Monday, December 10, 2007

To '007!

January : Musical.
February : Eventful.
March : Slipping.
April : Recovering.
May : Smiling.
June : Fretting.
July : Cribbing.
August : Hoping.
September: Thinking.
October : Reeling.
November : Crashing!
December : Halting.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I will.Lara,Inzy,Zulu,Cairns! I love them all. Okie, I dont like anyone in particular from Jets or Superstars but that's only 2 teams out of 6 which means I've teams not only to cheer for but also teams that I wish would get buried in this competition. So effectively, its like any major cricket tourney where I've my favorites to win, underdogs to cheer for and not-so-faves that I wish would would get humiliated.

I'll tell you another reason why you should watch ICL. 20:20 is fast becoming the most dynamic format of cricket and it's a pity that the Laras and Zulus of the world couldn't play this form of the game. As a result I'm not gonna let the BCCI-ICL tussle coming in the way of seeing some of the best in the game ever, pick up the bat and ball for an honest contest. Infact I'll also get over the fact that we might've some crappy commentators but hey we might've Dean Jones, the original Piper or should I say Pfeiffer!

A lot of us fans were left wondering how a Keith Miller or Vinoo Mankad might've approached ODIs. Thanks to Zee, we won't be left wondering how a Lance Klusener or Chris Cairns might've approached 20:20!

Long and short of it being, if they turned up even for the Ugandan Cricket League, I would still watch them...:-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Finally, a post!

I think I owe it to anyone’s who’s come here even by mistake. I know it. I promised blogging and I’ve been procrastinating. I made an attempt in my last post on one topic that actually comes really easy to me- good lines (or corny?) and I came a cropper. Its time I made amends. The guilt is over powering.

So I start again with something that comes easy to me. Good lines. But these lines are really good because they’re not mine. Here’s a selection of some of the best lines I’ve come across in some of my favorite movies. I’m trying to make this list a selection of some under rated lines because I think history has bestowed enough glory on “ Of all the gin joints…” but not enough on “ I hope they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck....” (Bogart, Maltese Falcon, 1941).

The make-you-fall-in-love line: I had to, had to begin with the best line any man has ever spoken to any woman, in any language in motion picture:
“You make me wanna be a better man”, Jack Nicholson at his charmingly flirty evil best over a dinner table to Helen Hunt. (As Good as It Gets, 1997)

The devilish-like-hell line: “Detective, Detective… Dee…ttecc…tiivvee.” the drawl of Kevin Spacey with blood on his hands in the lobby of a police station to Brad Pitt. (Se7en,1995)

The cool-as-a-cucumber line: “ When you ought to shoot, shoot, don’t talk”, Eli Wallach in a foamy bathtub with his right index finger on the trigger that has just laid the one armed man to rest. (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, 1966)

The hurtful-husband’s-death-knell line: The line stuns you because of the dialogue preceding it. Here’s how it goes:

Larry: Do you enjoy sucking him off?
Anna: Yes!
Larry: You like his cock?
Anna: I love it!
Larry: You like him coming in your face?
Anna: Yes!
Larry: What does it taste like?
Anna: It tastes like you but sweeter!
Larry: That's the spirit. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Now fuck off and die, you fucked up slag.

Clive Owen and Julia Roberts take off on one another in one of the most hurting onscreen moments .The build up and the intensity of this last line has to be seen to be believed. (Closer, 2004)

The you-couldn’t-wait-to-listen line: “Andy crawled to freedom through five-hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want too..." . Morgan Freeman. Seriously, who else? ( Shawshank Redemption, 1994).

The I-wanna-say-this-someday line:
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster…”, Ray Liotta in his performance of a lifetime as a rags to guns Henry Hill. ( Goodfellas, 1995)

The least-cheesy-Bond-movie line :
I’m not too much of a Bond fan but I gotta say Daniel Craig was superb. Some of his lines with his ladylove were as flirtatious as any in the history of Hollywood. My favorite of the lot:
Vesper Lynd: If the only thing left of you was your smile and your little finger, you'd still be more of a man than anyone I've ever known.
James Bond: That's because you know what I can do with my little finger... (Casino Royale, 2007)

The stand-up-and-applaud line : There are a few movies when you watching them, you end up rooting for the actor, the ones you feel like jumping on your bed and cheering for the guy who’s fighting a lot of odds. Al Pacino was fighting a lot of odds and I was jumping like crazy when he said:
“Attica! Attica! Remember Attica?” (Dog Day Afternoon, 1975)

The Godfather line: So at this time into this post I’m thinking how can I not mention Godfather. I don’t want those heard-over-again-and-again-lines which is also practically impossible when it comes to Godfather so I’ll go for a line that is probably an underdog in the trilogy. To my mind, it’s one of the best I-love-you-but-I’ll-kill you lines on cinema.
Michael: I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart. (Godfather II, 1975)

And finally a dialogue between Natalie Portman and Jude Law from Closer, the mother of all or any movie with relationships as a theme:

Dan: At six, we stand round the computer and read the next day's page, make final changes, put in a few euphemisms to amuse ourselves...
Alice: Such as?
Dan: "He was a convivial fellow" - meaning he was an alcoholic. "He valued his privacy" - Gay. "He enjoyed his privacy" - Raging queen.
Alice: What would my euphemism be?
Dan: She was... disarming.
Alice: That's not a euphemism.
Dan: Yes, it is.

Now, I haven’t ever complimented a lady with the word “disarming.” I wish I did…

Or maybe I must!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fahrenheit 102!

I've begun my bit all over again at blogging.This also comes at the momentous occasion of a 100 posts on this blog. No speeches on how I never thought this day would come blah blah blah but yes I want to thank my Airtel Broadband for keeping it going.

And since I've no defined direction on what to write on this one, I think I'll make this into one of my random posts with no head or tail or body.(Basically if you're one of the 2 people who I think visit my blog, you'll be treated to the same level of perfection in this post as the previous 101...)

I actually had stashed a collection of my own cheesy one-liners at college and I think its time these pearls were unleashed on the blogosphere so here goes...

1.) I dont remember a single one and my computer crashed a few months back taking along with it a fair bit of data , so it'll will take some time for me to recollect.Please move on to point number 2 while I recollect.

2.) Damn,I still cant remember a single line...

3.) Amnesia: Can people actually pinpoint the exact moment when it strikes?

Monday, October 15, 2007


And how I'm scared of them.

Winter pushes you to be protective of yourself.It pushes you into your bed, scares you to come out to drive on the road and makes you feel lonely. And I get the feeling that this winter is going to be particularly bad. Probably the worst in sometime. More so, because events in the last week have shook me up a bit.

Maybe blogging will pick up... :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fixing it when it aint broke!

I must confess something’s disturbing me a lot at 12:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning. India has just got to the final of an extreme humdinger of a tournament called the ICC Twenty20 World Cup. I’m bleary eyed but a colleague’s messages over the course of the tournament have kept me immensely engrossed. For starters, he’s predicted correctly, every result of every major match in the tournament even before the matches had got underway. He’s suggesting big money, sponsors, Asian influence and the inevitable dirty word - “Match-Fixing.”

Today, when when Symonds & Hayden were cruising towards 188 in the semi-final , I got a message from him saying. “Too much Naatak, India is winning this… ”.

Another message from another colleague, “Is this fixed?”

The verdict on the final is that Pakistan is winning it.

I don’t know. And I don’t want to know!

Monday, September 03, 2007

I shall overcome or The Conspiracy!

It always seems to me that the modern marvels of cell phones, computers, credit cards, online bookings, DTH or music system are always conspiring against me. It’s almost like each of them have been selected as snipers to be used in the second edition of Reservoir Dogs to harass me to the extent of beating the shit out of my mental faculties.

Wiser people before me have suggested that examples prove theories better so here are a few:

1. I’m currently expecting to get an amount of Rs. 1832 to be refunded to my Credit Card account. The transaction took place in February.
2. I recently reversed a purchase of Rs. 13649 on my Debit Card because of some shoddy customer service at an Essar-Virgin Mobile Store. It’s supposed to take effect in the next 48 hours.
3. My mobile charger conked off 2 weeks back and I’d to spoil 3 hours running from store to store on a Sunday morning hunting for the innocuous looking instrument
4. At any point of time, my broadband modem might just hang. It has some stupid problem that 2 different service executives have failed to rectify.
5. I’m yet to fill the form the cable operator wants me to fill to get Star Cricket permanently on my TV.

Screw the 21st century comfort of ATMs and Credit Cards and Internet. I, for sure, led a more hassle free life in the last century!

The funny thing is once you actually get all or any of this sorted , there is this definite sense of accomplishment but the whole process might just leave you too exhausted for you to even realize that it’s over…

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Passerby

I generally refrain from posting about my childhood days. I have a feeling that it might make me feel bad that they’ll never return and I’ll be left brooding over how great life used to be in those days. Yet, I guess I should do this exercise sometime lest all those memories themselves sweep by with the waves of time and age. So here’s a list of some of those things from childhood that I could’ve spent a lifetime on…

My pet: My dog, Hero. We named him after Hero, the horse in the Phantom series. He was nothing short of a roaring cub when I first saw him. He stayed with us for over 10 years and was simply the best looking living being that ever walked on this planet. Ferocious like a wolf at times and as gentle as a rabbit at times, he made coming back home from school that much more special. If I made a list of all the things of my childhood that I’d want back in my life today, Hero would top the list by a mile. You had to be blind to not admire Hero!

Cricket: Galli cricket, to be precise. I used to play a lot of matches in tenth standard in flannels in lush outfields. I was reasonably good and made it to the trials of the under-16 U.P. state selection as well but my best memories of winning are from the matches we used to play in the lanes in front of our house.

Television: TaleSpin and the underdog of a pilot called Baloo, always fighting bad engines, a demanding boss and some wicked people in every episode. I used to identify with Baloo simply because Baloo’s favorite pastime when not flying would be to aimlessly laze around in his room.

Video Games: Contra, Road Fighter and the incomparable Mario, especially the latter. I might’ve become India’s answer to Albert Einstein if I’d spend those countless hours on science and research but what the heck!Getting to the princess was worth every second.

Hunger: There was something about Parle-G when I was growing up. It was a part of a daily snack routine. Once at 11 in the morning and the other pack at 5 in the evening. The other accompaniment to Parle-G used to be this particular brand of rusk biscuits called Madhurima Rusk.

Thirst: Those days, a bottle of Limca or Fanta would be consumed only on special occasions, like someone’s birthday or maybe once a week after the Sunday matches. The common favorite to beat the heat used to be something called a Chuski or the lip-smacking Kulfi.

Movies: Our acceptability of Hindi movies used to be far higher in school days. Believe it or not, watching movies like Waqt Hamara Hain, Aaj Ja Shehanshah, Fateh , Tirangaa and Tadipaar used to give us a kick.

Cycling: Racing on our cycles used to be another cracker of a pastime. The other variants of this would be slow cycling, letting go off your hands off the handles or trying to skid the back tyre of the cycle by braking suddenly and leaving a mark in the ground. The last of the lot used to be most fun!

Women: Let’s face it; impressing women had a different meaning those days. It used to mean a lot special. You also thought your chances with a particular girl were better if you got a few 3-pointers in a basketball game or scored above 30 and hit a couple of boundaries in a cricket match.

Computers: It used to be so hard to get hold of one when I was growing up. I don’t remember a single occasion when I was in a computer lab in school and I didn’t have to share a system.

Physics and Literature: An unlikely set but my favorite subjects in those days. Whitman, Tennyson, Shelley, O’ Henry, Shakespeare, Maugham, Greene used to be names that would mesmerize us. Our group was so impressed with O’Henry’s “After Twenty Years” , that we actually have a pact to meet at a particular restaurant in Ghaziabad in 2017! Newton, on the other hand seemed to have a role in every conceivable principle of Physics. It’d be rather safe, in case you were in doubt, in an exam as to why a particular force acted in a particular way to respectfully leave your answer as: “This occurs because of Newton’s law of motion.”

Sometimes when I look back at my childhood, it’s amazing how much life’s changed. Those days, one of our common grudges used to be “When’re we going to grow up?” and these days, our oft repeated grudge is “Why did we’ve to grow up?”

It’s a funny life...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Here's to Cricket, kid!

Can’t say more.

Posting a compilation of some of my favorite cricketing trivia from around the world.

Jack MacBryan is an interesting name in the annals of cricket. Wikipedia describes MacBryan as " an amateur and right-hand batsman" who also was the Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1925 . He played a test for England at Old Trafford against SA in 1924 , that got washed out after 66.5 overs were bowled. He never played a test again making him the only cricketer to have never bowled a single delivery, caught anything or scored a run in his test career! Wikipedia also describes his test appearance as "imperceptible".

I think a lot of people know about who had the best streak of successive half centuries in Tests. The record belongs to Everton Weekes. However, a lesser known fact is that the best streak in ODIs is that of Javed Miandad’s who had 9 successive scores above 50 in ODIs.

Chris Tremlett of England was on a hat-trick against Bangladesh in a 2005 ODI. Mohammed Ashraful , the batsman strode in and defended with a straight bat, only to see the ball hit the ground and then proceed to hit the stumps. Tremlett didn't get his hat-trick though. The bails refused to budge!

If all the names of cricketers were written in alphabetical order Zulqarnain would be the last name on that list. (His name is also a synonym for “nothing noteworthy” in all languages.)

Of the 12 team captains in the 1999 World Cup, Hansie Cronje was the only one who didn’t wear a jersey numbered 1. He wore the number 5 and since his death no South African has ever worn that number.

Eknath Solkar at 1.96 has the highest catches per test match record. Bob Simpson is next best with a fairly distant rate of 1.77.

When Craig Wishart was caught in 2001 test at Chittagong by Mohhamad Sharif, then 16, off Mohammad Ashraful’s (then 17) legspin, he became a victim to the youngest combination to take a test wicket. ( If you’re thinking that this is quite a bizarre fact to know, you know how I felt writing this! )

Merv Hughes has the most complicated test hat-trick in tests spread over 2 innings and 3 different overs. It was accomplished at Perth against WI in 1988. When I read about it, I thought it was so complicated that the person who pointed out that it was hat-trick must’ve been knighted. Or at least taken out for a beer by Merv.

Apparently, Brian Lara was dropped on 18 once in a first class innings. He added 483 more in the same innings. (Ha… ha… I like the way I've framed this one.) The culprit was Chris Scott, the wicketkeeper.

Two-thirds of the world drives on the right but not one team among the test playing nations drives on the right.

Surprisingly, unlike the best actor Oscar, no one can be a Wisden Cricketer of the year more than once.

One for the Monty! The first instance of a Sikh bowling to a Sikh in test cricket was when Harbhajan bowled to Panesar in a Nagpur test match.

And one for my most favorite cricketer: Brian Lara has scored the maximum number of runs in tests in a 12 month period. It amounts to an astounding 1949 runs between April 2003 and April 2004.

Mike Hussey’s highest score in both forms of the game is 156. His is the highest among players who have highest identical scores in both ODI’s and Tests. The next best is K. Srikkanth with 123.

And lastly, a gem of a freak dismissal.

Over to a Wisden Cricketer archive article : Playing for Warwickshire, in 1948 against Middlesex, Donnelly had reached 55 when a delivery from the left-arm spinner Jack Young hit his foot and bounced over his head, landing about a foot behind the stumps. Strangely the ball then returned to bowl him - from the wrong side of the stumps. The ball may have picked up some backspin, though a bowler's footmark was thought the most likely explanation.

Ah… The game!

Source : The veritable guru, Steven Lynch

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Broken Panes

P.S. ( The Pre-Script) : Nothing eventful has taken place in the last 2 weeks to voice an opinion over and hence a garbled mess of a train of thought follows. Proceed at your own risk and do not forget to recommend the following post to your enemies.

Dial M for Murder is an excellent movie. Of the 10 movies directed by Hitchcock that I've seen thus far, I think it's his best. But since IMDB credits him with 66 movies that he's directed, I do humbly acknowledge that the excitement could very well be premature.

I bought "Something Under the Bed is Drooling" today. This leaves me with only 2 more C&H books to complete.

While on comics, I think it's pertinent to mention that as a tribute to Georges Remi's birth centenary, I'm also on track to finish off the remaining 5 Tintin comics that I haven't read. My favorite thus far have been the Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure.

I got hooked really bad to Woody Allen movies last month and the craze hasn't subsided yet. I've run through every Music World, Planet M and Crossword store in Delhi to get some of his movies but to no avail. If you know any place that you could direct me to, please do leave a comment. ( I've ransacked Palika and depleted Seventymm's collection too...)

Me and Bro are huge Sanju Baba fans so when the world said Shootout at Lokhandwala was mediocre while I loved it for Sanju Baba's daredevil fling of the bulletproof jacket, I was a little worried if Bro would think it was over the top too but a short conversation with him alleviated all those fears. ( And now I cant wait for Alibaug...)

Paul Collingwood is easily the guy who's pulled out the best catches of our generation. Youtube can smash any of your disagreements to the above. Your best defence could be Adam Bacher but I said "catches" not " a single catch".

I love the Zen Estilo jingle. I think it really has as much potential as the Hutch song or the Airtel tune. It's just the sort of thing that people would talk about and pass the ringtones around of and I get the feeling that Maruti is clearly underselling it.

If I get to make one movie in my lifetime, I'll flip a coin to decide whether it should be a murder mystery or a story on relationships. And then , the winner of this round would compete against a gangster theme on another flip of the same coin.

My favorite TV programme thus far has been this series called "Exploring the Unknown" that used to come on AXN. Nobody I've spoken this about to, has ever seen this programme. If you know what I'm talking about and you're a woman aged between 24- 32 , you are my soulmate and I'm supposed to be dating you. I know you're itching to call me. My mobile number begins with 9 and just to see if you're of my calibre I want you to find out the remaining 9 digits!

This is an end to your torture. Thanks for being nice. You've inched my blog closer to 7000 hits.

P.S. : Hoping underdog Cavs get past the Spurs...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The List- II ( Of a different kind...)

Call it breathtaking inspiration or cheap imitation, one can’t deny that Hollywood has always served enough for an Indian film maker to directly lift scripts from any English movie. Some acknowledge it, some don’t , some deny and some fret but at the end of the day one can always find that one little scene, that twist towards the end or that line that acts as a complete giveaway.

A couple of weeks back I happened to see Tara Rum Pum regarding which, Khalid Mohammed wrote in the Hindustan Times “…the screenplay of this movie is as original as the output from a Xerox machine”. A number of times while watching a Hindi movie, I’ve jumped from my seat saying, “Hey! That’s a copy…” and while I wish I’d made a note of every single jump thus far , I guess it’s never too late for anything. So here goes a list of my top copied scenes that I recollect sitting in my room in an attempted chronological order.

1. Tara Rum Pum: The most recent copied scene I’ve seen. Saif Ali Khan begging for money in a New York pub. Co-incidentally even Russell Crowe was also supposed to be in a New York pub in Cinderella Man. I picked this particular scene because of how Ron Howard used a different shade of light to show the interiors of the pub. And Siddharth Anand was inspired in his sleep to give the same effect in his movie.

2. Guru: Abhishek Bachchan’s trial scene towards the end of the movie seemed a little too similar to Howard Hughes deposing before Senator Brewster in the Aviator. Though many differences can be noted in this case, I think it’s the treatment and how Alan Alda and Roshan Seth act as impeccable judges that make the scenes similar. Al Pacino’s deposition in Godfather-II could also possibly be an inspiration.

3. Dhoom II: Surprised? Well, the scene between Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan over a table in a restaurant and the ensuing conversation was a lift from the Al Pacino-De Niro classic Heat. In my books, I’d refer to this scene by a very special name: Fall from Grace.

4. Sarkar: Another re-make but this time I think RGV did all he possibly could to minimize the damage to the gripping monologue of a man in distress appealing to the Godfather for justice. Of the scenes I’ve mentioned this far, I think this one made me feel least disparate.

5. Aitraaz: The first attempted rape of a guy in Hindi cinema ? A la Disclosure? Would you rather be in Michael Douglas’ shoes than Akshay Kumar’s?

6. Deewane Huye Pagal : While the movie itself was heavily borrowed, the dog-shock scene was a direct lift from There’s Something About Mary. I don’t think however that they got the Border Terrier breed of dog used in the English version. (Yup, the kind of trivia Google can throw up is amazing. :-D)

7. Musafir: What a blatant copy this one is! Both Sameera Reddy and Jennifer Lopez wear red skirts while Anil Kapoor and Sean Penn lend a helping hand to their backs. The difference: Sameera was trying to get inside her house and J’Lo was already in her house trying to fix some drapes in U-Turn.

8.Murder : Diane Lane, you beauty. And to be fair to Mallika Sherawat, you tried ! Funnily, after all the making out, the director made even Mallika Sherawat travel by a train on her way back home replaying what she’d just gotten herself into. If you looking for a subtle difference, you wont be disappointed. Diane Lane had her knee bruised in Unfaithful while Mallika didn’t .

9. Kasoor: “I lied to you. I didn’t want to. But I had to…”. Glenn Close listening to Jeff Bridges’ confessions in a picturesque setting, in Jagged Edge was directly transliterated to make way for Aftab’s disclosure to Lisa Ray. When I told a friend I was planning to write something like this, she hit the nail on the head when she said, “… your list will comprise all Vikram Bhatt’s movies…” . I had to include at least one.

There are a few more scenes in my mind but I’m getting a little bored of this now so just to add a little bit of variety, I want to point this out. I think a few of our film makers are simply too indifferent (or lazy) to the thought of adding even a dime’s worth of originality to anything that they copy. So much so, that even when someone from Yash Raj Films decided to re-make My Best Friends Wedding , he just couldn’t come up with any name other than “ Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hain”!!!

P.S.: For the record, Casablanca is reportedly being re-made in Hindi too…
Sigh! It’s time to sleep.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I so so hate people!

I hate people. I hate organized groups. I hate communities. I hate religion and I hate anything that has a say on my life and the way I want to live my life!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I love stories. I just love any media that tells a good story. Be it a movie, a comic book or a play. However, songs and poems are not about stories. They're more about expression of a sentiment and less about narration. Yet , when a song does incorporate a story, it becomes all the more beautiful because of the very sublime element inherent in the medium of music.

The medium of music is about no fuss. And when you do have a story to top it off, nothing like it!

"Ten years ago, on a cold dark night
Someone was killed, 'neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed
That the slayer who ran, looked a lot like me

The judge said son, what is your alibi
If you were somewhere else, then you won't have to die
I spoke not a word, thou it meant my life
For I'd been in the arms of my best friend's wife

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

Oh, the scaffold is high and eternity's near
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But late at night, when the north wind blows
In a long black veil, she cries ov're my bones "

- Long Black Veil originally sung by Lefty Frizzell

Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The scourge of women (Or their allure?)

Babubhai Katara is a despicable man. Last week he was in the news for having been caught red-handed while trying to smuggle a lady abroad by passing her as his wife under a fake passport. What's funny is that he'd cleared the immigration and the customs check and both of them were merrily seated in the airplane with less than half an hour to go for the takeoff and that's when, that's exactly when his crookedly malicious fate decided to shake a leg. A fellow lady passenger aboard lost her passport.

The officials started pulling out all the documents and in a routine check asked Babubhai Katara's supposed wife what her name was and in a lyrical moment, she will rue every single day of her life, the lady blurted out her real name of Paramjeet, instead of the name she should've given, Sarada Ben, the name on the fake passport she’d used. Needless to say, with that swift stroke Babubhai Katara's political and personal life has come to naught. That he deserved it is beyond any doubt. But that the disaster could've been avoided if the woman hadn't been so idiotic is equally obvious.

Now at this point I want you to spare a thought for Babubhai. What wrong did he do in scheming it up? So perfectly planned. And the only thing beyond his control got him into the deepest shit ever for no fault of his. Come to think of it, it's not the first time that a man has got screwed because of a woman around him.

Since the very beginning, women have proved too tempting a presence for man to ignore and too devastating a force to survive alongside with. Think of Eve coaxing Adam to go for the forbidden fruit and damning all humanity in the years to come.
Think of Samson revealing the secret of his locks to Delilah and his consequent capture by the Philistines.
Think of Draupadi mocking Duryodhana in her palatial abode and thus paving the way for Duryodhana to swear for revenge.

Casino, a movie based on the true story of gangster Frank Rosenthal played by the inimitable De Niro, is another classic example of how a man did everything for and yet was betrayed by the love of his life. In Frederico Garcia Larco’s popular play , Blood Wedding , the bride runs away with her childhood sweetheart on the day of her wedding. Her childhood sweetheart and the groom kill each other in the end. One wouldn’t have imagined that Macbeth would murder Duncan if it were not the Lady’s instigation. Everything came to dust. What was the bloody need for Paris to steal Helen and give way to the most important war waged in Greek mythology. Two fantastic warriors, Hector and Achilles were lost in the fight for a woman. To be precise, somebody else's woman.

Whether you like it or not, plays, books and movies are based on societal influences and observations by writers and directors. It’s not as if Shakespeare suddenly got a brainwave to script a character like Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare and his ilk draw from characters they’ve seen around in their society. More often than not, your favorite movie turns out to be something that you relate to. If playwrights long back could identify characters like that, they must’ve stemmed from real characters like Larco’s bride or Lady Macbeth in the society. For the record , the phrase Femme Fatale originated in 1912.

Hell, even Shane Warne could’ve played the 2003 World Cup if it were not for his mother giving him pills to look good. That’s probably stretching it a bit but my point is that when it comes to women , I think a lot of us men stop seeing reason.

What gets me to write on this topic is an advice I’ve been giving a friend to let go off a girl he’s been clinging on to. Irrespective of any advice that I can give him to part ways, he’s been hoping against hope that things will work out. And I can see why. I think women have this innate quality to get men to do a lot of things that they otherwise wouldn’t. A smile here, a nod there , a wink here , a nudge at the back, any little goddamn thing will make men go weak in their brains to begin with, followed by the knees and God knows where else. Try as I might, I can’t get this friend to forget his lady and after a point one has to just leave it at that.

And just at the point when I’m about to curse this friend of mine for not being able to see reason or logic, I’m reminded of Al Pacino’s immortal line in Scent of a Woman:

Women. What could you say? Who made 'em? God must've been a fucking genius. Hair. They say , hair's everything you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls and just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips. And when they touched yours were like that first swallow of wine after you just crossed the desert…”

And I smile and tell G, “It’s alright. Go for her… What can I say?”

Maybe when Neil Diamond paid US$ 150,000,000 as divorce settlement for his wife Marcia Murphey and remarked “She was worth every penny”, maybe , he let the curls and the lips get the better of him, his reason and his money.

Just like all men before and after him and how can we blame him for that?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Funky Chicken Jig!

Way better than the Brett Lee leap or the Shoaib Akhtar bird flap motion or Sreesanth's mid pitch dance!

Hail Langford-Smith! :-D

P.S. : Some pesky browser issues have prevented me from blogging from work. Am on my way to getting a broadband connection at home.

Next post around the corner about the scourge of women, in less than a week's time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Professional Exigencies

One fine day:

Super Boss: Hi Issac. There’s this interesting new project I want to involve you with. It’s going to be very exciting. It could probably be the best learning you’ve had thus far in HT. It’s blah blah blah blah…. Let me know what you think of it.

Me: Umm…Well… Err… Actually I don’t think I’m the right guy for this. I mean, I don’t think this interests me enough.

Super Boss: Oh ok. Good day

Me: Good day…

Another fine day:

Super Boss: I think you should do a stint in this new department. It’s going to be very unique and challenging and will give you an insight into this aspect of business.

Me: Umm…Well…Err… I don’t think I’m keen to do this. But…

Super Boss: Ah… it’s ok. Good day.

Me: Good day.

Another, another fine day, in office:

Friend: You wanna play on the terrace?

Me: Oh yeah, but didn’t we lose the football we last used?

Friend: I got a new one today.

Me: Let’s go…

So we went playing on the terrace. I was leading 9-5 in the game and the football fell off the terrace.

On my super boss’s head.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Undeniable

The lull after India got kicked out of the World Cup...

I am not of those die-hards who wanted India to win it. I'd rather see one of West Indies, South Africa or England pull off this one. Yet I cant deny the void that's looming around after the disaster against SL...

Monday, March 26, 2007

At Bermuda again!

Little did I imagine , when I wrote a post supporting Bermuda a week before the WC took off, that midway through, a billion people will be cheering for this nation!

The event also went in line with my previous post of "Multiplicity...".

On a serious note with both India and Pak out, hope to see less of ads cutting through the commentary along with less of match- fixing, doping, chucking and tampering in the remaining days of the World Cup! And hopefully , no more murders...

Maybe both India and Pakistan getting out was a toast to Cricket!

Join in! Cheers! :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Multiplicity of an Indian Cricket Fan

The fate of an Indian fan is entwined with the fortunes of other teams. Invariably.

In tri-nation tournaments,we've seen this often becos we would win only one match and then hope that the most dominant team beats the second most dominant team by a huge margin and then we'll eventually go through to the finals thanks to Net Run-Rate or a washout or some stroke of luck, like a Virender Sehwag century.

It's allright in these small tourneys , I'm sure we can cheer for a third team to win or lose but right now we're on an ICC World Cup and we don't know if we'll qualify to be one of the best 8 ODI teams out a game that's played by 10 test playing nations to begin with.

For a start, if I'm a genuine Indian fan today, I'll cheer for Bangladesh. I cry hoarse for them to win it, run like tigers, take wickets, celebrate like chimps , take catches like dolphins and basically beat the sh*t out of Sri Lanka while I eat Hilsa ( I hate it but I'll do it) and sing the Bangla national anthem.

On Friday, I'll obviously cheer for India.

And today if Bangladesh doesn't beat SL, then on Friday I'll become a Bermudan. I'll shout on top of my voices for Leverock and company. I'll want them to beat the sh*t out of Bangladesh. I'll change my identity and scream "Hail Bermuda" with a passion equal to that of Mogambo's sidekick.

I'll do it but even in this age of globalisation, wouldn't transmogrifying 3 national identities, in a space of 4 days, have been quite an ask for Calvin too ?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

World Cup Post-its : III

So India got screwed.

Nobody was celebrating the World Record win against Bermuda. Aptly so. Having got themselves in such a bad corner, it'll take a million things to fall in place for India to still qualify for the Super 8's. That group is bloody messed up. Somebody has to beat somebody, somebody must beat somebody by a good margin, somebody must win by not so great a margin, somebody must sneeze in time or somebody must pick his nose before the toss. God knows how many million things must fall in place before India qualifies...

On a serious note, I don't care about India losing out but I belong to the community , the news of which you must've read on the front pages of any prominent newspaper in India.

" Broadcasters to lose 150 Crore if India lose out."
" Advertisers pulling out in the face of India's loss"

And if there's money on the table to be made if India does well, I'd rather see them in the Super 8's than see them lose out and eventually screw our industry revenues.

Once in college , when I was a student, I'd stopped short of thinking in a discussion about money and Indian Cricket. Those days my views were rather simple.
"India should do well in any competition. It makes us feel great and proud about ourselves."

Today, sitting on the other side of the fence I'm thinking:
" India should do fantastic at cricket. It makes us feel rich about ourselves."

Well...Umm...Errr...That we can manage at other sports...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

World Cup Post-its : II

SA have been wronged every time in a World Cup. Consider this:

1992: Rain rule.
1996: Got docked an over. Lost by 2 runs.
1999: They didn't lose the semi-final and yet didn't make it to the final.
2003: NZ didn't travel to Kenya last World Cup and Kenya got free points.Consequently, SA lost out on the 3rd spot.

I'm not a huge SA fan but if they do win it, I think in many ways it might do justice in the overall scheme of things. So when I saw Boucher and Gibbs and Kallis pounding the sh*t out of Netherlands, I loved it. It wasn't funny. It was hilarious!

However, my moment of the match was when during one of the slog overs Van Troost pitched a ball way too short and Kallis was about to go for a hook over his head. By now, the wicketkeeper who had so haplessly seen every ball hit the middle of every South African's bat had already given up hope of any batsman letting any ball go through to the keeper. At the last moment though, Kallis let go of the delivery only to see J Smits taken completely taken aback by it.

The result: 4 byes over Smit's head. Which brings me to think, would this also have been the match in which least number of balls went through to the keeper? :-)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bermuda Woes

Bermuda, I thought they'd be an underdog. They seem to be more like an underpest or undercaterpillar. They're nowhere close to being a dog...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

World Cup Post-its : I

One swallow does'nt make a summer and one match does'nt quite indicate how the World Cup will eventually span out but here's my take thus far:

I think in some ways this World Cup is going to be like the '83 World Cup. More bits and pieces players will come into play and hence my hypothesis of the Windies doing well keeps getting stronger.(...Or I dont know if I'm making this up because I really want them to win.)

I found out the other day that Danish Kaneria's fielding is probably as bad as Monty Panesar's. A throw to Kamran Akmal during the match was stupefying to say the least. It wasn't even as if the bastmen were scampering for a quick single and Akmal was dying to take off the bails but Kaneria was surely dying to throw. I mean, just throw, you know; like a javelin or maybe a shot- put. I also like the way Panesar cups his hands when he's about to catch a ball. I think its meant to be more like a prayer posture or something. Can't wait to watch him drop another one soon. I think Munaf is also in the same category. A friend once told me that apparently he used to be called Kachra in his college days after that character in Lagaan who with his crippled hands could never hold a ball properly. Funny guys these , Munaf, Panesar and Kaneria. Definitely my bowling trio for the Worst Fielding XI at this year's World Cup.

Say what you will but Tikolo is class. I've seen him treat Kumble with as much disdain as would Lara so nice to see him getting some runs early in the tournament.

There's something about Aussies' fitness regime. Hogg is 36 and so is Hayden and you should've seen them throwing themselves around against a pony of a team called Scotland. And we have Kumble also at 36.

I like Kumble, I really do. It's just a co-incidence that he's at the receiving end of this post. That too twice! Now, I dont want to make it a hatrick. After all , he doesn't have a hatrick to his name anyway, so why credit him with one! ;-)

More post-its to follow! :-D

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Max was never set for this! And neither was I...

I did think of bunking work yesterday. Like, I’ve always thought, in school, during graduation and during my MBA. I’ve never felt like doing anything that takes my attention away from cricket on a match day. And more so, infinitely more so, during a World Cup. I know there are millions like me in this nation but this was a first for me. I’m working these days and the difference is, unlike in school and college, these days I get paid at the end of the month. Yet somehow I’d convinced myself yesterday to bunk work.

“Hey, this is the first match of the World Cup; I need to be in a certain state of mind to be geared up for it.”

But when I woke up this morning, the pangs of guilt of bunking work overtook my desire to stay back and I ended up at work. What the hell? Bunking school and college was never this hard a decision. Back then, it used to be a walk in the park.

“Dad, Aaj Match hain and there are no important periods in school today. Is it okay if? ”

What would follow this seemingly undisruptive line won’t exactly be the smoothest of verbal exchanges yet at least I didn’t have this stupid guilt biting me inside. Moreover, Dad would eventually settle in favor of me staying back with an assurance from me that we won’t ever come to a discussion like that again. Now, here I’ve to give Dad full marks. I mean every time, he had to give me the impression that he didn’t see through that one…

Nevertheless, I put everything behind me and was home at 6 p.m. to catch the pre-match coverage 2 hours before the match begun. Now again I’ve to draw a parallel between my childhood here. You know, in those days, you could prepare for all you could but just before the match began one of these things would invariably happen:

a.) The cable would blank out
b.) The electricity in the house would blank out.
c.) An elder in the house would send me on an errand that would take me away from television
d.) One of Dad’s friends would turn up in the drawing room and just yap, yap and yap!

Now given my past experiences, I was quite prepared for a setback when I walked into my room hoping to turn on the television in the evening. But when I turned on the light the sight that caught my eyes was a rather pleasing one. My usually littered bed had a new bed sheet, the books were neatly arranged on the bed and so were the chocolates. My room had a neat look and I think Ms. Bhandari, my landlady was also kind enough to spray one of her special room fresheners around. It just felt like she knew I didn’t want any of those problems today. It was almost as if God thought I’d suffered enough through my childhood and this World Cup, He’d decided to reward my anticipation.

“Superb!” I said to myself, just the way I like it, everything in order and no disturbances, just the ideal way to watch the first ball of the World Cup. Something about the first ball of a big match is so special. I mean it’s as great as your first kiss or your first love. The sound of the crowd, the commentators at the peak of their voices, the electric atmosphere, all combine in perfect unison to give you the feeling that if you’ve missed the first ball of a big match, you’ve pretty much missed dipping your favorite ice cream in your favorite chocolate sauce! And when you’ve done everything right through the day to arrive at this moment, you just thank your Lord that He made you literate enough to understand this game.

Cut to the present. We were soon over with the pitch report and the toss. We went through some tortuous times with some daft dame called Sonali Nagrani but I was sure better fare would follow. After all, times had changed, the cable was working fine and there weren’t any elders around. And soon the moment arrived, Simon Taufel said “Play” and we were onto the first ball of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. Umar Gul moved in, I could hear the crowd, my pulse was racing and the heart was pounding. But wait a minute why the hell were the commentators not saying anything? Is someone going to speak something soon or is it going to be “Main aur meri tanhayee...” for commentary?

In the next 3 seconds I said all the prayers I’d ever learnt, desperately hoping for someone to say something and just make me realize that the World Cup was getting underway. And after just another fleeting second I realized, the moment was gone. I’d just seen Chris Gayle nudge the first delivery of the 2007 World Cup towards mid-off or a single without the slightest trace of a commentator guiding me through it. And if that weren’t enough we waited for the third over until the silken voice of Tony Cozier put an end to my muted misery.

Thanks Set Max! Talk of some things never changing…

On a more positive note, I’m not letting Henry Olonga’s expert comments or Sonali Nagrani’s repulsive on-screen presence ruin it for me. I’m here for cricket and only cricket. I shall be strong.

To keep it simple, I’m cheering for West Indies, followed by England and like Shobhit said, (while he has decided to cheer for Australia and South Africa) “...We can always pretend to be happy, if India wins it!” ;-)

P.S.: I’ve a plan to post at least twice every week beginning Friday under the title of a “Caribbean Post-its” series beginning Saturday. Watch this space for some special cricket comments that wouldn’t find its place of pride in any other publication! :-P

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pointless questions and pointed answers

Dreams... Or nightmares can sometimes articulate your fears, way better than, what in your waking hours you'll ever be able to put in words.

The feeling is that of being pinned to the ground. Knowing that choices exist but also knowing that one could've been better off without any choices. One can never know for sure though.

Would you rather have the choice or would you not?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Loyal Guard

I want to make it official now. For a long time, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve deliberated endlessly and now take this step with conviction. With this decision I might leave my peers dismayed, my parents disappointed and my landlord might even kick me out of his house but it’s time I put down my loyalties on paper. At least this way I would’ve no shame and no regrets. After all, honesty might be a ridiculed yet a desirable virtue to possess in our times.

This World Cup, I’m supporting Bermuda. There’s no looking back now. I’m going to cheer for them hoarse, wear their colors and gun for them to win it even if they are stranded hopelessly chasing 618 runs against India in the group stage.

The whole point of ICC allowing teams like Bermuda to play in the World Cup (apart from minting truck loads of dollars) is to promote the game and which game has been promoted in any nation without a loyal band of supporters?

And I sense Bermuda is short of supporters this season. I mean look at the other minnows. Look at Bangladesh. Before you can even bat an eyelid, you’d be swept by a wave of Bangla supporters shouting you down even if you’re on 1800 MW speakers. Canada had John Davison in the last edition. And he’s back as captain this time. Thanks to him, we would follow that team for sheer curiosity. I’m sure any Irish supporter would be passionately hoping that they kick English ass. They’d love this game back in Scotland. It gives them 6 more hours to drown themselves in good old Scotch instead of a plain vanilla 90 minutes. Kenya; we all know what they’re capable of and Netherlands being veterans amongst these minnows at World Cup, I think has more of chance topping their group than India.

And now if this emotional plea was not enough to inspire you to support Bermuda, I shall present a few more facts to appeal to your left brain (And that is, if your brain is still in place after reading all this. Bermuda does have an uncanny knack to get on your nerves. It did on mine!)

The nation is all of 50 sq. km. Their population is 80,000 and yes they’re fielding a 15 member team. No less. Calculate the ratio of players to population and you’ve the biggest underdog ever in the history of cricket.

I went to a link that listed the “Bermuda Players to Watch Out For”. I waited long. It never downloaded.

On another link a player profile read: He has a lot of determination and with some more hard work will surely emerge as a successful cricketer in the future.
Evidently, he needs our support. Let’s cheer him for at least one match!

Their winning percentage in ODI’s is 29%. Sheer figures suggest they’re better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. This has been brought to your notice so that you never feel that you’re cheering for a team down in the dumps. Down in the Atlantic yes, but not in the dumps!

Along with the illustrious Papua New Guinea, Bermuda showed the cricketing world that 400 runs could be scored in an ODI. This was in ICC Trophy in 1986. 20 long and winding years before Australia and South Africa had any devious plans of the same. And this IS TRUE! Here’s your chance this World Cup to cheer for the original attacking cricketing nation of our generation!

They’ve only had one Olympic medal winner so far. Finally, you have a country that’s done worse than India in Olympics. It should do your ego good to support them.

Player names are equally evocative. Their team has one Hurdle, one Cann, a Pitcher, a couple of Tuckers and a certain Minors. Can’t you read the signs?

And if all the above were still not enough reason, allow me to throw some light on state of the nation’s economy. It’s GDP per capita of a stunning $76,000 is the highest in the world.

And I’ve also heard they’re taking the best Bermuda supporter from India to partake a slice of that cake!

I leave you with that luscious thought and when you go to sleep from today do not, I repeat do not forget to shout “Goooooooo Beeerrrrmuuddddaaaa!!!”

Monday, February 05, 2007

The List - I

Most of my close friends have been a little baffled at my fairly insignificant skill of recounting lines and scenes from my favorite movies with ease. Some of them think it comes effortlessly to me. I don’t quite intend to shatter that perception but the truth is that if I like a particular scene or a dialogue in a movie, I end up watching it again and again until I know I can recollect it on my own. It’s like a scaling a summit. The journey is immensely exciting and the accomplishment endearing.

However I realized that over the years, while I kept scaling those summits, because I didn’t keep a record of those scenes and dialogues, sadly most of those impressions have eroded from my mind. And hence, here is an effort to list some of the best scenes from Hindi movies that I grew up to and continue to be charmed with.

Now like in any field, the task of selection is inevitably an onerous task. Not because you don’t know which ones to select but because you have trouble eliminating options. Nevertheless, after 3 hours of thinking, this is what I could come up with.

1. Ashok Kumar wanting to light his cigarette in Jewel Thief in the flight: A charming thief brought to book finally after three hours of gripping screenplay. The Jewel Thief was defeated but alarmingly undeterred. I remember watching and still thinking if there was any way there could be another twist in the tale even now.

2. Amol Palekar’s moustache coming off in Golmaal: Ramprasad is eating a wholesome lunch at Utpal Dutt’s place when his moustache starts giving way. The rest is history. How Shubha Khote managed to pound Utpal Dutt with a club in his own backyard while both of them were looking for Ramprasad cracks me up even now!

3.Satish Shah in a coffin with a drunk Om Puri on the road in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: I would be betraying the trust of the numerous worshippers of this movie if I even attempted to describe it further…

4. Anupam Kher with a friend coaxing him to drink in Daddy: A loser to the world and a daddy to his girl is about to give a final performance on stage. He’s tempted by a jerk to get back to drinking; something his daughter has painstakingly managed to take him away from. One of Anupam Kher’s best performances after Saaransh.

5.Vijay Deenanath Chauhan: How else could I do justice to this? A TV programme once suggested that when the first prints came out, the distributors thought that there was something wrong with the sound of those prints because of Amitabh Bachchan’s gruff dialogue delivery style.

6.Sanjay Dutt in Naam being told by Paresh Rawal overlooking a busy street in Dubai that underworld is a one-way street: Similar scenes with exact lines have been enacted in numerous movies but none have been as subdued yet menacing.

7. Jackie Shroff in his desperate last scene in Gardish: I saw this movie on cable first and I thought this would be another of those cable-fit movies that you want to devote time to only because you have nothing else to do. All throughout the movie, the father son equation was a stirring tale of emotion. This was a remake of a Malayalam movie called 'Kireedam'. ( Thanks to Tushar, else all of you would have been led to believe, by me, that it was 'Spadikam' ). While the latter happens to be one of my favorite movies, I must say the Hindi version didn’t disappoint one bit.

8. Kamal Hasan in the song Dauda dauda bhaaga in Chachi 420: To add to the glee, the ensemble of Om Puri , Paresh Rawal and Amrish Puri was nothing short of a casting coup. Add to that the return of Johnny Walker and you had to have an eminently enjoyable joyride.

9.The song Tu Bin Bataaye in Rang De Basanti: Beautifully shot, beautifully scripted and beautifully sung. The shot where Aamir and his gang throw leaves over Madhavan and Soha Ali Khan is simply the most endearingly mischievous scene ever!

10.Snow falling over Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee in Black: Right after the teacher tells his protégé, that she’s failed her papers, there’s a moment of silence. The stage is set for one of them to cry and instead the falling snow makes sure that they dance like two kids who just got news they could go home earlier than usual. Absolutely unadulterated!

11.Amitabh Bachchan waving his hand after being released from jail in Sarkar. Sarkar had just got bail and comes back to his mansion after a failed attempt on his life in jail. The foreground in the scene is a wave of his left hand protruding out of an SUV. The background, a huge group of his supporters cheering him on. Together, they signal a comeback. Everyone in the hall knew Sarkar would be released from jail but how was the question.

12. Abhishek Bachchan screaming and instructing his accountant in Guru: “Contractor ka naam gaali ban jaana chahiye. Gaali…” For sheer intensity. A typical scene that Al Pacino would have delivered with consummate ease. We don’t have an equal for the latter yet in Bollywood but at least we’re close to getting another angry young man after ages.

13. Johnny Walker breaking down in Anand: The one scene that has to be my most favorite scene of all time in Hindi cinema. An actor who lived his life making others laugh in all his movies made the audience cry in possibly the only movie he shed tears on screen for.

Like with any list, there must’ve been more scenes that I couldn’t recall while penning ( keyboarding?) this article. Readers of this post, few and far and as disappointed or delighted they maybe are welcome to suggest more scenes. If I think any of the scenes, is worthy of an inclusion, I’ll add it to the post!
As Calvin once said, “Big incentive!”: -P

P.S.: Tried keeping it down to 10. Couldn't succeed. Diffcult to eliminate! :-)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Questionable Tribute

It took me quite some time to convince myself that I actually didn’t think Sachin was even close to being the best batsman in the world like a lot of his peers claimed, a lot of journalists wrote about and a lot of cricket fans debated on. In my books, over the last couple of years that mantle should clearly belong to Ponting and prior to that it was Lara’s. Barring the summer of 1998, Sachin never came close to claiming the mantle of the best batsman in the world. He would hang around and remind us of what he was capable of but never delivered.

While I do think, that as a cricketer ( and otherwise) he is a gentleman and a complete one at that, a lot of journalists, cricketers and commentators have allowed the nice boy image of Sachin to make up for his lack of supremacy to win matches for India.

In the same context, posted below is a piece written by V. Gangadhar for Hindustan Times today. Sometimes, there are things that you want to write and then you read something that describes exactly, what you think, in the exact diction and tone and sarcasm that you would have penned it in. And if it comes from one of your favorite writers, isn’t that a nice beginning to a day! : -)

Posted below the article:

AS THE third test match between India and South Africa was in progress, the Sachin Chamcha Group (SCG) in the television commentary box was frantic with excitement. Here is the chatter that went on:

Know-All Bhogle: And there is, Sachin, at 34, chasing the ball like a fly, diving full length and stopping it, saving one run. What commitment, what dedication. This one run could be decisive in the match. Why talk of Jonty Rhodes when we have Sachin. I am sure our Little Master Sunny Gavaskar would agree.

Little Expert Master Gavaskar: A great dive, a great save. In fact, you would have noted that Sachin dived at an angle of 63 degrees facing East, which is the most difficult of the dives. While doing so, he braved the wind from the North-east which was blowing across the pitch and he must have hit the ground with a velocity of 34 kmph. Simply remarkable for someone his age. The neck, the arms and the legs were perfectly positioned. A bit like watching Burt Lancaster in the movie Trapeze.

Bhogle: Leave it to Sunny to come up with such wonderful pieces of information. And Ravi?

Deadpan Ravi Shastri: Remarkable commitment, but then this commitment was always there, whether he was playing at Bandra MIG Club, Shivaji Park or a packed Lord’s. If there is a Nobel Prize for commitment, it should go to Sachin.

(Later, when Sachin is batting)
Bhogle: Yet, one more perfectly defensive shot played with the middle of the bat. Everything in position. Of course, though India should score enough runs to force a victory, Sachin had scored one run in 88 balls. Why bother about runs, when you can watch such perfect technique. Sunny, did you play like this when you scored 36-not-out in 60 overs in the 1975 World Cup match against England? That was the most monumental innings in one-day cricket.

Gavaskar: Thank you, Harsha, for your fantastic memory which is as perfect as Sachin’s defence. See the left shoulder thrust at right angles to the right wrist and the right shoulder pointing exactly at the vacant spot between mid-off and cover. This is the mother of all defensive shots, I would say even father. I think there is a deep strategy behind Sachin’s approach. By batting like this, he would induce sleep among the South Africans, and when they come to bat, they would just rub their eyes and get out one after the other. There is always planning in Sachin’s approach.

Shastri: I agree entirely. This again reflects his commitment — combined with wisdom, a rare combination. By remaining still like this, and keeping the score-board still, Sachin would make the clouds over the ground still, so that it will not rain and we can win the match.

Bhogle: Look, the South Africans are already lethargic which is what India wants.

(The match is over and India is beaten by South Africa)
Bhogle: That is all from the SCG. Please stay tuned in for ‘Cricket Tamasha’ special.

Viewers: What the hell we were watching till now?

Friday, January 05, 2007

There's something about Marketing!

I specialize in Marketing. Often I’m told, I look the “pakka” Marketing types. I take it with a pinch of salt. I’m never told I’m the “pakka” intellectual type.

Marketing takes me places. Literally, more than figuratively and currently places mean only Delhi and Mumbai. Often I wake up not knowing which city I’m in. There’ve been days when I’ve wanted to go to CP in Mumbai and Churchgate in Delhi

I’ve a great house in Jangpura Extension and an even better company guesthouse in Bandra. I’ve a Mom’s house in Guwahati and Dad’s house in Quilon. Yet, I end up spending majority of my time at my office.

I’ve been on Marketing since the last 6 months. I’ve been a part of a team that has launched a Radio Station in Delhi, a mega promotion in Delhi and am currently working on the launch plans for Mumbai. And of course, you can call a duo a “team”.

I’ve figured out Marketing is 99% common sense. The other 1% is your top-boss telling you what to do. I call it, “Will-power of the Mighty!”

In media in particular, I find a lot of Mallus either in top jobs or surrounded with great babes. Alex Kuruvilla is just “a” case in point. I’m a Mallu and yet to hit a top job and Salma Hayek can never give me time.

I figured it’s fashionable and intellectual to be late in Marketing. Late for signing off budgets, sites, creatives, everything. The fun is when you are actually late. If you do things on time, no one gives you credit. Be a day late or two and you must have done a fabulous job.

I haven’t perfected the art of screaming at agencies, media planners, printers to meet deadlines and budgets but I’m getting there. I can just feel it. I’m only looking for barters, great deals, good money and prominent positions across media and across avenues. I just want to bargain. Even when my maid tells me she’ll give me my Aloo Paratha in 5 minutes, I feel like asking her, “Can I get it in 2 minutes with an add-on of a Gobi Paratha?”

I don’t know whether this is to do with Marketing but I get along rather well with the security guards, housekeeping guys, liftman and the receptionists. The people who I haven’t broken ice yet with are the CEO and the AVPs and the VPs.

A lot of times Marketing has been considered too subjective a topic of discussion in organizations. No one knows where the bang for the buck lies. People are cagey about spending on Marketing. How the hell do we know Marketing has delivered? I agree.
But I find an uncanny similarity to this and “ Hey, I find that babe hot. How the hell do I know she’ll talk?”. At best, you can do your homework and back your instinct and hope your money is in the right place. And that’s what Marketing is all about! : -)