Wednesday, December 30, 2009

THIS IS DUE...ADIEU

After 6 months of grueling job-hunts (during which period my posterior stayed put on my desktop chair except when ablutions were in order) this 2009 graduate is finally going to jump into the real world, the real industry and face real challenges to enhance his realistic chances of a real career (the word ‘real’ doesn’t really mean anything real here). The past six months have been a sugar coated pill for me; sweet outside but bitter inside. This page has helped me in reducing that bitter part to an extent. Besides the aforesaid activity of yours truly, updating this page with some frivolity has also been a pastime. It is now time to reduce, if not put an end to, that frivolity; more so because of lack of time than because of lack of ideas. This is bound to have a positive (I hope not a very exuberantly cheerful) effect on the million or so readers of this page (I can feel your eyes rolling with mirth already). It’s time to thank all of you for putting up with my amateurish short stories and impulsive epiphanies. I would particularly like to thank the 16 people who battled the personal odds of boredom and time-waste to follow this page. Some of you might have really been following this page while some might have just stuck their names in the list and forgotten all about it after that. I am very thankful to both of those sections of followers, as I felt a thrill every time I looked to the right of this page and saw the number grow gradually from 1 to 16. I should of course offer my profuse thanks to the guy who opened the world of blogging to me and has since been a constant source of encouragement and support to my attempts at short stories, reviews and blog posts in general. He is none other than one Mr. Hobbes (you will be able to see his comments in almost every post in this page). Thanks a lot mate!!

Finally, I leave you with one more frivolity (for last time’s sake). The last line is especially significant and expresses my gratitude. Cheers and keep visiting now and then…

22 years since I opened my eyes to see light…

It’s taken me all of that time to see what’s right.

For a decade and a half life was candy floss…

When I used to live like I was my own boss.

No struggles, no tension, no decisions to make…

I could dream, I could fly, the moon I could rake.

Then came six years like a bolt from the blue…

Events unfolded, limits crossed, without any clue.

Now as I sit back in realms, wondering if my life’s a trap…

I have no option but to thank you for reading this crap!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

'CAPITAL' BLUNDER

As a ten year Indian Cricket follower it was only natural that I just about sided with my sister when she shouted that Sri Lanka were cowards and didn't want to lose the game so they walked off. But I hadn't seen the 23.3 overs that India had bowled till then (One of those rare occasions I missed the start of an India match). When I did see those overs I had no choice but to agree with Sangakkara and Lanka. For one thing, Sudeep Tyagi looked like Joel Garner. What other testimony do we need than this to come to the conclusion that it is indeed a dangerous pitch.

Apart from all these allegations about ignominious playing conditions and evident injury threats to batsmen what was most dangerous about the pitch was the fact that it gave false hopes to the military medium paced Tyagi. When his good length dollies lifted viciously off the surface, the batsmen were not the only ones surprised. The bowler himself was dumbstruck. You could gauge it from the look on his face. 'Man!! Am I a great bowler or what?' he must have thought before Sangakkara gatecrashed his party. Such false hopes are dangerous for bowlers like Tyagi. His career was at stake and it was a blessing that the match was called off.

Coming to the pitch curator debates, I think the curator must not be sacked. Why? because he was not a curator after all. The original curator, one Mr. Radheshyam, was sacked due to DDCA politics and replaced by a cricket kit manufacturer. Yes you did read that right! Cricket kit manufacturer. What more will a Cricket kit manufacturer know than stitching and sewing? He did exactly that. He sewed up the cracks and patches in the pitch with tufts of grass. He did the job given to him according to his ability. What more do you want?

Coming to what can be done to avoid such fiascos in the future, I, for one, feel that it is high time people with technical knowledge be made curators; not some one-match wonders who played once upon a time for India. Just because you were a cricketer once doesn't make you an expert on pitches. This is the second time such a shame has fallen upon India and BCCI. What answers do they have for this one? Who will be held responsible? What actions will be taken?

Questions are many...where are the answers?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PRO-AUSSIE...GO-AUSSIE...

What is it with Chris Broad and Australia? First of all he is English. Shouldn't he possess that subconscious animosity (often disguised as competitive spirit) against the all conquering Aussies? Of course, exercising that animosity will be quite difficult, being an ICC match referee. But when the perfect opportunity arises where he can literally bully a few Aussie players into submitting themselves to playing gentlemanly cricket, he lets them go scot free.

He happened to be in the hot seat a year ago when an angry young Indian opener 'hot-shouldered' a provoking Aussie fielder. Who got the ban? The Indian. Who was let go with a warning? the Aussie. Now, a year later, he again found himself in a similar seat.

Giant like West Indians with furious pace were quite common in the seventies and eighties. The trend continued into the 90s and 2000s. But the intimidating nature of the eighties pace battery, not only in their play, but also in their on field aggression, was absent in the later host of pacemen. Surprisingly, West Indies found such an aggressor in a lanky spinner- Suleiman Benn. It has always been an unsaid truth that when Aussies find their match in on field aggression, they just refuse to acknowledge it. Their behavior changes for the worse. That was exactly what happened in the just concluded Perth test. 2 hot blooded Australians provoked a 'not so cold blooded' West Indian and got a well deserved reply from him. People can easily understand the shameless nature of Aussies from this recent hearing. They don't mind one bit to plead guilty for their actions. Shrewd as they are, they know that by pleading guilty their charges would be lessened. Poor Benn, who didn't do much wrong except pleading not guilty, learnt another harsh lesson in cricket. When Aussies are involved, you end up with the bigger penalty, whatever the nature of charge be or whoever the actual guilty party is.

Chris Broad, who was in the midst of all this drama, once again proved that he has some speculative Aussie affinity in him which is preventing him from executing stern penalties on the wrong doers. How else would you describe the preposterous variation in punishment? A 2 match ban on the provoked and a light 15% match fee penalty on the provokers (Mitchell Johnson and his buddy Haddin had their cake and also ate it leaving poor Benn with nothing but the crumbs).

Unfortunately that is how the 'modern' Cricketing laws project themselves...Pro-Aussie...Go-Aussie... Ask Gautam Gambhir and Suleiman Benn. They bear testimony to this fact.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

‘PAA’B RE…

When the wrinkled eyes of Auro finally close, the lopsided smile still pasted on his face, you are left wondering how many other actors could have carried out this role without even a trace of their inherent styles and screen presence. The ‘PAA’ of Indian Cinema leaves a deep impact on the audience, not as Amitabh Bachchan, but as AURO.

The film starts off with a model MP (You don’t find such MPs in India for sure), Amol Arte (Bachchan Jr.) visiting a school to give away a visionary award. The fact that Auro is a student in that very school is any idiot’s guess and if that idiot manages the guess then he would also be able to guess that Auro would be getting the Visionary award. Thus starts to blossom an unusual friendship between an MP and a 13 year old boy suffering from a rare disease called Progeria which accelerates ageing. But there are unanswered questions in Auro’s life that very much involve Amol. For finding out what those questions are, you have to hit the theatres.

The film is briskly paced with generous sprinkling of cheeky comedy and tongue sharp dialogues that make you sit up and take notice or squirm in your seat to avoid getting noticed. There are phases in the movie which you will absolutely adore and there are phases which you will wish come to an end soon. It’s a mixture of well delivered comedy, theatrical sentiments and confused disruptions in the name of songs.

Coming to the cast and crew, Abhishek and Vidya Balan have carried off their roles with √©lan. The supporting cast is apt, especially Auro’s friends. The background music is master class from the maestro himself-Ilayaraja. P C Sreeram needs to be lauded for some astoundingly deceptive camera work. His lenses show Auro just as a kid mixing with his own age group. The height factor of Amitabh is expertly disguised in almost all frames except here and there.

The film carries its fair share of glitches- ill placed songs, unwanted flashback, a very very predictable climax which fails to move you. But despite all that if there is a reason for you to watch the film it is surely Amitabh Bachchan’s spell binding portrayal of Auro. He has gone to unimaginable lengths of difficulties for the role, what with 3 hour prosthetic make ups and that ‘Parkinson’s’ style of walking he had to perform throughout the film. His dubbing is brilliant and acting unparalleled. Auro casts a spell on you, makes you love him with all your heart and creates that urge in you to befriend him. If it was not Amitabh, all this would not have happened.

Watch PAA…it’s the least homage you can pay to the PAA of Indian Cinema- Amitabh ‘Auro’ Bachchan.