Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First individual gold medal for india ..... ever

Some Olympic commentary: An Indian won this country's first individual gold medal in the Olympics yesterday. (No, not Amartya, at least not yet.) In the past, the field hockey team had won multiple times (while this year's team didn't even qualify). This gives you an idea about the role of sport and physical fitness here. Looking "prosperous" is still valued, and physical work is done by those who must do it to survive. It is downright dangerous to go for a walk on many streets, let alone think about a jog.

Coverage of the Olympics is quite different here than in the US. There is close to around the clock coverage on one channel, with commentary in English and Hindi. In terms of quality, let's just say that sports broadcasters in the US do NOT need to worry about their jobs being outsourced to India. I haven't missed the rah rah attitude of the US sportscasters, but I would like to see more of what is happening. What gets displayed seems quite random other than the obvious preference for sports where there are Indians competing, which has its charm -- when would you ever get to see Brazilian gymnasts in the US? -- but I feel like I'm missing a lot, such as the Chinese and American gymnasts, for example.

Amartya, on the other hand, is enthused by the badminton. Here is a shot of him playing with the Nepalese cook from our guest house.

Also, some updates on my views of the Hyderabad airport. After spending the night in a small part of the airport after our international arrival, in the early a.m. we dragged all our luggage outside and then upstairs to the connecting domestic departure area (what had been closed to us the night before). The airport itself is actually quite attractive, and the departure area has nice restaurants, stores, and the like -- what one would expect for a brand new international airport. The architecture was quite interesting, much more than that of the also spanking new Bangalore (or Bengaluru) airport, which is a functional box -- certainly an improvement from the previous airport, which seemed like an overgrown bus station, but still lacking the interesting curves of the Hyderabad airport. Both of them are too small for a growing India.

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