A guide to Olympics for sport dummies

If you're not a sports fan, this is probably the only time in four years you'll find yourself getting excited over the quarter finals of a table tennis match or the next round of the javelin throw. Watching the Olympics on TV is a particular kind of high, even for those people whose idea of exercise is, as an American actress once remarked so accurately, a good brisk sit down.

I figured that the best way for non sports fans to watch the games was to simply have one of the three channels on and to just go with the flow (and keep the appointment viewing only for highly anticipated events, such as the Usain Bolt races or the boxing/badminton/shooting events featuring our sportspersons — though the time difference can play party pooper here). But the minute any of the three channels switch to the studio for expert comments from the studio, er, experts, it's time to switch to the other channel. Nothing should eclipse the real action.

The most glamorous events have always been athletics, swimming and gymnastics, with the men's 100 metres dash as the absolute pinnacle. And after watching Jamiaca's Usain Bolt run in the mother of all races (and the 200 metres one as well), there's no arguing with that. Awe is the only inadequate word that comes to mind and I am one with the rest of the planet in genuflecting at the altar of The Greatest Sprinter Of All Time and The Fastest Man In The Word.

But naturally it was the events where Indian sportsmen and women were participating which were of particular interest to most of us. And yes, the sight of the slight but aggressive and tough Mary Kom bobbing up and down in the boxing ring as she landed punches on her opponent has been ‘the' Olympic moment for us so far.

While watching the Olympics, also be prepared to see the biggest display of the world's fittest bodies ever. I've never seen so many six pack abs in my life — and I'm not even talking about the men. Have a look at the women doing the high jump or pole vault — to give just one instance.

The good thing is that there's still some action left before we come to the closing ceremony (and if they could please not have one more 'celebration' of the NHS, the world would be eterally grateful).

Closer home, Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate seems to have really opened up the hitherto dead 11 am Sunday morning slot. Now Zee TV is taking over that time slot for, guess what —the Ramayana. And once again, taking a leaf out of Star Plus's Satyamev Jayate strategy, the mythological will simulaneously air on Doordarshan as well. And in yet another blast from the past, Zee TV has approached the Sagars — who created the earlier Ramayana of 80s — to make this one as well. I'm guessing the Sagars will make it in the same familiar calendar art style, which is all right, except that we've been there, done that. A bit of experimentation wouldn't be a bad idea — Life OK's Devon Ke Dev Mahadev is decent example of what a bit of change in the style (the music, the way the scenes are set up, the overall feel) can do to a mythological show.He called in experts to give the issue some perspective and analysis.


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