Sunday, April 29, 2007

Surprise! The Aussies are World Champs !

So Australia win it again. Yawn !!!

As if SL had had a chance. One swallow does not a summer make and one Jayawardane knock, and a grinding one by the most generous descriptions, does not make the SL batting look formidable. It is one thing to collar a rather pedestrian NZ attack after settling in and belting them to all corners and another entirely to deal with a hungry, very hungry Oz attack led by the redoubtable McGrath.

I mean think about it. Bracken has taken wickets at the top of the order almost everytime he has bowled. Tait has been mostly unplayable at top pace and if you survive both of them then, only then, do you get the privilege of facing, and most likely succumbing to, the premier fast bowler in world cricket at the moment, Glenn McGrath, on his swansong and clearly in the mood to go out on an insurmountable high.

If anyone had complaints about the Aussises losing Warne, well Brad Hogg has proven that they don't miss him. This is not to say that Hogg is as good as Warne, which he certainly isn't but is a clear indictment of the rather sorry standards of batting for the rest of the world.

To state the bleeding obvious, this World Cup has been the most one-sided in a long time. But that was not because the Australians were par excellence. That withstanding, a large part of the blame lies with the other so called premier teams in world cricket, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and one must add, India.

The others have simply wilted under the constant attack of the Aussies who are rapidly attaining mythical status. 4 finals in a row, 3 World Cups in a row and no one even close to being a steady competitor, barring New Zealand perhaps. This is not good, for cricket, or for anything else.

Tomes will be written about this World Cup and hundreds of experts will pontificate on why the Aussies won but the bottomline is, they won because they wanted to win. The others didnt want to win, at least not badly enough to plan 4 years in advance and take actions accordingly.

Lets hope the Aussises get bored of this World Cup winning business and decided to take it easy, very very easy, the next time round and some other team, one hopes it will be India but they will be hosting the finals and that rather quashes one's hopes, manages to get hungry enough to wrest the cup away.

Otherwise, we might as well declare the Aussies world champs for ever and have the rest of the team play for the Rest of the World Cup. At least, we will get to see matches instead of mismatches.

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Is there anything called reality TV?

A couple of days, rather weeks, back, I was with some close friends and family in Pune and we were just chatting away to glory on all kinds of topic. Now, with Mukki in the mix, any discussion is likely to get very lively very quickly. And so it happened that while we were chatting, the television was on and a programme called Antakshari was on air. The compere Anu Kapoor was chattering away to glory when suddenly he started ranting about Indian cricket fans being irresponsible and the new generation of Indians not being patriotic and so on. It was rather perplexing to see AK behave like that on TV and I got the distinct impression that the whole scene was scripted. To confirm my suspicion, the co-compere, a lady proceeded to walk off in a huff under rather dramatic circumstances.

The fracas that ensued on screen was ably matched by the one we witnessed amongst us with opinions sharply divided on whether this was a genuine bustup or merely a drama staged to enhance TRPs. Yours truly, among others, had ventured to suggest that the circumstances of the matter and the very manner in which the whole event was being telecast pointed towards it being a pre-planned sequence. Needless to say, the same was fiercely contested in some quarters.

I, and I am sure the rest of us, would have let matters rest at that. However, something that caught my eye while flipping channels late last night forced me to rake this topic up again. I am referring to a promo of the same show being aired currently which has a prominent wannabe boyband of India as guest participants. All three members are singing a song when suddenly Rohit Roy nudges one of the other members and, quite incredibly, total bedlam, quite reminiscent of the earlier fracas whose veracity we had debated upon, ensued.

All kinds of over dramatic dialogues were being bandied about. And appropriate camera placements captured the facial expressions participants who can comfortably be called the usual suspects by now.

If we all remember, Star Plus has recently launched a slew of programming with anchors poached from various popular show belonging to competing channels and has managed to significantly enhance its TRPs on Primetime to the direct detriment of Sony and Zee.

These events, choreographed well and portrayed beautifully by seasoned actors, are very clearly attempts at reviving the flagging viewership and nothing else. In today's era of cut-throat competition and extreme professionalism, it would be rather naive to believe that any emotional outburst will even happen on such shows, let alone being allowed to be telecast.

Lest we miss the whole point, its primetime television and everything is a drama, conceptualised for public consumption. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is real.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pranay ke kaimse se

Some Pics by Pranay Rao, self titled as best of 2006. Most are rather good shots and the rest, are excellent. Enjoy !!!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Criteria for being an Indian

This is a rocking post. Must read.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

they are back !!!

They are back !!!

My beloved, dearest, cute, sweet, brilliant, amazing, wonderful posts are back.

Gott in Himmel, they are back ! Whew!!!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

World Cup - the usual suspects march ahead

Australia have a date with the finals.

New Zealand looking good. But are they good enough to go all the way?

South Africa showing more and more chinks in their armor with every passing day. Can they withstand the fury of a Hayden or a barrage from Shane Bond?

Sri Lanka, the surprise package so far. But surely they can't conquer an ozzie team in full flight?

My semi-final line-up

Australia vs South Africa
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chennai cooler than Pune ???

Chennai temperature 19 degrees ??? You gotta be kidding ! The only problem is, I was there myself and felt this impossibility myself. In Chennai earlier this week for a project at work, I got off the plane at Chennai airport fully expecting a blast of pure fire to hit me and throw me back. And so, it came as more than a pleasant shock to actually feel a cool wind on my face. I was so perplexed I actually looked at the terminal building to verify that it was indeed Chennai airport we had landed at.

The Fortune Select Hotel is nice and lavish and the beds are world class. The only grouse, the sugar cubes in the room were lumpy and electric kettle was quite iffy.

The breakfast next morning was a delight. Sitting by the poolside, munching on crunchy Wadas and gobhi paranthas, I felt on top of the world. An early morning breakfast, a rarety in my life, is surely a surreal experience.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nitai has had an accident

Just wanted to inform everyone who knows Nitai, our beloved Baba, that he has met with an accident, in the form of a stationary car on the Ring Road, in Delhi, in the wee hours of the morning while on his way to the airport along with my younger brother, on his bike.

He has suffered severe injuries and his collarbone and hipbone have not taken very kindly to this sudden attempt to break their alliance with his other bones and have decided to go on a bender.

Consequently, he is bed-ridden for a considerable duration, maybe more than a month, at the Trauma unit of AIIMS.

Needless to say, he has his family and a large complement of his friends and office colleagues to take care of him, with the rather notable and quite regrettable exception of yours truly who happens to be in Pune on official business.

He is quite stable at the moment and recovering quite nicely, partially due to the excellent care he is recieving and largely due to his robust constitution. Everything that should be done for him, medically and financially, is being done and he is able to speak on the phone, though with a slight effort.

Here is wishing him a speedy recovery and a prompt return to his old philandering..err blogging ways.

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