Archive for the ‘Walks’ Category

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You-Waah We-Waah

April 5, 2011

“Nehra?”

It was the year 2000. We were at Moogie’s place. Abhijeet Nehra had just made his presence felt by answering a tricky probability question and Moogie had looked up curiously to know who was this ‘phata-poster-nikla-hero’ who had answered. From that day onwards Nehra was called ‘King of Probability.’

I echoed Moogie’s question when Dhoni pulled a rabbit out of the hat by opting for Ashish Nehra over R. Ashwin in the India vs Pak semifinal World Cup clash on 30th Mar 2011.  For the lanky bowler picked up 2 wickets for a meager 33 runs in a high-pressure game and was instrumental in India’s victory. I don’t think anyone, not even the experts, were expecting this sort of a performance from him after the hiding he received at the hands, or should I say the bats of the South African tail. While the South African tail wagged against the Indian bowling, it drooped against a ‘nothing-to-loose-everything-to-gain-New Zealand’ team. In a very sadistic way, I was happy that South Africa continued their choking streak in this World Cup too. It meant that the law of averages would continue to favor India to maintain its winning streak against Pakistan in World Cups.  But lets leave the Maths for another blog. We beat Pakistan. Period.

Back to Nehra – the cricketer. He got injured during the semifinal and ended up sitting out on the sidelines for the final against Sri Lanka. Enter Sreesanth. Enough fun has been derived from Sreesanth and his antics. Right from The Fake IPL Player to Sidin everyone has enjoyed their share of mirth. So I shall not indulge. Or should I? All I can say is this,

Sreesanth does dance well,

Off and on the field as well,

Especially for Andre Nel.

Now does that ring a bell?

The final was truly worthy of being a WC final. It was a twister. The Indians bowled well to begin with. But the Lankans then came back to set us a stiff target. They then got rid of the fiery pair of Sachin-Sehwag. But the Lankan fairytale ended just there. The Indian middle order played to its potential and got to the their target in fine style. After the fun-tastic finish by Captain Cool, my FB status message read. “MS Dhoni is now a self-acclaimed Ph.D.” For I truly felt he was candid, comprehensive and he defended well. Wink, wink. Grad School joke.

On that note, wish you a Happy New Year. A new era of Indian cricket has begun. Savor the moment for as long as you can. And God or no God, Sachin, please continue to play.

Update: According to TOI Dhoni is actually being honored with a Ph.D. So will he be called Dr. M.S. Dhoni? Okay enough of Grad School jokes.

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Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

January 23, 2011

I happened to watch this Bollywood movie Johnny Gaddaar last night and most of you Bollywood fans may be wondering, “Hello, Tera Kya Hoga Johny release ho gaya aur yeh bhaisahab ab tak Neil Nitin Mukesh (NNM) ke pahele film par atke hue hai.”  But you see, the former movie released at a time when I was still coming to terms with the intricacies of Graduate life and a lot of good movies made their way unnoticed by my erstwhile filmy eyes.

So yesterday as I perused through my portfolio of potentially good movies that I perhaps may like, I decided on watching Johnny Gaddaar, which as per Wiki has been hailed widely as a path breaking film in the Hindi movie industry. The film begins with a dedication towards Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase and works of both personalities make their presence felt as the movie progresses. But, I feel the movie is also an ode to Big B. The introductory music piece is very Don-ish and the plot keeps referring to Parwana – one of Big B’s pre-Zanjeer movies. Its amazing how Big B’s movies are still a source of inspiration for the Bollywood fraternity. Be it Farhan’s version of Don or the soon-to-be-remade Agneepath. In fact the night after the Philadelphia marathon, we were having dinner at a desi dhabhi-like place close to downtown. And in the sitting area, a tiny TV-VCR was setup showing Big B’s Hera Pheri. I was reminded of Shanky’s famous dialogue, “All the way you came here to do what – sit in a dhabha and watch Big B’s movies’ on VCR.”

All in all, I was highly impressed with Johnny Gaddaar. There are a few flaws and assumptions but the movie moves swiftly from scene to scene and one is sucked into the plot through some wonderful performances by Vinay Pathak, Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain (not the table maestro) and last, but not the least, NNM – playing the protagonist. I was in fact surprised by the veracity of Johnny’s character who has to make impromptu decisions as he makes his way through crime and commotion. It reminded me of the game Mafia that is so popular at most pot-luck parties.

There is one scene that I particularly liked where NNM asks Dharmendra, “Sir, itne paise ghar par rakhkar aapko darr nahi lagta, aapki umar bhi toh… ?” but before he can complete his statement Dharam twists NNM’s hands behind his back making NNM go into spasms of pain. Dharam in his inimitable style says, “It’s not the age, it’s the mileage.

The movie also briefly flashes scenes of the Pune Railway Station and the Pune Airport bringing back some sweet memories of both. For there was a time where my life revolved around transiting between Pune and Hyderabad, be it by plane, train or bus.

The fifth and final ODI is about to begin soon. Will India create history by winning it’s first ODI series in SA? Will the Weather Gods make their presence felt again? Or will SA triumph coming back from a 1-2 deficit? For the sheer love of the purity of sport, I hope nobody knows yet – Na Tum Jaano Na Hum…

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Vitalstatistix

November 15, 2010

I can’t believe the weather in State College is what it is. Sunday evening,  mid-November and a half- sleeves T-shirt is all I had on. (I had my Jeans on obviously). Needless to say preparing for the 8K run has become the cry of the hour for the last Coupleofwix. Many must be thinking that I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon Justforkix. But that’s not true. The State College Run-for-India team is dedicated towards its cause, and, as my manager would say, ‘is pushing beyond the boundaries’ of State College. I guess, one of our team-members, who is preparing for the full 26 mile marathon, would have to peregrinate [Barrons et al.] well beyond SC into the neighbouring towns.

Onto other things, Harbhajan scored his third successive fifty* against NZ. With due respects to Bhaji, the undercover agents within the NZ team seem to be Uptonoendoftrix. India tours SA next month. That would be the ultimate litmus ‘Test’ on our already-much-debated-about Test cricket ranking. It would be interesting to see who calls the shots there. (Too many puns na…)

2011 is around the corner and people who are looking to purchase their set of annual calenders do check out this link. The calendars cost 200 rupees each and the money is directed towards an NGO in Pune. Hopeitclix for them.

* Bhaji went on to score a century …

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Paanch

November 4, 2010

Paanch… My fifth blog of the year and what better an occasion than Diwali to get back to blogging.

Looking forward to the 5th of Nov and the weekend leading up after it.

In the mean-time, AID Penn State is again participating in Run for India this year. So signed up for the Philadelphia 8K run happening on the 20th Nov. The world’s fastest timing for a 8K run is something like 22 minutes. I am clocking close to 50 min now. Not too good me thinks. Need to pull up my socks (hehe). I’ll be posting my latest timings on my ‘Run for India‘ webpage. Please do visit the site and donations are more than welcome. All for a good cause. As the saying goes, “Neki kar neki paa…”

Addendum: Just to go with the flow of the whole  ‘Paanch’ punchline, here’s an advertisement that hit off pretty well a few years ago.


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Tumhare paas kya hai?

July 8, 2008

As the country celebrated its Independence Day, I spent the long weekend watching the drama that unfolded on center court of the All England Club.

The year – 2008. Wimbledon – the Mecca of Tennis. The stage was set. Two of the most potent forces in World Tennis today, were heading to meet each other in the Finals for the third consecutive time.

Roger Federer – genie on grass – beat Marat Safin in the Semis and looked like Harry Potter unleashing spells from his racket, making the ball dance all over the court.

“Mobiliarbus!”
15-0

“Wingardium Leviosa!”
30-0

“Impedimenta!”
40-0

“Expulso!”
Game, set and match Federer.

Safin could well have sat amongst the spectators and watched the match.

On the other hand, Rafeal Nadal used sheer brute force to pound Schuettler to set up an exciting encounter with the five time defending champion.

Records were all there to be broken. Nadal chasing a double – French and Wimbledon – in the same year, achieved last by Borg in 1980; and Federer going for a 6th consecutive Wimbledon title aiming to surpass Borg’s five in a row.

The all-Williams women’s finals on Saturday seemed straight out of a saans-bahu soap. Filled with emotion and drama, it raised TV ratings, was conspicuous for its unwanted skin-show and dangling earrings that probably weighed more than all the rackets used by both players; but in the end both players put together merrily walked away with 2.7 million pounds

On the eve of the much-awaited and much-talked-about Men’s Final, I happened to be watching Big B’s Deewar and as Big B in his stentorian voice delivered his famous ‘Tumhare paas kya hai?‘ dialogue, I attempted to imagine how, given an opportunity to star in a Bollywood movie, would the Rafa-Fed dialogue flow.

Fed : Aaj mere paas number 1 ranking hai, 5 Wimbledon title hai, bank-balance hai, bungla hai, gaadi hai… kya hai tumhare paas?
Rafa (with a pause) : Mere paas 3 French open titles hai…..
Nadal being the genie’s nemesis on clay for the past 3 years, Federer seemed the perfect ‘Angry Young Man’ and Nadal having lost to Federer on grass the last 2 years seemed determined to prove that he could defeat the genie on his ‘home’ turf.
The match began. Federer started off slowly and lost the first set. He then squandered a 3-0 lead to lose the 2nd set too. This is when true champions dig deep within to prove their mettle. Federer started to mix his game, coming to the net once in a while and otherwise hitting inside-out forehand winners from the baseline.
Third set, on serve, Federer leading 5-4, the Rain Gods made their present felt.
Intermission.
The delay seemed to work for Federer. He seemed charged up and pushed the set to a tiebreaker which he won comfortably. The fourth set moved into another tiebreaker. Nadal messed up a 5-2 lead but managed to get to Championship point.
The camera focussed on Federer’s face and he had a wry smirk on his face. It was as if Federer in his nonchalant demeanor was saying to Nadal,

“Rafa, ek baat samajh lo… Wimble-ke-Don ko haraana mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai”

A fast and furious first serve saved Federer match-point. Nadal managed to get to another Championship point but the Federer serve – as always – got him out of trouble again. Federer went on to win the 4th set too and with a roar he looked towards the family box.

The 5th set was the perfect climax to this spectacular thriller. Stiffled exclaims from the crowd, hand over faces in the family box and tennis of the highest quality on center court.

8-7, Nadal leading, and at Championship point, his third of the match.

A superb Federer backhand saves him. If Federer had gone to Moogie he could well have told Nadal,

“Ja Ja, dho ke aa”

Deuce.
A surprise first serve to the Federer forehand got Nadal another Championship point.
If Nadal had gone to Moogie he could have retorted,

“Bachche ki jaan jinga”

Advantage Nadal. He had to make this one count. You dont get too many chances against champions. As he prepared to serve, Nadal was probably recalling his Julius Ceasar where Brutus tells Cassius

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their lifes

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.

Nadal serves again to the Federer forehand. The rally ends unexpectedly as Federer punches the ball into the net.

Game over, a new champion is born.
The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. It was the great left-handed John Mcenroe who ended Borg’s winning streak and yet again it is a left-hander who ends Federer’s winning streak. But all is not over. Life moves on. The king has been dethroned and a new one has rightly taken his place.

If Becker ruled during the late 80s and Sampras during the 90s, it was Federer for the last 5 years. Only time will tell whether Federer will have the tenacity to come out from this defeat and do what both Becker and Sampras couldnt do – that Achilles’ heel – win the French open.

All of us go through times of triumph and tribulations. All of us have an Achilles’s heel – that one thing that we think we cannot do. But it is in adversity that we derive strength to reach our goals, to achieve what we think we could never achieve. And we should ask ourselves that question,

“Mere paas kya hai?”

And the answer should give us the strength to fight yet another day, to win another of life’s battles.