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As I Pass by – 29/09/13

September 29, 2013

Thank you:

Thank you DI, Ash, UmaS, Vins and Saritha akka for your comments in the previous post. I am writing here after an year and I am very happy to see comments from you all. Thank you very much!!!

8 Months, 3 week and 1 day:

It is the period I am here in US now. This is my first visit to a country outside India. Time just runs. At some point of time, you got to expect traveling to a different country if you are a software engineer. I am happy about it. Not very excited though. But going to a different place in this world does brings out an immense pleasure in me. The best part is the living here for an year or two. It helps us to watch a new culture, a new set of people and a new way of things being done. If I am just touring to this place, I may not be able to observe all these.

I will write a post on the things that I like here. I think 8 months is a good long period to have an opinion about the place🙂

Belief:

Earthquake. Wherever it happens, it’s a terrible thing. It happens in Pakistan and its not something to be rejoiced upon or something on which we can say justice is done. One of my friend in FB mentioned that ‘this is what happens when people kill the innocent Christians who serve real god’.  Generally I don’t expect such comments from a person who is well educated. (That doesn’t mean I expect it from uneducated person).

I believe somewhere in this education or in all these years of living we would have crossed a point where it would have been clear to us that god is one. But still we are bragging about the religion. Even though I never read any holy books in complete, I do believe they say nothing but love all the creatures on this Earth. If somebody does some stupid thing somewhere in the world why to attach the tag of religion or anything to it. Is it not easy to conclude it as the stupidity of a person or a group of people who were misguided than to attach it to a particular religion and see the hatred grew towards all the people belong to that religion?

Sometimes I don’t see the real world, I guess. Or I am lucky to have a good bunch of people around me who puts their love above faith.

Lunchbox:

My friend Vishal, who is also my teammate invited me to have lunch yesterday. And its really fun. He prepared lovely chicken curry which I done well to finish with both Chappathi and rice. Ragesh who is another friend in room prepared wonderful tea by evening. After the lunch we had a good discussion about the movies. Its fun for me to discuss about movies. Besides watching the movies, I love to read and discuss about them since it does brings up new movies which we would have never found or new perspective about a movie which we would have missed. I am not in the best of the moods these days and it really helped me to feel better. Thanks for the lunch and making me to feel better friends.

Zodiac:

zodiac_ver2

This is the movie I watched last weekend. The movie is based on a true story which happened in late 1960s to 1980s. The incidents unfold in California with a killer calls himself Zodiac killing the people at some regular interval. Police investigates the case but not able to get any closer in identifying the suspect. Newspapers too getting notes from Zodiac and it does changes the life of few reporters working in those newspapers. They become obsessed with this case and show real personal interest in this case which affects their life. Did they find the man named zodiac makes for rest of the movie.

Movie is very well made and shows how police works in real with clues were really hard to find. If you are ready to enjoy a different type of thriller this one is for you.

Jinxed:

After my post, A good start, my team Liverpool recorded 2 losses and 1 draw in the next 3 matches. Oh god😦 I think I jinxed them. So no more posts on Liverpool till this football season ends. I think many of you will be happy to hear that🙂 But I will continue to write about football since it does make me feel good🙂

Quote of the week:

These days I am a bit obsessed with quotes. I love reading the quotes from Albert Einstein, Lao Tzu and zen quotes. Here are some of the gems:

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

All the quotes were from Lao Tzu.

Song I liked:

When I was sitting in my friends home they have shown this song and its complete fun. It does have a feel of 80s to it and I really like him. Especially the faster lines sung by female voice. Also the reactions of Ranbir Kapoor and Pallavi were really good in the initial pasrt of the song. Lovely.

A good start!!

September 11, 2013

2 years has been passed since I have started following Liverpool Football Club. This is the 3rd season I am following and the start we have made this time is terrific. Past 2 seasons went with lot of raising hopes in one moment and crushing defeats in the next moment. Even though the general play was scintillating there is no end product (goals) to show for it during 2011-12 season. Last year also the play is exciting and there were goals too. But there is not much difference in the league position all pointing to something of a missing link, an ability to hold on to the leads, an ability to scrap through the games with wins when not playing well. A trait perfected by the champion teams.  Liverpool doesn’t had that in the trait in the past 2 years. Maybe longer than that. Well, we are not champions in the past 23 years. A very long time indeed.

I could see that in our opening 3 games. Scoring a goal in the first half of the game and defending that slender lead in the second half as if their life depends on it. A very dangerous strategy but proved successful till now. Defending is not only about 4 defenders on the pitch. Its about all the 11 players, with even Sturridge, our center forward defending in our penalty box. That’s a lovely thing developed by our manager Brendan Rodgers.
The good thing about these 3 consecutive wins is that, nobody can point out only one player in the team who is making the difference. Yes, all the 3 goals so far scored were scored by Sturridge. There were some stunning saves by our new keeper Simon Mignolet which includes a penalty save in the opening game. In defense, Kolo Toure stood tall in the opening 2 games against the physical strikers like Walters and Benteke against whom Liverpool suffered a lot last year. But still nobody wants to credit this perfect start to any single player in the team. It goes to all the 11 players.

We are yet to witness the young Coutinho’s magical feet to produce those exquisite defence splitting passes, yet to witness the Lucas’s pre-injury form which disrupted all the opposition teams formations and attacks and yet to witness magical Suarez’s twists and turns on the pitch. Yet we are able to win all the games till now shows an absolute improvement in the mentality of the squad and Rodgers and his team should be lauded for that.

Rodgers has mentioned that this year we are going into the pre-season a bit earlier and also with all the players available which will enable us to have a flying start. He has been true to that word. We have beaten Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester United. If we ask for the best one, one has to chose Stoke City considering it is the opening fixture and we are about to surrender the lead with a needless penalty by 88th minutes. It all seemed very familiar till that point with only change was, our keeper saves the penalty and Liverpool wins the match which they would have drawn or lost by last 2 years. But the best is beating Manchester United on home turf with them didn’t had a sniff at Liverpool goal for 90 minutes. Considering they boast the best striker in Robin Van Persie that is very poor from them but we defended well not to concede any chances.

We have also strengthened every possible area on the field with quality additions and surely we can have hope for today and for the future. The next few fixtures will tell us how this team is going to be, I just hope it will be exciting and successful.

That’s more like it!!!

September 5, 2012

From the time I remember each Olympics has started with no hopes and ended with the same. For the first time 2012 Olympics has proved me wrong during the end. With 6 medals from 4 different fields, we have something to build upon. More than the number it is the way we have won them. Be it Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, Gagan Narang or Sushil Kumar, they all expected to win the medal in their game and they have done it.

Earlier it has never been like that. Leander Paes in 1996, Karnam Malleshwari in 2000, Rajavardhan Singh Rathore in 2004, Abhinav Bhindra and Sushil Kumar in 2008, all were come out of blue and won the medals when it was least expected. Its more like punching above their weight and they never reached such heights in international arena. The only exception was Sushil Kumar who built on that success and become a medal hopeful in this Olympics.

The only hopes I ever had, was on our hockey team and the Tennis doubles pair Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. They never disappointed to disappoint me. And this time too they disappointed me, the only change is I didn’t followed them🙂. Some things never change.

This year too, I thought similar fate awaits when Deepika Kumari, the top seed in archery crashed out in the first round. I guess there was too much pressure on the 18-year old girl to deliver. But others didn’t succumb to pressure pulling out all their experience to win those medals. Everyone has pushed themselves to their physical limit to earn glory for India. Be it Saina Nehwal who has to fought against the Chinese women, Mark Kom nearing her thirties and fighting in a weight category which she has never fought, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt who has to fight 3 bouts in an hour to claim the medal, Gagan Narang who has to give a start to us in medal tally and finally Vijay Kumar who hold his nerve to win the silver medal.

Outside the medal tally too we had excellent performers who came close to winning a medal like Joydeep Karmakar (Shooting), Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda who qualified for the finals of the field events(First time from India), Irfan Kolothum Thodi who came 10th in half marathon (Never heard someone from India participates in it🙂 ) and Devendra who has shown fast and agile to go till Quarterfinals in boxing. They have done well and would have added more. But still I am happy with what they have shown. This is for sure going to inspire many.

All the Indian Olympians who won the medal or narrowly missed it this time trained with the single motive of winning a medal in Olympics and it paid real dividends. Surely this will push our government to act wiser and pump in more money for the training of the athletes. Maybe our parents too will think about Olympics medal as their dream for their kid rather than making them into an Engineer or doctor.

The above thing is best summed up when I seen a poster stating, ‘Start training under the master Hosseini in archery and have a chance to win a medal in 2016 Olympics’. Isn’t it an improvement? Planning for Olympics publicly 4 years before. I have never seen before.

Now some thoughts on the Superstar of the Olympics, Usain Bolt. Till now he has participated in 6 events in Olympics and is yet to be beaten. That’s some record. Watching him run is such a joyful experience with all his actions, celebrations and his jogs towards the finishing line. This time he had tough competition from his countryman Yohan Blake but yet came on top quite easily. What a star!!!

Watch his brilliant runs below:

Info: Technology surely has its advantages. All the Olympic events were uploaded officially in best quality in youtube. You can watch them through the channel olympic. No need to wait for the telecast in television🙂 This channel also contains some of the events of past Olympics. Enjoy🙂

Weekend travel: Jog falls

August 30, 2012

I have been pestering my friends for some time that we should go to Jog falls. Weekends gone by with one or other getting busy and for all the talk started by May, it ended up with us reaching there by the last week of July.

Image

Pic courtesy: Wikipedia

There is the only place which closely resembled to what I already had in mind. Mountains surrounded by moss and the water falling down like silver streaks accustomed by the frequent rain what else I could ask for. Its picture perfect.

The way they have built the motel (touring complex) should be appreciated. It is situated at the line of sight of the top of the falls which gives us a wonderful view. How many other falls I have seen in real like this? None. Mist is just moving around this place. You should be smart enough to click your photos when there is no mist and no rain. Quite a task😀

There is a 1800 step stairway built to reach the bottom of the falls and what fun it was. Surely its energy sapping but once you reach the bottom and see the falls in front of you, you will say its worth for all we spent out and much more. With the water felling down in full glory and the drizzling rains hitting ours with no parts of body left dry which made our cameras to take a hiding in the covers. Not a single picture were clicked by us after reaching the bottom but I will never forget how I laid down on the rocks and enjoyed that falls in front of me.

When we were there are other group people who came there. I talked with one of the friend there which went along in the lines of god and he said, ‘This fall in front of us is, god.’ I can’t agree more. What someone will want when they see a god? May that moment never end, may this kindness towards us be like this forever…. Well that’s the feel I got.

If you know swimming then you are in for more fun. There is a small lagoon created by the falls and you can’t stop yourselves from taking a dive into it. It should be fun. I couldn’t do since I don’t know swimming.

1800 steps climbing down is one thing. Since we are expecting something we won’t feel the tiredness much. Think about climbing up again? We thought that this will be very difficult. But it didn’t pose much problem and we climbed pretty quickly which tell us how well those stairs were made. Wonderful creation!!!

There are two points to see the falls and the guy over there took us in a omni van. Those points were good, gave us the different views of falls and also gave a close look from the edge of the falls. He charged us 300 rupees which we felt nominal. It’s quite a distance for sure.

How can I complete it without mentioning hot and spicy maagi and omlette we had. All the shops in that touring complex had the same menu. There is no need to ask or bother there🙂

I can surely guarantee it’s a very nice place to visit especially during monsoon. When we went there it’s a peak monsoon period I guess with rain pouring every half an hour. And if you feel like taking your umbrellas I have to say 2 things: 1) your umbrella won’t save you there, 2) umbrellas defeat the purpose of visiting this place.

My advice is, don’t afraid to get wet. I thought about my shoes getting wet and missed to go to a view point. My whole shoe got wet when I went to the bottom of the falls.

My friend’s verdict: For all your pestering, its worth. There you go🙂

Jog falls is well connected from Shimoga through buses. It won’t be a problem reaching there.

1st birthday party

June 1, 2012

Note: These are all my observations. Let me know if they are wrong and I will be happy if it is wrong.

I was invited to two 1st birthday parties last year. While I am always excited to see the kids I felt there was something really wrong with the way it was conducted. The birthday parties I have attended were happened in small marriage halls with the speakers blaring all the way. The people who all attended were office colleagues of the parents. It’s a complete joyous occasion for everyone, we think. But not, I guess.

The kid who is the star of the occasion suffers from various things. First, how small or big the hall maybe it’s a new place to kid and for sure he/she can’t get accustomed to it. Second, most of the people who present in the function were completely unknown to the kid. They will like to play with him/her but surely it will cause discomfort to kid. And you can’t blame the people who like to play with the little kid. Thirdly, the loud music and closed room is not a combination on which the kid loves to be. Lastly, the number of dresses kids forced to wear. All these factors push them to tears and the whole party goes in kid crying all the way.

While we can’t blame the intentions of the parents here as they want the first birthday to be a memorable one with their friends around and the pictures clicked on that day serves as wonderful memory for the kid when grows on. I feel a subdued birthday party being held in one’s home will be better than being held in party halls as kids are familiar with the place and also calling only a selected number of people will make the occasion better. Party halls and more people can wait till the kid can grow up. As for me people will be happy enough if they are able to see their 1st birthday cake and their parents pictures and won’t be concerned about the people who attended or the hall it held.

IPL5 – Eliminator, Playoffs and Finals

May 28, 2012

Saved us from batting longer, but for ?!?!?!?!

I won’t bowl, if they hit me!!!

Its all a familiar story for Mumbai Indians. Assemble a team that can give anybody a run for their money, storm through or get through the league stages comfortably and then falter at knockout games. When they got 2 wickets in consecutive balls in the second over of the eliminator match against Chennai Super Kings they might have thought this is their year. But CSK had other ideas which included destroying Malinga. With their best bowler taken to cleaners, their captain shunning of his responsibilities by bowling just 3 overs it’s upto their batsmen to chase down a mammoth 187 runs scored by CSK. Response, as sound as it has given lost its hertz once Dwayne Smith got out after giving an explosive start. For strange reasons they hold back their best batsmen like Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu, maybe for playoff or final, but whatever it is, it backfired big time and they lost once again to go home. While it’s apparent to many that their problem was their batting order, the men who associated with them doesn’t seem to get it.

Got it wrong, everything they can!!!

After topping the league in style, it’s Delhi Daredevil’s chance to put themselves into final for first time but all they could manage was fluffing it in the first game against Kolkatta Knight Riders with a under par batting performance and then with stunning exclusion of Morne Morkel against Chennai Super Kings. Their two batting heavyweights Sehwag and Warner didn’t got going in both the games which increased the pressure on the middle order which wasn’t tested till the very last stages of league. It proved decisive. The decision of leaving out Morne Morkel in favor of all-rounder Andre Russell, how logical it may sound was big mistake made by DD as their bowlers were without a leader and they were taken apart. With failings on batting, bowling, and strategy-wise at knockout stages they weren’t deserved to win and they didn’t.

Got everything right!!! Lost it by a whisker in final!!!

Many called it unfair and luck when Chennai Super Kings got into the top four but for sure not now. No other team who were in contention with CSK for the fourth place could have done better. CSK have put in performances in all 3 knockout games which was worthy of a winning one but narrowly missed it in the final game. All their players like Hussey, Vijay, Dhoni, Badrinath and Raina who were quiet till the league games started to explode which could be seen in the team scores like 187, 222 and 191 all which could be defended. They trusted their players, got their tactics spot on and fielded well. When they lost 2 early wickets in the eliminator match against MI they didn’t panic instead sent their anchor man Badri to join Hussey to repair the innings which they did with aplomb and then its all CSK till the finals where they lost to KKR by a smaller margin. Dhoni could have tried Jadeja for couple of overs in the final as Bravo was off-colour but it has been done and dusted. They should be proud with what they have done.

Well played!!! Worthy Champions!!!

Kolkatta Kinght Riders after a rather poor start to the tournament got themselves up and running which placed them as champions. Riding on the outstanding skill and form of 2 players Gambhir and Narine till the league stages, their underperformed players like Yusuf Pathan, Kallis, and Bisla contributed heavily in the knockout stages to come out as winners. Yusuf Pathan reminded everyone the difference he can make to a good and modest score in the playoff match against DD which proved crucial in the outcome of the match. If Balaji has not injured, Bisla wouldn’t have got a place in the team and if he hadn’t played who knows what the outcome of the final could have been. Manvinder Bisla had always played short burst innings very well for a long time and he couldn’t chosen a better game to show how dangerous he can be when he scores big. With 191 runs to chase it needed somebody to play a knock which should be fast and steady. He turned himself on for that. There were contributions from all the players during their chase and they ended up as worthy champions after chasing down 191. They have formed a new team during last auction; they came near last time and now they nailed it in some style. Well done KKR!!!!

IPL5 – At the end of league stage – Part II

May 22, 2012

It’s time to check the top 4 of the IPL.

Its looks like even if Chennai Super Kings doesn’t want to be in the play offs, the other teams does need them. When CSK finished their last match, along with CSK 3 other teams were in contention for play offs and lot of results were required to go in their way to make the top 4. Call it destiny or fixing, CSK got there. When a team which requires its last match should be a victory to stay alive in the competition they are expected to produce a performance of life. But what CSK has shown against KXIP in the last game baffled everyone. None of their star players like Raina, Ashwin and Dhoni who performed in the previous editions of IPL performed this time. Faf du Plessis singlehandedly managed the top order of CSK till the arrival of Mike Hussey, Bravo, if not spectacular proved effective as all-rounder and Albie Morkel who with his power hitting won few matches in which CSK has no business of winning.

Will I ever get rest?!?!?!?!?!

CSK’s strength is always being a collective force and again they get through to play offs with little contribution from every player. But if their star players do perform it will do no harm. It will be interesting to see how they handle the fit Faf du Plessis and Mike Hussey in the same XI with both being successful as opening batsman with M Vijay taking the other slot. Their first XI have settled look which is a fantastic for them but few of their players really need to step up their game to see CSK in finals.

Mumbai Indians always had a team which can compete with any international T20 team. This time too when they started with a dominating win against CSK I thought, like previous 2 IPL editions there is no stopping them.  But unfortunately for them Sachin was injured for initial 5-6 games and their batting line-up was wobbling. The collective effort from the team has put them in the 3rd place in the league. The return of Sachin from injury stabilized their batting to some extent and their bowlers except for Malinga were inconsistent. Munaf though started the tournament brightly found himself sorted out by the opposition players and taken to cleaners. RP Singh showed some of his skills which reminded us his earlier promise but couldn’t deliver on regular basis. Harbhajan Singh still not concerned about picking wickets which caused his exit from Indian team. Kieron Pollard having a mixed tournament till now and MI will be hoping that he comes good in the play offs.

Not as dominant as they expected to be!!!

They will be hoping once again their collective effort will take them through to finals. They have batsmen like Sachin, Rohit, Dwayne Smith, Pollard and Rayudu who can single handedly win matches. But their inconsistent form is the worrisome factor for them. Dwayne Smith signing when the tournament in progress proved to be an astute one as he won matches from no hope situation and seems to perform as opener in play-offs which was the real problem area for MI. If that move comes off then there is no stopping MI.

Kolkata Knight Riders riding on the bulk of runs scored by their skipper Gambhir finished at the 2nd position. The other player who performed as effectively as Gambhir but gone unnoticed was Sunil Narine. With his mystery yet to be unlocked, batsmen found really hard to find the kind of delivery he bowls. Watching his spin bowling is a joy too. Kallis and McCullum has a very average tournament by any standards and those are the only batsmen who supported Gambhir. Rajat Bhatia and L Blalaji chipped in with useful contribution with the ball. With half of the team not performing at required level it’s a credit to Gambhir’s captaincy that they finished 2nd. Yusuf Pathan still not able to sort out his problems and Manoj Tiwary didn’t done enough to mention him.

Two stalwarts

KKR hopes hinges on the form of Gambhir and Narine. If they both have a great day rest of the players can breathe easy as they have done for most of the matches in this season. Gambhir will be expecting some of his players to step up which will push KKR to their first ever IPL final.

Delhi Daredevils Bull Run which started with the Sehwag’s return to form and Morne Morkel’s blistering pace placed them at the perch of the points table. We have seen what an in-form Sehwag brings to the team. He scored fifties after fifties which mostly results in wins and DD placed themselves at the top. Pietersen too played an important part and as if it is planned earlier once he left Warner came into team making sure there is no letting off for opposition. They proved that seam attack is not something which fails in Indian pitches. They have the fastest Indian bowlers like Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav along with Morne Morkel who all proved effective.

Blazing away!!!!

They will hope their top order continues to fire as their middle order is yet to be tested seriously. Ross Taylor in the penultimate match against RCB has shown that he didn’t forget his swipes to midwicket or square leg which will be encouraging for them. But Morkel after a great start now looks like burnt out. DD needs him to be at his best to clinch the title. They have all the ingredients to win the title for the first time. Will they?

Play offs:

This is just a small explanation about the play offs instead of semi-finals which is implemented in IPL.

While the semifinal is just 2 matches play-offs consist of 3 matches.

1st Play off – Ist Place Vs IInd place à Winner of this match goes straight to final.

Eliminator – IIIrd place Vs IVth place à Loser of this match goes out of tournament.

2nd Play off – Loser of 1st play off Vs Winner of Eliminator match.

I like this method as it does plays some advantage to the table toppers for all the efforts they put in the league.