Thursday, February 24, 2005

I missed the stars

Oh, I missed them. Unfortunately, I could not watch the second leg matches.
Here however is a small review.

1. Barcelons vs Chelsea ->
This was the most controversy ridden match of this round. Chelsea took the lead in the first half, through a Barcelona own goal. Quite surprising. The game ended 2-1 in favour of Barcelona (my prediction was bang on target), and I still predict Chelsea winning at home, and going through. Chelsea got a crucial away goal and that may just decide this draw.

2. Werderbremen vs Lyon ->
Well, well, well. No one expected Lyon to go to Germany and do so exceedingly well. Somehow they managed to thrash the reigning BundasLiga champions 0-3. Lyon will definitely go through, but I hope Bremen puts up more of a fight.

3. Porto vs Inter Milan ->
No surprises here. Again, my prediction was on the mark. Inter Milan showed their form of this season, going ahead early in the match and then giving a goal away to draw the match. They sure do utilise their immense talent! Dont know what to expect in the return leg, because Inter at home is as good as Inter away from home. If Porto plays well enough, they could go through.

4. Manchester United vs A.C. Milan ->
4. Manchester United vs A.C. Milan ->The defense got the better of the attack. Milan's defensive wall, proved too much for Manchester United's attack. Milan winning 0-1 away from home is a fabulous result. Now Manchester United face the uphill task of going away to Milan and winning, and boy is that tough. Now definitely, Milan are the favourites, and with Shevshenko playing in the second leg, things seem very dim for United.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The STARS came out yesterday

Oh what a night!
The Champions League first knockout stage kicked off yesterday, and with quite a bang. Heres a little re-cap.

1. Bayern Munich vs Arsenal ->
A fight between Germany's number 1 and number 2 goal keepers. Who would slip up, who would keep his wits about him? Bayern Munich, playing at home, came out attacking and their pressure showed in the very 4th minute, when an awful mistake by Toure, led to Pizarro opening the scoring for Munich. From then on, Arsenal tried to get settled and get back into the game, but Munich kept hitting them regularly with goals! Arsenal looked very weak at the back, with both Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole missing due to injury. Munich took full advantage, and romped home to a 3-1 thrashing of Arsenal. This fixture, however, is not over by any means. The return leg at Highbury should be a delight to watch. Bergkamp will play (for sure), and Campbell and Cole should be fit. All this to make for a fabulous encounter. Arsenal got a valuable away goal in the last minute of the tie at Munich, and I wonder if that would be the difference.
My prediction of the scoreline at Munich went horribly wrong, but I stick to my prediction for the Highbury clash (3-0, Arsenal to progress).

2. Liverpool vs Bayer Leverkeusen ->
I'm shocked. Liverpool somehow, without Morientes, without Gerrard managed to thrash Leverkeusen 3-1. I sincerely thought that Leverkeusen would put up more of a fight, but then don't forget that the next clash is in Germany. Liverpool's performance, without key players, has messed up my predictions. Now I fancy Liverpool to go thorugh. All they need is a draw at Leverkeusen, althought I think Leverkeusen would have something to say about that! Surely Liverpool to go through now. I predict a 2-2 or a 2-1 in the second leg, Liverpool to go through.

3. PSV Eindoven (Holland) vs Monaco (France) ->
PSV got a victory at home, but I dont think it will be enough to get them through. Monaco will win at home, probably a 2-0 or 3-0. Monaco to go through, but only till the next round.

4. Real Madrid (Spain) vs Juventus (Italy) ->
This was probably my closest prediction. Real Madrid won the game on the night 1-0. It was a very open game, and it was clear for all to see the difference that Gravesen makes to this side. He fought through the game, to win back lost balls and keep Madrid afloat. Zidane too was in scintillating form, and his partnership with Roberto Carlos was killing to Juventus. Ronaldo, however, was struggling, but it doesn't take much to get the great man back into form. Real played as a team, and even the defense looked stable. Juventus, on the other, struggled for goals. Their form all season has been great, but their inability to find the back of the net showed on the night. And after Nedved was carried off injured, there was no way back for them in the match. It was mostly Real Madrid's show, but I'm sure they would have wanted to travel to Turin with atleast one more goal under their belts. It's a tough one for coach Luxembargo, does he field all this best players in the La Liga and go chasing the title, or does he rest them till the 2nd leg in Turin. The 2nd leg will be interesting, with only a slim difference between the two giants. However, I predict a 1-0 or a 1-1 in Turin. Actually, if Real play the way they played yesterday, it could even be a Real Madrid win. Who's to say.

Today is another great set of matches.

Maximum City, Bombay Lost and Found

The book I'm currently reading:
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
By Suketu Mehta

Monday, February 21, 2005


Forrest Gump
"I may not be smart, but I know what love is."
"Life is like a box of chocolate, you'll never know what you gonna get."

PRIAM: I have endured what no one on earth has endured before. I kissed the hands of the man who killed my son.
PRIAM: I loved my boy from the moment he opened his eyes till the moment you closed them. Let me wash his body. Let me say the prayers. Let me place two coins on his eyes for the boatman.
ACHILLES: If I let you walk out of here, if I let you take him, it doesn’t change anything. You’re still my enemy in the morning.
PRIAM: You’re still my enemy tonight. But even enemies can show respect.

The Godfather
I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.

The Matrix
MORPHEUS: This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. MORPHEUS: You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

E.T. phone home

Pirates of the Caribean
"The Black Pearl? I've heard stories. She's been preying on ships and settlements for near ten years. Never leaves any survivors." ... "No survivors? Then where do the stories come from, I wonder.

Dead Poets Scoiety
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.

Jerry Maguire
JERRY: Hello. I'm looking for my wife. I'm not letting you get rid of me. How about that?This used to be my specialty. I was good in a living room. Send me in there, I'll do it alone. And now I just... I don't know... but on what was supposed to be the happiest night of my business life, it wasn't complete, wasn't nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn't share it with you. I couldn't hear your voice, or laugh about it with you. I missed my wife. We live in a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors, so try not to laughI love you. You complete me.
DOROTHY: Aw, shut up. You had me at hello.

DONKEY: OK, Let me get this straight. You're gonna go fight a dragon... and rescue a princess, just so Farquaad will give you back a swamp... which you only don't have because he filled it full of freaks in the first place. Is that about right?
SHREK: You know what? Maybe there's a good reason donkeys shouldn't talk.
DONKEY: I don't get it Shrek. Why don't you just pull some of that ogre stuff on him? You know, throttle him, lay siege to his fortress, grind his bones to make your bread, you know, the whole ogre trip.
SHREK: Oh, I know what. Maybe I could have decapitated an entire village. And put their heads on a pike, gotten a knife, cut open their spleen and drink their fluids. Does that sound good to you?
DONKEY: Uh, no, not really, no.
SHREK: For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.
DONKEY: Example?
SHREK: Example? Okay, um, ogres are like onions.
DONKEY: [Sniffs] They stink?
SHREK: Yes. No!
DONKEY: They make you cry?
DONKEY: You leave them out in the sun, they get all brown, start sprouting' little white hairs.
SHREK: No! Layers! Onions have layers! Ogres have layers! Onions have layers.You get it? We both have layers. [Sighs]
DONKEY: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. [Sniffs] You know, not everybody likes onions. Cake! Everybody loves cakes! Cakes have layers.
SHREK: I don't care... what everyone likes. Ogres are not like cakes.
DONKEY: You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, "Let's get some parfait," they say, "Hell no, I don't like no parfait"? Parfaits are delicious.
SHREK: No! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story. Bye-bye. See ya later.

Harry Met Sally
Harry Burns: I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


When you love someone so much that you wanna spend the rest of your life with want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible...


BLACK! Till yesterday, that five letter word meant just a colour that had no special significance in my life.

Then, yesterday I saw Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black. I think it would be very unfair on my part to heap all the credit on a single person, because I think the entire cast and crew have done a stupendous job.

It is very rare that I have such strong feelings for a Hollywood movie, as I have for Black. Black has a beautiful story, intervowen with lovely imagery. The scenes are heart wrenching, but the locales are a bit ostentatious.

All the scenes are protrayed by the cast with such aplomb, and reality that I could not help cry during the movie. The struggle of a little girl who turned blind and deaf at the age of two, and how she overcomes what others call her handicap, to succeed, to fulfill a dream.

Ayesha Kapur plays the young Michelle, locked in her world, unable to use her audio and visual senses. Her rendition of a girl struggling to cope with her own world, not knowing sights and not able to express what she feels, is certianly the highlight of the movie.

Amitabh Bacchan plays Michelle's teacher, who is out to be a magician. He dreams dreams for her, helps her cope with her loses, and teaches her how to live life without them, and be proud of herself as a person. I think his best piece of acting, so far, in his career spanning 3 decades, is when he acts as a alzheimer's desease patient. His potrayal is so life-like, its unbelieveable.

Rani Mukerjee, plays the Michelle out to fulfil hers & her teachers dreams. The dream of not only getting an education, but also of living life with pride. Her speach in the end brought tears to my eyes. Honestly.

Shernaz Patel, played Michelle's mother, and she played the part to perfection. It was her acting that wrenched my heart the most, as a mother struggling to understand what her daughter is going through, and trying to make her live her life.

The movie brought out so many thoughts & emotions in me, I dont think I can continue any more. I dont think any other movie has had such a profound impact on me.

Thank You GOD.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sony Ericsson T610

I am what you can call an electronic gadgets afficianado.

In terms of cell phones, I have tried, a seimens, a Nokia 3310, a ericsson, a motorola, and a T610 Sony Ericsson.

Out of all the phones i'v tried, I must say that my present one (the T610), is by far the best phone. Be it looks, or be it usability, the sony ericsson scores over all others, and by a huge margin.

I must accept that I have the greatest respect for Nokia, because of the longevity, and the sturdiness of their phones. However, what sony ericsson have made with the T610, is not only the features I just mentioned, but also great looks.

The features of the T610 are amazing, especially in terms of connectivity to other devices; it has bluetooth, IR, and a host of other features. The price too, is not much. I must also say that the big screen is a great plus point, and the camera is the best i'v seen on a middle level phone.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The UEFA Champions League 2004/05 - first knockout stage

Its right around the corner, come February 22nd and the first knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League 2004/05 quite literally kicks off!
Without further ado, let me get the bit between my teeth, so to say.

On Tuesday - 22nd Feb (Wednesday 12am in India), there are four huge matches lined up:

1. Bayern Munich (Germany) vs Arsenal FC (England) ->
The key factor in this game is that its being played in Germany. The return leg will be at Highbury, in a fortnight's time. Both teams are extremely talented, but I see an unstoppable Arsenal steam-rolling their opponents in both legs. Yes, beating Bayern in Munich is very difficult (ask Man U) but having lost out on the premiership this time round, the gunners will be playing for pride. As much as I respect Bayern's play and players, Arsenal's silken play will be too much for the organised play of Bayern. Since Dennis Bergkamp does not travel with the team, it will be a big blow (considering what scintillating form he is in), but he will surely play at Highbury (I can see a 3-0 score line). If Sol Campbell returns thats a great plus. Bayern, playing with a sole striker in both legs will be short on goals, and in fact I do not see them scoring more than 1 goal in both legs. I predict a 1-2 or a 1-1 at Munich and a 3-0 at Highbury. Arsenal to go through.

2. Liverpool FC (England) vs Leverkusen (Germany) ->
There are still a lot of clubs that consider Leverkusen extremely lucky to get where they are. Think again, I say to them. Leverkuesen have come a long way. In the 2001/02 season, they knocked out European giants Manchester United in the semi-finals, only to lose to an amazing Real Madrid in the finals. In the present season, in the group stages they beat Real Madrid (3-0) at home, and managed to draw with them at the Bernebeau. So I would not call them the underdogs. Liverpool have a tough fight in front of them. But the new look Liverpool under Rafael Benetiz is looking good. They might not have a stable defence, but the mid field is packed with quality and Milan Baros is in good form. The only downside is that Morientes will not be elegible to play, which means captain Steven Gerrad would have to play a bigger role. Leverkeusen look stable, and organised in Europe. Its a tough one to judge. A 1-0 or 0-1 at Anfield and a 1-0 at Leverkeusen in favour of the home side. Since the return leg is at Leverkeusen, they have a better chance of progressing.

3. PSV Eindoven (Holland) vs Monaco (France) ->
Another tough one to call. Monaco, last years finalist certainly knows what it takes, but will they be able to compete against PSV? I think they will. I think PSV will be knocked out, but they are very lucky to be facing Monaco. It's their best chance to progress. I see Xavier Saviola taking Monaco through.

4. Real Madrid (Spain) vs Juventus (Italy) ->
Big game, NO, Huge game. Its unfortunate that one of the giants will have to bow out in the round of 16, but thats life. Both teams will be ready for the clash. The first leg is in Spain and a lot depends on the injuries for both teams. Real Madrid, having signed Graveson look the better team on paper but then that does not count in the end. The Real Madrid team is over flowing with stars from across the globe, while Juventus too is right there with its squad. Real Madrid will go for the goals, while Juventus will try to contain the opposition. It will be a street fight, Real will won 2-0 or 3-0 at the Bernebeau. Juventus's inability to score more than a goal in a game will show on the night. The 2nd leg will be less interesting. It might be a 1-1 draw or a 1-0 win for Juventus. I see Real Madrid with its stars progressing. Luxmbargo seems to have a calming effect on his players, and his influence will be telling in this clash.

Thats the line up for 22nd Feb. Now 23rd Feb.
On Wednesday - 23nd Feb (Thursday 12am in India), there are four more huge matches lined up:

1. Barcelona (Spain) vs Chelsea FC (England) ->
Lets not talk about the history, lets not talk about the past. Its the present. These two teams are at the peak of their forms, and at the top of their respective leagues. No mean feat. The new Barcelona, led by Puyol are fighters. The never give up attitude is personified by Ronaldinhio, the maestro. He could just be the difference between the two teams. Barcelona are looking good. The defence is not leaking goals, the mid field is strong with Deco and Guily, and the foward line is skillful with Roladinhio and Eto'o. Chelsea is in prime form too. The question all Chelsea supporters will be asking is whether Arjen Robben will be fit. Without him chelsea will struggle, but still might make it through. His influence on the play is more than even Ronaldinhio's. Chelsea's defence and goal keeper are brilliant. They are breaking record after record in the English premier league. Petr Chek is very tough to get past because of his great reflexes and his defence. He might be the difference between the two teams in the end. The Chelsea mid field too, has shown that it can play football and also play tough. Claude Makelele is another key player. The game at Nou Camp is going to be very difficult for Chelsea, but maybe a 1-2 or a 2-1 in the 1st leg and a 2-0 or 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea to go though.

2. Wederbremen (Germany) vs Lyon (France) ->
Another tough one to call. I think in the end it'll be Lyon to go though. I think a 1-1 draw in the first leg and an easy 2-0 for Lyon in the second leg. I think Lyon's attacking play might just win them this round, but it will be tough going in the next round.

3. Porto (Portugal) vs Inter Milan (Italy) ->
This season Inter Milan are unbeaten in the Italian league, but the number of draws that they have managed to churn out is shocking for a team of their calibre. Adriano is in inspirational form, and Buffon too is helping them draw matches rather than lose them! Porto are not the same team that won the champions league last year. All the players that made a difference last year have left, except Benny McCarthy.It's going to be tough going for them, and I dont see them progressing. Inter Milan, however, are good at making things difficult for themselves. So its a tought one to predict. I think the game at Porto will be a 1-1 or 2-2 draw (yes its Inter Milan!) and the game at Milan will be a 1-0 or 2-0 win for Inter. Inter to go though, but not easily.

4. Manchester United FC (England) vs A.C. Milan (Italy) ->
Ah, the history that these two teams carry. No doubt the biggest giants in Europe, and the biggest game of this round. Both teams are playing well in their respective leagues, althought not at the top. Both teams bring along a lot of talent, and a palace full of trophies. Oh boy, tough one to call, but I'll be practical. Shevchenko, European player of the year is in blinding form, scoring all the goals for the Milan side. The Milan team is well balanced, the defence is brilliant (almost un-penetrable on paper), with Maldini, Staam, Costacurta, Nesta and Cafu (scary, isnt it)! The mid field is very strong too with Brazilian Kaka and Gatuuso showing the way. Brazilian Dida is reliable in goal. Manchester United on the other hand are not as well balanced, and constant chopping and changing by Sir Alex Ferguesen is not helping his players. Keane is still rock solid in mid field, ably assisted by Scholes and Giggs. The defence is in good hands with Rio Ferdinand and Gabriel Heinze. The goal is shaky with neither Tim Howard nor Carrol assured of a place. The forward line of United is impressive, to say the least. Wonder-kid Wayne Rooney is in scintillating form, Cristiano Ronaldo too is doing very very well, and add to that a fit Ruud van Nistelrooij and Alan Smith. The way I see it, its a battle between United's forward line versus Milan Defence. Who will come up on top? The 1st leg at Old Trafford will go United's way 2-0 or 3-0. The 2nd leg at Milan will go Milan's way 1-0. Man United to go through, but just. We're certainly going to miss one of these teams in the next round!

India at the cross roads

The current problem as I see it, is that we Indians are passing through a phase which most of the european countries and the USA have passed through before.

Yes, we've heard it before, "India is the land of the kamasutra, why then are Indians so shy of sex?" Yes Indians of yesterday are shy, prefering to keep the physical side of their relationships within the boundaries of their homes. The Indians of today are at the cross-roads. There is a deep desire, among the present generation youth, to imitate the "free lifestyle of the west". There is a growing incidence, not only in the large metropolis but also in small towns, of Public Display of Affection (or what is known as PDA). The generation of the past looks at the PDA as a ugly, gruesome act which should not be Public, but rather Private.

I'm not here to discuss who is right and who is wrong? I'm not defeneding my generation for what they do. Who am I to judge?

Since man is a social animal, it is for both generations to see what is happening, and go with the flow, so to say. Heres what I suggest. What is most imporant, in my opinion is sex education in schools. Children at the tender age (class 10, 11 and 12) should be taught about sex, and what is right and what is wrong at their age. They should be taught about AIDS, and how to prevent it. They should be made responsible citizens. I strongly believe in "Treat them as elders, and they will behave as elders". Lets have faith in them, lets trust them to make the right decisions, but it is the society's resonsibility to provide them with the facts.

As for the flip side, I think the "PDA generation" should understand that they live in a society, and if a part of the society does not like couples showing PDA, then lets not do it. Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh. But my point is, if you are in a crowded area and part of the crowd does not like PDA, then don't do it. Refrain. It's an important word. It's just like if you dont like someone doing something, similarly, maybe they dont like PDA. Lets understand that this is a transitional phase, a difficult one for the generation of the past to accept, so lets not push them!

Who knows what the next generation has in store for us!

Beautiful Song


"Forever And For Always"

In your arms I can still feel the way you
want me when you hold me
I can still hear the words you whispered
when you told me
I can stay right here forever in your arms

And there ain't no way--
I'm lettin' you go now
And there ain't no way--
and there ain't not how
I'll never see that day....

'Cause I'm keeping you
forever and for always
We will be together all of our day
Wanna wake up every
morning to your sweet face--always

Mmmm, baby
In your heart--I can still hear
a beat for every time you kiss me
And when we're apart,
I know how much you miss me
I can feel your love for me in your heart

And there ain't no way--
I'm lettin' you go now
And there ain't now way--
and there ain't no how
I'll never see that day....

[Repeat Chorus]

(I wanna wake up every morning)

In your eyes--(I can still see
the look of the one) I can still see
the look of the one who really loves me
(I can still feel the way that you want)
The one who wouldn't put anything
else in the world above me(I can still see love for me) I can
still see love for me in your eyes
(I still see the love)

And there ain't no way--
I'm lettin' you go now
And there ain't no way--
and there ain't no how
I'll never see that day....

[Repeat Chorus (2x)]

I'm keeping you forever and for always
I'm in your arms.

The video too is brilliant.