Thursday, September 15, 2005

Indian Cricket woes...:(

I just don’t like the way Indian cricket is going at the moment. This Test series against Zimbabwe has given our cricket administrators/players to display their stupidity, inanity, and other synonyms. And things have reached the zenith (or nadir, depending on how you look at it) after the news on someone (possibly Greg Chappell) having asked Ganguly to step down as captain.

My take on the whole issue – I am surprised that Greg or whoever it was that suggested that Ganguly should step down, didn’t realize that Ganguly should actually be thrown out of the team. Of course, Ganguly thinks that his century yesterday has played a good part in silencing his critics, and considers it his way of “hitting out at them”. Balderdash!!!

All that Ganguly did yesterday was “pulled a Tendulkar”, which to the unenlightened masses, is an innings where you strive very very very hard for a milestone, totally ignoring the team’s needs, and then, once you have attained your personal goal, throw away your wicket. But I won’t be surprised if the public in India begin lauding him. You already have the precedent set by Tendulkar…how big a step is this if they embrace Ganguly under the same umbrella as well! Eh?

Also, what the heck was Yuvraj doing playing instead of Kaif??!!! Kaif is a perfect team player, and has a good defense that would help him in Test cricket. Yuvraj, on the other hand, for all his talent, is still vulnerable against the moving ball. Of course, the best option would be to give both the youngsters a chance, and dump the most consistently failing batsman in our lineup – Ganguly. But this logical move doesn’t seem so logical to the decision-makers…sigh!

But such cruel injustices happen to Kaif and their likes. There are some eternal dead-weights in the team who seem to be getting a million chances based on criteria that are surely non-cricketing. A case in point being Ajit “Laddoo” Agarkar. I don’t even want to get into the “all-rounder” argument when talking about Laddoo, as that would be a criminal offence. Has he done justice to his bowling talent, i.e. giving him the allowance that he does have talent? How exactly are his performances captivating or matchwinning enough to get him so many entries into the team? A 6-for in Adelaide, or a century in a losing cause in Lord’s…are these sufficient? What about people who get a look-in for just a single series, and are dumped forever. And by “look-in”, I mean their stint as a water boy, and not actually as a player.

Given that Nehra was injured at the last minute…but is Agarkar our next best option?? Why can’t we try out some new guy like a Munaf Patel or a J P Yadav (who actually seems to be a true all-rounder) just to see how good/bad he is! Oh wait…he isn’t from the same zone? #$$%^%$^

Ganguly, Jagmohan Dalmiya, and the entire cabal need to be expunged from Indian cricket. That is the only way we will move up. But I think I am hoping for too much here. So, all I can do till then, is enjoy the efforts for the team that the likes of Dravid, Laxman & Kumble put in. You got to take what you get. Tough…

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A R Rahman live in Bangalore!

Full Size

Date: October 8th, 2005
Time: 7 PM
Venue: Palace Grounds, Bangalore

Tickets are out in PVR Cinemas, Planet M, Cafe Coffee Day.
Mobile ticket booking is also available. This can be availed by people not staying in Bangalore. All they need to do is to preserve the bar code that is sent in the SMS, and get it scanned on the day of the concert.

Ticket Rates-
Standing: 499/-, 999/-
Sitting: 2499/-, 2999/-, 5999/-, 9999/-

There is a Corporate discount available on the 2999/- ticket. These tickets can be bought for 2499/-, and this stand gives you a chance to be in the very first row! You can email me at regarding any queries on the corporate tickets. (more details on the seating arrangement later)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Dinner? Why? No reason."

I am inexorably dragged to the tagline. Yup, the same “Love has no reason. Only season”. It seems to be a template for higher things.

Let me talk about that later. Right now I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart. Sample this conversation:
X: Dude, are you free for dinner tonight?
Y: Hmm…why? Is it somebody’s treat or something?
X: Hey no…just like that. I was bored, wanted to know whether dinner would be good…
Y: Yup. No problem. Decide the place, I shall be there.
X: Great!

It seems to be a very very simple conversation. But I find it incredible. As in not “unbelievable”, but as in “incredible” feeling. I have been either X or Y a million times, and the responses have always been the same.

I do not know whether it is just me…but I find the concept of “dinners without reason” truly exciting. Birthday treats, movies, etc all have an agenda attached along with them. You are there to celebrate something with somebody. But not so with DWRs. You make it to these dinners only because you are spending time with your friends. No other reason. It has this undertone of unconditionality that I find moving.

I can remember the countless number of evenings/nights spent at a Java City, or a Barista, or (insert famous coffee shop/eating place), etc just enjoying the bad food, and relishing the splendid conversation. Conversation that predominantly revolves around our lives, with a sprinkling of politics, sports, movies, and other worldly crap. The non-personal topics are typical chewing matter for conversations with friends, acquaintances, colleagues, auto drivers…but not with your best friends. Atleast that is how I think it should be.

I am lucky to be around such people in the Gang. People who would do their best to make it for dinner, coffee, etc. Just to be with us. There is nothing we are getting to the dinner, but us…but that should suffice. Right? I guess so…

For all those ridiculing this concept, I can only offer my sympathies. You are just missing out on something truly special.

If things go right, there should be a DWR that should double up as a FNU tonight. The wait seems long, but pleasant. I can understand the “Long days, pleasant nights” greeting of Stephen King’s Mid-World even better now.

Oh, before I end a word on the tagline.
Dinners have no reason. Only ‘cya soon’.

Cya soon.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Combined Treat

After having a few jinxed birthday treats with atleast one member of the Gang missing them, Saturday night was a resounding success. (Ok, we still did miss Rajjo, but I can’t say much about that apart from this refrain – “Come back dude!!!”.)

If I remember correctly, the first ever birthday treat that any member of the Gang ever doled out was Chakku. He got us all a Pepsi from Sandhya Stores right next to our school. We slowly graduated to Mathru Sagar, Shanti Sagar, Gokul, KFC, Kabab Corner, Tandoor, Angeethi, Samarkand, Spiga, TGIF, Magnolia, Annachi, Rice Bowl, Grasshopper, Dahlia, and MTR. The list of the places is in no particular order, nor is it exhaustive…but MTR is definitely the best in terms of quality of food.

So, after a delay of a month, Kiddo & Chakku gave their combined birthday treat at Firangi Paani. I had vowed to make the two of them regret having decided to give a combined treat. We do not know how fruitful we were in our endeavour. But the food at the place was awesome – the ordering of the vegetarian dishes was Pinto’s duty, and he did a very good job. Despite some dishes which bordered on profanity (like Maa ki Daal), most of his choices were spicy fares – and more spice means more taste.

Remember my earlier post on love having no reason, only season? Well, I modified that to this: Vegetarianism has no reason. Only season. How else would you explain Kiddo 2, who is not supposed to eat non-veg throughout the year, saying, “This is the month of Shravan. So I am not allowed to eat non-veg!!” Ok, there is the other explanation that I came up with – maybe he is following a Jai Santoshi Ma austerity for the well-being of someone. Ahem! ;-)

While we are on the subject of vegetarians, I might as well talk about the “silent ones” and the “talkative ones” during dinner. The 6 vegetarians (Kiddo, Chakku, Pinto, Kiddo 2, Pamsy, me) spoke a lot. While the 3 non-veggies (Achoo, Kaushik, Bandhar) ate a lot, and spoke zilch. Is there a trend here? I know not about that, but Kiddo 2 would have been happy that Bandhar was pretty quiet, taking into consideration that the only time he surfaced into our conversation was to rebuke Kiddo 2. :)))

Most of the jokes were on “You’ve crossed 800, do you want to continue?”, “This seems slightly unbelievable. Let me send my score for retotalling and get it reduced”, “So why don’t you save money by…”, and a million other things that the outside world would never understand.

The drive back was a lot of fun in the pouring rain. Well, it was fun mingled with a tinge of melancholic nostalgia as I had to drive through the roads of Jayanagar after dropping Achoo & Pinto off. Another kind of fond longing also settled in as we drove through the empty roads, lashing rains…sigh…where is that Bangalore of old! But if I begin to miss my Bangalore in this post, it would be hard to stop me. Let that be for another rainy day, as I sit cuddled in a chair with a hot cup of coffee, and a book and I stare into the trees around my house sing to the tune of the breeze. Now isn’t the time for nostalgia.

I realized that I needed to fill diesel, and so Pamsy decided to take me to the “most honest petrol bunk” in Bangalore, right opposite Lalbagh gate. Honest or not I know not…but lazy they definitely are. Morons refused to accept the card as it was raining!!! But such minor irritants would never be able to ruin a perfect evening with the Gang. In fact the only irritant that can ruin anything with the Gang is the absence of the Gang itself. Hmm…I do not know what I am trying to convey through the previous line, but it just felt right. That is good enough for me.

Sunday was a sombre affair mostly.

That pretty much describes the weekend.