Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Twenty20 World Cup

So India won. Won because they simply refused to lose.
There's something about M S Dhoni …I think Dhoni is the first fully grown-up skipper we've had in decades. Cool headed and aggressive. Oh, when I said that while watching the match yesterday, I was told those two adjectives don’t go together. I defy.

Oh well, I am not here to analyze the match. Many people have done that.

To me this match will remain memorable for more than one reason. Some of them besides the general ones are:-

0. Someone I know skipped his exam to watch the finals.
1. Brothers Pathan (Yusuf & Irfan) playing for the country in a World Cup final. Before them only 2 sets of brothers have played together in international matches. Brothers Chappell (Ian & Greg) and brothers Waugh (Steve & Mark).
2. A scene of celebration where an older brother carried his younger brother on his back.
3. Last over of the match. It sure had much more capabilities of causing heart-attacks than the last over of India-Australia match. With Misbah-ul-Haq, at strike, Pakistan had full chances of taking away the cup; yet he, who had made it possible till then, played a “cute” lappu shot to Shreesanth at fine leg. Highest levels of tension do kill our capability of thinking coolly.
4. Dhoni’s reasoning why he gave the final over to J Sharma. His words are sure going to make the difference in Indian Cricket sphere.. to his experienced seniors, to his young team-mates. "Bhajji wasn't sure, he wasn't getting his yorkers 100% right. I thought I'd give the over to a bowler who wanted to make a mark at the international level. It really didn't matter to me if we didn't win, because we'd given it our best."
5. Dhoni giving away his shirt to a young fan and helping him wear it.

Now the reason for writing this post... The difference in giving thanks by the two captains.

Where Indian captain Dhoni was all praise and full of confidence for his young and talented side..
Some of his dialogues..

"I'd like to thank my young team, which has been amazing. No one expected us to win, and now we deserve a big celebration."
“I don’t have bowlers to match the experiences of Bret Lee or Shane Watson, still they did not let us down”.
Ravi, last evening when I read in Cricinfo that Aussies are your favourites for this semi-final, I thought let us prove you wrong”.

On the other hand Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik’s first two sentences were ..

“First of all I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world.”

I fully understand that Islamic sentiments are thoroughly stuffed in their mindsets but heyy.. be careful dude !! Not all the Muslims ! Don’t ever say that. The Indian team had two Muslims playing for the country and they were just as happy as any other Indian Muslim all over the world at India’s victory. Don’t ever think all the Muslims in the world are supporting you. I hope you know that there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan, and probably more Muslims praying for India than for Pakistan.

Have you ever thought how that statement of yours might have hurt the feelings of Danish Kaneria, your Hindu team-mate ? And what about that Hindu chap in team Pakistan’s uniform on the ground (I am not aware of his credentials) who continuously prayed by folding hands for your team’s victory ? Yes, the same man who did somersault after you defeated New Zealand in semis.

Mr. Malik, please note that in my country we often admire people for what they have achieved and not for which religion they belong to. Even a fellow Muslim, named Shah Rukh Khan hugged his countrymen and not you guys.

So, don’t bring your religion above the game. The Indian team has players from all the four major religions of the country, yet they played as Indians, not as Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

For now, Bye-Bye, Tata, fir milenge.

Current Song:- Chak De, Chak de India - Sukhvinder Singh
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Interviewing Peter

It is interview time again but with a little difference. The interviewer is Cuckoo and Interviewee is Peter, a recently retired Swedish living in Paris whose blog is an amazing place to see the real beauty of Paris. Even if you can not go there, you can see Paris through his lens and expressive detailed description of the place. I always end up comparing his descriptions with what I saw in Paris.
Since it would have been a bit off topic for him to publish this interview on his blog, we decided to publish it here on my blog. A few things before I start interviewing him.

This is the ninth interview being published in the series of interviews. Harpreet and Pravin are taking time to publish theirs. That will make it eleven.

Rest all are anxiously, curiously, nervously and happily waiting for their questions to be delivered. Keep waiting patiently, these days I am not able to take out much time to dig into your blogs. Some of the interviews are half-done. Thank you so much for putting up with me. :-)

Now the interview..

Cuckoo - Bonjour Peter, comment allez-vous ? Oh, Je vais très bien, merci beaucoup. Aujourd'hui je suis heureux de vous voir ici. Thank you for joining us here, please have a seat. Can I fix you a drink whilst I introduce you to my pet Tiger ? Why Tiger ? Oh well, he always accompanies me and is always hungry. No, he doesn't understand you but it would be nice if you be just a little careful.
Also, you have to remain seated calmly without questioning my questions or no. of questions. C'est d'accord avec vous ?
OK, so Peter, there are going to be five main questions with some sub-questions. Being a gentleman that you are, you are expected to be as detailed as possible. Shall we start now, bonny lad ? Deep breaths now –

Peter- Hello Cuckoo, hello Tiger. Thank you Cuckoo for taking my interview, what a lovely chance I got to sit near you. Hmm.. You have a beautiful bo...

Tiger growls..

Oh sorry sorry, but Cuckoo you said this wild cat doesn’t understand anything ? Then ?

Cuckoo- Gosh ! You are so much excited !! Well, he doesn’t understand spoken language but he can very well judge your body language. Let me start the interview before it gets into something else. OK, Q1 for you. You have started blogging very recently, only six months have passed. What was your main purpose of coming into the field of blogging ? Were you scared of boredom in your retired life ? Has blogging brought any positive changes in you ? How do you manage so many posts on daily basis? Are you always out on the road?

Peter- Actually I got a contact with an old friend after many years of any news. She (yes it’s a “she”), a blogger incited me to give it a try, especially as she thought I would have the time. This happened just around my retirement, early this year. I was actually not at all worried about boredom, had so many ideas of how to spend my days, including doing “nothing”, but I thought why not give it a try. What was the next question? ... OK.…

Blogging has made me more curious, has taught me to look at things with different eyes. I’m also learning a lot from other blogs and take great pleasure in the comments part. My still alive curiosity makes me interested in not only seeing a nice picture; I wish also to understand something behind the picture, so sometimes I have some more or less intelligent questions. Often, not always, there are answers given. …and your next question was about how I manage to find the time for an almost daily blogging?

Actually, I try to make a break during weekends now, as many others. It’s true that certain days are more or less 90% blogging days (sometimes you also have to eat something). These are the days, when I go out “hunting”, to take pictures, to find something interesting, for myself and hopefully for some others.
Other days, I just use what I may have in reserve. You know, to have Paris as a major subject makes things rather easy when it comes to finding something to say or show! On the other hand, so much has already been said about Paris by so many ….When I’m “on the road”, I use my feet – and sometimes a bike, the metro, the bus or the tram. For me it’s a pure pleasure to stroll around in Paris. When I was still working, had family obligations etc. there was not so much time to explore. Now and then I stop at a bar terrace for a glass of red wine or a coffee. Those are nice moments!…

I’m talking too much! Your next question?

Cuckoo- Thank you, that was quite an elaborate answer. I hope it has nothing to do with my Tiger. Are you scared of him? No, that’s good. Yeah, try to smile a little more. I am pretty sure you have made many blogger friends because of your this activity and have met some of them. I saw their pictures in one of the posts. How are they different from your real friends or are they the same ? Do you think meeting in person is necessary to give it more meaning ? For example do you think meeting me in real would bring some more changes to your views about me ?

Peter- I have actually met only a few, some French colleagues. We had a very nice day together and will hopefully meet again! Somehow, I believe you can already guess the personality from what you read and see from people’s blogs, but you can of course also get some good – or bad – surprises, which is part of the charm and is a risk worth taking!

I would be happy to meet a lot of bloggers and I always repeat that whoever visits Paris must not forget to contact me – champagne will be offered! I have also established direct email contact with a few bloggers and have done some chatting. …About meeting you? Now we met, didn’t we, too briefly of course and with this cat around! As an understatement I can tell you that I’m not disappointed! BTW, What are you doing after this interview? (Sorry, don’t record this!)

Cuckoo- Shhhh… the interview is still on !! And don’t forget that Tiger is my bodyguard as well. He has just had a bucketful of Rum and now waiting for some nice food if you know what I mean. My dear Tiger, you be here near me and keep an eye on this gentleman. Anyway, that was a wonderful answer. Coming onto the third question, tell us something about your pre-retirement life in Sweden.
Peter- It’s so far away…You know, I moved to France some 33 years ago. Actually, I spent most of my adult life in France. I was in southern France for a year already in 1968-69 and met my future wife. The poor girl was brave enough to move from Provence to a much colder Sweden. When I found a job opportunity some five years later, we were both happy to move southwards! Of course I like my native country, but I believe I now prefer the continental life style.

Cuckoo- You are doing very well Peter. Oh, is it because of the Tiger ? No no, he won't do any harm to you if you keep answering my questions. Peter, I understand that you have children and grand children (Oh that beautiful Paloma and all...), but we never hear anything about a partner in your life? Are you hiding somebody from us ? About your grand daughter Paloma.. how often do you meet her ? Doesn't she ask questions when you keep clicking photos all the time ? Does your family know about your habit ? How do they take it ?

Peter- You said the tiger is ALWAYS hungry?...OK, I will try to answer.
Well, I can understand that you may ask this question about the absence of a partner. Actually, there is no partner as I lost my wife some six years ago. Unfortunately I’m not ”hiding” anybody – at least for the moment! In the meantime, I’m happy to have my two now adult children and their partners living quite close. You referred to Paloma – a “bird” like you. Yes she is clearly a charming little lady and I have somehow made her a “star” on my blog. She is now close to five and has got a little brother, Mattias, who just had his first birthday. So far, she is not too aware about her “stardom”, but now and then she has seen herself on my blog – together with her parents. She may not yet quite have understood everything about blogging, but she has at least understood that some other people know about her and her activities. I wonder when she will start her own blog and maybe tell some odd stories about this “old man”?

Cuckoo- Oh Peter, I am sorry to hear about your wife. And I appreciate how wonderfully you have adapted to life after her loss. Let me pep you up a little bit. First tell me about your first love-kiss. How & when it happened ? How old were you ? What exactly you felt at that time ? Don't be shy. Come on ! Tell us all about it. Also can you please tell us one of the most memorable time spent with your beautiful wife ?
Peter- My first love-kiss, I remember it very well! I was so much in love with a neighbour and class-mate when I was seven! Once I managed to kiss her, but there were some witnesses and soon “everybody” knew that “Peter has kissed X”. I think she was embarrassed, so that was the first and only kiss with that young lady. :-( But I will never forget that kiss; it was strongly felt – at least by me!

With my wife, maybe I can here also refer to a “first kiss”, which took place at a very romantic place, on the famous “Pont d’Avignon”. I met her in France during a traineeship. For sure, I will never forget that one! It led somehow to more than 30 years of more kisses etc.

Cuckoo- Wow ! That was THE answer ! Pont d’Avignon is quite a romantic place; I too wish to go there at least once. Thank you Peter for patiently answering the questions. I am pleased to say, as expected, you have passed with flying colours, now for goodness sake, stop shivering.. Interview is over ! I am going to take the Tiger away.

Peter- Thanks for this! The questions were not too nasty and the cat behaved well! Quite nice cat by the way!

Current song- Je t'attends - Axel Red

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Passing the Sentence Game #3

Ok, as you would have noticed I am a bit occupied these days so not really getting into a mood of writing a full-fledged post. Also, it’s high time that I have played my favourite game here. So, here I am with the game #3. This time I am making it 25 sentences long but with a difference.

Heyyy, read the rules first before jumping off to the comment section !! They are slightly modified. And this time let us try to make it a story full of Humour.
Let us see how 25 different sentences written by different bloggers across the globe weave a story. As before, I’m going to write the first sentence and I invite you all to contribute the next sentence, in sequence. The sentence is passed onto the next blogger. Just leave your sentence as a comment, and I’ll keep updating this post to show you the flow of the story. Believe me it’s lots & lots of fun !

I want to see how long it takes to complete the task, so please don’t be reticent.

Rules of the game :

1. You can participate only twice in this game with the condition that between your two sentences there should be 5 valid sentences and no anonymous commenter please. I am dead scared of them ! Bhoooot...
2. The story has to finish in stipulated no. of sentences only (25 in this case). So choose your sentence carefully as to go with the flow.
3. If you write more than one sentence, I’ll take only the first one and the story will move from there.
4. Sentences can be as long or short as you wish them to be, use lots of comma & semi colons but the moment you use ‘?’ ‘.’ or ‘!’ your sentence is over. Please refer to Game #2.

So, here goes my first sentence. Let us see who the next one is. Please remember we are trying to make a FUNNY WITTY story.

When a private eye is called to investigate a murder, you know that it’s important, ah very important to keep an eye on that private eye, more so if he has two left feet and the brain of a dodo!

Now folks, the stage is all yours. Loosen the reins of your imagination and create the magic.


So, the story begins like this.

1. When a private eye is called to investigate a murder, you know that it’s important, ah very important to keep an eye on that private eye, more so if he has two left feet and the brain of a dodo! from Cuckoo.

Peter, looks like you were waiting for me to post something, eh ? :) Here is the next sentence from Peter.
2. The name of this one, Herlock Sholmes, made me even more suspicious about his abilities.

Next sentence is from a new reader of this blog. Welcome abroad Mrs. Mittal !! :P Keep coming.
3. However having heard of his past successes and his 'Karamchand-brain' made me hire him anyways.

Excellent, Maverick !! You are a gem in this game.
4. The huge successes in the past like catching a thief who stole a bunch of shampoo sachets from a locked house and in the hurry dropped his bag with his ID were a proof of his ability.

5. All doubts were gone once it was known that Herlock Sholmes was not coming alone..... he was coming with his master.... "Chemical Ali"... The mastermind who unveiled the "Bermuda Triangle Mystery" and many of "Nostradamus's unexplained prophecies " from Ashish.

Sam introduces another character to the story.
6. And now come around the big climax, when one comes to know that Byomkesh
hanky-panky would also be turning up to do the investigation at the behest of the superintendent of police, Mr. Laugh-at-me-not!!

Seventh sentence came from a very old blogger buddy of mine.. Sameer.
7. Sholmes, I learnt, was a man who now liked to work alone, having successfully solved the Whatson shampoo case, and he addressed me "what, son?" rather too frequently to my liking, and Chemical Ali was a chemically acerbic man, if you know what I mean.

Oh la la !! Aditi misplaced the body !! Is the story going on right track of humour ??
8. The case successfully baffled all the detectives that showed up, as the body suddenly went missing, maybe it too was afraid of its fate at their hands.

As always, Beast tries to drag poor Cuckoo in the plot. Beast, can’t you think beyond Cuckoo ?
9. But the case was not all that complicated anymore, as the detective had found an important piece of evidence; the link to Cuckoo's blog at the scene of the crime, making her the prime suspect in the murder case; but unfortunately no one knew of her true identity; all they had was a pink cartoon linking her to the movie "Hum Tum" which the detectives' will now have to watch to look for clues.

Next sentence came from Mayank, a non-blogger.
10. Ignoring the other two detectives, Herlock Sholmes, eating his favourite fruit banana went into a king sized bathroom... his association with shampoo cases always drives him to bathrooms.. and suddenly there was a wild shriek... I ran towards the bathroom knocking down the other two detectives on the floor... oh the floor was littered with banana peels... damn!

So, 10 sentences are gone and detectives are still biting the floor. Oooops...

11. Sholmes heard the trademark, "Zoinks!!" as he discovered that Shaggy, Scooby and the gang until now had been secretly following him, since the missing body belonged to none other than... the Abominable Snowman!! From Craver.

12. Trrrinnngggg..... the phone rang in the other room, Sholmes picks up the receiver.. he hears a song in a female voice singing... "hum tum ek kamare mein band ho aur body kho jaaayeee "; Sholmes keeps listening till the call drops with a grin on his face as his suspicion towards Cuckoo grows stronger.... but then gulping another banana mumbles who might be the missing body? Vaidya, a non-blogger tries to bring in suspense by making Sholmes listen to a romantic duet on the phone !

Now the challenge for all of us to carry on further.

A request to all of you. Please keep the sentences in flow, read the previous few comments before writing your own, keep them simple to let the next person understand it.

Next sentence comes from Kalyan.
13. Now Byomkesh hanky-panky comes to the rescue, he brings one strong evidence to the people, saying he was indeed asked by a girl for a huge sum of money to help her drag out something wrapped in a jute bag out of the dickey of her car last rainy night and they found out one toy of a cartoon character at the spot, so they know have some evidence against cuckoo, who just have to be found out...

I have all sympathies with dear Cuckoo. :-)

Wow ! Craver has given the story a nice twist. Looks like Sholmes is a girl.
14. Super sleuth Byomkesh mutters "doppelganger" under his breath as he shakes hands with Herlock Sholmes, noticing the tiny, soft hands small shoulders, and (sniff) curiously enough, a feint smell of perfume... and didn't he just see Sholmes a minute ago, headed in the other direction?

Who’s the next speaker ? If you have not read the rules then you are missing something. What ?? Well, you can contribute twice here. :-)

15. Trying to avoid Byomkesh's piercing questioning eyes, Sholmes lowered the cap to cover his(her) eyes, pulled up his(her) loose pantaloons and peeled yet another banana.. gosh how many bananas a day.. and moved again towards his(her) favourite place of investigation.. bathroooooom! Came from Rohit, a non-blogger I guess. Rohit, if you have a blog, please leave your URL here.

16. Sitting on a commode thinking, Herlock Sholmes tried to focus… somehow bathrooms or washrooms are always a perfect place to find a clue and many times he succeeded also and in the bargain charged many gift hampers of bathroom kit as his fees; and thus he became the main source of bathroom supplies for the entire neighbourhood; and so the shops selling bathroom accessories have become his enemies… he doesn’t care as long as he gets his quota of bathroom supplies. From Abhijit. Now I have 4 Abhijit’s coming to my blog. Which one are you ?

Priyank has tried to take the story ahead.
17. 'You shit and stink, I sit and think' was Herlock's motto, and while she scratched her head in the washroom, ByomKESH (who was even more interested in shampoos for obvious reasons) was getting increasingly suspicious about Herlock, after all she was pretending to be a guy, she knew the house well and she was acting too funny to be a detective.... could Cuckoo have killed Herlock, disposed the body under a banana tree and come back pretending to be a detective ?

18. But but but.. who talked about the missing body in first place.. Byomkesh remembered it was a lady on the other end of that mysterious phone call... is it all a goof up or a prank played on all of them.. he looked at the date in calendar and jumped in joy.. yesss it is a prank ! From Dragon.

Now looking at the ‘overwhelming’ response the story received this time, I revert back to 20 sentences. The no. was increased mainly for those readers who had complained about being allowed to participate only once.
So, now only two sentences left. Let us see who those two funny ones are to bring the story to a humerous end. Come on guys, let us wrap it off.

19. It was the Fool's day!...and as an experienced detective, it's nothing new for him, but the 3rd time he became 'fool' on this particular day,1st April, ALSO the 3rd anniversary of his glorious run! from Sag_Nik.

The last sentence came from Pyare Mohan.
20. That is when Byomkesh started jumping up and down in the bath tub splashing water, knowing that he was about to solve the case when he felt the coldness of steel behind his ear and a click...
he froze sweating in fear, his heart stopping to beat....
His heart had stopped beating for sometime, and his body slipped away revealing the cold steel and the object that clicked, was just a new swiveling designer tap which had a trigger to let off the water from the tap...

Sorry, I was not near my computer for last 2-3 days, down with severe conjunctivitis and fever. So, could not see what's happening on this front. I don't think we can call it a perfect end. But I am glad that somehow it ended !! Phew !


Current song- Livin La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Weak Link of Insecureness

Yesterday when I read a post on Black’s blog, it made me mull over many things, above all was the insecure mind of Indian males. Albeit this could happen anywhere in the world but the Indian male is surely insecure. The insecurity which slowly takes away the life from our lives. Why Indian males ? Because so far I have not come across to proximity with any non-Indian male.

The Indian male has no qualms over having a good, close female friend (other than his girl/wife/partner) in his life. He does not mind any other girl to be close to him, enjoys the richness and reciprocates the same warmth.

But when the scenario is reversed, it is a hard thing to digest.
He can not tolerate his own girl/wife/partner to be close to some other male.
If she is, then it haunts, his life becomes miserable, he makes her life the same.. tries to guard her and her activities. In short, the shroud of mistrust starts to develop. The crack in their relationship starts to show up. Somewhere deep down in his heart, he starts feeling insecure.

Here, I am not talking about just a casual Hi/Hello friend of opposite gender but somebody with whom we have and want to share some deep secrets and thoughts of our lives and who is very dear to us.

Why do you think we Indians always address every other male than the father of a child as his ‘mama’ = (maternal uncle) ? Why we make that man a brother of the mother ? The insecurity that hovers over male dominated society forces to do that.

I don’t say this phenomenon is not present in girls. It is very much part of their life as well but to a limit. Why ?? Because when someone comes to a girl's life, she tends to go away from her present male friends. I think the girls know that this would/could create problems later and this is what is expected of her.

I am wondering what happens to the friendship between a guy and a girl after one of them gets a steady partner, especially the girl. I wonder if I can tell my man tomorrow, that I have a male friend with whom I share some secrets and beautiful moments and would like to continue the same. No, I am not talking about having sex with my friend but a sacred & cherished friendship.

Will my man take it in his stride ? What would be his reaction ? He is certainly not going to like it. Will he then allow me to remain friends with that male friend of mine ? The chances of getting a NO are almost certain. If you argue, you’d probably get a reply like “When I am there why do you need another male friend ?”.

So, I, as an individual, will not be allowed to retain my (male) friends once I have committed to a relationship. What if I want to forever cherish the old friendship ? Does that mean I should build my relationship with this guy without any commitment or should I not tell my guy about my existing male friend ?
But I also firmly believe that trust, honesty and integrity set the foundations for any long relationship to flourish... be it marriage or otherwise.

Can’t say I am confused because I know what I am expected to do but at the same time I would like to emphasis that whatever happens in life... my special friend is going to be an integral part of me. I am NOT going to part with him.

Again.., can I do it ?

Current song- Sab Kuch Kaisa Acha Acha Lagta Tha – Ghulam Ali
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Between the Words..

Good.. Close... Something more... Yet not Best...
Attraction… Spark… Craziness… Madness…
Confusion... Confession... Passion… Submission...
Wait... Restlessness... Fights... Desktop...
More fights... more waits... more restlessness...
Desires... Frustrations... Vicious circle…

Hai to Hai... Logic defies...

Stubborn... Headline... Impatient...
Phonecalls... XXII-VIII-MMVII... Closeness...
98 minutes 7 seconds... 138... Addiction...
Feelings... Pleased... Thrilled… Smile... Nasha...
Wildness… Lingering thoughts… Unconditional Smile…

Hai to Hai... Logic defies...

10 long days... 10 short days...
Intuition… Concern… Indecision… Dilemma...
Wait… Anxiety… Silence...
Confession… Honesty… Forgiveness ??
Once again ??
Once again
Logic defies...

Void... Blank... Speechless... Silence...

Somewhere between these words were lost the sanctity, the innocence, the simplicity, the genuineness and hell lot of other things. Shock, tears, pain, hurt, agony are too small to describe the state.
Somewhere somehow something was inevitable. Smile please.


Over and Out. Or is there something still left ??

Note :- This also happens to be my 100th post. Celebration time. Smile please.

Current Song:- Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi, Hairaan Hu Main – Anoop Ghoshal
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