Thursday, March 5, 2009

Marathon matters...

The BMC has suddenly woken up to the fact that the Mumbai Marathon is a commercial event. Come on, guys. What did you think? That the Standard Chartered Bank was deeply, truly, and genuinely concerned about Mumbai's hamstrings? Marathons all over the world attract fat cat sponsors since they receive so much publicity. Simple. The organisers who rope in the sponsors get a juicy fee, perhaps a generous cut of the action, and the host city gets a dollop of prestige , lots of publicity....provided it looks good on camera. As Mumbai undoubtedly does. Then there is the question of prize money - all those inexhaustible Ethiopian runners who invariably walk away with an attractive purse. Of course, the Marathon is about money. And it ought to be treated as yet another commercial, revenue generating event. The BMC is demanding a hefty fee from the organisers, for getting the roads ready for the Marathon, and also claiming expenses to the tune of several crores. Why not?? Entirely legitimate and justified. There's no such thing as a free lunch ... or a free Marathon.
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Isn't it shameful that it needed a sensitive Englishman to draw the government's attention to the most horrific aspect of 'Slumdog...' which involves Mumbai's notorious beggar syndicate and the maiming of street children . The British gentleman must be congratulated for raising the issue and demanding answers from the authorities. But what about us? We see these kids day in and day out at traffic lights, we barely notice their amputated limbs or gouged out eyes. In fact, we barely notice them! These are invisible children, known by their voices and the 'annoying' thumping on car windows. Who 'owns' these bachchas?? Do you really want to know??
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I find it an absolute abomination that the IPL matches are still going to happen, come hell, elections, bomb blasts or high water. The elections are finally upon us. India is gearing up for the polls. But all that those Cricket satraps are interested in is going ahead with the matches, since so much money is riding on the fixtures. It is shameless and insensitive to be this brazen about safeguarding ones commercial interests, given what happened to the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore. I cannot imagine the mind -set of players considering the high risks involved - how the hell can any sporstman perform knowing there could be a bomb ticking away in the dressing room\ team bus\hotel. Or that a suicide squad may crash into the venue and blow up everybody . Will spectators turn up?Are we seriously that mad? Cricket mad?
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Guys, I have been missing the caustic comments of ' Another Kiran'. Where are you, lady? And yes, the Karan Thapar interview happened. In case any one of you is interested, it will be telecast on Monday at 10 30 pm on CNBC.

26 comments:

narendra shenoy said...

I just chanced upon your blog and having taken the customary ten minutes to convince myself it is really you, I performed the customary three and a half reverse somersaults I normally perform when overwhelmed with joy.

You said it for me in re the cricket. Holding IPL would be completely foolhardy

Sidhusaaheb said...

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world...

@lankr1ta said...

One thing I do no understand is why they have the 20/20 matches at all. And do they still have the cheerleaders? And is some Sena getting its chaddis in a twist?

ves21 said...

I have been trying to promote a Kochi marathon.
www.magiccochin21.com
Hope sombody wakes up to the fact that the city gains from it....

Mahadev Kapuskari said...

One can understand the entertainment of 20-20 cricket but it is definately not so important to spend so much time and money which is helping to earn crores of money by the sponsors.whereas the slum area in India is still struggling for their primary needs.The sponsors like Shahrukh,Preeti Zinta,Mukesh Ambani,Vijay Mallya etc.should be visit Melghat to observe malnourished childs.They should also visit to the below poverty line people to know their pain,their illiteracy otherthan taking so much keen interest in choosing beautifull cheergirls for 20-20 matches.
It is also must for the spectators to analyse this contraversy.

*Aham* said...

BMC... ufff ufff ufff.. . kya bolnekaa... no words...
********************************

i had organised "Project Tag Along" where the whole idea was to Tag Along with a slum kid... buy her/im a film ticket, and take responsibility of the childs travel and food. Just a gimmicky idea to instill compassion.
52 slumkids watched slumdog crorepati... they were not shocked... they enjoyed the movie well... and the loved the fact that the movie was partly about them. They didnt cry or shreik or anything... they enjoyed the screenplay completely... Though, One of my friends was very very upset about the movie and couldnt digest the fact that a foreigner made a movie on indian slums and glamourised poverty.... i simply asked her, isnt that a matter of shame for us that a foreigner had to make a movie about the beggar syndicate, that exists and has existed since ages,,, and still we have done nothing about it?

what have we done for the beggars besides pointing fingers at Boyle... I see cinema as an opportunity for change... And i see no reason why others cannot exploit the movies core message for the larger good of the cause...

***********************************

IPL... Now if Preity Zinta gets up and speaks for the elections and against IPL ... Maan Gayee.... Chaar Topppon Ki Salaami for Preity and I will pledge to vote for which ever party she supports... and also watch whichever movie she is in...

Hope she does speak up in favour of elections and not cricket..... we cant afford to neglect security for foreigners in our country... Elections should be Top Priority Now.

***********************************

Another Kiran is doing baddd baddd with all of us now. Your blog na de, has become a meeting ground now... I have made lovely BlogDosts... Rekha, Kiran, You, and Ksh (who is my old blogdost)

Now toh we also call and speak to each other... When kiran is in bombay we Have to have a meeting... Majja Aayega...

ves21 said...

I was passing by in a taxi late at night & some slumdog batchhas, 5 or 6 of them, age around 5 to 10, were standing discussing amongst each other, near where the taxi stopped at a red light.
"Ghar tchale?"
"Marega! kutch paise naihi kamae hai aadj!"
"To kia kare?"
"Jana to parega, marega, ha"
So another spanking from the infuriated batchewala; fortunately no broken limbs or gauged out eyes.
Well a normal Mumbai night, what ?
Enjoy your dinner at the Taj....

Vee said...

Had you always be this cynic in your views? You IPL para says it all!!! U have such a wide range of reader.... You should have known it all this while. Once again, I am disappointed. It's one thing to speak you mind and another to speak same when you are read so widely.

Anon said...

shobhaa you did it again! Forced me to look harder. Yes we all see these children its upsetting horrifying but what do we do? Zip zilch nada. Actually we act like ostriches with our head in sand, either ignore it or harden our hearts. Seriously all this brouhaha over IPL should use the money in better ways people! Guess its cause the big names will make a heap of money with IPL. Feeding protecting kids who need it bad where's the profit?? IPL going ahead is awful but I just hope nobody gets hurt or even worse maimed or killed.

NAT said...

Shobha,

We believe that BMC needs to make money, as from a profit bearing set up of Rs. 630 Crores, they are beggars today. They have brought this mess up on themselves with mismanagement etc. Now they are trying to even scrounge on us legitimate shop owners for not putting up signs in the local language, keeping shop open on a closed day.
This morning over a hundred of us shop owners had to pay a fine at the Borivali Court of Rs. 4,000/ each for supposedly not following the above rules. Some of us who have been keeping our shops closed on Sundays (instead of Thursdays) and even intimated the respective BMC ward, were penalized.
When we contacted the Officer in charge, he had the audacity to say that the BMC/Court has to take some measures to make money, else how would we suvive.
According to the rules, if there is an infringement, then the BMC should immediately (on the spot) take a fine of Rs. 500/ from the shop owner. However they did not do so, but waited for 6 months to serve us a notice.
We were called at 8.30 AM, while these bada sahibs only came in at 10AM.
Imagine we pay so much to own a property, and a monthly BMC tax of some thousands and are treated in this manner. We have to leave our business for the better part of the day to attend the court for no fault of ours, while the characters who have road side stalls/shops/garages etc. and are a menace to Society, go scot free by feeding these parasites (Officers & Police)with haftas.
What to say except Jai hind! Jai Maharashtra!

Norman

mindpuzzle said...

Mam, why r u becoming so much cynical about IPL. If India bulges down to the threat of terrorists to the event, we will end up giving them much needed acknowledgment of their success in installing fear in our minds. We are already seen as a nation soft on terror. Now do you expect us to be seen as a nation of cowards !
As far as participation of foreign players is concerned they are free to back out of the tournament along with loosing the big bucks which they want to make out of it.
As you have said there is nothing called free lunch for anyone !

Looking forward to your take on Vijay mallya's buying of Mahatma's stuff form the auction.

Adi said...

Yes, we are mad. Cricekt mad. If more people turn up, showcasing the sportsmanship and spirit of the people for the love of the game. Including the players and the audiance. Those terrorists are cowards and when 'we' will show up at the game, we would be actually pissing them off (big time!) with our show of courage! That is exactly what we should do, stand up. IPL is good. It provides entertainment. Cricket is something that unites almost all Indians. Yes, I agree the poor don't get anything and the rich get richer. IPL is not to be blamed alone, with IPL the players should also be blamed after all they are the key indegrients, hai na? We should support Cricket and try to 'use' it for our cause. After all religion is creted for the betterment of the people. Cricket is a religion in India. ;)

About the Englishman, correct me if I am wrong, wasn't it the brits who made sure we became poor. When India became indipendent the life expectancy of Indians was 31 years. Now, it is the double 61 years. Change is happening, it takes time. You know it. ;)

-Adi

Rhett said...

on a tangent: i hate cricket becoz it stifles other games. and particularly becoz it stifles football. may there come a day in india when football reaches a status as the game has in european nations, england, spain, italy etc. england is one country where they play both games. and a steven gerrard is more iconic than any eng cricketer. if football ever gets a foothold in this country, cricket will have no place to even hide. football is ten times more spirited than football. more passionate.

Rhett said...

*than cricket

SumanSpeaks said...

I support Shobha Dey fully when she says," I find it an absolute abomination that the IPL matches are still going to happen, come hell, elections, bomb blasts or high water." And then the final bomb blast,” It is shameless and insensitive to be this brazen about safeguarding ones commercial interests, given what happened to the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore. I cannot imagine the mind -set of players considering the high risks involved - how the hell can any sporstman (sic) perform knowing there could be a bomb ticking away in the dressing room\ team bus\hotel."
Yes Shobha some Indians have always been insensitive to the issues of grave importance or which needs urgent attention. Most of these poor fellows are oblivious of what is happening outside their home and office. They are cocooned in their own shells. Moreover most of them have not read Indian History, which is a pity. I have seen here, some people saying that Saudi Arabia or Iran has responsible governments, when they actually do everything to curb women’s freedom and human rights.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia practices one of the worst justice systems in the world and can be compared with the barbarians---cutting of hands, legs, ankles and then the head, is not a justice system at all, by any standards. The objective of any judicial process is to curb crime and not to terrorize societies. But this is what is going on in these Islamic countries, in the name of religion.
Back home in India, when there are so much security concerns in the Indian sub-continent, some fringe elements are shouting at the top of their voices for these kinds of lolly pops ( or lolli pops), for comic relief or as if it is the ultimate panacea for all troubles. These kinds of ostrich like feelings have already brought the partition of India in the last century.
Instead of asking for more jobs, employment, industrialization, clean political environment and the like; these urchins are bent on getting boozed in pubs after the work or spent the whole day, only watching cricket. Absolutely nonsense!! Though I played cricket for inter-college tournaments (once spending some days in a local hospital for a head injury), these days I neither have time nor energy to watch matches day in and out. And when the matches are given regional colors and jingoism, as is done in IPL it is totally unacceptable to me.
Miracle is such human minds which can think of such destructive activities especially during the downturn and when there are so much security concerns in the South Asia.
Three Cheers for Shobha Dey, for starting to write on burning issues. I think she is trying to shift from her original "Tapori writing" to more meaningful and thought provoking ones,which is to be apprecaited. However, she should blend here sensua—soft-porn style with her serious ones, to make them interesting to the general audience. Keep the good work Shobha....
And yes, a good news: The media channels have stopped rolling the ads which said, “Gandhi ya Commando”, humiliating the Father of the Nation, Bapu. I think you know that I have raised strong objections to such blatant molestation of the name of Mahatma Gandhi, first in my blog, www.sumanspeakscurrentaffairs.blogspot.com and then in the more popular one, www.sumanspeaks.blogspot.com .
I wish you success…..
Best wishes,
Suman Mukherjee
India.
www.sumanspeaks.blogspot.com,
www.sumanspeaksplus.blogspot.com,
www.sumanspesakscurrentaffairs.blogspot.com.

princess said...

shobhaa..sue this website!

http://greathindu.com/2009/03/sita-sena-from-super-bitch-shobha-de/

Push Vs Pull said...

Happy Happy Realization BMC. Anyway it's never too late so go for it!

Small humble request to all of you please carry a parle-g in your bag if you spot any such (bacchas ) Slum Kids please offer them it is not once in a week, month, yearly request otherwise at least whenever you feel like it.

PS: I am not advertising any food product here but it is one of the most favorite.


That way if you consider it is quite frequent terror attacks around the world which off course is bad. It has impacted many lives but then banning is not the solution or avoiding isn't either. People can't leave their profession which has fulfilled many things for them & for their country as well.

Terror attacks has affected many industries for instance Tourism but then (Tourism = they "Tourist & other related Tourism factors" ) they can't help it in this sinking market even if they like with that fear what will happen? & it will happen thought 24 * 7 in their mind.

(Thanking you Shobhaa dE for sharing your views with us)

Peace !! Peace !! Pppppplease

vinitac said...

The nation's love for cricket is greater than the love of itself. So why be surprised with the decision to go ahead with the matches?

varry said...

Shobha mam,
I would disagree with you on this front . U say that we shudn't hold IPL and at the same time bow down to those terrorists? Succumb to their desires ? Alter our lives only because a few men have gone astray and are treading the path of doom. I know terrorism has never reared its ugly head the way it has done in recent times. But should we get cowed down by this?I think otherwise , we should infact play more games and indulge in greater revelry .

SSQuo said...

I have seen snippets from Slumdog Millionaire on the streets of Bbay, but not to the extent I saw in the movie. Yes, we are oblivious to things we see on a regular basis in cars, taxis and rickshaws. My mom worked with street kids at one time, and I remember her saying that they have a group, a clique of sorts and unfortunately the money you think you are giving them doesnt always go to them. Mom would always ask 'kaam karenge?'. You can come home tomorrow and we'll get you something.

The next second the kid vanished. Sure there are reasons behind his reaction, either he didnt want to work or he really was scared ot leave the group. I maybe digressing, but yes, I think it is important not to use a sample of street kids (SD ones) and feel pity for them when you still ignored that girl with burned hair and told her not to touch your saree!!

ankur kakkar said...

hi ma'am,

i totally agree that the current season of IPL should be cancelled, not because i dont care about the organisers , sponsors, players etc.. suffering huge losses ... but because the country's security comes first..

but i also hold the union home ministry equally responsible as they should have foreseen this coming ...

rupak said...

Ma'am,
you being so experienced, i really doubt that you were till now unaware that the world runs on money. So whats the big hulla boo about...

We all know that the world wouldn't move the way it does without the influence of money.

Of IPL, well no game remains great when everybody is mad about it. I stopped watching cricket altogether around 3 years back.

about the beggar kids, can we even do anything on the larger scale. the question is what does the police commissioner think when some beggar kid knocks on the window of his car on his way to some private party. that will be something that can make a difference.

ankur kakkar said...

@rupak : bull's eye man.... seriously ... you have mentioned some very important points...

Dilshad said...

Not being from Mumbai, I really don't know what BMC stands for, but perhaps it is Bombay Morons Corporation?? Anything, ANYTHING, that has a corporate name attached to it is called "sponsorship." Which means, someone's making big monies. If BMC has been cleaning up the roads and getting them ready for the marathon FOC all these years, they need to be whacked on the head.

The IPL - that's a little bit more complicated. The IPL has now gathered diplomatic/political undertones. Canceling it now would send out a message to the world that the Indian government admits that India is a dangerous place. I'm thinking...everyone knew the IPL was happening in April, and everyone knew so were the elections - all this more than 10 months back. So why is everyone from Mr. Lalit Modi to Mr PC waking up now and getting their knickers in a twist? Those chaddis should have been twisting 10 months back!

maha said...

nice blog....

Work from home India

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