Thursday, March 31, 2011

We ain't got a clue

It was a game which had a lot of mistakes. MSD (as he told later) misread the pitch and included an extra seamer. And so as the game began - a lot many folks including myself were moaning and complaining about having an 11 with Nehra and Munaf - BOTH in it. Sad jokes were cracked throughout the day. And on the other hand - Pakistan created what is surely a genuine Guinness World Record of dropping SRT 4 times. FOUR TIMES. In the end - their mistake proved to be more costly as we posted a competitive total of 260 and then stiffled the Pakis to win it by 29 runs.
Sometimes - we get on the case of some players - far too much than justified. Yes, Munaf Patel is not Glenn Mcgrath. Yes, Ashish Nehra is not Wasim Akram. But -hey - they are part of the best 15 players we have got and so having a little faith would not be too bad. But our "intelligence" often comes in the way of faith as we moan and bitch far too much.
But then again - who doesn't love a pleasant surprise ? And so when these two dudes bowled a couple of wonderful spells - my bosses in the office came up with this - I thought it was very apt. So respect. And love. To the two LEGENDS !!!
For the record - THAT Munaf delivery to get the RAZZLER out was one from Venkatesh Prasad's stock. The leg-cutter to get the most dangerous of death over hitters in the game is the biggest highlight for me to add to the epic IndoPak World Cup moments collection.
This World Cup has been an epic journey for me. There is a lot - lot - to write. But will do that all after the finals. There is one last game to be played. Good Luck India. God-Speed.
PS: Hey Pakistan. The score is FIVE AND O. Yeah 5-0. PAANCH. Ok.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tough Match

There was very little sleep last night. Got up and started working from 5 am to cut the tension. Not very useful. Read this absolutely delightful post from Sidvee on the bus. Mood improved a little. Had some yellow coloured Semige Bath for breakfast. Yellow being the key here.
To give an analogy, the last time I was this tense was on the day of my CA Finals Result. Anyone who has ever become a CA will tell you exactly how nervous one gets on that day. But then again, one can give the exam 6 months down the line, here - today could be Sachin's last World Cup match. There is no turning back from here. As the Indian Express Headline said - It's like death - you don't want to talk or think about it - but when that nasty thought comes.......
Worked very little, full tension about the match. Then it all started, with well of course, MSD losing the toss. Aussies batting first - Brisbane, Mumbai, Oval, Jo'burg - now Motera too - Damn. But well bowled overall - but pRicky scores yet another hundred against us. In a big game. Don't like him - but he is too good. What to do ?
Back home by 6.45 - first ball I watch and there is a referral against Sehwag. Close call but he survives. What follows is the chase of a lifetime. Sachin - Mt 18K, Gambhir - 2 mins of madness. But hey Water Boy was on fire !! Yes, he "fished" outside the offstump a lot, but boy did he and Raina finish it off. We will have new World Champions. "Aussie kee taisi" and all that. Yes - don't like most of their bunch - but respect (probably because I am in a good mood) to Pwnting, BLEE and Mr Cricket. What players.
Next up - Pakistan. But for now, we live to fight another day.


Monday, March 21, 2011

It all ends this Thursday

India vs Australia is NOT the quarter final match up I was looking for. We have not beaten them in a world cup match since 1987. We have come close though - a 1 run defeat in 1987, a 1 run defeat in 1992, a 10 run defeat in 1996. But after that the gap has grown - a 77 run defeat in 1999, followed by two massive defeats in 2003 - a 9 wicket loss early in the tournament and then  the 125 run defeat in the finals.
Given how poorly India have bowled and fielded and batted in the latter part of their innings in the Group Stages - it is hard to expect a win. Given our dismal record against the Aussies in the world cup, it makes it even more difficult. We have beaten them in big games before though over the years - The Titan Cup matches, Sharjah 1998,  Dhaka, 1998, Nairobi 2000, the Tri Series win down under in 2008 to give a few. Few and far between yes, but we can do it on a given day.
If we are to lose though, I want the team to go down swinging. Like Sachin in The Desert Storm.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Naama-Sutraa

[Disclaimer: This post is an utter waste of time and space. Read forward only if you have a LOT of time to kill. This was written on some day when I was a bit "mental", but now that it is in my drafts - I am posting it anyway.]
About 9 or 10 months ago, I had come to Bangalore in the company of the great Anand Radhakrishnan (when I was still living in Mangalore) apparently for only speaking on a random topic for 2 minutes. And then  they asked me to speak on: "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying". I had no clue that this was a famous quote from a certain Ralph Emerson and the phrase was actually a positive one. I spoke some shit (there is a Youtube video of that apparently but please do me a favour and don't watch it) and came back from the stage and the first reaction I had was - Oh ! I could have cracked a few Navjot Singh Sidhu jokes - he certainly is a loud personality and most of the time I can't hear what he is saying.
Identity and personality can be tricky to establish as this dialogue sequence from the most awesomely awesome Tropic Thunder shows
Kirk Lazarus: I know who I am! I'm a dude playing a dude disgused as another dude!
Kevin Sandusky: What?
Kirk Lazarus: You're a dude that don't know what dude he is!
Tugg Speedman: Or are you a dude who has no idea what dude he is and claims to know what dude he is...
Jeff Portnoy: What the fuck are you guys talking about?
Tugg Speedman: - by playing other dudes?
Haha.....

But let's leave aside all these deeper, philosophical thoughts about identity and personality and just focus on simpler thing such as names.
If people around the world would also have been as obsessed about our "bhalo naam" (Good name) and "daak naam" (Pet name) concept, some famous dialogues/ quotes might just have been a little different:
William Shakespeare would have written:
"What's in a good name?
That which we call a rose
By any other good name would smell as sweet."
Ian Fleming's super agent would introduce himself as :
The good name's Bond.... James Bond.
And the man known as The Gladiator would have said this to Commodus: “My good name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance...."
Then again all these are foreigners who know little about Indian culture and language. What pisses is me of is the lack of common sense on the part of Indian film directors - Why shouldn't the famous hit song be called - My good name is Anthony Gonsalves ......  And why o why is the Karan Johar movie not called - My good name is Khan........Had he told the blokes at the airport - Mera Bhalo Naam Rizwaan Khaan haai - they would have immediately identified him as the bloke who is pretending to be a Bong as the owner of KKR but is actually an actor but certainly not a terrorist.
Let's face it - we Indians take our names extremely seriously. The good name part of it at least. Pundits and priests determine what would be the first letter for a kid's name - no less. One of my friends had a son and it was determined that his name was to start with a "Y". As we were working in the IT industry, I suggested the name "Yahoo!" very enthusiastically, but it was not really met with much appreciation.
The only movie that gets this apparently simple but complex issue spot on is The Namesake. An exceptional movie which talks about identity and names. The Good and the Nick(or Nikhil) part of it, if you know what I mean.
And one last thing - having a good "good name" is not good enough. The spelling has to be just right as well. No wonder people are changing Ks and Cs, adding the extra H here, the extra K there and the extra I somewhere in between. But it is still all very confusing. When I read this link some time back from @supriyan . Granted he is a dictator and a very powerful man, but having 29 (and counting) different versions of your spelling is a bit much I think.
So come on now - tell me what is your 'Daak Naam' ? What is your 'Bhalo Naam' ? Do you have a namesake ?
For the record - they call me Babuntoo at home.

Monday, March 7, 2011

But can Sachin score on a cold, wet night at Stoke ?

As Sachin Tendulkar continues to score more runs, his tally now standing at a not too insignificant amount of over 32,000 runs in international cricket, his critics on the internet also just seem to keep rising. For example, just a couple of days ago, the editor of a business newspaper of India was blunt enough to suggest that Sachin is just a selfish player. And when compared to him, Sreesanth at least fields.
And last night, this random bloke called abhility asked a very pertinent question. He tweeted that while it is all very well for Sachin to score a few runs here and there - Can he score on a cold, wet night at Stoke ? It is to be noted that world famous football commentator and champion of sexism, Andy Gray has often raised similar doubts on Lionel Messi's ability to perform on a cold, wet night at Stoke.
On being reminded by several Sachin followers that Stoke is not a cricket team and that Sachin had scored a century at Old Trafford -which is good enough - for most football fans - abhility replied that the Stoke challenge is far more significant given the fact that it is widely believed that Stoke also play a game which is not football. It is also to be noted that there is a long held belief among several pundits led by the Big Sam Allardyce, that Sachin is known to not like it up him. A well directed two handed beamer from Rory Delap should be good enough to take care of the little fella. And as a final point in his argument - it was said that Sachin Tendulkar was only 2 years old when Tony Pulis, the Stoke City coach, made his professional debut.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why I can't dance Saala

Among the vast number of "life-skills" that I suck at - for eg - cooking, painting, writing (or hand-writing to be more precise), driving, speaking and so on - dancing has to be on the top of the list. I am not putting singing on this list, because as I have mentioned in this post, had I been not cruelly cut short as a kid, my singing career could have gone places.
But coming back to dancing, and I am the type of person, who makes Sunny Deol look like Hrithik Roshan. And Sourav Ganguly as Prabhu Deva. The song Pappu can't dance Saala could well have been written about me... Other than the spectacular, muscular part of it.
And so while I have outwardly pretended to not care about this particular shortcoming of mine and dismissed any picture taken of mine at attempted dancing - as random movements of my various body parts under the influence of mild alcoholic beverages, I would be lying to say that it has not bothered me. Not too much to lose sleep for nothing bothers me that much, but just enough to cringe within when seeing these reality dance shows. Or watching friends dance at parties.
So when I came across this link on Google News today, I learnt a scientific explanation of why some people can't dance well. Quoting from the article here:
"...Large changes in a chemical messenger, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is partly to blame for those among us who are clumsy dancers and unable to grasp the nuances of this form of art, claims a new study.
........
Scientists found the proportion of the substance GABA tends to rise and fall dramatically in brains of people who are good at learning sequences of movements.
However, the level of the chemical is more stable in those who have trouble with the task at hand..."
So there I have it - while Dada could conquer the Gabba, his GABA factor is far too stable to make him a good dancer. Or me, for that matter.
On that point, here's a #youremember video to make you smile hopefully. Or cringe.

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