Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mumbai Indians go down!!

Mumbai Indians commanded by Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen, met a sad demise in the group stages and were not able to propel themselves into semi-finals berth!! Indeed it was a very poor show by the team, considering the fact that there were stalwarts aplenty and one of the costliest team in the league.

The start of the tournament was quiet a nightmare, as they lost 4 games in a row, which no Sachin in them. Then came the Sreeshanth-Harbajan incident, when the later game the former a kiss on his cheek. The start of the league meant, the MI were in the news all for wrong reasons. At this instance, nobody felt MI have got the killer instinct in them to challenge the big guns in the tournament.

Then came the amazing turn around, that no one expected. Harbajan's ban came as a blessing in disguise for the Indians, as Pollock lead the team to 2 consecutive victories. Then as they say, the legend Sachin Tendulkar took over as the captain, gave a calming influence on many of the players. Jayasuriya just shoot up from no where. His golden touch of the 1996 was back. It was as if we were seeing vintage Jayasuriya!!


Sachin Tendulkar just took MI to this magic run of 6 consecutive victories in a row. He surely wove his magic thread, to take MI to a commanding position, where they had to win 2 out of their 4 games, to get to the semis. That is where the luck seemed to run away from Sachin and his boys. The game with Punjab XI was lost by mere 2 runs, ending MI's six consecutive winning streak. Yuvraj Singh had the last say!!


Then the loss against Delhi, Mumbai almost took it away, but on their way came Dinesh Karthik. Came out of know where and took the game away from MIs. Then the Do-or-Die game versus, Rajasthan Royals. When Shane Watson was spectacularly caught by Sachin, everything seemed according to a script. An adrenaline pumping Sachin will always be etched on everybody's mind. I have never seen Ashish Nehra field so well as he did in this game. Sloppy bowling and fielding, ensured that they gave the game away to RR.

This whole IPL experience has been a nail biting one. Just an over of 25 runs can change the whole scenario of the game, like a hat-trick in an over can. There has been 3 hat-trick's in this IPL. The orange cap and purple cap is also a feather on IPL's cap. Throughly flabbergasting experience. My favourite team Chennai super kings, has finally made it to the semis, but I guess Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi are the hot favorites to take away the glory of the first IPL.

Forcing India

Adrian Sutil, almost plucked the fourth place at Monaco, to give the Force India team their first ever points in FIA Formula One World Championship. Keeping his cool in the changeable wet-dry conditions put Adrian into an unprecedented fourth position in the closing stages of the race, but it was not to be as, following a restart after a safety car period - tragically on lap 67 of the 78 lap race - Adrian was hit from behind by Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn ran into the VJM01 that had kept him at bay for so long, puncturing the rear tyre and damaging the rear suspension. Adrian returned to the pits to retire from his finest race performance to date.




This is what Adrian had to say-
'I can't believe it, it was so close. It feels like a pain in my heart. It is like a dream gone to a nightmare - suddenly you are in the car and it looks all fantastic, then you have to accept it is not going to happen. We had a really good strategy and it seemed to work and we were so close to the podium and the points. It was after the restart after the final safety car that Kimi had a problem under braking and crashed into the back of my car. The race was over and it was a real shock. A few tears came out as the adrenaline was high - I just can't explain it. All the same I am so pleased that we did show what we can finally do as a team.'

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Towing away!!

Mumbai traffic is hellbent in making commuters wait for iternity. Mumbai traffic police is a nightmare to confront with. All in all, the traffic has become a complete conundrum. Owing to this manifest reason, we know why there are not a lot of poets and writers now a days. As all of them are stuck in the traffic.

The metro railway construction has become nothing short of Dennis the menace. The four lane road, is what I call need of the supply chain. When you cut this four lane road, into two, you are cutting the supplies and making it frugal, which creates starvation and suffocation. This has literally caused a serious bottle neck in many of the places.


Andheri-Kurla road has seen a traffic rise exponentially for the past years, which has resulted in road widening. Now, this metro railway construction has brought the four lane road to two lanes, which has taken us back to the 1990s, with today's traffic. What will you do when you are stuck in traffic and you feel hungry. There are lot of fast food places around. One of them is Sub-way which is bang in middle of all this enigma.

I felt real hungry the other-day, wanted to park my bike somewhere in there. But the two lane road has left no space to even stand, forget parking a bike. All the parked bikes and cars on that road are being towed away. With which comes the fine for parking, as it obstructs traffic. I had to take a risk as eating a sub-way sandwich would take me just 10-15 mins. I prayed god and left my bike locked. I had made sure that, my bike did not create a bottleneck.

When I was having the sandwich all I can think was a towing truck and I was hoping that I will not see one. All I had to do was eat the sandwich and quench my thirst and hunger. I took about 15 mins to bury my hunger for some time. Then came the most surprising part of all, which I had never expected.

I stepped out of Sub-way and to my allay there stood my bike, not a inch here or there, just where I had left it. But there were more than 5 bikes parked beside mine. So after all this subway has shown me a way to learn a management lesson. When you take a risk and succeed, others will follow you!!

Yamaha sizzles with its new bike!! R-15

A bike to reckon after a long time. A fresh breath into the bike making as a whole. This atleast looks and has the feel of an international bike. Yamaha R-15 is a 150cc bike; which looks surely like a R-1. Though it lacks the feature set of a R 1, but the feel is all what the Indian bikes were lacking for a long time!!

The Pulsar 220 has been a spell binding break through towards, this sparkling future for Indian bikes. Pulsar always does things, for every other to follow. This time it is Yamaha's turn, who have seized this opportunity to grasp what is called the market segment of bike freakers.

Yamaha bikes are always known for its pickup and acceleration. The legendary R1 bikes have taken the bikes to a different level. Every year Yamaha comes out with a better R1 bike, with remodeled body and . The mileage is the factor that at a very far distant height when you consider the positives of Yamaha bikes.

With back disc breaks, a model which is an exact replica of R1, Yamaha has certainly stirred the biker buzz, even before the release of the bike. They would have a struck a reverberating thunder, if they would have opted for a 250 cc rather than a 150cc. To be frank, I think this is a start for Yamaha super bikes in India.

The R1 today costs round about 10.5 lacs, which for the Indian middle class population and bikers is a seamlessly way above the upper limit. Super bikes have always been a dream for many, including me!! Every time there is a fuel price hike, these bikes are also tending towards the unattainable.

Coming back to Yamaha R15, has some magic positives like rear disc breaks, 6-speed (gear-box), 4 valve Fuel Injection Engine, 20BHP output, 150CC, and many more. With it comes the price tag and also the most common sense question. Is a 150CC worth all the price. Mileage also plays an important role to add to the fuel pricing today. The price is slightly to be around 80k, which is a 20k more than the existing 150cc bikes today. Come July 2008, this bike may be seen on the roads.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bird's eye!!

When someone says "Bird's eye view", the thing that always comes in our mind is a view that spans a very large amount of space and a very sharp eye sight. We almost miss the word bird in it. Even the birds have started saying, "Life sucks"!!

Just yesterday I read an article in the Times of India, wherein another 15000 trees have been slotted to slithering. The depleting trees have caused great alarm, not in just climatic change, but also vastly depleting the homes for birds. When is the last time we spotted a sparrow (which is a most common bird)? The fast developing urbanisation and real estate is building homes and creating jobs for many, but it is taking away the space and life of a bird.

Thinking in a point of view of a bird, just imagine tomorrow you will not have a place to live. No trees around. Where will the bird build its nest? The modern birds have adapted very well. Just yesterday I saw a nest built inside a corridor of a building where, there is less people movement. There are not a lot of trees around.

The pigeons and sparrows have adapted themselves to buildings, but still the species are going downwards. Sometimes their nests are destroyed. Their eggs are smashed. Have to say being a bird is a though job. Bird watching is a nice hobby. Listening and feeling what a bird things is entirely different story.
What if the birds invade our home some day? This can be a nice horror flick on hollywood. What if there is a breed of crow, which is very intelligent and better species of today's crows in future. Crows have very sharp beak. Today's generation of crows are what I term cowards. What if these crows adapt themselves with humans and tomorrow take a revolt against human race. Sounds and feels scary.

This reminds me of a question that Birbal answered Akbar in my 8 standard marathi text book. Akbar asks, "tell me what is the number of crows in the world?", for which Birbal replies, "Count the number of eyes of all the human beings in the world. That will equal the number of crows in the world." Which means the population of crows are double the population of human race. Even that sounds very scary. After all Crow is the symbol of "Shaani"-The lord of saturn as per hindu mytology!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Orkutting

Today, orkutting has become so penetrative, that many have become addicts to it. Now, the day does not begin or end without checking scraps. Many expect to get in touch with loved one, for some check it as a hobby, for some it is a way to get back with their loved ones, for some find new friends and for some it is a matter of making money.

Orkutting has become a routine day activity today. There is so much to choose, orkut has become a way to go. Everyday some new features are being added. It seems to be a fantastic world out there. To catch up old friends, and to stay in touch with friends whom you cannot meet on a daily basis.

Being an online site, it has got its own disadvantages. It is open to all, the profile of any person can be viewed by any tom, dick and harry. There in lies the danger of over exposing. The privacy settings of orkut have been there. It has played a major role. When a very cute girl posted her photograph on her orkut profile. No matter what privacy setting she has, friend request just pour in. Every hairy harry wants to make friendship with the girl.

It must be very difficult for such girls to maintain their orkut profile, with hundred's of request coming in. They have to look into each and every person. She cannot delete all as there might be some guys whom she likes or knows. Such a nice place to keep in touch with her friends turns into a nightmarish experience.

There has always been makes and breaks on it, people who don't want to stay friends, or people with break-ups. It is always difficult to say good-bye. Meeting new friends, and knowing new languages and new culture is a great way to kill time. In most of the office, orkutting is banned as it consumes most of the office time. In some offices it is a matter to secretive action. In some it goes unnoticed.

All in all it has been a mind boggling experience for me to meet new friends and catching up with some old buddies whom I thought I will never meet again. With all its disadvantages, orkut still captures the mind of the today's younger generation. It is a nice way to express yourself. I just hope I meet more friends through orkut!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dhirubhaism!!

Vision, people say is not what all can see. Swami Vivekananda once said, "Even if I would loose my eyes, I would not have lost my vision." What is this vision, which makes people so great! Listening to their heart all the time, overcoming many obstacles, and winning at last. A vision that makes people constantly run behind it to acheive it. A vision that makes them think beyond everything that a normal man can perceive.
Dhirubhaism, is a book written by A G Krishnamurty, gives us glimpses of one of the visionary of 20th century, Dhirubhai Ambani. Born in a remote village in Gujarat, how can a normal guy like him with very less knowledge, leap to such an heights.

The book explains the qualities of the man. The way he man-handled all his situation and people. He was a genius in persuading people, in getting his things done. His aim was to acheive his goals. He would adopt all the possible way he can to reach his goal. A buring desire for success. A ruthless ambition, coupled with intuited vision. A great combination of dream and hardwork.

3 things that impressed me was, "The arm around the shoulder"- This part explains how down to the earth Dhirubhai was. He would put his arm around any guy and explain him what he needs. This kind of a gesture makes the subordinates under him at complete ease. This made Dhirubhai break the ice, talk freely and most of all nip any kind of dissatisfaction or anger in the bud.
The second thing I liked was the fact that, Dhirubhai, was optimistic to the core. Never did he think he will not win. Even at the face of defeat, he would be optimistic and find a way out. At several patches of his life, he has faced number of hard ships. Phases where he has had losses. But he never went down, always came back. That is a the tenacity of the man, who always wants to win come what may.

The third thing that struck me was the his "magic of thinking big". He had a great vision and always thought very big. All his project would be so gigantic and enormous in size that his competitors would not dare to put a foot into it. They would rather play safe. When he used to work in Aden for a pertoleum firm, his dream was to own one such firm. Every person at that time would have laughed at him. But he never gave up. Reliance petrochemicals, was the dream come true.

The author at certain locations could have avoided reputations. The fact that his advertising company Mudra, started from stratch, in just nine years became among the top three in India, has been repeated multi number of times. He could have added more stories of Dhirubhai itself, that would have made the reader more curious.


Nevertheless, a good book, just 96 pages, could be read in an hour or two. It has been 2 days that I have read this book; but vision of the great man still strikes me. To add to all in a recent interview, Sunil Mittal, CEO Airtel-Bharti, said openly that, "we cannot match the plans of Reliance". He said "Reliance plans are so mind bogglingly huge, that Bharati cannot match it". That is how huge Dhirubhai and his vision stand.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Agni III to T20

Agni III is an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), which was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex (LC-4) of the integrated test range (ITR) at about 0956 hours and reached its pre-designated target in 800 seconds. Phew!! quiet a lot of information.

That is very quick; just like a blink of an eye. It achieved a peak height of 350 kilometre, travelling at a speed of more than 4,000 metres per second. Two Indian naval ships anchored near the splashdown point of the test missile confirmed its impact.

Agni 4 will be intercontinental missile, which will go 5000 kms, right upto Europe. Having such a missile which can strike strategic locations shows the development of our country in the last 15 years. Can India attain what Abdul Kalam has imagined a developed India by 2020?

It is a long way to go. The poverty is a big hurdle we have to run over. Education seems to be the key area where; we should be targeting. Growth rate has been good, but inflation is also rising. Bush comments, saying, Indian middle class has grown in huge number and are consuming lot of food, which has inturn cost scarcity in global market, seems to be true.

This is a tribute to the growth of India. The politicians should stop complaining about Bush's comment and start investing their brains on issues that can eradicate food scarcity. The growing needs and to cope with them is the order of the day.

Agni 3 took off leaving behind orange and white smoke. Lets make a great Indian future by launching our dreams and leaving behind pity smokes and fights. Agni 3 has launched into orbit, the Indian dreams and the way to developed India by 2020. But I have to say Indians are world champions of T20.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cheering Cheerleaders

They lead the cheer for their teams, by dancing when a four or a six is hit or an wicket of the opposition falls. They cheer their team . It has become quiet an issue, when mumbai police wanted the cheer girls to cover up when they were performing during the mumbai indians games. There were many questions raised as to if such cheer party were required at all.


Is indian tradition of saree and salwar not accepting the more explicit dressing of the cheer leaders? When such dresses have become usual in bollywood, then what is the fuss all about. Why can we not accept with the cheerleaders? Yes there is an extent to which the dressing can be acceptable......

Some say as the game itself is so colourful, why should we add such an element, which is objectionable. Some say we are copying the americans like the cheerleaders in baseball and basketball. Is it that we are still those kind of people who will resist a change?

This tournament is being watched not only by the indians, but also the international faternity. For a person for whom cricket is similar to baseball; who does not know the ABCD of cricket; might want to compare it with the sport he knows. It is a great time for them to know the game!! For such people a test match or say even a onedayer is too long a game to watch...

Coming back to the cheerleaders, I like this funda of girls dancing cheering their team. I think this can be made more controversy free; if we can bring in traditional music and dance for the corrrespoding teams. Say if the Chennai team is playing; there should be indian cheerleaders who are showcasing Brathanatayam. This can add some regional spice. Even the music played can be made southindian. There are many dance forms in tamil nadu which are still not known to many. This will certainly spice up the T20.

Cutting out the girls with skin; we can still make cheerleaders look awesome. Teams like Mumbai indians and also Chennai super kings, have opted for indians in their ranks, and also guys to dance with gals. Something the other teams must learn from.

But all in all, with cheerleader or without cheerleader, this event has come across as a hit. But one might feel it has dragged a little too much though, as there are a lot of games, where some have to take a miss.

Friday, May 2, 2008

CSIA!!

Just recently I had been to Chennai, by Go-Air. 1B terminal for departure looked a little remodelled. I couldn't see much of it, as I was in a hurry to catch the early morning flight!! I did get a glimpse of what had changed. The outer wall has been completely remodelled and re-modified to a glass finish, which looks top class.
I came back home in a late night flight; again couldn't quiet get the time to marvel the magnitude of the phenomenal remodelling!! I was pleasantly surprised by the changes. It was very good. After all a change is a must anywhere.

GVK, who are the people behind this extra-ordinary change, have to be appreciated for an astounding job. Both the instance, I was just kicking myself, as I did not make that time to view these developments.

Then came my cousin brother from Chennai, this time I had been there to receive him. His flight got delayed by half an hour. So I got that interim time I was looking for, to explore the new airport. There has been significant change, the arrival terminal has been fully changed. It has a glass finish and is really spacious. Plasma TVs set for viewing the flight arrival details.
Even at midnight, the crowd at the arrival gate were amassed aplenty, waiting for their close relatives, or friends or business executives. As soon as their relatives or friends arrived, the eyes which were, so far searching for something, just burst into happiness. Amazing to see a person after a long time!
The lobby in front of Arrival has been extended, it has amazing ceiling work, it seems like somewhere in Dubai!! Everything is painted white, giving it a fantastic finish. Next time you are around the airport, make sure you don't miss it.
CSIA-Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport!!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kumara-palayam!!

1 May, 2008, just to be known as a labourer's day. I do not know, why we had a holiday today, but I rather not know!! Just the thought of a holiday in the middle of the week is so soothing to the ear. Just as the master-card advt says- (slightly degraded version) "Taking an off day in the middle of the week; loose your salary for a day"--"Falling sick in the middle of the week; pay the same to the doctors"---"Getting an off day; price-less!!

To be frank, this outing was planned for quiet some time, but I never got in terms with it. Taken care by my parents..My cousin had come from Chennai, the humid city of India!! We had planned a one day short trip to Lonavala...Been there done that....that is a kind of reaction one feels if he has stayed in Mumbai and travelled to lonavala often....

It started as just another trip. We had been to a resort called -"Kumar resort". Everything was booked; so no worries...I have a phobia for water from my childhood days; water is always knee deep for me. May be, that is a reason I have not mastered the art of swimming. Kumar Resort was a water theme park; which was the least I expected. Suddenly, I realised that I had not packed my trusted Bermuda's.(Got one from somewhere).

Finally, all of us got into the water!! The water was slightly cold, but as the day went on it started becoming warmer. Everybody was diving; swimming; teaching swimming; floating. We went overboard with boats falling from slides; going on zig-zag slides. Then it was the rain dance upstage. Never have seen my parents dance the way they did!! It was just amazing to just watch them from loosing their tension to loosing it out on the rain dance floor!! Getting back those child-hood passions......

I have to accept that this Advt holds true--"Booking for a one day picnic to a resort"--Rs.5000/---"Booking a car to travel"---Rs. 1000/----"Watching your parents turn children"--"Price-less".