Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai... a city that never sleeps

One night... 9 serials blasts... close to 200 dead & over 300 severely injured... hundreds of hostages... NSG, Police, Army, Navy are on ground zero... LIVE coverage in almost every TV channel..... 60hrs ON. The city was gripped in terror... but the life continues. What was called one of the biggest, strongest, well planned and most effective attacks in the Indian democratic history. The plan was executed to perfection. Interestingly... there are no demands from terrorists - no ransom, no demands to free the so called Jihadi's, absolutely none. The mission was to claim as many lives as possible.

Bombay is well known as the financial capital of India & for obvious reasons it 'was, is & will be' always the primary target for terrorists. After 1993 blasts, the Mumbaikars have lived in peace for few years. But the serenity & calm were taken over by a storm called 'blasts' over the past 2-3 years, courtesy terrorism. This city has taken quite a few blows in the recent past. I truly bow to all of them living in Mumbai from the bottom of my heart for their spirit. No matter how severe the magnitude & intensity of the attacks are..... the city comes to normal the very next day as if nothing has happened ! Call it thats the way of living or say they have got used to these kind of attacks. But one thing is for sure..... they are brave, certainly. The rest of the nation came to a standstill but Mumbai kept moving. A mumbaikar is no less than a soldier, he goes to war everyday. None of the blasts can take away the spirit of Mumbai & Mumbaikars.

The stock price of Indian Hotels has tumbled by over 15% in friday's trade ! Sectors like Tourism, Aviation & Hospitality are the most susceptible to these kind of crises. No wonder why. Chance to white wash England in the ongoing ODI series has gone down. Test series too is under threat. T20 Champion's League is postponed. F**K terrorism.

Time and again terror strikes... & each time it strikes it takes away few hundreds of innocent lives..........BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. But the government is still sleeping. If there is one field that needs immediate attention, then it has to be terrorism(not global warming, not industrialization, not a nuclear treaty, not power, not education, not money... it has to be the fight against terrorism). No active measures were taken. Political parties keep cribbing on silly things like....(u know what are they) but no one is bothered about terrorism. Voices are heard on TV sets for a maximum of 2 days after these attacks happen & ppl tend to forget these as something new pops up! Then they remember to bring some stringent rules & strengthen the judiciary. Take my word..... the same thing is going to repeat as the next term central elections are within the sight. People will be mostly seen fighting in the media throwing verbal attacks at one another. I am sure these meets, talks & bonds with neighboring countries are not going to work out. 'The' most important thing to be done as the first step to protect our citizens from these silly & cowardly acts is to 'work on improving the infrastructure & intelligence sources'. 'Actions speak louder than words'..... please wake up....... we don't want INDIA to be still a developing country.

I am sure, this real story will be very soon projected on the silver screen(the only +ve thing about these blasts). There are already few movies on this genre this season(Mumbai meri jaan, Aamir, A wednesday .... to name a few) & most of them were blockbuster hits. Get ready for another dose probably next season.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mission Accomplished !


Yuppieeeeeeeeeee! We got through the first round quite easily. 2-1 was the final scorecard :-) But the sad part is that I didnot play the match! We were practicing 30mins before the match begun & I had few minor cramps which aggravated as I continued to play :-( So I was forced to wait outside and cheer for Mustangs.

To summarize, a goal in the first half by Kishore & a goal in the second half by Kiran. There were many attacks on the goal post of the opposition but managed to kick in only 2 in the end as the goal post is just about a hockey goal post(Nothing to the 'Bench Devils' credit). WE (Mustangs) felt a lil nervous in the final 5 mins as the bench devils managed one past our Sleeping goalie(who is more interested in his GF standing outside the line than the football which is just around the corner!). But our strong defender Prashant was good enough to kick the ball into the Devils' zone. Ahh... a funny thing which happened in the match - our goalie grabbed the football with both hands & just crossed the goal post line(luckily no one noticed it except Mustangs) & was thinking about the next move as if he is playing chess......... guess what.... after holding the ball in his hand for about 10 secs(which is against the rules) he kicked it outside!! A real buffoon :P

Now we are through to the 'Group Stage', where each group contain 4 teams and each team needs to play 3 matches. The top 2 will qualify for the next round. We need to wait at least till Feb for our next match as the matches are scheduled only 2 days in a week :-(

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Movies & Soccer

Wassupppppppppppppppppp? this is the common phrase I keep hearing at least a dozen times each day. Alright, this is what I am up to these days.

I have got my hard drive full of movies from Trishul. 60+ flicks, mostly Hollywood - includes almost every genre.... Action, Animation, Horror, Romance, Comedy, Drama, Thriller ......
I already have many addictions and to add to those this is a new one. Not that earlier I never used to watch movies. But earlier there was a limit..... at most 2 on a holiday and I used to get exhausted. Now I have breached all the benchmarks of watching movies & there is absolutely no resistance or saturation points visible. Believe me I have watched 9 movies on last weekend ! In the past ten days I have covered not less than 20 movies. Which includes few fabulous flicks like 'Back to the future' series too, Animated stuff 'Cars', Action flick 'Death Race', Horror movie 'The Grudge', Thriller 'Before the devil knows u r dead' to name a few. This has become a daily routine.... morning one movie before going to office and evening one movie after coming from office, as if my physician has advised for a dose of medicine before Breakfast & before Dinner! Out of all animation stuff stands apart.... 'Cars','Ratatouille','Bee Movie' are simply awesome. I heard a lot about Pixar and I must say these guys are superb. I was taken aback with these concepts... Rat becoming a chef, Robots falling in Love, A world of cars & only racing cars, Elephant hearing the microscopic community! I think I have gone crazy for animation stuff. Now I cant think of missing anything... gonna tune in to Cartoon Network from tomorrow ! Any crazy freaks out there like me?? If yes, U can share few more movies with me.

One good thing my company is doing currently apart from CSR activities is promoting football across the nation! YES... after bagging the FIFA deal for the next 2 soccer world cups, they have created a sports vertical and betting big on it. As the first step, they began the promotion activities in the company it self. We have a soccer match this friday evening and we are all gearing up for this. We thought of stretching our muscles a lil bit to avoid disappointment and surprises on the match day. So we had a practice session on last saturday for which only 5 guys have turned up out of 8 !! Never mind... we played for 15mins hardly and realized that is the high point of our stamina and we were down & out in the next minute. Our match will be for 40 mins split into two 20min halves with a 10mins break between both. Now with this kind of fitness I guess the only way of winning the match is, if the opposition team can stay on field for not more than 15 mins :-(

I am planning to watch 'Goal' to get some motivation before the match begins(lol)..... watching EPL or Champion's League is not a bad idea to know how to sledge if not tips & tricks! How about Zizu's head butt :P

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A rocking week

Last week was full of drama,glamor,glitter,action,class,thrills,suspense & adrenaline rush ! The 3rd test match between Ind & Aus was just too good if you are a Hyderabadi or a Delhite. Initially there were 2 double tons for the very first time in the history of Indian cricket - one from Gambhir's bat & the other from Laxman's blade. Laxman's knock was as usual a classy one, full of drives all around the ground. It happened time and again. Just when the knife is on the throat of VVS, he delivers a wonderful knock & silences all the critics!! This time it was no different. There were many debates on India's fab 4 before the beginning of this Border-Gavaskar series.

On day 5, after TEA of the 3rd Test there came a news which almost shook the complete cricket crazy nation - "Anil Kumble announces retirement !!!". I feel Anil has done a right thing by retiring - not because he is 38, but bcoz he has lost that spark in his bowling ever since he has taken over the captaincy. It was shocking as no one was expecting it to come so early. Nevertheless, I am sure his 19 years service to the INDIAN cricket will be remembered forever and he will remain as a source of inspiration to many upcoming young bowlers. The best part of his career is that he was never ever involved in any kind of controversies ! Its a known fact that, when it comes to cricket, Sachin is still treated as God in India. He has overshadowed almost every other player. We miss Sachin if he is not there in the squad. Lets see if we are going to miss Anil from tomorrow :( Next test match is supposedly Sourav dada's last test match. So another farewell speech is in the offing :( But I sincerely feel he should not retire so early, at least from tests. Test matches is all about having a good temperament & patience. and I think dada still has it in him. Sourav is known more for his captaincy than his skills & will be remembered forever as one of the strategist, as a thinking captain. Dhoni is going to takeover his legacy(not from Kumble or Dravid.... from Sourav!).

Out came the newest sensation, the wonder kid, the prodigy - Saina Nehwal ! This 16 year old girl has already created a storm in the world of Badminton. After reaching Semis in the Beijing Olympics she has won two back to back championships & now she has also won the world junior badminton championship. She is definitely going great guns.... jaise guru(Gopichand) waise sishya! Kudos young lady.... keep the spirit alive.... you still have a long way to go! Another Hyderabadi pro in the making. Hyderabad has stampeded its position in two major sports - BADMINTON & CHESS. Badminton is one of those sports which I play & love it to the core..... so the joy of being a Hyderabadi is even more ! I have absolutely no doubt about her creeping into the top 5 in the next few days. Its just a matter of time ..... she is already @ 12 !!

Then came the RACE DAY ! Huhuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !

BRAZIL calling......! This race is considered as the best race in the history of Motor Racing by many people. I feel proud to have watched it LIVE completely (@ midnight 12 IST) even without missing a single lap!! Believe me guys.... it was AWESOME.

Hamilton arrives with a comfortable 7 point lead over Massa. Everyone believed this time only a miracle can steal away the driver's championship from Hamilton. F1 2007 season's last race was also @ Brazil & it has decided the fate of championship. This time around it was a repeat of 2007. But there was slight difference.... last time Kimster(of Ferrari) has snatched victory from Hamilton(of McLaren) & this time it was the other way around.... Hamilton(of McLaren) has pulled the championship from the jaws of Massa(of Ferrari). Massa was at pole and Hamilton was at 5th & Hamiltion needed to finish just 5th to win the title(no matter where Massa finishes) & it was a must win for Massa. There were at least a dozen twists in this race. The end result has become highly unpredictable with each lap! It started with a slight drizzle, so all the team came out with intermediate tyres then changed to dry tyres after few laps as the weather became normal. Few pit stop errors & bad driving from Trulli costed him 5-6 places & Alonso once again showed his class to reach 2nd spot ahead of Kimi!!! After a lot of interesting laps the real drama happened. Hamilton was comfortable at 4th position. 5more laps to go..... in comes rain ! All Cars into pits to change the tyres except one ! That one was Timo Glock(of Toyota) & he decided the fate of this year's championship. 1 more lap to go..... Massa inching closer to the chequered flag.... Hamilton slowly cruising away at 4th position to win the championship. Rober Kubica(of BMW) was a lap down and was just behind Hamilton but still tried to overtake him ! Right behind Hamilton is Sebastian Vettel(of Torro Rosso). Hamilton lost his nerves and went to the insider corner... Vettel took the opportunity to overtake him!! and has done that with ease. The whole scene changed in less than 5 seconds. Suddenly Hamilton is down to 6th from 4th ! 4th is still Glock who decided to stay on track with dry tyres. Meanwhile the top 3(Massa, Alonso & Kimi) have finished the race(almost 30secs ahead of Hamilton & Vettel). Then came the last turn of the the last lap of the race...... this was truely nerve wrecking! F1 @ its very best. Timo Glock has slowed down just before the chequered flag and let Hamilton finish 5th :( All the celebration is Ferrai camp were shattered in seconds. I still doubt if Glock has done it purposefully. Massa wins the race but Hamilton celebrates !

In all..... it was a fabulous week. Hey guys... Renault is planning for a F1 road show in Delhi this Sunday. They are expecting to draw a crowd of approximately 3 lakhs!!! Now thats HUGE....This is going to be a mind blowing one. Now I wish I am a Delhite ! :-)