A straight drive..

Call me a cynic, an anti-feminist, a prude, or whatever you choose to, but I firmly believe that spaghetti straps, TV actors and tarot cards will never replace crisp, analytical and incisive commentary.

Lot of water has passed under the bridge, debates taken place, and lot of theories claiming that it is good for the upbringing of women’s cricket in India. True, I am all for it. We can always add to the cliche – Cricket is a “Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s game”!!

But I think its time they understood that we no longer like to see TV/wannabe film actors/actresses jumping on their seat, wanting to ask (for the tenth time in the same match) about the dew factor, and then proclaiming that they know quite a bit about cricket!! Let the Diana Eduljees say it, and we shall believe it!

Though the first ODI between India and South Africa was drizzle-washed,and the second was a “Kallistrophe”, it was heartening to see the good old ESPN blokes come to talk about what they do best – talk cricket. The official team of Harsha Bhogle and Alan Wilkins, with other “gurus” like Ravi Shastri, Geoffrey Boycott, Sunil Gavaskar, Navjot Sidhu and a few other guest commentators make for a formidable word-machine.

Ravi Shastri remains very economical, non-flamboyant, choosing to concentrate on the technicalities of the match. On the other hand , Gavaskar has a wry sense of humour, a knack for harmless mischief and sarcasm which can go easily unnoticed, but never fails to make the point. Add to all this, his prodigious memory, and we have a cracker!

Then again we have the celebrated knight, Sir Geoffrey Boycott, in his white straw hat and colourful shirts. He’s unstoppable on his day, and can give quite a run for the English pudding, when it comes to witticisms. A thorough gentleman, he’s one entertainer!

Enter Navjot Singh Sidhu with his word-spins(Siddhuisms), pleated turban, suit, a matching tie, and we have the “tadka” on the strange concoction we already have! When he’s on the mike, he transforms into the philosophical joker, doling out words of wisdom in his very own inimitable style, unlike what we’ve seen of him on the field. ” The style is the man” observed the French Literary critic Buffon. We would not disagree on that.

And stringing them all, is the ever suave Harsha Bhogle, who always manages to come up with obscure statistics and events.

Emotion,bursts of adrenalin and edge of the seat entertainment replaces all rationale when it comes to cricket, and I am no different. Right from the pitch report, to the end of match review, the one thing which can match up to Sachin’s fluent straight drives or Dravid’s defence or Gilchrist’s hammering, is the cricket commentary.

And nothing, not even Mandira Bedi’s spaghetti straps, or meaningless calisthenics of reading tarot cards to predict the result or stupid “who’s the best cricket fan” games, can convince me of the marriage between cricket and entertainment, which they so shamelessly claim to do.

Cricket is entertainment enough – I dont need a promo of Dhoom2 happening to give me a high, prior to a match. Show me a few of Sachin’s straight drives, or Andre Nel’s histrionics, and I shall be comfortably numb for the rest of the game!

While at the topic of histrionics, one incident would rank at the top of every cricket lover’s mind – Ganguly swaying his shirt at the Natwest Series , after India won a nailbiting final in 2002.

He’s on a comeback trail, and he would need to do more than using his shirt to attract attention. Rationale would probably argue that its going to be very difficult for him, even though there’s a change in the selection committee (with Dilip Vengsarkar), but the pseudo-bong in me would hope he makes a comeback, and make us drool over his silken square drives.

Well, there will be a lot of cricket being played (Ashes has started already) , till the World Cup. I just hope I dont see too much of chiffon sarees, huge earrings, stupid giggles and moronic analysis from actors claiming to be cricket analysts!!

I am back…

Nope. I am not doing a la Arnie. I am just back from a brief love affair with her.

I was so enamoured by her presence, her grace, and her sophistication, that I thought I was in love with her. She was a template for the kind of lover I always wanted.

But then simplicity and sophistication haven’t been good sleeping partners. Compatibility is the keyword for a relationship to sustain. Flexibility is no more a fashionable word used by the marriage-shrinks. Its a fact which we cannot evade-its right there in front of our eyes. And when you do not have these, a love affair can never go beyond a mere dream of what it could have been.

Hence, the heart-breaking decision to step away from her. Mind you, it is not a step back. Change, it would seem, was but a figment of my imagination. I need more time. So till then, adieu!.

Blogger to WordPress…

Ah! I suspect this is going to take a little more time than I thought.

I cannot import my blogs from Blogspot to WordPress because the import option does not allow me to do it from the Blogger Beta version.

There is a potential workaround by using the RSS feed, but Blogger beta would give only Atom feed. However, if you view your page in IE7, it gives both Atom as well as RSS feed.

And once you have the XML file saved, supposedly, you can use the Manage –> Import –> WordPress option to upload the XML file.

I have not been able to try it out, because I am not allowed to install IE7 at this point in time, but if anybody there has done it, please let me know. I shall buy you a chocolate!

How I wish I was with old Blogger… :(..*sigh

Nonetheless, I shall figure out some way to do that. Hail Google! 

Philosophy of change..

Hi! I am not much of a philosopher. So don’t go by the topic. Just thought I would let you know that I have come from here to WordPress. I am a pretty big fan of Google, but then I just figured I needed a change. I took a stroll with WordPress, and I must say, I like it. And hence the change.

Well, I sure hope I get to see you more often at my page. And I shall try and ramble a little more than the usual.

Adios Amigos!

Gymee gymee gymee..aaja aaja aaja

…gymee gymee gymee, aaja aaja aaja – A lower scale than the earlier one..no, the one lower than that..nope, a little higher than that..no, the one in between….aah! forget it…you can never become a bathroom singer!….I am sorry, I have to come to your bathroom..er, to your house to teach you..please make sure there’s no water problem, and the geyser is working fine..winter’s coming soon you see, and I cannot take a risk with my voice..

Anyways, I have been hearing this song for quite sometime now..ever since, the Wrangler jeans I had bought around 5 years back, refused to fit me anymore. I had to wrangle my way and my waist out of it. Please dont get alarmed, especially the pretty ones reading my blog – rest assured, you can still give me a kiss on the cheeks, without having to settle for an air-borne one, but then, the jeans really got me thinking.

No, not about buying a new one, but about the peripherals, if you know what I mean!

But before this song got into my head, there were certain incidents which seemed like ominous signals being sent out by Bappi Lahiri!!

I once caused a traffic jam, because I was stuck half in/half out. Some idiot at the end of the jam was overheard saying, that there’s a bull stuck in a manhole and it would refuse to come out! All bullshit! Btw, I wonder why is it called “manhole”? Whoever coined it must have been an a**hole!!

Anyways, this had sowed the seeds of concern but I was still hopeful, because the girl I was eyeing whilst walking on the road actualy smiled back at me. I swear on the bull’s ass, she did! Little did I know, she had already seen what I didn’t…:(…

Then again, I had gone to one of the shopping malls in Mumbai to buy myself a jeans. I was parading in and out of the trial room with pairs of a lower waist size than mine. And everytime I would stay in, trying out the jeans, I would let out cries similar to the ones we’ve heard from Monica Seles (on the tennis court, i,e).

Needless to say, such cries would obviously raise eyebrows, and god knows what else!

Seeing my predicament, the floor manager, came upto me, adjusted his trousers which were falling way below the horizon, and asked me politely, “sir may I help you..?”

(I mopped the sweat off my brow and gave a sheepish grin,) “No, its ok, I am just trying out a few sizes which are of lesser size than mine..”

(One hand on the belt of his pants, with a no-nonsense expression on his face) “May I enquire why…?”

(I let out a confident smile) “Ah, I am just trying to motivate myself to lose weight..thats all..sounds funny isnt it?..but trust me, it works..I think you too should join me, especially with the tiers you have. I assure you, it wont be tiring at all.”

(With a deadpan face) “Sir, whether you try to motivate or mota-weight yourself, these jeans wont fit you because you are trying it in the slim-fit jeans section. Please try out our latest range – it’s called, “the wait is over””

(I didn’t have the stomach for this insult – I glared at him) “Aapko pataa nahin, meri paunch bahut door door tak hai!” – I bellowed!

(He had a stupid smile on his face) ” Woh to main dekh hi raha hoon sir..”

Seeing me grow red, he hurriedly clarified that there was no pun intended in what he’d said earlier on. But I had had enough!! Even before he could show me the jeans, with one swipe of the hand, I pulled out his belt and ran out of the mall – I showed him my pahunch that day!!

That was the day I vowed, I would return to the slim-fit jeans section and wear one without letting out a cry!

I joined my office gym, and ever since I ran on the treadmill, there’s been no looking back! (Actually, its a little difficult looking back while running on it, but we’ll let it pass – its an emotional scene here, understand pliss!)

I changed my attitude, outlook, routine, and most importantly my diet, in my effort to become that well-toned body you see in the Kamasutra ad…yes, the body of the guy, of course!…oh God!..please go away..please!…

No, on second thoughts, please dont…not many people come here anyways..its ok…

So, that was how I started listening to that song – gymee, gymee…etc. Very often the lure of the lullaby “so jaa, so jaa” would sound more pronounced than this one, especially in the wee hours of the morning. But I have managed to excercise..er, exorcise my demons.

I am still a long way, in inches, i.e, from getting into that Wrangler, but I shall get there someday. As Al Pacino had famously said in “Every Given Sunday” – “Life’s all games and inches..”, I have realised I would have to sweat it out for every inch I need to lose. And I swear on that floor manager’s belt, which I still have, I shall do it!

P.S : All characters and incidents, except the bull, are purely fictional, and any resemblance to anybody living or dead is purely intentional..err, coincidental.

P.S again :This blog is not meant to show any disrespect to the “healthier” people out there.

P.S again again: I wonder why people go on a diet and exercise when they go to the gym-khana. You are supposed to eat there isnt it?..hmm, food for thought..

The Departed Don..with pop-corn

We all have our moments of intro/retro – spection. We realise a lot about ourselves as we go ahead with the business of living.
Obviously the next line would be to write what I have realised, isnt it?
I cannot be rambling on philosophical pcycho-babble, cause then you’d stop reading this. I can sense that you almost are. Nonetheless, I shall go on.

I have realised that the movie buff in me cannot stay dormant for long…….philosophically profound, aint it?

Its strange how geographical changes can cause tectonic shifts in your movie lifestyle as well. It was very easy for me in Bangalore, thanks to a very good friend of mine, who would not pass a chance to watch a movie with me. Yeah, a girl-friend! Now, I can see smoke somewhere – oh, no its not my computer my dear! I think its you!! (devilish laughter here).

I had once asked her (with the best casanov-ish smile I had),

I : ” Hey, I know you do like going to the movies with me?..But why me?”
(This is what you call a rhetorical question – where the answer is hidden in the question, or something like that)

She : “oh Rishi, you’re such a nice guy, thats why”
(My casanov-ish smile turned into a casanov-ish glee, but being the dude I am, I made enormous efforts to hide it!!)

She : ” yeah, you’re such a nice guy – you’re always there at the cinema hall buying the ticket for us, and you always get me pop-corn in the interval!” ( eyes fluttering with a cute smile)

Needless to say, I have started hating pop-corn!!

Ironically, its been as tough in Mumbai. No, not with the pop-corn! Rather, the search for movie-chums. Yes, thats a word I have just coined. My Dictionary meaning :

Noun: Movie-chums (-hyphenated) moovie chums
2 or more than 2 people who share a common or near common interest, a passion , and most importantly the ticket/pop-corn cost for the Movies.

Also, the proximity and choice of theatres – moreso, when you stay in the place as I do.

Anyways, I think I have digressed, because I can see from the look of your face, that the title of the post and my ramblings, till now do not have much of a relation. And thats an understatement.

Well, I wanted to tell you about the 2 movies I watched of late with 2 movie-chums – yes, I found them, and they are guys – I am happy for that -..:)…(No, I am straight!!) I am happy, because I do not have to get pop-corn for them in the interval, and we all believe in the concept of online booking!

Anyways, here goes my review (After much water has passed under the bridge, lots of candles burnt, and many reviews and polls):

Don – Comparing the AB’s version with this one would be akin to comparing Madras Cafe’s filter coffee to Coffee Day’s Cappuccino. We all love the classic Filter coffee, but a contemporary Capuccino gives you the edge! And that is what the new Don does – gives the older one a stylish , sleek look. Personally, I went to watch the movie for Farhan Akhtar’s directorial sensibility, not so much for SRK.

The King Khan was his usual self (as we’ve all seen him, be it any movie – romantic, comedy or an action movie!) – the familiar twitch of the eyebrow, the sarcastic smile trying to exude charm or the quiver in his dialogues. But having said that, I dont suppose anybody could have pulled it off with as much chutzpah as SRK did! He was brilliant in a few scenes – for eg., in Khaike Pan Banaras Waala, almost AB-esque. The music is as snazzy as you can get from Shankar Ehsaan Loy – especially the new rendition to “Main Hoon Don” or the 80’s reminiscent feel in “Aaj Ki Raat”. And the background score leaves you with a MI-esque feel to it.

The PTs – pretty things – Kareena Kapoor is no Helen, but she does make an impact with her small role and dance. Issha Koppikar as Anita is ok, while Priyanka “chops” Chopra is brilliant as Roma, the femme fatale, out for revenge.

Boman Irani – packs a punch yet again, while the rest – Arjun Rampal, Om Puri, and Pawan Malhotra provide the icing on the cake.

All in all, the new Don is a movie which you would not want to take seriously. Although the twist in the plot may leave the purist with a permanent scowl, it would be best to leave comparisons to reviewers and news channels. The new Don can probably be a cult classic for the generation that has not seen AB’s Don, and a weekend timepass for the ones’ that have.

The Departed : Martin Scorsese scores yet again after The Aviator, with a gripping cop-and-criminal story, set in Boston, Masachusets. I always say about certain people, situations and movies that they make “your life so happy” – and this is one of them. A mish-mash of the good and bad, which, at the end get mixed up so much that the line between right and wrong gets blurred. The absence of defined black and white characters lends itself to the deviousness of the plot.

Matt Damon is devilishly mercurial as the mafia’s rat in the police department. Leonardo is brilliant as the undercover cop trying to come to terms with the macabre, that opens in front of him, and above all, when you have the sarcastic, good ol’ old Jack Nicholson playing out his role of the Mafia head with devilish glee, you know you cannot sit back and put down the popcorn.

A racy screenplay, some cheeky humour, and gripping action makes it a must-watch. Of course, its not for the weak-hearted or the ones who would cry out, “mummy” if you abuse them with the F-Word!! Thats “The Departed” for you.

P.S : The “girl-friend” I spoke about in the beginning is one of my very good friends, and would gladly buy her pop-corn whenever she comes to the movies with me, on the condition that she lets me have atleast some of it!!