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RIP Richie Benaud: ‘From our broadcast box you can’t see any grass at all, it is simply a carpet of humanity’

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By Shilpika Srivastava

Richie Benaud once said, ‘My Mantra is – Put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up.’  Though, he lost the cancer battle, Benaud will always stay alive in the memories of cricket fanatics.

It was in November that he revealed that he was being treated for skin cancer.

Benaud, a pioneering leg-spin bowler, played in 63 tests, 28 as captain, before he called out for retirement in 1964 only to pursue a career in journalism & broadcasting.

First man to accomplish 2,000 runs and 200 wickets in Test matches, Benaud, in his entire cricket career, took 945 wickets in 259 first-class matches and made 11,719 runs, scoring 23 centuries at an average of 36.50.

‘Voice of Cricket’

Benaud, following the 1956 Ashes tour in England, completed a BBC course, which embarked his journey of a 40-year long association with the corporation.

With his first BBC radio commentary in 1960, he soon made an appearance on television. He also became the lead commentator on Australian television’s Channel Nine from 1977.

Benaud’s ground-breaking commentary, light delivery and striking appearance were affectionately parodied and imitated by cricket fans and comedians.

Remembered for one liners

Benaud’s witty, exceptionally sharp and perfectly-timed one-liners said during hundreds of One Day and Test cricket matches certainly make him much more than just a commentator. His few of the most famous one-liners are:

  •  ‘Marvellous…’ 
  •  ‘From our broadcast box you can’t see any grass at all, it is simply a carpet of humanity.’
  •  ‘The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss, at the right time.’
  •  His throw went absolutely nowhere near where it was going.
  •  That slow motion doesn’t show how fast the ball was traveling.

Indeed, Benaud’s legacy will live on in his quintessential one-liners. RIP Richie Benaud!

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BBC’s “Bollywood’s Dark Secret” speaks nothing

Anchor Rajini Vaidyanathan asks no hard-hitting questions. There is no answer to the crucial question: "why have Bollywood's casting-couch victims not come out with their experiences?"

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Apart from Radhika Apte holding forth in a British accent and Usha Jadhav speaking of her harrowing experience in a Marathi accent, the BBC's much-discussed documentary
BBC representational Image, wikimedia commons

Apart from Radhika Apte holding forth in a British accent and Usha Jadhav speaking of her harrowing experience in a Marathi accent, the BBC’s much-discussed documentary “Bollywood’s Dark Secret” says nothing that we haven’t already heard or seen.

Anchor Rajini Vaidyanathan asks no hard-hitting questions. There is no answer to the crucial question: “why have Bollywood’s casting-couch victims not come out with their experiences?”

Radhika Apte talks about men in Bollywood being as powerful as “Gods” whom no one would dare point a finger at. She isn’t doing it either. She has no personal story of exploitation to share.

Radhika Apte talks about men in Bollywood being as powerful as "Gods" whom no one would dare point a finger at. She isn't doing it either. She has no personal story of exploitation to share.
Radhika Apte, wikimedia commons

It’s all about others. Luckily for us, Usha Jadhav is not afraid to speak her mind. She speaks unabashedly about the man who abused her physically, touched her anywhere and everywhere, put his hand in her clothes.

But who was this man? I even asked Usha why she doesn’t want to name him.

“Because it wouldn’t be right,” she told me.

Right for whom?

Is this really what Bollywood has come to mean in the global arena’s “MeToo” campaign? Two actresses, one of whom is clearly talking about an out-of-body experience (all rhetorics and hypothesis suggesting she has never been through the casting couch), the other putting words to an experience that is too painful on recall and sounds more like a confession at a distress meeting in a sex clinic.

Beyond the truth about the symbiotic sexuality ingrained in Bollywood’s demand-and-supply mindset, there is the truth about the potential victim allowing herself to be exploited of her own free will.

Also Read: Rakhi Sawant Speaks up About Casting Couch

How free is that will which compels a girl to get on the casting couch voluntarily? The BBC documentary is not able to extricate Bollywood’s ‘Dark Secret’ from the clutches of cliches. It needed more muscle and heft to be persuasive. All we get is a couple of opinions swathed in vague rhetorics. No naming no shaming.

After watching the BBC’s sketchy account of the casting couch in Bollywood, I am more than ever convinced that the “MeToo” movement is far removed from our perception. The predators won’t stop, because there is no concerted will to stop them. (BollywoodCountry)