Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ind SA Report Card

Man, that was ugly. Mark Boucher gave enough 'inspiration material' for the Indians to survive 50 overs and all they did was lay a huge egg. From this point on, i thought i would review the performance at the end of each test match, of the entire team and sometimes its management as well.

1. Virendra Sehwag (Grade: F)
His is the story of the great escape. How? I originally intended to give him F-/G. He was that bad. While i agree that he needs to play his natural game, but swinging to the first ball puts you in the Shahid Afridi class (crass) of test cricketers. Take a break! You have not given one reason to earn your place in the next test.

2. Wassim Jaffer (Grade: C-)
I think if this was a home series, Wassim should be dropped. Why? He needs to realise that, in test cricket - starts are precious, especially for a opening batsman. He made 2 starts and gave his wicket away both the times. His second innings shot was completely moronic. Since we are in SA and Sehwag needs to be left out of the side to reset his thought process, by law of elimination - retains his place in the side.

3. Rahul Dravid (Grade: C-)
You are the captain and at the end, victories and defeats should be laid on your doorstep. This is the third time India has collapsed in the 4th innings over the last few years. You avoided F/D because of the rank bad decisions of the umpires during your batting. However, did not lead the team well in the field. SA recovered from 28/3 and 258/8 to post 328 in the first innings.

4. Sachin Tendulkar (Grade: D)
Sorry mate! You are measured at higher standards than everyone else. What were you thinking when you played that shot in the first innings? Late christmas gift for the South Africans. Your dismissal triggered the middle order collapse of the first innings. Less said about the second innings dismissal, the better. Moreso, you made bold statements before the tour, but did not keep up your words on the field.

5. VVS Laxman (Grade: C)
You need to seriously assess your weakness against playing back-and-across. Some tips from Sunil Gavaskar will help

6. Sourav Ganguly (Grade: C-)
Short ball dismissal? Again. Enough said! However while i can understand your first inning dismissal (that was a snorter of a delivery), what were you thinking during the second inning dismissal.

7. MS Dhoni (Grade: B+)
The only reason you missed an "A" grade was because you could have saved the test match on the final day. However you backed your 4th day's comments on the field and hence the high grade. It helps to have had a decent first innings as well

8. Anil Kumble (Grade: B-)
Man! What an average game for India's best bowler ever! Disappointed with the uncharactestic foolhardiness with the bat than anything else

9. Zaheer Khan (Grade: B+)
Good game with the bat and the ball. Not much to fault you except that you could not extract an early wicket in the second innings. Keep up the same level of effort with the bat and people might forget about Irfan Pathan.

10. Sreesanth (Grade: B+)
Same comments as Zaheer with respect to bowling. Batting - for a second, i thought you were gonna knock off the umpire's head in the second innings.

11. VRV Singh (Grade: D)
Why are you in the team? Bowling. Oh I see. That said, i liked the fact that you were bowling full length this test than the previous one. Batting - Man, you are making me not miss Harbhajan. However, you are in the team because of the same reason as Wasim Jaffer - selection by elimination.

Third Test Outlook:
Need solid peformance from the top and middle order batting. Are you listening? Rahul and Sachin

Friday, December 29, 2006

How Embarassing!

For a month, i postponed accepting the fact that my lovely camera - a Fujifilm S5000 that i lent to a friend a few months back was damaged at some point (not blaming him, he was much more careful with it than i ever was!). While i tried a couple of times to switch it on, the camera refused to budge.I put checking the camera for a long time and today, i was setting a few things right here (nearing the end of year, so closing a lot of unattended items to hit the deadline). I finally decided to open the camera and check out what was wrong with it.

My initial feeling was the battery unit was damaged and i bought a few duracell ultra AA batteries and i tried it and it didn't work. I slowly realized that maybe i was not placing the cells correctly. 3 minutes and 2 combinations later, my camera was up leaving me feeling very embarassed as to how i could forget how to load batteries in a camera which has had more than 4500 snaps in the last 3 years.

Ye Gods!

Salutes to Mamta!

Fed with their own medicine, the communists complaint of the bitter taste.

The Left group parties in India take enormous pleasure in striking down each and every forward looking measure by any government over the last 15 years. Every major liberalization policy came at the cost of enormous opposition from the left parties. However, when the West Bengal government turned pro-liberalization after endless years of frog-in-the-well approach left the state with one of the least per capita income, they have faced with protests from within their ranks as well as other political parties for their current & previous stances.

But no victory is sweeter than what Mamta Banarjee did to the WB government by going on a 25 day fast against their decision to grant the Tata group, land for a automobile factory. With the president, prime minister and opposition NDA concerned with her health, the WB government has finally agreed to negotiate with her.

How the mighty have fallen!

Make no mistake, i am a pro-liberalization warrior; worship the Tata Group (own a Tata Auto car!), not researched the rights and wrongs of the Singur row and I am not a great fan of Mamta. However, i am happy with the way Mamta taught the Left parties a lesson in their own langauge.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Week 16: 1 PM NFL Sunday Games - Second Half

I usually stay up every sunday night to follow the New England Patriots games. I usually log on Football Outsiders' game day discussion forum and record my minute-to-minute musings. Summarizing them below:
  • Man, the IND Run defense has to be bad when you realize that RON DAYNE has 20 carries for 113 yds and 2 TDs.
  • Did the Pats find out something against the Jags? They seem to be in shotgun on most of the passing situations.
  • Wow! i complain about Pats lack of 20yd+ plays and they give us 2 in one drive. Both with rookie TE - D. Thomas. Is this the end of the road to Graham?
  • The pats with a good field position (courtsey the missed FG!). Can we have some points that would take us one step closer to another post-season? (Note: They advanced to 26 yds, got a false start and missed the ensuing 49 yd FG attempt)
  • looks like a shoot-out in St. Loius. I guess not a lot of people saw that coming? BTW, a question to the WAS mgmt? What will you do with Druckett at the end of the season?
  • If there is anyone following the cover-your-eyes Tampa-CLE game, Derrick Brooks with a INT returned for TD. Guess he realized that it was the only way to score a TD in this game. A question. Will Brooks get any consideration for HoF? (Note: I was wrong on the offensive TD part. They had one a few plays before!)
  • Did someone see D Thomas coming? I thought i saw his reference in a couple of games, but today looks like his break-out party
  • Bush for a punt return TD. Boy, we are gonna see Peter King raving about RB in MMQB tomorrow (Note: TD called back)
  • Texans still have 3mins to go down 30+ yds for atleast a FG and burn the COLTS. Go TEXANS. Go
  • Request to FO staff: Can we have an analysis on Pats Defense on 3rd down situations. My perception is that on 3rd & short and/or when the opposition tries a run - they are succesful. I feel they have been burned on 3rd & long/opposition passing on 3rd down situation. Any quick responses
  • TEXANS WIN. That will mean that the Colts will have to play the wildcard round as well. Doesn't bode well for their defense.
  • Seems that this week is Bush's coming out party as a running back.
  • As things stands as of now, i think TB is going to have a good DPAR for the week. Lots of run DPAR points on third downs.
  • Can someone remember a deeper RB class than the class of 2006? Reggie Bush, LM, Addai, Drew, Deangelo (to a lesser extent), Norwood, Washington(?-Jets), Lundy (?-Texans). All seem to have made a mark in atleast one game.
  • Pats leaving it a little too close for comfort. With LM & CD, i am hoping that the Pats can run out the clock.
  • The Jags need 25 - 30 yds to take to FG range. Pats defense need one good play
  • NE WINS. They have none to blame for leaving it close. In the end, the defense has to make one close play and they made it, with their first sack & turnover of the day.
  • I think you should attribute the Bills loss to the coach or bad decision by QB. They were on the 25 yd line & within FG range. They should have tried to get as many risk-free yards and kicked a FG. Instead a christmas present to the red hot Titans, who have a realistic chance of post-season.

Week 16: 1 PM Games - First Half

I usually stay up every sunday night to follow the New England Patriots games. I usually log onto to Football Outsiders' game day discussion forum and record my minute-to-minute musings. Summarizing them below:

  • Texans score first ... i guess not a lot of us saw that coming!
  • I know that not a lot of you would be in India, but they are playing some christmas carols with a 10 year kid singing great ... 15 mins to Dec 25 ... merry x'mas to FO, staff and readers
  • Wow! Texans are up 14 against the colts. I wonder if there is a upset in the works
  • 3 Scrambles/runs for Brady in the first quarter itself. Calm down, big fella - we want you to win the game with your hand not your legs.
  • Three 20+yd TDs at the same time - IND, BAL and DET
  • Will the Pats go for it on 4th down and 1?(Note: They draw a false start and that was good because Brady was not going anywhere. They need a 48 yd FG!)
  • Gostkowski with a 48 yd FG. I think he has come a long way from the beginning of the season when the team was avoiding putting him out for 35+ yd FG attempt.
  • I was checking the score on the 2 current hot teams - TEN v/ BUF. Scores tied at 10. Seems that these teams have joined MIA as second half beauties. During my school days (academic years are btw june to apr in india), we had a score of kids who flunked quarterly, half yearly exams but buckled up for the annual exams and these kids were termed MARCH BEAUTIES. Guess, the same applies to TEN, BUF, MIA now!
  • The empire strikes back! Colts have wiped off the 14 point deficit. Wish Manning was in control of the US national deficit control rather than fight deficit against the texans!
  • 3-4-JAC 45 (8:50) (Shotgun) D.Garrard pass incomplete short middle to R.Williams. Pass hit the umpire. That read very funny!
  • A theory on why the NE Offense is ranked #8 as per DVOA. Disclaimer: I consider that the Pats defense has been pretty ordinary over the season and wrote to Aaron last week on the same. I think DVOA rewards 'success' and most of Brady's pass are for 6-8 yds, thus having a high success rate. the same can be said about their running as well (as i type, Faulk gets 4 yds on a 2-2 situation). Pats might have had the lowest 20+ yd plays in the game, both passing and rushing and that is why the perception that the offense is anaemic! RANT OVER!
  • TMQ Pleased! Texans ran 11 times in a 14 play, 75 yard TD drive. The drive ate 8 mins in the second half and kept the colts offense a.k.a THE EMPIRE on the sidelines
  • Raise your hands if you predicted Tom Brady will have the longest rush for the Pats Offense in the first half ..McDaniel, your vote doesn't count!
  • I even read on some article earlier in the season that all things need to go perfect for Pats to score on any drive. With them, you cannot have a slam dunk 4 plays, 80 yd drive that has happened to some other teams. When you want to clash with teams like san diego in post-season, that is as much a factor as a good defense. (Note: This post was in response to RichConley's comment on my earlier posting on NE offense)

Friday, December 22, 2006

New CJI - remember he is a great judge first, a dalit next!

I was checking Rediff Website and saw an article that K G Balakrishnan has been appointed as the new Chief Justice of India.

What made this news to the top of the headlines is that he is a dalit and that's where it saddens me. We have had a dalit president, we have a minority prime minister and president, a foreign born leader of ruling alliance and still we want to make it a point to stress the caste and religion of these appointments.

Remember that these appointments came because of the merits of these people (esp. in the case of KG Balakrishnan) in their chosen profession. I am sure that respected Balakrishnan is well regarded in the legal circles and hence there is no need to stress his caste and religious credentials. Also, the country is not making an exception by making a 'dalit' the CJI - he earned his rights to become one. I, for one, believe that we should avoid taking up the caste and religion identity of these appointments and that would be the first step in ensuring that people don't attribute a lot of weightage to these factors.

I would like to see a day India is 'cool' about any of its top public servant, the same way American Football fans are used to seeing black coaches and quarterbacks.

Ganguly as captain? Gimme a break!

A sense of perspective has never been a quality that India's cricket fraternity has possessed

I liked this sentence and fully agree with the author (Dhileep Premchand's analysis on India's recent test win) on India's passion / obsession called Cricket. I wanted to blog on this over the weekend by trying to find evidence of over-reaction within Indian media after India's splendid test victory in south africa

Alas, i did not have to wait for long because Ajay Jadeja was the first to mouth-off calling for Ganguly to replace Dravid as the captain for the World Cup. This, inspite of what all of us can now see - Ganguly was thrown off the team because he was getting obsessed with Captaincy that he failed to remember that batting contributions was required to be retained in the team. Now that this has finally dawned on him and he is batting as if every innings is his last, we saw a remarkable amount of freedom & responsibility in his batting - something Greg Chappell wanted and has now gotten.

In this situation, why would the Indian board want to hand captaincy to Ganguly? More over, people should realise and accept the fact that Ganguly's days as captain are over and he is on his last days as an international cricketer (maybe a year or so is the maximum left in him). Let us enjoy these days and not want to upset the already tipsy apple cart called Indian Cricket.

More than anyone else, Ganguly deserves it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wish i could spin like him (?)

No. Thank you very much ...

I like Kumble, the way he is. While he can never rip the ball like Shane Warne, he is without doubt the best Indian spinner to have touched the red cherry. Before going up in arms, please note that i think Chandrashekar, Prasanna, Bedi and Venkatraghavan (lesser extent!) were great bowlers - they were not feared a lot outside the subcontinent for LONG STRECHES of time while teams have been wary of Kumble for atleast the last 5 years even outside the subcontinent. Coming to it, Anil Kumble is the BEST BOWLER that India has produced. He has had more matches won than anyone else, more than even Kapil Dev (and coming from someone whose 'day-afters' were based on pajji's performance!).

While a lot of people, especially who are more into entertainment than the pure joy & pleasures of the game would like spinners to turn the ball half way across the pitch, what they don't understand is that the ball needs to turn only a few inches to turn a sure boundary to a dismissal and understanding that was Jumbo's biggest strength.

While Kumble could pay tribute to Shane for spinning the ball, he would have a good haul if he played majority of his tests against the pommies as well (not a slight on Warne - but the lack of great record against the Indians will always be shown against him, the same way overseas record will be shown for Kumble).

Who is the best spinner in the World to date? Martin Crowe might disagree, but Muthiah Muralidharan is the best spinner ever.

Aren't we glad to be in an era that had the best spinners trade their wares (like the 80s & 90s were the seasons for best all-rounders with Kapil, Imran, Botham and 'Sir' Hadlee)!

We have our priorities all right

We have our priorities all right .. thank you very much!

One more parliament session has passed and there seems to be an orphan left un-heeded on the road. Nope, make it two.

The Whistleblower's protection bill and the Women's Reservation Bill have not been passed. What a country!

A brief History: The Whistleblower's protection bill is the country's reflection, memories and respects to the late Satyendra Dubey - who lost his life due to the stupidity (at best or perverse at worst!) of officers in the PM's office. Three years later, the bill introduced in March '06 has not been passed yet.

It is surprising that the bill was not passed when 20 bills were cleared in the winter session of parliament on a single day!

Women's Reservation Bill was suggested in 1997. 9 years later, the country is still waiting. However, Arjun Singh (while i have worse names for him, you need to contact me to hear them!) had enough time to do a hotch-potch of a study for advancing reservations to OBCs.

While the OBC reservation bill awarded the communities seats in higher education & employment, the women's reservation bill does affect the way the parliament will be structured. No wonder, the male parliamentarians are up in arms to schuttle any of the feeble attempts made by the NDA and the UPA governments.

Now the parliament minister promises women's reservation bill in the budget session!

and we hope that these orphans can survive the harsh delhi winter cold and its muddy politics!

Some 'random' interesting links:
Home minister paying lip service to Women's reservation bill
Left wants it ... does not want it ... sorry, i dont know ... they just cant make up their mind.
Culprit 1A - Laloo (1B being Mulayam) now says that he will consider WRB. Did Rabri force this change, at home?
I am sorry that a person like Manmohan cannot aid us in this. All he can do, is to make promises that he cannot keep
One more Prime Minister - Vajpayee, one more promise. Once again unkept.
And the grand madam of all - her promise.

Monday, December 18, 2006

NFL Week 15 1 PM Game - 2nd Half

  • If Taylor does not win the Defensive Player of the year award., we might as well as scrap it!
  • Taylor has 12.5 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recoverd for 19 yards, 2 interceptions for 71 yards and 2 TDs.
  • Yikees! Harrington gives it away with an INT!
  • In comparison to Taylor, Urlacher has 0 Sacks, 3 INTs for 39 Yards, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovered for 1 yard. He is in with as much a chance as Taylor and that is why these awards should be renamed as popularity awards.
  • Do we have a R Doyle fumble in the end zone in the script? Sadly., nope
  • Pacman Jones has a Kickoff return for 70 yds (85 incl. 15 yd face mask!), 1 punt return for 8 yds, 1 INT for TD and 0.5 sack. Some more maturity off the field, he
    could be the next champ bailey
  • Hobbs for 93 yd kickoff TD return! Special teams and Defense winning it for the Patriots
  • Hester has one more big punt return. Great! he is stamping his ticket to next season's pro-bowl as well
  • TEN could be the giant playoff hopes killer team in the AFC. give it some thought! NE Pats are there next and i dont think i am confident enough to say that they can beat the TEN hands-down. Also, come next season - TEN can be the Miami of 2005 season
  • Can the Offense give me a TD atleast now? For crying out loud, you have all of 29 yds to go (Note: NE Pats get a sack and punt. Yikees!)
  • Garrad with one more defense TD with a INT to Hope. All he used to do was win games. What happened to him?Memo to all Football analysts: Please, please - dont tell "All V Young does is win games". Atleast show some knowledge of the game by acknowledging that the defense does win games (like this match!)
  • T Brady: Why pass for 3 yards when you need 10? Pls understand., you are better than Carr.
  • If you remove the 43 yd pass by Brady, he has a stat of 15/21 for 66 yds. Thats 4 yds per catch made. Yee Gods!
  • Kitna: How bad! You throw a INT and follow it up with a face mask.
  • Will the NE Pats offense give me a TD! It's all of 5 yards i am asking for!!!!! (Note: NE goes 3 and out and get a FG)
  • What in the world has happened to the NE Offense? Tom Brady - what is going on
  • R.Parrish to BUF 2 for -15 yards (D.Pope). How on earth can you lose 15 yds on a punt return!
  • With an offense like NE Pats, i wonder if they will have success against the likes of the BAL, SD in the playoffs. Atleast for fun, the Pats should try and throw the ball downfield or else Brady might just forgot that such a thing exists
  • Favre having more fun! (Note: 3 INTs, 1 Fumble lost for the game!)
  • Saints should acquire A Thomas in the free agency.
  • DET - How can you not convert from the 12 yd line? I dont think you deserve to win even though BF is handing it to you on a platter. BTW., i think all BF does is 'win games'
  • how can one have illegal formation on a QB kneel down?
  • Morency should be cut by the GB Packers with immediate effect. How can he score a TD when he has to step out of bounds at the 1 for BF to do: (a) One more meaningless TD (b) INT in the End zone for increasing the amount of fun he is having.

NFL Sunday 1 PM Match - First Half

I usually stay up every sunday night to follow the New England Patriots games. I usually log onto to Football Outsiders' game day discussion forum and record my minute-to-minute musings. Summarizing them below:

  • Pac-Man Jones is on fire.
  • New England has a good running game going while the passing game seems anameic.
  • Is there anything new?Reality Check: At 4/7 for 21 yds - Tom Brady, your numbers are as good as David Carr. Short passes on checks
  • Favre sacked, fumbles. Yawn! Anything new around?
  • Kitna might be the worst game manager in NFL! Sorry, i forgot about Brad Johnson!
  • I wish the Pats offense shows up one more time before the season ends.
  • My money says that Favre will be given a chance for passing TD
  • Carr., Intercepted. Thank the NE Defense
  • wow! it 10-0 in the superdome? Did the saints leave a lot in their Sunday night match against the dallas last week?
  • The sad part is that inspite of a great year, Colvin won't make the Probowl. Shawm Merriman, Phillips (Both SD), A THomas (BAL) are right up there in terms of
    recall. And they do deserve to be above Colvin
  • I wish to volunteer myself for the Jaguars. I can be completed trusted to hand-off the ball to the running backs and all i do is win games for you doing it!. PS: Atleast i dont throw interceptions when you ask me to check for wind movements
  • wow! the pats starting on the 31 yd line. i need a TD on this one. Not a FG
  • i didnt realize that the JAX-TEN match pitted 2 QBs who 'just win games'.
  • Brady. DONT RUN! This is the Texans and you are too valuable to risk any injury in this game
  • NO Saint defense had an intensive training session with the Colts defense. Thank you very much! Now we cant tackle a dummy!
  • TB starts on CHI 26. Something tells me it is either a missed FG from here or a CHI INT returned for TD (Note: I was wrong. TB did connect on a 45 yd FG!)
  • 3-20 against the NE Pats. Something tell me that they will convert. Isnt it surprising NE pats would rather have 3-1 rather than 3-20 (Note: wrong again. Texans didnt convert., but this is the Texans. Anomoly to every rile)
  • Wow! That epitomizes how ugly the Texans are. You need 20 yds and you try a short pass!
  • NE Offense: One advice. MOVE TOWARDS opponent's endzone., not yours
  • i got a great idea! how about swapping NE & PHI playbooks. That means more short passes in the PHI book and more long passes in the NE book. Round of applause for the genius.i can see someone patting on my back. Nope that is a spider!
  • 1:43 and the ball on NO 2. If Drew Brees gets a TD, i guess the debate for the MVP will be over
  • i think the def pass interference rule should be modified. DPI should mean that the offense gets 5 yds and automatic first down. Also, you could think of penalizing the defense one member (10 players instead of 11) on the next play.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cricket - SA Ind Test Day 3 Random Musings

Some random thoughts during the match today:
  • I think it is a relief having the commentary after the endless nuisance that was dished out in the name of entertainment during championship trophy when the likes of Rohit Roy, Mandira Bedi and Charu Sharma contributed ZILCH to cricket discussions
  • Case in point, when Laxman was playing well - Sunny notes that Laxman would be a better batsman if he could get more comfortable going across and playing on the backfoot. That would enable him to counter the likes of Ntini and Nel. Hardly had the sentence been spoken, he goes on the backfoot and edges to the first slip. Providence! But above all good cricket commentary.
  • If Andre Nel is not bought to books by the match referee, they should scrap the rule.
  • What a shot! Tailender charging to a fast bowler and hitting for six is priceless!
  • What a dance! On one level it was pure adrenalin, on a different level, the gyrations made me wince
  • Why did you have to go for the second! bad decision!!
  • Liked the cameo of Sreesanth and VRV Singh when it lasted!
  • First over, first ball and SA is on pressure
  • Gibbs is GONE! What a ball. I am no more upset at the India's last wicket gift to SA
  • Superb Catch by Sehwag. Did not realise that he had so much movement on the field
  • Great bowling performance. SA could be wishing they had Sreesanth and Zaheer instead of Ntini and Nel
  • Gross! Vikram (or Vishal!) is trying to ape Sony's non-cricket shows and it is bad. ESS should stick to cricket
  • Sreesanth, you can be aggressive without walking into the batsman
  • If Sreesanth is not bought to books by the match referee, they should scrap the rule (Amla's dismissal). On second thoughts, Sreesanth will be bought to books and Nel will be let go free
  • Kumble is being neutralized well by the SA batsmen by sweeping behind square
  • That is OUT! Harper, how did you miss it? Prince had a thick edge to the keeper
  • That is OUT! Harper, how did you miss it? Boucher had a thin edge to the keeper. Two bad decisions by Harper in one afternoon
  • That is end of play. India should be reasonably happy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Down the memory lane!!!!

I was driving to office today morning in the usual path, when i saw a ton of school students pour out of the gates of DAV School. I am assuming that the school had to close because of the Left Parties' meaningless call for nationwide strike.

As i stopped and waited for the few minutes that the kids were crossing the road, it took me to memories of Jan 1995 when the schools were forced to close for 5 days because of World Tamil Conference. Half of the 11th standard took full use of these holidays by effectively honing their cricket skills on the open terrace of Karthik's House - a stone throw away from School.

For 5 days & till darkness enveloped us, we might have had a zillion cricket matches with the winners of each match awarded with the Ole trophy. The Ole trophy was conceptualized and made by Mallik from the coconut leaves.

Ole trophy & cricket continued in Karthik's house for another 5 more years - through our school days as well as engineering days.

Boy., weren't those days good!

As far as i remember - Swathi was a good allrounder, Manish had a great leg-spinner, Mallik (for his dimunitive size) had Allan Donald speed, Barani was the technically correct batsman. Me? I had a great straight drive & leg flick, average fielding skills, below average off spin, horrible cut shot and worse of all - horrendous umpiring skills!

A sad day for India!

A real sad day ....

While the government had no shame in ramming through the OBC Reservation Bill, there is still no word of the Whistleblowers Protection Bill - a fallout of Satyendra Dubey's assasination. More shameful, was that the reservation bill had the full support of all parties. To add insult to the judiciary, the bill does not exclude the 'creamy layer' from the benefits - making it all the more likely that the bill will be highly misused in the end.

Even worse, it was a Red Day - the Left parties (or to be appropriately called - the LOST parties) called for a nationwide strike to protest the central government economic policies when they have no qualms of allowing a Tata Car Factory in their own backyard. I am all for a tata factory, but against the hypocrisy of the Left Parties

To future generations who will criticize us for these mistakes, i offer my apologies.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sunday Night Football - Random Musings

Monday morning & Tuesday Morning in my life has become quite an event. With 2 games of american football shown in India, i make sure that all work on these mornings can be postponed beyond 10 AM starts in office.

Yesterday was a game between Cowboys and Saints and i added comments to FO Webpage during the first hald and since i had to switch off the laptop and get going to office, did not put this on the FO website.
  • Reggie Bush has improved his prospects of a long career in the NFL. Why? I am not going to go ga-ga, that is being done by the football analysts. What captured my attention during the 62 yd screen pass TD is how he used his blockers effectively. He did not try and accelarate through the hole to show-off his speed and get knocked down by the defenders. Instead, he followed his blockers and made a killer move to leave the last 2 defenders gaping at the 10 yd line. Welcome to NFL, you are late by about 12 weeks while others like Maroney, Noriwood and Maurice Jones-Drew figured that out earlier.
  • After getting rid of the browns curse (to LBC), jeff faine has been pretty good this season. pro-bowl center? nope. Back-up pro-bowl guy? sure, why not.
  • While discounting Peyton Manning (who, i grudgingly admit is good! - there i said it), there is none in the NFL who can dictate terms to the opposition as much as Drew Brees is doing now. I wish LT & DB both share the NFL MVP
  • Terell Owens is showing commitment on the field, just like Keyshawn Johnson last year - however he has avoided the middle of the field completely. Is there something wrong with him?
  • After the cowboys score, there are butterflies in my stomach. Even with a 11 point lead, i think there might be an upset in the air - gosh! look at that pass. Now it is a 18 point lead and the clouds have cleared (literally!, out here). [Post note: after 5 minutes, Drew Brees hooked with Henderson for a 50 yd TD pass and the match was sealed!]
  • Wow! how many 4th downs with penalties traded all-round? Is this a record?
  • I wish John Madden & Al Michaels avoid giggling. They are not bumbling teenegers on their first date, for all that is holy on earth.
  • Whoa, whoa! onside kick when up by 25 points. completely unexpected and great
  • Bill Parcells is trying to ape Art Shell's sideline poses but doing as bad a job with it as the team's performance today
  • Sean Payton for Coach of the Year; Drew Brees, the joint MVP and Colston is the Rookie of the year
  • Letting T.O score a touchdown was not the biggest of the issue with Fred Thomas. It is 4th down and even an interception would leave with a worse-off field position than you would have by simply knocking the ball. Coupled with the fact that you have a thumb injuiry, it is a disaster to try and come down with a INT and his little selfishness costed the TD. But i think he is sufficiently mad at himself that others can back-off.
  • Maybe Peter King got it right. Bill Parcells will make it to the superbowl sideline. Only in spirit - through his former OC - Sean Payton. That said, i am still worried about the saints. They are very raw on defense and unless they inprove there, it is going to be short of SB41!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Chatrapathi - Great title song!

Don't look right now, but I think this is a return of good music to telugu movies. This is very conviniently coincided with a few things:
  • Better overall movie production (better than recent tamil movies! - so much so, every hit telugu movie is being planned to be re-made into tamil soon)
  • Movement of telugu cine industry from chennai to hyderabad (is it just coincidence?)
  • Bigger hits with every movie for chiranjeevi (very little relevance overall, but thought i would add this as well!)

There is going to be a blog later in the week again on telugu movies, but this is the time to rejoice the resurgence. Movies are infintely better - Anand, Aa Laluguru, Godavri, Aathadu, Pokiri, Bommarilu, Aithe are some of the better ones i have seen in a long time. All movies that break the stereotype of telugu movies have done well in the box-office (i have given it away!).

There is one song in the recent times that has captured my amazement. I have heard it close to 25 times and everytime, it was amazing. The actual song is 3 mins and i shall search youtube to find the full version.

There is a high possibility that the tune has been "inspired" by some score elsewhere, but this one is real impressive.

NFL Sunday 1 PM Games - Week 14 First Half Musings

My First half NFL - Season 14 musings. Right now, they are playing skating on ESPN India and it is as interesting as waiting in a airport!
  • NE-Mia Game: After the NE fumble there was Roughing the passer, 2 yd run, offensive holding and defensive pass interference. Yikees! We are all professionals here.
  • Slumberfest games: OAK at CIN
  • Like Good Rex and Bad Rex, we have the short brady and the 'original' brady. The short brady refuses to pass for anything above 10 yards. just check his current
    stats for today.
  • How Auspicious? NE starts second quarter with a false start.
  • Yee Gods., that is some cover-your eyes football in MiamiCan MIN please trade the run defense for Joseph Addai. That is required for the post-season
  • NE is coming up with some bad starting field positions. Last time it was from the 4 yd and this time i think it is the 5 yd line.
  • J.Garcia scrambles up the middle to WAS 6 for 10 yards (C.Griffin). When i read this on gamecenter, only one thing came to mind - BACK TO THE PAST. Remember Jeff Garcia turned 62!
  • JAX gained 74 yards on 4 runs against the IND defense. Boy., this looks like a Madden game to me. IND pass TDs and JAX run TDs.
  • Wonder if Asomugha will make it to the Pro-bowl this year. There seems to be a huge rush right behind Champ Bailey. R Mathais & A Samuels are equally good.This is as close to madness as we know (real madness is watching the CLE offense or IND rush defense 24/7!).
  • Why take a Time-out at 2:06 when the 2-min warning is coming up. And follow it with a incomplete pass. This is gonna be a long day for the patriots

Thursday, December 07, 2006 - Funny Feature

While i have had my fun with reading articles on parody sites like Onion, Sportspickle and Brushback - the latter two are exclusively focused on sports, they measure between good and downright gross.

Of late, i was refered to Cracked website and while i followed the NFL weekly breakdown, the feature i enjoy the most is the "letters from Bush - US President" series. This features series is all about letter that the US president writes on various issues and are corrected by his proof-reader. The articles are downright funny and very believable - if you picture Bush writing these.
  1. Letter to Iraqi Prime Mister., nope Prime Minister
  2. Thanking Donald Rumsfield for his service as Pentagon Secy, which is not a woman-thing
  3. Please vote ... a note before the elections to the voters
  4. Illegal Aliens., Darth Vader is my least favorite and hence the fence to protect US from him or something like that
  5. Is it a crime to have these? Nope, it is a crime if you don't have these (ask., Iraq!). Letter to N Korea premier
  6. This is how i won (but the real story is how i made the democrats look bad!) - A primer to Rep candidates for mid-term election

Believe me that you are gonna have fun rolling around with the slapstick humour on Bush in these articles.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And in fast developing news ganguly ...

Breaking news of Sourav Ganguly, ex-Indian captain having a mild coughing session. With increasing interest, the press in south africa awaited his every single move -his arrival in SA, his first practice and patiently waited for more meanigful substance and they were not disappointed - literally.

After his one hour practice, Sourav Ganguly stood aside for a whole one minute and thought of his next action. Being out of the Indian side, he might have lost his touch with the small details of practice - a few real time SG critics/experts across the field agreed amongst themselves. Just when the debate was drawing to a close, Ganguly moved towards the refreshments section and took a bottle of ice-cold aquafina mineral water and drank the contents for well over 15 seconds (as measured by cameraman vikram gautam).

The breaking development happened when he bent down to put down the bottle when he choked on the final few drops and the media was there to capture, in real time, the mild cough session. It started with his face turing slightly red and then he coughed for a minute - starting with a mild bengal tiger purr and finishing with an eccentric high pitch wheeze-like noise.

How this affects India's chances in the first test against South Africa, let us turn to our expert panel - Harsha Bhogle, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Wasim Akram. Question to you all experts - Is Ganguly justified in coughing and harming India's chances in the upcoming test match or is it his tendencies to draw attention to himself .......

And thus died the sanity of the indian news media in south africa on a sunny summer morning. Dada, welcome back but you would know that i said it first here, that the media is going to make a tamasha of your every single move.

isn't it strange?

We live in a strange world, where pigs and friendship goes in the same sentence. You heard that right and read that right ... ours is a very strange world.

Disclaimer: To each man (or woman), his indulgences and right to indulgence and i neither condone or encourage it.

Prediction: Bandh Tomorrow followed by PIL

I can see & forecast future events. I am brilliant. Maybe i should start charging people .....

Nope., i am but anyone who can predict what is gonna happen, but when you do things like this in India, i know what follows. The "this" incident is the launch of Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar on the lines of SI Swimsuit calendar.

Why no links to the 2 calendars? Please note that this is a highly respected blog with respectable opinions and respectable people visiting it and more importantly a very respectable person authoring the blog. You get that?

But i do know what is going to happen:
  1. VHP & the right-wing protestants will take offense to this demeanization of Indian culture
  2. Some Mumbai / New Delhi advocate will file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in either the high court or supreme court and get his moment of fame with newspapers and news report channels
  3. Fundamentalists will call for a bandh and go on a rampage destroying public property
  4. Womens right group will critize the calendar as an insult to nari-mani.
  5. Men & yes, men would gather to .... never mind ....

Aren't things here very predictable.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Movie Review: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - Yuck!

Ok., you did not read it wrong. I saw the Harry Potter movie - Goblet of Fire at last. I did not hear great reviews and hence did not bother taking time to watch it and boy, was i right. Since there are way too many cribs, i shall try and summarize into 2 sections:

I think I like:

1. Casting of Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson. They are tucking themselves nicely into their roles. Lord Voldemort was terrific. Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory was perfect.

2. Nice Scene: Harry & Ron discuss their desperation about finding a partner for the ball dance and George fixes up with Angelina Johnson. Throughout the scene, there is Snape supervising their homework and everytime their voices raise - he strikes them in the head but otherwise does not cuss. The whole scene was just too funny.

3. Graphics: OK., some of them were really ludicrous but a few stood out. Eg: The taps scene was great, the first shot of the Quidditch WC stadium was good. The revival of Lord Voldemort & the priori incantatem spell scenes are good.

Hey., i am really stretching myself to find something positive in this movie

I did not like:

1. Deep breath, one two, three., once more: OK., i know that books to movies means that the story is compromised, but ye gods! the basic essence of the whole book is being butchered. Like, the theme in the book was to teach Harry a lesson that you cannot discount anyone when looking for help - even Neville Longbottom. The movie made a mis-mash of it all.

2. Spirit of the roles: Take off from the last point, you could change a few minor details for the movie - but how can you compromise on the basic tenants of the characters of the movie. Prof. Dumbledore through Book 6 is the most calming influence in Hogwarts; No issue seemed to rattle him. But if you were to look at the movie - you would come to an opinion that he was a sad old fart. Same with Prof. McGonnagall. She is authoritarian and never displays silly girly behavior as shown in the movie

An allied point: In Friends there is this episode where Joey is taught that good elocution in acting requires spitting on your colleague. What is the connection? Have you not noticed that anything other than a murmur, the actors usually shout in each other's face in the movie.

3. Cast: Apart from a few like Harry, Hermoinie, Snape and McGonnagall, the rest of the crew seems way out of place. Michael Gambon is completely unimpressive as Dumbledore, Rupert Grint is way too old & arkward looking for Ronald Weasley, Matthew Lewis as Neville is awkward, Stanislav Ianevski as Viktor Krum is not too inspiring. But the worst of all is that of Cho Chang - Katie Leung does not have the IT factor that creates butterflies in Harry's stomach. On the contrary, she looks too bland and ordinary that you are wondering why Harry is even remotely interested in her - when a great looking Hermione is right besides him.

BONUS: What is with the graphics? Can they not leave it subtle. The dragon scene is over-the-top, the insides of the WC stadium (right after the top shot!) is bad, the Dark Lord mark is more funny than bone-chilling, the underwater scene plain and the maze is bland. What happened to all the creatures in the maze? Why did you cut it out?

Overall, if you are a Harry Potter fan - you could well avoid the movie as a purist. From a 2 hour mindless entertainment perspective, i do recommend this movie.

American Football: Week 13 1 PM games - 2nd half

Second half thoughts as posted in Football Outsiders' game day discussion forum:
  • Larry Johnson ... may be Herm Edwards does not love you. Why? He has already given you 297 carries and you are on record for 410+ carries for the season. Have you thought about life after football yet?
  • Packers. You are down by 31 points on your home field in the 3rd quater. Why, in the name of god are you attempting a FG from Jets 15 yd line. This is the moment when TMQ would have written "Game Over" if he already didn't
  • Wow! What a 1st round draft pick bust. Mike Williams (USC) has ZERO receptions while Josh McCown, the back QB has one.
  • Goat of the Week: R. Grossman ... 3/10 for 22 yds and 3 INTs ... how gross!
  • SF 49ers attempt an onside kick and recover. What a sweet play!
  • Can you believe it: The two 2-9 teams are ahead at this point
  • Can you believe it (Part 2): Colts are behind at this point. After being behind by 14 points, Atlanta offense has scored 24 points.
  • Who is this derek anderson? if he is any decent, why is he with the browns?
  • Does NE have a lousy 3rd passing defense to compensate for its great 3rd down rushing defense?
  • How can you let two 1-30 situations to be converted? How bad is the NE secondary that you are being stood up by one of the worst team in NFL?
  • should the pats go for 1 or for 2 if there is a TD now?
  • Stop the press! E James has atlast got his first 100 yd game and the YPC is also pretty decent
  • I think it is a great thing from NFL to list major milestones reached during the game. Earlier it was about Hanson and now it is Dillion's 11000 yds
  • 3-11-NO 8 (13:24) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Bush ran ob at SF 18 for 74 yards. 1-10-NO 18; (12:53) D.McAllister left end to SF 14 for 68 yards (B.Moore). I am confused. I am listing this down from NFL's gamecenter. can someone explain
  • With 4 TDs, Reggie Bush has ensured that Peter King is gonna smooch all over him in tomorrow's MMQB (wait it is 0230 here and so technically, it is today's MMQB)
  • Wow., INT, fumble and sack-fumble in NE-DET game. And sigh., we are all professionals here.
  • Was that a 60 yd field goal by the Browns? 60 YARDS (scream! and everyone at home are awake)
  • Manning is 350 yds on 28 attempts with 1 TD and 2 FGs and still LOSES. Aye god! This one is a mulligan and does not count against him
  • Browns should just attempt a FG right away!
  • Can someone explain why the BROWNS ARE RUNNING. Why are they not trying for a FG right away?
  • The Pats win. Boy, was it ugly?

American Football 1PM matches - First Half Thoughts

I usually stay up every sunday night to follow the New England Patriots games. I usually log onto to Football Outsiders' game day discussion forum and record my minute-to-minute musings. Summarizing them below:
  • 3 & 1: Peyton ., why are you throwing? Hasn't Addai been good to get the yard.
  • And now V Young is intercepted. Ye gods., we are all professional here
  • Did anyone had R. Cadwell in their loser league team. He is gonna ruin your day. 3 long passes from T Brady. What a day
  • Is it only me who sees that L Maroney has not lived up to the hype generated by the experts. As of now, he has 14 yds on 4 carries and seem to me Addai might be the better RB of the first round draft (oh., do i need to tell Reggie Bush is still missing)
  • Gore: 3 Carries for -1 yds; Drew Brees 3/7 for 30 yds. Some fantasy owners are having a bad start
  • Pats: 17 plays for 81 yds and a Field Goal. I read somewhere that the Pats offense needs to have it picture perfect to get a TD this season and rank in the bottom half for TDs from outside the red zone - both explainable because of lack of a big time playmaker WR. I have suddenly started believing in that.
  • LT 51 yds run for Touchdown. And then there are other RBs
  • Why would you have Chad Scott to cover Williams - one of the top 5 WRs in NFC?
  • Kewl., the lions are mounting a fight at the Pats. I want to see how NE responds with its offensive tools when we are down by 10.
  • Whew! Thanks Vrabel. Can the offense please show-up without penalties and sputtering?
  • I somehow like Wilson (Cardinals) as a probowler than roy williams (5 INTs) for the NFC safety. I think he might be the only probowler from the team
  • Confession time: Vince Young is good. Vince Young is good. Vince Young is good. Now., i got to write that down 97 more times to ... never mind
  • Asante Samuels for probowl. On the other hand, what is the chances that the Pats are going to sign him back. That is gonna test their fundamental philosophy on player evaluation
  • Brady., i am sorry - your offense is not bad., i know ... i erred again ... and also can you please let me know who in the staff handed my earlier comment to you so that i can ....
  • I want Martybowl back for the second half. Just don't know where LT is gonna finish this year. Trillion yds, billion rushing TDs, million reception yds, thousand receiving TDs and hundred passing TDs. Will not be surprised if he does acheive that.
  • Reggie Bush - 2TDs. Was he finally picked up from his house in San Diego?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Prices through the cardboard Sheet (yeah., the roof is expensive!)

I recently received a common mail circulated within HCL - a mass forward that talked about the too-hot-to-handle real estate prices in Chennai. Like any good mass forward mail, it had a ton of spelling mistakes and in a couple of places - was factually incorrect.

However, the mail made me think; Where does this madness end? Today, a 1000 sq. ft flat in my locality would set you back by a whopping 4 million rupees (approx. $85,000) and apartments in the range of 15 million to 25 million ($325K to $550K) are pretty commonly heard in Chennai. Hey, at that rates, you can as well choose between nungambakkam (Chennai) or newton (boston suburb)!I made some calculation - if you take up a loan of 2 million, you would end up paying 20K per month for the next 20 years to just get an medium-small apartment tucked in some corner of the city! While a lot is associated with NRI investment as well as expat returns, there is also a factor of the real estate agents taking advantage of the situation.

I recently read this report on BBC and the future looks bleak for anyone saving to buy a place in India. Reminds me of a dialogue from the movie - Mudalvan "Save throughout your career, after retirement, buy a 1200 sqft land, build a small house with a lawn and sit there and read paper".

Looks to me, like that is a highly unlikely scenario. And while i wrote this blog, i am sure that some realestate agent just hiked the price of the apartments in chennai a notch again.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dada, remember this: TO

Dada., now that you have packed the rooshagullas and are catching a flight for South Africa, please hear just 2 words from me: Terrell Owens aka TO

You don't know him - here is a quick primer:
  • Terrell Owens is an obscenely gifted wide receiver in american football whose self-indulging tendencies has overshadowed his achievements on the field. Sounds very familiar?
  • Not once but twice has been driven out of town because of his lack of respect for his teammates. Sounds very familiar?
  • He called his employers & their football organization as 'class-less'. Sounds very familiar?
  • He suffers from wears-my heart on the sleeve-but-cant-keep-mouth-shut syndrome. Sounds very familiar?
  • Criticizes the coach as being against him. Sounds very familiar?
  • In San Francisco, TO cost his coach the job (read John Wright). Sounds very familiar?
Now that you are back in the side, i hope you would only think of aiding India when we have not been having a great tour of SA. I respect your contributions to indian cricket as it's most sucessful captain and would hope you would do nothing to sully your reputation, your coach, your captain, your organization, your country and most importantly YOURSELF.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rioting - forced or protest!

What kind of explanation with the political ecosystem provide for destruction of state infrastructure?

if you did not know, miscreants defiled an Ambedkar statue in Uttar Pradesh and the far-off Maharastra saw heavy rioting in protests.

I am appalled that someone even thought of defiling Ambedkar's statue - he definitely ranks up there amongst Gandhi, Nehru and Patel as diverse contributors to the great foundation of the nation.

However, none can justify the destruction of buses, cars and trains because a few ill-minded fellows damaged a stone statue. On last count, there were 3 human casualities - and in my books, three too many. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism and i am sure Buddhism has no place for violence in its religion. True Ambedkar loyalists would not have gone on a rampage and instead would have bought the miscreants to shame with their non-violence. It is sad to see that political and militant organization can stoop to the lowest of levels to attract attention and gain mileage from any small incident.

Makes me wonder, is there any difference between the miscreants and the political organizations - both were vandalizing the state dignity for their myopic pleasures - and that's what would have saddened Ambedkar if he was alive today. As a nation, we failed him today.

PS: I added a link to IE article that explicitly calls out RPI as being involved in the rioting - a charge the party denies.

Anna's Wedding Snaps: Day (-1) Snaps

Continued from previous post ...

With the sisters

That's amma (left & Fourth) and her sisters - Lakshmi Narasamma (First), Ranganayaki (Second), Tripura Sundari (Third) and Saraswati (Standing - Fifth & Youngest). The kid is Srikar - Sundari aamma's grandson

Mela atmosphere ..

Ok., thats a lot of different people that i could squeeze in one snap - Right in the middle is Savitri Vodhina and her daughter - Sravanti. On my left and towards the right is Sailaja Vodhina, eldest daughter-in-law of ranga aamma and her sons - Rahul (extreme right) and Girish (second from right). Also between Savitri vodhina and anna, is Manasa

Gandhi Pedananna ...

Thats Gandhi Pedananna (Nanna's elder brother) & his wife Aruna Aamma seated with Dad. Pratyuman - their grandson is also seen along with me & anna.

Banu Babai

The snap is with Banu Babai - Dad's younger brother and his wife Nagalakshmi Pinni ...

Santha Atha ...

With Santha Atha - dad's younger sister, santosh mavaiya - her husband and their youngest daughter - Hasita

and finally.,

During the Edurukola function., a snap of anna and vodhina.