there’s a lot to experiment with, and no one’s ever made a film on the medical world before… Mr. Madhur Bhandarkar, are you listening?!