Sunday, September 26, 2010

Great ocean road


Great ocean road, here we come!

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cars I've driven - Ver 3.0

Cars I've driven, in the order of driving:
1. Maruti 800
2. Maruti Suzuki Zen
3. Hyundai Santro
4. Mahindra Scorpio
5. Maruti Suzuki Swift
6. Honda City ver 2
7. Chevrolet Spark
8. Maruti Alto
9. Maruti Zen Estilo
10. Mahindra Renault Logan
11. Maruti Wagon R
12. Volkswagen Golf (Automatic)
13. Mercedes CL180 (Automatic)
14. Skoda Octavia RS (Automatic)
15. Holden Cruze CDX (Automatic)
16. Nissan Tiida Hatchback (Automatic)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cars I've driven - Ver 2.0

Cars I've driven, in the order of driving:
1. Maruti 800
2. Maruti Suzuki Zen
3. Hyundai Santro
4. Mahindra Scorpio
5. Maruti Suzuki Swift
6. Honda City ver 2
7. Chevrolet Spark
8. Maruti Alto
9. Maruti Zen Estilo
10. Mahindra Renault Logan
11. Maruti Wagon R
12. Volkswagen Golf (Automatic)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Testing

This is a test post from Windows Live Writer Beta :)

If this is successful, life would be much easier :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Enough is enough I say

अभ बस! The time is ripe for atleast three of the fab (read over-age) five to move on to other things. Yes, I dare speaketh of the fivesome of Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble. It's time the baton is passed on to the guys who are willing to take a risk, who are willing to dirty their clothes to save a run, who don't have to play every match with a guillotine over their heads!

Looking at this objectively, all of them are past 35 and are certainly not getting any younger. How many other international teams can boast of even two players over the age of 35 (dear Fab Five, we are not proud of this achievement). All of them are purely in the team based on their past laurels, be those two years ago, or a decade ago. How long can the Indian team stay afloat with these dead weights on board?

Sachin Tendulkar has been in worse forms during his career. But constant injury claims and his sitting out of domestic competitions and then miraculously being fit for test matches is a glossy lie. Age is not on his side and he's had the longest career of them all. A graceful exit at this stage would only make him a greater man. However, now being only 15 runs short of Lara's record, its very clear what he is after, and his performances speak of that.

Anil Kumble is the captain of the team, and yes as is the way in Indian cricket, he is safe for a couple of years. But maybe he should introspect and look at his recent performances. He is unable to turn the ball, STILL! He has dropped his pace, so all he does is send a looping ball down to the batsman who can easily pick him off. He took a break during the recent test match against Australia and when Dhoni took over, India was more attacking and the Australians were struggling! Take a hint Mr. Kumble.

Rahul Dravid/Saurav Ganguly/V.V.S. Laxman are the most unfit of the bunch. Their batting styles are now outdated and they dont make any improvements. As a result, bowlers are able to get the better of them with ease. Of course, this trio is very good at scoring a 50 every 5 odd matches. So all three are neck-to-neck on who should be kicked out first. Atleast Ganguly had the pride to retire before being kicked out! These three are no longer suited to the game, even test match cricket.

So who is to take over? Definitely Dhoni should be made captain. To replace Anil Kumble ,India now has many spinners who actually turn the ball. Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra are able leg spin options who are hard to play. Rohit Sharma is a great replacement for Sachin Tendulkar. Of course, comparing them man-to-man is going to be difficult on Rohit, but he has shown that he has the temperament, given the chance. A very able number three, who is not getting any chances these days, and a very good replacement for Rahul Dravid is Suresh Raina. He is very consistent and plays with confidence. A player who can very easily step into the shoes of Laxman is Yuvraj Singh. For years on the sideline, given some time in test cricket, he will learn to buckle down and play out the tough sessions. Virat Kohli, in a short span of time has proved that he is made for the big time. He could be a very good replacement for Ganguly.

There, I have it all mapped out. Now only if the fab five would take a hint.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dhoni and the unparalleled precedent

It's all over the papers, it's on all the news channels. Dhoni has opted out of the Sri Lanka tour citing reasons of fatigue. Had it been a less established player, the media would have been in a frenzy and slautered the player calling it lack of professionalism. Now, Dhoni has been the most played Indian cricketer of the last couple of years. He plays test matches, One Day Internationals and even T20 matches. His IPL team, Chennai also played the most matches in the inaugral IPL tournament.

If I were to make an estimate, I'd say that Dhoni would have probably played 150 days of cricket in the last 365. How I wish I could tell my boss that I have worked 150 days in a year, and now I'm struggling with fatigue. The cricketers all over the world are spolit brats that don't know how to earn a decent living with respect. If we all started complaining about fatigue after working just 150 days, where would the world go? Certainly Dhoni is the most played cricketer in the last two years, but that is no escuse for the lack of professionalism shown by him in asking for a break.

I still hold that the cricketers on tour are always on holiday. They always party and go to tourist destinations when in a foreign country, so whats the complaining about? Dear boss, if you are reading this, my 150 days are up...

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Devanahalli Dairies

It was our third trip to the new airport at Devanahalli in a week. This time what was different was that we decided to try the public transport system. What we had in our favour was that the flight for which we were traveling to the airport was to take off at 7am for Delhi! After back calculating and after being informed that the bus would take 1 hour and 55 minutes, we planned to leave at 4am. That, as per calculations, would mean that my parents would be in the airport by 6am, just in time for the check-in process. Since there are buses from the airport at every hour, we could catch the 6am bus back home! Simple? Well, heres what happened.

We waited at the Jeevan Bima Nagar Bus stand for the Volvo that was to depart at 4am. There was another Vayu Vajra (non-A/C bus) standing there which was to depart at 3:30. Finally at 3:50, the conductor came to us and said that his bus would depart at 3:30! So we got on, suitcases placed neatly on the seats. The ticket price for this bus is INR 80 per head. There were only 5 passengers in the entire trip. The Vayu Vajra bus went painfully slow. All along the route we were being overtaken by cars from either side. Yet, the bus was traveling at 65kmph!!! We reached the airport in 55 minutes. The airport was alive with the international flights still coming in/departing.

After saying our goodbyes, we searched for the bus BIA-S3 which would take us back to the Jeevan Bima Nagar bus stand. There was a Volvo that was to depart at 5am, so we went and sat in it. At precisely 5:07 the bus left the airport with 6 passengers on board. The ticket price for this bus is INR 150 per head. On the way back, the Volvo bus travelled with immense speed and was at its destination at 5:55 (48 minutes traveling time). We were back home by 6:00am! Not bad I'd say!

For all the information of the BIAL bus routes, on-line booking, offline booking and more visit the BMTC BIAL site. For the route map of the BMTC BIAL service, visit the official BIAL site.

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Euro 2008 - Day 1 Results

Today's predictions:
Austria 1 - 2 Croatia
Germany 3 - 0 Poland

Yesterday's results:
Switzerland 0 - 1 Czech Republic
Portugal 2 - 0 Turkey

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Random thoughts

I had started this post writing about the messy traffic situation in Bangalore. As I typed out each line, I seemed to raise my own blood pressure. The keys on my keyboard were feeling the effects. Having written about two paragraphs, I gave up. There is just no solution to this mess they call traffic here. Even if the infrastructure is improved, the people here are just so mentally tuned to drive crazily that an improvement is not in sight.

So after a difficult two paragraphs, I selected all the text I had typed out and erased it. It was just not worth it. I was letting my blood boil, when clearly theres nothing that can be done to improve the situation in the next decade atleast. So why let it affect you? So I decided to chuck all that and write about happy things. Happy thoughts for happy people.

The weekend is almost here. The plan is to go to Innovative Film City, Bidadi tomorrow and maybe even try to go see the Sholay site at Ramanagaram.

In football news, there is a controversy brewing about the reason why England was not able to qualify for the Euro 2008. Sepp Blatter seems to feel that because there are so many foreigners in the English clubs, the budding English players don't really get a chance to play and improve. That certainly makes sense to me. Even in the IPL there is a restriction of 4 foreign players per team (and I think that should stay). If this kind of rule comes into effect in England, some budding English players should get a chance to perform.

The Euro 2008 starts tomorrow. I will put up predictions for each match on the day before and results of the matches after they happen. Lets see what kind of accuracy level I can achieve. As with every big tournament, many of the international players who perform well will suddenly find themselves in the transfer market. Big clubs will try to lure the best performers.

Prediction:
Switzerland 2 - 0 Czech Republic
Portugal 3 - 0 Turkey

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Euro 2008 is here

From June 7 to 29, 2008 soccer fanatics would get more than an eye-full when the big guns of Europe (sans England) get set to clash in the Euro 2008 to be held jointly by Austria and Switzerland. The finals will be played on the 29th of June (what a way for me to celebrate my birthday!) in Vienna. Lets preview the tournament shall we?

Group A: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey
Switzerland -> The team boasts of a stoic defense, so much so, that they did not leak a single goal during the group stages of the World Cup finals in 2006. They even managed to top their group, which had France and South Korea (who can forget their dream run in the 2002 world cup). The team should not be under-estimated at all.
Players to look out for - Phillipe Senderos, Alexander Frei, Hakan Yakin, Pascal Zuberbühler

Czech Republic -> A team which has already lived through it's Golden Age and not won anything of significance. They need to play out of their skin to go through the first round. Certainly an aging team, and with Thomas Rosicky missing things look bleak for them.
Players to look out for - Petr Čech, Milan Baroš, Tomáš Ujfaluši

Portugal -> Certainly one of the favourites to lift the cup, they look strong with an excellent coach at the helm. Christiano Ronaldo has just completed a dream season with Manchester United. The forward line is the only area of concern. However, the team can be sure of an impregnable defence and a very creative mid-field (so chances will surely be created). They should sail through the group stage with ease.
Players to look out for - Cristiano Ronaldo, Simão, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Nani, Deco

Turkey -> A team that blows hot and blows cold, depending on how they feel on the day. On their day, they can take on the best and come out on top, but on their off day they could be simple walkovers. The trick for Turkey would be that they would need to gel as a single unit. With Switzerland, Czech Republic and Turkey vying for a single spot in the second stage, it makes for a mouth-watering contest.
Players to look out for - Nihat Kahveci, Colin Kazim-Richards, Hamit Altıntop


Group B: Austria, Croatia, Germany, Poland
Austria -> There are always those that have argued that the host nation should not have automatic qualification. On this occassion, most of those against automatic qualification would be English! The Austrian team has very little to talk about, and being in the same group as Germany and Croatia they certainly must be sweating now.
Players to look out for - Martin Stranzl

Croatia -> The team that famously prevented England from qualifying for Euro 2008 has a tactically sound manager leading them. The team has done very well as a unit during qualification, ending up the winners of Group E. Having had a good qualification run is one thing, but turning it into a magical Euro 2008 is quite another. Lots is expected of this team, and getting past the group stage is only the begining.
Players to look out for - Dario Šimić, Niko Kovač, Darijo Srna, Ivan Klasnić

Germany - Another one of the favourites to lift the cup. Many pundits have Germany as the top team of the Euro 2008. The team looks strong with most of the young brigade having already gained a lot of international exposure and success. The loss in the semi-final of the World Cup 2006 at home was heartbreak, and the German team is out to correct that. They would need Michael Ballack to be at his inspirational best.
Players to look out for - Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, Michael Ballack, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Hitzlsperger

Poland - Surprise winners of group A in the qualifications, but would they be able to sustain their momentum against the likes of Germany and Croatia? With only the top two teams from each group going through to the next round, Poland's chances are bleak, especially having seen their World Cup performance in 2006. However, two years is a lot of time to improve, and lets hope they provide some entertainment.
Players to look out for - Euzebiusz Smolarek


Group C: Netherlands, Italy, Romania, France - The group of death
Netherlands - The Orange brigade is looking strong, with coach Marco van Basten haven buried the hatchet with Ruud van Nistelrooy. The team is on a roll, creating chances and finishing them well. Of course, this group is not an easy one to qualify from. The dutch would have to get past the Italian defence and the French guile to have a chance of progressing.
Players to look out for - Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben,Rafael van der Vaart, John Heitinga

Italy - The World Champs have just had their first shock of the tournament, and it has not gotten underway yet. Their inspirational captain Fabio Cannavarro is out with an injury and will take no part in the Euro 2008. What a loss! Suddenly the much fabled Italian defence does not look so miserly. The strike force still looks good, but the mid field seems to be aging fast. Being in a tough group, means no easy matches and now their chances don't look so good after all.
Players to look out for - Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo

Romania - Certainly the bashing boys of Group C, they must consider themselves extremely lucky if they manage to get a single point. They have no easy match, having to play France, Italy and Netherlands (in that order). Progression to the next round is a dream for them.
Players to look out for - Cristian Chivu, Adrian Mutu

France - A team that has overcome the shock World Cup of 2002 and looks to be playing good creative football again. Their World Cup 2006 campaign was much better, as they peaked at the right time to reach the finals. They are looking good, but some players like Maluda and Henry have had a nightmare season and are struggling to find form. With no easy games in the group stage, their work only becomes tougher!
Players to look out for - Karim Benzema, Thierry Henry, Patrice Evra, Franck Ribéry


Group D: Greece, Sweeden, Spain, Russia
Greece - The current Euro champions have not had the best time after their fantastic Euro 2004, in which they defeated Portugal and France. Most of the squad has aged and is looking fragile. However, they are in a relatively easier group and so no one can write them off.
Players to look out for - Angelos Basinas, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Angelos Charisteas

Sweeden - Nothing can define their desperation more than their recall of 36 year old, mutiple-retiree, Henrik Larsson to their squad. they have always done well in the qualifications but never done well in the main events. Somehow they manage to get into the second round, and then play like their target has been achieved and nothing else is required of them. This time around, they might want it to be different.
Players to look out for - Henrik Larsson, Olof Mellberg, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Sebastian Larsson, Christian Wilhelmsson

Spain - Another team that has a long history of doing exceedingly well in the qualifications and the first round of big events, but faltering there-after. Spain is so full of talented football players that its quite a rude shock that they have not won a prestigious cup in a long long time. Once again they promise a lot, whether or not they deliver is something else. The forward line looks lethal led by an in-form Fernando Torres. The mid field is as usual silky with the likes of Xavi. The defence is rock solid led by Carlos Puyol. Another contendor for the tournament for sure.
Players to look out for - Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fàbregas, José Manuel Reina

Russia - Guus Hiddink is known to work wonders. He took South Korea on that magical run in the World Cup 2002 to the semi-finals. He led Australia to the World Cup finals for the first time in 2006. Now he manages Russia. Being in an easy group, gives Russia a realistic chance of moving into the next round. They would, however, have to work very hard for that to materialise.
Players to look out for - Andrei Arshavin, Sergei Ignashevich

Heres hoping for a fabulous Euro 2008. May the best team win. Cheers!

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Bangalore International Airport - Part II

Well well well. So I had another experience with the much criticized new Bangalore International Airport. I had had my first experience last Saturday and it was a pleasant one. You can read about it here.

Now the experience I had yesterday was going to be a real test because I was to travel to receive dad on a weekday. Anyone who has stayed in Bangalore for even a day would realise the kind of traffic I am referring to when I say that we were to leave home at 8pm. The flight was to land at 10pm, so I thought that would give us enough time to get to the airport.

We went via the Old Madras road route. Thanks to a friend, I learnt of a new route, and avoided the jam at the under-bridge on the Old Madras road. We cut into NGEF colony and went onto join the Outer Ring Road beyond the flyover. From there, even though there was a lot of truck traffic, we were at Hebbal in 45 minutes. From Hebbal the new airport is a cool 23 kms. Since that lies on the National Highway to Hyderabad, we managed to cover the distance in good time and made it to the airport in a total time of 1 hour and 20 minutes! The best part is that the last 8kms is off the highway and in the airport complex, so is very smooth.

I once again found the airport to be very well done up. It looks an impressive structure and the movement of passengers is much smoother than the old dilapidated airport. There are a few things I noticed that could be improved, but then the airport only just opened up so it should be given some time to come up to full steam.

The journey back was even more pleasant. We left the airport at 3 minutes past 11pm and travelled with our windows down, enjoying the cool Bangalore winds. We went straight through Hebbal this time and headed to Mekri circle. Before we knew it, we had reached Ulsoor and then was the home stretch. We managed to make it home (without crossing the speed limits anywhere) in 55 minutes!!!

Now I must point out that the old airport was a mere 2 kms from my house, so if anyone should have a grouse about the airport shifting 45 kms away, it should have been me. But I believe, the new airport makes air travel more comfortable and so travelling an hour to get to the airport is a small price to pay. Lets look at Singapore and Malaysia (the only two countries I have been to outside India) and you will notice that the airport is outside the main city. In Malaysia, the international airport is 50kms south of Kuala Lumpur and it takes over an hour to get to the city. Similarly in Singapore the international airport is 20kms from the commercial center and it takes almost an hour to reach the airport there.

If Bangalore is to grow practically and expand logically, the citizines have to realise that the airport should not be in the city center. As responsible citizines, we should all give the new airport some time to grow. After all, no new venture is perfect when it is launched, there will be some teething problems which can be resolved with time. It is certainly a better experience than the old airport, where at peak times people would be packed in like sardines, much like the peak time traffic on Mumbai locals!

I would like to end by mentioning that I am not in favour of the UDF (User Development Fees) being levied on the passengers.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Mr. Modi - What do we watch now?

The Indian Premier League तमाशा is finally over! Before the IPL started, there was a lot of debate on whether it would be a success or a failure, or maybe even a moderate entertainer. All those debates and discussions were put to rest on the first night itself. Bangalore Royal Challengers played host to the Kolkatta Knight Riders. It was an entertainment carnival of sorts, with some excellent fireworks (from the bat of Brendon Mccullum). After the first match was over, the voices of the masses were unianimous: The IPL is going to be a runaway success. It's here to stay!

I don't wish to get into a discussion on the monetary aspect, because that has been discussed to death. Instead, I'd like to stick to the entertainment value that the IPL provided to so many households in India and abroad.

For 44 days, every weekday evening from 8pm to mid-night, and every weekend from 4pm to mid-night households in India came to a stand-still. The IPL provided फटाफट cricket to enthusiasts who don't really have the time to labour through 7 hours of boring test match or 50 over cricket.

The tournament provided a lot of entertainment. There were very few of the 53 matches which could be labeled boring. All through the tournament, the teams strived to provide a lot of fun value to viewers in the stadiums and in front of the television sets. Things got so close, that not untill the end did we know for sure who the four semi-finalists were going to be. For that one surely has to thank the cricketers for playing cricket non-stop for 44 days, to entertain us. They surely earned their bread.

Deccan Chargers
- Name and fame, but no game
Touted to be one of the best teams of the tournament, everyone already had them in their semi-final line up. Their batting line up boasted of big hitters like Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs and excellent consolidators like V.V.S. Laxman, Rohit Sharma and Scot Styris. Their bowling line up also looked very solid with R.P. Singh, Chaminda Vaas, Scot Styris, Shahid Afridi. However, they never seemed to click as a unit. Rohit Sharma came up with brilliant knocks through out the tournament, Symonds hit one blistering century and so did Gilly. Venugopal Rao came up with some amazing hitting towards the end of the tournament, but all his notable innings came in lost causes. Barring that there was nothing to write home about at all.
Biggest success - Rohit Sharma
Unknown success - Venugopal Rao
Biggest failure - Shahid Afridi

Bangalore Royal Challengers - Suffered a perpetual hangover
They turned out to be what most had expected them to be। A T20 flop unit, right from the start to the very end, they never seemed to have any idea of how to approach the format। Many fingers were pointed, but Dravid chose the team members and all of them seemed to play with his mentality। Nothing was really expected of this team. After all, this team was stacked with aged test players such as Dravid, Kallis, Boucher, Kumble, Sunil Joshi, Wasim Jaffer and Chanderpaul. There were a few exceptions like Roass Taylor, Cameron White, Misbah-ul-Haq, Virat Kohli and Sreevats Goswami who tried to break the shackles, but just did not have the luck to pull it off. Not a single century was scored by this team!
Biggest success - Rahul Dravid
Unknown success - Ross Taylor
Biggest failure - Cameron White/Misbah-ul-Haq/Jaques Kallis

Kolkatta Knight Riders - Korbo, lodbo, harbo
Prior to the tournament, Shah Ruk Khan seemed to be the most active owner in getting in sponsorship for his team. It was a good all-round unit expected to make it to the semis atleast. Their batting line up looked cracking with Chris Gayle, Brendon Mccullum, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Ganguly and Laxmi Ratan Shukla. Their bowling line up was equally strong with Ishant Sharma, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Ajit Agarkar, Ashoke Dinda and Murali Karthik. They started off as expected, thrashing Bangalore in the opening match of the tournament. Mccullum's innings of 158* was the defining moment of the entire IPL. However, they struggled the most with the exodus of the Australian and New Zealand players. Shoaib Akhtar never arrived until late in the tournament. Gayle was perpetually injured and played no part in the IPL.
Biggest success - Saurav Ganguly/David Hussey
Unknown success - Laxmi Ratan Shukla/Ashoke Dinda
Biggest failure - Mohammad Hafeez

Mumbai Indians - The perfect Sine wave
The Indians started off in the worst possible manner. So bad was their start that they lost to the Deccan Chargers and the Bangalore Royal Challengers. Pollock took over the captaincy after the Harbhajjan-Sreesanth Slapgate controversy. Sachin was still injured. The Mumbai faithful's patience was running thin. One win against the Kolkatta Knight Riders changed the team entirely. They were now a unit, playing so well that many called them unbeatable. That run continued for 6 matches, after which they began losing again. Crucial must-win matches were being lost, even though Sachin had returned to the team. The team now had the most lethal opening pair on paper, Sachin and Sanath. They still could not make it to the semis and had to settle for 5th position.
Biggest success - Sanath Jayasuriya/Shaun Pollock
Unknown success - Abhishek Nayar
Biggest failure - Harbhajjan Singh

Delhi Daredevils - Dared to crawl into the semis
The Delhi team was to be the best all-round unit, with fielding being the biggest strenght. They picked some bits and pieces players to form what most called a formidable T20 side. A lethal opening pair (Sehwag and Gambhir) followed by a strong middle order (on paper) and a very experienced and stingy bowling unit. All this was good for Delhi. However, the middle order never seemed to be there. It never seemed like McGrath was away from the game for a year. He was still bowling that immaculate line and lenght, which most found difficult to get away. The middle order of Shoaib Malik, A.B. DeVilliers, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwari, Tilekaratne Dilshan hardly put a foot right.
Biggest success - Gautam Gambhir/Fervez Mahroof/Glen McGrath
Unknown success - Shikhar Dhawan/Amit Mishra
Biggest failure - Shoaib Malik, A.B. DeVilliers, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwari, Tilekaratne Dilshan

Kings XI Punjab - Oye aaja Oye
The Punjab team boasted of unknowns, but the biggest known was Yuvraj. Much was expected of him. It's another point that he did not quite deliver. But it is not everyday that one can hit six 6's in an over. The team gelled well right from the start and played excellent cricket. Whether they batted first, or they chased, they somehow ended on the winning side. It's quite a big dampener for them that they played Chennai Super Kings thrice, and lost all three matches! Yuvraj captained the side well, and they always seemed the have the confidence that they would win. A very dissappointing semi-final brought their campain to an abrupt and sad end.
Biggest success - Shaun Marsh/Piyush Chawla
Biggest unknown - Shaun Marsh
Biggest failure - VRV Singh

Chennai Super Kings - EM-ASS-DHONI, Mind it
Dhoni's captaincy is improving in leaps and bounds, and when a veteran like Stephen Flemming says Dhoni is a superb captain, then he certainly must be! On paper a very strong unit (as Krish Srikanth would vociferously point out) boasting of the likes of Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, M.S. Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Badrinath, Albie Morkel, Jacob Oram and Stephen Flemming. At the start, their bowling looked weak, with only Muralitharan being a bowler of note. But then they posted such huge totals, that the bowlers had little work to do. Once Hayden and Hussey left, Ntini and Morkel joined the party. Manpreet Gony was a real revelation, and a little more domestic exposure would help him get a call to the Indian team. Joginder Sharma got what he deserved, a real thrashing!
Biggest success - M.S. Dhoni/Suresh Raina
Unknown success - Manpreet Gony
Bigget failure - Joginder Sharma

Rajasthan Royals - Halla Bol
Touted as the underdogs of the tournament, everyone expected them to languish at the bottom of the table. People wondered why Shane Warne agreed to play for them and even be their coach. Through out the tournament they played as one single unit and great spirit. Shane Warne did a fantastic job of speaking to each player individually and also gave each player a specific role. Each of his players played their roles to perfection and thats why they did so well. The leg-spin legend returned to the game and proved a champion in a totally new format. The biggest advantage for the team was that they did not lose any player during the 44 days. They played total cricket, always looked like they would win and entertained the crowds very well. Numerous players stood out, especially young indian players.
Biggest success - Shane Watson/Yusuf Pathan/Shane Warne/Shoail Tanvir/Graeme Smith
Unknown success - Swapnil Asnodkar/Niraj Patel/Siddharth Trivedi/Ravindra Jadeja
Biggest failure - Younis Khan/Mohammad Kaif

Now based on the above, heres my pick for the dream team from the IPL, totally based on performance (without any foreign player constraints):
1. Shaun Marsh (Kings XI Punjab)
2. Sanath Jayasuriya (Mumbai Indians)
3. Gautam Gambhir (Delhi Daredevils)
4. Yusuf Pathan (Rajasthan Royals)
5. Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers)
6. M.S. Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)
7. Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals)
8. Shaun Pollock (Mumbai Indians)
9. Shane Warne (Rajasthan Royals)
10. Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals)
11. Glen McGrath (Delhi Daredevils)
12. Manpreet Gony (Chennai Super Kings)/Piyush Chawla (Kings XI Punjab)

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The Bangalore International Airport

This Saturday, I had my first experience with the new Bangalore International Airport. Now, this airport is no stranger to controversy. Right from the start of this year, the Bangalore जनता has been up in arms about the closing of the old HAL Airport, more than the opening of the new airport. As such, the public wants better facilities but they also want the convenience of not having to travel to much just to get to the airport. However, what people here dont understand is that the HAL facility just did not have any space. Already it was very cramped, and the growing air traffic would just make the pain of travelling a nightmare. So yes, it was prudent to develop a new Airport, outside of the city limits.

There are many positives of this move:
- It eases the traffic congestion within the city.
- If the airport needs to grow more in the future, there should be enough place around for it to do so.
- This is a step in the right direction. If Bangalore has to grow as a Metropolitan, it needs to expand to the rural areas.

Everyone knew about the project, and its progress. But it is only when the Airport was ready to be launched, that people (thanks to the useless media) started raising the war cry, not to shut down the existing HAL Airport. How can Bangalore manage two airports? It makes no economic, practical or common sense to keep two airports open, even if one is just for "short-haul" flights. People, knowing that the launch is near, should have prepared appropriately. After all, an airport, the magnitude of this one, certainly does not come up in a couple of months. People should have planned better.

This by no way exonerates the government. They should have planned and started improving the connectivity to the new airport, months in advance. But they were so busy playing power-see-saw that they did not find the time to improve the roads, and make connectivity to the new airport easier.

So what do we have now?
- We have a brand new international airport (some of it still being constructed).
- Some facilities of the airport are reportedly mal-functioning (ATC being the most important).
- Connectivity to the new airport is a mess.
- Facilities within the airport are much improved, and makes for a more comfortable and relaxing journey for passengers.

We were to pick up my mom from the airport on Saturday morning. The flight landed 10 minutes early, and she was out of the airport within half an hour of landing (in spite of having checked in bags!). We left home an hour before the flight was to land. Oh boy, we were going to be late! We went to Old Madras road, and then got onto the Outer Ring Road, straight to Hebbal. We managed to travel the 41 kms to the airport in 1 hour and 3 minutes, even though we stuck to the speed limits. What a relief. We reached well in time, and even decided to go check out the arrival lounge. The entry ticket costs INR80 per head.

The interiors are plush, and there is a lot of space. Thats a huge improvement over the old airport. There are coffee lounges and even a book store in the arrival lounge. We cant wait to see the airport completely from inside. We will be flying out in July, and hope to reach the airport early and roam around the interiors.

For a person who arrives at the new airport, all he/she needs to do is step out! Inside the arrival lounge are the kiosks of MERU cabs, Akbar cabs (heard bad reviews about this), Taj Hotels and Oberoi Hotels. On exiting the main building, one comes across the Volvo bus stand. Volvo buses run to major parts of Bangalore, with very few stops. To see the map route of the Volvo buses, click here.

On the way back from the airport, we decided to try the Mekri Circle route. This time, we covered the 40 kms in 1 hour and 10 minutes! So far, the experience with the new international airport has been positive for us. Next we go to pick up dad on Tuesday night. That will be the real test, as it will be during peak traffc hours!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

My IPL squad predictions

Here are my IPL squad predictions:
1. Bangalore Royal Challengers:
Bharat Chipli
Shreevats Goswami/Wasim Jaffer (Sheevats should be first choice)
Rahul Dravid (captain)
Jaques Kallis
Misbah-ul-Haq/Cameron White (Misbah would be first choice)
Virat Kohli
Mark Boucher (wicketkeeper)
Praveen Kumar
Anil Kumble
Nathan Bracken
Zaheer Khan

I'd like to see Shreevats Goswami play instead of Jaffer, because he is a fast scorer, and an opener who can make use of the power play overs. Also, he's a talent for the future and should get a chance before the tried and tested and wasted Jaffer. Ideally, Misbah should be able to walk into any 20-20 team, but considering the restriction of only 4 international players, he'd have to keep out Cameron White, an extremely fit and competitive cricketer. I think Bangalore need to look at a permanent replacement for Zaheer Khan, the fitest cricketer ever. He will surely play the first match, but then he would sit out the rest of the tournament due to his injury! What a waste of money. Youngsters should be encouraged, as they could easily replace him anytime!!!

2. Chennai Super Kings:
Matthew Hayden/Stephen Flemming (Hayden would be first choice)
Napolean Einstein
Suresh Raina
S Badrinath
Mahendra S Dhoni (captain & wicket keeper)
Srikkanth Anirudha
Jacob Oram
Albie Morkel
Shadab Jakati
Joginder Sharma
Muttiah Muralitharan

A tough choice between Hayden and Flemming, but considering Hayden's record in India and his free scoring nature, he'd be the first choice in that battle. No other issues in the squad.

3. Delhi Dare Devils:
Virender Sehwag (captain)
Gautam Gambhir
Manoj Tiwari
Dinesh Karthik (wicket keeper)
Shoaib Malik/AB de Villiers (Shoaib Malik would be first choice)
Shikhar Dhawan
Mithun Manhas
Daniel Vettori
Farveez Mahroof
Pradeep Sangwan
Mohammad Asif/Glen McGrath (Asif would be first choice)

Both Shoaib Malik and AB de Villiers are excellent middle order batsmen, but considering the experience that Malik would have garnered in the 20-20 world championships and his very useful knocks throughout the tournament, coupled with his off-spin, I think he'd be first choice. If Dinesh Kartik is unfit, de Villiers would have to play, because he is a good wicket-keeper too. Shoaib Malik could miss out then. In the battle between Asif and McGrath, I think Asif would be first choice because age is on his side. However, I have a soft corner for McGrath and would love to see him play instead. Asif has the experience in 20-20 matches, but McGrath has consistency on his side.

4. Deccan Chargers:
Adam Gilchrist (wicket keeper)
Shahid Afridi/Herschelle Gibbs (extremely difficult choice, would be made on fitness)
Rohit Sharma
Andrew Symonds
VVS Laxman (captain)
Venugopal Rao
Arjun Yadav
Chaminda Vaas/Scott Styris (Chaminda Vaas would be first choice)
Pragyan Ojha
RP Singh
Doddapaneni

This team is stuck with the worst choice, to choose between Gibbs and Afridi! I guess, in the end the choice would be made based on fitness and playing conditions. Gibbs is a stronger batsman, but then Afridi is a much improved bowler and he can single-handedly win any 20-20 match if his batting clicks (and that is a big IF). Honestly, I can't choose between them! Another difficult choice is between Vaas and Styris. Vaas could be excellent in 20-20 with his cutters, but Styris is a better batsman. Based on current form, Vaas would be the first choice.

5. Rajasthan Royals:
Taruwar Kohli
Greame Smith/Younis Khan (Greame Smith would be first choice)
Mohamamd Kaif
Dimitri Mascarehnas
Yusuf Pathan
Kamran Akmal (wicket keeper)
Ravindra Jadeja
Pankaj Singh
Shane Warne (captain)
Anup Revandkar
Munaf Patel

A tough choice between Greame Smith and Younis Khan, but I think that Smith being an opener would have a greater chance of playing. It's a tough call to leave Younis Khan out of the side. Smith is also a better fielder.

6. Kolkata Knight Riders:
Sourav Ganguly (captain)
Chris Gayle
Aakash Chopra
David Hussey/Ricky Ponting (David Hussey would be first choice)
Cheteshwar Pujara
Brendon McCullum (wicket keeper)
Ajit Agarkar
Murali Karthik
Iqbal Abdulla
Shoaib Akhtar/Umar Gul (Shoaib Akhtar would be first choice, if fit!)
Ishant Sharma

How can one choose between David Hussey (the 20-20 specialist from Australia) and Ricky Ponting? However, based on experience (in 20-20), current fitness and 20-20 batting style and consistency, David Hussey should walk into the team in front of Ricky Ponting. Both are excellent fielders, but Hussey having won the player of the series in the 2007-08 KFC Twenty20 Bash (Australia's domestic tournament), should make it over Ponting. Another tough choice is between Akhtar and Umar Gul. Akhtar should make it before Gul, but only if he is fit (don't even get me started on Zaheer Khan)

7. IPL Mohali Team:
James Hopes/Ramnaresh Sarwan (Hopes would be first choice)
Kumar Sangakkara (wicket keeper)
Yuvraj Singh (captain)
Mahela Jayawardene
Tanmay Srivastava
Karan Goel
Irfan Pathan
Brett Lee
Piyush Chawla/Romesh Powar (Chawla would be first choice)
Sreesanth
Ajitesh Argal

Based on the style of play required in 20-20 cricket, I'd say that Hopes would make it before Sarwan, simply because he is a more attacking batsman and also bowls an immaculate line and lenght! There would be a toss up between Chawla and Powar based on the pitch conditions.

8. Mumbai Indians:
Sanath Jayasuria
Sachin Tendulkar (captain)
Robin Uthappa
Saurabh Tiwary
Manish Pandey/Loots Bosman (If Dilhara misses out, Bosman would play)
Pinal Shah (wicket keeper)
Abhishek Nayar
Shaun Pollock
Harbhajan Singh
Dilhara Fernando/Ajinkya Rahane (if Dilhara plays, Manish Pandey would play)
Lasith Malinga

Not much to choose from in the Mumbai squad, but since they have a local wicket keeper it gives them more to choose from the international players. If Dilhara Fernando plays, then Loots Bosman would miss out. But if Fernando does not play, and Ajinkya plays, then Loots Bosman could replace either Manish Pandey or Saurabh Tiwari.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Whats new in my life

Heres whats new!
SETU India

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Whats new in my life

Heres whats new!
http://www.setuindia.in

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Everybody has a New Year's story

The only question doing the round these days is, "So what did you do on the 31st?". Is it really that big a deal that a new year has started? Is it really of so much consequence that a new year has begun, that the year has changed from 2007 to 2008?

Why don't we celebrate a new month? or even a new week, (in fact, come to think of it, we do anything but celebrate a new week, trudging to office with long faces, wishing it was a Friday!) or even a new day, or perhaps a new hour, or a new minute, or a new second??? (Living is a celebration!)

It is interesting to think about what all changes when the year ticks over from 2007 to 2008. The biggest concern for me is to remember the year as 2008, so I can sign the cheques correctly! Apart from that, there isn't much, and yet we humans need another reason to celebrate, another excuse to go on a binge of drinking, another reason to bust up hard earned money. Whats the bottom line?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Too much Cricket

How many times have we heard our dear beloved cricketers complaining of "too much cricket". I dont think I can agree with their constant complaining. Ok, let me analyse this clearly.

The cricketers possibly play cricket for about 150 days in a calenday year. A common working man, works for atleast 250 days in a calendar year. The cricketers are paid way more than the average working man. So, what the cricketers want is more money, and they want to work less? What kind of justice is that? Considering the kind of pay that the cricketers get, I would want them to work much more than even 250 days in a year.

Now another angle. A normal cricket match lasts upto 7 hours in a day. So even if a cricketer is not sitting on his backside in the dressing room, he can spend a maximum of 7 hours on the field of play, "working" (of course, that is expecting the cricketer, to be the wicket-keeper-cum-opening-batsman who bats all 50 overs, and even practices during the lunch break!). An average working man, works atleast 8 hours in a day. Somedays, the cricketers play 20-20 matches, which last only 3 and a half hours!

Ok, there may be an agrument from the contentious mind. Cricket is a physical sport, and a player could get injured, and that a player has to travel across the world to play matches and live away from home. My response to that would be simple: C'MON!! Isn't every industry unique? Doesn't each industry have it's own work environment? A cricketer knows what he is getting into when he decides to play cricket. I'm sure the aim of a striving cricketer, is NOT to sit in the pavillion, sipping tea and eating biscuits! As for the travelling bit, let me see...they travel to different countries, stay in a 5 star hotel, their food, travel, etc. is taken care of. They have so many off days, (and on their "working days" they work only 7 hours max) that they can do enough site-seeing. Their wives are allowed to travel with them. So where is the problem?

So what are the cricketers complaining of? Do they want more off days, to relax their tiring bodies? Most of them are in the age group 20-30. If they can't handle it, should they really be representing their country at the top level? And if they are not fit enough, should they not give others a chance to play, or should they make the viewers suffer by playing lesser? They are afterall in the entertainment business.

A last thought. Do they want more time off from cricket to do more advertisements? (this is in specific to the Indian cricketers)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

20-20 Champs

The 20-20 cricket revolution brought about by the ICC is great for the game. Not that it needed a boost in the sub-continent, but in the rest of the world, the following of cricket was dwindling. It needed a form a cricket which would attract more people. One must congratulate the ICC and the South African cricket board for hosting a fabulous tournament, in which there were no "boring" matches, or dead rubbers.

The 20-20 game, brings in new spectators who are willing to watch a fast paced match, which would get over within 3 hours. It is of little surprise that most of the popular international sports (soccer, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, baseball, basketball, etc) are played over 3 hours or less, so as to attract huge crowds. Definitely, the game of cricket needed a format that would bring in more crowds (into the stadiums) and in general bring in a new section of people as spectators.

I think that the ICC and all the affiliated boards should make an effort to promote this form of the game, and not just have an international tournament every 2 years. Most of the "pundits" have asked the ICC to go slow on the 20-20 version, and not use it much. However, I differ on this. I believe that the revenues will come in more due to the 20-20 version. So as a roadmap, I can suggest that every internation tour should have 3 to 5 Test Matches, 3 to 5 One Day International Matches and 3 20-20 Matches. I can say with sureity that the largest crowds would come in for the 20-20 matches! Also, giving encouragement to this new format of the game, would bring in new players who would be specialists in this version of the game (NOTE: The specialist teams, like England, and South Africa were out by the quarter finals, whereas newbies like India and Pakistan made it to the finals).

Another step that ICC should take to grow the new version with care, is to create an international ranking (in the same format as done for Test Teams and players and ODI Teams and players) for 20-20 teams and 20-20 players. That would generate more interest. So far, Wikipedia carries a lot of statistics on the new version. I also feel that a shorter version of the game if promoted properly, could bring in new teams like the USA, Canada, Singapore, and who knows, they might play this version better than "ICC Test Recognised Teams"!

All the best ICC.
India are surely deserving champions.

---
(Sports Aficionado)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Traffic Woes

Each city has it's own traffic woes. I've driven in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, and have had the misfortune of having seen the traffic in Chennai and Calcutta. I believe the true test of the "drivability" in a city is to try to drive during office going hours.

 

Let me start with the Delhi traffic. The Delhi traffic, seems the most organised, not because of the ability of the people driving, but because of the wide and pot-hole-less roads. However, people on a whole do not have the sense to drive, and considering the wide roads of Delhi, if people used a little more sense in their driving, the traffic of Delhi could be top notch. I think the biggest problem with the traffic in Delhi is the "road-rage". It is so bad, that it has led the media to coin a new term, i.e., road-rage.

 

The Mumbai traffic is far worse than the Delhi traffic. The roads of Mumbai however, are in a far worse condition, mainly due to the ferocious rainy season. It is quite a majour headache getting from one place to another during office hours in Mumbai, especially in the rainy season. The people, however, are far more controlled than in Delhi.

 

The Bangalore traffic is by far the worst in the country. The people are immature and senseless while driving. Of course the narrow roads, polka-dotted with man-hole size pot-holes does not help the cause. This is the only city I have seen in which there could be a true traffic jam, where a car could be stuck for an hour without moving an inch. People who want to turn right, do so from the extremely left lane; people who want to turn left, do so from the extreme right lane.

 

I think the steps taken in Delhi should be used as an example for other cities. There was a time in Delhi when right turns were blocked on the main roads, thus smoothening out the traffic. The spiringing up of numerous flyovers all over Delhi has also helped ease the traffic situation there. If only people would be calm on the roads, Delhi would be close to heaven to drive in.

 

---

Thinking (Pensive)

Nintendo Wii

We became proud owners of a brand new Nintendo Wii (a leader in the seventh generation of home consoles), when our friends in the U.S. decided to gift us one. What a fabulous gift it turned out to be.

 

The most distinguishing feature of the Nintendo Wii is the wireless remote which can double up as a tennis raquet, a baseball bat, a golf club, a bowling ball, a boxing glove, a billards cue, a fishing stick, a gun, and even a table tennis racquet (I could have gone on and on, but due to a paucity of time of the reader, I have kept the list short!)

 

Let me take a simple example of Golf. In the golf game, one uses the Wii remote as a golf club (one can change the club style, i.e., driver, iron, wedge, putter) and standing in the stance as if one was actually on the golf course, swing the wii remote to hit the ball down the fairway. Putting is more difficult, as one needs to control the power of the putting.

 

Thanks to the Wii, I can play my favourite sports, and in my favourite place, HOME! I can have my daily exercise without going to the gym. Just play the boxing game, and that is more than enough exercise for one day. The Wii also has a training center, in which one can take part in some training exercises to help in increasing accuracy, stamina and balance. There is also a "Wii fitness age" section in which the Wii will challenge you to some tasks and depending on the gamers capability to take up those challenges (one challenge is to hit as many home runs with just 10 throws of the ball) the Wii will calculate the gamers fitness age on three criteria, i.e., balance, speed and stamina. The fitness age would be between 20 and 80. I took my first fitness age test yesterday and got a rating of 31!!

 

The Wii will definitely bring about a revolution in gaming, making game playing more realistic and a wholistic experience.

 

I'm off to improve my Wii Fitness Age!

 

---

Baring teeth (Pumped up)

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

The relentless agrument

One argument that rises like a Phoenix ever so often in my vicinity: Is Mumbai better or Delhi?

In true honestly, both cities are so diverse and so complicated in their existence that an answer to the question is difficult to find. I have spent 13 years of my life in Mumbai and 11 years in Delhi (the remaining 2 were spent in Bangalore), and I do have a soft corner in my heart for Mumbai, maybe because I was born there, spent my childhood there, and finally started my career there.

About Mumbai:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai

About Delhi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi

Maybe a comparison is not possible. In Mumbai there are only two kinds of people:
1. Those who love Mumbai fanatically - who see nothing
wrong with the city, its people, their actions and can find any justification for anything that happens within its boundaries.

2. Those who hate Mumbai fanatically - who see only wrong with the city, its people and their actions, and can
blame everything happening in the world on the city and
its inhabitants.

I come in the 1st category. I'm proud of Mumbai. I have
lived there in tough times, and I have lived there in good times, and at both times I've loved the city.

Theres no answer to the question.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Fall of Icarus - Zinadine Zidane

The question on more than a billion fans minds, on the day after the world cup final was: "Why Zidane? Why?" The true loser on the night of the final was not the French team, but was football.

Football fans, the world over, saw their hero, their idol fall many a mile into shame. Zidane has graced the football pitch for over a decade with his grace and his gentlemanly behavior. But his fall from grace left football lovers distraught as they sought answers to the question that incessantly bugged them: "Why Zidane? Why?"

I for one was hurt to see my idol on the football pitch behave in the manner that Mike Tyson once behaved. His fall from grace, and that too in his last match, hurt his fans and football was the real loser.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

04th July 2006

La parete italiana (The Azzurri wall) vs Die deutsche Unerfahrenheit (The German inexperience)

The first semi-final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was much anticipated. It pitted two of the World Cup greats, former Champions, and experienced stalwarts.

The Germans came into the semi-finals on a high. They had been performing really well, playing attacking, entertaining football throughout the tournament. In all they had scored 11 goals and conceeded 3. There were however, somethings that were going against them. They had just played a very tiring game against the Argentinians which went all the way to Penalties. There were also missing Frings who was suspended for the semi-final.

The Italians came into the semi-finals also on a high. Their form had been rising as they progressed through the competition, winning all their games, barring one. They had scored just 9 goals and conceeded just one. There main problem was that they were missing Nesta in the heart of the defense. Another point of consideration was that Gattuso was on a yello card, and one more in this game would make him miss the finals, if Italy got through. So would this thought hamper his game?

The Germans were starting as favourites, because the "12th man" (the German crowd) was suppossed to be of great help. Lehmann, was hailed as having the "hands of god", keeping out the Argentineans in the Penalties. The German team could do no wrong in the eyes of their supporters. The Italian public was very expectant of their team, which was suddenly scoring goals and just not grinding out 1-0 victories.

The 1st Half:
The 1st half belonged completely to the Italians. They were all over the German defense, which was showing signs of cracking under consistent pressure. The Italians were playing on the counter attack, and the Germans were finding it had to get past the Italian defense, and even keep possession of the ball.

The 2nd Half:
The 2nd half was all Germany. They came out with an attacking perspective and got down to work immediately. There were a couple of good substitutions made by Klinsmann, bringing in Odonker and Schweinstiger. Odonker was pacy and was suddenly breaching the defense. But Cannavaro was the General in defense, marshaling his troops and leading from the front. The Italians did manage to keep the Germans out for the 2nd half...and seemed to be playing comfortably and with a plan.

Extra Time:
The 1st half of extra time was similar to the 2nd half of normal time but was more fast paced because the players were tiring. The 2nd half of extra time proved decisive, with the Italians clinching the match in the dying minutes. In the 119th minute, Grosso, curled a wonderful left footed shot into the corner of the goal, beating a desperately diving Lehmann. After that, Germany came on the attack, and Italy scored the 2nd goal in the 121st minute, a simple lob by Del Piero over Lehmann's head.

Game OVER! Germany knocked out. Italy through to the finals. No one talks about the 3rd/4th place playoff, because the final is yet to be played!

I think the game was very well refreed. He kept a close watch on the happenings on the field, and did not show an exhuberance to show cards for the smallest of offenses.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Star date 27th Oct 2005

Heres something I had written on 27th October 2005

"
Let me begin, once again with what has becmoe very trite on my blog, "So much is going on!". Where is all my time going? It's leading to quite a helpless sort of feeling when one is unable to quantify one's net worth per unit time (spoken like a true manager?), and me being a management student, I am feeling even worse as I am unable to manage my time efficiently!
"

A few thoughts about the World's favourite sport

I have a couple of thoughts about the latest developments in the soccer world.

1. Steve McLaren - I'm not too sure he's the right man for the job. His attitude is very defensive, and I'm not too sure he knows his players well enough. So I dont know what he'll manage to do with the English squad once he takes over.
Just to explain my point, last night at the UEFA Cup finals, I think the 1st XI put out by him was not at all right. The strikers (Hasselbiank and Viduka) were so lackluster, it was shameful. The team would have done much better with Yakubu's and Macaroni's pace up front.

2. The world cup - Its right around the corner, and for once I think I will be able to see as much as humanyly possible!

Now about the use of "more technology" in Cricket. I think its rubbish. Why have the umpire on the field then? The games will just get longer and longer and more boring!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Oh Well!

So much going on, but wheres the time?

No, I'm not cribbing, I'm just lamenting the fact that a day has just 24 hours! Isn't it possible to create time? I don't want to live longer, because frankly this world is just not worth it, but yes in my current state, I do wish for more time (mostly for my love and also for zzzzz)

So, coming to the point, today is Dodo's birthday. We celebrated last night with cake, thumbs Up, and lays chips (not quite the pizza hut celebration, but then this is Kharagpur. The nearest Pizza joint is about 3 hours away in Kolcutta). But anyways, let me not crib again!

Have been taking part in a lot of competitions and quizes, in the hope of adding more material to my resume, and somehow taking it into the 2 page mould. Our summers process has started and a few companies are showing interest in various streams. Its a tense time, as I'm embarking on something new. It's not like it was in engineering anymore. Now I have value to add to the company and I can afford to (and should do!) pick and choose the company I wish to sit for. In engineering, the attitude was, sit-for-whatever-company-comes!

Heres hoping for the best.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Update ver 2.1

Oh, I dont think I'v been regular at all in updating my blog, but life has taken such drastic turns that time seems to be of a premium now.

"Everyday is a winding road"
Everyday gets spent in attending classes from the morning to evening and then theres always some work (which has to be done if one wants to have order in life, such as paying the mess bill, buying fruits, books, etc.) So time gets spent till dinner time and nothing significant gets done. Post dinner is another story all together. By the time one gets back from dinner, its already very late!

More later...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Cars I've Driven

Cars I've driven, in the order of driving:
1. Maruti 800
2. Maruti Suzuki Zen
3. Hyundai Santro
4. Mahindra Scorpio
5. Maruti Suzuki Swift
6. Honda City
7. Maruti Alto

Friday, July 15, 2005

Update

Well, its been a month of R&R (Rest & Relaxation), a really tiring month of R&R! In this entire month, I have done nothing but spend time meeting up with friends, and spending time enjoying my life (when was the last time I enjoyed so much?).

I have spent the month watching movies, travelling places, doing night-outs, and generally enjoying my life to the fullest (thanks Pallo, Sudhanshu, Radhika, Vikram and Venkat).

I resigned from my 1st job on the 18th of May 2005 and my LWD (last working day) was the 18th of June. It wasn't a very difficult/emotional parting with my employer, but it was quite a tearful parting with Mumbai (the city of dreams). I however, pledged never to return to the city that drove me to work like a madman.

Now starts a brand new chapter of my life. It is exciting and yet I am a bit anxious (will I be able to cope?). This monday I depart for a part of India that I have never seen before: The East. Registration with IIT KGP is on the 20th of July 2005, and I am really looking forward to it. What does this new chapter behold for my future?

I really can't answer that question, and as a result I am hit with doubts. But I must have faith in my choice, and do what I want!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

One paragraph that explains Life......

Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player was dying of CANCER.From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: "Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease"?

To this Arthur Ashe replied: The world over -- 5 crore children start playing tennis, 50 lakh learn to play tennis, 5 lakh learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbeldon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals, When I was holding a cup I never asked GOD "Why me?".
And today in pain I should not be asking GOD "Why me?"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

New Champions

I remember saying a few days back that when Liverpool beat Chelsea to make it through to the UEFA Champions League Final it was a glorious day for the red side of Merseyside.

Star-date: 25-May-2005.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Occassion: UEFA Champions League Final 2005.

It was built up in many ways, one was that it was the 50th European Cup final.

There was also talk of the following:
1. The last time the Pope passed away, Liverpool won the European Cup.
2. The last time Prince Charles got married, Liverpool won the European Cup.
3. Liverpool has worn their prefered red strip for the European Cup finals on four previous occassions, and on each they were victorious.
4. There was talk that if Liverpool lose, Gerrard would leave them at the end of the season.

There was a lot of talk.

Then there was the action. Frankly, there are no words that can describe the action. The match was probably the best European finals ever vitnessed. Fur a soccer purist, it was a great delight to watch the match. It was full of conventional soccer skills, and great tactics.

The first half was totally A.C.Milan showing why they are in the finals. Liverpool on the other hand struggled to get going, and were very vulnerable at the back. There were three goals in the 1st half, all to A.C.Milan:
1. In the very first minute, from a free kick given away by Djimi Traore (who I thought had the worst game ever!), Maldini came in and slotte home neatly. Very good finish.
2. The second goal came off excellent work by Kaka (great ball over Traore to Shevsheko), Shevsheko and a neat finish by Hernan Crespo.
3. The third goal in my opinion was the goal of the Champions League 2004/05. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant pass by Kaka, behind the defense to Crespo who very deftly looped it over the keeper to score his second.

By the break, everyone had given up on Liverpool, but out they came with a plan. Liverpool score 3 times in 6 minutes and 42 seconds and took the match to the Italian club.
1. The first goal was much needed. Would Gerrard stay, would he leave? A good ball from the left wing by Riise (who had a great game) to the 6 yard box, where Gerrard came and headed home well.
2. If the 1st goal lifted the Liverpool crowd, the second really lifted the roof off the stadium. A shot from outside the box by Vladmir Smicer just sneaked in from the corner of the goal. 3-2 still in Milan's favour. But they were rattled.
3. The 3rd goal was a penalty. Gerrard was clear on goal, and would have probably finished it off, but Gatusso pulled him back to gift the Reds a penalty, which Xavi Alonso put in on the rebound!

The rest of the game was more of a mind game. It went on, and by the Extra time, both teams were very tired.

I must say the Ref did an exceptional job. He kept the players in line, and kept the cards in his pocket.

The penalties were very badly taken. I have never seen so many missed. It was finally a victory for Liverpool, because Dudek stopped the penalties very very well.

Congrats to Liverpool F.C. Hope this changes their fortunes in the EPL too, and makes them more competetive there. But will Gerrard stay? Will Liverpool get to defend their Champions League title?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

SERENDIPITY

Serendipity.

Its a fabulous movie. Everything about the movie was so enchanting.

I was just flipping channels, when I came across the movie on TV. I watched maybe 2 minutes, and was hooked. I even dropped the book I was reading (I never do that!) to concentrate entirely on the movie.

On a winter day in NYC, Jonathon Trager (John Kusack) meets Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsdale). There is instant attraction. Both feel very comfortable in each other's presence and hit it off really well. They both believe in signs from above before doing anything. They spend the day together, and then go their seperate ways. They both are about to get married (not to each other).

They dont know whether they should be together or not. So he writes his name on a dollar note, and she uses that to buy a newspaper. She writes her name on the first page of a book and sells the book to a store. The sign would be if he buys the correct book and she gets the dollar note back, they would know how to get in touch and that would be a sign!

Somehow I'm feeling that by writing this, I'm degrading the movie. It's much better to watch the movie than read any review.

Anyway, they go in search of each other with the help of their best friends, and realise how unfit they are with their current partners. He turns up where she's living, and she turns up where he is living. Finally on his wedding day, his bride-to-be gifts him the very book ("Love in the time of Cholera") in which Sara had written her name. And on a flight from NYC back to her home, Sara gets the note on which Jonathon had written his name. Thats how they meet again...forever.

Really wonderful movie.
Do watch :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Latest happenings

Pallavi is going to Germany. Thats great news of course :)

And now let me move onto SPORTS! :)

1. Today Manchester United take on Arsenal in the F.A. Cup Final at the Millenium Stadium. The pre-match show kicks off at 19:30IST. Its going to be an epic battle. Both teams reach this match empty handed, and only one will leave this season with silverware. Who will it be? On current form, Arsenal would be the favourites, but Manchester United have already done the double over their arch rivals this season. I will support Arsenal, they are looking magestic nowdays.

2. Tomorrow is the Monaco GP. A lot will depend on the qualifying (which will take place today and tomorrow). Narain has the wishes of a billion people atleast, but with the Jordon it will be tough to even complete the race. The advantage is that it is a street circuit and he has some experience on these circuits.

3. May 25th is the UEFA Champions League final. In my opinion, it will be a dull final. Both teams will be out to prove a point. Liverpool have missed out on the crucial 4th position in the EPL, and so will not get to play in the UCL next year. However, if they win the final, they might get to defend their title (which they should get according to me). A.C. Milan just lost the Italian league to Juventus, and will be looking (and fully focussed) at the final. On current form, both teams are struggling, but the players of A.C. Milan have the experience of "been there, done that". I will support Liverpool, mainly because they play more attacking football.

Thats enough of sports for now.

My ticket to KGP is booked for the 18th of July. Somehow I'm not feeling nostalgic about leaving my company. I am feeling a little sad about leaving Mumbai. My last working day is 17th June. :)

Thats about it for now.
Leter...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Congratulations

Congratulations to CSKA Moscow, for winning the UEFA Cup Final against Sporting Lisbon, in Lisbon.
Well done. Final Score 1-3.

Now, they will get to play in the Cup winner's Cup against the winner of the UEFA Champions League.

The FA Cup final is right around the corner. I'd prefer it if Arsenal win. I'd rather see Arsenal lift some silverware, than Man United.

The Champions League final is next week. I dont really care who wins. Either way, Chelsea lost :(

Next yr for sure ;)