Friday, November 15, 2013

Sachin: The Immortal of India

“His life was gentle, and the elements so mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up and say to the entire world, This was a man”

– Shakespeare

Sachin’s career can be divided into two eras: pre ‘99 and post ‘99. During most of the ‘90s, he was a one man army when batting and a man with golden arms when bowling. Post 99’ era, the likes of Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman shared the onus of the Indian batting line up.

[The initial days of Sachin post ’99 era were marked with tennis elbow injury. He subsided his usual aggression and stopped coming down to the pitch to launch projectiles of sixes destined for apogee. He began to rely more on placements and boundaries. He also experimented with his batting position by coming down the order. The losing streak of the team India aggravated the situation. These events resulted in some aficionados turning fans and some fans turning critics. I can put a wager that there was not a single critic of Sachin in pre ’99 era. ]

As they say, childhood memories are most savoring therefore following are the two special memories of pre ’99 era:-

1. An indelible memory of Sachin would be the semi-final innings of 141 against Australia at Sharjah in 1998. On that day, he was like a kamikaze waiting to explode. The two sixes off Michael Kasprowicz at deep mid wicket boundary and that coupled with euphonic commentary of Tony Grieg set the tone for an amazing match. Dancing down to the pitch to hit Warne’s googly over the top with a puckish straight bat was a feast for the eyes. For the first time, Aussies saw the fearlessness hidden under that 5 ft 5” minuscule body.

2. Another indelible memory of Sachin would be the hysteria that enveloped me after the defeat in the 1996 World Cup semi-finals against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens. I remember when my Dad, an ardent cricket follower, optimistically stopped me from bursting strings of Lady bomb after India won the Quarter Finals against Pakistan. I vividly remember his words-“Don’t for Semi Finals against Sri Lanka”. [On that day] Sachin’s batting was a treat to watch when he hit every bowler down to the ground. He was batting in full zeal when obliviously he got stumped on 63 while sweeping Murlidharan. After his dismissal, the ball started taking 180 degree turn and the whole team fell like a pack of cards. Moment of grief struck my sinking heart, aggravated by Kamli’s uncontrollable pooling from the tear glands. I swear, I would have painted the town red with my Lady bombs had India won.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

General Election 2014- Prognosis

No States No of cons. B.J.P I.N.C
1 Andhra Pradesh 42 1 12
2 Arunachal Pradesh 2 1 1
3 Assam 14 5 7
4 Bihar 40 15 0
5 Chhattisgarh 12 9 2
6 Goa 2 2 0
7 Gujarat 26 22 4
8 Haryana 10 1 5
9 Himachal Pradesh 4 3 1
10 Jammu & Kashmir 6 1 2
11 Jharkhand 14 8 2
12 Karnataka 28 10 16
13 Kerala 20 0 8
14 Madhya Pradesh 29 24 5
15 Maharastra 48 15 15
16 Manipur 2 0 1
17 Meghalaya 2 0 2
18 Mizoram 1 0 0
19 Nagaland 1 0 1
20 Orrisa 21 1 4
21 Punjab 13 2 4
22 Rajasthan 25 20 5
23 Sikkim 1 0 0
24 Tamil Nadu 39 0 3
25 Tripura 2 0 2
26 Uttrakhand 5 4 1
27 Uttar Pradesh 80 30 10
28 West Bengal 42 0 5
1 Andaman & Nicobar 1 1 0
2 Chandigarhr 1 0 0
3 Dadar & Nagar Haveli 1 1 0
4 Daman & Diu 1 1 0
5 Delhi 7 5 2
6 Lakshadweep 1 0 1
7 Pondicherry 1 0 0
Total 545 182 121

Note :- As of July 2013 before the anointment of Narendra Modi as PM candidate of BJP.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I will never forgive Tendulkar

I will never forgive you for reddening my palm during India vs Australia final at Sharjah (1998). I was only 11 year old.

I will never forgive you for keeping me awake till 3 am just to watch your boring cover drives and stupid straight drives during Toronto cup (late 90’s). I had to go to school next day.

I will never forgive you for playing with MRF bats. I had spent months of my pocket money buying a stupid heavy bat labeled MRF.

I will never forgive you for trusting your team-mates (to score 17 runs) after getting out on 136 vs Pakistan at Chepauk (1999). India lost the match by 12 runs.

I will never forgive you for your blatant show off of Patriotism during 1999 world cup. It had been only two days since your father passed away and you came back and scored 140* against Kenya.

I will never forgive you for walking without protest after being adjudged SBW-Shoulder Before Wicket, during India vs Australia test series (2000). You didn’t learn anything from Gavaskar.

I will never forgive you for the indelible moment of sixes off Akhtar and Caddick during the 2003 world cup. I have only one brain with limited memory.

I will never forgive you for being the first man on the planet to score a double century. I lost a wager that if anyone could score then it would be Sehwag.

I will never forgive you for not reacting to criticisms and let your bat do the talking with records recorded for posterity.

I will never forgive you for preserving your dignity and integrity in the shower of money, when cricketers were stripped of their respect in the chalice of avarice in 2000.

I will never forgive you for holding the Titan cup in your hand wearing a white cap. I have always preferred MRF in your hand with blue on your head.

And lastly, I will never forgive you for retiring from cricket. God never retires.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Movie Review- Ye Jawani Hai Deewani

There is Siddharth Mallya and then there is Ranbir Kapoor; both born to purple and inherited DNA of great potential. The former is an unmitigated disaster while the latter has signature of class and stamp of authority. Ranbir Kapoor arrived in the industry with a towel carrying an onus of huge expectations of the Kapoor lineage. Since then he has grown leaps and bounds, and has now reached a height where everything he does appears natural and effortless. It’s incredible how much of talent is stored in his 6 foot framework. In his entire but short oeuvre, he has already turned into a poster boy of young India, blazing a trail for others to follow. Girls adore him while guys imitate. He set the trend of photography in Wake Up Sid (Cannon & Nikon should be grateful to him for the surge in the sale of SLRs) and after this movie globetrotting and ear piercing are next.

Precaution encourages caution and a caution plays a significant role in prevention. If you belong to a tribe who like to watch a movie which makes sense then prevention is better than cure. The movie has clich├ęs, weak storyline and tad slow second half but the performance, songs and glamour override them. Bunny aka Kabir Thapar (Ranbir) is a new age cool guy who was an LLB (Lord of Last Bench) in school, believes in philandering which keeps him healthy and has no marriage no children type attitude. He has a scrapbook which contains to-do list of globetrotting and he wants to realize his dreams with no strings attached. In his other to do list is Naina (Deepika Padukone), who is simple, studious and geeky medical student in the first half but turns luscious, ambrosial, and captivating lady in the second half.

Naina joins Bunny and his two friends on a trek to the Himalayas in Manali. Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur) is shown as unshorn helpless inebriated loser while Aditi (Kalki Koelchin), wild and impulsive, is a treat to watch in a new avatar. Naina falls in love with self-absorbed Bunny but before she could accost, he goes to the US to pursue his dream, leaving behind his friends sulking. After eight short years he comes back to attend Aditi’s lavish wedding in Udaipur and then the movie becomes unpredictably predictable. At the end, Bunny had to choose between his to do list of globetrotting and his other to do list -Naina. Given the inexplicable need of human contact, he chooses what every guy worth his salt will choose after looking at the contours of Naina’s body.

Ayan Mukerjee tried adding some parts from his previous hit Wake Up Sid but fails miserably. The hostile relation between Bunny and Avi looks unconvincing when compared with Sid and Rishi of WUS. While Farooq Sheikh (Bunny’s father) and Bunny’s not so strained relationship does start an emotional wheel reeling but was ephemeral. The movie questions the moral story of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Review) which tried to impale the audience to follow your dream whatever it takes.

Pritam’s music has always been soothing to the senses wherever it might have come from. The not so sufi song, Kabira, will touch every single chord in your heart. Badtameez Dil and Balam Pichkari will be the flavors of this wedding season. The brilliant choreography complements the songs. Madhuri Dixit looks gorgeous as ever in her item number. The cinematography is colorful and glossy as anyone would expect from a Karan Johar movie. The editor could have done a better job as the second half stretches a bit and becomes slow.

Inspite of not so good script, Ranbir and Deepika saves Ayan Mukerjee from being a disaster. A fun watch!