Tuesday, June 29, 2010


They sit around a table
reading each other
they look at their cards
a smirk here, a frown there
others just pokerface

You think you have a strong hand
But is it strong enough?
It is all relative
pocket aces can ruin you
Unsuited 2&5 can make your day

A pre flop raise takes place
some1 folds, some1 does a re-raise
Flop,turn,river,heads up
The bleeding warrior comes all in
Matched,bluff caught, go home!

An alarm rings at 5
enough they say
2 more hands, a proposition comes
a few all ins & buy ins later
Poker stays awake

Monday, June 28, 2010


Pressure can do two things to you-make you perform better or destroy you. Destruction is what has been happening with the England football team for a long time now. Put Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard, Terry, Ashley Cole in the same club and they will give you great results day in day out. But what England did in South Africa was not great rather no where near it.

England came into the tournament as a cetainity for Quarters with the kind of draw they had got. Fabio Capello had infact gone on record saying that anything less than the final would be an under performance. I, at that time agreed with Don Fab based on the Qualifying campaign England had where they performed with class and dominance overcoming the dissapointment of not having qualified for Euro 2008. England had infact ripped apart their nemesis in the Euro Campaign, Croatia, in both their qualifying matches. It seemed as if Fabio Capello had finally turned a group of world class players into a World Class team. But, the way England started the campaign put serious doubts over that claim. England were unlucky that they conceded a freakish goal against USA but the fact is they werent outrightly the best side on the field that day nor were they when couldnt score a single goal against minnows Algeria. The team finally showed some passion against Slovenia when they were in a do or die game but until the moment Defoe scored, England looked highly uncertain on the field which is never the case with any great team. But they seemed to have found a new will after that goal when things started to move and move swiftly.

Based on that one average performance, England made it through to the next round where because of their below par overall performance in the group round they had to face their perennial rivals, Germany- a team who also were missing their captain-Ballack but not the way England missed their's-Ferdinand. Germany made a mockery of the Endland defence and went on to win 4-1. England supporters can claim that had the linesman not made one of the worst decisions in recent times, things would have been different. But is that true? Agreed that England looked an altogether different side in the last 15 minutes of the first half. But that doesnt make up for the poor defensive performance. I have now followed England passionately for the last 3 world cups. England were underschievers then also but atleat they gave worthy performances. Those were the days when England were said to have the best defence and the best midfield, they were just missing good strikers and a good goalkeeper( David Seaman would have to live with the blunder). This time, they had NOTHING. If I reflect upon the performances of all England players, I think Ashley Cole was the only player who can say he performed well. Players like Rooney, Gerrard & Lampard showed that "What's there in the name?"

I dont think this pathetic performace can be explained by any other reason but the disability of the Eneglish players to play in crunch matches for their nations. Look at teams like Uruaguay, Slovakia & Paraguay. They dont have a single player who can compete with any of the English "greats" but they had the passion and brought out their best when it mattered the most. The Lampards and the Rooneys I feel are content with the salaries they earn at their clubs. In 2006, Beckham was dropped after having scored a match winning goal and having set up two on the way to Quarter Finals. A player who made up for the limited skill by immense passion for his country was dropped to take the "team" in a new direction. Will Rooney or Lampard be dropped this time? Or does the so called "skill" totally outweigh passion and the will to perform?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DCET v/s IIM Indore

Each place is unique
Change how you look at it and the perception will change

Having spent 4 years at Department of Chemical Engineering & Technology, Panjab University,Chandigarh & now a year at Indian Institute of Management, Indore has made me realise how each institute has its own unique characteristics. I am not playing one against the other though it may seem so from the title. Just pointing the differences

1. Chandigarh is Chandigarh, Indore is Indore. Need I say more

2. The first and the foremost difference(which i think the entire PU community can relate with) between the two institutes is the attendance criteria followed. Though OFFICIALLY we were supposed to have 75% attendance at DCET, I know how many times people sat for exams having attended about 10% classes. IIM Indore on the other hand makes me attend 100% classes, almost :) Believe me, it was no easy task shifting from 10% to 100%

3. Something that I found a bit amusing was the IOCL
! IOCL was a dream placement for anyone at DCET or so shall be the case with any chemical engineering institute across India but IOCL wont attract a lot of "interested" candidates at any good B-School and the same is the case with IIMI. Ofcourse MBA n Chemical Engineering are different ball games altogether, I am just talking about the irony.

4. An IIM has a lot of advantages but it just cant match the Panjab University elections. IIM Indore has its SAC elections but they are no where near what a SOPU vs PUSU is. Oh my, that was an experience in itself especially if you were so closely involved :)

5. Ok, DCET may not be in a position to claim that the best girls in campus are in DCET but believe me, it wasn't that bad either. Come here and your views may change a bit. I anyhow can't complain about DCET, I did find a gud one :) Anyways, StuC was always at a walking distance. No offence to the girls out here, IIMI girls "can claim" to be more intelligent just because they are here. I know a lot of fellows from IIMI will seriously contest this claim :)

6. I think there were just a handful of movies that I saw during day time at DCET. We made it a point to go for the last show there could be but now with the 11:30 curfew, no late night shows are possible :(

7. Though I myself was not quite regular in classes at PU but sometimes I did and that felt like the biggest mistake during summers as electricity was missing most of the times. Here on the other hand, I dont mind attending classes with the air conditioned classrooms. One can enjoy the "chaen ki neend" for those 75 mins

8. Though almost no one attended the classes, the department was our favourite hangout. We just killed time sitting in the parking. Here, despite attending all the classes, no one ever "hangs out" in the academic block

9. This one holds true for Chandigarh in general. The BMWs n Audis n Mercs always made you turn around and take notice, besides the ladies ofcourse. I cant remember having seen any of these cars in Indore. Indoris may be modest but who likes modest!

10. Last but not the least, at DCET, I was a junior to Puneet Rooprai, Abhishek Verma & Heramb Balvalli among others.But, a question to dese 3-How do you like the change of fortune PGP1's :)

A lot of friends have read this blog and given their valuable suggestions. Some of them I cant incorporate because some things are better left to experience and some better untold but the rest I will put down.Special mention to Nikhil Sharma, Abhishek Verma, Prateek Mahajan, Arjun Moudgill, Jaskirat Singh & Abhishek Upmanyu

11. Panjab University hostels were generally filled with echos of punjabi abuses whereas out here it is quite different. People abuse in dere own languages which we don't even understand but sadly our punjabi #@#%#$%@R@ have become so famous/infamous that we can't get away that easily.

12. Though I have already mentioned how Chandigarh just stands out but one thing that I just havent got used to till now is the stark difference in the roads of the two cities. Chandigarh on one hand is a driver's paradise, Indore on the other is a nightmare.

13. CCD, Barista, Bakes n Beans, Java Daves, KFC, Nik Bakers..... were regular hangouts as they were maybe a 5 minute drive from DCET but now living 25 kms from the city which anyway has only CCD n Barista from the above list is a huge let down.

14. Come 14 Feb and Panjab University becomes the place to be(not that it is otherwise not but 14 Feb is in a league of its own). Guys maroaing gedis with their cars decorated with baloons n what not, girls dressed to kill and the celebrations at StuC. It is aweeee-wait for it-some. I remember having anchored a Valentine's bash and don't know many messages from secret admirers I delivered. In IIM Indore, 216 guys 24 girls and read point 5 :)

P.S.- IIM Indore is a great place and has its own advantages which DCET cant match, which will require another blog I think :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raavan-a 140 minute promotional video for Kerala tourism

Hearing "Ranjha Ranjha","Behne De" and "Beera beera" over the past couple of months had me waiting anxiously for the release of Raavan. But, as almost all Emraan Hashmi starrers prove, Good music doesn't guarantee a good movie.Falling in the same category, Raavan was a huge dissapoinment despite top-class music. When the movie reads "Directed by:- Mani Ratnam", it takes your expectations to a new high. Afterall, the same director has given us Guru, Yuva & Dil Se (apart from all the South Indian classics) in the past. All these movies may not have been superhits but had a charm of their own. Raavan fails to create any such charm.

Raavan starts with a beatiful sequence of Abhishek(Beera) kidnapping Aishwarya(Raagini) but that was the best part in the first half. The movie was so slow in the first half that had someone walked out of the hall and came back 15 minutes later, he or she would not have missed a thing. Govinda was another positive, especially his first frame but his silly poetry and monkey-like jumps were outrageous. Its evident that Mani Ratnam wanted to show Govinda as Hanuman but he forgot that Govinda played a "human" character. Abhishek played his part with a lot of conviction but his "chak chak chak..." became too irritating after a point.Vikram(Dev) played the modern day Ram as Mani Ratnam wanted him to but his hindi seemed too fake and didnt let the audience relate to him. Make up and costumes were pretty good which no doubt led to Aishwarys looking gorgeous throughout the movie but why all her suits were deep neck is something I fail to understand. Also, Aishwarya seems to have done the entire movie with a bad throat.Its possible that Mani wanted to show her as sick because of being kidnapped but she ended up being too loud in most of the scenes. Ravi Kissen was the best thing in the movie and made you feel better whenever he came on screen.

The second half of the movie was much better than the first. The story finally seemed to move with Abhishek explaining the reason for his hatred towards police .But,the second half is not good enough to eclipse the bad first half.Priyanmani, the girl playing Abhishek's sister-Jamunya(modeled on Surpanakha) has done a great job and was a breath of fresh air. Raavan had a lot of brilliant individual scenes but weren't making sense put together with some utterly stupid scenes. One such scene would be the conversation Abhishek and Aishwarya have in front of Vishnu's idol.Some dialogues actualy made you think that you have a hearing problem e.g. When Vikram asks Aishwarya to go for a polygraphic test. The movie failed in the content part but was amazing in the cinematography section. Santosh Sivan is a master in his art and he has captured the beauty of Kerala with perfection. Some locations used in the movie were just awe inspiring. Abhishek and Vikram's fight towards the end takes place at one such location. Another positive was the way Mani Ratnam used his camera and locations. Though, he could have done a better job by making it rain a bit less. He could have saved tonnes of water doing that. It seemed that Mani felt short of ideas to make Aishwarya look good(Aishwarya of people) and maybe thats the reason why she just appeared in her Taal look in the last sequence.

Looking at Raavan in a nutshell, its a movie for people wanting to see Kerala up close or for people who wish to learn the use of mud as a make up tool. Some great sequences and acting would be a perepherial benefit. Don't expect a modern day Raamayan-You will be dissapointed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wimbledon is back, literally!

Sports movies are often blamed for being far fetched and the same may have been said about Wibledon-the movie as who would have believed the story of a player ranked 119 in the world to win Wimbledon but then Goran Ivanisevic did it ranked 125 so 119 seems to have better odds. The story of a Briton, Peter Colt, on the verge of retirement lifting the trophy at Centre Court and winning the most talented and beautiful girl on the circuit as a bonus does make for a good fairytale. But this article is not on the movie, its about the Championships and what I expect from Wimbledon 2010.

"The Championships" or Wimbledon, as it is popularly known is back. An event, which most of the tennis fans across the world consider be the ultimate test for any tennis professional, Wimbledon has been played at the All England Club for more than 130 years now. Wimbledon is the oldest Grand Slam but now the only one to have stuck to the original surface the game was meant to be played on-Grass. Ivan Lendl might have immortalised the phrase, "Grass is for Cows" but Wimbledon is testimony that if grass is for cows, then all true champions must be cows.

Wimbledon has over the years been the ultimate battleground for all tennis players around the globe. The coveted title is the dream for any youngster aiming to make it big in tennis. But for some time now, that dream seemed to have been blurred by a phenomenon named Roger Federer. Federer, who burst on to the scene by eliminating Pete Sampras, a name synchronous with Wimbledon, in the 4th round of the championships in 2001, went on to win the tournament five years in row from 2003 to 2007. It took "the king of clay" to push Federer off the grass in 2008. But an injury to Nadal was all Federer needed to win back the throne. Andy Roddick took Federer to the limits but lost despite being the better player on the day. Nadal's injury also played a huge role in Federer being able to complete the grand slam of tennis by winning the French Open in 2009.

There has been a lot of debate around whether or not Roger Federer is the best tennis player ever to set foot. Frankly, I don’t think that question can ever be answered. But, I do feel the competition was much greater when the Sampras battled Agassi or Courier or Rafter and when Borg, McEnroe & Connors were busy outwitting each other. After the sheer dominance of Federer for almost half a decade, there finally seems to be a competitive spirit returning to the game with the challenge posed by Nadal & the rise of Djokovic, Soderling, Tsonga among others. The unpredictable Andy Roddick is always a threat on his day. Also, Great Britain has finally got a major challenger for the title in Andy Murray after the retirement of Tim Henman, who somehow just couldn't overcome the semifinal curse he seemed to have had. Thus I feel, Wimbledon this year might be much more interesting than some of the championships in the recent past. So what will happen;

Will Nadal do it again?
Can Soderling repeat what he did at Roland Garros on grass?
Can Roddick finally get the better of Roger?
Can Murray be the real life Peter Colt(albeit the age)?

I maybe wrong and Federer may again sail through, but I will keep my hopes alive and hope for a surprise.

The beauty that rural India is

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Excess of Everything is Bad

Excess of everything is bad they say
Holds true for the heat in may
Something we desire so badly in jan
In may finds no fan

Excess of everything is bad they say
Holds true for the rain in july
For what people in kutch pray
Bombay in july wants it to go away

Excess of everything is bad they say
Holds true for the cold in jan
it takes us to the hills in may
for a counter viewpoint ask someone stayin in leh

Excess of everything is bad they say
Holds true for all there is
Boring in this poem you may find more lines
So its time

The Sea shines as the sun goes down