Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Best of 2008 - Cricket and Sports!

Top batting performances
Graeme Smith's 154 not out at Birmingham against Eng
South African top-order at Perth against Oz
Virendra Sehwag's 83 at Chennai against Eng
Bhajji & Zak's 80 run partnership at Bangalore against Aus
Ramnaresh Sarwan's 128 at Antigua against Oz
J.P. Duminy's 166 at MCG against Oz
Ganguly's 87 at Kanpur against SA
Kevin Pietersen's 144 at Mohali against India
Gautam Gambhir's 67 and 104 at Mohali against Oz
V.V.S. Laxman's 79 at Perth against Oz


Top batting performances - Special mention
Sehwag's 104 at Adelaide against Oz
Sachin's twin innings in the CB series finals at Sydney and Brisbane
Symond's century against Rajasthan Royals at Hyderabad
Rohit Sharma's beauties in the IPL

Top bowling performances
Dale Steyn at Ahmedabad.Period.
Ajantha Mendis and Murali's 19 wicket- haul at Colombo against India
Mitchell Johnson's 11 wicket haul at Perth against SA
Ishant Sharma's one wicket haul at Perth against Oz in the second innings
Bhajji's 10-wicket haul at Galle
Jimmy Anderson's 7-wicket haul at Trent Bridge against NZ
Mendis 8-wicket haul at PSS Colombo


Top bowling performances - Special mention
Mendis in the Asia Cup Final
Shoaib Akhtar against Delhi Daredevils
The Sohail Tanvir show in IPL

Shot of the year
KP's switch hit - all over again!

Dismissal of the year
Ishant's wrecking Ponting's stumps at Mohali

Catch of the year
De Villiers ( Pick any of his, really!)

Drop of the year
Hussey and Ponting grassing chances in MCG against SA

Runouts of the year
Mishra running out Ponting at Nagpur
Ian Bell running out Sehwag at Mohali

Best sporting moments of the year
Abhinav Bindra shooting a near-perfect last shot to give us Gold!
The final of finals at Wimbledon
Revival of Celtics-Lakers rivalry & Celtics thrashing Lakers!( You can imagine me with a 150W smile here!)
Usain Bolt!
Hamilton making it (finally...)
Roger Federer pulling one back at US Open

Sportsman of the year
Michael Phelps!

Have a great year folks and stay away from drinks if you driving!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Best of 2008 - Movies, Music & Books

My list for 2008- The best in each category.(Or worst.. as specified!)

Movies - Best of New Releases
Mumbai Meri Jaan
Lives of Others
A Wednesday
Dark Knight
Rock On!

Movies - Best of old movies- English (seen this year)
Stalag 17
Body Heat
Escape from Sobibor
Sideways
Day of the Jackal

Movies - Best of old movies- Hindi (seen this year)
Ek Ruka Hua Faisla
Sparsh
Do Aankhen Barah Haath
36-Chowringhee Lane
Dev

Movies- The Best of dark horses - (old and new- seen this year)
Dasvidaniya
Midnight Run
Shoot on Sight
Biwi-o-Biwi
Leon
Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye

Movies - The worst of the lot
Singh is Kinng
Wanted
Wall- E (Blame me... but I absolutely despised it to the core)

Songs- The best of Hindi
Teri Ore - Shreya Ghoshal, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Sindbad the Sailor/ Tum ho toh - Farhan Akhtar
Kahin to- Rashid Ali
Kehne ko jashn-e-bahaara- Javed Ali
Kaise Mujhe - Benny Dayal

Songs- The best of English
Touch of Love- Allen Toussaint ( And thanks Axe!)
Violet Hill - Coldplay
The Day that never comes- Mettalica
Just too busy being fabulous - Eagles
Bubbly - Caillat

The best of books(read this year)
Classic Cricket Clangers (The undisputed #1...)
A Maidan View
Indian Summers
Maximum City
Beyond a Boundary

Concluding part on "Cricket and Sports" to follow.

Monday, December 08, 2008

No good this

I took a cab in Hyderabad last week, and as I always do, started chatting up with the driver.

"What's your name?"

"Ahmed Hussain."

Something rankled me a for a second. Could he be involved?

Normal conversation followed. But in that one second, I went from being suspicious to feeling guilty for having just judged him for his religion.This had never happened to me before.

And I'm convincing myself it'll be the last time.

But do the perpetrators see the futility of it all?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who's the enemy?

The mail from Deccan Mujahideen was traced back to Russia. The terrorists had Mauritian identity cards. Two of the terrorists were British-born. Their ship started from Karachi. They killed a Jewish Rabbi.Lashkar has it's camps in PoK, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

For all you know, every country in this world as I'm writing this, has at least one person who's sitting back in his chair and smiling at the success of these nefariously gruesome attacks.

This was not how the world used to be, when I was in school. This was not the India, I thought, I would grow up to live in.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dasvidaniya - A reflection!

That's what the movie is about. A reflection into your own mundane life:

- of friends from school.
- of drab 'things-to-do' everyday
- of dreams-to-fulfil someday
- of the impact of Mithun Chakraborty when we were growing up
- of Gunmaster G-9! (Had to be referenced for those who came in late!)
- of Old Monk.

And the movie has it's "moments". Here's mine...

Savio: What man? You have some problem in life kya?

Amar Kaul: Yes man. Life is a problem...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

O Captain, My Captain - To Dada!

O Captain, My Captain,
a fairy tale is done.
The team has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, I look back thanking!

O heart, heart, heart
For the winning habit you brought,
At home and abroad.
And today, as you, my Captain retire,
I stand, salute and admire!

Moments... Again!

Dhoni and Bhajji jumping in the air celebrating Watson's wicket in the first innings.
The Ponting runout in second innings.
Bhajji getting Hayden again.
Dhoni getting Dada to captain, calling Kumble to take the trophy.
And then getting hands on the trophy itself.

Although the trophy has always looked trashy, (atleast it's getting better compared to the first one), the fact that an Indian captain got hands on it all over again just made it very very visually appealing.

Mission acccomplished by our lads, I say.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Serendipity of a master!

Until now that is. Had seen Pyaasa when I was a child with Dad and it didn't stay on after that. Saw it again recently and along with it Kaagaz Ke Phool and Mr and Mrs. 55.

And right now am in the phase of realizing what a genius the man was and how late I woke up to the party.

Like they said, better now than late!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The state of our stadiums

No good. Went early morning today to Chinnaswamy and no information was available on where to get tickets, when will the gates open and on whether were tickets still available. That I still thought this was better than Kotla should be a fairly honest reflection of the state of our stadiums of the most popular game in the second most populated nation of the world.

Of course, all this because Ticketpro itself in the first place proved to be a mess of a site with "unexpected errors" cropping up everytime you proceed to pay. Another friend got lucky on the 6th attempt.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cleaning in Progress

Settled in Bangalore. Took a while to get the net connection back in. But finally through. Will be regular from here on. Definition of regular being worked on.

And for all it's worth, comments is back up too.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bucket List

1.) Watch Clapton in Concert.
2.) Watch Led Zep in Concert.
3.) Watch an ODI/Test in every cricketing nation.
4.) Direct a movie
5.) Direct a successful movie.
6.) Watch a Sacramento Kings versus LA Lakers game at Arco Arena
7.) Watch 1 All-Star game
8.) Drink draught beer in a German city
9.) Visit the Jack Daniels distillery
10.) Go wine-tasting at Champagne
11.) Stay at Waldorf Astoria, NY
12.) Stay at Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong
13.) (Repeat, cos it's really important:) Travel around the world watching cricket
14.) Blow some really big money at the Bellagio

That's it for now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Kumbh Mela Brothers ?

1. Sayaji Shinde and Mohammed Kaif
2. Nasser Hussain and Vladimir Putin
3. Damien Martyn and Hrithik Roshan
4. Dinesh Karthik and Hashan Tilekaratne
5. Swapnil Asnodkar and Romesh Kaluwitharana

More when I can think of them. More invited. :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A post-mortem: Deccan Chargers

This blog is dying. It's been for a while now. A lot of things have contributed to it's downfall.My negligence, lack of time (really), other interests taking over writing but I do want to keep it alive for as long as I can. So in a small initiative I think from now on I'll keep coming back once every week to put something on. I should've done it long back but better late than never.(We cant do without cliches can we?)

So to start off with, for all Deccan Chargers fans here's an appeal to not lose heart and keep our hopes high. We will come back next year and irrespective of whatever we do, we will do better than this year. However, a quick post mortem of what went wrong.

1.Laxman's captaincy: Should we've won our first game against Royals we would have been a different team today. Laxman should've given that over to Sanjay Bangar. That game took the morale of the Royals to a new high and that of the Deccan's to a new low.

2.Erratic Gibbs: He just failed to fire.

3.Afridi the dog, devil and angel: He bowled well and kept pegging the run-rate and taking crucial wickets yet didn't contribute a dime with the bat. If he'd scored even 30 runs more over these dismal ten games, DC would've been a contender for the semis. He failed everytime he was expected to deliver down the order.

4.Local talent not firing: Pragyan Ojha and lately Venu were the only guys who stood their ground. Vijay, Krishna, Ravi Teja even Sanjay Bangar- none of them were consistent.

5.Vaas and Zoysa: Hate them. Vaas came off a series where he was smacked for a six on his last ball and he continued that form and I doubt if Zoysa ever was in any form except his own uniform.

6. Tepid Franchise Owners: We've heard every franchise owner stand up for or (in one case, uptil now) against their team's captain's or strategies. Only one owner has detached himself from the whole proceeding. Not to say making sweeping statements would've made a world of difference but hey someone please own up this team!

Depressing, I tell you...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Catches of IPL- Part I

a.) Gibbs doing a superman to pouch Badrinath off Afridi at backward point at Chennai.

b.) Steyn,a full-length dive at a critical moment of the match to dismiss Afridi at Bangalore.

c.) Sean Marsh, at backward point again, catching Kalyankrishna off Pathan at Hyderabad. Did remarkably well to get stuck into it.

d.) Yuvraj Singh, a one-handed superlative effort to dismiss Manoj Tiwary at Mohali.

e.) Both Warne and Kohli went for Dinda's catch. Warne missed by an inch and Trivedi caught it at his fingertips. If this is not teamwork what is...

So that was for the first leg.

Wonder if I've missed any other favourites...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Familiar?

Our lips move but we can't hear what we're saying... Familiar?

Monday, April 21, 2008

One for the Deccan Chargers

When the first edition of ICL was getting underway, I'd written about how I was looking forward to it and now that grand daddy IPL is on it's legs, you can only imagine my excitement of wanting to sit in front of the TV all day!

For the record, yours truly is all for Deccan Chargers!What fun is sport if you don't have a team to support.And for the few of you who visit this place and the fewer of you who might wonder why Deccan Chargers, here's why:

Gilchrist: For his knock against Pakis at the Bellerive Oval, for his fastest double century(at that time) and for his knock in the final of the 2007 WC and for his walk in the 2003 WC.The only cricketer for whom I've written something.He was undoubtedly my most favorite overseas cricket player perhaps only preceeded by Lara and closely followed by Klusener.

Laxman:
For his 167, way before his 281, which was way before his precious little fifties in inevitably every overseas win or draw that India has played in.

Gibbs:
Remember Dan Van Bunge? Or his trademark six over extra cover. Flat, fast and furious.

Symmo: For his knock against Pakis in 2003 WC, for his shoulder charge against the streaker( Ha, ha I saw it live!), for his throw to run out Uthappa by taking out the middle stump in the Twenty20 World Cup, for his belief and ability to trust that he will effect the run out on his own and he did! Symmo is just Symmo!

Afridi: I hate him for being a Paki but I did like him when he once carted Kumble for 24 runs in an over... ;-)

Rohit Sharma:
For his 50 in the Twenty20 WC against SA. For his 6, with which he got there!

Robin Singh:: The self-effacing coach, who as a player,gave it all he had with whatever cricketing ability he had.For saving us from disgrace at Benoni, for the final of the Independence Cup when Kanitkar took all the glory for his last-over four but nobody remembered Robin Singh's crucial knock of 80-odd at #3, for his dives and for giving nothing less than 100% for every moment that he spent on the field.

And last not the least, the Deccan Chargers for their logo and their wallpapers.

I do hate the Sri Lankans in their side but I guess with so many other fave players, I'll manage the stink of their presence.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Very simply and quickly

This, cos a few people have been asking me how did this whole thing came about.

Dreams do come true if you want them so badly to come true.

a.) Always wanted to watch a match in Australia.
b.) Always dreamt for the winning side to be India.
c.) One hope was Star Cricket's Dream Job.That's now a footnote.Crashed out of the final 18.
d.) In the Aussie summer of 2008, only 2 matches were to go before the best-of-3 finals.
e.) Received a call from History Channel, asking would I like to go to Brisbane for the second final cos I'd won their online quiz.

Yep, it's true. If you do want things so so badly in your life, I guess they do come to you, sooner or later...Visa prayers got answered and the rest is history!

Thank God!We often say that but this time I do mean it more than any other time I've said it. And for the record, that match did turn out to be the last match of the Ozzie summer of 2008 and the last tri-series final in Australia.

Amen!

Next stop: South Africa! ;-)

The Proclamation

A potpourri of emotions, an expression, a movement and then... "Oye!"

The admonishment and then back to normalcy.

Looking for a script to expand the above.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Enough of...

I'm done with what women want.

Now I want to dwell on what men want.

I think in one phrase, a "pick-me-up" kind of friend.

If I'm down, pick-me-up.
If I'm high, take me higher

OTIS Elevators? The finest in business???

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Phenomenal, what else?

Excepting the World Cup final in 1983, was this our greatest ODI win ever?

Brisbane, 4th March, 2008

I was there!

The last match of the Australian summer of '08... :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Passion

It's a dangerous thing. Passion for work, hobbies, women...

And if you're onto wines, it's a different ballgame altogether! :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Calvin Hobbes Ke Taare Zameen Perth...

a. ) Am a sucker for useless movie trivia so here's one :

The sequence of the maths quiz question of 3 X 9 and the subsequent clash of the planets in Ishaan's mind is taken from the Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snowgoons in which Calvin comes with an answer of 6 to the question of "6+5 = " . For the record, the sequence is on pages 38 & 39 and Ishaan's answer was 3.

b.) The look on Ponting's face in the Perth post match press conference.Priceless doesn't quite sum it up!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Shameful , Ponting, Shameful!

i) It could well be true that Bhajji said what he said.
But how and why can one's man word be considered more pious than the other's in a judicial hearing? And if the umpires, who were the neutral parties, didn't hear anything, shouldn't it have gone in Bhajji's favor? After all, our case was that nothing objectionable was uttered and the umpires said they hadn't heard anything objectionable.

ii) Sameer, a dear friend, had a neat theory and I quote him. " Maybe he said, Behen Ki, Maa Ki... and it came across as Monkey..."

iii) The most shocking umpiring I've seen in a while. And while Australia have received many many decisions in their favor at home against a number of touring teams, this test match alone has to take the cake.

iv) Kumble: Like Sunny said, you're a fantastic ambassador for Indian Cricket. We're proud to have you on our side.

v) Ponting: Your batting is the only good thing about your existence on earth.I would wish even my worst enemy to wear some more character than what you displayed on Day 5 of the Sydney test!

vi.) Life moves on.I now own the entire set of C&H including the Sunday Pages and Tenth Anniversary Book. :-)