Saturday, 20 June 2009

DELIGHTFUL !

The highlights of the summer months in London are here.
They are Trooping the Colour parade which takes place every June ; to mark the Queen's official birthday and The Royal Ascot Horse Racing Festival, also in June.
After watching the Trooping of the Colour, several times , over the years , one would think I had seen enough of it. But the beautiful array of the troops and their horses in all their fine attires and colours, the music from their bands and the troops' intricate marching steps have never failed to fascinate and thrill me.
Most of the years past , because of time constraints, I chose to watch just snippets of the parade on TV but sometime I go to the parade ground , the Mall and Buckingham Palace on a fun-filled outing with friends and family.
It is a favourite outing for most people, especially children .
Usually there is a massive crowd at the parade and the Palace on such occassions; thousands of them are tourists from all over the world.
Last year,I was at the Parade grounds and the Mall to watch the parade and to cheer the troops and the Queen.
I had guests from outside England, so it was an excellent treat and sight-seeing for them and I enjoyed every bit of the atmosphere there.
Usually , the high points of the Parade for me are seeing the Queen and her carriage and seeing the Colonel Princess Royal, Princess Anne; all dressed up , on her magnificent horse, barking out parade orders at her men and then strutting majestically with elaborate gestures; saluting as she rode past the Queen's podium.
This year,the Queen was 83 and Trooping the Colour was last Saturday, June 13th while the Royal Ascot started on Sunday.
I watched both on TV from home and it was almost as good as been there.
The weather was gloriously sunny. It was a spectacular display , as usual, but it wasn't as exciting as being there, physically, in the thick of the action; with my camcorder!
Looking forward to next year's Parade.
Here is wishing Her Majesty, the Queen many happy returns of her big day and long may she reign. Amen.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Triumph of Talent

The results of this year's "Britain's Got Talent" competition, once again,showed that the ground is shifting in voting patterns and attitudes.
Each of the top three winners deserved to win the competition , although , Susan Boyle who was, deservedly, consistently tipped to clinch the title, came second.
The surprise was not that she didn't win; it was that she was given the recognition she deserved , by millions world wide, despite her age and looks.
At first sight, the judges and viewers took her for just another joker because of her age and looks. But when she started singing, everyone sat up and listened to her and were bowled over!
From then on,there was an avalanche of votes for Susan.
This is a very pleasant change not only in the British public voting pattern but worldwide,indeed! This is heartwarming.
Usually,a female contestant's age and physical attributes would decide how far she went in any competition !
The change is that people now vote, honestly and truthfully for the most talented acts instead sacrificing raw talent by voting on emotional and biased considerations.

Susan Boyle didn't win her show, but she won many hearts. Many doors are now open to her. I wish her the best and many years of joy and success. Amen.



Until recently, the voting trend had been for some contestants to be voted off before others, their excellent talents not withstanding:
First to go were the older contestants; "old" as in 30 years and above.
Next were, bald or short people, the freaks, jokers and the downright tuneless singers.
When push comes to shove ; on getting to the quarter final stage;the following would be likely to be voted off:
- over-weight people;
- black people
- Bible -thumbing persons or contestants who gave the slightest hint of strong religious inclinations.
Then in the semi-final and final stages; some people were definite goners, e.g.,
- very talented contestants who commit career hara kiri by being rude and aggressive to the Judges;
- popular contestants who had done well so far but ended up choosing the "wrong song ";
- contestants whom the Press decide to hound and dig up the dirt and scandals about them!
Talent - hunt competitions are held with big financial returns as the prime motive of the organisers.
In the critical final stage, when equally talented contestants vie for the crown; the chosen contestant would be the one with the "total package" that fits the look of a star , which will be acceptable to the CD buyers; i.e. majority of the general public.
At this final stage, apart from talent, phone-in voters have voted and still vote for the contestant's style, dress sense, hair, figure, face, skin tone , skin colour,stage performance and temperament.
In a TV show last week ,someone said Susan Boyle had no right having a voice like that with a face and a figure like that!
Over the years, many budding talents had been stifled due to unfair rejections by phone-in voters.
But the tide is turning and has been turning for many years now. Hope is rising indeed.
For those who have followed reality TV competitions in Great Britain,in the last six years, they would remember the delightful change that occurred when an extra curvy lady won the "X Factor" competition , some years back. I have forgotten her name .
She had a good dress sense which suited her figure,had a good-looking face and a warm and bubbly personality!
When I first saw her and heard her sing , I was very impressed by her voice and by her guts for coming forward to take part in the show. She was, apparently, one of the best top five in that show.
I felt sorry for her because I knew that despite her talent and pleasant personality , she stood the chance of butter in hell; because of her SIZE!
Although she had a fantastic voice ; but like Susan Boyle, she didn't "fit the picture" of a female Pop Star!
In fact NOBODY thought she would go beyond the preliminary stage.But voila! What a surprise! She went on to win the competition, in style!
However, despite her winning the"X Factor",not much success followed her debut CD.
Last year's "X Factor" winner, Alexandra Burke is a very beautiful dark-skinned woman and her winning song was the "Halleluyah Song"!
She had auditioned and had been rejected for the contest, three years before.



Hope rising , indeed. Who knows; maybe ,soon, you could get a pleasant surprise to see yours truly in the final of "X Factor",dressed up to the nines ,strutting some mean dance steps and belting out a winning song.
Singing in alto soprano and declaring to the whole world;"Arise thou that sleepest;arise in his power and his might. Repent today or you will surely perish! Halleluyah! Halleluyah!" WOW!
I can just hear the thunderous applause and see the votes flooding in! Amen.

It is indeed commendable that the whole world is speaking the truth with one voice and saying:" Let the best man or woman win!"; that people in their millions, now respect enduring talent and honest hard work and rate these far above fickle matters , like a human being's age, body and looks.
Surprise winners like Susan Boyle who break through the barrier of unjust prejudices are warming hearts; making one have faith that there is hope for the human race. Not only in shifting ground in voting patterns in reality TV shows or voting for a Black President in a predominantly White nation; but that millions world-wide are being bold enough to stand for all that is just and true.

In It ,To Win It

In every race , there are three distinct group of participants : * those who are in it for the sheer fun of being part of the race ; but ...