Commentators with gift of the gab
Sports events and festivals can turn monotonous without commentators. It’s them who bring liveliness and ardency among both spectators and players through the power of their words and the élan they use to present the overall scenario. Without their presence, any event being held anywhere will be like a dead fish.chandigarh Updated: Feb 04, 2015 12:26 IST
Sports events and festivals can turn monotonous without commentators. It’s them who bring liveliness and ardency among both spectators and players through the power of their words and the élan they use to present the overall scenario. Without their presence, any event being held anywhere will be like a dead fish.
"I ensure to bring variety in my commentary with rich words, phrases and poetry. I modulate my voice accordingly to avoid monotony.
I try to enthrall the crowd with humour. I also make sure to motivate the players with my words", says Singh, who has maintained diaries and notebooks to collect some of the best Punjabi words and phrases.
Kuljeet Singh Grewal (45), a government teacher by profession, who has been commentating at the same venue since the last six years, says good communication skills, confidence and being spontaneous are vital virtues required to attain success in this job.
A hockey player himself, Grewal says, “I can do commentary in all events, but am at ease during the hockey matches. There are many commentators like me who are players or were players of a certain game and later pursued their hobby. Former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu is an example. However, one should follow his own individuality and style rather than emulating anyone.”
Spectators want variety and quality
Talking about his passion, young Gurinderpal Singh Kothala (27) points out that spectators anywhere want variety and quality. “I have been playing kabaddi since I was in my early teens. Love for poetry and interest in Punjabi language from my school days encouraged me to take up commentary.Earlier, I loved listening to the words of the commentators which not only entertained the spectators, but kept our spirits high during the matches. I have tried to imbibe all the qualities to become a good commentator", says Kothala, who was elated to get his chance for the first time at this year’s Rural Olympics.
Meanwhile, another young commentator Babu Khannewala, who is just 24, says, "I have been doing this job since the last five years. Recently, I got a chance to do commentary for a kabaddi tournament in Malaysia. Some of my friends, who follow the same passion, are regularly invited to other countries. Punjabi commentators, especially those who can speak the language correctly and have rich vocabulary, are in great demand."
Khannewala, who aims to get selected for World Kabaddi Cup organised by the Punjab government each year, adds, “Other than books, I also spend time with my elders, as they are treasure of knowledge. Often what they share, I speak out in various events and it warmly connects many.”
Take pride in Punjabi
What these commentators suggest to the aspiring many is to take pride in their mother tongue. “We love restoring to authentic Punjabi while doing commentary. It adds charm to the words we use. But sadly, Punjabis, especially those residing in urban pockets, feel ashamed to speak their very own mother tongue and those who speak Punjabi are far away from authenticity.”
Big B to debut as sports commentator
Interestingly, versatile and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan (72) will mark his debut as cricket commentator on February 15 at Indo Pak World Cup tie scheduled on February 15 in Australia. He is busy cramming to get into the various terminologies of cricket. In his recent interview to Hindustan Times, he said, “I am excited about the live commentary and I will be joined by Harsha Bhogle and Kapil Dev for the highly awaited February 15 match. I am taking tips from them to get all the mid off and mid on right.”