Monday, 27 April 2009

Gimme a Break!!!

Round Up - Last Weekend

Liverpool's first goal was scored thanks to Mascherano diving and winning them a freekick. Their second goal was scored thanks to Lucas assisting Dirk Kuyt with his hand. They win 3-1.

United are awarded "a controversial penalty" one week after they were denied a stonewall pen against Everton, which cost them their place in the FA Cup final. They then go on to play the best football United fans have seen all season scoring a further four goals. They win 5-2. Yet for some reason the media claim Howard Webb has handed us the title, with no mention of Liverpool's good fortune a few hours earlier.

Liverpool are the media darlings, whilst Manchester United have to settle for being Champions. It's a hard life.

PS : Extract from the mailbox @f365

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Season Two- Unveiled

There has been a lot of talking about IPL Season II moving to South Africa making way for a safe and secure Election process. The debate and discussion about the shift in venue is well over now. Questions about the eccentricity and the enthusiasm for this second edition of the tournament have been coming through. Now that the season 2 has got off to a start, it is time to find out what has changed and what has not from the inaugural edition of the tournament. The start did make a success story. The newspaper headlines had the catchy slogans. But is the cricket fan satisfied? What does he feel about watching all this from a distance?

For a start, i would like to analyze how big a fan i am of this highly spoken about version of the game. This shorter version has always been interesting. The fervour and passion was sure to come right from the inception of this form of the game. Season 1 was really interesting. The teams did not manage to accrue passionate fanatics supporting them die hard. The cricket lovers were more enthused by the very nature of this form of the game and did not resort to wildfire regional supporting tendencies. I was one of the kind too. I did manage to cross my fingers for Chennai Super Kings sporadically during the first edition and i would owe that gesture to the feeling of local support being a long time dweller of the city. But as the build up for season 2 started, the passion increased. I wanted to own a yellow jersey to support the team through season II. I decided that i would watch a few games at the stadium too. Those hopes were dented by the decision to move the tournament overseas. With so much homework from my side done, i geared up for the inaugural match. But at last i ironically managed to miss the match in view of my last minute plans to go to Bangalore. I learned about the results late in the night though.

Fellow supporters told about the loss to Mumbai Indians on the opening day. Surprisingly it did not create any hard feelings for me. May be it was too late in the night for me to fret and discuss the sad story after all for co-supporters would've done the post match analysis which i missed citing personal reasons. I thought i would catch up with the tournament in full swing and with complete ecstasy from the next match day. But the interests were not sustained. As i returned to work on Monday, i could just not think about it with the backlog items at the workplace daunting me after a tired weekend. I watched a couple of slog overs in the CSK-RCB match late night after i got back home.

I noticed the same dip in the passion levels with my fellow fans not knowing the reason though. But whats quite clear is that the move overseas has brought down levels of interest as one cannot enjoy the ecstatic atmosphere in the stadium if the tournament had stayed in India. The idea of screening the matches at multiplexes was welcome during the build up to the season. But nothing materialized at the end, lowering the hopes for a sizzling month of IPL fever. Watching the matches this season i reckon would just be more of a time pass activity rather than being a fervour. I do support the decision to move the tournament away from the country for security reasons, but i somehow feel the passion and enthusiasm which showed positive signs during preseason have died down nevertheless.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Thirty things I would like to do before I am 30. This is yet another Tagged post (this time by one of my old school pals).

Ok here it goes....

1. Add a PGDM behind my initials.
2. Work for a consultancy firm and analyze a big thing like the Tata Nano Release or an RIL-RPL merger.
3. Complete the IMDB list of Top 250.
4. Read all of the 90 odd works by P.G.Wodehouse.
5. Start a Retail Chain of something really innovative-may be jewellery...lolzzz
6. Create and shoot an advertisement for Vodafone or Pepsi.
7. Play a protagonist in a documentary.
8. Win an All India Chess tournament.
9. Carry my bat in a 30 over a side domestic cricket match after opening the innings.
10. Taste Champagne.
11. Watch a United-Arsenal match at Old Trafford.
12. Watch a football match on boxing day at a pub in London.
13. Walk along the LOC in the kupwara sector or Poonch District.
14. Design my dream home from scratch.
15. Eat all possible chocolate varieties from around the world.
16. Cook an elaborate meal for a group of 10.
17. Build a Personal library of over 500 books I have read.
18. Give a lecture on Theology or Philosophy at some prestigious management school.
19. Go on a world tour with family.
20. Eat only chocolates from morning to night on a single day.
21. Spend a night on a star cruise deep in the middle of the seas.
22. Shoot 10 terrorists in a guerilla fight.
23. Serve the Indian Air Force for a short period.
24. Be a commentator alongside Harsha Bhogle for an India-Australia match down under.
25. Conduct a Sports quiz at the national level.
26. Own a super market in some hill station.
27. Write an article for the Time Magazine.
28. Dine with Warren Buffet on a moonlit night in Mexico.
29. Coach a Division II football team in England.
30. Officiate an international cricket match.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


It was a windy sunday evening. I woke up from my afternoon nap, which is becoming kind of a ritual during weekends of late. A mini sandstorm had just passed by. The weather was really awesome. A perfect one for a romantic walk or something along the seashore. I streched myself and got out of bed to get the picturesque bird's eye view of the IT park nearby, from my third floor apartment. It was gratifying. I walked out to get some cool breeze coz it was one rare evening in the month of march when the temparatures usually start to soar. I walked towards the tea shop with my room mates for a cup of 'chai'-customary on a sunday evening. As I walked past the narrow lanes with the low walls that helped many couples on lazy weekends, I started to feel as if I was walking through lush green fields, enjoying the scented fresh air. I got lost in thoughts as my mind wandered. The picture of the green fields in my mind slowly made me feel nostalgic. I wondered about those small vacations to less known villages in south tamil nadu about a decade back. The village atmosphere has always interested me a lot since childhood. I was excited by the freshness in the air coz these valleys have really low pollution levels

Having spent the most part of my school life in Chennai, I have always had a liking for the serene and calm valleys in the southern countryside. I have a bucket list of things to do before i die and the first in the list is to live a year or two in a hill station running a small shop for daily bread. That sounds pretty weird for the detailing of the occupation and stuff in those couple of years. Looking up into the black sky and wondering how many stars there are in the universe, from a hill top--an out of the world feeling I would say. The most attractive thing about a hill is the fact that you see the most beautiful creations of mother nature below you--I mean, the altitude. It gives you a feel. I am running out of words to explain the beauty of it.

Avoiding the hustle and bustle of city life, one really gets to experience paradise on earth. The other thing about small towns of the south that interests me is the annual festival that happens as a custom. It is known as 'thiruvizha' in tamil and it would be a once-in-a-lifetime-experience for a city dweller. Crowds thronging the narrow street that has those exhibition stalls and the legendary eat outs-Absolutely amazing. The event is a chance for people from nearby towns and villages to spend a lazy weekend evening with their spouse and children. I have been to a couple of these melas during my earlier summer vacations. And both the times there was this light drizzle early in the evening that makes the climate really enjoyable. One can embark on a new chapter of life in these towns located on the hills and the nearby valleys. It instills a feel of romance. The ice cold fresh waterfalls in these hills have made me dumbstruck many a time. These places are fraught with the complete beauty of mother nature. I got immersed in the thoughts of the life in such places which are known to have very low population densities.

I sprang back into reality when my friend patted from behind to tell me that i had walked past the tea stall. The weather was pleasent yet. I had my regular cup of 'chai' and walked back to catch up with the weekend premier league football. It was the early kick off that i wanted to watch that day. I wanted to think a lot more about those but i ended up watching the lunch time football with the usual packet of potato chips and my mug of beer.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A Virus Called "Tamilnaduisation"

A New virus called 'Tamilnaduisation' has gained importance in the Indian political scenario of late. To go to the roots of the virus, it would take a trip back to the so called golden era during Dr. MGR's regime. It all started when the political scenario took an important turn. This period started something called 'marginalisation of mainstream parties' and 'the strengthening of regional forces'. These are essentially the two mains aspects of 'Tamilnaduisation'. It has been a very widely known fact that the vote bank politics in tamil nadu is very different from the rest of India. Voters in Tamil Nadu have been reacting to both union and state elections in a uniform manner. The discrimination between national parties and regional parties, in my opinion, needs to be a part of the voters' decision. Lack of such secerning traits has led to the reign of regional parties from the state in the national elections scenario for years.

This years's election build up is beginning to show signs of this virus spreading to a couple of northern states, notably Uttar Pradesh. The fact that BSP has got a majority of its own in the state elections signifies the most concrete consolidation of 'Tamilnaduisation'. Both NDA and UPA have been alienated by recent developments in the state. It looks very much likely that UP will imitate Tamil nadu's behaviour in the coming elections. UPA and NDA have lost the stronghold in the state due to the recent snubs from the local behemoths. The political clout in the northen region in general is shifting towards Lalu and Mayawati. It wouldn't take too long before this phenomenon leaks into other states. The main effect of such a development would be the question of the stability of strong coalitions which have formed an integral part of the last two elections in the country.

Personally, I detest such a virus from spreading across the country which would hold integrity of indian politics at stake. A far fetched conclusion from these developments would not rule out the impact that "cricket in politics" can create, synonymous to the impact of 'Tamilnaduisation'. According to recent statistics, 17 of the 27 State Cricket associations in the country have politically strong people at their top brass. Also It has been noted that movie stars who struggle and win LS seats from big tickets of the likes of Congress and BJP fail to make it to the assembly and deliver their duties after all. Govinda, recently lost his congress ticket from Uttar Pradesh on similar grounds. Regional stonghold, Influence of Cinema and Cricketing factors which threaten to reshape the way Union Leaders get elected would in a broader sense introduce two things- 'Lack of integrity in the government' and 'Granular Corruption at the state level'. Granular corruption is a topic in itself and i propose to discuss it in a later post. For now, it is something close to creation of new and smaller packets which act as sources for diversifying the roots of corruption. Now it is important for the voter to start thinking about the importance of secerning national parties from regional parties in the view of union elections. Lead India 09 is giving such tips to voters which aid the voters' decision making process. Help Yourselves!!!!