Saturday, February 13, 2016
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The ATP tour season ending awards are always popular. This got me thinking about some fun categories that fans may come up with for both the ATP as well as the WTA. Here are some categories I came up with for 2010 ( I'm sure there are alot more!). Take a break and relax! Presenting the Woozies-
First the Men
Oh Del P, where are you?
Richie Rich Award
Private jet? Check
Child star? Check
Ernsts you poor li'l rich kid!
Witty Tweety Award
Take a bow Somi! For being so politically uncorrect, you are the witty tweety!
Snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory Award
Stiff competition between Novak and Monfils, both French Open casualities, but Novak gets this one for unbelievably losing a match he was in complete control of.
Overhyped Underperformer of the year Award
Hot streaks freezing into ice?Check
Whipping up home crowd frenzy?Check
The Eternal British, Scottish, Royal, Wimbledon hoax, er hope? Check
Give it up for the Merman, oops the Murr mannnn
Mr Photogenic? Check
Mr. Chocolate? Check Check
Gifting your opponents matches after sqaundaring match points?Priceless
Take a bow Roger!
Mamma's boy no more Award
Hot video with latino pop star- Woohohohoo
You win no, Rafa?
Ye Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge Award
Derailed Indian express back on track, albeit for a short time.Watch out Bryan twins, these guy know a thing or two about chest bumps and fist pumps
Mr. Mystery Man Award
For making the press think that you are the mystery man in Serena’s life. For the unbelievable bizarreness of it all! Take a Bow A Rod!
Now the Ladies
Ms. Physically Present, Mentally Absent Award
Courting fashion? Check
Mistaking the court for a catwalk? Check
Oops your game took a walk. Come back Venus!!!
Ms. Nailing It Award
Designer nails are so passé, especially when you sharpen your claws yourself. Easy on them Serena!
Ms. Congeniality Award
First to wish ‘ happy birthday’? Check
Congratulate a fellow players success? Check
Nice gals finish last? Uncheck
They don’t make them like you anymore Kim!!
Ms. Heartbreak Award
Masha to wed Sasha. Need I say more?
Ms. Bollywood Melodrama Meltdown Queen Award
For making the Indian press concoct the unbearable tongue twister Shoania!
Ms. Show them who the boss is Award
Who wants the WTA, when only the STA matters. In the Serena Tennis Association we have the Serena slam and we all know who the real deal is. Take that flower puff girls!
Ms. Flowerpuff Award
Following her illustrious brethern, there's no stopping Caro!!!
Ms. Spectacular Meltdown Award
Double faults? Check
Deer caught in the headlights look?Check
Take a break Safina!
Ms. WonderWoman Award
Why did you wait this long Kimiko??
I think thats a fair wrap. Hope you enjoyed it, just for fun :)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I for one, love to indulge in pastimes that weigh less heavily on the mind. Among those that come to mind immediately are music and reading. Let me focus on reading. Reading is hard to define for me simply because it entails more than just holding printed word in front of you. The real reading occurs when one processes what is written and translates it into some sort of understanding or comprehension that has the potential to plant subconscious thoughts that can guide our actions even ultimately. Too complex? Not really, but when one actually thinks about it, reading is one form on deconstructing someone else’s thought and reconstructing it in ones own head – a kind of linear communication that passes between the writer and the reader, only the impact will ultimately depend on how it is reconstructed.
We all read and for various purposes. Even those who don’t fancy themselves to be readers as the stereotype will define do some sort of reading, whether it is work related or otherwise. While I don’t consider myself to be a consistently voracious story reader, who can be found with a book all the time, I do have my moments where I get completely submerged into some fascinating world or the other. What I do read avidly, though are magazines, papers, just about anything conveying common knowledge. More importantly, I spent a significant part of my formative years reading ‘comics’. These wonderful illustrated stories have the potential to stretch the imagination more than any other medium in my opinion, because they are at the same time informative, educational, entertaining and more importantly just plain fun!
I remember waiting to go to the library as a kid during vacations and coming back with a colossal pile of among other types of books, comics and what wonderful stories they were! Coming to think of it, these books have played a significant role in shaping my thinking, much more so than I have even realized.
My love for Indian mythology can in some ways traced to the amazing Amar chitra katha stories that offer a treasure trove of information on Indian mythology, and which are far more captivating and exciting than any TV serial, simply because the illustration is so rich and the attention to detail so fine, despite having to work within a confining format.
My love for history, especially European history certainly has roots in asterix comics. These stories are evergreen and rich in humour but most importantly are historically accurate and have even been used to supplement text books in European schools!
My dabbling in international politics can in some ways be traced to tintin comics and their amazing stories of international deceit and espionage, which vividly portray so many countries across the globe and quite accurately too.
While it is impossible to measure the extent to which comics have impacted my life, it can certainly be said that they have enriched my life and broadened my vision beyond the confines of the limited story frames they detail.
Comics are normally viewed as frivolous pastime among children, but with these comics and many others, their power to enrapture and teach far outweighs any negative effects they might have. Let us not forget also, that the language in comics is exemplary. They can be thought of as guides that can help learners when they begin their literary journey, from whence readers can branch out into other literary pursuits.
Reading a comic is one of the most refreshing and entertaining pastimes one can indulge in. Amar rahe ye chitra kathaein!!
While the earth wont shatter
and the rain goes pitter patter
I'll cut the natter
and get to the heart of the matter.
My alphabet of life goes something like this ( not perfectly sychronized but then life isn't perfect) :
All the forces of the universe conspire to create what we call the
Birth , from whence emerges ,from the
Cocoon and is asked, are you ready to
Dance? Is this my first chance you wonder and ask the ancient question of
Existence. The answer is known and yet it differs everytime defined by your
Footsteps trailing across the eternal sands, extend your hands and
Grab the air. What you say will be dismissed as prattle, every
Hour that passes signifies that the race is on again
Into time , into space echo the shouts I versus you, filling the
Journey, with heat and light, cool and sparks, blending into the
Kaleidoscope, a chaotic puzzle, twists and turns, with hate and
Love at every turn, inescapable forces with
Metaphorical teachings, sometimes spurned, sometimes learned
Off the beaten track the heart goes, led back into the straight and narrow with a
Path to follow? It is your choice, but when expressed considered
Queer, but therein lies the eternal truth; life is strange!!!
Relax, but the mind wont stop!!!
Sleep, but remain awake, why fret when
Time is eternal and constructed by the divine, the unchanged in this
Universe we inhabit, smell the flowers, watch the raindrops
Ventilate or else the world will degenerate, let your thoughts flow like smooth
Water, the everlasting life giver, neither polluting nor diluting,
Xtend yourself with every twist and curve, don’t reminisce about
Yesterday’s gone by, live today with
Always smile :)
Saturday, January 31, 2009
My first post for this year. I remember starting out 2 years back, after watching an Andy Roddick Federer quarterfinal, which was fascinating for me because I discovered ‘ The Federer’ for the first time for myself and boy was I in awe!
2 years later, I’m writing at a time when Federer is at the cusp of taking another huge slice of history and rewriting it as his-story. How much longer will this amazing human continue to enthrall us? Your guess is as good as mine! Anyhow, as my current post will not focus on Federer, I will have to grievously move on.
I will focus my post on certain things that I believe are changing this country...both good and bad…
The Killer Instinct- Part I
Did I write a post a couple of years back on one of the prototypes of the Indian cricket fan lamenting the lack of fire our boys have in their belly’s??? Well, it seems as if they have loads and loads of that ulcer generating stuff nowadays, and I’m not just talking cricket, but in every conceivable sport I turn to, I see an Indian name marching along smartly- Saina in badminton ( mind you, its Saina and not Sania!), the Kumars in boxing, the Joshna’s and deepika’s squashing their opposition if you may ( I couldn’t resist that one), the one and only Abhinav Bindra and of course all these new names that keep popping up in tennis, the latest being Somdev and Yuki ( sounds like a nice Japanese name doesn’t it?). It is as if they just got into the car and started off in fourth gear- but wait a minute, that’s not all true. The Indian sporting authorities continue to be afflicted by the same disease that afflicts our politicians- bureaucracy and zero proactivness, so where did these kids just come up out of- nowehere? I guess that’s the answer- Nowhere!! Most of these kids took to the sport of their choice at a tender age and have basically labored on, away from the limelight, weathering sponsorship hassles, and poor infrastructure and yet emerged winners! That’s something isn’t it? No matter how far these youngsters progress in their career, what they have already achieved is pathbreaking in that they took the risks that will enable generations to follow to follow their sporting dream. Its official now- sports is an official career option! And while there are still many hurdles to face and the old problems persist, we know that a willing heart will certainly find a path!
Coming back to Federer ( I know I said I would move on, but I think this is relevant to the discussion),his killer instinct is beyond doubt, so I wont talk about it, what is amazing me these days is his ability to bounce back. There is alot that these fiery Indian youngsters can learn from the likes of federer and Nadal, starting from their fitness and agility, to their mental toughness, anticipation and most importantly their ability to close things out. Well begun is half done is not a phrase that finds currency in professional sport, its well done that is full done that is more apt. That is what these youngsters are also displaying. I’m beginning to wonder why sportsmen and women in the past have not been able to display this confidence, this assurdness in their own ability before? Was there some linkage between their physical conditioning and their mental toughness or is this just an attitudinal shift? I will place my bets on the latter. Attitude is what separates the great from the good and that is what I suspect many young sports persons have in plenty these days. So, why did this attitudinal shift occur? If you notice, a lot of the youngsters these days, they have all grown up in the post reform era, at a time when our society was increasingly exposed to multitudinal direct and indirect influences- the era of cable tv, the era of growing fitness consciousness, the era of the growing Indian middle class and most importantly the era of the young Indian- we have a lot more teenagers and 20 somethings in this country than in any other country and if half your population is between 13 and 24 and if even 10% of them take up professional sport and stick to it, you certainly have the best shot that any country does at sporting glory.
The growth of the smaller cities and towns and the enormous energy that all this has created has finally opened up the doors for the truly talented in this country- inspite of the geriatric bureaucracy mind you. I only hope that a willing administration will back these youngsters with the financial muscle they require. This is an opportunity, we as a country must not let slip through our hands. I suspect that over the next 40 or so years, we will see the emergence of many such youngsters who display skill, passion, ability and willingness along with the all important fire to win- let us encourage them to cross the threshold and reach the highest echelons in every sport!
The Killer Instinct- Part II
So we have youngsters dancing to the winning tune, but on the other hand we have girls dancing in clubs being mauled at! Now that’s a tune the majority does not want to hear and neither do these shameful acts bring any credit to this country. India, therefore remains this chaotic kaleidoscope where when 10 people push you forward, 15 people will push you back. Even that I will say is not entirely true, as the Indian family in my opinion, is one of the biggest social infrastructure assets anyone could hope to have and will surely play a great role in grooming these wonderful youngsters in their ensuing glory years.
What I am referring to are these fringe organizations that take it upon themselves to prescribe the right and ‘righteous’ medicine to the youth, and more specifically one gender of the youth. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, India is certainly going back to its rich cultural and traditional roots when one sex is beaten up, its definitely up there when the same sex is molested at the work place and dowry deaths- whats that? They go by the name under the carpet incidents these days. This is India at its cultural best! It is these kind of fringe organizations that our gods have sent down to maintain our moral values- another sort of killer instinct developing don’t you think? Killer instincts nursed with a good amount of alchohol I’ll bet ( though not from the pubs!) and a huge injection of male machismo. My advice to ladies in general- lets move on, the more we react, the more these sort of things will occur and remember its election year, so this once in five year morality maintaining cycle is being enacted once again. If we must do something lets all register in some self defense classes, I’m sure they will come in handy some day!
The Killer Instinct – Part III
While the first killer instinct highlights individual acheivment, and the second one created a marauding mob, the third one mourns the death of the individual. Welcome to the India where clichés combined with social prescriptions kill all individuality. Let me start with the fair and lovely ad campaign- how long have we been seeing these advertisements now- 15 years, 20 years, and yet they remain frighteningly the same, its just the list of accomplishments that accompany the use of the product that has increased. You can actually have a job now without applying the cream (thank god for small mercies), but you still cant win a dancing competition or get a guy, but the cream that’s a miracle worker altogether- in 6 weeks you get the 3 in one package of ‘fairness’, ‘confidence’ and that plastic guy or the dance competition- whoppie!!! Individual talent, self belief- zilch. I wont say the company is at fault, after all they reflect the society and a fair face still sells, even if its anemic and ghostly- harking back to our fascination for ‘velaikaarans’ and ‘firangi’s.
Here’s another prized one that never ceases to amaze me- the perfect man campaign- check out the logic of these guys- The way to becoming a perfect man is to wear this company’s suit- if only being perfect were that simple. Somehow, the suit with magical powers ‘vest’ed in it, will make a man a hero to football playing kids and prevent a lost pretty young thing from falling in her own wedding reception- all because he has that suit on, makes me wonder what a wimp he must be otherwise. Once again, it is not the Raymond company which is at fault, so much as the prevailing mindset that says that the Indian man is perfect only if he is this mythical hero and by the same token that the Indian woman is the holy protector of Indian values.
It is this prevailing social killer instinct that kills all individuality and tears apart any semblance of individuality.
Having said that, I will reiterate the point that none of these instincts, save the first one has a remote chance of becoming an established norm or a cemented mindset. For all those media watchdogs, who believe in hyperbolic epithets like ‘India’s 9/11’ or the ‘Talibanization of India’ I have one suggestion- just relax; neither is correct and it isn’t likely to happen, and at the risk of sounding patronizing I will say this- India has survived many invasions, many cultural upheavels, witnessed many battles and yet its still there and is not likely to go anywhere anytime soon, and we absolutely do not need to attach ourselves to western comparisons and phraseology to describe events, which if I may say are uniquely Indian good and bad. Let us all wake up to this invigorating new india, as intoxicating as filter coffee, as fresh as the morning dew and as courageous as the legendary ancestors that have inhabited this land!!!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The last week was a strange experience for those millions in this country, who have been brought up on a staple diet of cable television. We witnessed the first live sting operation by our 24/7 news channels and to use an unpolished phase we fell into it 'hook, line and sinker' didn't we?
Welcome to the era of 24/7 hardhitting news, where no stone is left unturned in order to serve up the truth, but to what extent can and did the media go in order to acheive this end and was this really the end they wished to visit?
After a day or so of watching those unforgettable events unfold, it was becoming apparent that the media's focus was neith on the act of terror itself nor the terrorized public, but rather on its own turf war.
The conflict within the media and between the media channels had superceded all else and in its quest to become the first channel to capture the 'breaking news', each channel, in my opinion violated many fundamental tenets of censure, that the media must practice.
By all accounts the events that unfolded deserved focussed attention and the public had the right to information. Yet, the media in its own quest for singular glory, perhaps crossed all boundaries. What we witnessed was a 24/7 war movie or rather that is how the media wished to showcase the events, from the jarring background music to the in your face journalists, who were omnipresent and always trying to shout above the din, rendering just about everyone else speechless.
Enough is enough says one chanel, anger, tears and determination says another. This is not a mystery thriller and the media is not the whoddunit.
What struck me most was the level of maturity or shall we say immaturity displayed by the media.
Take this for example: witnessing some loud shouts outside nariman house, a journalist says thats it the operation in nariman house is over; the commando showed a thumbs up sign. We were to learn later that the operation did not end there. Another journalist says I think there are 6 terrorists inside the Taj, but this is unconfirmed. My question here is, if it is unconfirmed, why do you say it?There were man other such instances.
The media is meant to be a medium for the expression of facts. It was never meant to take the facts into its own hands and twist it for its connivance. Yet, that is what the visual media in this country has been trying to do for the past 2 weeks. We witnessed many scenes of microphones eith being thrust right into the face of the survivors or being thrust into the faces of fireman who were doing their job.
Some of the journalists repeatedly tried and succeded in violating boundary lines set by the authorities, leaving me to wonder if they were aiding or hindering the work of the authorities.
The media has, in my opinion also been singularly biased in its reportage of public opinion. Actors and Socialites, do not represent mass public opinion. Yet, in the days following the attacks, we were privy to comments from every immaculately dressed page 3 figure and were given a crash course in policy making by these know it alls. While I appreciate their sentiments and can understand their anger, the media failed in its responsibility to remain objective.
The most tragic episode in the media coverage, occured after the events ended. Each media house swarmed the hotels like vultures swooping onto a carcass and proceeded to claim to become the first to show us the carnage inside these beautiful hotels. What was the need to enter into these places when the sanitization operations were not even complete? Another interesting thought which strucke me was how singleminded the media was in covering these hotels, but completely ignored the other places. Did the public not have a right to know what happened in the CST or by the same token the hospital, or is the media in this country only a voice for the elite?
The media has every right to criticize a governments policies and has every right to be the ones to say the politicians erred at too costly a price, but the media in this country is trying to stage a revolution and trying to whip up a mass frenzy that it does not have the maturity to handle. It seems to me that the media is just picking up opinions that suit its tune and trying hard to make the music it wishes to hear for itself from this.
I have always felt that the media in this country must be made to follow a certain ethical code of conduct and I have never felt this more strongly than in the aftermath of these attacks. There is a strong need for a more calm media that can at least try and voice different shades of public opinion. Instead what we have are either media honchos who are locked in an ' who will lose their vocal chords first contest' or rookies pretending to be master of all trades but ending up being jack of none.