Month: February 2010

And God rewrites the record books – 200*

People often wonder why I address this man as GOD. He has given me many reasons to do so – and today was another one of them.

I almost cursed Dhoni for the first time in my life when he did not give Sachin strike in the 49th over and then threw kisses when he did not push Sachin for the 2nd run at 49.2 overs! Thank god for that.

For someone who took 79 matches and 5 years to get his first hundred in ODIs, Sachin has never looked back! 46 centuries in ODIs accompanied by 47 in tests – I expect he will get to another 100; that of his international centuries this year at the rate he is going. He has 5 this year already – 4 in tests and 1 in the ODIs.

He has got tantalisingly close to the coveted mark 186* against NZ in 1999 and then twice in the last year: 163* against NZ when he retired hurt and 175 against Aus.

Today he was all the class, elegance and timing we associate with the beauty of batting. He did not thrash the bowlers – he just belted them gently. Such was his powerful timing that he kept playing the cat and mouse game with the fielders. Till the ball hit the ropes the fielder was given hope that he could stop it, he would chase all the way only to be exhausted and find the ball smiling at the boundary ropes. Sunil Gavaskar has always claimed he loves such shots – the ones that tease the fielder. Sachin played them plenty today

Square cut, cheeky third man fours, cover drive, on-drive, shots through mid-wicket and off the square! There was not an area he left uncovered. The bowlers bowled a good line yet he placed the ball where he wanted to. Sachin played like he is 17 today when he is approaching 37.

The energy, the exuberance, the hunger amazes me – I’ve just entered my 30s and I often feel totally phased out! The guy is a perfect role model. And despite all the madness, the money, the crazy fans – the man remains unfazed. He remains his simple self, the Marathi Mulga from Sahitya Sahwas in Bandra. His middle-class Maharashtrian roots still strong. His commitment and dedication unparalleled. The more you speak of him , the less it is.

I feel blessed – to have been born in his era, to have witnessed this phenomenon – to have watched him play since his debut in 1989 till date. So many moments, so many smiles.

Today the commentators kept harping about SA having chased 434 in 2006. I did not need them to remind me of it – I had seen the match live. Often these TV commentators lose sight of important things. I would not have cared if SA would’ve chased down 402 today – all that I cared about was  that no batsmen on their side got to 200. Today, India’s victory was not important – Sachin’s record was. Period. I was being selfish and it was well justified – cause Sach is indeed GOD and Sach is indeed our life!

P.S: My Kodak Moment of the Day was : Virat and Raina taking a bow to the GOD from the dressing room – they will need all his blessings if they wish to emulate half his deeds in the future.

In 30 different ways, He said I LOVE YOU

This post was picked for Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks

I’m not a romanticist – that is MDH’s domain. He more than makes up for my shortcomings. Last Friday was my 30th birthday and it was Mahashivratri so I was fasting. Add to it that he had his major office event; so it was next to impossible for him to arrange anything for me. Hence,we postponed all celebrations to the next i.e this week.

MDH is known for his innovative surprises – I’ve not heard of similar ones from the numerous couples I know. My guy friends hate him cause their wives pester them after hearing my stories. 7 years since we started dating and 5 years of marriage – I wondered what this guy would do this time. So here goes the story. It’s a long long post – but this time I’ll be quiet and let the pictures do all the talking.

I was packed off to a surprise ride in a Limousine with 3 of my best friends here. When I returned home with them – the door opened to this! A rhyming clue preceded each gift.

The house is all set with my 30 gifts:

The clues and the gifts begin:

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  • No.1: Personalized leather wallet
  • No.2: Our new LCD
  • No.3: 2-hour ride in black Cadillac limousine with my terrific girl gang in Dubai – 4 of us

  • No.4: My favourite chocolate – Cadbury Dairy Milk which he got on our every single date

  • No.5: Mobile cover – Cause I seem to lose this all the time

  • No.6: A snap of me with my girl gang in Dubai – They are my soul sisters and we 4 rock!

  • No.7: Junk/Imitation jewellery

  • No.8: Tome and Jerry CDs – I love these two 🙂

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  • No.9: 5-star mini-bar yummmmmmm

  • No.10: Gems – minis M&Ms – fills up my empty stomach anytime;-)

  • No.11: Fridge magnets with funny/sarcastic sayings – Both my refrigerators are loaded with them, yet I need more;-)

  • No.12: Doritos chips – my weak point.

  • No.13: My latest craze – eye-liner pencils

  • No.14: The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes – Need I say more?

  • No.15: Office desk supplies – to keep myself organized

  • No.16: About 200 odd articles of Harsha Bhogle & Peter Roebuck – Special thanks to our dear friend RS who took the pains to compile them!

  • No.17: A frame that tells the meaning of both our names and our personalities

  • No.18: This a bit unbelievable still not recovered – a star registered with my name in the Libra Constellation in the sky forever!

  • No.19: My addiction – Bejeweled 2 – He bought me the deluxe version and is loaded on my comp!

  • No.20: A 3-d snap of us two etched in a glass piece – for eternity

  • No.21: Saree – I think is the most beautiful piece of clothing ever designed. My friend’s AM’s fine taste helped.

  • No.22: Salwar suits: The next best;-) Again AM helping MDH – she is too good.

  • No.23: My Panda: After my tiger Jenny:-)

  • No.24: An addition to my cricket collection – ‘The One Who Will’ Biography of one of my favourite players Steve ‘Tugga’ Waugh. I know someone who will be jealous for this gift alone!

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  • No.25: A DVD writer to go with my swank new HP mini

  • No.27: My favourite TV cricket series – The DVD of BODYLINE

  • No.28: Handmade greeting card. My school friend AJ gave me one every year; until she moved to USA. I was craving for one in this world of e-cards – and he did one for me 🙂

  • No.29: Is my small dream – thinking about it and it will happen sooner than later . Need to get the name right!

  • No.30: A Solitaire ring and pendant – this one was the biggest surprise!

So you do understand that I’m at a loss for words. The preparation, the planning, getting my friends involved – I’m stunned, absolutely stunned at how much someone can love. And also feel blessed for being surrounded by such lovely people – all our friends who helped MDH to make this special – they live in Dubai and all around the world. I cannot thank them enough. DV, DK, AM, RS, DD, SK, RK – special thanks to you all!

This has been my best birthday ever – talk about welcoming the 30s with a bang!

P.S: If you need help to surprise your spouses – drop in a line and I’ll get MDH to consult. He will not disappoint!

The Love Affair Continues…

Between VVS Laxman and Eden, between VVS Laxman and us fans.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Fab Four – The God, The Wall, The Prince and The Very Very Special Man. And now add the brave openers Gambhir and Sehwag. If the Prince was still around the batting line-up would be perfect – the Scintillating Six! Each one of them with their unique styles has only given us joy and nothing less.

VVS is the quiet performer among them all. He will come to the crease, get to his hundred in no time, boost the team score and quietly fade away in the background. In the time spent at crease, he would’ve mesmerised us with the magical melody he played. His batting is sheer delight, a sight to savour. Hailing from the land of another graceful player, VVS has pretty much lived up to the expectations he has built up. He has one of the best records against the mighty Aussies and today, he gave SA glimpses of the genius he is.

He makes you fall in love again and again with the array of strokes on display. Extra cover, mid-on, mid-off, square, third man , name the area and he had it covered. Improvisation is his biggest asset – remember that shot of Warne’s legside ball hit to extra cover in 2001. Today, he hit Duminy between cover and mid-off, then shots followed on the on-side and in the mid-off and extra cover region – no fielder moved, not a single one.

His record at Eden is fantastic , a 1000 runs, 4 centuries which includes that memorable record-breaking 281 in 2001. It is his arena, his stage, his region of dominance, he has marked his territory with supreme authority. As my dear friend PK told me yesterday, that no matter where he bats in the line-up; if it is Eden, Laxman will get a century!

He is the perfect team man. See what his presence and fantastic catch to send Kallis back, did to the morale of the team. Always the one to put his hand up when the team is in distress. He is now only playing tests but every time he walks onto the field he gives it all.

Sehwag’s batting makes you go WTF, Gambhir and Dravid’s brings in assurance, Sachin’s is a God’s blessing, and Laxman’s brings that smile to your face which any passerby can notice; making him wonder why you are smiling. Laxman has that charm on us.

But my friend PK summed it to perfection today about VVS’s special batting:

“Every shot of Laxman brings to my mind the adjectives – yummy, delectable, sumptuous. If only I could gorge on all of Laxman’s innings , I would be ready to die of high cholestrol”

I’ve not seen anyone come up with a better description of this man’s batting – yeah let’s relish every bit of it, while it lasts.

Another one to the list…

  • Another incident that will join the millions awaiting justice
  • Another attack where the attackers will never be found
  • Another attack to be forgotten
  • Another story for the media to scan, analyze and televise for a scoop or breaking news

Yeah, too small a thing to focus on. We have much more bigger issues such as to ensure MNIK releases as planned, have the entire Mumbai force including SRPF up in arms to protect SRK, Kjo and gang, SS and MNS’s need to fight for the pride of the Marathi Manoos, go ahead with our peace talks with our neighbour, reason out the exclusion of Pakistani players from IPL, far far more important issues on hand compared to finding ways to eradicate or reduce terror activities in the country.

Terror attacks are now a common thing – 26/11 has been forgotten. How bad is our memory that we live only in the present.

You have full rights to ask me what am I doing about it , sitting away from the country. I’m not entitled to crib –I’ve lost the right to. I’m abroad, I do not caste my vote , I don’t come out on the streets to join hands in silent protests or light candles for the victims. Yes, when you say I should shut up, I won’t argue with you. But I’ve the right to cry and that is all I can do today.

Pune is my second home. It is the place where I spent my vacations and freaked out on its streets on our bikes. I felt safe, even more safe than I felt in Mumbai. It is home to my favourite aunts and best friends. So when it is hurt, the heart breaks and all I can do now is cry.

So I hope the terrorists can someday tell me which of my favourite cities and places are on their agenda next – Mangalore, Bangalore, Goa, Munnar, Kumarakoram? Please tell me, so that I’m mentally prepared to bear the grief you sick people give me every time. I’ve lost my loved ones so I think I’m tough enough to handle anything; but no, I fall apart every time you terrorise my loved ones – my country and its people. Laughing aren’t you, enjoying the fun? Yeah go have some more. Wonder when you will be satisfied, when you have eradicated each one of us?

But hopefully someday I will change that. Yes I intend to do my bit, maybe miniscule, maybe small, even inconsequential in the long run but I will do my bit. Tell me have you, who has chanced upon this blog, have you thought about what you will do?

Ind-SA First Test Post-Mortem – Twitter Style

Selectors Goof-Up #Fail

Old war horse Kallis’s century  and Amla’s double hundred #Pass

Non-performance of Indian bowlers #Fail

Lack of support to Zaheer #Fail

Fielding a 3rd string batting line-up against one of the best pacemen in the world #Fail

Lack of runs from an experienced opening duo #Fail

Sehwag-Badri batting in first innings #Pass

Steyn’s explosive pace, outswing, reverse swing, 145Kph, full-length, short-pitch #Pass

Collapse – 6 wickets for 12 runs #Fail

Tendulkar’s ton #Pass but failure to own his test and save the day for India #Fail

Seniors failing to set an example to young debutants #Fail

Dhoni’s uneasiness at the pitch #Fail

Curator of the pitch #Pass

Selectors running for cover by recalling Raina, Karthik #Fail. Who told you to drop them in the first place !

Journalists trying to run down this team with unnecessary criticism #Fail

Media hyping the Indian Team #Fail. Media is the first to pull them down and lose faith in them.

Missed Dravid-Laxman sorely #Yes

Lost my faith in the Men in Blue #No

Expectations from this Indian team to turn around in Eden #Hope

You know you are entering your 30s decade when….

 This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday Picks – Feb. 13, ‘10

  • Teenagers you meet are confused whether to call you Didi or Aunty
  • Every person you meet wonders why you are not married yet
  • Every family member has only one question when you meet them after marriage,“When are we getting the good news”
  • You look at all your friends who are parents and wonder if you’ve passed your age of becoming a parent
  • You cannot fathom how school kids these days join “I hate XYZ teacher groups on Facebook”, and dare to abuse the teachers publicly! Whatever happened to “Guru Sakshat Parambrahma”(Teacher is also a form of Lord himself) that you were taught when in school
  • You are the one person most sought after by your nieces and nephews for advice rather than their parents
  • Your nieces become your fashion consultants
  • You begin to detest your mirror cause it keeps showing the grey strands in your hair which multiply by the million every day
  • You are one of the people responsible for duties on family occasions and no longer the one helping out
  • You begin to prefer quiet nights at home vis-à-vis dinners/parties outside
  • You begin to re-assess your life and what can be done next
  • You wonder how most members in the Indian cricket team are younger to you
  • You begin worrying with the news of retirement of your favourite sports players – the ones who you grew up watching
  • You realize you have weight issues and wonder where did everyone disappear who told you that you were skinny and thin
  • You wish you had today’s wisdom to make the career choices yesterday
  • You struggle juggling the mobile, blackberry, laptop, netbook, PS3 and the known techie gadgets while your 7-year old nephew whizzes past them in a jiffy as if he has been handling them for years
  • You avoid adding your aunts or friends’ parents on your FB list not realizing the kids are doing the same to you since you are a friend/relative of their parents
  • You find it odd that kids these days spend their play hours watching TV or playing video games while all you did when you were a kid was avoid entering the house until absolutely necessary
  • You are surprised that the expletives you learnt when you were 18 are mouthed off by kids one-third your age
  • You realize you still have a lot of things to achieve that you had planned to by the time you would be 30
  • You start listing realization lists such as these and expect people to acknowledge the same
  • You finally accept you are getting old and decide that instead of brooding you are going to welcome this inevitable change in your life with a blast!

Battlefield Nagpur

The series is being touted as the Championship series where the current No.1 and No. 2 test sides in the world will be at their wits end to conquer each other.

However, both the sides are entering the series with their own share of troubles. India taking field without Dravid against a team with a fine pair of fast bowlers is like swimming in the seas without a life jacket. In the last decade Dravid has been not only the major contributor to her wins at home and abroad against the best sides but also been the best equipped in the team to tackle the pacers and put a prize on his wicket.

Adding to this setback is that Laxman is a doubtful starter which further aggravates India’s woes cause he is India’s big hundred man and the one who sets up the pace of the innings. Missing Yuvraj is no big deal , his performance in tests to say the least, is dismal. It’s time he makes way for the young blokes who are firing on the domestic scene. He is undoubtedly a great T20 and ODI player but I’ve seen him for the last decade and every single time he has failed to impress me as a test player. If you cannot play spin at home and tackle the fast bowlers abroad, you have a problem – he does not seem to have ever acknowledged that. Don’t tell me he never got enough opportunities with the middle order occupied by the big 4. Ganguly has retired for 15 months now and yet Yuvraj has not seized his opportunity. Compare this with Gambhir in the same period and you will understand what I mean.

South Africa on the other hand are struggling with the recent political mess in their cricket circle – resignation of their coach and sacking of the selection committee. Smith did not want this off-field turmoil on what happens to be one of the most important series of his career.

India does not enjoy a great record against SA – the only team they have not done well against in the last decade. SA also can be blamed for inconsistency – after a stupendous tour in Australia in 2008, they let go the advantage once the Aussies came to SA. They did not have a great test series against Eng recently either. A series which could have been 3-1 in their favour was eventually drawn level by the Poms at 1-1.

If Laxman does not make it tomorrow, India will probably field its weakest middle-order in a decade, a fact that SA’s brilliant two pacers Morkel and Steyn will look to exploit. However, if India play sensibly and weather the initial storm, SA does not have the spin attack to trouble India. If Abhishek Nayar and Pandey could destroy Harris and Botha, it should be easy pickings for Sachin and Co.

My bet is on Gambhir and Murali to take up Dravid’s responsibility. Gambhir needs no introduction – go to any cricket website and check out his performance in the last 15 months! The bloke is on a roll, what’s more is that he can transform his game as per the situation and need of the moment. So Sehwag can still go hammer and tongs and we will rely on the hope that Gambhir will see us through the day. The series gives Murali a good chance to cement his place. Of what I saw of him against SL he impressed me. Straight Bat, the bloke plays as straight as one can and exudes tremendous confidence. The future seems assured, I’m not the only one to put my money on him – most cricket fans I know (whom I’ve very high regard for in terms of their knowledge of the game) rate him high too. So let’s wait and watch.

Bowling still is a worry – Ishaant has to strike form and support Zaheer who is the only one who can run through the side right now. If the spinners don’t strike we are well looking for trouble.

SA has a fairly balanced batting order , each batsmen capable of turning the game on his own – The old war-horse Kallis, Boucher the danger man, Smith the backbone and the youngsters DeVilliers, Prince, Amla and Duminy. Their biggest weak point is the spin attack and if India gets it right, this could well be the reason for their loss in the series.

Unless India wins in SA we cannot tell who is the better side, but before that India needs to get this one right on their home ground. India are being proclaimed as the favourites in this series and that worries me. I’ve been watching cricket for last 18 years and I’ve a theory which is a proven fact – We do far better when we are underdogs, place the favourites tag on us and we are bound to fail or underperform. So I’m going to put SA as favourites in terms of their stable batting order and pace attack, and therefore if we draw the series we have done a good job.

I would love to see India win and will be cheering for them, but if you ask me where I’d put my money – I’d play safe and put in on a drawn result.

What about you?

The secret behind Calvin and Granger Gab…

Solilo brought up this interesting topic and it inspired me to get the rust off my blog that has been quiet for 7 days. My offline life has been too busy hence no blogging. In these busy times I’ve realised the importance of Twitter.

So here goes the secret behind my online identity i.e. my Gravataar

The pic is constant on my blog and twitter ids – I’ve not changed it since the inception of my blog. Calvin with a pencil in his mouth in a pondering mood – rare picture isn’t it ? Calvin, the hyperactive soul, sitting peacefully. Hyperactivity is my middle name, the only time I’m quiet is when I’m on this blog or rather my online world, but then again I’m chatting online! Calvin is my favourite character. According to me, he is a genius ( created by a genius too) whom no one appreciates:-) Secretly I wish that if I ever have a son, he should be like Calvin. He is a rebel, constantly questioning the norms – something I did all my life and drove my parents insane in that department. Of course I was no where close to the brat he is, though after reading his adventures I wish I was. Only child, imaginary friends – I empathize with the little bloke, and I identify with him! That picture on my blog reflects me completely – A million thoughts going on in my mind and very few that see the light of the paper, the only time I’m quiet for my offline folks. One of my favourite bloggers, Sujatha once told me, “My son( who is called little C after Calvin on her blog) is a huge C&H fan and whenever I see his C&H books I remember you!” I was most touched by her comment.

The name for the blog was easy. When everyone I knew from school read Harry Potter, each one of them called me up to tell me that Minal, damn it Hermione is you! Yeah there I was, geeky in school, always the first to finish her papers, well-read before the teacher commenced the topic and always the first one to raise her hand to answer a question! Non-stop chatter and sometimes a little high-handedness with my friends; I can imagine how they would’ve hated me in those times. Like Hermione I cared too much and still do, for my friends and loved ones. Like her I was never among the beautiful ones in my class ever. The geekiness went away in Engg. and MBA colleges – probably cause I met a lot more real nerds or geeks! I was bookish and not supremely talented in anything else, I would devour books, if anything caught my interest, the R&D on the subject would be done and completed till I knew the topic at the tip of my tongue. When I read Potter, Hermione Granger reminded me of my lost identity. She is my favourite – loyal, warm-hearted, a little snooty,  fearless, inquisitive, does not take nonsense and loves to talk! So that’s why the blog aptly titled Granger Gab

Now, only if someone had told me after watching the movie that you look like Emma Watson – that would’ve been the icing on the cake but sigh I don’t! Emma is a lovely, lovely girl! I’ll just take pride in the one dimple on my cheek I’m blessed with; thanks to my brother. When we were both aged 3 years, he crashed me into the corner of a table leading to a permanent dent now famous to others as the dimple on my cheek! I’ve not thanked him enough for that accident. What a gift he gave me unknowingly.

Solilo thanks for asking us the question and there you have my long answer! It would’ve been too long a comment and hence I thought a blog post would be better!

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