Sports, the new star

Kabaddi and soccer are regaining ground in India as sporting favourites, a phenomena that can in no small measure be attributed to newer formats (complete with glamorous team owners), tailormade to perfection for television viewing

Written by Priyanka Sinha Jha | Mumbai | Published:September 5, 2014 1:00 am
A jubilant  Abhishek Bachchan with  his kabaddi  team A jubilant Abhishek Bachchan with his kabaddi team

Sports, quite evidently is the new (form of) entertainment. The success of Pro Kabaddi League –Abhishek Bachchan’s team Japiur’s Pink Panthers won the finals—in terms of the TRPs and the curiosity it has generated about the game, suggests that we can look ahead for some real time fun and games in sporting arenas. Close on the heels of the kabaddi matches will follow the Indian Super League (Soccer) which has already created quite a stir with its list of glamourous team owners—Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Ranbir Kapoor— to name a few. Purists of course, maintain that these new-fangled sporting templates are not quite the real thing but hey, at least it’s a start. For the longest while, Indian sports has been dominated by cricket and now finally these innovations may just end up fuelling a sharp growth in a whole range of other sports too. After all, who would have ever thought kabaddi had a shot at revival in India? Clearly, this is truly an instance of more being merrier!
On field and of late, in our films too, sporting figures are also gaining popularity as subjects for films—after Iqbal, Chak De! India, Paan Singh Tomar, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag there is the biopic on pugilist Mary Kom that is stoking everybody’s curiosity.
But obviously when Priyanka Chopra decided to share some “really raw footage” of the film which has her play the Manipuri World Champion (actually almost 20 minutes of it) with members of the fourth estate, the attendance, despite the fact that the screening started close to midnight, was impressive. What’s more, she had everyone eating out of her hands even before her bravura performance as the spitfire boxer was showcased! Fit as a fiddle and her svelte self, PC had everyone sit back in a few seconds of stunned silence before the thumping applause took over.

Wedding coup

Brangelina—or individually Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally made it official, tying the knot in a quiet, surprise wedding even as Hollywood’s avowed bachelor George Clooney seems to be setting himself up for a big fat one in Lake Como, Italy! With the wedding now out of the way, there were reports that the couple is now gearing up for a movie with steamy scenes , titled By the Sea, written and directed by Jolie! That the most famous showbiz couple in the world managed to pull off a quiet wedding in France with just 22 guests is nothing short of a miracle in the age of smartphones equipped with every possible app aimed at dispelling all celeb secrets. Perhaps the western paparazzi, in the wake of severe criticism that comes its way, is mellowing down.
Closer home, matters have certainly gone southward—the camera is everywhere, often times by invitation and often without—recording the good, bad and ugly, and of course, the intensely personal. Celebs and sources inform me that while the scale of intrusion does not quite match the paps in the west, the gap is fast narrowing; domestic help, building security guards, gym instructors, hotel staff are being paid to tip off the media about clebrity movements! The fact that two high-profile Bollywood weddings took place outside Indian shores –Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukerji’s and John Abraham; are indications that the nosy-parker streak is going from strength to strength. True that the pictures of the oops moments or the highly personal moments are a huge draw in publications and websites and the next logical step—paying big bucks for exclusive photos snapped during a celeb chase seems just a short while away. Till then, the brave among the celebrity brood have figured out the virtues of following the middle path—allow limited access with a request for respect for privacy and everyone goes happy. But of course, in return , expect even more low-key weddings in far-flung lands!

 

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