Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More comics tomfoolery - courtesy Hungama

Right - Hungama fans wanted more. Here are a few selections from the world's funniest comic book.

1. Bussnath's Buss

This one is one of our favourites.

". . . else your life would become Busssss. Go." Blissssful.

The title, by the way, led to the formation of several variants such as 'Amarnath's Amar', 'Narendranath's Narendra', and 'Nathnath's Nath'. It was also responsible for the popularising of 'nath' as a general purpose suffix (mainly due to the efforts of Kishore Manohar, Jai Shankar Iyer, Visesh and other worthies) , as seen in random examples such as 'Cigarettenath', 'Sleepnath' and 'Cricketnath'.

2. Hungama Crazy Facts

These snippets are picked out from a section of the magazine called 'Hungama Crazy Facts'. Just a sampling - I'll post more hilarities as and when I dig them up.

Black Vido. Red spiders. Nuff said.

The founder of this watch is jaeger leading coultre. ??????

This is brilliant. Slam dunk with no jump. Hahahaha.

I LOVE this one. Too many delights to enumerate, but 'A shock Treatment' so that the dog 'keeps it's mouth shut' is hard to beat.

More to follow. And, of course, a hat tip is due to Abitha for discovering Hungama at Chennai Central Station - a fact she never fails to remind us of.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kongregate - lots of nice fun games

Those of you who enjoy video games should check out kongregate.com. Plenty of indie developed casual games, great fun to play. It's being spoken of as a kind of youtube for gamers - users upload, rate and discuss games. Tremendous potential for young, aspiring developers as well.

I particularly enjoyed Fancy Pants Adventures, and QWERTY warriors.

A really easy, entertaining way to waste time at work.

Here's a simple game enthusiastic youngsters can play by themselves or with friends (now, now, no naughty thoughts, children), to while away those long, dreary hours during rainy days or at work when deadlines loom large.

It's about inventing names, and it's easy, fun to get into, and almost impossible to stop playing. Like tetris. Or diablo. All you have to do is invent new, exciting names based on existing ones, and throw a wrench into Maneka Gandhi's evil schemes.

For instance, take a simple name - Pravin Srinivasan.

Now, modify it by changing just one letter, like so :

Pravip Srinivasan .

Or like so :

Pravin Srinidasan.

See? Much hilarity. And very addictive. The trick is subtlety. Prabid Srikivasak, though perhaps funny, is overkill, in my opinion. But whatever makes you happy.

Some further examples :

Anank Ramachandran

Jai Shankap

Majjika Sherawat


Kishoke Manohar

Lots of new names! Whee!

Once you have mastered the beginner's techniques, you can move on to more advanced, and hence more fulfilling forms of gameplay. For instance, mucking about with compound names, such as Saravanakumar, and introducing unusual elements into the mix can be effective. An example :

Saravanakumar - kumar + sudheer = Saravanasudheer. Nice.

More examples of this technique :

Krishnamurthy - murthy + badran = Krishnabadran (You may have heard of Ramabadran, but have you . . .)

Hariprasad - prasad + ji = Hariji (which can also be arrivedat by the simpler method of applying technique 1 to Harini)

Basic units such as Nath, Kanth and Sri, when used smartly, can provide much flexibility and surprisingly delicious results. Such as :




After just a few days of practice, even the casual player can attempt complex combinations of these techniques that lead to seemingly original end products such as Sankalesh Jimmy, Bragadeesh Sankalpavathy, and Prabhak Muneeswath (all of bosey fame)

In fact, I encourage you to play the game on the comments section of this post, so that I, too, may enjoy the fruits of your endeavours. Go. Play.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

World Cup#27 - Sehwag's Brother

You may have heard of Sehwag ki Maa, but have you heard of Sehwag ka Bhai? Here.

Heh. What more can you ask for?

You guys think so, too?

The Wizard of Words

Long-time reader Gowri has started off his very own word-coinage blog, a-la Wordmint. It's called The Wizard of Words, and has some interesting additions to the language. A sampling :


Meaning: A plot to bring disrepute to a cricketer by claiming his use of suspicious bowling (or 'chucking')techniques.
Pronounciation: Chuck-raa-view-ha
Usage: I am just surprised how only Asian cricketers are targeted in these chuckravyuhas.

More at The Wizard of Words. Visit, read, contribute.

When search strings go bad!

Like all diligent bloggers, I sometimes check my stats to see how many people have been reading which posts on which blogs. Those of you who don't blog may not be aware that these statistical tools also offer information on what search strings have led people to your posts. And this information is often hilarious.

For instance, someone searched Google for 'K.R.Vijaya Hot' and landed up at Son of Bosey. Heh. And the best part is this - this happened MORE THAN ONCE! Incredible. Imagine the poor sod(s) who clicked on the link, expecting to see lascivious pictures of K.R.V's delicious rolls of flab, and is deeply disappointed by page after page of dazzling wit and sarcasm™.

Son of Bosey also features prominently among Google's results for 'Brahmin Mami Sex' (thanks to that Ambi Mama thing, and its 200 comments.). This is almost too painful to contemplate, but in public interest, I shall. Said poor sod(s), after the previous disappointment, decides to treasure-hunt for moments of madusaru-clad mamis indulging in carnal activity, and where does he land? Heh. More dazzling wit and sarcasm™.

All the above examples are true - you can try them yourself on Google.

Bizarrely, a search at msn.com for 'chennai sex men cell number' led to my gaming blog. But this doesn't work anymore, presumably due to the efforts of said Chennai sex men to improve their page rankings.

Blogging is fun, in more ways than one.

Update : Another fun search string to try on Google : 'Greg Chappell's son' . Try it. Now.

Monday, April 2, 2007

George W.Bush's inbox contents revealed!

This is kinda funny.

Link courtesy Vishal.

World Cup #26 - Bad Ad Watch

Our next nominee - a true beauty.

The moronic, so-wannabe-that-it's-beyond-pathetic, but mercifully short advert for the LG X-note computer.

An ugly white guy looks at a talking picture of a woman on his laptop. He touches the screen, and it's suddenly another woman in a hotter dress (or the same woman who changes into . . you know what? who cares?). He swivels the monitor around. Gets up to leave. Suddenly, some unrelated guy in a S.W.A.T. team outfit falls off the window ledge.  The ugly white guy pauses, says "Right now, Life's Goooooooooood.", while somehow managing to contort his lips in a disquietingly unattractive manner, and exits stage.

My brain hurts. WHAT? WHAAAAAAAT?

If you're part of the team that delivered this putrid sewage-pail to an unsuspecting audience, please do us a favour and change jobs.

World Cup #25 - Sanath. A full house. And more Sanath.

Sat down to watch my first Super 8 game in full. A full house at last. The possibility of a true cracker.

But guess what? Sri Lanka hammers an abject West Indies side. Bo-ring.

However, there was the unusual treat of listening to Rameez Raja repeatedly refer to Sanath Jayasuriya as 'Sanath'. 'That's a great shot by Sanath'. 'Sanath is running extremely well between the wickets'. 'I've always been a a big fan of Sanath'.  It's not like this is his natural style - he didn't show the same easy familiarity when talking about any of the other players. Weird guy. And he looks like Asad Rauf.

'Sanath', of course, provided the major part of the evening's entertainment by taking his time to settle, and then gleefully tonking the West Indian bowlers wherever he mighty well pleased. A peach of a century from a cricketer of much might and fearsomeness.


It's now safe to say that there would probably have been no point in India making the Super 8s anyway. We'd have beaten Ireland (yeah, yeah, I know. Probably have beaten.), and might have had a fair chance against the West Indies. We'd have been soundly trashed by all the other teams. They're better prepared, fitter, smarter - and playing an altogether better brand of cricket. We're not in this league, I am truly saddened to concede.


I've decided to watch as many of the upcoming heavyweight matches. Some teams are playing delicious cricket, and I get the feeling we haven't seen the best of the World Cup yet.  More power to Lasith Malinga. To Scott Styris. To Paul Collingwood. To 'Sanath'. To Ricky Pont . . no, wait . . .

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Goodbye, Anil. Thank you. Really.

Amidst all the frustration and sadness, let's stop a minute to say goodbye to a man named Anil Kumble.

A man who, through it all, remained one of the most dignified, committed and skilled cricketers to play for the Indian ODI team. Ever. Much has been said about Kumble the cricketer. Like here. And here.

A man who never lost his cool, never argued a bad decision, never blamed bad performances on this or that, never once set a bad example on the field or off it. A man whose name was never dragged through the mud. In present-day Indian cricket, that makes him the rarest of the rare.

A man who enriched our game simply by being a part of it.

Thankfully, he'll still play tests. He won't forever. Celebrate him while he's still here.

Those things under Chanderpaul's eyes.

Finally. Here's the answer.

Apparently, he uses them to cut out glare, since he doesn't like sunglasses.

Now, if only he'd do something about that stance. Ugh.

More comics tomfoolery

Vishal dug this up somewhere. Fantastic. And the thing is - this probably wasn't funny when it was drawn. One of those things that evolve into jokes. There IS a God.

And plenty more such delights at superdickery.com - a must for comics lovers. I especially like the one about the joker's boner.

Brown, Bad and . . er . . Blonde.

Anyone else find the images of Rajni on the just released Sivaji promos a bit unsettling?

Hideous. It's just not him. What next? Gap-tian made up to look like Mr.T?

But Grand must be insanely jealous.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Best single comic panel ever?

From a delightful (but now sadly defunct, I think) Chennai based comic called Hungama.

HUngama Panel

The grammar in the caption is one of those rarest of rare things that can be described as being 'perfectly bad'. Sublime.

Oh - and Hungama is full of such brilliance. Will try and put up more stuff if possible.

World Cup #24 - Who says we're out of the Super 8s?

There's still hope.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

World Cup #23 - Who am I to discuss cricket?

I've never played. At any level.

I've watched countless matches. I've loved the game to death. I've read and written about it. I've spent hours in thought, pondering its nuances, marvelling at its complexity, delighting in its beauty.

I read old magazines and relive memories. I play inadequate videogames and curse them for the injustice done to our majestic sport. I've even punched non-believers in the face ( Shamefully, it's true. Ask Aravind Murali or Vishwanathan Srinivasan.)

But I haven't played.

So maybe I should shut up now. And leave the informed discussion to the pros.

Au revoir. No more cricket. Will stick to comics and stuff. Okay?

World Cup #22 - And now what?


I'm a fan of cricket. Not of cricketers. So, for me, the cup goes on. More to look forward to. More to stay awake for.

And India? Well, much sadness. And much hope.

Hope that we will build a young, fresh team who will delight us in the years to come. Hope that we can remember the Tendulkar-Ganguly-Kumble era without rancour, recalling the glory moments and forgiving the shameful ones.

This team is dead. Its champions must fade. In their place will come new ones. The game lives on.

Many fans will give up on Indian cricket. They will turn away from the game they love, hurt by the disappointments. No matter. Others will take their place. My son among them. They will cheer new heroes on new adventures. But the game remains the same.

Team India is dead. Long live team India.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

World Cup #21 - Come on, India. Time for one last dance.

Dear Team India,

Why do we react so violently when you lose? Why do we plunge so low when you play badly? Why do we always expect you to win?

Because, deep down, we know you can.

Our expectations are built, bit by bit, from the innumerable feats of cricketing might and magic we have had the pleasure of seeing you perform. Every sweet Tendulkar drive. Every moment of Dravid's defiance. Every Ganguly dance-down-the-wicket six. Every Yuvraj pow-gasp-wow shot. Every time the bowlers dig deep and exceed expectations.

And since you've given us so many moments of sweetness, our expectations are really high. It's that simple, really. If you were always losing, then we wouldn't actually expect you to win, would we?

Yes. We know you can.

And we're reminding you.

So bring it on. The incandescent, mighty batting. (Bermuda was a start, but we both know there will be harder tests) The disciplined, strong, spirited bowling. (remember WC 2003?) The huddles, the high-fives, the smiles and whoops of delight. Dance the happy dance. Play the joyful game.

If you do, you'll start winning. And that would be very nice.

Sure, there are a host of other talented, skilled, and well-prepared teams that have come to win the World Cup. Sure, we may lose to some of them.

But make them earn it. By playing your very best cricket.

Sachin. Sourav. Rahul. Anil. This is it. This is the moment. Make it count. A World Cup Win would be nice. But, really, we only want to see you shine your brightest. And if there's a team on earth that's good enough to beat you when that happens, then they'll be bloody deserving winners.

Go on. Play ball. We're behind you.

World Cup#20 - Sachin Tendulkar and other crap comic ideas.

master blasterAnd now this.

Sachin Tendulkar is the most hyped cricketer off all time (before you kill me, I'm just stating fact. Notice : hyped. not overhyped. There's a difference.) His face peers out at us from advertisements, merchandise, endless reams of newsprint. We love him, and even tolerate the bad ads.

But this is not cool. That armour is a fashion disaster. And, God save us, a crackling, glowing, flaming cricket bat ? If I wanted extra cheese, I'd order pizza, thanks you very much.

This kind of thing is an insult to comics. And comics fans. And creators. This is a typically stupid, corporate 'let's cash in, quality be damned' idea. This will flop. The series will not complete the first run. If there is a comics God.

Here's a gem from the guys who're doing this :
According to Suresh Seetharaman, President, Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation, “Virgin has always worked with people who are prominent, and most importantly, who have set goals for themselves in life and achieved them too. Sachin Tendulkar is well recognised as an achiever globally, and it works best to have him as the hero for our comic, gaming and animation series.”

If there's any sense tucked away into that mind-numbingly inane statement, somebody please point it out to me. What are these guys thinking? ARE they thinking?

From the free comic downloads available from Virgin's web site, I find that all their titles are conceptually interesting and visually appealing, but are bogged down by immature (and sometimes plain bad) writing and editing, and a derivative, wannabe Marvel / DC feel. This one seems doomed at the concept level itself.

A cursory glance at comics history will show you that moronic get-rich-quick comics based on celebrities are always abominable products that are rarely recalled fondly, and usually don't sell well. Even the legendary Stan Lee made a mess of his ill-fated Backstreet Boys project. Remember Amitabh as Supremo ? Remember Gavaskar as Sunny ? Titles that are remembered today only for being putrid and grotesque. A similar fate surely awaits 'Master Blaster'. (Any chances that I could be wrong, and this could actually be good? Nah. Three words - flaming. cricket. bat. They're already too far down crap road.)

This is a crass cheapening of one of our few real-life heroes. I hope that true fans of Sachin Tendulkar will see it for what it is.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

World Cup #19 - When is a world record not important?

Yay. We set a world record. Highest WC score. Biggest WC win.

Except, we've always been butchers of bad bowling. Except, Bermuda's batting is so inept, England and Sri Lanka had them for under a hundred, and even Zimbabwe knocked them over for less than what they got against us.

Sure, we did what we needed to. But our batting IS mighty, it really is. Against an attack like Bermuda, a huge total was always on the cards. And we should have blown them away for far less. The bowling looked patchy and unprofessional.

For me, only Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly seemed to promise a good show against the Lankans. Sehwag and Tendulkar need to find something more special than bullying the likes of Dwayne Leverock and his merrie men. They're great batsmen, and well may.

And the bowling needs to be far better if we're to take on Sri Lanka on Friday, and, hopefully, the other big boys in the Super 8 stage.

But for now, it's been a good comeback to stay alive. Make it count, boys.

World Cup #18 - Stupid idea of the year award

The Pakistan team has been asked to speak to the media only in Urdu. Why? To promote tourism.
The players will speak only in Urdu, said former player Pervez Mir, the team's press liaison officer.

The decision was also taken "because 2007 is our national tourist year and we are promoting Pakistan as well," said Mir in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

"This is the perfect platform to promote and expose our language."

I'm laughing so hard, I'm having trouble typing this.

Imagine - thousands of people, after listening to Inzamam-ul-Haq or Mohammed Yousuf or Shoaib Malik address the press, rushing off to call their travel agents to arrange immediate vacations in Lahore. So that they may listen to more people address them in a language they don't understand.

World Cup #17 - The ICC World Cricket Lookalike Competition

Here are the final winners of the little known sideshow from the World Cup which hands out prizes to guys who look like other guys.

The Rameez Raja Lookalike Contest - Asad Rauf.

The Waqar Younis Lookalike Contest - Aleem Dar.

The Marcus Trescothick Lookalike Contest - Simon Hughes.

The Evander Holyfield Lookalike Contest - Dwayne Leverock, Anderson Cummins (tie).

The Alec Stewart Lookalike Contest - Paul Nixon.

The Vladimir Putin Lookalike Contest - Nasser Hussain.

The Darth Maul Lookalike Contest - Charu Sharma.

Monday, March 19, 2007

World Cup #16 - Goobye, Bob. Maybe God's team needs a good coach, y'know.

“What a stupid world.” Readers of The HINDU may have seen today's 'Calvin and Hobbes' end with those very words.

What a stupid world.

A man respected and loved for enriching our beloved game in so many ways will do so no more. We are poorer for it.

Bob Woolmer gave us Hansie Cronje's South African side of the 90s. They thrilled us with their near-impossible fielding skills, their fearsome efficiency (yes, it's a virtue that must be admired, let no one tell you differently), their ability to make winning seem matter of fact. They were so good, we quickly grew to hate them as much as we hate the Australians. Now that's something.

Bob brought science and method to the forefront of the game – and showed cricket teams how they could win on bad days. How they could excel even if slightly short on God given cricketing gifts. There is no team in the world today that has not been touched by his wisdom in some way. In numerous interviews and articles over the years, he impressed us with his thoughts and views on the game and how it should be played. Always thoughtful. Always interesting.

Make no mistake – Bob raised the bar. Just watch videos of matches from the years before his arrival, and you'll see that this is true. This alone guarantees him a place in the pantheon of cricket's most influential men ever.

Now he's gone. Just like that. In his worst cricketing hour. It's as if he decided that he'd had enough, and simply left. Without a thought for what we'd do without him.

There will be reams written about his contributions, his successes and failures, his methods and theories. I'd rather dwell on something else.

On the night of his death, there was the usual flurry of telephone calls, messages and e-mails between my own circle of cricket fans. And every single one of us agreed – this didn't feel like something that was happening far away, in the world of newsprint and TV. No, this felt like we had lost a friend, someone we had spent time with for years.

Why did he have to die like this? Why now? Wouldn't it have been easier if we could have read about his passing in a quiet corner of the paper, years after he had faded from public life?

In India and Pakistan, we claim to be passionate about cricket. Is it passion that drives us to believe that we're within our rights to destroy someone's property? Is it passion that motivates us to put so much pressure on somebody that they can die from the stress? Or is it madness and evil? Anger and stupidity? Ignorance and fear?

What a stupid, stupid world.

World Cup#15 - Burn me in effigy

This has been an exciting, thrilling world cup. A tie. Six sixes in an over. So-called minnows playing terrific, joyful cricket. Some great fielding. Sporting wickets.

So, we should be enjoying this right?

Oh, no. We'd much rather burn effigies, rant and rave like diseased baboons and ,quite illegally, seek retribution by destroying private property. Because our team played badly and lost a game. A game.

You know what? I didn't do my job well today. I missed a few deadlines, and made a few spelling mistakes. So go ahead, burn my effigy. Stone my house. Threaten my family. You have the right. No problem.

And when you screw up something, which you doubtless will at some point, I will do the same. I'll break your car's windscreen. I'll burn your family photograph. I'll call you names. I'll call your family names. I'll throw rocks at your house. And I'll be sure to bring Dhoni and Kaif with me. They'll be glad to join in.

This way, we can both win. Or lose. What's the difference?

Sorry for the break.

Sorry - this damn blogging tool isn't working when I try to post anything more than a few lines. Hope to have it fixed in a few hours. To follow : Goodbye Bob. And why I should be burned in effigy.

Thanks for reading this blog. Back in a jiff.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

World Cup #14 – Keeping Awake

Keeping awake is hard. Especially if you’re like me, and won’t risk the Red Bull type drinks. Some tips for dedicated cricket watchers to fight drowsiness, especially during dull periods of play.

  1. Eat light. A heavy dinner is a sure-fire way to miss the second session.

  2. Potter around. Walk around the house every now and then. Adjust a lamp. Wipe a surface. Open the fridge, peer into it and close it again.

  3. Switch off the mosquito repellant. The little buggers will take care of keeping you awake, I promise.

  4. Comics work for me. Exciting stuff like Lone Wolf and Cub, not more sedate stuff like American Splendour.

  5. Do like Inispector does – mute the ads. You’ll be surprised.

World Cup #13 - Papayas and Bosey on TV.

Okay - I've now played my part in the official TV coverage surrounding WC 2007.

Headlines Today did a feature earlier tonight about World Cup blogs - and featured both Papayas are People, Too and Son of Bosey on it. I got to let off a few words and sound smug. Fun. People who saw it will now think I'm more famous than I really am.

The show was pretty kind to me - they featured the blogs pretty prominently, and said some nice things. And, importantly, they called me a 'Young Man'. I am indebted.

Also, the programme featured the online prediction game cricketology, which is great fun. Sign up and play. You'll see.

World Cup #12 – Bad Ad Watch

We have nominee number 2 – the ridiculous Apache ad with the faux wildlife documentary feel. This is a goodie. I can just hear the creative team making the pitch : “Let’s have lots of cars painted like zebras, being pursued by a guy on a bike in the middle of a vaguely African jungle. We can have a self-conscious narrator do a pretentious, lame voiceover so that it will look like a pathetic attempt at creating a wildlife documentary atmosphere. And we can end with a random babe and the biker giving each other hot looks. That’ll KILL ‘em.”

A great representation of all the characteristic features – stupidity, wastefulness, lameness – of classic Indian bike advertising. Well done, agency bizarros. You suck galactic.

World Cup #11 – The Dwayne Factor

Am I mistaken, or is this the first world cup to feature three players called Dwayne?

World Cup #10 – Dwayne Leverock. Cheer the man.

Okay. I’m going to watch ALL Bermuda games. Dwayne Leverock. Wow.

He comically dropped a couple of catches (what was he doing fielding at slip and cover, for goodness’ sake?). Bowled some decent deliveries, and even managed a scalp. And broke out into one of the most charming celebrations I’ve seen at the fall of a wicket – a most enjoyable jiggle fest.

His Mum’s pissed that someone in the media poked fun at him by likening him to Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor’. And proceeded to defend her son in classic Indian mum fashion, saying something to the effect of “He’s not fat. Just healthy.”

He’s a jolly guy, and he’s having a whale of a time playing the world cup.

It’s stories like this that warm the cockles.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

World Cup #09 - Ponting vs. Gavaskar

First, Ponting needlessly drags the Indian team into it. Now, Gavaskar, rather distastefully, drags a dead man into it. This scrap is ugly and needless. Gavaskar has nothing to lose. Ponting is on a World Cup campaign that is probably the toughest Australia has undertaken in 10 years. What is he thinking? Why the sharp reaction? Has Sunny touched a raw nerve, perhaps? Sometimes, when it hurts, perhaps it's the truth.

World Cup#08 - Watching the Minnows

Canada and Kenya are duking it out most respectably. I just tuned in (why do we still use that expression ? Nobody TUNES in on TV anymore,), and saw a twenty run over, followed by a splendidly judged boundary line catch. Top stuff. Hope this one's a close game. Who says the minnows serve no purpose, eh?

In fact, it was when going to see a minnow match (Kenya vs. Bangladesh at Chennai) that a bunch of us came up with a great idea for youngsters looking to get drunk on a tight budget. Just add a couple of teaspoons of good ole Glucon-D to your drink, and it's like having two drinks. Sensational buzz. Mildly yucky, but great value.

World Cup #07 - The first wrong prediction.

Well, I guess commonsense batting is never quite guaranteed from this mighty Pakistan lineup.

Of course, they began with a six. And lost a wicket of the next ball. And hit the next one for four. Only Pakistan can entertain like this.

Inzy, naturally, played some shots so sublime that I actually gasped. And then proceeded to mismanage the chase in the company of the excellent Mohammed Yousuf. What were these two great batsmen thinking? Corey Collymore and Dwayne Smith are good, hardworking bowlers, but did they deserve the respect they were shown today?

Pakistan lost this game in the middle overs. I think that this tournament will largely be won and lost by how overs 20-40 go.

On a happy note, if all the wickets are like the one we saw at Sabina, then we're going to have good games. Wheee.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

World Cup #06 - A good game is what we all want, really.

This game is going to be good. Sporting wicket. Even contest.


And, of course, I have found that Simon Hughes is actually Marcus Trescothick. They are one and the same. Look closely.

Oh yes - Pakistan to take this one. If they bat with a semblance of common sense.

World Cup #05 - Commentary classics

Rameez Raja just said - "The spectators come to the ground to watch attractive knocks like Lara's."

Does he know something we don't?

World Cup #04 - Bad Ad Watch

No world cup is complete without - that's right, bad advertising.

This year, I think we must set up an award to honour the most execrable, putrid, and plain crummy ad films that we're going to be subjected to thanks to the efforts of the advertising industry's most idiotic brains.

Our first nominee - The CBZ ad featuring that wannabe James Bond guy spouting immeasurably, excruciatingly bad lines - of course, ably supported by an appropriately annoying 'babe' and 'mission giver' characters. At one point, the guy actually says ' Thinking. Such a waste of time'. Perhaps the creative team behind the ad believes in this philosophy a tad too fervently. At least, I hope that they didn't put too much thought into producing this turd. The idea of an agency that brainstormed for days, went through innumerable options, and then came up with this is too painful to contemplate.

World Cup #03 - And we're away!

Well, it's begun.

Chris Gayle has left the building. The excitement is mounting. If you're reading this, ask yourself why you aren't somewhere else.


Empty seats? What's going on? This is a world cup opener!Featuring the home team, no less!

I'm beginning to wonder if there's any point to holding the world cup anywhere but in India (maybe Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well). It's all very well about promoting the game, boosting the economy, and all the other stuff they always bleat about, but a world cup opener with empty seats is NOT a good advertisement.

Here's hoping we don't see too much of this.


The pre-match show was a pleasant surprise. Henry Olonga, Dean Jones and Simon Hughes were crisp, interesting and kept it tight. Even Mandira Bedi managed not to grate on the senses. If only they'd get rid of Charu Sharma.

World Cup #02 - Drink up and sing along

I've written a little world cup song - set to music by the two and only Jubbs and Self of 'The Place'. Download, learn and sing along during the cup.

You can get the song and the lyrics here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

World Cup #01 - Resolve.Blade.Play.

Okay. A World Cup is upon us. No use pretending that I don't care, or that I'm too busy. Time to get into it. And resolve to blog regularly. So I shall – sit by my computer while watching the games, and post-as-I-think.



Before every tournament of this stature, a collection of former greats will contrive to make fools of themselves in a national newspaper or magazine by making inane, stupid, and sometimes plain wrong statements. The year's best so far? Sandeep Patil in last week's SPORTSTAR : “ Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, England and India are the teams with a good chance to win.” Really? Wow. Well, at least he didn't add that Zimbabwe, Kenya, Holland, Bermuda, Scotland, Bangladesh, Ireland and Canada are the teams that will be eliminated.



Spending a lot of time watching the cup, and debating on it endlessly with friends during the day? Might as well profit from your expertise. www.cricketology.com offers an interesting prediction game where you can wager points on match results, scores et al., and redeem your winnings for exciting prizes. It's something no self-respecting armchair (or staircase / corridor / cubicle) pundit should be able to resist. Check it out here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

That Four Letter Word : Y-A-W-N

That four letter word

I wanted to like Sudhish Kamath's new film. I really did. I wanted it to be hip, intelligent, and interesting.

Sadly, it isn't any of those things.

I'll begin with the good stuff. The fact that Kamath has completed the film on a VERY tight budget, and it ended up looking as decent as it does is to be commended. By leveraging his popularity as a journalist to draw attention to TFLW, he's done independent Chennai filmmakers a service by opening up possibilities for their films as well. It takes determination, courage and a great deal of patience to be a pioneer, and, in a sense, this film makes Kamath one.

That's why it's unfortunate that the film itself fails so badly.

That Four Letter Word begins with what is essentially a decent enough ( if hardly imaginative ) premise, and quickly descends into tedium. The story meanders along. The acting is sometimes passable, sometimes atrocious. The screenplay fails to grip. And the less said about the dialogue (in particular, the try-so-hard humour) , the better.

Very ordinary characters sleepwalk through very ordinary situations spouting bad lines and looking rather disinterested most of the time. Only Cary Edwards shows any signs of enthusiasm - and actually manages to be likeable the few times that the contrived dialogues allow him to be.

The music and visuals actually strive manfully to liven up proceedings, but in the absence of any other good stuff - story, dialogues, acting - to support them , they simply cannot salvage enough to make TFLW even moderately fun.

The upshot is this - there's nothing in this film that makes you even remotely want to continue watching it. Other than the vain hope that it can only get better (it doesn't).

In failing to make a film that is worthy of taking the opportunities he has created with his smart marketing, Sudhish Kamath lets himself down. This could have been the film to provide a much needed fillip to independent Chennai filmmakers, but instead it ends up as forgettable and simply boring cinema.

At a recent press screening at Sathyam Cinemas, Sudhish rather charmingly said to the audience : "You can tell us it sucks."

Sorry, mate, but here goes : "Sudhish, it sucks."

Seven Questions for Sumit Mehra

The 'Seven Questions For' series is intended to bring readers closer to some of the more interesting people in the Indian gaming industry, and pick their brains on issue serious and frivolous. And who better to start off the show with than Sumit Mehra, the ever popular, smiling face behind the award-winning UNO. One of the most experienced and knowledgeable veterans in Indian gaming, you can learn more about Sumit at his blog. Oh, well. Here goes -

1. You've been a game developer in India even before the industry really took off. In your opinion, what have been the key moments or turning points that the Indian gaming industry can look to as milestones today?

In no particular order:

  • India Games getting the Spider-man deal.
  • Dhruva features in Tom Friedman's new book, "The World is Flat"
  • IGDA forum realizing and accepting 4 separate Indian chapters
  • Jamdat and Gameloft opening studios in India
  • Reliance getting games to mainstream with Zapak.
  • Microsoft’s official Xbxo360 India release
  • Nasscom starting an Animation and Gaming Conference.

2. There seems to be a lot of focus on the domestic casual gaming (mobile
and online) market? What kind of original Indian content do you see doing
well here?

In short term I can foresee lot of Television and Bollywood content being
super popular; I don’t see this changing for mobile games but online games
would be a tougher nut to crack - without game play it would be very hard
to sell games online.

Bollywood and regional movie industries (Tollywood) will always motivate
game developers to build movie-based content. I won’t be surprised to see some
Indian comic content and some epic stories tuning up into interesting
online games.

3. Online downloadable vs. mobile?

Looking at the current state of Indian Game Industry I would say mobile
games but in the current global state – both have their own space and are
doing equally well.

Though I see mobile game developers having tougher times ahead; they would
need to build high quality game content and more complex game mechanics
for high end phones and at the same time they would need to make these
games run on the low end phones. No surprises if they would actually end
up making two different versions for the same game.

But I am putting my money on CAS, DHT and/or IPTV for providing play

4. How do you get an Indian housewife to play games?

Easily accessible multiplayer social games might be the key. We would need
to re-think the idea of what video games are. Jump, shoot and dodge is
not happening at all.

The problem is when we talk about India we talk about a mammoth
population, my gut feeling says no matter how much I hate the family
drama serials on Star, Sony and Zee, they are successful for a reason.
Maybe this is what Indian housewives want; I won’t be surprised if we can
have game with similar content - but I am sure that the game needs a very
simple mechanic, nothing more than pressing a button and making a choice.

I really like the Women in Games Development Special Interest group. I
strongly believe that we need some women game designers to actually design
games for women.

5. One unforgettable gaming moment ?

8 vs. 8 players capture the flag; Unreal Tournament; Face level. The game
lasted almost 5 hours. With 4 snipers on each side and 4 assault warrior
running all over to capture the flags. I have never ever had more fun
playing any game in my life. (the other 15 players were game developers
and my colleagues and many learned the meaning of game play that day)

6. Worst game design idea ever?

In my opinion game design ideas are never bad; it is the hopeless
implementation that makes them useless.

Worst implementations according to me

Mobile: Day after tomorrow
PC (Rom based): Knight Rider
Console: Shrek

7. Your dream game that hasn't been made yet (what you'd like to play)?

The name of the game is “Chef Rastogi and the food stealing aliens”,
someday I plan to make this, not sure when :)

Understanding the XBOX 360 in India.

by Anand Ramachandran

There’s been quite a bit of interest regarding the sales of Microsoft’s XBOX 360 in India – much interesting talk of sales figures, price points and strategies. But to put these things in perspective, I believe there’s a need to understand some ground realities about India as a potential market for next-gen consoles.

Read the full article at Desicritics.org

Monday, January 15, 2007

Desi Brangelinas

Amit Varma's worst fears are coming true.

With the advent of Abhiwarya, the mouth waters at other possibilities (for existing as well as fictitious couples). Here are a few :

Surya and Jyothika - Soothika (non-Tamil speakers, please excuse)

Asin and Vikram - Ashram

Vijay and Trisha - Visha

Anil and Tina Ambani - Antenna

Dhoni and Katrina Kaif - Dhoka

Cyrus Broacha and Celina Jaitley - Cycley

I.M.Vijayan and U.R.Ananthamurthy -V.R.Gay

Sushmita Sen and Cybill Sheppard - Sensible

Okay, I'm all out. Any more suggestions?

Late Additions :

Scarlet Johansson and Batman - Scatman

J-LO and TR - LOTR

Madhu Sapre and Dimple Kapadia - Sapadriya? (Another for the Tam-only crowd)

V.R.V.Singh and Ronnie Screwvala - V.R.Screwing

Unintentional humour chronicles - part 1.

We're recruiting people for our new animation and game design studio, and my colleague Tariq and I were looking in disbelief at a resume :

"One of my greatest strengths is looking through the brief and seeing the complete picture."

Sometimes, I think we should stop creating content and just syndicate and publish excerpts from resumes that we get. We'd be rich.

More fine examples :

A signboard that says, in splendid grandeur " For all occasions, use COCK." I have also seen variants for the same brand, such as "Celebrate happy festivals with COCK.", and "Buy the best COCK." Eh? Oh - fireworks. COCK brand fireworks.

A lovely (but since removed) hand painted sign outside a barber shop that says, simply 'STEP CUTTING. BOOB CUTTING.'

One of my personal favourites is a retail poster for a fashion brand called MUFTI. It features a male model striking a fashionably intense pose, with the inexplicable but brilliant slogan : "ANTI AIDS MESSAGE # 1 - APNA HAATH JAGANNATH!"

I'll try and put up some pictures as and when i find them.

But now, to the point. This is actually a call for contributions. Any of you with camera phones, be sure to click the next such example you come across and send it to me. I'll publish those I find entertaining, along with a link black to your blog, or site, if you have one.