Archive for April, 2008

Thought for the day

Posted on April 30, 2008. Filed under: Quotes |

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
– Lou Holtz

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Chennai Super Kings wins a thriller against Mumbai Indians

Posted on April 25, 2008. Filed under: Cricket |

Day before Yesterday, I watched the IPL match between CSK and MI played at Chepauk. I was right on time to watch the match. I was told that the programmes in the ground started good 3 hours before the match, that is from 5.00 PM. CSK started well with Parthiv and Hayden. Hayden was looking little tentative in the begining. They were cruising at steady speed thanks an excellent 100 plus partnership between Suresh Raina and Mathew Hayden. Raina was hitting well and both scored half-centuries. CSK completed 20 overs for 208, which looked a decent score. I watched the first 6 overs of Mumbai innings but after that couldnt control my sleep. Decided to find out the result in the paper next morning. When I went to sleep I thought the total would be tough for MI but it turned out that they were very close and almost scored the required runs.

While watching the match yesterday, couple of thoughts crossed my minds:
1. Fate of One-day cricket:
IPL and Twenty20 has definitely come to stay. People are glued to the TV sets and it is definitely a hit. It is so convenient to go home and watch a full match in 3 hours. After sometime, who will have the patience to watch one-day cricket spanning for 8 hours. I believe at this stage, One-day cricket is poorly placed against its new born brother, Twenty20. Slowly over a period of time, one-day cricket may die due to lack of patronage both from the audience and the media.
Then the pertinent question of what happens to Test cricket. I feel Test cricket would survive as compared to one-day cricket. It is a different ball game and there will be a bunch of players who would specialise in Test cricket.

2. IPL’s impact on cricketers:
IPL is a paradigm shift in the way a game of cricket is approached. IPL has provided an excellent opportunity for the young Indian cricketers to closely work with the greats of the game and they should try to imbibe the positive aspects. IPL will definitely bolden the cricketers and make them confident as and when they get a chance to represent the country. Who will be afraid to face Bret Lee or bowl to Andrew Symmonds after having closed watched and played with them.

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IPL – Indian Primetime League

Posted on April 22, 2008. Filed under: Cricket |

Now with IPL being 4 days old and almost all teams playing one or two matches, it has been declared a hit. IPL during the first week has earned highest TRP ratings across all channels. The prime time TV viewing is taken over IPL over the last few days. This was of course expected but the real challenge lies in building on this euphoria and sustaining it for the next 40 days or so.

The stage has come to decide on the loyalties. It is very interesting to see players across countries are playing together as a single unit and makes your choice of favouring a team really difficult. When you see Ricky Ponting running and sharing few tips with Ishant Sharma when he bowls looks really bewildering. Just imagine, couple of months ago both were spitting fire in their eyes against each other. Now they play for the same team, Kolkatta Knight Riders.

Coming back to the teams, I see Kolkatta Knight Riders seems to be best of the lot. Sharukh Khan, the owner of KRK has been around during all the matches and supports his team. He being a big celebrity and his active involvement would propel KRK to be among the most popular teams in IPL. Already, people have started calling KRK as the Manchester United of IPL. On the financial side also, SRK has bought KRK for USD76 million one of the lowest bids for a big city like Kolkatta. The stadium has the highest seating capacity and it is widely believed that SRK would break even earlier than any other team in the IPL.

My home team, Chennai Super Kings has played one match and they have won it. Though I say my home team, I dont feel like supporting it whole-heartedly at this stage. May be, I would support it for the sake of being from the same city.

For me, the Bangalore Royal Challengers have been the biggest failure so far. The team led by Rahul Dravid and with players like Wasim Jaffer, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher in it looks like a Test match team. That has been popular perception about the team. They have failed miserably in the first two matches and they have to really improve if they need to be successful. Vijay Mallya has spent lot of money on them having bought the team for USD111 million or so.

The Australian players have been very successful in this league. Mike Hussey, Shane Watson and Shane Warne have proven their worth with match winning efforts. I admire the Australians for the sheer professionalism they show in whatever form of cricket. On the other hand, much touted Indian Icon Players have failed to live up to the reputation. Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvaraj Singh are not in their best of their form. Sachin Tendulkar has not played yet so I reserve my comments on him for the later.

Lot of young Indian players have got fantastic chance to play against the best of cricketers. Badrinath and R Jadeja came up with interesting knocks for their respective teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals and should do well in the rest of the league to warrant a look by the national selectors.

Overall, IPL is enjoyable in phases for me.

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Jodha Akbar – my current favourite music album!!

Posted on April 17, 2008. Filed under: Cinema |

I saw the movie Jodha Akbar more than a month ago, when the initial reviews were not that positive and lot of issues around the story line. I always have a fascination for historical movies so I still went ahead and watched the move, only to fall in love with it. Ashutosh Gowariker has done a fantastic job with regard to the production quality, casting and costume. A historical movie, Jodha Akbar has been made aesthetically in all aspects. There was a big crowd to watch the costumes and jewellery of what Aishwarya wears in the movie.

The music by AR Rahman for “Jodha Akbar” is a great plus to the movie. When I saw the movie the first time at Sathyam Multiplex, I was not used to the songs. As always, it takes few weeks for AR Rahman’s songs to really hit you. Once it does, you fall in love with that. My latest favourite in filmi music is “Jodha Akbar”. I am really overwhelmed by the songs. I would say Rahman has done a classic act and he has really enjoyed working in this movie, I guess. He has also sung “Khwaja mera ” song himself. The music is very soulful and scinitillating. The CD keeps playing all the time in my car. This is for a person who can’t understand the beautiful lyrics of the songs. Great work, AR Rahman!!

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Devarajan’s article on Indian cricket!

Posted on April 14, 2008. Filed under: Cricket |

Source: Business Line

I am not sure how it would be taken after India won the third test handsomely. But my views remains the same.

……..Again, in a few years, there will not be any schools in Mumbai, only coaching classes. When they grow up, school kids will having nothing to recall. Like in another two months after IPL, cricket will not be and a future generation will not realise that such a game existed in the world with Indian cricket teams losing more matches than winning despite “legends” (going by cricket commentators) like Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly and Kumble. They are so “legendary” they protest when they see grass on the cricket pitch at Kanpur, like my grand-daughter Shreya when denied a packet of Kurkure or Lays.

Blessed be the public that our “legends” do not insist on the entire Kanput cricket ground being shaved of grass. Then Kumble and Harbhajan could spin the ball from one end of the ground to the other. Going by our voluble and tiring cricket commentators like Gavaskar, Shastri and Bhogle, our “legendary” batsmen like Tendulkar and Dravid have played fast bowling in foreign pitches with canny footwork; they forget to add they have won only a few matches against the best opposition.

If that be so, why order Daljit Singh to do a barber’s job in Kanpur. This has happened many times in the past (remember the Nagpur incident when captain Ganguly flew back to Kolkata after seeing green when Australians chuckled) and yet our “legends” have to be given Cadbury 5 Stars to keep their courage going. There is the argument that every country fiddles with pitches. Yes they do and it does not make our action right. In the terribly unfair lands of Australia and South Africa there are fast and spin pitches; for instance, fast Perth (remember, we won a Test match) and spinning Sydney in Australia. We lose a test match to South Africa at Motera because our players were swinging to the crores thrown at them by IPL and cared not for being play-fit.

Recently, over TV the “legend” Sunil Gavaskar asked Indian spectators, “what more should a Tendulkar (yet, another legend) do.” For this writer he should stop playing cricket. Ahead of the South Africa series, John Gloster said Tendulkar had a problem with his groin and hip. Out came the “legend” saying: I am fit. At Chennai, he spent most of the time in the dressing room after scoring his patented duck and then the public was told he was hurt in the groin. And the same Tendulkar wants the juniors to respect seniors in the team. Hey, we had heard of such orders during the 1975 Emergency. Is the “legend” Sachin Tendulkar made of crystal glass with none having any right to pepper him including his friend Sanjay Manjrekar. Spinners also like turn and bounce (ask Warne) and then our critics have been telling us recently that we have Ishant Sharma and a packet of pacers as good as any in the world. Spinners will no more be critical; pace is going to count, the cricket correspondents said. Then, why use razors and scissors in Kanpur? Despite the noise over the India-Australia series in Australia, the record books will say India lost the series 2-1. That’s the bare bone fact.

We have never won a series in Australia and we have “legends” in our team. Wisden’s hundred best centuries did not give any place to Tendulkar. Mukul Kesavan in his book Men in White writes: Wisden’s innings were assessed by weighted criteria and ladder ranked; judged by those yardsticks, Tendulkar’s innings didn’t measure up. Vishwanath was there, Gavaskar was there, VVS Laxman was right up there – the fourth best innings of all time – Lara was severally there, but not Tendulkar.” And Kesavan adds: So a celebration of Indian batsmanship that concentrates on winning performances would exclude most of our cricket history, most of our batsmen and most of our memories. That can’t be right. And the reason it doesn’t seem right is related to the nature of cricket, not just our local predicament as supporters of a team that loses more often than it wins.” Thank God, India is losing all the time.

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Devarajan’s article on Indian cricket!

Posted on April 14, 2008. Filed under: Cricket |

Source: Business Line

I am not sure how it would be taken after India won the third test handsomely. But my views remains the same.

……..Again, in a few years, there will not be any schools in Mumbai, only coaching classes. When they grow up, school kids will having nothing to recall. Like in another two months after IPL, cricket will not be and a future generation will not realise that such a game existed in the world with Indian cricket teams losing more matches than winning despite “legends” (going by cricket commentators) like Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly and Kumble. They are so “legendary” they protest when they see grass on the cricket pitch at Kanpur, like my grand-daughter Shreya when denied a packet of Kurkure or Lays.

Blessed be the public that our “legends” do not insist on the entire Kanput cricket ground being shaved of grass. Then Kumble and Harbhajan could spin the ball from one end of the ground to the other. Going by our voluble and tiring cricket commentators like Gavaskar, Shastri and Bhogle, our “legendary” batsmen like Tendulkar and Dravid have played fast bowling in foreign pitches with canny footwork; they forget to add they have won only a few matches against the best opposition.

If that be so, why order Daljit Singh to do a barber’s job in Kanpur. This has happened many times in the past (remember the Nagpur incident when captain Ganguly flew back to Kolkata after seeing green when Australians chuckled) and yet our “legends” have to be given Cadbury 5 Stars to keep their courage going. There is the argument that every country fiddles with pitches. Yes they do and it does not make our action right. In the terribly unfair lands of Australia and South Africa there are fast and spin pitches; for instance, fast Perth (remember, we won a Test match) and spinning Sydney in Australia. We lose a test match to South Africa at Motera because our players were swinging to the crores thrown at them by IPL and cared not for being play-fit.

Recently, over TV the “legend” Sunil Gavaskar asked Indian spectators, “what more should a Tendulkar (yet, another legend) do.” For this writer he should stop playing cricket. Ahead of the South Africa series, John Gloster said Tendulkar had a problem with his groin and hip. Out came the “legend” saying: I am fit. At Chennai, he spent most of the time in the dressing room after scoring his patented duck and then the public was told he was hurt in the groin. And the same Tendulkar wants the juniors to respect seniors in the team. Hey, we had heard of such orders during the 1975 Emergency. Is the “legend” Sachin Tendulkar made of crystal glass with none having any right to pepper him including his friend Sanjay Manjrekar. Spinners also like turn and bounce (ask Warne) and then our critics have been telling us recently that we have Ishant Sharma and a packet of pacers as good as any in the world. Spinners will no more be critical; pace is going to count, the cricket correspondents said. Then, why use razors and scissors in Kanpur? Despite the noise over the India-Australia series in Australia, the record books will say India lost the series 2-1. That’s the bare bone fact.

We have never won a series in Australia and we have “legends” in our team. Wisden’s hundred best centuries did not give any place to Tendulkar. Mukul Kesavan in his book Men in White writes: Wisden’s innings were assessed by weighted criteria and ladder ranked; judged by those yardsticks, Tendulkar’s innings didn’t measure up. Vishwanath was there, Gavaskar was there, VVS Laxman was right up there – the fourth best innings of all time – Lara was severally there, but not Tendulkar.” And Kesavan adds: So a celebration of Indian batsmanship that concentrates on winning performances would exclude most of our cricket history, most of our batsmen and most of our memories. That can’t be right. And the reason it doesn’t seem right is related to the nature of cricket, not just our local predicament as supporters of a team that loses more often than it wins.” Thank God, India is losing all the time.

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Getting high with acting!?

Posted on April 13, 2008. Filed under: General |

Over the last two days I was in a workshop and one of the things we did was to enact a play for 10 minutes. I acted in one of the plays and I enjoyed acting. Actually, more than anything, I felt really high when I was in the stage acting. Acting gets you high which is very different. When people walk up to you and say that you did well, it is the height. You start feeling lovely.

I can imagine how full-time actors would feel after one of their films becomes a big hit. Now, I can understand why actors behave very differently from others.

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Losing more than winning – an article by P Devarajan

Posted on April 13, 2008. Filed under: Cricket |

Came across this article in Business Line by Mr Devarajan, a seasoned journalist. Click here to read the complete article.

I felt the article is fully justified.

Please share your comments.

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Thought for the day!

Posted on April 9, 2008. Filed under: Quotes |

I came across this quote from Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England. On first reading it sounded ordinary but after few minutes I was stunned by the meaning. I found this to be very profound.

“All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word : freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope.” – Winston Churchill.

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My Saturday night TV programmes!!

Posted on April 7, 2008. Filed under: Chennai |

If you are mis-led to think of something wild by the heading of this post, I am sorry.

Saturday night is special to me as I watch two interesting programmes, “Kalakka Povathu Yaaru” (KPY) on Sun TV and “Sport Quiz” on DD Podhigai. Of course, there is nothing new in these programmes but nevertheless it is very interesting. The only issue I have is, both the programmes run between 10.00 PM to 11.00 PM.

KPY is a stand up comedy programme originally created by Vijay TV couple of years ago in the name of “Asatha Povathu Yaaru” (APY) but Sun TV copied the format and started airing it. I really wonder is there any copyright protection for these kind of intellectual properties. Sun TV not only copied the format, but was also able to win over most of the performers, judges etc., So Sun TV’s KPY has become popular than the original APY in Vijay TV now. The APY still continues in Vijay TV but it is poor reflection of its original charm. So I stick to KPY in Sun TV. The judges for the show, popular(!) comedians Chittibabu and Madanbob, makes the programme very lively with good comments. The Director of the programme, Rajkumar takes special efforts to bring in new talent every week and keeps the programme’s TRP high. Few of the performers like Madurai Muthu, Venkatesh and Ramesh are real entertainers and they come up with new concepts which keeps you glued.

The second programme, Sports Quiz on DD Podhigai is a live programme hosted Dr Sumanth C Raman. I really admire his spirit and the energy he brings to the programme. He keeps talking continuously for 60 minutes during the show, handling hundred plus phone calls, being polite as well as very strict with the callers for the answers. He really makes the programme very interesting by asking questions which are very contemporary and very intricate. You need to be a keen follower of the sports news to answer most of his questions. Sumanth C Raman is a trained Doctor from Madras Medical College. He works with Tata Consultancy Services at Chennai as well as manages his family silk business. A busy man but never lets you down during the sports quiz.

If you get a chance, watch it once and I am sure you will like these programmes. A far cry from the “crying” soaps which occupy most of the TV time nowadays.

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