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Open Letter to Saurav Ganguly

Date 10/15/2008,

Dear Saurav Ganguly

I was kind of surprised when you announced your retirement from Test cricket, from a person known for his never give up attitude, voluntary retirement came as surprise to most of us. Even though some believe it is a deal the with the selection board. But hey, you thereby join the group of elite cricketers who have announced their retirement before the series began or before they were dropped.

Your career started badly after you rejected to offer water as a 12th man in 1992, then debut century at lords, followed by a 136 at Trent Bridge put you in the league of elite cricketers. Your ability to hit spinner especially slow left armers out of the ground made you a remarkable player of spin. Coupled with elegant off drives and Prince of Calcutta got tagged. You never took quick singles but made it up with elegant boundaries. You always played second fiddle to Aila or Jam therefore never got the recognition that you deserved. There were various innings where you played well but the 144 at Brisbane was truly a remarkable innings I must confess.

Cricket is a game of numbers and you lacked the right ones. You never scored big hundreds to make any impact in Test cricket. Close to 7000 runs, 15 hundreds at an average of 41 from 110 Test so far make you an average Test cricketer, and a flawed technique to play the short ball, which was always exploited by the fast bowlers, added to your woes. "Ganguly greeted with a bouncer" became synonymous with you. I felt bad when mediocre bowlers tried to exploit that as well. Later on you did come up with an ugly pull or swivel shot to counter that. You never had that elegance but had what it required staying at the crease, determination and willingness to prove people wrong.

Though you were a safe catcher, being a bad out fielder and the ability to escort the ball to the boundary never made you bowler’s favorite, trust me I have been there. These things got highlighted when the right numbers didn’t come when required. This was also one of the reasons why Yuvraj always felt he had a shot at your spot. But you did well to keep him at bay; or rather he kept himself away. You were a good bowler when you started but never really took it seriously.

You are India’s most successful Test captain, taking over captaincy from Aila in February 2000 you made this new Indian team, you brought these killer instincts to this team. On why the ‘huddle’ was invented during the World Cup. You brought a hard edge to the team, most famously by standing up to cricket's playground bullies Nasser Hussain and Steve Waugh. Jam and Jumbo are reaping what you sowed. Your Captaincy record 49 Tests from 2000 until 2005, winning 43 percent, although take away the victories over Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and this success fall to 30 percent which is far better than the next captain, in your era we saw more wins than draws.

Now you just need 39 runs to complete 7,000 runs in Test cricket, but the onus and media focus is on Aila who has taken up a 5 Test plan to break Lara’s record. Hope Mohali ground proves good for both of you.

Don't feel sad about leaving the so called "fab four" team, Jam and Aila will soon follow, I have their send off letters written as well. Once again thank you for serving the INDIAN cricket for 12 long years and entertaining us. Indian cricket owes a lot to you Dada.

Your Fan

Legend: Aila - Sachin Tendulakar
Jam - Rahul Dravid

Cricket Vs Olympics

Sports Minister M S Gill asks P Gopichand, ‘Who are you?’. Apparently this made a big headline couple of days ago. I would empathize with Mr Gill, as I would have asked the same question hadn't I had the habit of google'ng people’s name. FYI P Gopichand is 2001 All England Badminton Champion only after Prakash Padukone (yes now famous father of Deepika Padukone). He is also the National Badminton Coach, to Saina Nehwal.

Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar and Vijender Kumar have made INDIA proud no doubt, probably would have gone unnoticed, but for their medals. Forget about recognizing them in public how many of us would remember them a month later. How many of us know the rules about shooting or boxing or weight lifting? Sorry to say but unfortunately they are born in the wrong era or wrong country. I only remember Karnam malleswari(weightlifting) and Rajyavardhan Rathore(shooting) during Olympics and hope some day some how, an athletes would do a PT Usha or Mikha Singh act.

Now that's a lot of alien names in country where cricket is religion and sachin is GOD. We have grown on watching kapil, gavaskar, sachin and now dhoni entertaining us to the core. Discussion about cricket and cricketer's name falls in our comfort zone. We would rather talk about dravid's back foot than leander’s back hand. We can talk hours write articles about them for pages about their records, statistics, and their life. We always want to attain kapil's passion, gavaskar's concentration, sachin's application and dhoni's daredevil attitude don’t we? We would criticize ganguly for his fielding never would we appreciate an athlete for his efforts. We would struggle to name 11 all time great non cricketers’s but would pen down the 11 for the next ODI.

Why would ambani, mallya or srk invest in IPL franchise? Why would a Subash Goel create ICL against BCCI? why not other sports? In the current age where ever thing is business, cricket sells and business men are no philanthropists. Cricket generates revenue and hence gets the prime importance be it on TV or Paper.As they say “paisa bolta hai”.
Media also has a lot of effect on our thinking process, they have elated and highlighted cricket to such an extent that it has been inculcated in our blood. In a country where cricket sells, cricketers are projected as macho men; heroines would pose with yuvi or dhoni rather than with paes or gopichand. Even though the later have achieved a lot more than the former.

As Bishen Singh Bedi wrote "We are a confused nation when it comes to sports". I truly agree with him.

Just to conclude read this article.
Can India host olympics ?


Shande of fame brought up a nice post on Independence Status Messages about how status messages varied from person to person living in and out of INDIA.

When I was young, the only day I thought about "PATRIOTISM" or the feeling of being an INDIAN was on 15 Aug. Listening to "Hai Mere Watan Ke Logo" by Lata Mangeshkar or "Mere Desh ki Dharti". Watching the parade on TV, the hoisting of tricolor, eating chocolates and sweets and ofcourse idly vada for breakfast etc. I thought patriotism was only sacrificing once's life for the country as the jawans do. This was how we were taught in school isn't it?

In 6th sem File Structure class, lecturer mentioned about author Raghuram Krishan, using INDIAN names in his examples and mentioned about he being PATRIOTIC. I never got it.In WC2003 Sachin in his Man Of Match award interview said, "INDIA has never lost to PAKISTAN in WC". My friend said 'look at his patriotism’; I had a question mark on my face.The way my friend Yashas patriotically talk about how good Indian Army was, or how good INDIAN scientists were always puzzled me.

All these things made sense to me when I came to US for my Master's. I began to follow more and more about INDIAN news, movies, and Kannada movies to be precise. All the bomb blasts and road accidents touched my heart. Any news involving an INDIAN name in global market like L Mittal, I Nooyi, S Jha etc would make me feel great and privileged. Finding an INDIAN in top official names in my company always made me feel good.

Now can some one tell me if this is PATRIOTISM or just DESIGIRI as some would claim?

Probably you express things a lot more when you away from you home conditions,

Only a James Anderson can appreciate when the ball swings and gets an outside edge in the flat sub continent pitches.

My stint with Alcohol

All my student life I never had friends who boozed, don't know whether it was a good thing or I was missing a lot of stuffs. So my knowledge of alcohol was all from millions of movies that I watched. Its a rare thing that hailing from Bengaluru the pub city, or the beer city, to have not tasted alcohol all my life. It wasn't my choice, it actually never happened. Still remember the statement my co-worker had made "U from Bangalore & U don't drink, some religious problems". I had no answers when some asked why I didn't drink, nor was it a religious concern , as it was never "part of deal" my caste. I always give a simple answer I don't know. But among friends at work I was called the good guy because I didn't drink, also would be the legal driver when every one else were drunk. So was kind of enjoying the good guy status.

When it comes to alcohol, I realized that I do have 2 voices in my head which give me 2 totally orthogonal views. One says

"never come close to alcohol dude, drink orange juice instead " other says

"give it a try, be a man; its not a sin if you drink, you only live once blah blah...".

Some how I kept listening to the former until one fine day "be a man" thing actually struck me. For the first time I sipped red wine, it was bitter, reminded me of the Iron flavored acid rain that I had tasted in Bhadravati (Iron and Steel city).One sip and already some many thoughts lingering in my mind, I looked at the wine glass, the color looked so nice and serene, expected it be a lot sweeter, logically speaking there are no takers for bad food, but it was different in this case. I still wonder how Whiskey or Brandy might taste, if wine was considered to be mild.

While I was struggling for the next 1 hr to finish this thing, my friend came gave me a cheer "way to go Manish, be a man", it was now more a ego question than any thing else, finally I finished my first glass of wine. After dinner I have classic coke, and dam it tasted so good, it was like an anti dote for the wine. Then I realized why alcohol is called acquired taste, you need to drink a number of times to like it. On six to seven occasions,on different locations I drank both white and red wine struggled each time. Tried wine with coke, wine with salt, wine with sugar, wine with orange juice. None of them tasted better than apple cedar or cranberry juice, or even coke. To acquire the taste of alcohol one needs to drink it more often, which actually makes you a drinker. Its like the rail road paradox.

My take is better to be safe y not drinking rather than be sorry after drinking. Post your view on alcohol.

My CRICKET in Sub Continent n Over Seas

When I was a kid I thought that I was a great cricket fan because I used to play till the street lights turned on, that I used to watch and support it even during exams. And that I used to remember the scores better than the poems, and that I played cricket during the gap that we had b/w our exams.

When I moved to Bangalore for my BE @ SMYS hostel I realized that I am one among cricket enthusiast who lived on cricket. I still remember how we all glued to the screen to watch laxman's 281, INDIA's historic win at Kolkata completely forgetting our Exams. We even had postponed the evening prayers and dinner during the day and night games. I still can't forget the quadrangle where we played indoor "pitch catch cricket" under flood lights after our evening games. Can't forget Mar 23rd, WC 2003 finals where we had painted Saffron White n Green on our face and body, which was washed right after the 1st innings. And the buckets and plates which were used as our drum beats. I can’t forget the response one of our guyz had given the maternity hospital nurses when complained. "Aunty don't worry sachin nantha magu huttute" --translated as "aunty don't worry your son would be like sachin". That is how we were crazy abt cricket.

After BE I thought that cricket would gradually fade away as people would mature become more responsible and do more sophisticated things than playing cricket. But life had different plans for me, when I moved to IISc for my job as R & D assistant, my cricketing career blossomed. I played more cricket than I worked, played serious cricket every day.

When finally when I was US bound I remember sudhir s sadly telling me that my cricketing career was over, it haunted me during the flight. On reaching River Pointe Apt, Indy I saw bunch of guyz playing cricket in tennis court. My joy grew no bounds as I never had dreamt of playing cricket again. There I met Saurab, who remembered the name of cricket tournament, date, venue and how batsman got out, "chalta-firtha cricinfo" and Mandar who was doing a double Phd Science and Cricket, who used to give LBW decisions even before the umpires did. I still remember watching 2005 ashes with him at 4 am and mandar’s comments “sala tera naseeb dekh US aate hi ashes dekh raha hai”.

At Indy we played at 4 degree C, wearing gloves, cap and sweatshirts, still remember mandar words, "chal sirf ek degree hai khel tee hai". And during snow fall we played indoor cricket at apt 131 successfully breaking 2 lamps. After playing final match together we all departed to different directions literally. Now in bay area after playing for cricbay I have come to conclusion that cricket is a lot bigger than I thought, there are more cricket enthusiast than me. Player in mid 30's (no offenses here) are more active and involved than me.

So far cricket has followed me like my shadow, hope it follows me a long way, just like the saying It's not the age it's the mileage that counts. Hope my mileage increases with life.


The last time when I heard about this senior junior saga was when I just moved to bangalore for my BE at PESIT. Friends and Relatives had told me a lot of senior-junior tussle and ragging stuffs, and I was really scared about that. But fortunately for us it never existed in PESIT. It was ragging free campus where, if I can remember seniors were scared for junior. Much like in the current INDIAN team. :) I never spoke any senior for the first 6 months rather other way round. But I had enough ragging in SMYS hostel which I can't forget. Nor any one in our batch can. Lets come back to main topic--Getting Old

There is a saying "Never ask Man's Salary and Women's Age", just to add that never ask Cricketer's age, which apparently has struck the INDIAN cricket, ask Dravid and Ganguly. So called "Veteran" is now a malign term, which one wants to get attached. Just before the disaster WC 07, there were talks about who will fit into "seniors" shoes, who will replace them. But post-Tic20 (T20) WC things have changed dramatically. Bunch of teenagers are giving seniors a "run for their money" literally. Apart from Bhisma Pitamah (chubby faced sachin) every one is under scanner. Kumble had been rested more than he played for 4 years since 03 WC and he finally gave up after 07 WC.

If this saga continues then we would have 30 as the new 40, on his 30th birthday cricketer would miss a heart beat, would start counting his days in INDIAN cricket. Then he would start hiding his age, like how women do. In any field having experience is very important, but the problem with exp is age factor. There is a +ve correlation with exp and age. No sooner he gains exp he would lose out the age factor. The records factor in terms of matches played or runs scored would be out of question.

Well may be doors for ICL or IPL would open, player would play for INDIA get exp and then move to IPL if they are young or ICL if they are too old.

Well done Mr M S Dhoni, well done you are taking INDIA to the right level, and b/w what's u r age 26 years 258 days or shall I call it 27. Hmmm getting close to 30 ha. Sorry

Staying alive

Back in Indy where we 4 shared 2 bed room apt, shared groceries, cooked for 4, once in 4 days, followed a cooking roaster. We also followed the a strict schedule or time table as so what time food should be ready for dinner. Delay in cooking dinner or error in the food that is prepared, would make the night of other 3 miserable. Cooking for 4 was almost like cooking in a dharamshala. I treated it like a prayog shala, a tesing lab, testing out your new recipes. And since every one would be hungry eventually would gallop what ever is cooked.

Since you literally cook once a week one never really felt the pain of cooking, I actually enjoyed it throughly. Actually I don't remember cooking any thing apart from the trade mark sambar, which was a major hit. Just changed the vegetables every time. The best part was extending it to 5 persons in case was the easiest. Person's mood could be easily determined in the food that he has cooked is cooked.

Staying/cooking alone in CA for 7 months I have learn't and followed certain rules and certain theories. Hope any of them makes sense.

[1] You are the client and you are the server. You set the functional requirements and you do the Quality Assurance.
[2] Polymorphism is the key, cook meal that exists in different forms. Ideally dal is a dish which goes with either rice or chapati or dosa, or bread.
[3] Always remember 5 lunch meals rule, thats your minimum target. This the min number dibbas that is required to complete a week.
[4] Have fortitude(fore thought) when you cook, it's not how well it tastes, but how many meals it serves. Whats the point of cooking for 30 min and you realize that is lasted for only one meal. What a waste of man power and resources.
[5] No matter how long it takes to cook, it takes same time to digest and assimilate.
[6] Food stays only 3 mins in mouth but 3 hrs in stomach. Satisfying your stomach's requirement is the key. Mouth is just like a browser, a point of entry, major compilation is done back in the stomach.

If all these make no sense and feels too stupid and seems as an epitome of laziness then ---
Remember --- when you come from office exhausted and hungry and very fact that you don't need to cook becoz the stored food is ready to eat, that moment says it all.

Staying Alone rephrased as Staying Alive.
Remember Bee Gees songs
And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin' alive.

Belt Deja Vu

Studying in PESIT school (college) we were one of the few privileged young bunch of Pre-Software Engineers who apart from carrying Id cards had to wear a belt around the neck along with the Id card, much like the software eng wore. The Irony of this was that the belt had more importance than the Id card itself, as the gate keeper wouldn't allow you in without the Belt.

Imagine getting up early at 6:45 get ready, have break fast, catch the bus, constantly sniff for bus numbered 43c or 43 d (these buses went upto the college campuses rest left us with 1 km of walk). As soon as u r see it, devise strategies as to which at which 'bus stop' would be the best for getting into the dream bus. (43c or 43d). Once you get onto these buses you are assured to reach the campus before deadline 8:15. Once you come close to college you realize that you have forgotten to bring the Id card and belt. Now devise strategies for getting into the college.

The best strategies that we had was separating ID and Belt. One person wears the belt around his neck and tucks the other part in the breast pocket. Other person the owner of the card would carry card and directly approach the gate keeper saying that his belt was damaged and he need to get a new one. Some times seeing the honestly the gate keeper would leave us in.

Years passed and until recently there was an order in our office that all employees had to wear belt and Id around their neck. But fortunately and sensibly the ID card has more preference than the stupid belt. And if you forget you belt, you could get a temporary one for the day. The real reason for the belt was to differentiate b/w Permanent , Contractors and Visitors who have Purple ,Yellow and Red Color belts respectively.

The receptionist and I had a big laugh when I told her about the belt incident in school.

My Obsession with Analogy

Continuing the "My Obsession series"--
People who have read my blogs have told that I am good when it comes to analogies, one of my friend went a step further & told that " Manish+Analogy=Manology", I felt extremely honored. Till date I knew that I had good sense of Humor, now I have good sense of Analogy. Lets see how it goes.

Entering I-101 highway during peek hrs is like middle order batsman enters at 60 / 3 in 21th over. With Murli and Jayasurya bowling with close in fielder.Things move very slowly, playing the ball in the gaps is difficult, you find fielders every time, i.e bumper to bumper traffic, tough to find space to over take. Overs and time pass quickly runs hard to come.i.e time and gas (fuel) pass quickly miles hard to cover.

You can soon sense batsman or i.e car drivers talking risks in order to get that extra yard, some times moving left,some times moving right, they start changing gears frequently. Both need to chill out either take a drinks break for or switch on the music. Both trying their best to reach their destination quickly and safely, with frustration being the common denominator. When the bowling or i.e traffic eases both of them would step on the gas pedal. Runs and Miles pass by easily n quickly,both drive their way to the destination.

Finally Both say Home Sweet Home

My Obsession with Cricket

Back in High school I was becoming a cricket addict, and was taking it far more seriously than I should have. It had started affecting my studies, my thought process and life as well. I used to play Twenty20 (20 mins) wall cricket throwing the ball onto the wall and then play on the rebound. I had batting / bowling options of left and right, I even had running commentary. That was how much I was obsessed with CRICKET.

Taking a step further, I had visualized my SSLC (10th std) like an ODI, first 2 months of my tuitions (crash course as it was called) was the 15 over field restriction. I had to make most out of the reading in short time. It would give me good foundations for the middle over (when school starts). Also last 2 months before the exams were like slog overs. A lot depends on the how much you make out of it. Having good start and good middle overs makes a lot of difference towards the end. In the end good finish is what matters.

As years passed on my obsession with cricket has increased 2 fold now. I always believed that current INDIAN team depicts the hidden characters in us. Just take a look.

Just like our INDIAN team we all have starting problems (OPENERs), once some thing is triggered we all function well. There is always a sachin in us; hungry for records and yet deny it. Flamboyance and happy go lucky nature is always in us as in sehwag. Just like laxman and gambhir need to prove their talent every single day, we too fall in this situation sometimes. We all have that arrogance n elegance yuvraj possesses and talk more work less dhoni in us comes out sometimes. We all perform well in the nets, like ganguly. Some times we do exhibit the sreeshant in us, donno where / when exactly to show aggression. We do exhibit dual nature in life like dravid's batting in test and ODI. Finally we all need to bring out the gentlemen n statesmen kumble in us. Know what is important in life and stay focussed.

Let me know if u don't agree with any of these .

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar

In movies Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar & Mukaddar ka Sikandar are one & the same, lets see how it happens in this Zalim real word. Yes you guessed it right Sydney Test. After lot of twists n turns both in the match and after the here is what I have come up with. who was the Jeeta Wohi Sikandar" & ka Sikandar --- Lets see.

People will remember this Aamir Khan starer "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar" where hero wins the bike (bicycle) race against all the odds, and emerges out as a true bollywood hero. Kumble almost did a Aamir act, but probably Sydney test was the real life version with real life ending. One of the main reasons why INDIA fail to win test matches is this mentality "I have already played in first innings, why should i play again ? How many times should I save the test myself? etc etc".

In the end of the day Aussies emerged as the Sikander. -- Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar--

Of course the focus from Umpiring Errors (which cost INDIA the match) was shifted to Monkey business. May be in aussie land remembering your ancestor is considered racial. ICC made the decision based on hearing the 2 orthogonal stories from the teams. Aussies did what exactly a successful director does to his audience,(c**t**a bana) i.e conveniences the audiences his story. Eventually ICC like an audience nodded his head n accepted what was told. Aussies were the Mukaddar ka Sikandar --

Just as a counter argument INDIAN's did file a case against Brad Hogg for using b****d word & thereby trying win the Lost battle (Haari Hui Hi Baazi). Along with that BCCI threatened to pull of the series thereby showing who the real "Sikandar" is when Mukaddar is $$.

Finally Kumble does the Munna Bhai's Gandhigiri act stating "Cricket is larger than Individuals" & decides to withdraw charges against Brad Hogg. By doing this Kumble might have increased his Gentlemen count, thereby ended up being the real Mukaddar ka Sikandar.

शायद हार के जितने वाले को बाजीगर कहते है ---
Shayad haar ke jitne wale ko baazigar kehte hai..........Baazigar ------

Top 10 flop movies that i liked

As the year 2007 is now in History I thought of looking back at it especially from Bollywood point of view.B/w 1200x1024 is my new Year resolution. Let me know if you ahve figured it.

The real inspiration for me to write was IBN live and Rajeev Masand's show of 10 worst and best movies of the year. Though not paid for it I do go through the same torture a movie reviewer go through. Just like "Download and Keep" n "Download and Delete" protocols applied to emails I apply this to movies. Owing to space and time constrains I am listing out 10 flop movies of the year and their plot and what I liked in them. After reading this I don't want the readers to come to any conclusion about my mental psyche (as Aamir Sohail describes). All these are flop movies, would be surprised if any one has seen them. I saw them after the reading the reviews.

Movie Positives
Aggar-- Different Plot,Udita looks good, can't act

Chhodon Naa Yaar --Believable Plot, Jimmy's acting
Dil Dosti Etc -- Nice college politics, Shreyas Talpade's acting is good

Dus Kahaniyan -- 4 of the 10 stories were just too good, nice climaxes.
Fool N Final -- Paresh Rawal, good dialogues

Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee -- Different flavours of happiness Power,Paisa,Fame,Love,Popularity, displayed.
Manorama Six Feet -- Under Different Plot, Vinay Pathak is too good.
Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar -- Sweet Love story, Quite believable story
No Smoking -- Best torture movie I have ever seen. Hope this is applied to smokers.
Naqaab -- Good Music,nice plot of making a REAL movie. reality movie.

What do think about these movie Shall I keep them or delete them. By the way I haven’t spent a cent on them.

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