Saturday, 19 March 2011

No, we dont fear Barcelona, But, yes, we fear the UEFA

The general opinion in the circles of young men at the bar is more on the lines of "Bring on the special one" than something like "laugh out loud" after Arry's Tottenham Hotspur have drawn Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League 2010-2011. On the other side of London, Carlo Ancelotti was found visiting a soothsayer to clear off some of his apprehensions. If you thought he was visiting the sages to find out his team's chances against Manchester United, you are absolutely, definitely, positively wrong. He has been reported to have gone there to find out if he himself had those mysterious powers of foretelling stuff. Not very long since he expressed his opinion on the general scheme of drawing Barcelona or Manchester United, the inevitable happened. He has ever since been wondering if what he says to executives from Fleet Street comes from some hidden part of his subconscious mind that has not surfaced hitherto in the 50+ years of existence.

Elsewhere, grapevine has got hints of people shouting "conspiracy" over Barcelona getting the weakest of the available 7 teams for a date in the UEFA CL quarters. One does wonder here, nevertheless, since it has been so for many a time in the recent past. Last year they got a team that had Manuel Almunia guarding the net. One should give some thought here. Manuel Almunia is definitely to Arsenal, what Kamran Akmal is to the Pakistan cricket team. The phrase "safe hands" has never been able to succeed in an attempt to peaceful coexistence with "Akmal" or "Almunia" in a singular sentence. So that was that. And 2 years before that, we all remember they drew Schalke. :-) Needless to say more. No, wait, it doesn't end there. They got Benfica a couple of years before that. It isn't very difficult for a man who can put two and two together to get the general drift here. But for people in my associated grapevine who are kings at the complex task of putting even three and four or for that matter, a five or six together, this one is child's play. They've deduced it all.

Having introduced to my readers, the intelligence levels of my associated grapevine, it would be to let the grapevine down if I didn't mention the other act of deduction they contrived to make. It is that, UEFA want a non english final showdown at England Football Stadiums' epitome - The Wembley. One of our reporters went on to say that he wouldn't be surprised if UEFA setup a shop in Scotland since he believes UEFA hate English Football so so much. That means, the last thing they would want to see is an all english final at the Wembley. What next? Draw the two english heavyweights together. Another one says, he was actually expecting all the three english teams to be drawn together. But a third one rightly corrected him by pointing out that football, unlike ludo or snakes and ladders, is a game where only two teams can play against each other at a given point in time and space.

So there it is. the two non english football teams which have realistic chances of lifting the trophy this year (Inter included only because of the sacking of  Rafa "he-comes-with-a-relegation-plan Benitez") have their task cut out. A place in the final is now theirs to lose. And the English giants have been pitted against each other to kill the dominance. Anyone to disagree????

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Why Ashwin should play this Sunday

With the world cup reaching its second phase in a really short while, teams are looking to get past the small mistakes that have made them look like clowns (Indian team in mind). One should keep in mind that all stadiums have had their first round of matches and there has been a good amount of wear and tear. That definitely means that spin will become all the more important. For a team that has been known for its deadly spin bowling attack in the last decade, this is the time they should start proving themselves to be good at their home turf.

Already, the ball has been tossed up to the spinners in the early overs and power plays. Zaheer, Nehra and the like are not getting their first spell quota of 5 overs apiece. With the pitches looking to appear more abrasive than earlier, it is important to bring the young man into the fray and experiment his "so-called-confidence". Enough is enough. We have done more than required in giving a good number of games to Chawla in order to increase his confidence levels. Chennai, being ashwin's known battle ground, he is definitely the choice, given his familiarity of the conditions at the M.A Chidambaram. You don't need to be too intelligent to deduce that it means R Ashwin, happy to use the new ball, must play. It also means that Piyush Chawla must make way, and that is where Dhoni's selections have baffled many.

 Dhoni is showing signs of losing the plot and I think he has just enough time to get the combination right before the second phase kicks in. The quarter finals and further will be different ball game each time the team goes into the field. The slow bowlers' wit will definitely become all important and wicket taking abilities will pay off. It would be great if Ashwin can spring a surprise when he gets a chance against the Windies. I am going to be there to witness the magic. And i totally think this is India's last chance to throw the hat in the ring and show the glitters.

 Please bring on the guy. He was player of tournament on his biggest stage till date - the T20 Champions league!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dear Mr.Chetan Bhagat

Dear Mr. Chetan Bhagat,

Firstly, My heartiest congratulations. I recently learnt from various news sources that your latest flick "2 States" is going global. But, you have a set of books that no one can read without shame.  Let me try and explain.

You, along with another equally deplorable writer who writes about her cleavage or her being sixty, are two people who i cannot stand when it comes to Indian writing.

About me first. I am a software engineer by profession but I write for a decent newspaper that encourages people to write well. I am 24. I got my first piece of ‘fan mail’ yesterday. It was from a random guy in Manchester who had been following my writing and was impressed with it.I have been writing a bit ever since early 2009 and I have held on to a handful of followers in various spaces.

I just wanted to inform you that you are not even in the running list of sensible Indian authors (R.K Narayan, Rohinton Mistry and the like). Your writing about call centers, and other places that are just not worth more than a rotten cauliflower,  is definitely not serving any good to mankind. Your writing style is not one. Or to be exact, yours is not a style at all. At this juncture, I definitely need to agree that you have an uncanny but laudable ability to coin words and phrases that can find a place in bollywood scripts straight away.

Wait, that is not all. You went to IIT, we all know you failed miserably there. You wished to write about it, you wrote something about it and by hook or crook, you got published. It could have ended there. But no. Suddenly you went on a spree. You took a shot at the poor call center folks and wrote a lot of shit about them. It didn't end there. You decided to touch upon mistakes by and large. Now, I definitely think the very act of deciding to write such a bad book was your fourth mistake per se. And your latest one can be clearly classified under the heading of "One for bollywood". But it didn't end there either. Your abysmal fourth has been selected for a multilingual by one of the best directors in the industry (Vishal B). Now the last part is where i got pinched. What the hell really? Why are you getting 'n' times lucky with no stuff whatsoever?

I think that not so deep down inside, you do know all this. In my own case, I know I am trivial. I am just writing a few articles and will just keep sticking to this scheme of things.You are doing your writing for a  living. When you grow old, you will remember that you wrote something like one night at the call center/2 States. I feel sorry for you. I don't need to go through those emotions in my fatherhood or grand-fatherhood for that matter.

Art is long and time is fleeting, they say. I, for one, definitely believe in that saying. I know for sure that one day, your foolish followers will turn their backs on you if you continue writing shit like this and somehow meet success in the short term. But to be a good writer, who will be spoken about when his/her great grandson goes to school, you need to write something worthwhile. We know you can't frame simple and proper sentences in TV interviews. But we know you have what it takes to be a runaway short term hit. But the important thing here is you can't earn a living like that in the long term. I suggest you read Indian authors who wrote some sense. You may not appreciate them. But they have a name in the literature wall of fame.

And lastly, please stop writing that crap on the editorial pages of Times of India, People like Swaminathan and M.J.Akbar write there. Please stay away.

P.S : I am not a brag. But I am definitely not happy with the proceedings surrounding your latest novel about your marriage (Uh? Who cares?). Multilingual? Sigh!

Humble blogger