Even for people who aren’t passionate about cricket and won’t contemplate instant suicide if Sachin misses a century by one run, the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup in Dhaka was worth watching.
If only one could have done away with all those speeches which were, by and large, stupefyingly dull, it would have been perfect.
But I suppose you can’t have an event on this scale without assorted VIPs going on and on about, well, I’m not sure about what exactly because I had zoned out during that time. Particularly jaw-dropping was the sight of people — real people — playing cricket on the sheer face of a tall, multi-storied building. Also, all the team captains arriving at the stadium on cycle rickshaws was quite a fun idea. As spectacles go, the opening ceremony went places. Now all that we need is for the rest of the World Cup to deliver the requisite thrills and excitement.
Away from cricket and on to entertainment (though the two are often completely synonymous), Sony has started its second new show from Yashraj. It’s a daily soap called Kismat, about two powerful men (one born in wealth, the other in adversity and poverty), who become deadly enemies. According to the people at Yashraj, “It is a story of ambition, greed, friendship, betrayal, loyalty, family values, love, romance and a lot more.” That’s a good list, but they’ve left out “revenge, deceit, conflict, passion, lust, sacrifice” and so on. You’ll find all or at least some of these words on the book jackets of bestselling paperbacks (especially if they’re titled Kane and Abel).
I saw a couple of episodes of Kismat, and I am happy to report that it doesn’t have the kind of blindingly lurid makeup, clothes or sets that most other daily soaps are so inordinately fond of. Yes, the rich boy (the serial opens with the two men as little boys) does have a rich-looking house and the women do swish around in rich-looking saris, but somehow it’s not as OTT as the other dailies. And yes, Kismat also has its share of unpleasant female characters (in this case, the rich boy’s domineering grandmother who blathers on and on about the family’s traditions, the importance of always winning etc etc).
But Kismat is family drama with a difference — if only because it is the story of two male protagonists and not the story of female characters, be they mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, daughters, sisters, or mothers. Otherwise, the story and characters of Kismat are about as original as films where filmmakers claim to have been ‘inspired’ by other sources. But I’m not complaining. If the serial manages to tell a good strong story (even if it’s clichéd) at a good tight pace, it will be cause for celebration.
Among the other new shows lined up in the coming weeks is a dance show on Star Plus (Just Dance) whose main attraction is Hrithik Roshan. Since Hrithik has never done television before, this will be quite novel. I just hope the show itself is conceptualised in a slightly more novel way than the other dance shows currently on air, all of whom follow the usual judges-auditions-eliminations-winners route.
They may tweak things a bit by featuring couples or groups instead of individual dancers but in essence they remain the same.
But Hrithik on a TV dance show should be worth a dekho. Now the only top male star left out of the small screen is Aamir. Will he succumb to the idiot box?