Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Maestro is Back with a Bang and The Wall stands Tall...

There are times when I have absolutely hated being away from the television set and the stadium. Yesterday was one of those times. Call me selfish, but I have also hated the fact when other grounds in India have witnessed some mind-blowing performances compared to Wankhede. Well nothing compares to watching a match live at the stadium, having done that every year I can vouch for it. Sadly, that occasion chooses to arrive every 365 days and I cannot stop envying the Nagpur folks!

I also hate it when God decides to tease me. Yesterday, I could not get to see the match live, reached home really late, and switched on every damn channel on TV to catch a glimpse of his prolific shot-making but saw none. I caught Dravid’s late blast, Pathan’s wild six, Bhajji’s & Karthik’s mysterious spins, but none of his :-( Yes I’m most surprised that TV channels did not decide to concentrate only on him. I’m also glad in a way:-)

From what I hear Sachin played an absolute blinder. I went back reminiscing the Sachin of good old days, the master of spin, the kamikaze kid, the one guy after Sunil Gavaskar who stood upright (despite his little frame) to tall and lanky pace bowlers of the world, the one who said in their face I don’t care what you bowl, I have an answer to everything.
The cover drive, the exquisite back foot play, the sweet timing, the glorious straight drive, the delicate paddle, the dancing down the tracks against the spinners, the front foot shots, the awesome timing to send the ball packing into the crowds, they were all back with a bang!
Remember Auckland 1994, Sharjah 1998, World Cup 2003? Ah yes, those lovely memories, they came back to life yet again, yesterday. What a comeback!

I was most impressed seeing Rahul Dravid at the press conference; more than his batting. What a six, what a shot, he has played it before; remember Taunton, Vs SL, 1999, in that epic partnership with Saurav. It was a similar shot that started the run-riot that followed. Back to the conference, he was confident, aggressive and so sure of himself. Now that he has the reigns for a full series, there is a definite change in his demeanor, maybe we will see his aggressive side too. I did not see the entire match, but of the little I saw, I thought that the Jayasurya dismissal was very well thought out.

Sending Pathan one down was a masterstroke. I just hope that it does not become a regular thing. After a good start worth a risk, but not everytime. This young lad is going to go places.
Karthik, Bhajji and Sreesanth had a good outing and Ajit if you are not going to learn, you surely are going to be in deep trouble sooner than later. This time around your chances of bouncing back could diminish. I hope to see Sehwag back in form, he is having a poor run and it is not helping the team! I also want to see Kaif back, he is not as talented as some in the team but that guy has athleticism, is super in the field and most important of all has loads of grit. I’ll trade that last quality for most.

So as of now we will just sit back and enjoy the moment. You don’t want to get your expectations too high with the Indian team! Remember the ODI series Vs Pak in 2005?

Anyone Seen a Gents’ Local?

The Mumbai WR Local trains have three Ladies’ Special trains running during the peak hours.
One in the morning: Virar-Churchgate and two in the evening: Churchgate-Borivali and Churchgate–Virar.

Yesterday, due to some hold up the trains were delayed by half hour and needless to say, it added up to enough confusion, chaos and rush at all stations. I was waiting for my husband at the Borivali station at 7.30 p.m. and I heard an announcement; an announcement that has been never heard before on any railway station in Mumbai. To make sure my ears were correct in hearing what they did, I removed my ear phones and listened carefully again.

The railway announcer had just announced the introduction of a 'special' train. Before the 7.19 p.m. Ladies’s Special to Virar at Borivali, there is another slow train to Virar at 7.15 p.m. So the announcer made the announcement as follows: 'The Ladies special is expected at Borivali in ten minutes. Before that there will be a 'Gents’ Slow Local' to Virar.' No, not the regular local but a Gents' Local. He made this announcement not once, twice, but 4 times!

I just could not stop grinning:-) Later he might have realised his slip of tongue; but to all those men who crib about females getting special treatment; here were your two minutes of being treated as special as well!

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Little Bit of Help...

You can’t always be there for everyone every time. You can’t always lend a helping hand physically, but there are small ways in which you can help. Little contributions go a long way in building strong foundations. This is one of the small things we can do.

Desipundit has called for Blog Quake Day on October 26th, 2005 to help raise funds for the South Asia Earthquake Relief Funds; join in and spread the word.

How often have we seen man collapse due to the fury of mother nature. Lessons are learnt and we rebuild ourselves again. There is a way to help them live again. Lest we forget, go ahead and extend your hand, they need it in these times.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

An Awaited Autobiography...

This must be an awaited event for most cricket fans. Though one cannot compare it to the Harry Potter wait; I think those young readers there outclass us cricket freaks. Nevertheless, people who have been loyal fans of him cannot wait any longer to get their hands on his creation.

Having known a Tugga fan (Tugga is Steve Waugh's nick name, it comes from Tug of War - Tugga Waugh ) for more than 7 years now, I was not surprised when he did this. He has got a fact about me wrong, but for the love of cricket and admiration for this man, I know I’ll pocket that book sooner than later.

Here is another Steve Waugh fan I came to know through blogging, and her idea for a birthday gift is just what I thought she would want!

My first Diwali after marriage is round the corner and my dear sister has been asking me what I would like? I’m glad I waited, I can now ask for the appropriate gift:-)

Hmmmm, I think she will disagree like others in my family would :-(

Ok Tugga, I won’t be a miser; I’ll go indulge and splurge. As usual, apart from my husband, my entire family will think I’m nuts to spend my money on it. Mumma will be in disbelief but I think by now she has begun to understand :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Give a Thought-4 ?

  • Don't be irreplaceable - if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
  • The meek shall inherit the earth – They are too weak too refuse.
  • He who laughs last does not get the gist of the joke.
  • People who live in glass houses shouldn’t.
  • I’ve been told a hundred million times not to exaggerate.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The B.E.S.T. of Mumbai…

It is one of the lifelines of Mumbai. The B.E.S.T. network is highly efficient and connects almost all the remote places in Mumbai. If you have lived in Worli or any South Mumbai places that are disconnected from the local train network, all 25 years of your life, only then can you fight for the case of B.E.S.T. buses vis-à-vis Mumbai’s other lifeline: the Local Trains.

Apart from the highly positive aspects, there are a few things that still irk me when I’m traveling on the road. So I thought I’d list a few of the inherent birth rights our dear BEST Conductors and Drivers tend to exercise:

  • The Right to own the road
  • The Right to cut the lanes as per their whims and fancies
  • The Right to drive in the middle of a narrow road with 2 lanes so that the vehicles behind can never overtake them and clog up traffic behind
  • The Right to give the auto-rickshaw guys a fright every time they come near the bus
  • The Right to necessarily overtake you from the right side
  • The Right to tell you that if you have a crash with them it is but obviously your fault
  • The Right to bully smaller vehicle owners
  • The Right to drive fast and screech during the night time
  • The Right to get the bus started before the last person has alighted from the bus
  • The Right to have no change whenever the passenger asks for one
  • The Right to curse the passengers for keeping no change with them
  • The Right to ignore passengers who do not render exact change
  • The Right to halt the bus either before or ahead of the bus-stop
  • The Right to decide not to halt the bus at a bus–stop whether the bus is crowded or not
  • The Right to dissuade the passengers from getting into the bus by telling them that another bus is coming from behind (90% of the times that bus is also equally crowded)
  • The Right to strike the bell just in time so that a passenger who has been running like mad to catch the bus, misses it; knowing well that there won’t be the same number bus coming for another half hour
  • The Right to fling away the ticket holding metal box such that it hits the passenger on the seat to which the conductor is leaning onto
  • The Right to drive as slow as possible during peak hours
  • The Right to pay no heed to passenger complaints

Got any more?

P.S: Most of the times my experience has been good, but these are a few things you tend to come across once in a day :-)

Friday, October 14, 2005

The World of Indian Cricket Today...

One of the best symbolic representations I have come across. Telegraph hits the bulls-eye. The picture speaks for itself, need we say more? We have all heard and said enough.

Dravid gets the thorny crown once again. I wish the selectors & the board would show some faith in him and give him a longer tenure. Why is the sword hanging over his head perpetually? Be a man and take a call, why are we such cowards in taking touch decisions and who are we scared of? Ganguly and Dalmiya! Oh give me a break!

Sadly the way Dravid has been appointed, Ganguly will always feel it is because he is out of injury. Well for a fact that is not so, and the selectors have no guts to admit it in the open either. Harsha Bhogle puts things in perfect perspective as always.

I hope sanity prevails over the selectors as well as Ganguly. I’m just glad you are learning from some of the mistakes you committed. I really wish you don’t say anything now. But Greg Chappell prefers to air his views.

The team is announced and Sreesanth gets the nod. I’m looking forward to seeing this young lad. Hope that Ajit Agarkar’s form with the bat does not desert him and looks like young Uthappa will have to wait a little longer with Venugopal Rao and Suresh Raina having a good challenger series as well.

The Challenger Series Final proves to be a dampener compared to the league matches. India Seniors sail through and Kaif must be a relieved man.

Down Under it’s still time for our Indian boys to prove their mettle, Gilchrist and Hayden have hammered tons; they seem to have left their Ashes debacle behind. The ICC Super Series - Test Match looks to put up a better show than the ODIs did.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dance With Me...

When I saw the promos and the concept I wasn’t really kicked about viewing this show. In fact, with an overdose of reality shows who really cared about celebrities dancing? No real career dreams to chase, no points to gain, and nothing to prove. Apparently the producers must have had something in mind to go ahead with this concept. After watching it yesterday, I’m pretty glad they stuck to their belief.
I often feel that if you don’t build up any expectations, the results are often more enjoyable. This is exactly what happened with Star One’s new Reality Show Nach Baliye.

Now the concept is simple, 10 real life celebrity couples- stars of Indian television and choreographers for each couple will set up a dance piece every week. This will be judged by the three judges: Farhan Akhtar, Malaika Arora and Saroj Khan. Fairly competent judges I think, and Farhan himself is a good dancer (Apparently he cherished that dream). Judges will score the couples and their choreographers, and viewers will cast their votes to eliminate a couple every week. All couples are supporting a charity of their choice and will donate the prize money to the same. The real gainers from this show will be the choreographers who will get a helping hand in their career.

Well it’s not all that simple though; now none of the star couples are great dancers. Those who have been in movies can shake their legs a bit but most are paranoid dancers with two left feet. The biggest challenge lies with the choreographer and if you can get a person with two left feet to move around with a bit of grace, you are on your way on the road to success.

If you are a trained dancer or love dancing; you know there are Three Important ‘E’s to being a good dancer:
  • Enjoyment: However bad you are , if you enjoy your dancing you won’t seem half as bad
  • Energy: Energy and vigor has to be seen in every small step you do. It just about helps you make up for everything else you lack
  • Expression: Express the dancing mood, just don’t do it mechanically. It makes a world of a difference to your audience and to you as well.

And after the ten performances, all the couples realised the importance of these three Es Surprisingly the oldest couples 'Sachin and Supriya & Parmeet Sethi & Archana Puran Singh' got them right. Sachin and Supriya have a 16 year old daughter, and seeing their chemistry and enthusiasm everyone was dazed. They really rocked. Delnaz and Rajiv Paul probably got the Second E the best among all. Oh, that Delnaz was so cute! Absolutely loved watching her! Mihir Mishra and Manasi Joshi-Roy openly admitted that they had two left feet, but they were pretty sporting about it. All the couples seemed to have really worked hard and taken effort on this. In all, it seems quite an enjoyable show.

Now for the irritating part of the show and sadly we have to bear them throughout. The anchors: Shabbir Ahluwalia and Sangeeta Ghosh. Star One has got it terribly wrong here. Both can’t dance for nuts. ‘Kajra Re’ is a super dance number and they made a mess of it! To improve the popularity, avoid getting these two to dance at the commencement of the show. Why do they have to shriek and talk! And after Delnaz-Rajiv Paul’s performance on, 'It’s The Time to Disco' , Sangeeta Ghosh’s comments such as, 'Now is the time to Breako', and 'Let’s see what’s the Scoro', were so not happening. Not done, not done, even to evoke laughter. It only evoked embarrassment! And I found the dresses and make-up a little garish and overdone. Sometimes simplicity and subtlety works wonders!

Anyways, overall it was pretty enjoyable and a nice way to spend your Saturday prime time compared to the stupid saas-bahu sagas! I hope it sustains itself for the next ten weeks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Uthappa Uprising…

How long has it been since one has seen an Indian opening batsmen hit out the way Jayasurya did time and again, Sachin went blasting the world over, Gilchrist ruined opening bowler’s figures, Shahid Afridi gave the opponent bowlers some serious nightmares. India is not known for its opening bats. You won’t find many who belt out the bowlers the way Sachin-Ganguly, Sachin-Sehwag did in the ODIs. It’s been a long time since we saw those performances in the ODIs.

But yesterday I caught a few glimpses in the Challenger Series involving India A Vs India B. I’m not sure how many would have heard about Uthappa (except those who follow domestic cricket regularly) until his innings yesterday! What firepower! In couple of overs the young lad had smashed 20 odd runs per over sending the India A attack into complete disarray. The attack was not of supreme quality but that should not take away any credit from the young man’s knock. He was hitting straight down the track, into the sightscreen; and once you see that, you simply cannot doubt the young man’s ability. His fitness though is a suspect, as is for most cricketers in India. They have to really work hard on it. At the other end, Shikhar Dhawan was going great guns as well. His stay at the wicket was thwarted by the saddest mode of dismissal in cricket. Uthappa hit the ball straight onto the stumps at the other end; Dhawan was out of his crease and unfortunately the bowler’s finger had touched the ball! However, due to their opening partnership and Uthappa’s timely Uprising, India B made a mockery of a fighting total put up by India A and barged into the finals.

I’m no cricketing pundit to predict what the future holds for this man, but surely I would like to see more of him. Hopefully he will spend some time on the domestic circuit before he is pushed onto the international scene.

This series like all others in India has produced more batting efforts than bowling. Bowlers are the real heroes if one intends to win test matches. You need to take 20 wickets to win a match, else you either lose or draw! When will we realise their importance?
Anyways a bloke name S Sreesanth has got prized scalps of the famed Indian Batting line-up:Tendulkar, Kaif, Laxman, Gambhir. His name is similar to one of India’s fine pace bowlers(who only understood the art of ‘bowling using your head’ when he was close to his retirement, a tragedy for him and Indian cricket!). I would like to see him in action to see the strength of India's bench strength.

With a long season ahead and the World-cup 2007 in mind, Chappell and Co. will be looking at these youngsters to build a team for the future. Let’s wait and watch! Will they be good finds or fade away, unable to cope up with the international pressures and challenges?

As they say, only time will tell.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Domestic Dilemma…

The first match of the Challenger series in Mohali provided the action that was missing from the ICC Super Series. Always love a good fight, always. Nothing makes the sport more interesting than a valiant fight back. The result then takes a backseat and often the quote by Grantland Rice

For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks - not what you won or lost –
But how you played the game.

gets some credence in today’s age of 'winning only seems to matter' sports-world.

I switched on the television when India 'A' needed some 86-odd runs from 65 balls. They had lost 5 wickets; that meant apart from the current pair (N Patel and Dinesh Karthik) on strike, no genuine batsman was left to complete the chase. India seniors led by Kaif, had a bowling attack that was pretty much the mixture that India uses on its international scene- Irfan, Zaheer, Ajit, Karthik, Bhajji. First thoughts, India A is dead meat. Not that our senior team has shown much fight back or resistance in the recent past, so how could I expect the lesser known to show any?

India A are always the underdogs, the ones who can spring a surprise. Last year they had won under Dravid’s captaincy. (The selectors should have taken some sense out of that and decided on the captaincy issue, this whole ruckus could have been avoided! But, we hate to take firm decisions, hum to aise hi hain!)

Anyways, this time around India A is lacking stalwarts unlike the previous year. Clearly, India Seniors were looking at an easy win. You never realise when the unexpected hits you and it hit India seniors pretty bad. Zaheer’s bowling in the final overs was dismal, seriously dismal. If no.8 and no.10 of India A, Ramesh Powar(who has earned himself a reputation of a punch-hitter in the domestic circuit) and the relatively lesser known V Singh (I don’t know much about him as I have not followed domestic cricket much ) respectively, can send him packing into the crowds, he has some serious thinking to do about his bowling. He has been having too many off days if that is the excuse we wish to offer.

Karthik bowled reasonably well though his figures do not reflect it. I wonder why Ajit never got a look in. Zaheer and Pathan were being tossed around in the final overs; so why not experiment with Ajit? I know he does not inspire great confidence, but surely he couldn’t have bowled worse!

I can’t comment much on Kaif’s captaincy as I did not see the whole match but I have felt that he is one of the contenders for the future, based on the fact that he had led India to its under-19 world cup victory. Well the selectors have given him the responsibility, let us see how he fares. The experience will only help him further.

India A fought back really well through Dinesh Karthik, Powar, and the two Singhs. Their late punch overshadowed a few good performances in the sunny half of the game. Rao’s and Agarkar’s 50s. Now only if the duo carried the same tempo in the international series to follow, they would be serving India a world of good.

Over the years since the challenger started, one wonders if it is serving its purpose. First of all, it is an ODI competition, so obviously one cannot judge the temperament or the technique of players much in just three games. The international season is so tightly packed that scheduling a longer version of the series is not possible. So how would we justify for e.g.: A player gets a look into the Senior team based on his fine performance here and is considered for a place in the test squad. Definitely it is not fair.

I think it promotes selfishness among players. Each player looks more towards an individualistic goal rather than a team goal. And we all know what can happen if the team does not have a common goal. If I perform well, I will get noticed irrespective whether my team wins or not, and that is not to be encouraged in a team sport like cricket!
However on a positive note, one heartening aspect I saw from yesterday’s match was the will to fight and not give up. I’ll take it any day and I hope this precise attitude creeps into all players.

The entire series does not gain any eminence if senior players are not available for the same. Sehwag and Dravid are serving the World XI, maybe we could have scheduled the Challenger series later so that they could play too. Ganguly has pulled out due to injury. How he manages to get injuries prior to matches where he will be tested or will be under scrutiny, I do not know! Remember Vs Pak 2004, first two tests, then on a nice green-top at Nagpur Vs Aus,2004 and the graveyard at Mumbai in the same series. Someone please tell him that the only way to shut everyone is by letting your willow talk. Hearing us Dada? Even if it is some small domestic competition!

Upsets like these may not often augur well as the selectors and the coach do not wish to see the team that represents the core of the international team suffering defeat at the hands of lesser known performers on the domestic circuit. After all, the reason why they are in the senior team is because they are the best of the lot. The seniors should not be lacking in any aspect of the game when they play a series like this; in fact they should be looking to play in a fashion that makes sure they are invincible throughout.

Surely, as stressed time and again, this Challenger Series needs to be looked into carefully to assess its objectives. We need a fair amount of thinking to go into it. Getting the best 36 players to play together and compete is a fairly good idea, but is it serving its purpose? And if not, what can we do about it? Maybe if the BCCI is not putting its thinking cap on, we can, and see what we can come up with?

Before I end, the maestro made a low profile comeback, but a comeback nevertheless. It is a good sign that others are making news even when he is around. Now all that I’m waiting for is some lusty blows as he would belt out in the good old days. No fear, only sheer aggression. A trademark cover drive, a lovely straight drive, a cheeky paddle, and I’d die for a repeat of the six straight at the sightscreen, the one he hit off Kasprowicz, at Sharjah,1998.

Yes, he is a delight to watch, having caught him umpteen times live at the Wankhede, there is nothing more that gives you much pleasure than watching him stand up straight on his little feet after he has punched his trademark cover-drive; the fielder is chasing it fast and furious, hoping to stop it, but the sheer timing is so teasing that the maestro wins the battle ;-)

Oh, I’m getting nostalgic again, but it really has been a long time….

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Difficult, Not Impossible…

I know it is too late to blog about this. I finally managed to catch the movie over the weekend and I just had to write about it.

After all it was about cricket, after all it was about a fighter and it came from a director, whose works I have liked for the simplicity and reality they have depicted. Hyderabad Blues is an all-time favourite. Part 2 was okay, Rockford was decent, and I quite liked Teen Deewarein.

Iqbal comes up as his finest for me, as it dealt with a subject that is so close to my heart.

I will not write about the plot because everyone has already seen it. If you have been as unlucky as me to have not caught it for so long, don’t waste a moment and please see it! I was highly impressed by Shreyas Talpade. I’ve seen the guy in a few Marathi serials and honestly, I was never a big fan of his, but after Iqbal I’m in complete awe. So simple yet so powerful; no dialogues yet he conveyed every emotion, every expression to the tee. Such a joy it was to watch this fine actor!

You cried with him, you smiled with him, you jumped with excitement at his little joys, and you felt his anguish when he went through rejections. Yet, not once did you feel pity or sympathy because he was handicapped. That to me was the biggest winner scored by Nagesh Kukoonor. He did not glorify his handicap. It was one small hindrance and that was it. Nothing further. Neither the parents, nor his sis, or his coaches or team-mates thought it was a handicap. And there in lies the movie’s victory unlike Black.

Maybe, I’m being unfair by comparing the two. However, now having seen Iqbal, Black suddenly looks small in front of it. Black made you symapthise and pity the protagonist, Iqbal made you forget that the protagonist was handicapped. Black went on harping about the struggle and strife she faced cause of her handicap and how glorious she was in all that she did. Iqbal simply told you that no matter what the handicap, one can always excel if one wants to, provided one learns to fight and work hard for it. Success does not come easy; you have to pay a huge price for it.

Black felt larger than life, the whole set, the look, the magnum opus. Iqbal stuck to realities of life.

One scene, which I feel now stands out, is the one where Bhansali proves that miracles happen out of the blue. I don’t deny it, but even then and now it was very difficult for me to digest. How on earth does Michelle type 40 words in a minute, in a fit of anger, when till that very moment she was struggling getting 10 words per min? On the other hand Iqbal does not get the ball to hit the stumps when he faces the batsman for the first time between him and the stumps. He practices daily and then only gets it right.

I’m being a little biased as I’m no fan of Sanjya Leela Bhansali. I am not too much in awe of filmmakers who make larger than life movies. Karan Johar being another one!

Anyways back to the movie. Shweta Prasad and Pratiksha Lonkar played their parts well. I especially loved the way Pratiksha Lonkar tells Naseer with a huge smile, 'Woh agar naumeed hua to main aapko jaan se mar daloongi’ (If he gets disappointed again I will kill you), and when Kamal the star of the cricket academy calls Iqbal ‘Behra Goonga Sala’(Deaf, dumb you jerk), Shweta Prasad walks up and says,'Tum kitne bewakoof hon ke tum bhool gaye ki mein sun sakti hoon'( You are such a fool that you forgot that I can listen); and later she and Iqbal gesture to each other, leaving the arrogant Kamal to figure out their language!

Naseer was a delight, as he always is. Yours truly, had the privilege of seeing this fine actor in flesh and blood, perform in his Urdu home production 'Ismat Aapa Ke Naam'. The crowds he drew, the applause he received and the laughter he created was mind-blowing. The country is blessed to have had an actor like him. What a natural! He does it with such ease that you can’t help but wonder how?

Girish Karnad, another fine actor was in fine form. He underplayed his character so well and with such realism, that you really landed up hating him.

Sadly the system does work that way, and most of the movie was what happens in reality. Life is not that fair. But the movie did highlight that there are ways to overcome the bureaucratic system, and you cannot hide or curb true talent for long. When one door closes there is another one that opens up, we just have to be aware to see the one that is opened. Just the way Naseer thought that all doors were shut when Iqbal did not make it to the team he went for, but realized that another one had opened when the selectors told him that Iqbal could get a look into the Andhra Ranji team.

I also loved the way Nagesh Kukoonoor touched upon the fine aspects of cricket. The Indian team could learn a thing or two from it. There is a fine difference when the batsman comes between you and the stumps, you can keep knocking off stumps all day long but once a batsman comes into the picture, if you fail to read his mind, you fail to deliver the same result.

Naseer’s advice to Iqbal, to think with your heart and play with your mind. To put the ball in the right place such that you make the batsman play to your strength. Learn to read the batsman’s mind, learn to anticipate his next move. Watch the batsman till the end and then decide your delivery at the last minute. Cricket is not merely played on the field, it is also played in the mind and that’s why strategy is important. The Chakravuyh concept in the film was quite interesting.

The way he ended the film was just perfect, the frame froze at the right moment. It is only for us to conclude the heights Iqbal sailed.

And to end it I felt, Iqbal was all about:

  • One man’s aspirations and his struggle to achieve his dream, the one thing he truly loved. No hurdles, no handicap, no disappointments would deter him from achieving it, for he believed he could, for he knew he had people around him who believed he could!
  • A mother’s strong belief and a sister’s faith.
  • A father’s struggle to make his handicapped son lead a respectful life. His realization of his son’s dream and the courage to accept his faults.
  • A man lost in his past, who finally found a reason to live, in the boy who aspired to be what he wanted to.
  • A man determined not to let the young boy to die a death like he did; a boy who had taught him to fight again.

True that many things in life are difficult, but they are not impossible, because even the word impossible says I’m possible:-)

Aashaayen ...

Aashaayen ...

Kutch paane ki ho aas aas
Kutch armaan ho jo khaas khaas
Aashaayen ...
Har koshish mein ho waar waar
Kare dariyao ko aar paar
Aashaayen ...
Toofano ko chir ke
Manzilo ko chin le
Aashaayen khile dil ki
Ummeedein hase dil ki
Ab mushkil nahi kutch bhi
Nahi kutch bhi

Don’t believe me? Go watch Iqbal and you shall!

I love the song, I simply love it! This one and Bavra Mann from Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi is playing continuously on my mp3 player.

P.S: Did any one of you notice, how the arrogant Kamal in the movie had an uncanny resemblance to India’s finest and most honest, sincere players: THE WALL! I think Kukoonor got it a wee bit wrong there:-(

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Yenna Solla Pogirai

No, I do not know Tamil, I can’t even speak it, but I can identify with a few songs. Most of them happen to be from Illaiyaraja -A R Rahman. The ones that were converted to Hindi; where the lyrics went for a toss but the tunes, the melody lingered on for long. When I saw Roja and got hooked onto the album, I was hell bent on getting the original Tamil version. Those days Tamil cassettes were not easily available in Mumbai, or rather, the places I bought the cassettes from, did not own it. There was no planet M or Rhythm house! Luckily my family took a long trip down south, and when we landed in Chennai( then Madras) I was lucky to get the Audio cassette of Roja in Tamil. It is still treasured and I prefer listening to the Tamil version than the Hindi. Roja’s lyrics in Hindi were much better compared to what got churned out later! God forgive them!

As I was rearranging my CD collection yesterday, I came across one of my favourite albums
'Kandukondain Kandukondain' after Roja. (Alaiypayuthe is also close, but these two will always be on the top of my list) And I remembered being asked, ‘Yenna Solla Pogirai? Yes, what will your answer be?’, by my friends (couple of them South Indians) after we had seen Kandukondain Kandukondain in the theatre.

The original Tamil version, with English sub-titles. The movie was aesthetic and simplicity personified. Tabu and Aishwarya looked ravishing (The only time Ash was not cold!!!). Though I did not follow the southern film industry; I was well aware of Mamooty’s acting skills and loved the way Ajith portrayed his character. I’m not going to delve into the movie but speak about the songs. Yes, they were the reason that I was so eager to see the movie.

As I did not understand the lyrics, I was first hooked onto the songs by two aspects:
1. The melody, the classical base. Most of them were based on Carnatic music.
2. The picturisation.

I had caught Smayaii and Konjum Minnakale on MTV. Beautiful and heavenly, the latter one. I absolutely fell in love with Kanamoochi, I knew it was a repartee about Lord Krishna. The Carnatic base to it was fantastic. I hoped for two things desperately when I saw those songs:
1. The songs are not dubbed, thereby they are not deprived of their beauty.
2. The movie hits the Mumbai theatres, in the original version, not dubbed.

Both my wishes were granted and our group hit the theatre. My south Indian friends explained to me the meaning of the songs and one of them even searched the net and sent me the English translation. You will love them trust me. Hear them and relate it; you will fall in love with them over and over again.

No girl can say no if the guy sings 'Yenna Solla Pogirai'
Here are few lines:
Illai illai solla oru ganam pothum
Illai yendra sollai thanguvathendral
Innum innum yennukor janamam vendum
Yenna solla pogirai...?

It only takes you a moment to say No.
To bear the hurt
I will have to be born again and again
Oh! What will your answer be...?

Ondru solladi penne - illai
Nindru kolladi kanne

Do say something, my love -
Or, perhaps, it is best you stay quiet.

The whole song is love personified.

One can dream through Konjum Mynakkaley
Kunjom assai
Kunjom kanavu
Ivai ilamal vazhakaya?

Nooru kanvughal kandale
Aru kanvugal palikkatha?

Kanave kayi serra va!

What is there to life
Without a little desire
Without some dreams?

We may dream a hundred dreams
And perhaps six at least will come true?

Dreams! Join hands with me!

The ultimate favourite and the highlight of this album is Kannamuchhi Yennada.Chitra is mind-blowing in that song, and Aishwarya looks divine.

Kannamuchi yennada yen kanna - nan
Kannadi porul poleda

Why this hide and seek, Krishna?
I am as fragile as glass.
Oh, go hear the song and get the lyrics:-)

Smy Ai Ai Ai: The lyrics are not as superior as the rest but the tune is so upbeat and catchy, you just can’t stop swinging to it, Yenge Entathu Kavithai, though sad, has amazing depth in its meaning, Suttum Vizhi is a soft number and Kandukondain Kandukondain is another light-hearted song.

The melody is the USP of this album, and I assure you that you will never tire of listening to it.And when you hear songs like these, you just wish and are pretty glad that they haven’t been tampered with, by senseless dubbing. The original, well, will be original no matter how many versions you bring out. The uniqueness and beauty will always be retained in the original version. Thank god that sense prevailed on the Producers & Director of Kandukondain Kandukondain!

The songs are one heavenly experience. Go drown in it :-) And after you are through, do let me know, Yenna Solla Pogirai ?:-)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

How Ruthless Are We?

Arriving late for any ceremony or function in this country is apparently showing off one’s importance. Surely not at this cost!

We make young school kids stand in the sun for more than three hours without food, without water, in the scorching heat of Kanpur? How incessantly careless and negligent are we?

And these inhuman excuses are not acceptable:

  • District magistrate Deepak Kumar said, “No one could have anticipated this. The organisers are human, too; they are bound to make mistakes.” He has ordered a probe
  • After Amar Singh and Jaya Prada came to know about the children, they rushed to the hospital and, with people watching, asked the doctors to “ensure proper treatment”.“We had other programmes to attend and got delayed,” Singh explained.

Apparently have they not heard about prevention being better than cure. They must have had cell phones and therefore, could have contacted the organizers explaining them their delay. The organizers could have organized for some biscuits and water, the basic things and easily available, for these students.

What further depths will we plunge to? And will anyone ever take any accountability for such tragic events?