Although I am not generally a huge sports fan, I like playing but I am not a big fan of watching sports on TV, I have gotten into the IPL (Indian Premier League). The Indian 20/20 Cricket league. Cricket matches traditionally last days but 20/20 cricket is a shortened form of the game in which each team only bowls (throws) 20 overs (an over is 6 balls thrown by one bowler (pitcher)). Thus a game of 20/20 lasts about the same amount of time as a game of baseball. This type of game results in more 6ers (when a batter hits a ball out of the oval (field)-think home run) and more 4s (when the batter hits the ball out of the oval on the ground (it touches the field before bouncing or rolling out). This is because batters will take more risks in a 20/20 game, since they have a more limited number of balls being bowled (pitched) to them. This of course also means batters get out faster: the ball is caught by a fields person before it touches the ground, the ball touches the wickets before the batter can get there (think base when I say wicket) etc. This makes the game more exciting (in my opinion) and helps those of us who have short attention spans (I cannot watch a single game for 3 days).
In the IPL may Indian cities have teams: Mumbai Indians, Delhi Dare Devils, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad). There are 8 teams in total. So people cheer for their home state or the team of their cities like baseball in the US. Although the season is much shorter here (a bit more then a month). For more info on 20/20 Cricket see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty20
This year because of the elections the whole 20/20 season (called a tournament) is taking place in South Africa instead of India, so while it is a big TV watching event, there are no matches to go to. There was fear that the IPL and the elections would disrupt each other and with India on a high terror alert because of the elections, their was a fear that the games would be a terrorist target. (Fyi: Indian elections take place in phases and last about a month). I guess I will have to come back next year to go to a live game
In other news (I mean this literally since the newspapers are dominated by two things right now- 20/20 and the Elections), Bombay went to the polls this past Thursday to vote for their local representative to the Lok Sab and thus vote for Prime Minister. This years turnout in Bombay was considered low because their was only a 43 or 45% turnout. As an American I thought that was pretty good, but here that's considered a really bad turnout, about 60% is considered good. The low turnout was blamed on the fact that the Bombay election phase occurred right before a three day weekend. 4 day weekend if you include election day (when offices are closed). But low turnout was also blamed on confusion at election stations where people's names were not on lists or there were issues with their ID etc. In any case the election results will have to wait until May 16th when the results for all of the phases of polling are announced.
The other exciting development is that I have begun taking Bollywood dance classes, for fun. Having never taken dance classes, it has been fun to learn the steps to popular songs, and you will never know when this could come in handing during my non-existent Bollywood carrier.
This is what I am currently learning: