Friday, April 23, 2010

A Short Trip to Dubai

I had travelled to Dubai... some thoughts!
  • a short flight is always welcome. As the connectivity among the gulf countries are restricted to air travel or by road, I had to opt for air travel ( unlike the British leaders who prefer to go around in trains for their election canvassing ! Courtesy,  BBC telecast of a debate, last evening )
  • a travel always enriches me with experiences. More so, when you have friends, former colleagues, relatives and other categories of contacts such as fellow-alumni... I got to touch-base with a cross section of 'contacts' and interact. 
  • a book to accompany is always a critical part of a trip. I checked my recent purchases from India.    

  • Then picked up BLIND FAITH by Sagarika Ghose, over the two books I am currently reading - PG Wodehouse & Richard Branson titles. I wanted someting 'unputtable' ..
  • I picked up as the cover spoke about pilgrimage/ganges/mahakumbh, etc. (had bought it based on good preview)
  • 'Blind faith' is about four characters on a pilgrimage. ( aren't we all on a pilgrimage ourselves? ). She's sketched out an India using her dichotomy of Western and Indian values magnanimously to further a powerful story. ( Source DNA)
  • I even had a dream ( !!!) I was going blind ! 
  • Now I feel stronger to go to Mubh Mela... also, go back to Haridwar. 
  • It was quite unputtable...liked the flow. But was quite confusing ! At the end of it....a mixed feeling of like & dislike :)

Friends have been suggesting this is as the best time to travel and explore Dubai, thanks to the down turn and reduced crowd. Friends confirm the economy is yet to show 'real signs' of recovery, which may be a long and painful journey. ( things are a lot better at other GCC economies though!). Yet to explore Dubai, as I want to do it with family. 

Earth Hour 2010 to EarthYear 2011

Vice President of GM talks of future of Auto Industry : He said '96 percent of the transportation industry depends on this non-renewable resource'.  GM VP on future of auto industry

Elsewhere, on a Sky TV debate, the three British leaders were specifically asked what they did personally at their respective homes to tackle the risk of climate change.... Interesting response, but not convincing though.

It is raining in parts of Middle East. It is hottest period in history in parts of India. Beautiful Sprint @ parts of US, confirms a friend there...

I still maintain the political leaders can not get us out of this threat. It is responsibility of every member of world population, whether we like it or not !

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Amchi Mumbai Indians in IPL3 Finals... finally !!!

3rd edition of IPL, No.3 is proving to be lucky ( consistent with numerology ?!) for MumInds. Finally, they are in the finals... Though Sachin did not come up with a big knock, valuable contribution from several players ensured a good score. Pollard was great in finishing off in style, along with Tiwari. Malinga was very good. Perhaps a good toss to win, as Bangaloreans were under pressure all along. Ground support would have helped too.

Common man/Mumbaikar deserve this too... With IPL Gate getting murkier by the hour, the sport is at its best !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IPL Gossip to IPL Gate

The thought that not everything related to IPL was 'cricket', prompted me to categorise my thoughts on IPL3 as IPL Gossip. But, this has hit a new low... IPL Gate ! 

Thanks to the new-age platform, Twitter and the tweet by Lalit Modi... it has resulted in a series of cascading events... still 'falling' ! A smart minister ( young, suave, well-qualified and a man of letters and also, tweets), has lost his job.  While the urban youth is firmly behind Tharoor, the political parties, including his own congress, did not support him. Was it the Pushkar-connection that proved to be the last nail in coffin ? Perhaps, yes... While many may feel he did not hide anything and was quite transparent, the Indian politics and the public opinion is still not ready to accept this new political-kid off the block. The govt lost an efficient minister. Mallus, especially in Middle East, may feel let down, as he was their only hope...

But, the case still at the allegation stage - no definite culprits caught. Despite the assurance of FM, Pranabda, it is unlikely the real culprits will be booked. Lalit Modi, poster-boy of international cricket, may still lose his job. What about the source of his recent wealth, in spite of his Midas-touch ? Who are the real people behind the IPL ? FM, PM and the entire administration owe an explanation to Indian public. We can not allow blatant violation of business ethics on the sporting arena...

The demand to nationalise IPL was quite funny, to put it mildly ! To ban IPL was insensitive ! To track the sources of funds and clean up was the correct demand. A massive clean up is overdue and a herculean task. Is the central govt, in spite of their majority and a strong public opinion, willing to take up the responsibility ? Unlikely... With Sharad Pawar part of the cricket admin, the Chanakya of Indian politics will most likely pull off a the cost of Truth and the Sport. 

ICC has chosen to keep off, conveniently. They don't want to rub BCCI on the wrong side. That defeats the very purpose of their existence - to protect the game. Cricket is no longer a gentleman's game... And for God's sake, majority of cricket lovers want the sport to be CLEAN. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

today's matches

MumbInds marches on.... this time with more valuable contributions from Pollards, et al. Other teams watch out, Pollard may be peaking just in time ! Now they should test their bench strength, rest for some, give one more opp to 'MP' Jayasurya (SL urgenly needs some sporty-politicians, just as in India), ... so that all are ready for action in Semis. Delhi was not able to handle the pressure. Would still like to see Viru, Gambhir, in Semis.

KKR crumbled. Due to pressure, loss of confidence....? Chennai had a comfortable outing. While KKR found the pressure too hot to handle, Chennai's Raina & Vijay ( IPL3's 'find'?) were playing without any pressure and the flow was evident. Of course, it was one of those days, when everything went wrong for KKR! Feel sad for Dada and all his passionate fans. Prince of Kolkotta and his men will be missed in Semis.

PS : Sadly, the franchise ownership, real/benaami, are in news. We would like to see more transparency here. 

Modi Vs Tharoor

I have been trying to reduce the 'gossip' content of my posts. But, now Lalit Modi-Tharoor episode on Kochi-ownership has prompted me to write this one... but, no gossip here. It is serious stuff...( Thanks to Twitter!)

As I posted earlier, there is lot of 'gossip' about the ownership of Kochi and many other franchisee. We care for the game...the way it is evolving...With politicians+bollywood+big business house+cricket  = IPL, transparency is more critical. Perhaps, a professional club would have been less evil...'perhaps' !

In that context, I am glad this controversy has come out in the open. All cricket-fans and common people want to know what is happening behind the curtains and who are involved.

Somebody will step in and try to sort out this controversy, to minimise the impact on IPL. But sportsministry and finance ministry should step in to clear the matter, for the overall benefit of the game and ethics respectively.

PS : Till such time, let us not give our coloured verdict on Tharoor. Indian politics need few Tharoors!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saudi hopes 'magician' will fight traffic crime - Government - News & Features -

Every effort is worth it...We, drivers on the road, need to be more responsible.

Saudi hopes 'magician' will fight traffic crime - Government - News & Features -

Orange Cap to Sachin

The Little Master has a habit of reaching milestones with unfailing regularity. The 'IPL-movement' has been lucky to have some masters of the game taking the game and the event to a new 'league'.

In my previous post, I had shared the 'opportunity for the Orange Cap' to be on Sachin... The collective expectation of fans of MumInds ....The Orange Cap looks better on Sachin.
Once again, Sachin shoulders the responsibility of guiding the team to a challenging total, a score the opposition unable to unable to 'challenge royally'!

With Pathan out, MumInds have tightened the grip. It is only matter of time now.

To beat the Rajasthan team at their home-ground is an icing on cake. Shane Warne must be disappointed.

Great performance, MumbInds...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Messi- the greatest ?

We have been lucky to be part of a generation which had Maradona, Borg, Sunny Gavaskar, Jehangir Khan, Geet Sethi,  Padukone ( a personal favourite!)... earlier. Then, Tiger Woods, Federer, Messi, Sachin, et al. And no 'generation gap' here... We have been very fortunate.

The latest debate : Is Messi the greatest of all times ?
It is human weakness to make comparisons - at office ( hence the rat-race), at school/college and in the social circle. We are never satisfied the way we are... or the way others are. We make comparisons, which are usually unfair, as we do with our children.

Messi, is definitely going up the curve, for sure. He has all the ingredients of a Genius Blossoming. Ardiles think so. He says, Messi, unlike my favourite Maradona, ' is more focussed & much calmer...well protected by his family'. He also adds, 'you would never find him at a night club...a perfect boy'.

Tiger Woods is back in action. I love the golfer and happy he is back with a bang!
Nike has release a new ad ( though shot sometime back) featuring Tiger.  Not happy about it!

IPL Gossip - TVC, captaincy,

RCB pulls off a fantastic win. Happy for Kumble, Dravid, Uthappa, Taylor ( what a fantastic piece of fielding!), Kallis ( though would like to see Sachin pick up yellow cap:) !) and team... Bangalore supporter. NOT, the franchise owners, who did not treat the players well earlier on....

Robin Uthappa continues to make scintillating contributions.... Dravid was at his best in this version. I agree with Prof Dineo (on NDTV), he should 'unshackle himself'. There are many like us who follow cricket because of players like dravids, sachins, sehwags, and also kumble/dada, though they have retired. There is plenty of cricket left in all these cricket-greats. Some of them are loved because of the combination of  their game and their character, on & off the field. Hence, Dravid should unshackle himself...

Part of the reason may be because of the earlier experiences with the franchise-owners. While someone like Yuvi is alleged to be put off, players  like Dravid will retain the exemplary poise and make his bat do the talk. At least in future, players should have the option to opt out of couple of franchisee, if they chose to ( like the job-sites gives the opportunity to exclude current employer!) Hope Lalit Modi is listening.

Now Dada is upset his players did not handle the second 10 overs well. Dada is considered to be one of the best captains. Why is he blaming his team ? Prof Dino picking up on Dada? ( We all know, Dada is quite unpopular among aussies! )

NDTV got off with their post-match analysis even before the host was ready. The analysis are usually very interesting. But, we miss Ajay Jadeja! The breaks are too 'commercially long....' But the RAK bank TVC on Pehla is unbearable. Pls do not put us through the torture. But the Ford Fusion ad rocks...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

IPL Gossip : MumInds finally lose

It was clash of VADA PAAV VS VADA-SAMBHAR. MSD won the toss, chose to bat, team put up a decent score, fielded well, restricted in form Sachin and walked away with a comfortable victory. Happy for MSD, one of cricket's coolest captains !

MumInds are still the best! Mind it..., 'rascallaaaaaaaaaaa' !

But the players looked exhausted. They may deny the length of the IPL is taxing. Partly because they want to be politically right, or because of money/exposure. But, it is quite visible. Though it is shorter version, the travel adds to their woes, as Sunil Gavaskar highlighted. The sheer intensity of the contest is tough on the players too. I personally feel, players like Sachin should retire from IPL and focus on India's games. There may not be many takers for this, but he is too precious to be playing in IPL-circus!

Talking of circus, Jaipur has approved the matches, with strings-"attached". They will have no cheer-leaders. I feel the concept is quite out of place. Also, no beer. Players like RajRoyal captain will not be able to take a refreshing sip @ stadium.

Lalit Modi was busy this evening, signing away autographs @ Chennai. He has become quite a celebrity ! He deserves all the accolades, surely. But, hope he considers such valuable feedback....!!!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bucket List Movie

I watch very few films. I never experiment with films. Would even attempt to to watch only based on feedback/review/recommendation from very reliable sources, such as close friends, media, etc.

I came across one such recommendation and the title stuck... BUCKET LIST. Fever, sore-throat got me out of action over the week-end. I decided to watch Finally got to watch home, with family. Saw it on the original, (yes, not pirated-proud of it !) Warner Bros Home Video.

We loved every moment of it... Fantastic performance by Nicholon, Freeman and others. Great script, good flow and some inspiring takeaways...

Some special moments

  • Virginia rightly reprimands Chambers for not avoiding 'cancer' .... (readers, pls QUIT smoking!)
  • A devoted family man is ''happier''! This is more relevant when more celebrities are joining the ranks of fallen heroes
  • Laugh until I cry - that was a great item to be on the list. In our hustle & bustle, we forget to laugh. Master says, just as sweetness is the nature of sugar, happiness is our natural state 
  • Find Your Joy ... that should be our constant search.. true happiness... spiritual happiness ( Sat-Chit-Ananda, according to Indian Philosophy)

Watch the movie... Make your bucket list... It is never too late to do so. Don't wait to get old !

IPL Gossip

Mumbai Indians pulled off yet another win, a convincing one at that. Sachin did not fire, still the Rayudus, Tiwaris and Pollards stood up & ensured the option to bat first was not a bad decision by the team, management and captain.

Sachin was never rated as a great captain. I agreed. A great player, great team guy , but not a great captain. But this time it has been different. Reason....
  • You are as good as your team - the team has some great players, who have stood up, when necessary
  • Leader has to lead from the front, Sachin has done that
  • The support system has been good, surely. TA Sekhar, Robin Singh are some of the best
Talking of captaincy, top 5 teams as of date, are captained by Indians. Last 3 have foreigners as captains.

Is Preity listening? Last year, her bollywood-colleague's team made a similar mistake by not giving Dada the reigns. Intelligent people are those who learn from other mistakes.
Preity was at Mataji... May Mother bless her. Still, let the better team win tomorrow and therafter !

IPL is getting just too long. Too loooooooooooong... and next year, two more games. I will give it a miss, at least till semis!

Even now, I am not hooked 100%. Few minutes on treadmill, at prayer and family dinner are as important.

Vijay played a spectacular knock. Some of these players are going up the learning curve, quickly. RR almost chased. A great game, though I missed the match. ( was contributing to the economy of my karmabhoomi !)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

IPL Gossip

As IPL3 enters the decisive phase, I am starting this new series...deliberately chirstined 'gossip' for the informal content and to get some extra-readership.

  • KKR playing the defending champs. The defending champs are in the second half of the table, as of now, so not 'defending' very well.
  • All three batsmen of KKR started off with a boundary each. Though Chris Gayle offered a simple catch to his team-mate ( Nothing 'kamaal' about it though!)
  • Hyderabad team is playing. Sania Mirza, the Hyd girl, is in news for her marriage plans to a cricketer from 'not so friendly neighbourhood'! An unsolicited advise to Deccan Chronicle, owners of Deccan Chargers... 'Re-charge' Hyd team by including Sania's would-be in DC team. The franchisee can get the necessary go ahead, afterall they are part of the Fourth Estate !
  • Though, Hyderabad is very close to heart, I want Dada's team to win (I am no fan of SRK. )
  • Bollywood is having a bad time, as of now @ IPL. PunjabXI and RajRoyals are just not playing to their potential. 
  • Gossip is things are not very good @ PunjabXI. Quite evident going by the body-language of the players. 

"Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude." Ralph Marston