Wǒ xiànzài zài xué Zhōngwén.

That basically means I am learning Mandarin. No, it’s not because I’m moving to Shanghai, or because I think Mandarin is someday going to rival English as a business language. It’s just that if I don’t switch to the Chinese ATP feed, from the English feed – with Brit commentators – we get in India, I’ll go off tennis forever.

What is it with these Brit commentators? I agree, Murray is a great player. But enough with the frigging hero-worship already. Sample this snippet from an imaginary Gonzalez-Roddick match (and it’s true of every other match today) :

Phil: ….and what an outstanding return of serve from Roddick…look at that angle! And Gonzo’s got to it with a spectacular forehand passing shot down the line. What a superb athlete he is…always making his opponent play the extra ball….

John: Yes, Phil. And you know who else can play so brilliantly?

Phil: Yes, John. Andy Murray. Such a sublime player. Such a complete player. And what a magnificent athlete he is. Truly a delight to watch.

John: Right you are, Phil. And a very thinking player as well. He reads the ball so well, Andy Murray does. I think we’re looking at a future Number 1…

Phil: Indeed, John. And dare I say it….the Wimbledon champion this year?

John: He does have what it takes….

During this time, Gonzo’s smashed rackets (twice), a streaker has run out on court (once) and Roddick has had a shouting match with the umpire over a disputed line-call (again)……but those damned Brit commentators are still going on about Murray!

Phil: Yes, I think Murray could even win the US open….

And so on….it’s enough to make me want to throw up. I thought it was the Indians who desperately look for heroes, especially in the realm of sports…..seems the Brits aren’t far behind. They’ve also done this in Formula 1, all of last year, when Golden Arse Hamilton could do no wrong. This year, thankfully, like water, Hammy Boy’s found his level and so we get to hear a lot less about him. It helps that the commentators have actually found a likeable Brit who’s winning, and have shifted allegiance en masse! So now, instead of breathless paeans to Hamilton, we have orgasmic odes to Jenson Button.

Not only do the Brits seem desperate for sports heroes, it’s almost as if they’ve learnt the Art of Irrelevant Commentary from what Hindi cricket commentary used to be, even during TV’s early days: “jee hahn, darshakon mein bahut hi harsho-ulhas, kaphi sankhya main yahan darshak moujood, outfield kaphi hara-bhara hain, match bahut hi romanchak sthithi main…… AUR YE OUT!……”.

Quickly followed by a commercial break.

Huh? Out? Who? What? How?

Quite clearly, Mandarin is the way to go!

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