Sunday, October 16, 2005

Delhi (half) marathon

The television to me had become a serious-program affair of late. Well, almost. Until I stumbled upon live coverage of the Delhi Half Marathon this morning. I was frantically skipping the channels in search of the Super Test match, when suddenly this DD Sports channel sprung up, showing thousands of enthusiast crowding the streets of Delhi.

The Hutch half marathon advertisement campaign was impressive. The "har-koi-douDegaa" catchline was really catchy. But I never thought the event would be so entertaining.

You wake up on a Sunday morning, with the Sun showing up for a change, and you look forward to a great day. You switch on TV for you don't have anything else worth while. A reporter lady is spitting out useless words and the camera is focused on amateur runners who are expecting to be on air once in lifetime.

Then the reporter tries to contact another reporter who is supposed to be covering the marathon as-it-happens. "This is a wonderful morning, the band is playing out here. And I won't mind going and dancing all by myself". I see the intellect in her that helped her get a job with DD sports. Naturally, this reporter doesn't have any clue of how the sport is played. When I heard her speak, the tone was as if she's wondering, "oh my God, these athletes are I-don't-know-why-but running!". The the main reporter asks about the weather. The cameraman is shrewd enough to focus on the thermometer-like gadget in this lady's hand. She screams, "well, it is hot out here. Almost 26 degrees, with relative humidity of some value". Now the main reporter is really worried. So hot a weather and this guys are supposed to run under scorching sun! This could have been better.

She turns to a two-time Olympic champion who is present in the studio, and asks, "Are these athletes trained to perform under such weather conditions?". This fellow is a real athlete, a champion, that too at Olympic and common-wealth games level. He doesn't know what to answer, "yes, I guess so" he says!

Then there is an interview with the senior citizens who have gathered in a large number to participate in the marathon. It is no surprise that they take to walking instead of jogging their way to the finish line. Some of the ladies are carrying their purses, and some of the gentlemen are carrying their phones. When another (obviously, a lady) reporter spoke to the leader of one of the SenCit groups, the leader said, "I am Dr so-and-so, we have a huge gathering here of about 20-to-50 Senior citizens from my colony alone. We are looking forward to making our club more famous through this event."

Huge entertainment, isn't it?

And in all this, they have forgotten to cover the leaders of the race, who happen to be from some remote country in Africa, called, umm, what's that called, Keriya? no, yes, yeah, Keniya. I was hoping DD sports would actually apologise for not covering the front of the race.

Soon I got tired of physical activity so much concentrated around my facial muscles. Before the laughter became too demanding on my physique, I switched off the TV!

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