The toughest major yet
Panel to probe World Cup debacle

Power hungry

Viewers without electricity were spared the spectacle of the BJP, Congress and AAP in AC studios, blowing hot air.

Pranab Mukherjee applauded his country’s decision to vote into power the BJP-led NDA for a strong and stable government. Pranab Mukherjee applauded his country’s decision to vote into power the BJP-led NDA for a strong and stable government.

Who’s got power? According to the president of India, it is “my government”. In his televised address to the Houses of Parliament on Monday, Pranab Mukherjee applauded his country’s decision to vote into power the BJP-led NDA for a “strong and stable government”. More power to the people, you’re tempted to say, but let’s settle for a thump of the table nearest to you in approval like we saw the MPs do during the president’s speech.

Then, give a thumbs down to those governments who have enjoyed power 24×7 in Delhi but have not shared enough of it with its residents. As outages increased throughout the city and the temperature climbed above 45 degrees, the heat got to our TV news channels. On Monday and Tuesday, high-powered politicians and experts hotly debated the power cuts in Delhi (Times Now, Headlines Today, NewsX, NDTV 24×7). For those viewers who sweltered without electricity in their homes, there was one small, pyrrhic consolation: they didn’t have to watch the BJP, Congress and AAP seated in air-conditioned studios, blowing hot air at each other. The Congress and AAP blamed each other, the BJP blamed them both and the anchors simply fumed.

Instead, they could have chilled out with something cold in Carlsberg’s Club glasses. Talk of surrogate advertising. Carlsberg cannot advertise what it’s famous for, beer, so it’s taken to advertising glasses — inviting you to slake your thirst with beer in them. They’re not the only ones who advertise themselves without advertising their main brand — remember the “Make it Large” campaign for Royal Stag whisky?

There will be plenty of beer drinking over the next four weeks as the football World Cup comes to a screen near you, at home or in restaurants/ bars before giant screens. What might prevent viewers from developing beer bellies this summer is that while there are matches in the 9.30 pm slot, at least half the matches will be telecast live on Sony channels after midnight (IST) — not the best time to be guzzling alcoholic beverages. How inconsiderate of FIFA to rob us of such pleasures, to say nothing of our beauty sleep.

In a prelude to the most beautiful game on earth, or so soccer maniacs claim, sports channels have broadcast any number of shows about the teams as well as previous World Cup matches. Not everyone, however, takes soccer’s biggest celebration all that seriously. Saw a delightful spoof on Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup, where the goal is replayed by three thoroughly unfit men in the roles of Maradona, the English goalie and the referee (Kia’s Road to Rio 2014, Ten HD). The latter allows himself to be persuaded by the English “goalkeeper” to disallow the goal. Evidently, history can be rewritten sometimes.

S. Sreesanth must wish he could rewrite his past, sometimes. His alleged involvement in the IPL’s match-fixing scandal has all but ruined his cricketing career and kept him off the field for a long time. No wonder he is looking at other, newer pastures. On Tuesday, Beintehaa (Colors) had a steamy bedroom scene between husband Zain and wife Aaliya. They gazed deeply and closely into each other’s dreamy eyes, so close that the tips of their noses were kissing (instead of their lips), and there, on the right hand corner of the screen, was Sreesanth dancing to the beat of their thumping hearts. No wonder the wife demurely got up and left the room.

Sreesanth was practicing his latest moves for a new season of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa (Colors). He’s one of this year’s contestants and probably its biggest draw. Judges Karan Johar, Madhuri Dixit and Remo D’Souza thoroughly enjoyed his first acrobatic performance so he should be on a good wicket (sorry, the pun was irresistible!).

Judges Anu Malik and Raveena Tandon were floored by the performance of a young man whose elastic body allowed him to contort himself into many positions and shapes on Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, Tuesday. This is Sony’s answer to Jhalak and so far, there is little to choose between them.

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