‘Sultan’, ‘Ramayan’ and women !

My conversation with my better half after a long-awaited viewing of Sultan

Me – That seems like a ‘and they lived happily ever after’ kind of movie. I like it

Better Half – Really? I don’t think it was happy every after for ‘Aarfa’

Me – They have tried to do that , haven’t they? She goes back to wrestling and is pregnant at the end of the movie

Better Half – But she did not win the Olympic gold which she always wanted. I am sure it was not a happy ending for her

Me ( trying to defend ) – True, but did you notice her father’s reaction when she tells him about the pregnancy? Her father wanted her to focus on the medal. That shows a different picture doesn’t it?

Better half (begrudgingly) – May be.

Me (sensing a victory) –  If you notice, she was the main character in the movie. The whole story takes place because of her. Just like Ramayan and Mahabharat

Better half (with a great smile) – And you think it was ‘happily ever after for Sita’ ?

Me (not sure what to expect next) – I guess. Wasn’t it? ( trying hard to remember the Ramayan story)

Better half – Ram’s exile ended but Sita’s didn’t . She had to walk through fire to prove her purity. She had to go away in exile again while pregnant and raise 2 kids on her own in difficult conditions and finally she was swallowed by earth. Where is the happy ending in that!

Me (stunned and speechless)

5 reasons why I will never read Tendulkar’s autobiography … ever…

I am from the Tendulkar generation, if you do not believe me then please read this.

Most of my young and adult life has been punctuated by Tendulkar memories, you can read  this master piece tribute by sidvee

If you want further proof of me being a Tendulkar fan, then I can tell you that I have even written a poem on Tendulkar.

Having said that, I for one am least interested to read Tendulkar’s autobiography

Playing it my way review

1 – I am a fan of Tendulkar as a cricketer, I was never and will never be interested in knowing Tendulkar off-field. I do not want to know that potentially he was as ordinary in personal life as I am 🙂

2 – I have always believed that Tendulkar was the best when it came to on-field behaviour. I do not want to know that he was not. I do not want to know that he should have spoken about few issues at the right time instead of saving those for his book

3 – The Tendulkar that I worshiped was a humble middle class boy who went on to create history. The Tendulkar I worshiped would never have released an autobiography or created a big media buzz for marketing it. God did not write his own stories, he left it to others to tell those stories.

4 – There are things you worth knowing and then there are things better left un-explained. I never wanted to know that Lance Armstrong cheated, similarly I do not want to know that Tendulkar like all of us had petty issues and problems.For the love of god, He is ‘God’

5 – Tendulkar is no Kardashian and I do not want to know the details of his life. I do not want to know if he likes duck or hates chicken. For the record I went to Tendulkar’s (the restaurant) and hated the menu which included things Tendulkar likes. Just did not make sense to me. I liked his straight drive, cover drive but not his meal choices.

It might come as a surprise to many of you who know me, but I hate the fact that Tendulkar has behaved like the highly paid footballers who release autobiographies at the age of 30 and the again at 40 and then again at 50. I have defended Tendulkar in various debates but I am not sure if I will be able to defend this.

To be frank, I am worried. Since retirement Tendulkar has been in politics, in publishing.. what next? In Bigg Boss? Who knows !!

One thing for sure – ‘that’ Tendulkar will not be the Tendulkar that I worshiped for years.

Beginning of end for SRK – Happy new year !!

Few disclosures upfront

  1. I am a (sort of) a SRK fan (or at least was before Ra-One and Jab tak hai Jaan)
  2. I have watched most if not all SRK movies (even Jab tak hai Jaan!!)
  3. I am married to a lady who is a hardcore SRK fan (hence point 2)
  4. I am happy to watch all the SRK movies multiple times (that includes Chennai Express)
  5. I have seen and actually liked Happy New Year

Having said all that, I feel ‘Happy New Year’ might just be where it all starts to go wrong for SRK. Here is why


I love the SRK moments from movies .. Happy New Year has none 

I havn’t come out of a SRK movie ever without few SRK special moments whether KKKKiran (incidentally my wife’s name) or Nam to Suna hi hoga or Fir Milenge Chalte Chalte … I always had my SRK moments from each of the SRK movies that I saw ( except Jab tak hai Jaan). Even Ra One had few. Happy New Year has none

SRK is rarely outshone … In Happy New Year he was ( and by AB Junior !!)

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/b49oQXV8jxs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

The line which has stayed with me after the movie as been ‘Nandu Bhide, Dimag main kide’ , which is ironic as I do not particularly like AB Junior (expect Guru, Sarkar). Even Deepika Padukon played a memorable role. Now that rarely happens. Even against biggest super starts SRK always comes through with flying colours. With Happy New Year, he was overshadowed and out performed by others.

SRK was always the star not just a star attraction

Happy New Year was marketed using the SRK brand. Most went to theaters to see SRK and I for one was disappointed to see that SRK was almost the guest appearance. As I said, there were no SRK moments, No SRK dialogues, nothing. You were left wondering if the film’s marketing was misleading !! I actually thought of filing a complaint with the customer grievance cell to register. SRK was almost used as a bait to get people in to watch AB Junior and Deepika. It does make commercial sense but what about alienating SRK fan base?

SRK movies were always about fans not money


Everything I have heard about Happy New Year has been about it’s commercial model and the genius of SRK to recover money before release and so on. Nothing about how SRK is loved by his fans or how his fans are crazy abt the movie. It somehow does not sit right with me. I did pay 280 Rs to watch SRK ( sorry AB Junior) but it was never about that. The day SRK is about money, fans might start thinking about those 280 Rs

What if all future SRK movies are like this? It will not take a lot of time for SRK to go down the route of yesteryear legands who were reduced to guest appearances or as launch pads for new actors.  SRK will still earn the money but what about the fans and their love?

It will be more like Sachin playing for records and forgetting the joy of playing cricket. I was happy that Tendulkar retired before that happened and I will not be sad to see SRK hang his acting shoes before he becomes just another commercial brand !!

Whistling at Edgbaston…Napping at Wimbledon…Clapping at Lords

Three venues.. Three dreams…Three stories

Whistling at Edgbaston

Whistling at Edbaston1

‘Yes, I got it, I got it’ – I shouted at one of my Scottish colleagues … This was one of those days when I wished I was in India. Oh I would have been the envy of the entire office… I was the proud owner of 4 tickets to India Vs Pakistan ICC Champions trophy match at Edgbaston and my empathetic Scottish friend had no idea why I was over the moon..

This was ‘the dream’.. If there was one place to watch Ind Vs Pak match outside these 2 countries then it was Edgbaston !! Sold out crowd.. (partially) sunny day.. Great atmosphere .. Crowd from both sides trying to get better of each other ..

The day of that match is still fresh in my memory; not because I was living one of dreams but seeing my wife go practically nuts during the match !! She will be the first one to tell you that she hates cricket but that day she must be the one who has most fun in the entire stadium. I don’t know if it was the Edgbaston atmosphere or India playing well but she had the time of her life… I am not sure if I did …

May be I was trying to come to terms with a dream coming true or I was overwhelmed by the situation.. There are times when you just want to forget about your dream or how the occasion is special and just enjoy .. She was doing exactly that… Wish I could have done the same 🙂

Napping at Wimbledon

Center Court

Ok.. I confess.. I fell asleep during a Nadal match in center court at Wimbledon !! There .. I said it..

This was another dream of mine. Throughout my childhood I watched Graph, Seles, Agassi, Sampras grace those greens. I read about the strawberry and cream and the famous hill. I tried my luck 2 years in a row but the closest I got to center court was to see Andy Murray wave goodbye to the crowd at the end of the day. For the record, in my first try I waited in the famous queue for 9 hours and I had practically lost my mind when I finally entered the Wimbledon gates. My wife can testify to that !!

Call it third time lucky or benefit of having friends like Danielle Hrin Quek – my Glasgow BFF. I owe it to her for being finally able to spend a day at Wimbledon center court.. I actually took half a day off from work ( not for the first time to watch sports !!). The line up for the day was great – Nadal, Serena Williams .. I could not have asked for more – apart from staying awake!!..

The Nadal match was going great.. Nadal came back into the match after being a set down with a series of long rallies and I went out of the match exactly during one of those rallies!! I know I know .. How could I ??? but I did..

Watching tennis wasn’t anything that I thought it would be .. No shouting.. No real cheering.. No banter.. Pin drop silence during points … It was just too much for a cricket fan within me.. To add to that the Center Court crowd !!.. I practically had to open my pack of crisps with atmost care and I still got few looks… This was not the dream.. In a sense it was but not how I imagined it. I dare say that I had more fun watching the matches on the outside courts during my earlier visits to Wimbledon

At the end of the day, I reached a conclusion that I almost do not want to do this again except for if it is the semi’s or the finals. Ironic but true.. Afterall, who wants to nap when Nadal is in full flow !!

Clapping at Lords


Consider this – You are a life long cricket fan.. You have got 5th row Grand Stand tickets at Lords on day 4.. Lords is celebrating its 200 years… Indian team plays out of their skin .. A british fan sitting in the next row tells you before leaving – ‘You guys are going to win this one’

Can it get better? Nope.. Specially after the scars that you suffered watching India get hammered by England at Edgbaston 4 years ago and a drunk British fan hugged you saying – ‘Don’t worry, better luck next time’.. Hell the next time was here

Good things happen to you if you have good friends and this happened courtesy another close friend of Mine – Rahul Datar..

Lords was a strange place.. It was almost anti-Edgbaston.. Very few slogans.. Very few people shouting.. Hardly anyone getting drunk and shouting at opposition fans.. Even the Mexican Wave took a while to get going..  There were times when I wished this was Edgbaston and there was at least one guy completely drunk and contiuously shouting – ‘Jitaga Bhai Jitega, India Jitega’ ..

Not to say that there was complete lack of characters.. There were few ‘ Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy , aaja aaja aaja aaja !!’ chants which were really funny but that was about it.. Cricket wise the day was great with Jadeja literally wielding his bat and then Inshat Sharma running through the english batting lineup ( Yes .. I said Ishant Sharma .. Miracles do happen)

Another dream which was little bit underwhelming .. It you give me a choice between Edgbaston and Lords , I might choose Edgbaston next time!! Lords might be the home of cricket but by the spirit sure lives in Edgbaston (specially if India is playing pakistan)



Few tips for the Brazilian football fans ( from an Indian cricket fan)

I feel your pain .. I do.. I know how it feels to be humiliated ( in my case over and over again) .. I have seen more humiliating defeats than you..

Brazil fans

photo courtesy – Agencia Brasil – Wikimedia commons


I can’t tell you anything about how to play football (Germans might), I can’t even tell you how to support your team, you Brazilians have been phenomenal over past few days. There is one thing I can tell you for sure –

‘How to continue supporting a mediocre team over a long period of time without feeling humiliated’  

So here are some tips from my end to ease some of your pain

1 Choose a God – Forget ( F**K) the team, tell yourself that the team is irrelevant. Just choose a player to worship (Neymar?) and just worry about his performance. Be happy if he scores 2 goals in a match (even if your country loses ). Worry more about his personal records..Take his adulation to such a level that the world will only know your country for that one player. Makes life much easy.  If you still have doubt then just ask Maria Sharapova – ‘ Who is Tendulkar’, by now even she must know !!

2 Make it about Money – Pay lot of money to best players in the world and bring them to Brazil.. Don’t worry if it impacts the local talent negatively. Money makes people happy. Like the Roman kings, create a spectacle in the Colosseum.. People will stop thinking about the national team and their performances.. Money talks .. If you are not convinced then give a call to Lalit Modi.. He might be able to do something for you

3 Choose a different sport/ team – I am not sure if you have noticed but whole of India watches the football world cup and cheers for some or other team. Learn something from us. We never worry about our national team , we are bigger than that. We generally support anyone who will entertain( and win)..This time it is the Germans, next time some other team. We don’t bother ourselves with the pain of possibly never seeing India play in a world cup.. Have you guys tried watching cricket? Do that and try supporting Australia ( for now). That might help take your mind off the stupidity that football is (I bet you think the same way about cricket)

4 Develop selective retention – Do you see me talking about the painful defeats in Sharja? Or the time when a British cricket fan hugged me outside Edgbaston after a humiliating defeat in 3 days? Nope.. I just talk about all the glorious time and just conveniently forget the bad memories. Do that.. It helps.. And in all fairness , you hardly have lot to forget .. Just get on with it

5 Blame it on the conditions – I am not sure if that will work in football but try.. Start slowly blaming it on conditions and you will start believing it eventually. Ask any cricket fan and they will tell you that Indian teams are not expected to play well in England, Australia. SA and so on.. Our teams try to change our opinion once in a while but we stay firm .. Learn from us.. Start believing that south american do not play well against Europeans .. I am sure there is statistical evidence.. Create some if there aren’t…

I can offer much more to you but I think these 5 tips should serve you well for now.. You team has lost badly just once.. You felt the pain cause this is a new experience for you..

It is like love, it hurts when your heart gets broken for the first time.. Trust me it gets easier with every passing heartbreak.. and who knows, this might be your first and last heartbreak ..

Yours truly

A seasoned Indian cricket fan


Tendulkar, Modi and ‘weight of a nation’

‘He has been carrying the weight of the nation for so long, now it’s our turn to carry him on our shoulders’ – said Yuvraj singh after that wonderful evening at Wankhede in 2011. I totally agreed then and I still agree now. Till around 10 days back, Tendulkar was the only man to ever carry the weight of the nation on his shoulders but then happened Modi and now it seems that he is the next one to carry the weight (and may be the last one) I was a Tendulkar fan for most of my life and all of Tendulkar’s cricketing life. I am however not necessarily a Modi fan… atleast for now. That said I do not have any issue with Modi. Having been a lifetime Tendulkar’s fan, It is little scary to be a Modi fan!!

Image courtesy - sandhira.com

Image courtesy – sandhira.com

Here is why – People like me set Tendulkar up for Failure right from the day we started cheering him. I am sure that Tendulkar never told me that he is going to score 100 100s. He never claimed that he was the best batsman in the wold. He hardly every said or claimed anything. I bet Tendulkar was not even as talented as some of his contemporaries. I am ready to go on record and say that a certain Vinod Kambli was more talented than Tendulkar. I would dare say that VVS was more natural than Tendulkar.. Heck I would say that Dravid has more mental strength than Tendulkar. Tendulkar just had it in him to work harder than any other kid around him to make most of what God gifted him. The whole thing about expectations was created by people like me. Fans like me.. We placed our expectations on his (literally) young shoulders. We wanted him to win for us. We wanted him to achieve what we could not. We wanted him to be superhuman. Thank God that Tendulkar was able to carry weight of those expectations, very few could. Tendulkar did not just carry the weight but excelled while doing so. I am sure it was a big burden and I am sure he felt it every day for past 22 years. If you need a proof then take a look at Tendulkar post his retirement, you can see the relief on his face..

Modi’s story might play out in a similar way. Now I may not have followed Modi’s career but I am sure there are more charismatic leaders around him. I am sure that Advani, Swaraj and others have a bigger stature … I am sure there are others in BJP with more and diverse experience.  While that might be true, I am also sure that Modi worked his socks off to reach where he has.. The problem starts now.. If social media is to be believed, the whole nation thinks that there are going to be miracles. Modi is going to win them every match as Tendulkar did ( or didn’t). Modi is going to be the solution to every problem. Just as there was a whole generation made up of Tendulkar fans, we now have a generation of Modi fans.

As a neutral observer and a Tendulkar Fan, the Modi fan following worries me. Tendulkar’s whole career was a fight against those expectations and for the record a lot of neutrals still view his career as a failure. His only fault was to raise the expectation. He in no ways knowingly contributed to the rise in expectations but it just happened.The ironic thing about Modi is that he has actively raised the expectation and now it is a genie out of the bottle. Neither Modi nor anyone else can put that genie back in.

Just like Tendulkar, Modi will have to carry the weight of a nation on his shoulders.. I am sure all the Modi fans will be more than happy if Modi retires after 22 years with similar successes / failures as Tendulkar…

Dhoni, Modi and ‘Sense of Occasion’

Sense of occasion – I for one definitely don’t have it, if it helps (me) even the great Sachin Tendulkar never had it.. In recent history, there are only 2 people who have really stood out when it comes to having sense of occasion – MS Dhoni and Narendra Modi

It is one thing to promote yourself in the batting order in a world cup final, it is another thing to have the audacity to clinch the win with a six, but it take someone with a great sense of occasion to hold that pose long enough for the cameras to capture the moment in all it’s glory.

The world might forget so many things about that world cup final but the one thing they will never forget is – Dhoni holding his pose after the winning shot. That was drama and triumph at it’s best. He had written his own fairy-tale.

Tendulkar never had that.. He was never one for having a great sense of occasion. His timing was limited to the cricketing sense of the word. Very rarely has Tendulkar been fortunate to do great things on great occasions. In fact some of his key milestones have been cursed by irrelevant matches or inferior opponents. A case in point is his retirement .. I bet Dhoni will retire at the most opportune moment and will do it in the same style as he won the world cup.

Fair enough …  Tendulkar had the talent and a place near to God, Dhoni has sense of occasion ..

That brings me to Mr. Modi. Mr. Modi reminds me a lot of Dhoni.. Beyond all the other similarities, both of them have a great sense of occasion..

Just like Dhoni, Modi has a knack of doing and saying the right things at the right time(at least till now). Case in point is his inaugural address in the Parliament. He has said great things throughout his campaign but today was his ultimate test. Lot of eyes were on him and many were betting on him to slip. He didn’t. He even managed to get emotional at the right time and even shed few tears. Just like Dhoni, he nailed the moment (atleast for now)..

There is however a slight difference between Dhoni’s world cup moment and Modi’s speech today. Dhoni had reached his Mount Everest and Modi is just starting his trek !! I just hope that Modi still has the sense of occasion when and if he reaches his pinnacle



All or nothing…Ball is in your court Mr. Modi !!

That seems to be the mantra of our generation and if you want a proof then look no further than the results of recent elections !!

Indian election results

Indian elections 2014 – All or nothing  (image courtesy – Wikipedia)

If you think these elections were about Modi/ Rahul then you are highly mistaken. The election results have nothing to do with the political parties or even their leadership. This is about a generation and their risk appetite . It seems that this is a generation of ultimate risk takers. I am no way indicating that voting for Modi was a risk in any form or shape , I am just saying that this generation is a generation that is ready to bet and bet big.

Let me explain.

We first bet big on AAP and gave them the mandate in Delhi. When that did not work, we seem to have bet on the next big thing that is Modi. The key thing is that we have not just bet small , we have gone in with everything we have… Clear mandate .. All or nothing .. Do or die !!

That seems to be the way in general for our generation. We seem to be generation of entrepreneurs or even better – venture capitalists.

We are looking for the best things in our personal as well as public lives and we are ready to bet big. I know how it feels. I am a part of this generation.

We are a generation that is driven by All or Nothing. We want best things and we are ready to take big risks. We are ready to take a chance or 2 and we are also ready to give life a chance.

The funny thing about us is that we are not the one to shed a tear if we do not win. We move on and give it another shot on another day. This is what makes our generation special.

If I have one thing to say to Mr. Modi then this would be it – ‘ Our generation has bet on you but this generation will not stop and cry if you fail. We will look for alternatives and move on !! So the ball in now in your court Mr. Modi. Just remember It’s all or nothing !!



To Yuvi, with love….

Dear Yuvi,

This is a confession, rather a series of confessions. I am not sure if this will make you feel better but I hope that this does not make you feel worse

To Yuvi - with love

image courtesy – Wikipedia

I am one of those who cursed you from the bottom of my heart when you were at crease struggling to get bat to ball

I am one of those who have hardly won a match in gully cricket but feels entitled to have opinion about all cricketing matters

I am also one of those who were sad to witness your legacy being spoiled by a single innings

I am also one of those who do realise that even the best finisher in the game was not able to hit the ball in the last over

I am also one of those who laughed at all the FB statuses mocking you

I am also one of those who gave my support to you on public forums

I am also one of those who concluded that your career is now done and you should never be included in the Indian team

It is the same me who relived all your glorious innings while others were questioning your efforts on the pitch

It is the same me who tried to convince your supporters that your best days are behind you

It is the same me who missed a nights sleep because India lost the match

It is the same me who by now has forgiven you

I am a fan of your talent but unfortunately for you I am also a fan of Indian cricket.

I have a very short memory and a shorter temper. In past I have not spared Sachin Tendulkar so I doubt you stand a chance.

But don’t take me seriously, cause I hardly give myself that luxury.

I am a nobody.

I am just a face in the crowd who will cheer anyone who can win India a match and crucify anyone who  can’t.

It’s nothing personal !!

Your’s truly

India cricket fan

Men celebrating Women’s day !! Ironic

Ok.. Take a look at this video while I am taking a deep breath and looking for words that could convey my anger while maintaining the dignity of my blog.

First of all, my apologies to all the women who felt insulted by this video.I bet this video was produced by a bunch of Men. There are so many things that frustrate me about this video but I am trying to restrict myself to the top 5 list.  Consider this post as my tribute to women for Women’s day.

Women are just Mothers, Sisters, Girlfriends ? – Really? I am sure I remember having women as classmates, colleagues, team members, bosses and friends !! . Why not just mention that in the video?

So women spend their whole life taking care of Men? –  May be I live in the wrong century but I have seen women around me do much more than just look after the Men. I have seen them carve out high-flying careers while they were supposedly busy with all the Men they had to look after.

A tribute patronizing women on Women’s day –   Not a bright idea for sure. I thought this would be the last thing any self-respecting man would like to do. I leave it to the women reading this post to decide but at least the women I have spoken to definitely found the video patronizing

2 insults for the price of one ?? – Hell you insulted all the women but you also found a way to insult the Men. So we cannot do anything on our own? Whole life we have to be looked after by women? We do not have anything to offer to help women than this stupid video? So basically we are good for nothing, parasites who cannot survive on their own or support another human being?

Making people believe that this is a Women’s day tribute – I hate you most for this. You made so many men believe that this was a tribute. I had friends in my network who shared the video as ‘their tribute to women’. As mentioned earlier, that might be the last kind pf tribute any woman wanted, specially from Men !!