Monday, February 28, 2011


The best surprises are planned in advance :) And then you just have to act it out!


Another year, another budget. The India story continues... a strong 9% growth projection, reduction in fiscal deficit by 0.4 percentage points and as the honourable FM put it, it's a path breaking budget in the sense that there was nothing path breaking in it - the sign of a strong, mature economy that knows what it is doing!


Ever since the Bhandardhara trip 3 months back, Samara had picked up a very irritating intermittent rattling from the underbody.. and it seemed to come from the sidesteps. There was nothing obvious, so I lived with it - but every time it rattled, it hurt :(

Yesterday, finally, I decided to explore it a little more, got down and dirty on my back and slid underneath to investigate. A little thumping and I realised the sound wasn't coming from the sidestep, but rather from the thick metal plates protecting the underbody. And guess what! It wasn't a lose screw - it was a large metal stone, kicked into the thin space between the plate and the engine :)

What a relief!

Tale Of Two Autos

I had the chance to jump into two autorickshaws today, getting around the parking problem in the HDFC building I needed to visit... the first one charged me 11 Rs, and since I didn't have change, simply smiled and waived off the change.

The second was even more fun. This time, the charge was 19, so he took my 20 and said, "Sir, I don't have change so let me keep the extra 1 - I will give you a free round when we meet the next time!"

Lol, yes right!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's A Tie!

It was billed as the game to watch for in the WC - the first real encounter between two strong teams, after more than a week of relatively one-sided matches. And what a match it turned out to be! India powered themselves to 338, on the back of a brilliant 100 by Sachin, and useful contributions from everyone in the top order. India seemed on course for 350, but the last 3-4 overs saw India lose all their wickets in a large collapse, adding much lesser runs. And the last ball was even more critical... trying to max the scoring, they went for a double, got run out, and then the umpire signalled one run short! In the quest for the second run, Zaheer had run the first one short. But 338 seemed more than enough...

Or so we all thought!

But England had other plans for the evening. Powered by a chanceless 150 score from captain Strauss, and another 50 by Ian Bell, England cruised through the overs, dashing all hopes of even the most optimistic Indian fan. An LBW decision went against India, even when the Indians referred the decision to the 3rd Umpire, and when replays and Hawkeye clearly showed the ball hitting the middle of the stumps, he was still given not out since he was forward of the crease! At one stage England needed 58 from 45 balls, 5 PP overs and 8 wickets in hand. That is when the Indian spirit kicked in... Zaheer came with a gem of an over, scalping both the danger men, a few more wickets followed in subsequent overs, and the tide had turned. At 29 runs needed in 12, Indians were celebrating, and I was preparing to take Samara out for a victory lap.

It was then that the match turned another corner. Piyush Chawla was hit for 2 sixes, but came back with a wicket in the last ball. 14 to win in the last 6, and their bowler Shahzad at the crease. And the first ball went for a six! It finally boiled down to 2 in 1. The ball was hit hard, and fielded by Pathan at mid wicket. England had taken 1, and the match was tied.

Remember the last run Zaheer missed?

Fantastic match, a bittersweet ending, and while India's batting and comeback was heartwarming, the bowling is worrying... and needs to quickly come together if India want to win this cup.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slow Start

Almost a week after it began, the first real match of the WC kicks off today, with South Africa taking on West Indies. In the age of T20, this is definitely not good for the 50 over format. ICC's decision to restrict the WC to the elite 10 next time is already late in coming. While there are some individual flashes of brilliance - the Dutch gave a good scare to the British couple of days back - the rest of the matches have been completely one-sided and are doing nothing to improve the profile of the game.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

End Game for Corruption?

With Kalmadi's left and right hands, Bhanot and Verma now in jail, questions are being raised now - will Kalmadi be next? With Raja already in jail, and the Adarsh scam very much on the boil, corruption is finally on the BJP's agenda, and one can only hope that they continue to play the role of a mature opposition and help clean up the system.

Unless, of course, they have their own skeletons to hide!

Monday, February 21, 2011

After Egypt, What Next?

We are witnessing history unfold in the Middle East.. after Tunisia and Egypt, we have popular uprisings in Iran, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Even China is feeling jittery... is this good for the world, will this ring in democracy, or will the void created by the downfall of these authoratarian regimes be filled by unrest and Islamic fundamentalism? Very interesting developments indeed! We can only wait and watch.

Meanwhile, the Bahrain Grand Prix has been called off... not surprisingly

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hindi Commentary

In the good old days of DD, one had to undergo the most excruciating pain of listening to the Hindi commentators... parajai ke baadal mandhara rahe hai and all that. I thought things had changed since the advent of satellite channels, but apparently some things never change!

Here are some gems from today's Canada vs Sri Lanka match commentory on Star Sports:

Vivek Razdan: Cricket mein kuch bhi asambhav nahin. Aakhir asambhav se a nikaala toh kahin na kahin sambhav chupa hai!
Sushil Doshi: Arre wah, acchaa laga ke aap jaise cricketer bhi aise hindi bolte hai!

Sushil Doshi: Aur ye beheterin shot aur ball seedha boundary ke pass chala gaya (lol, mind you, it did NOT cross the boundary!)


Lagta hai unko kisine ne nahin bola ki apni disha sambhalein, kyon ki Canada mein woh league mein khelte honge toh baaki ballebaajoan ko woh daravne lagte honge!

Agar aap disha se hatke gendbaaji karenge, toh aapko padenge fatke!

A few seconds later,
Aur yeh hatke balling ki, par fatke nahin pade iss baar!

In the 4th over of the first innings,
Lagta hai Sri Lanka ka yahi prayaas hoga ki woh pure 50 over khele!

While on the match, the Canadian team has only one native Canadian on the team. The rest are all from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka! Wonder what goes through the minds of these exports, when they play on their "home" soil!

Canine Salute

Cat Nap

Orchid Towers

We bought a new apartment the other day, something more like a holiday home in Baner... a nice, quiet neighbourhood with excellent connectivity to Aundh, Kothrud and Hinjewadi. If you are interested in renting out, let me know! :)

Mumbai Vistas

The sun rises over Goregaon West, as seem from Chandan Bhai's living room at 630 am

Antilla, the multi million dollar "mansion" of the Ambanis. A very interesting building, no doubt, but doesn't win my competition of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring mansions.

In a cricket crazy country, it's no surprise these buildings look like wickets :) But I wish there were the bales too!


A 1500 gm beauty taking on a 3000 kg beast... every morning, I wondered who put the paw prints on Samara's bonnet and windscreen, and this time, I had my evidence! This is Catrina's baby, Casatta's brother, Chocobar.

Quote For The Day

Victory Loves Preparation. "The Mechanic".

Quote For The Day

Good judgement comes with experience and most of that comes from bad judgement. "The Mechanic".

India Take Revenge

India exorcised the ghosts of the 2007 WC game loss against Bangladesh after burying the hosts under a mountain of runs, mercilessly piled up by an extraordinary Sehwag with 175 and a cool as cucumber Virat Kohli on 100 NO. Chasing 370 was never going to be easy, and after Shreesanth allowed the Bangladeshi openers to get a good start hitting him for 25 in one over, the experience and variety in the Indian bowling came to the fore. Munaf and Zaheer hit back with some controlled swing bowling, and Harbhajan was at his usual best, and the RRR quickly piled up into double digits.

A great start to the WC campaign, after very comfortable victories against Australia and NZ in the warm up games, India continue to be hot favourites this time to bring the cup home. Of course, it's going to be a long and tough journey over the next 45 days, but even the most pessimistic Indian fan will feel more than a little optimistic this time!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Movie Review: Yeh Saali Zindagi

Pretty dark, but with two positives - a super stunning Chitrangda, and 2 steaming sexy Endeavours :)

Other than that... pretty stretched and uninteresting. Avoidable.

Movie Review: Patiala House

Bad. Very bad.

Akshay is getting on my nerves now with his sad, stupid roles. Anushka is pretty but type cast. The songs are very forgettable, the story is lame, the screenplay absurd.

Completely avoidable.

Movie Review: The Mechanic

This Statham movie has some good action... but is pretty predictable. A good one time watch, but if you miss it, you won't miss too much!

Movie Review: Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

Supposed to be a romantic comedy, DTBHJ lacks punch. Emraan doesn't get to kiss, Ajay is lacklustre as a 35 something divorcee looking for new love, and the third idiot Omi is wasted. So is Shruti Haasan. Shraddha Das gets repetitive, and the eye candyish Shezahn finally gets on your nerves with her over-the-top kiddish behaviour.

Overall, could have been much better...