So we take a break and switch the TV on. India A is playing Pakistan A for the Eurasia Cup (cricket). The game is being shown is on Sahara Filmi, for some reason, and one really feels spoilt for choice with some of the more interesting commentators airing their views – Rameez Raja, Arun Lal, Charu Sharma. Kris Srikanth is needed to complete the Dream Team, but he’s in Chennai, quizzing voters on elections for CNN-IBN. The commentary is in Hindi, after listening to Arun Lal and (I think) Madan Lal repeat several times over ten minutes that they can’t understand why Reetinder Singh Sodhi isn’t getting on with the game and that a top order batsman should have been sent if one had to consolidate, I give up on them and switch channels.

Anyway, the point of this post is this – …I HATE Hindi commentary. During Cricket, it is sometimes (SOMETIMES) bearable because the ex-cricketers usually know what they’re talking about. Then there are other times – particularly when we’re subjected to Hindi commentary during Football.

Why during Football? ESPN and Star Sports, in order to increase their mass base, supply two audio frequecies to supplement the video – one in Hindi and the other in English. The English commentary is from Sky Sports and features some of the best commentators in the business. They’re at the match, watching the game and aware of things happening off the ball. To add to that, a few of them are former players with in depth knowledge of the game and of the players, and aware of what has been happening prior to the game. They’re also comfortable enough joking about the game and the players, and voicing an opinion

On the other hand, the Hindi commentators are sitting in studios. Half the time, they end up commenting on what they see on screen and you really don’t need radio style commentary while watching the game. They have little to offer in terms of insight, and no awareness of the news. They mispronounce names, don’t really know enough to voice an opinion apart from general comments and sound terribly stressed. I can’t believe Aishwarya finds them funny.

Anyway, all this reasoning is secondary to the fact that I enjoy English commentary more, and politically incorrect though it is, I wouldn’t like to listen to Hindi commentary even if it was knowledgeable, funny and opinionated. Still, better knowledgeable, funny and opinionated Hindi commentary than what they have now.

I suppose this is yet another reason for our pro-22% reservation friend Harish to call me arrogant and elitist.

Anyway, does anyone know which channel will be showing the World Cup? Whoever it is, I sincerely hope they don’t have Hindi commentators.

I hereby wish that itching and sneezing powder rain down upon my cable operator and his employees, and on the operators at Siti Cable who change the audio to Hindi and then claim that they don’t know how to change it back to English.

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  1. Even I find Hindi commentary for EPL very irrelevant and funny. It is unfair on the commentators too. I guess both ESPN -Star and DD will be showing the world cup. World cup is one of the very few events which DD show well going by past record.

  2. Never – NEVER – underestimate the DD’s power to screw up. What time (IST) do you think the matches will be?

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