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5 / 5 for a movie called T20 World Cup Final

As they call it Fact is stranger than Fiction, T20 W C Final was no more than a Fiction -- a super hit movie in the making. It was one like the Truman’s Show or reality show as we call it.

Sept 24 Monday 12 GMT a low budget movie without stars "Sachin Rahul Saurav" called “T20 W C Final “released. The movie had huge promotion n publicity as it was INDIA vs. PAK. Directed by the umpires. scripted by “the rules of game”, well narrated by some good commentary team (without sivaramkrishnan and ranjit fernando ) comprising of 13 (11 + 2 ) character performing at a time on what is called cricket ground. The movie *ing Sreesanth, Yuvraj, Bhajji,Afridi, as the lead roles (crowd pullers). These really are characters "
नमूना" as they call so because they are attention seekers. The best part is hero and villain is chosen after the movie ends.

Movie had all the ingredients of a hit movie great script, great characters, item numbers i.e. dancers and even SRK (with 6 packs abs) as Special Appearance.

INDIA vs. PAKISTAN is always nail biting, exciting & pressure matches as we have just over half a billion people watching it as David Lloyd commented. Its a movie with lot of viewers. It’s said that in a final both the teams are at par, it’s only the team holds their never wins. It just Pakistan didn't held its nerve. It was ages since we had a seen a fighting final, generally it would be AUS thrashing the opposition. But this one was amazing because as it was decided in the 3rd ball of last over. It had best twists n turns much more than any Bollywood (if it has) or Hollywood movie had the best climax that wasn’t even scripted and couldn't be fixed by human. Only the almighty could have done this.

I am proud of watching this movie right from 5 am EST all the way till 9 EST, as another IND PAK W C final would be like Amir Khan movie once in blue moon. For both reaching final again, it means either defeating AUS ( SA and N Z will lose by themselves, they don't believe in finals) might happen in next century.

Started with Dhoni winning toss and rightly electing to bat, it’s the same old Wanderer’s Stadium where J Srinath played his last ODI and INDIA got thrashed, yea WC 2003 Final AUS 359. And S A chased 443 (50) creating history. Small boundaries 60 - meters and fairly flat pitch makes it a batting paradise. But it turned out to be a different pitch bit slow. INDIA started a final without 3 pillars S R S & on top shewag injured. Openers went off to a decent start, you could see pressure in the batsman’s face and their shots played. Quickly two down, and UV the start performer, great batsman, more importantly great entertainer comes. Amidst of all these action “Gambhir” was performing like a junior artist who gets paid hourly and not sure whether he would be picked for next movie. Yuvraj already had 2 Oscar nominee performances and got a Porsche 911 for his Full Monty. 6 sixes in 6 balls, (not sure whether some one had told him about the prize before). So it wasn't fair on his part to perform today. He ended skying the ball to Gul. Dhoni the next performer walks in.

Gul starts with beamer bouncer yorker and eliminates Dhoni. INDIA deep in trouble 4 down, left with Gambhir and Rohit in middle. The duo play decent cricketing shots and got a commanding total, well shot of the expectation. sharma Ji acted well like a new actor establishing himself, just like Shreyas Talpade. And score reached 157. This is first time INDIA have played well in a FINAL. Generally they mess it up, I reckon succumb to pressure or fear of not performing. PERFORMANCE is like a cycle you don't perform well because of the fear of not performing well.

R P bowled as he as done before and removed Md Hafeez, Momentum towards INDIA. Sreesanth made sure that movie cruises well, twists and turns happening, keeping the crowd interested, giving 21 in over and maiden the next. Sri Sri Sri Agarkar's absence wasn't felt Momentum pak. R P removed Akmal, suddenly Momentum towards INDIA.It was INDIA on top for a while and all of a sudden it was PAK top, shifting gears so fast. Much like the fights in old movies, first hero hits and then villain hits back both taking bit of pause and giving a stare. Hope you got the picture.

I Pathan picks up Yunis and afridi plays like a artist who hasn't be paid for a while and throws his wicket. Later 104 / 7 and momentum clearly towards INDIA. Dhoni already preparing the victory speech. Was about to leave thinking its the end of the movie. But first of the multiple climax starts, bhajji gets smacked for 3 sixes. Equation changes quickly momentum pak next over 2 more sixes from Tanvir. Star performer Sreesanth comes to rescue & picks Tanvir, & RP picks Gul, 9 down INDIA gain momentum.

Last over 13 required and jogi Ji comes to bowl, thinks of showing his acting skills, bowls a wide, & next full toss goes for a 6. Match & Momentum PAKISTAN. Malik now memorizing the victory speech. Sharma Ji bowls a short pitch to which Misbah tries to scoop it over fine leg. But due to lack of pace it just carries to Sreesanth who takes a clean catch to complete this movie.

Now its upto you to decide whose the hero and whose the villain.

Even Rajiv Masand (IBNLIVE critic) would have given a 5 / 5 to this movie and would have been INDIA's pick to Oscar instead of Ekalavya.

Second the biggest loser not really.

I am known to be punctual (not boasting it though) who doesn’t believe in stretchable time much. People who know me will agree with that and I make a point to not lose it.

On Wed 19th Sept we (NCA) had our flight to Atlanta from SFO at 8 am. So we decided to met at OFFICE at 6 am and then car pool to SFO airport. So I got up at 5 am (don’t remember last time when I woke up so early) and started by 5:30 as I decided not take the freeway (highway) which I was advised. My route to office 12.4 mile starts with a 25, 35, 45, 50, 35, 25, 20, and 30 as the respective speed limits on different roads. Ofcourse with 35 traffic signal on the way taking it 35 – 40 min. It is difficult to reduce speed quickly and yet not being hit by person behind you.

I was on 50 speed limit when I my friend called me about my status, told him 15 more mins at max. I had to speed up to reach in 15 min and at the same time the speed limit reached 35. Since it was quite dark, and not many on the road I decided to over speed and reach office, I had to maintain my punctual image. There was a Honda Accord guy who has similar plans. I was trying to match with him, it was camry behind accord all ways. It was NASSCAR or F1 race both going 45 – 50 on a 35 speed limit street, bumpy and curly roads reminded me Blore. At each signal owing to Accord’s instant pickup he would overtake me. I felt bad at each time, but was happy with smoothness of Camry (poor man’s Mercedes Benz).

Suddenly I saw a lot of flashing lights from behind, was still in sleepy mood, it took me a min to realize cops behind. Duck was the first word that occurred, then all 1,800 Gods order of remembrance, Allah and Jesus as well. “sankat mey Venkatraman“ was aptly applicable. As per the subhashitani “sam prapte sanhite kale nahi nahi rakshati dunkrai karne” good that java c++. Eclipse, JPS, AJAX, portlet didn’t popup from my mouth.

Getting a speeding ticket in less than 3 months of license meant nothing but increase in insurance premium plus couple of 100 $ loss and all the hassle. Just to compound that I still have INDIANA license even after 2 months of CA stay. All these leading to BIG trouble may be missing the flight to start with. I had remember Saurabh, Mandar,Vinit, and Pradeep all getting tickets. I thought its my turn now.

COP approached closer, light and sound right behind me. Suddenly my phone starts ringing and I answered C U in 10 mins. Taking on phone and driving in CA also leads to ticket, realized that soon, heart beating loud, 100 mph and sweating in AC. Just signal right and was about to pulled over to a safe street.

COP over took me and caught the Accord guy ahead of me.

Who says SECOND is the biggest loser.

Off the mark and Twently20 Cricket

Whenever we take a fresh guard i.e. start something we all start with " गणेशाय नामः ".

Back in INDIA we all hope that the festivals would be on weekdays preferably Fridays or Mondays so that we can make full use of so called long weekends. Things change a bit when we are in US; we hope that all the festivals are in weekends so that we can celebrate by going to temple or meeting friends.

My stint with tennis ball league started well on Ganesh's Birthday. I was called up for the match at 8 am which actually started by 9 (IST zindabad) a 20 over match, we put the opposition into bat. I always remember Sriram's dialog, "Manish 2 is less than 4". From that day I made a point to stand in close as my miss field would not cost more (2 < 4). But to my miss fortune captain placed me at the most important position on cricket here deep midwicket (as opposed to point in international cricket). So every time the bowler bowls short or down the leg side (which is quiet common as we come from Land of Prasad n Agarkar , we believe in bowling one side of the wicket and its leg side) my heart would beat faster. On one occasion the ball went high in the air and I shouted mine and ran towards the ball, kept my eyes focused on the ball and held on to one my best catches (some would claim "The only catch"). With the momentum taking me forward and dew not helping me either, I slipped and rolled on the ground but made sure that the ball was firmly held. We were given a total of 85 to chase in 20 overs. With the twenty20 fever catching up and the amount of runs they score making a mockery of run rates, it seemed like a simple task. But its not that easy here in tennis ball league , softball grounds would have mud and sand with in the 30 yards and huge grass covering in the rest of the field. Its like playing in overcast condition, with a seaming pitch, lots of cracks, and having a wet, soggy out field. If you manage to negotiate the movement and hit hard the light ball would not travel much and once it hits the ground it does not more forward. So its all about ones and twos and a rare boundary. So much in contrast with Twenty20. In the 15Th over I came to bat, my very first ball was short outside offstump, rocked back and played my favorite shot (Pradeep would claim " The only shot ") placed it past point for a single. Off the mark I was and looked towards heavens and thanked Lord Ganesh. Now I know what is getting off the mark is. I played a bit of pull , drives and nudges, and we had to accelerate our run rate, for some reason I remembered the slog sweep played by Steve Waugh. I was clean bowled playing across the line. Probably due to the slowness of the pitch or my wrong or no foot work. Finally we ended up losing the match by 9 runs.

In contrast; In twenty20 its the same 20 overs but you see radically different style of batting. With big hitting and frequent boundaries make a mockery of run rate. Harsh Bhogle had commented "redefine boundary". So what and why did twenty20 come to picture. In a ODI we enjoy only the first and last 10 overs. So why not make an event out if it, 3 matches a day, 3 hrs, 3 times more money without doing any thing.

Generally in ODI off the 10 over a bowler bowls he would have produced around 20 good balls. So its matter of producing those 24 bowls in a match nonstop. Its a testing time for bowlers and batsman as they have to give their best shot every time without respite. If you see the statistics its the good bowlers and good batsman that are more successful. So twenty20 is good in the interest of the game, just that is fast. People (bowlers) might claim that its too harsh of bowler (free hit rule) , almost flat tracks, fast outfields etc. But let me tell you cricket is a batsman's game,(ज़लीम दुनीया. ) nobody comes to see bowler bowl, they all enjoy batting and huge hitting. Tell me how many of us enjoy a low scoring match? or how many like a bowler rattling the top order? How many of switch off the T V when we see a score like 50/5 or 90/7 ? We start yelling at the batsman, not appreciating the bowlers!!

To succeed in twenty20 cricket one also need sound technique. Sloggers would be successful ones in a while, but its the technically sound batsman and quality bowlers who are willing to adjust survive and succeed . Its the same cricket but you don't respect some balls which you would have in ODI. Twenty20 is like driving on a highway, lot of fun, less time spent, more enjoyment. Good value for money, compounded with lot of risk (reaction time is less at high speeds) its all about comfort level. Sachin Saurav, Rahul didn't find it comfortable, neither am I finding it on freeways.

To drive in a freeways you need to be perfect in local roads, and by traveling in highways it wont affect your local road drive. Its all about willingness to adapt. So either you adapt and drive on highway or grumble and be rigid and drive like me on local roads.

What an analogy !!!!! what do u think?

Iss Raat Ki Subah नही -- इस रातकी सुबह नही

This post is not about the movie (Iss Raat Ki Subah नही )but an incident that will be remember for the next One Hundred Years. 15 th Jan 2007, the day I left INDIA after one month of vacation.

My फ्लिघ्त (British Airways) was at 6 am IST from Bangalore to Chicago via London. Reached Chicago at 6:30 Pm CST passing the security and immigration, picking my baggage I ran towards American Airline counter as it was my connecting flight to Indy. To my bad luck the flight got postponed from 7:30 to 8:15. I realized that I had to inform Pradeep about the flight delay. (He was supposed to pick me up from the airport, provided I get him a pack of Mysore Pak). I searched my pockets and carry bag to realize that I had no cell phone with me, it was packed with all the electronic item. Luckily I had some quarters (25 cent coins) in my bag and headed towards the phone booth. But alas didn't remember the phone numbers. Since I alway has cell phone with me, I never had to remember any numbers. (I felt like Ali Baba's brother who had forgotten the key word sesame). I remembered Sundar's phone number, and then got Pradeep's number. Told him that I might arrive Indy at 10:15 pm EST. [He was like are the Mysore Pak there ??].

Spent the next 30 min roaming in the airport and wondering when I would sleep peacefully on the bed. Suddenly my attention turned towards the TV showing the weather new there. Alert "Heavy snow storm in Chicago and Midwest". No sooner realized that my flight had been delayed by 30 more mins. So again called up Pradeep and he told that it was snowing in Indy as well. Then I just peeped through the airport window to see nothing but snow all around the airport. I had forgotten that it was Mid Jan and I was in countries most windy & snowy city. Another update flight delayed by 45 mins, would depart at 10:00 CST. Did not bother to call Pradeep this time.

By Gods grace 9:45 the boarding began, and at 9:55 all passengers were seated. I was so tired by then that I just slept in the flight even before the flight took off. 10:30 I suddenly woke up and heard the air hostess announcing that since there was heavy snow and storm, they were waiting for weather to get better. I fell asleep again.

Roughly 2 hrs later I suddenly got up as people were shouting & taking over the phone. Just peeped out of the window, the scene looked familiar, and more over Indy Airport was not that huge and there were too many lights around. Got kind of scared a bit, was hungry also by now as well as the last food intake was like 6 hrs ago. Weird thought going through my mind. Then heard the golden sweets words "WE REGRET TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE FLIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO BAD WEATHER " sorry for the inconvenience!!!. It took me 2 mins to realize that the flight had not taken off. We all came back to terminal.

There was a huge queue for rescheduling the flight. I got a 2:40 flight, was so happy that I would fly soon, then saw PM there (2:40 Pm next day afternoon). And since the cancellation was due to weather there would be no refund as well. But they would provide hotel at a discounted rate of $70. I thought rather than staying in Hotel its worth while travel to Indy by greyhound (Sundar's Idea!!!!). But could not make it as it would be too late and importantly it would be too dangerous. I began to feel hungry and felt I hadn't eaten for days. When stomach is empty brain doesn't function well.

Then I met a couple with a 2 yr old kid, Incidentally they flew with me from Bangalore. Then we decided to rent a car and drive back to Indy and the husband said he would drive the car. We came out of the airport to headed towards the rental shuttle, came the gusting wind at -20 C making me realize what winter was. It was 20C when I had left B,lore. Lucky for due to my shabby packing I had accidentally packed small winter jacket (enough to keep me alive) in my cabin bag. At 3 am we got the rental car and our journey to Indy (180 mile) began. I asked how comfortable was he driving in U S after driving in INDIA for a month. He said lets see while we drive. He had better sense of humor than me

2 hr later 5 am CST after we crossed Gary, IN we found a McDonald's ( it was 6 am in EST we had changed timezones) which had early morning breakfasts. We just gobbled couple of burgers, I felt like getting a second life. Driving was tuff as it was snowing heavily, reached home at 8:30 am. Ran towards to my bed and slept as if I had never slept before.

Got up at 1 pm and realized that my Two Checkin baggage were missing and my cell phone was in that as well. After contacting the baggage claim and giving the confirmation number got my 1st bag (which had Pradeep's Mysore Pak) the next day & after 2 days got the 2nd bag(which had my cell phone). From that day I make sure my cell phone is my pocket no matter where I go.

वाकई इस रातकी सुबह नही

Cricketing the Labour Day Week End

Long weekend (its either a Thursday - Friday or Monday holiday along with Sat and Sun) in U S are like Diwali and Dussera in INDIA, they are like festivals that people remember them more than they remember birthday. And the two mosts events associated with these are Sales and Travel. People plan a months in advance for these long weekends. As a long week approaches typical discussion topic would be what’s plans for long week end

I generally don't like traveling much (Believe me I haven't been to San Francisco yet which is 40 Miles from my place). I generally do shopping on these Week Ends. So I decided to at stay home and lazy around.

I wonder why people bring Lunch on Fridays; they are all off by 3 pm anyways and start talking about the week end from Noon. Well when it’s a Long week end it starts from 2pm. I generally have deadly Fridays, I always get some work around 4 pm which takes like couple of hrs.

It was 5 pm Friday evening as serene as a grave yard in my office. I was typically on headphone & doing some programming stuffs, suddenly I overheard the divine term "CRICKET" in my office for the first time in 8 week. I couldn't resist myself and actually ran towards it. Two Desi's were discussing about it and I unceremoniously interrupted them and asked whether there any cricket club around. To my fortune I was talking to the Vice Captain of the team SyndicateCC playing for cricbay league ( hard tennis ball game). On his guidance I registered to the team and by 8 Pm captain gave me a call for a practice match before the winter season begins. It was more satisfying than getting a call for the National Squad.

On saturday 8 pm (7:30 was the scheduled time IST applies even in U S) 5 player assembled at the Cupertino Middle School ground (Baseball ground), It was SyndicateCC 's home ground as they call it. Typically cricket is played in Baseball grounds with the muddy area serving the Pitch and 30 yard circle. The nice part of these grounds is that they are not similar in structure or shape. Some have long Leg sides and some have no offsides, some have shorter straight boundaries, some have huge grass overing and some have mud every where. So home advantage is always there so much like the International grounds. So you got to adjust your game very quickly.

I introduced myself to the team and was told that I was the youngest member in the team. (They expected me to agile and nimble footed). Typically 3 stumps at one end were pitched and before I took 22 foot steps, out came the measuring tape (after all professional cricket). It was more net practice for the next 90 mins. No sooner I realized that it’s a different ball game when playing in muddy surfaces, ball skids, bounces, cuts, spins a lot more than you expect. Having played in flat batting beauties (Law School Ground and Library/Physics grounds) adjusting to this conditions was a bit tuff initially. Realized why INDIA fails miserably overseas. For the first time in my life I enjoyed bowling more that batting. Got used to what is called rough outside off /leg stump, realized what footwork is all about, and the importance of taking singles. Because we have long boundaries, wind factor and thick out field.

Another team who wanted to play a friendly match with us came in. Typical introduction Mahesh Oracle, Rajesh Deloitte, blab blah, and again I was the youngest player. Match started and typical gully cricket rules, non-strike/keeper will be the umpires. There was lot of heated debates on wides and over the shoulder's no balls. Typically claims "It’s on borderline not a wide" by the bowler. "You stepped out so no no-ball". On couple of occasions it reminded me Pradeep's famous arguments "Its wok Its wok Its not wide" when was in bowling team. Even though these people are in mid 30's and are all s/w professionals they all have josh or spirit of a teenager. My captain in pursuit of quick single run himself out, later he said "Manish our mind is in 20's but body's in 30's. And when the bowler over steps (no ball) the captain comes to rescue, "We did not give it when you were bowling! so no overstep no-balls". I wondered why he used measuring tape in the first place.

Finally I was asked to bowl that last over with 17 required, golden memories of Munaf, Agarkar, haunted me; by God's grace it we won by 14 runs. There came the suggestion from the captain "Manish try bowling some yorkers in the next match. No sooner the match ended they began to get calls from their Home Ministers they all were jealous that I was single.

For the next 3 days I was nursing my body pains sleeping and taking painkillers, seemed like I had inherited all the injuries player suffer, shoulder, ankle , heel, back, hamstring, calf , thigh, groin etc. Now I have a reason to exercise and stay fit, "Keep my position in the team"

This was my best long week so far enjoyed it my way.

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