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Posts tagged ‘Humour’

Why an Indian win in the cricket world cup 2011, would prevent China taking over the ICC in 2027

This is a rapidly typed-out, tongue-in-cheek, meant to be taken lightly, collection of thoughts on the up coming cricket world cup in India. (I am not using the ICC or sponsor’s name share, as they don’t pay me to advertise their name on my blog! For the record I actually don’t know if it is the Pepsi, Sahara, or LG world cup, and I don’t give a damn)

1. Here is my pick for what should be India’s A team, under most conditions:
Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Pathan, Bhajji, Zaheer, Nehra, Munaf. This team may or may not win, but this plus the bench we have selected is the best possible combination India can play.
Yeah I know there have been sensible & melodramatic noises on Piyush Chawla’s selection, lack of reserve wicket keeper, no place for Sreesanth originally, noises on bias in Ashwin’s selection, some people calling for Dravid’s recall etc. To me, these are marginal calls that could have gone either way, and would not impact the final result. I strongly believe that if the A team above, can’t win you a world cup, Sreesanth / Piyush / Ashwin / Dravid / Saha / Kapil Dev at 50 plus age, cannot. While no cricket team selection is ever controversy or debate free, I have seen far worse to care about this one (Deep Das Gupta, Sameer Dighe, MSK Prasad, Sujith Somadunder, Shiv Sunder Das, David Johnson, Noel David, Dinesh Mongia etc)

2. By the next world cup, I hope we watch footages of Dhoni’s boys lift the cup, so that:

A. Sachin finally gets what he so well deserves, more than any other cricketer playing in the tournament. Also, I am pretty sure that if we don’t win, he is going to play on and on, till one fine day he is playing with his son in the 2023 world cup.
B. People finally stop calling Dhoni just a lucky captain. I am not a Dhoni fan per se, and neither do I believe he is always right, and I do think it’s about time he fired as a batsman. But it is annoying to hear the “Yeah he is just a lucky dude” line. Well if he was just lucky, he would win the bloody toss more often
C. Much as I can admire Kapil and his devils, whose 1983 victory changed the cricket world, it is getting a tad boring to watch the nostalgic Kris Srikanth (MS office spell check cannot tell you how many Ks are there in his name!) / Sandip Patil interviews every 4 years some time around February! Especially Srikanth claiming he just hammered the living day lights out of Marshall and co (well he didn’t actually say that, but he is capable of saying that. But he did actually claim to drop one of the KKKs in his name, if India wins the WC). Just as I believe every Indian cricket supporter should know the story of Kapil’s 175 at Turnbridge wells in 1983, the next generation deserves its heroic success stories from 2011. Okay, I am asking for too much now, just win the cup at least now, will ya?

3. If at all we don’t make it, I am wishing its the Wakka Wakka time for South Africa, because:

A. It is boring to watch Aussies win all WCs.  Also, it is going to be quite difficult for Ricky Ponting to shove Sharad Pawar out of the post world cup presentation dias, compared to the act a few years back.  Sharad Pawar has been taking rugby tackling lessons from Andrew Symonds.
B. Anything to do with how Sri Lankans play cricket is boring and annoying
C. A Pakistan win would be the dream of bookies and crooks involved in the game. Not that other countries are not rampant with bookies, but Pakistan takes the cake for the most creative ways for cricket corruption
D. We will miss the preachy English press and ex-cricketers advice the world on the supremacy of test cricket. If they win an ODI WC, we would have to put up with stories of how Neil Fairbrother was the greatest ODI cricketer ever. Or I have to hear Michael Atherton speak about how his masterful innings of 12 from 60 balls in the 1992 world cup, laid the foundation for the resurgence of ODI cricket in England. Or some such BS.
E. It’s a shame to watch supremely skilled South Africans choke non stop at the final hurdle for 20 years. (If I am South African, I would be hoping badly that they either win, or get hammered in the group stage playing risky and aggressive cricket, instead of them having to die wondering in the knock outs; However if I were to cherry pick 1 team for India to meet in the knock outs, it would have to be South Africa)
F. I don’t see any other marginal contenders, or any underdog stories like 1983. But if you an a kid from Ireland or Afghanistan, please feel to dream on!

4. I hope one day the 13th century feudal lords that run BCCI, provide spectators on the ground with facilities that they deserve for the money, time and energy they bring. I don’t see it happening now, but I hope we can do a half-decent organizing job. The Common wealth games mess, and the Eden Gardens fiasco point otherwise, but I am hoping with my fingers crossed, for a miracle on this! If they screw up again, I would propose that Sharad Pawar, N Srinivasan, Shasank Manohar, and co, should be deported to the wildest section of the Eden Gardens crowd, during a match where it is announced that Saurav Ganguly is making a comeback to international cricket, only to be replayed by Shahrukh Khan at the 11th hour. A punishment option for the less violent readers would be that they be sent as contenders to a dance talent search show, where the judges Sreesanth and Harbhajan slap for participants every hopeless dance move.

5. Some how I miss the WC buzz. May be because I live abroad, or maybe somewhere along the line I grew up with less time for cricket and even less time for the match fixing rampant LOI tournaments, or may be I lost all faith in India winning any tournament final as soon as Ponting and Martyn started annihilating us in 2003. I wish I can conjure up all the cricket watching excitement and craze I had from the 92 to 2003 world cups. This world cup has been designed to be a bore by organizers who haven’t learnt lessons from the last one. Let’s hope the cricketing action on the field brings back cynical and bored fans like me!

6. If you are a teenager, or young kid following the world cup with crazy devotion, here is all I can say: Enjoy and absorb every minute of the WC, whatever the match results. A world cup at home, and when you are young and passionate about the game, is a once in a life time event. 1996 world cup was not the best ever, and India lost out in a shameful manner, but it’s probably the world cup I followed the most and is so strongly entrenched in my mind. And if god forbid, India crashes out, remember it’s not the end of the world! But if we do win, you would have memorable I was there stories to tell your kids one day. My dad still gets dreamy eyed about how he bought a T. V just before the 1983 world cup, and how everyone switched of the T.V for good at the lunch break when it looked like we were all set to loose. Only to hear the radio commentaries tell a different story a few hours later…:)

7. That said, ODI is definitely too boring for my liking, and I do hope it is the last world cup in a format where the matches as well as the tournaments itself are getting long, boring, and tedious. Bring on the test championships and the plethora of international and club T20s I say! An awesome world cup, where the best team wins an exciting final, would be a great way for ODI cricket to ride into the oblivion. So in a nutshell I am hoping ODI cricket can go, and that it can go with a bang, and if possible Sachin / Dhoni and co provide the bang. Vijay Mallya can take care of the post world cup victory fizz 🙂

P.S:
1. Just as there would always be a King Viv Richards for batting, and 100 other pretenders, to me the king of cricket satire is Andy Zaltzman. I do not ever hope to do cricket satire regularly, and I do not claim to be remotely as funny. But this guy’s articles crack me up, and serve as a massive inspiration for this blog post!
2. The blog title, is what is known in cricketing terms, as a googly
3. Harbhajan Singh took offence to P.S 2, and asked me to correct it from googly to doosra

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Looking back at a thousand hits, and looking beyond the numbers….

This blog is reaching a small milestone of a thousand visitors today. Nothing great in the blogosphere, but just a mini landmark for me to acknowledge and smile about! It’s also time for me to look at more stats that WordPress lets you analyze, and reflect on the blogging experience so far!

To start with, some stats trivia for those who like stats for the heck of it:

The most read blogs have been:

  1. The home page – fair enough, you all want to know a little bit about the stranger who wrote the blog; but a whopping 417 people have visited my home page, and I dunno how many of them actually read any blog post!
  2. A few sentences I wrote regarding Ramachandra Guha’s book “India after Gandhi”. Damn this Guha man, much as I admire him, he is stealing my thunder. 70 people visited that page, must have gone to Outlook magazine from there, and onto reading more about Guha from there on. Who the hell is Vasu now? 😦
  3. My post on Rahul Dravid. That was original content, and I still find that funny. Yeah Jammy, you have given me so much cricket viewing pleasure all these years, and now more people have visited my blog because of you, than they would have otherwise. 65 hits out of a thousand tell me that cricket still sells big time amongst Indians. I could write a few hundred posts on the game I love the most, but thankfully, that’s not my intent! 

People from the following countries have been most frequent on the blogs: Switzerland, India, U.S, U.K, and Canada. More or less expected, but someday I want to expand to countries where I have never been, or don’t know anybody. I want to hear from people from Mongolia, or Uruguay, or Kazakhstan, or Madagascar, and reinforce my belief that our planet is a global village, and that people can connect and bond beyond barriers! 

Now this is the incredibly funny part. Here are the most interesting key words or search terms that have been used most visit my blog:

  1. Rahul Dravid shirtless (Also searched: Rahul Dravid ex girlfriend, hmmm…in some way  it makes me feel good that it’s not only the Indian men who are desperate!)
  2. Indian sheep (Also searched:  funny sheep, British sheep)
  3. Found the message before I finished typed
  4. Free typing program
  5. Mallu sex in net cafe & Kama stories in telugu (when did I ever become a porn writer / up loader? damn you people, find this stuff else where on the net!)
  6. One world one tribe (who are you, my psychic connection buddy?)
  7. Kraft locked down pcs (Hmmm I should get money from Kraft now!)
  8. Why don’t IT departments give employees money? (I wish I had the answer to that mate!)
  9. Manali bars (There is so much more to this incredible small town apart from bars)

 Now move over stats & silly jokes, it’s time for introspection. 

I have been writing this without any specific agenda or target. The key motivations were, and remain:

  1. Sharing my opinion on any current social topic, or an older one that I find significant. I also try and balance popular topics, with stuff people do not normally discuss much about. The big factor here is my transition to an avid reader of newspapers & watcher of T.V news to a fully online person. I shun most traditional media now, and the internet gives me incredible abilities to filter through biased opinions and get to the truth in most things.
  2. Getting stuff off my chest, that I do not have friends I can talk to about immediately
  3. Write something on a topic I am curious to learn more about, and use the incredible powers of Google, WordPress, and websites such as Swiss Expat blogger, Indiblogger, and Youth Ki awaaz to read more articles, and blogs on the same. It’s been a very rewarding exercise!
  4. Write something useful to share whatever good experiences I have had.  I wrote something about Yoga that a few people found very helpful and they signed up for yoga programs. A few lazy bum friends of mine signed up for YHAI treks based on my travelogue. I can’t claim to transform the world, but a few people benefitting from what I wrote makes me feel good. Really good!
  5. To try and have a creative pursuit / pet project that keeps me going beyond the four corners of my office cubicle, apartment. It’s been nice to constantly think of something to write, write a few drafts, delete them, write it up better, publish them, and follow what people say!
  6. To write about my culture and my country and spread the word about how cool we are; to challenge what we accept as cool, but is not quite so; and to share my experiences on the good things I have picked up where my travels take me! i believe every person who interacts with a foreigner or lives abroad, is an ambassador for his country and has to do his bit to break down artificial barriers we have created amongst ourselves!
  7. Now this is something I am yet to do justice to, but is a motivation nevertheless. To get out of my writing comfort zone and try things I haven’t before: Fiction, poetry,etc. Also, challenge myself to write crisper, write funnier (incredibly tough to do. I always thought i was a funny guy when I talk, but to translate that to words on a blog has been very challenging!)

But having done most of what motivated me in the first place, I know I can do much more! To do that, I would love to hear from people who have subscribed (Started off with family and dear friends, spread to some good Samaritans I have never met!), and other regular readers. I want to hear which blogs you liked, which you didn’t, which topics you want to read about, which articles made you think or had an impact (if any), and if you area non blogger, whether reading my blogs have made you feel like writing yours some day!

So, this is my biggest push so far to make my blog very interactive and conversational, rather than the way it is now with me saying things you never read, or ignored, or you had an opinion but never said it.

I need all the encouragement from friends, family, fellow bloggers or curious strangers! Even a one liner or a smiley as a comment on any of my posts, would be appreciated 🙂

Here is a big thank you to those who have been here, let alone read & commented.

Cheers!

Vasu

P.S: If you liked this post, you may enjoy reading: https://vasusworld.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/playing-around-with-words-images-themes%e2%80%a6/

Yes we can!

Much has been written and said about Obama winning this year’s Nobel peace prize.  I would say it was an absurd decision, but we have seen funnier things happen in life!

This cartoon somebody sent to me by e-mail captures it better than any detailed political analysis would do.

Enjoy 🙂

Cheers!

Vasu

Bucket list entry # 6561: Indian man, German shepherd dog!

Have you seen the movie “The Bucket list”?

It’s not a great movie, or a classic; it’s pretty much candy floss Hollywood, but just happened to feature two stalwarts in Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman, who made a very simple story line look good on-screen.

In fact, on a guys evening out at Prithvi’s place in Bangalore, when there wasn’t anything exciting to do, we hired the DVD almost as an afterthought. The only other notable event of the day was Akash’s ridiculous claim that “The Dark knight” wasn’t such a great movie, and all of us pouncing on him like a pack of wolves!

Back to the bucket list; without getting into a movie review, or storytelling, I would explain the central theme in brief: two old men, who know the end is near, exchange notes about a “bucket list”, or things to do in life, before you “kick the bucket”; and they set about doing just that in the last few days of their lives.

The list itself is a combination of some very simple personal desires that they yearned for, to the extravagant, such as skydiving, tattoos, climbing the pyramids, the French Riviera, the Great Wall of China, a lion safari in Africa etc.

Many random things to do, and places to visit, capture my imagination every once in a while. I think that’s the case for most of us. The only cue I took from the movie was to actually write it down and make a list. However silly the list may sound!

This particular item in my bucket list is a very old fascination: of owning a pet, a dog in particular, and a German shepherd to be precise. Of all dog breeds, I dig the German shepherd the most, the Labrador comes next. To me that’s the best choice for a man, and though many other dogs look much cuter, in terms of intelligence, utility, versatility, and ease of training, the GSD / Alsatian is the king of the canine world! I don’t have too many friends who own a GSD. My cousin Vaish has a terribly cute Pug, but I haven’t played with him 😦

It may not sound like a big deal, and a relatively easy item to tick of the list, but trust me, it’s been a bloody difficult wish to fulfill all these years, and will possibly stay that way for a few more.

To start with, I have to grapple with this huge contradiction that I love animals, but I am scared of being very close to them. Dogs in particular! I am the guy that ticks “Like animals, but at a distance” box in any questionnaire. My pet theory (pun intended) is that if I happen to have my dog starting from the days when it’s a small puppy, I would eventually overcome my fear.

It all started with my neighborhood in Chennai. As little kids, my sister (Poorni) and I were taking a walk around the streets when a friend of mine, who used to have this Alsatian, lost control of the leash and the dog. The dog ran wild and bit my sister, and I was helpless nearby. Poor girl is still petrified of dogs, and I am just 1% less afraid than her! She would hold my hands when there was a dog anywhere in the near vicinity, and I used to act brave. There was no way I could tell her I am equally scared, as having me around was her only source of comfort against any dog!

The problem of stray, street dogs is massive in many Indian cities, most notably Bangalore.  There were these incidents last few years when street dogs attacked people in packs (children in particular) and remains a source of huge debate between animal lovers and the regular people on the roads. Despite being a massive animal lover, in this context, I would place the interests of people above dogs. It may be sad, but that’s the pecking order.

Even if Bangalore evolves an effective mechanism for tackling the stray dog menace, it still doesn’t address the problem of irresponsible owners. Like my friend whose dog bit my sister.

Trust me; this is a massive problem in our country. And it felt even more massive to me when I have traveled abroad. Pets are so well-behaved, and owners are so mature here. I have never heard a dog bark and scare a stranger, or appear intimidating in any way. I have seen that in US, Japan and in Switzerland. I figured out the laws for keeping are very stringent, and well-regulated. Along with pet insurance, regular medical checkups, there are mandatory classes for pets, and owners.  The system pretty much ensures that if at all you have to keep a pet, you have to be extremely sensitive to the animal and fellow human beings.

So that comes to another reason I haven’t had a pet so far. The challenge of keeping a pet to the standard I would like to maintain is difficult in India. There are millions of pet owners in India, but from what I know, not too many of them are sensitive to the pet’s psyche, and its behavior in a public place. What would be easier in India though is to take care of my dog when I am working late, or travelling for e few days. I would find it relatively easier to find a neighbor or friend who takes care in my absence. There are dog walkers in Switzerland, but they come at a price and have their own schedules! Bottom line is, I would like to be a very responsible pet owner, or not have one at all.

On a lighter note, one of the most enjoyable sights from my apartment in Tokyo was a regular “owner – pet – pet – owner” routine I would see from my balcony every evening. The dogs are so well-behaved, (and bloody cute as with anything Japanese) that on the rare occasion when a dog barks at another on the street, the masters stop, apologize profusely  in the long tradition of Japanese manners, exchange pleasantries and become friends. God knows how many business alliances, and love stories have come about that way!

But, by far my biggest challenge has been living in one city long enough to keep a pet. I wouldn’t want to put my dog through relocating cities / countries, and flight journeys! There is no way any dog can live off a suitcase like I do! I remember pleading with Amma to keep a lab, when I wasn’t working yet and didn’t have a place of my own.  Her decisive statement was “If you insist on getting a dog, fine. I can only feed so many people in this house, so it’s either you or the dog. Your choice!”  Appa, and Poorni were eagerly waiting for my response. ..in one of the most decisive moments in my life, I chose myself over the lab instinctively 🙂

 I can thankfully laugh about it today, but on that day I was an angry young man!

So perhaps one day when I know I am going to stay in one city for years together, I would finally knock this long pending item off my bucket list.

Till such day when you visit my house and play with my dog, enjoy the amazing videos here!

Cheers!

Vasu

P.S: Since I have made, chopped, and changed such lists  for so long, that it doesn’t make sense to start this series with #1. Those who know me know my fascination with numbers and patterns in numbers. So I would number this series with my favorite numbers rather than 1, 2, 3…6561 is one such number. I was born on a terrific day for a number lover: 8th January, 1981, or 8-1-8-1. 81 * 81 =6561. Also, 8+1=9, and 9*9*9*9 =6561. There you go!

The dark and sinister confessions of a facebook addict

Facebook threw up an interesting statistic to me. “How addicted am I to facebook”. It was a shockingly high number, and so high I dared not publish it. Damn, it was even higher than that of a good friend of mine S,  who I keep taunting in jest for being on Facebook all the time! 

And she coolly  suggested I have to first admit there is a problem. She made it sound as if I was an alcoholic in need of help! 

While all that was in good humor, I couldn’t help thinking about it. Have I let the online social networking world take over my life? 

The short answer was no, and the long answer is as follows: (And this is dedicated to my well meaning friend who got it wrong nevertheless!) 

I have been observing how people use / misuse social networking for a while. I think some people use it very smartly and that is irrespective of how much time they spend on it. Some people may spend less time, but may go about it in a way that doesn’t help them or their online  friends. So while it is a good idea to keep your time spent on it to the bare minimun, it’s also important to understand how we use these technologies, and where we should draw the line. 

I have a few guidelines that I try my best to follow when it comes to social networking, specifically for Facebook. This is based on what I did in the past, and found to be a waste of time / harmful, and what I have seen others doing: 

  1. I don’t typically add friends I do not know at all
  2. I do not add friends to show that I have a few hundred friends on my Facebook
  3. I do not use it to read up about people’s personal info or stalk women (Women, you could be either flattered or shocked if you know how many men you never know stalked you online!)
  4. I try not to share very personal feelings, discussions, moments, photos etc
  5. When I see something very significant posted on a friend’s profile (such as a child’s birth,  a separation, or a new job) I make it a point to contact them over phone / in person. A lot many people think it cool to just click on “like” and not bother there after
  6. I use the privacy settings pretty well, to control who can see what
  7. I do not see my friends as “virtual only”. If anybody on my Facebook happens to be in and around where I live, I make it a point to call / meet hang out with them
  8. I use it to promote my thoughts / websites etc, but I do not rely entirely on Facebook for that
  9. If I go somewhere and take pictures, I do not upload a few hundred pictures and expect my friends to see all of them!
  10. I do not play any games on Facebook 🙂 

Now you may, or may not agree to the points above, but I think it’s a good idea to develop your own guidelines and stick to them. Else we all may have technology like this take over our lives, and affect our ability for normal human relationships one day! 

On a lighter note, one of my best friends ever – B, refuses to tag herself on photos of us together. She truly believes she does not look cool enough in those pictures, and apart from laughing out loud and screaming “Women”, I didn’t bother about it. I know a lot of other friends who take such things seriously. Do  you need a Facebook picture / wall post, or some stupid Facebook quiz to tell you who your best friends are?

 P.S: I know the title of the blog is misleading, but it’s always a nice feeling to pull a fast one on people 🙂

 Cheers!

Vasu

Why is Rahul Dravid so underrated by the Indian media & public?

Rahul Dravid, one of my most favorite cricketers of all time, hit 177 runs  in a day’s play of test cricket, rescued India yet again from a terrible start, and crossed a monumental 11,000 runs in test cricket, all in one day.

Yet you never have anybody talking about him as often as some of the Indian media’s favorite celebrities.

You may ask, why this injustice? It’s all too easy to understand,  I‘ll tell you why:

  • He never slapped his team-mate on a cricket field, or called his an opponent a monkey (official version is Teri Maa ki)
  • He never got slapped by his team-mate (and hence he couldn’t cry on TV for getting slapped), never danced on a cricket field, and never spoke of himself in third person and said things like: “I think Rahul Dravid is a terrific guy!”
  • He took a world record 184 catches in test cricket with a lot of ease, and no fuss. Little did he realize that unless he flaunted a new hairstyle or wig, and pump his fist looking at the camera, those are not counted as catches.  Poor guy!
  • He’s always had the same boring hairstyle. No wigs, extensions, coloring, or perming. How boring!
  • He was never involved in any serious rumors with bollywood starlets. Now that’s a terrible thing to do. How could you be so condescending towards the media and the eager public?
  • He never leaked confidential emails; never ran to his government asking for support to get back into the team when he was dropped shamelessly (actually he should have, if a left-wing government batted for a left hander terribly out of form, wouldn’t you expect a right-wing government to support a right hander in pretty good form?)
  • He never kissed his ex girlfriend in public at her birthday party. Hence nobody played his smooch a few thousand times on TV, and so he was never a media sensation.
  • He did not have the attitude or the body to be shirtless a few hundred times in public, and do the same cool dude dance for the same song for twenty years
  • He never bashed up a bowler screaming “Howzaatttt” in English, during test matches played in Mumbai. If he can’t speak Marathi, he has no business playing in Mumbai, does he?
  • He never wrote a book called “Going Rogue: A cricketer’s life”
  • He did not participate in Big Boss,  and hence nobody could have made a racist taunt at him
  • He proved again and again that nice guys do not necessarily finish last
  • And last, but the most important factor: He is Rahul Dravid and not Rahul Gandhi

Cheers!

Vasu

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