• A few of my British colleagues introduced me to Eurovision  just before the semifinals started this year. I was quite surprised that I have never heard of this contest before. When something has been going on from the last 50 years, you are bound to hear about it sometime. My faith in my “already gone to the dogs” general knowledge was yet again shaken and stirred. Anyways, Eurovision is a song competition in which all the active members of the European Broadcasting Union participate.

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Right now, EBU spans 75 broadcasting organizations from 56 countries. Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television. People from all the countries vote for their favorite songs. You can’t vote for your own country. 😉 The program broadcasts each year since its inception in 1956 and is the most watched non sporting event in the world. Believe me, the statistics are mind boggling! An estimated 100-600 million people watch the show. 

Eurovision_Song_Contest_2009_logoThis year’s Eurovision was held in Moscow and was a bit special. 42 countries participated this year with 25 countries reaching the finals. You can watch the 25 entries that made it to the finals here. The contest was finally won by 23 year old Alexander Rybak from Norway for his song “Fairytale”. The song was written and composed by him and Alexander won by a whooping 387 points, the highest ever in the 50+ year history of the Eurovision contest.

UK somehow managed to bag the fifth spot, which was very good(according to my colleagues here) because the country has been on a downslide from the past few years. I was a little taken aback when I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber playing the piano while Jade Ewen sang “Its my time”. That is when the enormity of the contest hit me. 🙂

“Fairytale” is a beautiful song and it has that old world charm. If you listen to all the 25 finalists, this one stands apart. I personally also liked Croatia’s entry “Lijepa Tena” for its “Kaun hai jo”-ish tune from Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan and Germany’s “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang” for obvious reasons. 😉 Do watch this performance by the 23 year old winner:

  • Besides the usual popcorn flicks like XMen Origins(3/5), StarTrek(4/5) and Angels & Demons(2/5) I saw quite a few noteworthy movies last month. Dances with Wolves was one such movie. When I finished watching the movie, I realized what an Idiot I was for not watching it earlier. It has been lying in my laptop from almost a year now. 😐 Beautifully shot, its a story of a Civil War-era United States Army lieutenant who is sent to an American Frontier to find a military post. The story evolves around with his friendship with the local Sioux tribe. Most of the dialogues are in Lakota language. Do watch this movie if you haven’t seen it yet. Another notable movie was the German movie titled Das Leben der Anderen(The lives of Others). Its the story of a Stasi agent named Wiesler in East Germany of 1984. He is assigned to spy on a playwright named Georg Dreyman, who is a suspect because of his Western contacts. The movie has a very interesting screenplay and the end is just perfect. A must watch!

 Dances_with_Wolves_posterthe lives of others

  • Now since this is one of those I-will-blabber posts , The Great Indian elections left me with mixed feelings. I was expecting nothing less than a 90% turnout in Delhi and Mumbai because of what both the cities have gone through the past year and because of the ubiquitous Lead India initiative but the results were shocking. Somehow the Delhi crowd is too smart. They knew that even if its a 10% turnout, no one would ever let BJP win. So there. But, yes, it somehow made one thing very clear. The average citizen is tired. Tired of the foolery they are subjected to now and then.
  • Well, in the end, some good news from my own life. No I am not getting married. 😐 Be a little less predictable. 😛 Ok. Here goes. I was awarded the Blog-o-laureate award by Arpit a few days back. Thanks Arpit for considering me for the honour!

Blogo laureate2Also, I got my own Ipod Touch and Camera. Something very funny happened with my IPod touch after a month it was purchased. A thin horizontal line started appearing on the screen, which made me instantly sweat. I went to the nearest Apple store and they asked me to take an appointment. 😐 Appointment?!?

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Anyways, I took the next day’s appointment and reached there 10 minutes late. The appointment was missed and the chewing gum chewing blonde asked me to fix an appointment for the next day! I grabbed her it for the next day and was there on time. Phew! I was expecting that the technical staff would have a look and probably keep the Ipod to find out what the problem was. Instead the guy looked at it for a few seconds, plugged it into his Mac and checked it again and coolly told me that he will be giving me a new piece. I stared at him for a good 10 seconds. And then ladies and gentlemen, I came back home with a brand new Ipod. 😉 It is definitely the coolest application made by Homo Sapiens. 

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And, about my camera…well all of you have seen the results! All the flowers in my previous post were shot by it. If you still want to have a look, click here.
And now with great sadness, I announce the end of this blabber post. Over and Out!

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About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

50 Comments

  1. dkonchin May 20, 2009 at 10:56 am - Reply

    150 mil spent. what a show.

    • Amit May 21, 2009 at 1:07 am - Reply

      Hehe! What do you say about the Olympics then? 🙂

  2. hitchwriter May 20, 2009 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    well well… I need to see that movie too !! sounds really interesting… !!! dances with the wolves.. !

    btw dont know if its any consolation but i didnt know bout this eurovision either… so its news to me too… not that i m very good at my GK… lol

    • Amit May 21, 2009 at 1:08 am - Reply

      Yes its very good and there is a reason why the movie has that name. See it and you will know. 🙂
      Yes, I am sure many people haven’t heard of it. Haha! You are my poor GK brother! 😛

  3. Anand May 20, 2009 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Any review for Angels & Demons? Must be better than Da Vinci Code

    • Amit May 21, 2009 at 1:09 am - Reply

      I did not like it. It deviated too much from the book. And Da Vinci Code was an ultimate disaster. I could never understand how it worked!

  4. Final_Transit May 20, 2009 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Amit!

    I didn’t know about Eurovision until few years ago too. I usually like to watch the finalists because many songs are cool and have local flavors. This video is very nice and the 3 guys doing tricks in the background was interesting!

    Its nice that you got a new iPod. Apple guys will usually do that. That reminds me to run to a Mac store shortly as my warranty runs out and I need a new battery. 🙂

    Appointments, yeah. Even if you want to fix your bicycle (I had to change my break wire once), you will probably need an appointment and deposit your bike there for few hours!

    cheers, Priyank

    • Shefaly May 21, 2009 at 3:02 am - Reply

      Everybody needs an appointment at the Genius Bar. Everybody.

  5. Final_Transit May 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Oh as if my long comment above was not sufficient, I just checked the map in your post. It’s wrong. South/North Korea is not a part of eurovision. They are only broadcast partners just like India, Canada, US, Australia. 🙂

    • Amit May 21, 2009 at 1:24 am - Reply

      Yes, the songs in the finals were good. I really liked this song. Such simple words and beautifully woven.
      Appointments are good in a way. At least you don’t have to stand in a line to wait for your turn.

      I took the map from Wiki. Yeah! Maybe its for the broadcast partners.

  6. Reema May 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Oooh that Ipod and camera look cool!! kuch onsite ka save bhi kar raha hai ki bas hawa hawai ?:P 😛

    • Amit May 21, 2009 at 1:29 am - Reply

      hehe! Save bhi kar raha hoon. Ghar se bahar thode hi nikalna hai. Mere mata pita mujhe disown kar denge warna. 😛

  7. Shefaly May 21, 2009 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Amit

    You missed the Eurovision tweet fest I am guessing. @VBoykis’s interpretations were side-splitting. Eurovision is a celebration of kitsch and until this year controlled totally by political voting which meant UK got nul-points many times. Voting changed this year which explains why we got points (aside of huge PR and ALW’s popularity).

    Nice to see you are experiencing the British life in full 🙂

    Now armed with the camera, make the most of the bank holiday coming up.

    • Amit May 21, 2009 at 3:23 am - Reply

      Oh yes! I read a few of your tweets though but I was too late. 🙁
      Also, I was told that since the inception of the contest a lot of countries have split into smaller countries and most of the time these smaller chunks end up voting for each other. When the contest started in the 50s, only 12 countries participated and this year there were 40+ countries.
      Yes, I am going to the Lake district and then probably to Blackpool. 🙂 I hope that the weather will hold. How the hell do the people plan their weekends here? The rains can completely ruin everything.

  8. Ava May 21, 2009 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Very interesting to hear about the Eurovision. I will try to catch some of the videos.. Saw one.

    Where are you located?

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:34 am - Reply

      You can catch up with the finals on the BBC3 site. I am in Manchester. 🙂

  9. Vijaya Bharat May 21, 2009 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Me too dont know about Euro vision 🙁 You introduced it to me 😉 Logo of it is damn good man.

    How much GB your ipod is of ? I already heard this kind of exchange stories from my friends in Sweden & US. So I expected what is going to happen to you before finishing itself 🙂

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Ah! One more! Thank the Lord! 😛
      My Ipod is of 8 GB and yeah the exchange story was surprising. To me at least! 🙂

  10. Liju Philip May 21, 2009 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I have seen the Eurovision competition a few times here in Singapore too when it was telecast. Since iam not a TV guy, i didnt continue. But i liked it more than American Idol. Mainly because there is a lot of native language songs in it.

    Apple is good at doing 1 to 1 exchanges, but honestly its service sucks. Somehow inspite of its pathetic customer service, it survives. I have personal experience as we have lots of Mac products used in our organisation and honestly Apple and HP give me nightmares when i have to call them up for some issue.

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:38 am - Reply

      Many people like it more that the AI! Its like listening to half of the world singing although I would be very happy if the singer from each country would sing in his/her native language.
      I have no idea about Apple’s customer service. I just ran towards the nearest store! 🙂

  11. kanagu May 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    never heard about Eurovision …. seems to be interesting… your ipod and cam were cool… dances with wolves… is in my watch list.. have to see it 🙂

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:40 am - Reply

      That’s all right Kanagu! You can find a lot of never-heard-of-Eurovision chums here! 😛
      Yes, do see that movie. It won the Oscar in the 90s or 80s I guess.

  12. Nita May 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Amit, I always enjoy your I-will-blabber posts! 🙂 And I have never heard of Eurovision or whatever either and I doubt whether many people in India have. No need to feel bad about it!
    As for the voting, actually I think there was increased voting in many placed. the Delhi crowd i think is more politically aware and not just bothered about taking a break when its holiday time!

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:44 am - Reply

      Thanks Nita! Although its not very flattering when people like your blabbering. 🙂 I though you must have heard of it. Now I am feeling quite ok. Cheerful actually. 🙂
      Yes, there was an increase in voting at a lot of places but Delhi and Mumbai were the last places which I could have imagined to have such a low voting %.

  13. Smitha May 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I first heard about Eurovision last year – with all the furore about how Britain always performs badly in it and some issues with the voting.. This time’s winner is sure interesting!

    And you got a brand new IPOD! WOW!

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:47 am - Reply

      Thankfully, Britain did quite well this time. And yes, some of the songs were quite awful but some of them were really good. I specially liked Croatia.
      Yeah! Thanks! Its a big wow! 🙂

  14. Smita May 21, 2009 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    wow!!! thats some customer care….In India even if your product is in guarantee period you have to beg/ fight & argue to get your rights.

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:49 am - Reply

      Haha! Yes! Although I had to make three rounds because of the appointment hassle. 🙂

  15. dinu May 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    vow ! ipod touch and nice camera !! lucky dude !! 😀 congrats !

    I should watch that video again, flash is screwed on this ubuntu laptop now 😀

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Thanks Dinu!
      Do watch the whole show if you can. Its on BBC.

  16. Leah May 22, 2009 at 1:09 am - Reply

    I heard the winner singing on Oprah last week and she was amazing! I liked this competition so much better than American Idol. 😀

    • Amit May 22, 2009 at 3:53 am - Reply

      HI Leah! Welcome to my blog!
      Thats great. I could not find the video on the internet. Maybe it will take some time to find its way into it. 🙂

  17. Kido May 22, 2009 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Congrats on the award, the ipod & the camera 🙂

    And sorry for the delay… Wasn’t around for quiet sometime…

    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:22 am - Reply

      Thank you! Hey! Its all right! Even I am not around most of the time. 🙂

  18. Ashish May 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Bah! Not even all the lame musicians in the world can stop the power of sabbath! 😛

    Well, in the end, some good news from my own life. No I am not getting married.
    Nah, I thought you had your pr0n film ready for release. I guess no… 😛

    Good to see you’re alive *ahem* *cough*

    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:25 am - Reply

      Ask Sabbath to take a bath! 😛 This guy is good. 😛
      No, I am not acting in them anymore. I am alive but busy busy busy! 🙁
      And how are you????

  19. kanagu May 24, 2009 at 2:30 pm - Reply
    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:25 am - Reply

      Thanks Kanagu! Will do!

  20. Vee May 25, 2009 at 4:27 am - Reply

    No mention of Britain’s Got Talent??? What do you have to say of Susan. My absolute favs are Diversity.

    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:27 am - Reply

      Yes, I am quite a big fan of Susan. She was a big surprise. Even Paul Potts.
      I think Eurovision is on a much bigger than BGT.

  21. Solilo May 25, 2009 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Your appointment with Apple reminded me of how I got my brand new video camera years ago. 😀 Congrats!

    I liked Da Vinci Code, book as well as movie. I know a rarity. Only 2/5 for Angels and Demons? Hmm…I am yet to watch that.

    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:28 am - Reply

      Which brand was that?
      Thanks! 🙂
      Well, I think Da Vinci Code was a very bad movie. Somehow it killed the book and the same goes for A&D. Somehow, you can’t create a movie out of a book having such a large scale.

  22. Indian Homemaker May 26, 2009 at 9:32 am - Reply

    You new toys look great and it is amazing that they actually let you have a new one!!The only time I have seen this happen earlier is when I got a new Netgear Router when the older one stopped working in less than two years 🙂

    And the election results – I read somewhere, there are more number of voters when the election are for change, if we want he same government than voter turnout maybe poor….not sure how true that is though. But I have been reading post after post of bloggers I did not even know cared, ‘skipping to the fridge to get some ice cream and then remembering why the mood is so good’ 😉
    So it seems a lot of us feared BJP coming to power!

    • Amit May 27, 2009 at 2:31 am - Reply

      Well, its my money. Isn’t it?? 🙂
      I think that is what happened with Delhi. I am not sure about Mumbai though. People in Delhi just knew the outcome even before they voted. It was like an invisible wave sweeping over everyone.

  23. Destination Infinity May 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Wow that song breathes freshness and life!! Thanks for putting it up here, I was curious to listen to it after listening to news but this is the first time I am actually listening to it. And tell me one more thing, is listening to songs from an ipod better than listening from your cellphone (like nokia, SE etc)?

    I think we should have such a contest within India too. There are some gem of songs in each state and I am sure we will all get to know ourselves better. And the idea of not voting for your country is very good…. refreshing from some song shows we have on TV!!

    Destination Infinity

    • Amit May 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      Yes and if you listen to all the songs in the contest, this one stands apart.
      Listening to songs in Ipod is definitely better because the sound quality is better. And then its THE Apple! 🙂
      Such a contest in India would be great but I am not sure if the people will be interested. 🙂

  24. Harsh May 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Congrats for the award … and that camera looks really great …. especially when all those excellent pictures were shot by it …. 😉

    • Amit May 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks Harsh! Yes, the camera is great. Its exactly what I wanted. 🙂

  25. R.D.B. May 30, 2009 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Came here just surfing the blogs and I really liked ur picture post and this one 🙂
    Summer is finally here. Take some gud pics with ur camera and post another pic post.

    n Yeah Congratulations on ur Award.

    • Amit May 31, 2009 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks and Welcome to my blog! 🙂
      Aye aye! Another picture post on the way! 🙂

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