Ganguly vs Ganguly

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 19.09.10

It is words over action in this edition of Champions League T20, being played in South Africa. How Sourav says it is all that matters, not so much how Sachin bats. At least for Calcutta.

Since Sourav has been commentating on the matches for the television channel broadcasting the matches, the city in tuning in only to hear him, not to see the cricket. “I am watching the T20 this time only because I want to hear Dada’s commentary in the show after the match,” says Abhijit Mukherjee of Kalighat.

The commentators come in five-over shifts. “On Tuesday, I caught a few overs of the Mumbai Indians-Redbacks (South Australia) game while Sourav was on air. But then switched channels,” says Mukherjee.

He is, however, “more keen” to see Dada in action rather than behind a mike.

A format that works famously in football, a league of the champion clubs of different nations, has not taken off at all in cricket. Fourteen-year-old Krishnendu Ganguly feels that there was no build-up to the tournament.

“The promos featuring Amitabh Bachchan with cricketers like Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds and Sourav Ganguly were pretty bland and without a cricket connect. It didn’t help build the interest,” says the Class VIII student of Maria’s Day School.

Fans also feel that familiarity with the players — or the lack of it — is a key issue, something that sets this tournament apart from the IPL or the ICC T20 World Cup, both of which showcase big names, Indian and foreign.

“In IPL, there are hardly any players you didn’t know before and here it’s just the opposite… there are few players you know. We don’t know the domestic players of Australia and Sri Lanka and somehow one tends to lose interest,” says budding batsman Priyank Bengani, 18.

Fans also feel that there is an overdose of cricket — T20 comes right after India’s tour of Sri Lanka, featuring Test matches and a tri-series.

So Labanya Datta, a first-year student of MA (journalism and mass communication) at Calcutta University, otherwise a cricket buff, chose to watch US Open tennis. Howrah trader Amarendranath Debnath has switched off for a while from cricket because he has been “disillusioned” by the scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket lately. “If things like this can go on in international cricket, these T20 games are much more susceptible to match fixing.”

It’s Ganguly vs Ganguly at prime time then. While Sourav is scoring big on a Bengali entertainment channel with Dadagiri, a quiz show, he is the only star for some on the sports channel broadcasting T20.

Silent rage

A frail traffic policeman. But the slightest movements of his arm are invested with immense authority. He opens the scene of the film Eashwar Mime Co. The film based on Dibyendu Palit’s story Mukabhinaya is about exploitation. Not only of a group of poor mime artists but of the art form that is capable of great aesthetic beauty and depth.

It also celebrates the way mime assimilates various ancient indigenous forms and the tremendous, even supernatural power of gestures and facial expressions beyond the stage.

Eashwar was the late thespian Shyamanand Jalan’s debut feature film completed in 2004. It released commercially in Calcutta on September 11 at Nandan I. Neither Jalan, nor Vijay Tendulkar, who wrote the screenplay, lived to see it.

Though not without technical glitches, Eashwar is an unusual film for the way it developed through various workshops and the number of creative minds it roped in from various fields.

Ashish Vidyarthi plays Eashwar, is the villainous master of a mime company who treats the members of his troupe as dirt and sleeps with the women. Pawan Malhotra plays Chitrarth, the scriptwriter for the company. He can only express an impotent rage against Eashwar. The film also stars a host of young actors from Padatik and other groups.

The whole team underwent a month-long training in mime and dance under experts like Govindan Kutty, Chetna Jalan, Prabir Guha and Anjan Deb. They were also given basic lessons in body painting by renowned artist Rameshwar Broota and Vasundhara Tewari who painted the actor’s faces every day during the shoot in red, yellow and aquamarine.

The painted faces act like a canvas providing a visual subtext to the narrative. The background score was by Suman Chattopadhyay, cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee and editing by Rabiranjan Moitra. The film produced by National Film Development Corporation and Xanthus Productions Pvt ltd was presented at Nandan by Anamika Kala Sangam, Natya Shodh Sansthan, Padatik and Xanthus as a tribute to Jalan.

(Contributed by Rith Basu and Sebanti Sarkar)