Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Blogging Anniversary to me...

12 Dec has come and gone and I never realised it was the first anniversary of my blogging. Yes, its been one year since I wrote my first time surely flies...I never thought I would continue writing(that shows how much confidence I have in myself :P) but I have proven me wrong in a good way.

I am happy to discover this hobby. I am not writing as a professional blogger. My blogs are purely for me..As an outlet for my joy, pain, anguish and helplessness. Blogging has given me the much needed platform to express my thoughts.

There was a time when I would have scoffed at this thought. Why would you need blogging when you have so many friends to whom you can talk to about anything and everything I might have asked.

But as time has passed I haven't lost any friends. But with the passage of time I have found out who was true and who was never really there for me. This revelation was a massive blow.I who used to be proud of having so many groups of friends realised what an illusion I have created around me.

So once the realisation came, I cherished/admire those who are still there with me more and more. And now blogging has become my friend whom I can tell anything and everything

I just pray to god that I would never lose my this friend.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Why I have to be such a Fool

Ok this Blog is self flagellation blog. So you want to get out you can just stop reading right now.

So again I have made such a fool of myself. I don’t understand how I can keep doing the same mistakes again and again... I mean even a kid will learn not to put a finger in fire once they have burnt it once. Am I so dumb? I have started questioning my sanity these days...after going through so many setbacks I keep doing same stuff over and over again and getting hurt in the process.

They say 'The most difficult phase in your life is not when no one understands you; it’s when you don’t understand yourself' I think I am currently in this phase. I don’t understand what I want. I don’t understand why I can’t keep the promises I have made with myself. Am I hopeless and deserve whatever is happening in life?

I sometimes get tired of being the strong person or hiding my pain for ppl. I get tired of being the one who always ‘Understands’ and that’s why always taken for granted. I am tired of this. For once I want to be vulnerable.

But I guess being strong is my biggest shield to deflect potentials scars. I think I should keep up this appearance so I will be saved even from myself.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Move to New office...

Ohh I am so happy..We are moving to the office in City by Jan first week.

4 years back, we were in this same situation, when our managers have suggested a move to ICC. Though that time I had one of my rare hissy fits against the move. At that time the Pune University flyover work was in progress and it was right pain to even venture near that area. A mere 4 KM distance from Aundh to Office used to take almost an hour to travel which used to include a bumpy ride in PMT bus and then almost a long, hot walk from university to office.

So we were totally against the change. I mean by that time we had known only one office and it was somehow emotional to leave the place which we have become used to for past two years.

My manager at that time, to convince me and curb my opposition rightly pointed out the usefulness of the new Office. A big Crosswords (Pune's biggest I believe) in the office building. How can I resist that temptation..Though on second thoughts I need to watch out for it now as well, as I have this habit(bad/Good???) of buying a book whenever I enter that place.

So now back to present tense. The situation is totally different. After coming back from UK, my project was again in Hinjewadi office. The main issue about this place is I have to solely depend on office transportation. Since I cant drive a car and don't have my Activa in Pune. So I have to come to office by 9 as the only bus available comes to my place at 8 and later in the evening since I have UK client almost invariable I am in office till 8. But since the next available bus is at 9 PM again. I have to wait. So now going back to city office will have this added advantage of coming and going according to workload

Also again, the shopping places are nearby and so as a days some very good restaurants have opened around the place. Plus all the teams which we work with are moving(Thank god for that ;))..So in short , I am getting all I wanted with this move :P so I am very happy.

This shows sometimes we look forward to the things we had hated at some point in our life. So the only thing that is constant in life is change...Whether its physical or a perspective change.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Have Faith Fedfans...Roger is still kicking and strong

The post topic is kinda disheartening...I mean I shouldn't be telling any Federer fans to have faith in our Idol..We have been with him the whole time. When he was at the top of the world and now when he is struggling a bit.But we have to hang in and i am sure he wont disappoint us


I started this post a long time back as you can see above.....even before French Open Semifinal. When Rog played immensely awesome match to break Djoker's Streak of unbeaten matches..I mean that match was one of his best ever games. 30 was just around the corner when he send a powerful message to his Rivals that he can still beat the best. I think this year he had realistic chance to beat Rafa in FO final too. The fighting display he showed should have at least took the match to 5 setter. Alas it was not meant to be. So all we Fed fans waited for Wimbledon. The start was pretty impressive but he fumbled in a Routine Q/F against Tsonga who became the first man to come 2 set down to win over Rog in Grand Slam event. I mean who would have thought that possible!!!!

It was a bitter set back and US Open added more salt to the wound, when in the straight second year, Djoker saved two match points to Edge Roger out in 5 set thriller. As usual the tongues of Fed Haters started wagging, declaring he is been done for. How he no longer can compete against Game's best. I mean common guys, he was still world No 3. Ask any other tennis player and he will tell you if he ever had such a year, he will consider himself Lucky. But since we are talking about Roger Federer here no one gave him any chance.

Rog took a well needed 6 weeks break and came back strong as ever in Basel and he also won the trophy that has been missing from his cabinet, The Paris Masters and while doing so he again set one record. He is the only man to compete in All master Finals. He now is just 1 shy of Rafa's no. of Masters title won. It seems whenever Roger looks anywhere one or other record tumbles.
Then Came London. Here all the other top players were feeling the effects of the long season where once again Roger showed how you can manage your season to get the most out of your Body. I mean he was the Oldest guy in the draw and looked most fresh. He won all of his matches in this year's Finale and he got the most astounding victory over Rafa. the scoreline was 6-3,6-0. He now has bageled Rafa on all surfaces where in his worst defeat to Rafa came in 2008 FO final.

With the Finale win, he has become the most successful player to win the year end tournament ever. He surpassed Sampras and Lendle's 5 titles each. This has been truly the very strong end to his year 2011, which has been not as phenomenal year as  the standards he has set and we are all expecting from him. Lets see how AO 12 pans out. Djokovic already feeling the heat of the wonderful season which he had and looking at these young players like Rafa and Djoker you come to respect Roger for the way he has handled his carrier and have kept his body more or less injury free. I don't have to write anything about his masterclass game. For me he is the true genius and Tennis becomes such a treat when he is playing,orchestrating the whole thing.

This victory in Finales and especially the Rafa route has been truly satisfying. With the high note, he has shown that 30 is just a number!!!!

Roger Federer Holding Record 6th ATP Year End Trophy 2011 (Getty Images)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A book that touched my Soul

Being a book worm, it becomes very hard for me to decide which book I like the best or which character I liked the best. It keeps changing continuously and it would not be fair to even try doing this. How can you compare Howard Roark to Harry Potter or Mr. Darcy to Jason Bourne. It wouldnt be fair to ask Micky Haller to babysit Lyra. The point is each and every book I have read till now is special for me. I am not saying all books have been high class or are artistic etc. I have read some of the most boring books too. But Reading them have been an experience in themselves as they taught me the virtue of patience and tolerance if nothing else.

But the way I have written about Frisco, I would like to make an exception and write about another such character which have touched my Soul. The book I am talking about is Hopelessly Romantic. I never considered myself inclined to Romantic books. I was never able to stand the mushy romance when I earlier have read some books so my forte has always been crime/Thriller. So its very rare that I genuinely like a Romantic books and rarer still that I would feel the need to write about it. So without creating too much of suspense I will let u know which book i am talking about. Its 'The Host' by Stephanie Meyers. Yes the Author of Famous 'Twilight' Series.

This book borders on being a Sci-Fi too. the quick plot line goes like this. Earth has been Invaded by Aliens called Souls. They are not the green space suit and antenna on head Hollywood aliens but something like a worm with many legs. They attach themselves to the nervous system and occupy the whole Brain of Humans. Melanie Stryder is one of the surviving Human rebels. The souls Catch her and put a soul called "Wandarer" in her. In most cases the human presence is completely wiped out but in this case Melanie gives a fight and eventually leads Wanderer to the hidden Humans and how Wanderer herself accepts these humans as her family.

Now its a very ordinary story. Why it is special for me is because of the character Wanda. IF Frisco is the guy I have fallen in love with and want my man to be like him, then Wanda is someone I can relate most too. In Most of the places like Wanda, I feel as outsider. She clings on to her principles of not hurting people even if they are hurting her and almost on the verge of killing her. She even falls in love with the humans who have constantly hurt her. She goes out of her way to help them survive even if not many of them can appreciate her or even acknowledge her presence.

In every action of her I can see myself. Of course she is too Noble (may be coz she is heroine) I am not that Noble. But still dunno why every time I read this book. I feel for her. I feel her anguish,her pain, her Love for Jared, Jammie and Ian. Her love for Melanie, Her feelings sandwiched between Jared and Ian and ultimately her feelings of betraying her true family.

I cannot summarise my thoughts on the book in one sentence or even in this blog. I cannot say why I feel this way. Is it because of the situations I have been through or is it the writer's knack of telling story.I think we both have this complex of not fitting in so we have gone to great extents to make others happy. In the book it works more or less but in real life never has worked for me. Wanda had been to 9 different planets before she comes to earth and then realise that this is where she belongs or this planet she can call as her home. When will I find something/someone/somewhere that I can say I belong too???

Friday, 21 October 2011

To My Mentor

Today its Omer's Last day in the organisation. Frankly I am not even part of that organisation but i have worked there as contractor.

When I first heard about Omer was when my manager told me that I have a client interview lined up and the client manager will call me on my mobile at so and so time. Understandably I was very nervous and scared. By luck for the first three years I never faced Client interview and directly got added into project. I was not new to client interaction. I had done that in my previous projects. But when you say the word interview the tension and nervousness goes hand in hand. So when Omer called at first I didn't get his accent at all. But later it was more of conversation than an interview. He had already decided to onboard me based on the feedback he received from my previous clients. So he was very cool and made me at ease immediately.

When I reached London, I was totally in awe of him. I interacted more with Emily and was in constant fear that I will do something wrong and O will scold me. When I told him that I was scared of him at the start he didn't believe me..But I really was. Later on when I was kinda settled I got to know Em and O much better. Under the hard Exterior I found that they were really good,caring people. Even though I was from vendor side, Even though I was an outsider they really considered me part of the team. They cared for me and not just the work.They made me belong there. In London, In the team.

O was especially caring. He always frowned even if I so much as touched a glass of Alcohol.He knew my interest in Tennis and actually got me 2 free 50 pound passes for the semi Final of Barclay's ATP Finale in 2009. That was really touching.

I learned loads from him.He taught me how to make split second decisions and how to handle tough Business Users. How to protect your team and make them feel good about being in the project or doing the work.Always back your team mates in front of others. How to keep good balance between work and life. I remember there was a drinks party for some reason or other. Our team didn't needed much of an encouragement to flee the office and convene in Chi noodles anyways. So that day I was working late in office due to one of the issues. After I finished work I thought its too late to join so went straight to home. O called me at 9.30 and asked me where I was.When I told him why i was not able to join he scolded me for working late and told me in case there comes any similar situation later i shouldn't be waiting late in office and I should tell users to wait for till next day. Though we(me and O) used to be the last ones leaving for the day most of the days.

Initially O was not very happy to let go of Vijender. I was his replacement. So O was unsure whether I would be able to do the work properly and all. Later he admitted to me that He should have called me earlier in this project and he was wrong to assume I wont be able to handle things. That was really touchy. I Really admired his honesty. Since he was client manager he did not have to let me know this. There was no compulsion so that made this admission real special for me.

He is also a Taurus. Is this the reason for the very good rapport between us? I don't know. But the thing we agreed on most was we Taurus are stubborn :P

The project would never feel the same again without him. I will really miss him. I wish all the very best for him and really hope we will work together in future.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Wake me up when September ends

An Apt song from Green day for me..Thats why I love Green Day. I think the other song ' I walk the lonely road' is also made for me..anyways I think being the music buff and too much thinker (most of the times overly thinking stuff) I can relate to almost all songs by some way or other.

Anyways this blog is not about my love for music. This song is apt for me because since last 10 years I have dreaded September like never before. I dont even remember September having any importance in my life before that. It was just another month. I didnt have anything to remember it by..No birthdays of significance not any Anniversaries. But September of 2001 changed everything for me.

Yes it was a tragic month for world too when US saw its biggest terror attack on 9/11 but for me personally 29th September was the Black Saturday for my life. I still see that day, I still live it in every September and not just then but everytime when I miss my Dad which is pretty much all the time. I still dont have come to terms with Babulnath and Hajiaali which I visited that day in morning. Nor could I ever forget that Idli which I forcefully ate in Panvel on way to home in evening.

They say time heals the wounds, but I dont know whether this wound would ever heal. Its been 10 years and I am still struggeling to get through. Every happy moment, every achivement has this missing piece in it. There are some people in your life whose place no one will ever be able to take. He is one of those few. I would always miss him and dread the September every year. I love you Baba. Will always miss you

Friday, 16 September 2011

Super Serb/ SuperNovak!!!!!!!!

In Chinese, they always have the year associated with some Animal and they call it Year of Dragon, Year for Dog etc. I think in Tennis too this concept should be applied.We have Years of Rog in 2005,06,07, then 08 and 09 were split between Rog and Rafa. 2011 was Year of Rafa and 2011 has been Year of Novak or should we call him SuperNova(k)!!!!!

Last year US open was the turning point of Nole I guess. When Roger and Rafa were fighting it out between them who would be the top man in tennis, Djokovic was constantly the 3rd best for past 4 years. He always used to be an Outsider and was considered one Grand slam wonder by many, including me. How he has proved us all wrong. According to him its that Davis cup win and a change in the diet!!!! For me its tough to accept the explanation. I am not doubting his ability. He is a great player. He has both attacking and defensive game. But what was problematic was his stamina, health and giving up on the match if he starts losing. He literally changed all that in a span of a month.

Whatever may be the reason behind it, but what we have now is a supremely confident Novak Djokovic. There was one time when I used to like him. But not in recent times.But I am impressed.What a year he is having just makes you speechless.He is winning matches and tournaments week in week out and in the process have defeated almost all of the top order. Roger 4 times and Nadal 6 times and for Nadal it were all finals. Thats a huge thing and no one would have considered it possible last year.

Last year Nadal was cruising. His fans have even crowned him as GOAT even if he still has less slams than Federer. Everybody thought he will do what no one has been ever able to do after Laver. I.e. to win 4 consecutive Grand slams. And in all furor no one took notice of the Djoker. He was clinically dismantling his opponents and won the Australian Open. No one thought much about it as he already have won the slam once. So no big deal right? But then came the masters and his streak continued. He was almost touching McEnroe's Streak of 46 consecutive wins but for Roger. Roger showed the world that he is not finished as predicted. He can still take out the most Red hot guy and he is 30. Who knows what would have happened if Roger have lost in that match. May be Rafa would have pulled one back or Nole would have continued his streak till now.

Today his record stands for 64-2. The two losses are to Federer in French Open SF and retirement against Murray in Cinni. And why I felt like writing about him is not just his no. of wins but some of the matches he played this year were spectacular. He played Roger with great defence in AO 11 and then played Nadal's game and more in Wimbledon and US open. These matches were a spectacle of Tennis though I don't personally like the grinding, retrieving baseline tennis but still they were spectacles. Even I couldn't stop saying wow in many of the US open final Rallies.

Hats of to Novak. Of course I have my own agenda/motive/selfish interest in Novak's rise this year. He has single handedly stopped Rafa from running away with grand slams and equalling Roger's record. Those people who used to throw at me the fact that Rafa always defeats roger and hence should be considered great have got this one to explain. This now is a good circle we have at top of men's tennis. Nole beats Rafa, Rafa beats Roger and Roger beats Nole (sometimes :P).

This will be great for the world of tennis and lets see whose's year it would be 2012

Friday, 9 September 2011

Francisco d'Anconia - Greatest Tragic Hero ever?

The most important question that has been asked throughout 'Atlas Shrugged' is "who is John Galt?" Yes correct we know John is the mysterious man, the brain behind strike, in many peoples' eyes the true hero of the book.

But I would like to ask "Who is Francisco d'Anconia?" Do we really know him when we read the first two volumes of the book? He is the mystery man hiding in plain sight. Every time he appears in a scene you feel the excitement of whats he is going to throw at us. How he is going to break all our preconceived motions about him? Is he really is the international playboy, an incompetent rich boy who likes to spend his fortune? Dagny's past and childhood memories tell us its not right. But his present image force you to face the contradiction.

For me, the main hero of the book is Francisco..The Childhood friend of Eddie and Dagny. Frisco. The child who knew how to be truly happy. The teen who wants to take d'Anconia fortunes to even bigger heights than it ever reached. The man who sticks to his principles of not working for the looters. The Man who precisely and deliberately plotted the destruction of the most important thing in his life 'd'Anconia Copper' and in the process lost the most important person, his one and only love Dagny.

The night when Dagny met him last, where she gets the glimpse of the toughest choice that lies in front of him is what defines Frisco. He knows what he has to do. And he knows that this battle might make Dagny hate him forever still he knows his friend Galt is right.But the pain he knows that choice will be giving to Dagny is what he hated most about it. Man you need guts to do that.

His was the greatest influence on Dagny's upbringing. He was her first love. He breaks her trust the most. At least it seems to be that way till the end. He always seem to be carefree and mocking. But when the people who matter to him like Dagny and Hank Rearden don't understand the facade and he cannot explain to them his true reasons, then his vulnerability is truly displayed.

It breaks my heart to get him beaten and ridiculed by people. The moment he knows that he has lost Dagny is the most brutal to feel. You actually feel the pain seeping through the book into you. The aim of his battle was ultimately to get Dagny. Though he wins his fight against looters but he loses much more in the process. Even Galt acknowledges this. He says to Frisco once "Of all of us who are fighting this, you are the one who has to suffer the most". How true!!!!

He will always remain Dagny's past. Through Frisco and Dagny we get to know that though the past is influential and driving force in our life we cant recapture or relive it. How much ever we try hard to keep holding on to it.

For me Frisco is the most tragic hero you can ever have. And how i would love to change the end of the book to correct this. But if it was so then Atlas shrugged wouldn't be the book that i have come to love.
Francisco I will always love you :)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A Failed Trek to Sinhgad!!!

This Saturday, we decided to go to Sinhgad for my first trek of the year or this monsoon. Jenny already went there week before with her cousin and they came back in good time. I missed out that day as i had to come to office :( so I was looking forward to this Saturday's outing.

On Friday eve, NM mentioned he might not be able to make it as we had to leave quite early. So it left only me,Jenny, CK and Vijay P from Jenny's team. On Friday night somehow I had trouble sleeping. Was that excitement of the upcoming adventure? no I don't think so. Its not like I haven't been to Sinhgad before. So I am still not sure about the disturbed sleep..Anyways we got up quite early and just had tea and left around 7.

We drove to a small village at the bottom of Sinhgad called Aaktarwadi. We parked the car and started the Trek. Within minutes I realised I have lost all my stamina of the previous year. Still we climbed for more than half n hour and then the dizziness striked me. I still tried to continue for few more minutes by taking some rest and a sip of water. But I sadly realised my nausea and dizziness was increasing every minute and I was slowing these guys down.

So I decided to go down. These guys started climbing again. But where we had stopped the view was just awesome. There was no sun and the weather was cool. So I thought I will just wait there for few minutes before continuing down. But the silence was so refreshing and inviting I just couldn't get up. I Sat and I sat. This sudden turn in situation gave me much needed "Alone Time" which was necessary for some serious thinking. I realised few things or I confessed few things to myself which I was avoiding in the past

The prominent thing which was immediately apparent for me to see is  that I am loosing my fighting spirit.I am not saying I have lost it completely but if I don't watch out that day is not far away. I used to be proud of my fighting spirit and my mental strength. I think I am giving up on things a bit too quickly. So this shows I need to get back my #1 strength ASAP.

The other important thing was the state of my stamina. I mean I am not saying I could have run up the whole Sinhgad before but I need to get back my stamina. I have got swimsuits over weekend and will start swimming this week to get some of it bk.

Next thing was how much I enjoyed being alone. There was a point in not so distant past where I used to get restless or depressed if I think I am alone and there is no one for me/around me. No plans to look forward too etc but this time I really enjoyed this solitary vigil. They say when you can enjoy with oneself you wont need any company to be happy always. Was this the thing I was missing in my life? was I too dependent on everyone else for my happiness. Its too early to say but this Failed trek has given me a glimpse of how I can make the most of such alone time.

I think the lines from the movie 'Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara' (which incidentally I saw the same day in evening and about it I will write separately) are very apt

देर हुई लेकिन मैंने अब है जीना सिख लिया,
कैसे भी हो दिन मैंने अब है  जीना सिख लिया,
अब मैंने, ये जाना है, ख़ुशी है क्या, गम क्या,
दोनों ही है, दो पल की रुतें, न ये ठहेरे न रुके,
ज़िन्दगी दो रंगों से बने, अब रूठे अब मने,
यहीं तो है, यहीं तो है, यहाँ

देर हुई लेकिन मैंने अब है जीना सिख लिया,
आंसुओ के बिन मैंने अब जीना सिख लिया.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Things to do before I am 30 - Part I

wow...the title is daunting..When I always come to my blog post to write about it, it makes me think that I am loosing Kareena said in JWM "Aisa lag raha hai ki meri train miss ho rahi hai". I don't even realise where all these years have gone. Me thinks I will have to split this blog into two parts. One part to talk about the life before today and another to plot the next year to make most of it before 30.

I am coming to this blog after almost a month and now have to hurry to finish it by end of today.Tomorrow will be my last birthday in the twenties and then there will be exactly one year I will have before I will turn thirty. Time is running out not just on the things to do but even to finish this blog as well :(

So as you can see by the date I was not able to update this by the time of my birthday. And now I have already lost almost 1 and half months of my one year before 30. I think jindagi aise hi nikal jaayegi when you keep planning rather than actually doing anything :P

So now lets begin of the notable things I have done or not done till now. These things might not be all goody goody but none the less had a major impact on my life or have changed me in some ways or other. Lets split them into 'Not so Pleasent' and 'very satisfying' categories. I am now getting all those 'Not so Pleasant ' things out of my way first
  • The only regret I will have for rest of my life is I didn't get any gift for dad when I went back for Diwali during my first year of engineering. It was not like I was earning and I haven't got something. But I never got a chance to do that when I actually started working. So this is a massive regret I will have to live with. May be this is the reason why I keep getting gifts to all my loved ones every time.
  • I got first class from 4th semester through out. Now this is a good thing in itself but it was too little to late for dad to see. He was very happy to see me getting even second class for my 3rd Sem so I keep imagining how he would have reacted for my first class. So even if everybody will consider getting a first class is good thing but for me too it was too little too late.
  • Same goes with my job and my stay in London. He would have been so proud.When I saw Mom coming out of the terminal on Heathrow I was overjoyed coz mom was in London as well as extremely sad coz dad was not. Human emotions are so funny. You can feel two extreme emotions at the same time
  • The next thing is kind of recurring. Over the period of time I have become so good at falling for wrong guys its getting scary and scarry both. At one point I was proud of myself for actually 'knwoing' people. But now I no longer have that faith/trust in myself and I am afraid to trust another guy. All current problems I am facing right now have the root in the trust issues I am having.
  • There was a point in my life when I had gone into cocoon. That was unfair to many people who genuinely cared and got hurt by my behavior. I have decided that no matter what happens I will never do this mistake again.
I know the above things are a very broad version but if given the chance I would like to change these or at least some of these.

Now lets cheer up a bit. Below are the things which really make me happy.Even today just thinking about them I get this huge smile on my face.
  • During my stay in London, I finally convinced my mum to come there to visit. When mom walked out on Heathrow that was the most wonderful experience of my life and even today make me so proud of myself
  •  Being a Tennis buff, going to Wimbledon during the championship weeks was a real treat. From the age of 4-5 years I have watched Wimbledon with awe.The traditions, Strawberries and cream,the overall atmosphere was a big pull. So to experience it in person was one of the many dreams come true
  • I make a bold decision to buy 50 pound ticket per session for 3 days in ATP world Tours 2009. Its the year end tournament between world's top 8 tennis players. And the most important part was I get to see ROGER FEDERER play live...that too twice...Being a die hard Fed Fan that was something special.I almost fainted with joy the first time I caught glimpse of him just few feet away from me.
  • I am afraid of heights..I mean I cant even climb on a chair and don't feel scared. So when I agreed to do Paragliding in Swiss (Interlaken) I even surprised myself. It was a scary and exhilarating experience at the same time. The feeling of 'I can Fly' was worth the trouble :)
  • Going to Arsenal matches and visiting Wembley Stadium (for a rather dull England Vs France match) were the highlights for the football fan in me. The Arsenal Vs Everton match was Epic. Not because of the quality of the match but because of our experience. We Got the members passes and sitting amidest all die hard Arsenal fans. Sandy and Smitesh were neutral so they had to worry about this more :D It was a really wonderful experience. Thank God Arsenal Won that match 2-1 otherwise the man sitting next to Smithy would have cried.
  • I have made if not the most then almost most of my stay in UK by  travelling around. Been to Paris twice (My most favorite city), Swiss, Holland(Amsterdam), Italy(Rome). Almost all of UK(except Irland). I have visited the 'The Da Vinci Code' landmarks as well as 'The Angles & Damons' landmarks, Now the next destination should be Washington DC to follow 'The Lost Symbol' landmarks isn't it? :D
On this note I will wrap up the Part I. In the next blog I will add what I want to still do which is also a very big list ;)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Offshore Impact

Now its been a week and a half since I have joined Pune office. Lots of things have changed here over the period of years I have been with this company. The most drastic difference is I don't see many familiar faces around. I am not saying previously as well I used to know everyone. But at least by sight many people were familiar. I am missing that familiarity. It feels like I have come to a totally new company and starting all over again

In a way yes I am starting all over again. I think by the time I don't buy a house somewhere which I can call my own (mom's home is always my home but its not near and I cant go there everyday :( ) I will feel this way I guess.

From last 11 years I am out of my home. First it was Hostel then it was Pune for job. Then London. I have lost count of the houses I have stayed in during this period of time. That's why the feeling of not belonging to a single place.

Anyways I am diverting. So I was talking about all the changes I have seen in my colleagues since I have come back. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I cannot see the professionalism that has been engraved into us when we join the company. Notable example was in canteen. When I went for lunch and I waited behind few people who were standing to place orders. I keep seeing people coming in between and giving orders. Finally after 5 minutes I asked my team mate whether I am standing in correct line. He said ki 'Aap line mein khade rahe to aapka number aane tak lunch khatam ho jaayega' . Same thing when I was waiting to get my order. I can understand everyone wants their orders to be done fast but 5 minutes se kya farak padata hai.

Same goes with travelling in office buses. When you are trying to get in people push you back and get in. I mean its not a train that if u don't get in withing stipulated time you will miss it.

Notably all these my colleagues behave so different when they are at client location. They behave with utmost care to make themselves presentable, mannered, well read and demanding respect. Why should we behave that way only at Client location or in other countries. If we start behaving the same way and observing the decorum at our own office we don't have to strive hard to do that in other places. We don't have to attend "Special Training" before going to onsite.

My rant is not at any particular person nor I am pointing at anyone. Now this is collective behaviour. I am not comparing life and manners in UK to India. That would be very unfair. I am just comparing the company environment I knew 3 years back to now. Even before going to abroad all these manners were engraved in us through example by our seniors or by the training guys. All the new trainees behave respectfully and with conscious mind. These days I don't see that anywhere.

And then we crib about the state of India. After such high education, such good opportunities if we cant behave in respectful manner what right we have to blast other people that they are rude, uneducated, not well mannered and are responsible for the state of India we are in. Everybody thinks why I should be the only one doing things right when everyone is doing it other way. But I guess you can lead by example or even if you cant change the whole situation you will get satisfaction of being at least true to you.

We the educated people, we the fortunate ones can make a difference if we decide. Then India wont be behind all those foreign countries we so want to fly to, to just get out of India.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Jindagi Hai jo Jiye jaati hai

The above line is an apt description of my life currently. Now that my return to India is almost finalised I am again plunged with the same questions I have been fighting with for quite some time now. I think I am almost on the same stage where I was in 2010 when I was going back to India for good.

No I think there is a little difference there. That time I was looking forward to it at least a little bit. This time I don’t have any illusions about what lies ahead of me. I don’t have any hopes, expectations or any promises of bright future. I guess this is good in a way. Then anything I will get will bring only joy and no expectations means not getting hurt.

Everyone calls me a pessimist. I think its good to be a pessimist coz either you are proven right or are pleasantly surprised whatever the outcome is.

So the questions I keep repeatedly asking myself is where is my life headed? What do I want from it? Should I want anything or should I just go with the flow.
Frankly I haven’t got any answers yet. And not sure whether I ever will. It just that it’s now suffocating me again. I am trying real hard to enjoy and I think I have succeeded somewhat but the constant questions in my head keep eating away.

Not really sure what should/could be a solution of this. Just hoping I will know it once I see it in front of me. Till then

जिंदगी है जो जिए जा रही है, ख्वाब आँखों से सिये जा रही है 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Does Age give you wisdom?

They say as you grow old you get wiser. Funny thought. I mean I don't say I disagree with it but still it doesnt necessarily be the case. I think you will become wiser provided you learn from your experiences, you keep an open mind for criticism and life's curve balls. Then you will definitely become wiser.

What is experience. I read it somewhere what it is and it has stick with me ever since. 'They say experience is what you get when you don't get what you want'. True isn't it? So as I am in contemplating mood since my birthday here are few things I have learned over the period of time.

  • Love Yourself - If you yourself don't love you why should anyone else do. You are the only one who can keep you happy. people will try to push you down, humiliate you, make you feel ugly but they cant harm you if you are happy inside. Be your own Admirer. Because you will never desert yourself no matter what.
  • Don't run behind people - If they are meant to be in your life they will also take efforts to be there. You shouldn't be convincing anyone what they are missing or why they should stick by you. Those who stick with you don't need any reason and most importantly those who don't, never will how much you try to convince them otherwise. 
  • Don't Judge people - Nobody has given you the authority.You are not suppose to judge people. I know its hard not too. I even cant help it but I try to refrain. Everyone is fighting their own battles so we will never know what they have gone through or faced to become what they are. 
  • People will hurt you -  Every one will at some point or other.You are made up of flesh and blood and are not bulletproof. But you will have to think of whether these people matter? if they don't you should learn to let go.
  • Ignore - There are N number of things people do or are happening around you which annoy you, irritate you. You should learn to ignore them for your own mental peace. Coz 9 out of 10 times you are the only one suffering because of it and its not worth it.
  • Be Selfish - This is something which will create conflicts with what you have been taught up till now. But everyone is selfish. Everyone have their hidden motives. Try to make people happy to a limit but learn this you cannot make everyone happy and be happy at the same time. So after a limit you will have to look after yourself. There will hardly be anyone else when you actually need one. I read one saying to this effect ' I was looking for help and then I found ME'
  • Always give second chances and benefits of doubts - Sometimes all people need is second chance. Don't burn bridges behind you if someone doesn't do what you think is right or what you like. They might have some good reason for it or they might be jerks at that time. Try to be in their shoes to see their point of view or just forgive them. Hating someone will not affect the other person as much as it affects you.
  • Remember life is not fairy tale. It wont necessarily have happy endings.
I am not saying I follow all these things but at least I am trying and I am sure there will come one day when I will learn all these and on that day I would have made peace with me. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

This birthday was special. For once it was my last birthday in my twenties. Weirdly I don't feel bad about this. I would have thought it will make me feel sad and I would be down and stuff but really it was just another year and another birthday.

Jenny had taken it on herself to make it special and boy the way she managed that was just awesome. On my birthday eve we went shopping and bought 3 nice frocks.I don't know but somehow I cannot avoid the temptation of buying those. Though in India I don't get too much chance of wearing them still. After all I am a girl, buying and stocking it up in my birth right and what better day to exercise it than the Birthday :P 

Jenny ordered me to stay in my room after 10 PM that day and asked me to dress up. Lazy as I am, I vehemently disagreed. I said why dress up for just us. So it made jenny slip and she said something to the effect that more people were coming than just my roomies and ck (our ghost roomie) so I didn't pursue that topic further and agreed to obey. So I was waiting in my room and I could hear these guys putting decorations in hall. It was fun imaging what all is planned and I let my imagination run wide. At around 10 to 12 I heard the door open. And when Jenny called me out, to say I was surprised to see the number of people out there would be an understatement. I will just note the names here for the record. My three roomies (Jenny, Priya, Bhuvna), CK, Swaroop, Sandeep P, Naro, QC, Smitesh, Sandeep S, Amol, Aman, Satya, Rahul. Since it was Sailee's birthday on the same day, Yuvraj and Sailee couldn't come to cake cutting :( The cake was so yummy. CK and Swaroop helped finishing it off. We have proof to show CK eating the cake the whole time :P For the first time people put so much cake on my face.CK even put some saying NM asked him to put it on his behalf. I mean I totally got outnumbered protesting :( but it was fun. Then the big program of gift giving happened and guess what I got...A Kindle...I wanted to buy it for so long and here it was. So after a promise of reading stories to everyone finally I got my hands on it. The house was mess and after a promise from QC to come next day and clean it up (he just wanted tea for all his mehanant :P ) everybody left. Priya had returned from India that same day and was very tired. Her insistent question of Cab kab aayegi (for the Ilford people) made people realise its getting late. Also our neighbours were not happy with the commotion we made but all it was worth it.

Next day I got few surprise birthday wishes. Surprise cause I had not at all expected these guys wishing me. Hence was taken aback.The whole day went in replying to emails and stuff. In the evening owning more to our messy Hall we decided to go out to dinner and went to Sakoni's. Jenny got flowers on the way. When we were piling our plates the Sakoni's wala uncle asked us who's birthday it is. And later when he noticed we have eaten too much, he got a slice of pastry with a candle on it. And the song 'Tum Jeeyo Hajaro Saal' started playing at the background. Thank god the restaurant was deserted otherwise I would have to bury myself in that pastry :P But jokes aside that was really a very sweet gesture by Sakoni's and I really appreciated that. It was touching. Though J, P and B ne haath khade kar diye pastry khane ke time pe so I had to finish that off coz it was my bday :(. 

The birthday treat was on Friday and first time we had a huge group of 18 people. I booked into the Blue Room. Its an Indian resto near our house which plays Hindi music. So we danced and danced and danced. The staff there was thoroughly irritated with us but who cares :P it was lots of fun. The food was great and  again we danced. Swaroop was the star of the group of course though everyone contributed on the dance floor. Again I got another gift. Kindle cover this time :) and a nice perfume of brand Beckham. 

The Commotion

Cake on my face :(
The Yummy Cake

We 4 in Sakoni's

Some of the Gang in Blue Room

So all in all this birthday was one of the best I had celebrated and Thank you guys for coming and making it so special. Jenny was the mastermind of all the schemes so a special thanks to her. That girl has really made too much efforts to lift me out of my stupor of last year and hats off to her. As Sandy P said I am lucky to have her as a friend and I agree with him.

P.S - I am on this stupid thing of not eating chocolates and ice creams till May end. But my birthday was an exception and along with the delicious chocolate cake I had some chocolate cookies in office too :P Alas the day got over so soon.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

One for the Road

No I am not talking about the Va.Pu. Kale book or any other beverages and stuff for the road. :P Had to clarify that right knowing me you might go to that conclusion ;)..may be its the case of Chor ke dadhi mein tinaka but its better to clarify things :)

So this 'One for the Road' is for the songs I keep hearing while travelling to and from office. Depending on the mood my playlist keeps changing. But today felt like writing a blog for select few of the songs. Coincidentally these were the songs I heard today too. This playlist in my Ipod is called 'Close to Heart' songs..It assorted songs and has most of my favorite ones. So was listening to it since yesterday. There are almost more than 150 songs in this playlist so to pick these few was a tough task. But below are some songs which are truly close to heart
  • Tum Se Hi (Jab We Met) - When I watched the movie for the very first time this was a total unknown song for me. It never made it in any promos and all initially. So when it came on screen I was captivated to say the least. But the effect of the movie was such that everything about that movie felt good. Later while coming back I suddenly realised I have found something special in that movie. This is the most played song on my Ipod and the people who know my addiction to music will know what that means :) . I can never explain why this is such a special song for me..the music, Mohit Suri's voice and the awesome words are part of the reason but there is something more to my obsession with this song that even I am not able to explain to myself.
  • Awarapan Banjarapan (Jism) - I have to entirely blame the radio stations in mumbai for my addiction to this song. When we were in hostel I didn't have a luxury of laptop, Ipod the only thing that held me to music was FM and you know how these staions keep playing the same songs over and over again.Of course thats true for most of the songs. But this is a special song.It has stayed with me for almost 8 years now and dont think it will ever go away. If you believe in stuff like 'you have a song that's made for you' or 'its your soul song' then this is the one for me.It just captures my Soul.Everything about this song is haunting....The wind chimes, KK's voice, the music and the lyrics just make such a perfect package...'कहा  किसी  के  लिए  है  मुमकिन  सबके  लिए  एक  सा  होना ..थोडा  सा  दिल  मेरा  बुरा  है  थोडा  भला  है  सीने  में '..Perfect!!!!!!!!!
  • Paigaam (Lakeer) - A.R Rehmann's one of my Favorite song. You probably don't even remember the movie. It bombed on the box office.But this is a beautiful song. Of course it has my Fev season..Monsoon..The picturasation is good..and If you just close your eyes and listen to the song, it will take you to those beautiful hills, baarish and someone special :) Its that kind of song...
  • Kitani Baatein (Lakshya) - ' You have Changed' Preity Zinta says to Hritik..he replies 'Tum nahi badali kya' and it just sets the tone of the song. It tells us that people change and forget to tell each other. This song is all about the happy memories of the past which are now just that..Memories...when I walk down from Farringdon to office and come to Ludgate Circus signal everyday I remember this song. There is no special reference to this place or any specific memory. But some things just happen and this is one of those..In that instant I see the flashback of my London stay... all good, bad and ugly!!! So thats why this song is making into the list
  • O Meri jaan (Tum Mile) - This song is all about relationships(any relationships) and how misunderstanding can rip those healthy and 'will never fail' relationships apart. Its complicated says someone..I dont know why it has to be any complicated...You take care of me, I take care of you..shouldnt that be enough? But looking at how some of my most cherished relationships have gone awry I think its not always enough. This song is about such a failed relationship. How sometimes not clearing the misunderstanding can change your life entirely.'ना तुम हो बेवफा ना मैं भी हूँ फिर भी है हम जुदा मैं क्या कहूं, ना जाने वक़्त की मर्जी है क्या, क्यूँ है मिली ये दूरीयाँ!!!! so True
  • Some songs do need atleast a mention here like 'Aaj Socha to Aankh Bhar aayi', 'Ye Dooriyain', ' White Flag', 'White Horse'  etc. We can talk about these some time later.
There are many more songs about which I can go on and on..Some songs come to my mind when I go to specific place, some when I think about a person or when I listen to these songs they remind me of some or the other person in my life who is close or has been close to me. Some songs come to mind with specific weather. So I think I should stop now.

But one thing is sure Without Music, I would have been one hallow person without any Soul..

Monday, 28 March 2011

Love aaj kal...Mumbai Pune Mumbai..etc etc etc

Watching Love Aaj Kal on Zee Cinema...This is one of those movies which has lots of memories attached to it and I remember it for all those memories than the movie itself. It was one of those Fridays when our weekend masti used to kick off. On that particular day in our office we had summer outing and had this treasure hunt. We were split up in 4 groups of 4 each and had been given 10 clues of different places in London. We had to decipher the code (Dan Brown style ;) ) and had to click snap in front of the place as proof. Me, Jenny, Deepti and Manjit were a group. Manjit ne hume bahot bhagaya and ofcourse we won the hunt. It was sad in the end coz as a gift we got this sadi small word book. I still regret missing John Abraham's movie Shoot for that book. After the usual socialising (Read drinks) we set off towards Ilford.

All our weekend used to start with catching a movie at Cineworld and then playing cards the whole night. But this Friday we ran into a long queue at cineworld. To pacify the other angry and irritated members of the gang (Not all were at office party and we actually were late :P) we had got the crispy cream doughnuts. But we didn't reach in time and all the shows were booked till 11.15. After a long deliberation we got the tickets, had dinner and went for the movie. There are some parts of the memory I would like to forget but you have to take all of those moments together isn't it? When I first saw the movie I totally hated it. Its not like I have started liking it but I can tolerate it these days. The movie was slow and we were tired. Jenny and Nikhil promptly fell asleep. It seems after a lonnnng time the movie finally got over. After that day for some weeks we had overdose of Twist (courtesy Kunal) and Aahu Aahu (Courtesy Nikhil) while playing the cards. We had to finally ban the DJs from playing it. I still start laughing remembering Nikhil's Rickshaw step.And how can I forget Mine and Jenny's Chor Bajari step..We tried that at the London Disc as well. It was too cool fun. And then there is 'Yeh Dooriyan..' One of my most favorite songs. Whenever I listen to this song it feels like someone is taking my heart out. I just cant breath.It transports me back in time just to bring me crashing back to reality. Do I Love the memories or the pain those bring with them? I don't know. But this is one of those weird things which remind you of something. Like the first rain, Specific colour of sky, Flowers or just some empty nights. आठवणींच्या देशात मी मनाला कधी पाठवत नाही, जाताना ते खुश असते, पण येताना त्याला येववत नाही. So I try to avoid this song but whenever I listen to it,it opens the old wounds I am so trying to cover up. anyways enough about it for a day.

Now about the movie. Its hard to digest the steps Deepika takes after her marriage. I feel for Rahul Khanna. Poor chap. This movie also feels like a Fairy Tale. Too good to be true. In India you cannot just live like that. And if you try people and society wont allow you too. In India marriage is like a compulsion. You have to follow the rules and get married. Even if you don't want to or you don't love the person. And if you break the rules, try to go against the flow then everyone will keep reminding you that something is seriously wrong with you. You have to be incredibly strong. So this movie makes me ask that question to myself. Am I strong enough? I still have not got my answer but I think time will give me the answer eventually.

All this talk takes me to the other movie I saw today. 'Mumbai Pune Mumbai'. Its a marathi movie. I wanted to see it long back. But missed it. Finally I got a chance to see it. Its about this girl who comes from Mumbai to Pune to meet this guy. Its a arrange marriage and she hasn't seen him. What happens is the story of just one day. Both Mukta Burve and Swapnil Joshi are perfect in their roles.This movie touches to the age old debate of which city is better.Mumbai or Pune. Reminds me of my endless debates with my friend too. I liked this movie but again I am not sure whether it will happen/can happen in real life.

I don't know what all I have written in the post. Don't know whether it will make sense or not. But I had promised myself that I will use my blog as my pensive and I am just sticking with it. May be some other day when I glance through it I will find the answers I am looking for....May Be

Monday, 7 March 2011

TP thoughts

Since last Sunday after that heartbreaking finale at wembley to say the mood was little down will be an understatement. It was Sh*te till Tuesday. But then came Stamford Bridge and the great(so called) Man UTD got a taste of their own medicine. How can u do a complete U turn on how Ref is against you when your baby got away with it on Saturday..Anyways they got what they deserved. The whole match I was talking with one of my footie friends who is a Die hard Chelsea supporter. It was fun

Came Wednesday where we run riot over Orient to gain next round FA cup match against Man UTD on 12th march.

But on Saturday we were not able to capitalise on UTD's loss by winning against the black cats.Though we were at the receiving end of bad Referring I am happy we didn't loose and a draw is good enuf..Now time to Face BARCA.

Then came Sunday..what a day it has been. We were greeted with such amazing sunshine after so many days. The good part was it remained the whole day. What a refreshing Sunday. On top of that saw Pool seeing off UTD..again I can go on and on about it but shouldn't. I will keep the memories stored for talking at end of the season.And I fail to understand why Wolves are in bottom half after playing such a good football. The curse of Molineux was on Spurs only for the referee to come to their rescue. So all in all the week has been more about Referring that actual football.

The Cricket world cup is also providing good entertainment. Eng is turning out to be the team who is providing enough excitement in the WC. All their matches have been a close encounter. Esp today's game against SA. what a match..What a bowling by Broady and Swanny.The only sad part about it was that I didn't want SA to loose as well. Strange world.

India won against Ireland. The Irland team had shocked England to say the least. They did highest run chase in WC history. K O'Brien had fastest century (in 50 balls) in WC history. Today India were again exposed by their Over confidence. Though how much I want India to win this WC, but somehow I think this team except few select individuals don't deserve the cup. Our team is just not showing enough hunger or even enough respect for the WC.And I have started hating it now. Ooh and btw Windies bowled out B'desh in 58 and got their bus stoned by angry crowd for winning that match..B'deshi fans need to learn how to differentiate their Team bus and opposition's one. I am sure that was just a misunderstanding. Next time they will choose the correct bus to stone at :)

I am becoming Twitter fan. Not to post anything on it but just to follow ppl.Also I am falling in love with Jack Wilshire but my client manager (when I told her about my crush) promptly reminded me that he is a bit young for me. Never mind..Age no bar,nationality no bar. ;) After all I have realised that I have a thing for guys with dimples.Remember a certain John Abraham

All in all a satisfying weekend.

PS - I had lovely food on the whole weekend which my roomies prepared and didnt do a it felt like a dream weekend :D

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fate is cruel....

Arsenal's Trophy wait continues...The Carling cup final today against Birmingham City was another blow to the gunners and to Arsene.We were without Cesc and Theo..but that shouldn't be the excuse. The pressure of no trophies was showing up from the first minute. Szczenny Fouled inside the penalty area. It could have been a penalty and a red card. But the decision was given as the BC player was offside. I thought OK looks like the luck is with us today but alas that was just cruel game played by Fate.

Well played Birmingham..They played good.. but we we didn't played bad to loose..or to loose in this manner. Looks like the things i want desperately to happen are just not meant to happen is it..Arsenal's trophy, Federer's 17th GS,India's WC win..Though nothing is concrete yet and may be all of these three things will come true but I have lost my remaining faith in me. I should start supporting the opposition so may be their luck will run out and my teams will win...

Why it has to come down to this..I am heartbroken...GOD this is killing me :(:(

Sunday, 20 February 2011

WC is here again!!!

In 2010, we welcomed the Footie World cup with enthu. I was in India then. And the world cup showed how much Footie has become the second largest sports in terms of Fan following in India. It was fun to support Spain, Admire the new Germany team, shake ur head dissolutely over England's dismal performance and applaud Holland's spirit. And who will forget Paul the octopus. He made the WC as famous as any player in any team.

So we are again welcoming the WC. And this time its Cricket WC......... In India everyone watches Cricket. Its like when you are born you are baptised in this religion. You may have different cricketing Gods but your religion is still same i.e Cricket. I wish I was in India for the built up of WC. Plus the WC is happening in subcontinent. It would be awesome atmosphere. The big screen TVs everywhere. The talk is only about cricket. Every match is analysed so much. Every player admired/criticised by every one. Every century meeting with thunderous cheers.

I wish in this WC also the team I support wins and keep the trend going :). C'on you Men in Blue. Do it for yourselves, do it for India and do it for Sachin...Ohhh how I so miss Paul...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Arsenal Vs Barca - 1st Leg, 2-1 to Arsenal

This was the big big moment in my club's recent history. The club who was always ridiculed for his lack of trophies in last 5 years, the manager who was always ridiculed for his belief in his players, his spending style, his attacking football tactics...What a moment to show what we can do..what a moment for every Gunner fan who has kept faith in their Club, In their Manager, In their Players..In Arsene we trust and that was paid off handsomely on Wednesday 16th Feb 2011.

The Champion' leg campainge kicked off very nicely for us but then we faltered in between and finished runners up in our group. That made us vulnerable to draw one of the top teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Baryan Munich or Schalke. Now everyone dreaded seeing Barcelona to the opposite side. Who can forget the last year's CL matches. The first leg's first 20 mins were nerve wrenching. The aesomely the scoreline at the end of First leg was 2-2. We came bk into that game due to Superfast Theo. But the No Camp was a disaster. Messi run riot and we lost y 4-1. Now gunner wanted the reminder of those matches and that included our players and our manager.

After last year's beating, everyone suggested to Arsene that we shold change our playing style and park a bus in front of goal like the way chelsea did in 2009 and Inter did in 2010 against Barca.Arsenal plays wonderful attacking football. Our main strength is the passing. Arsenal is dubbed as Barca Lite as Barca is termed the best team in the world at this moment for its beautiful passing game. Their midfield of Xavi, Iniesta, Basquet, Messi and now the lethal Villa has made a truly amazing side. So everyone has made p their mind that Arsenal is in for beating and this time it would be more severe than last year.

But we still believed and look where we are. The match was pretty one sided most of the time in Barca's favour. Arsenal tried going Toe to Toe for as much time possible but the passing and possesion of Barca made it very difficult for us. Still the main difference between last year's Arsenal side and this year was the fit players and increased self belief. The never say die attitude was visible in each and every Gunner Player. Even when we went down 0-1 by a superb strike by Villa(ofcourse Messi was the architect of that goal even if he missed 2 sitters himself) we never gave up on the game. Our Gollie who will turn 21 in April stood tall before the goalpost (btw it was his CL debut) Lurent Koscielny stood tall in the defence. Containing Barca is very tough task for any team and it was evident in the match stats, but we still held on.

The manager's gamble to sub Song with Arsha and Theo with Bedtner paid off. It showed we meant business and attack is our only chance. Finally the hard work, the self belief paid off. Van persie hit the enar post with a very precise angle and suddenly we were back in the match. It was a very emotional moment for everyone. RVP ran towards Wenger to hug him and beckoned all other players.

 I screamed and jumped and danced in front of my TV set. My roomie was left wondering what got into me..But it was not the end of the game and within 5 minutes on counter Jack, Cesc, Samir got into an exquisite move to slot the ball in Arsha's path who coolly slotted it for the winning goal. Barca was stunned so were the millions watching the game. We have done the one up on our last year's performance.

As all the people who were stunned by Arsenal's maturity have reminded me constantly that Nou Camp will be different. In their words 'Barca will slughetr you'. But if they noticed then neither players, nor our manager or not a gunner fan has predicted that now we are in Q/F. We know the work is half done and beating Barca in their own backyard will be tough but now we have a decent chance, we have the self belief and we know we can beat them.

Cant wait for 8th March. it could happen that by 8th we might have CC so breaking the trophy draught. But in middle we have some tough matches and we should avoid injuries and suspensions.

Go Gunners Go..We love you Arsenal..Ooo to be a Gunner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Fairy Tales don't always have a happy endings..Do they?

Yesterday we were watching Tangled...Yeah AGAIN...Last weekend we saw it in O2 in 3D..While taking the ice cream in Ben and Jerry's we missed the starting of the movie. We tend to do that a lot..I mean missing the start by some reason or other..anyways so we finally made it inside and after settling down we were immediately sucked into the Disney magic.. It is such a great movie or I can say cute that I couldn't help it and I downloaded it. So yesterday we watched it again.

The movie is basically the story of Princess Rapunzel. Its based on the German story Rapunzel by Brothers Grim. So this is a princess who doesn't know she is a princess. She is imprisoned (though she doesn't know that either. You really wonder what she really knows but that's aside) in a tall tower.Basically story starts when a drop of sunshine falls off to earth and through it rises a magical flower. Now this flower can heal any wound and a witch name Gothel uses this flower to stay young. The kingdom queen falls ill when she is expecting and she drinks the flower. Rapunzel is born and her hair is magical, They glow when a song is sung and can heal anything.(This totally freaks out Flynn. That scene is hilarious) So Gothel kidnaps her instead when she is just a baby and had kept in the tower ever since. The king and queen are devastated and they send out thousands of lanterns in sky on her birthday and our Rapunzel is fascinated by the sight and wishes to see those in person. When she turns 18 she gets the chance when a thief(who is damn handsome too) Flynn Rider comes to tower to hide his spoils. He is her ticket to adventure. What follows is the ride of ur life with a chameleon Pascal, a horse Maximus, a frying pan, bunch of crooks who have heart of gold and gothel's attempts to get Rapunzel back. The dialogues are witty, the expressions are awesome, landscape is colourful and its a movie which touches and tugs a ur heartstrings.Animation is the next best thing.

So while watching this awesome movie I was thinking that why we don't have fairy tales in real life. From our childhood we keep hearing all those goody goody stories. How the girl is in trouble and how the prince charming comes to her rescue.Its been engraved in our heads and ofcourse hearts that Fairy Tales always have happy endings. But do they? I don't think so. I mean I have seen many stories of many ppl which are similar to the fairy tales. Lots of struggling, lots of hurdles to cross and yes they got married. But our life story doesn't end there. No fairy Tale shows how the prince and princess gets along after marriage. Isn't that suppose to be real test or something? We keep waiting that our Knight in shining Armour will come into our life riding a while horse (silly romanticism though I am sure u all girls feel that don't you?) but most of us are sadly awaken from those dreams by harsh reality. Life isn't a Fairy Tale. Even if it is it won't always have a happy ending. So is it a bad idea to raise ur child's hopes by telling them Fairy Tales? A child's mind is pure and innocent. May be parents must be thinking that why to let the children know the reality so soon and you have to agree that they do have a point.Its really confusing.

Anyways such silly thoughts shouldn't be coming into my mind after watching Tangled. It is a movie to cherish. But I cant seem to get that Line from one of my Favorite songs 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and I haven't gotten a reason to disagree with this line.

Monday, 31 January 2011

127 Hrs...Survival at its best

I was contemplating the coming weekend on Friday. Since Federer was not in finals of AO, I had nothing to look forward to.Frankly last week was kinda sad. I was feeling dejected for quite some time. After watching Dhobi Ghat, I kept having these long conversations with myself about where my life is heading. What I am doing? basically kinda self analysis and as usual nothing much came out of it other than depression. My problem is I believe almost everything I tell myself. I am deviating from the topic so back to the blog. When you don't have a plan you go and watch a movie.That's the mantra. So we decided to go to O2 to watch 127 hours.

The cineworld near my home is not showing this movie.Their Loss. Actually we wanted to see Tangled, Black swan too but the timings were not matching. So 127 it was. Lots of my friends had praised this movie and of course James Franco is an eye candy..OK I will rave more about him later.

A quick snapshot of the movie..Its a true story about Mountain climber Aron Ralstone who was trapped under a boulder in Blue John Canyon in Utah desert for 5 days in April 2003. The movie is based on his autobiography 'Between a Rock and a hard place'. The movie is directed by 'Slumdog' famed Danny Boyle and it has original score by none other than A.R. Rehman. James Franco (Harry Osborn in Spider-man series) plays Aron Ralstone. The movie has 5 nominations to this year's Oscars including Best Film, Best Actor and Best Original Score.

Now a confession, before this movie I was not aware of the book or who Aron Ralstone is.In a way it was good as I didn't have any set expectations from the movie or the story. So When Aron sets out to his usual mountain climbing weekend getaway i was glued. Now he has not told anyone where he is going. The movie starts actually when Aron goes on his bike zigzagging on the spectacular red dirt roads. Suddenly he takes a really bad fall, get hurts but immediately gets his camera and clicks a snap smiling. This gives us the first glimpse in Aron mind, his happy go lucky and kinda casual attitude towards adventures, risks and life overall. Now he is on his way to his destination when disaster strucks. He falls down the canyon taking with him a loose Boulder and bam his right hand is stuck between the canyon wall and the boulder which refuses to budge

The movie is all about those 5 days where Aron deals with the pain, the fast  depleting water supply and food. He reminisces about his past, his relationships.He constantly keeps talking to his digicam and putting messages to his parents, sister, his work friend Brian. How he waits for the 15 min in morning sunshine. How he tries to chip away the bolder with his Chinese knife (with a flashlight which according to him is S**T and he advises us not to buy any made in China product no matter how cheap it is). The best part in movie comes when Aron does a self hosted Radio show, which is nothing but a self flagellation scene in which he realises one good lesson learnt as you cannot do everything alone.

The Magic of Boyle, Rehman and Franco sucks you in. You laugh with Aron, you pity him, you get angry with him for his selfishness and stupidities.You Will on him to stay sane, not to give up. Finally when Aron gets free (Ii wont divulge the details) you feel relieved and happy. Even if he gets free, you are still worrying for him till finally after 8 hours of leaving the boulder, he finally get rescued.

James Franco is outstanding as a swaggering, cocky and intelligent Aron Ralstone. After spider-man this movie shows him in totally different light and he grabs the opportunity with both hands.His wit, his cockiness, his full on life attitude, his sinking realisation of his predicament and finally his strength to do the inevitable just moves you. After he gets free and he sees water, he just tap his feet twice and laughs. You actually feel his profound relief for being Alive.Hats off to James.Hope he gets that coveted award ( BTW he Will be Co-Hosting the awards too with Anne Hathaway)

The movie's tag line is 'THERE IS NO FORCE ON EARTH MORE POWERFUL THAN THE WILL TO LIVE' actually makes sense when you live those 5 days with Aron. Survival at its best. So don't go anywhere without telling someone :)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Greatness - A curse???

It was 2008 all over again..2008 AO was one of the only two times(including 2011) since 2005 that neither Roger nor Rafa is in a Major final. Out of the 20 Majors (2005-10) only 3 has been claimed by players whose name isn't Roger or Rafa (Safin, Nole and Del potro have won 1 GS each).That is the domination they have created.That is the domination we are talking about.

Yesterday Rafa lost his QF match against a resurgent Ferrer. Ferrer's awesome victory will always be with an Astrix of Rafa being injured. So with the Rafa Slam talk was Over, all eyes were now on Roger to win his 17th Major title and his 5th AO title. But Roger fell short of the task in front of an inspired Nole. Mind you Roger didn't play bad, Nole was just the better player for the day. So all the journos and sadist has again started their game of writing Roger off.

I seriously dont know how these people don't get tired of this game. They started it in late 2007 and after that Roger has again and again proved them wrong. Roger has joking said in one of his press conferences that he is responsible for all this. He has created this monster of him being invincible that each and every loss is a tough one to take..Not for him but for all of us(including his haters). He understands its a sport and haar jeet to hoti hi reheti hai. but lets have a look at the monster he has created.
  • The most important achievement from my point of view is his consecutive 23 semifinal streak in Majors. Each year has 4 Majors. So for almost 6 years, he reached all Semi Finals of the Majors.Now that's what you call consistency.The second person with maximum consecutive Semis is Ivan Lendl  and his is 10 straight semis.See the difference.
  • In those 23 Major tournaments, he won the event 14 times and he was the runner up 6 times. That means he reached the final 20 times (thats also a record BTW to reach final 20 times out of 23)
  • Next come the 16 Major titles. Here he surpassed Sampras's record of 14 Major titles. The significant difference between these two records is Sampras won these over a period of 13 years and 49 Majors whereas Fed achieved this in span of 8 years and 27 Majors.
  • He was the world No. 1 for 237 consecutive weeks. Thats more than 4 years.
  • His another impressive streak is 10 consecutive Major finals.The second here is also Roger this time with 8.
  • Fed is the only man who has won 3 calender slams in 3 years (2004 AO-Wim-US), (2006 AO-Wim-US),(2007 AO-Wim-US) and in process becoming the only man to defend all of his three titles next year (2007)
Wikipedia has enough of the records and if I have to put all of them here then I will exceed my limit. But you got the picture right? This guy has created an image of being a super Human, Mr.Invincible. He achieved the greatness in tennis with his Exquisite play. His tennis is not brutal nor it is the power tennis which is dominating the game these days, its the pure classic tennis.The real tennis we are slowly slipping away from. His running cross court forehand is a treat to watch. His drop shots, his serves and his placement makes him so hard to play. His cool and calm On and Off court behaviour is like a true Champ. All these things have added fuel to that monster over these years.

And understandably people are afraid of the monster. So when they get an opening, any weakness they attack vehemently. Any chink in the armor and all the weapons are drawn. Its interesting, When Nadal started winning Majors (back in 2005) these same people cheered for him, held him high as he was their only hope of defeating this Invincible guy. Rafa proved a worthy opponent. He kept coming and coming. Everybody was happy. But as soon as Rafa himself came close to become another great, they started talking about his injuries and started writing him off. This shows that we all are afraid of greatness. Does it feels like a fairy tale, too good to come true?? Is that the reason not to accept the Greatness? Or its the level of expectations and the disappointments that come with such high level of expectations.

Looking at peoples' reactions I wonder if greatness indeed is a curse. You try so hard to achieve all your dreams. People start admiring you, but then they don't accept the fact that you are human too. We have seen this happening to Sachin so many times. I remember when Sehwag first arrived at the scene with a bang, all those people who are afraid of the greatness held him higher than Sachin. They wrote off Sachin so many times. Each time he has proven them wrong.

All the greats are alike. They keep fighting till the end.And I am sure Roger will have the last say in all this furor. But it pains me to see how a single loss can make people write off the Great. I feel sad when people are happy just because Roger lost (There are people who don't support any particular player but are just happy to see Roger at the losing end).

You cannot please everyone Rog and you know this. Lets see who can reach 10 or more consecutive Major finals..forget the 23 consecutive Semis. I for myself will always love you Rog. Its what you have achieved, you have given me as a tennis fan,worth worshipping rather than a single loss, slump in form. Remember Roger

People who hate you are just the confused admirers. They can’t figure out why everyone loves you. :)

Monday, 24 January 2011

पाऊस असा रुणझूणता

Yesterday we went to see Dhobi Ghaat. Its Kiran Rao's first directorial movie. So obviously it started with very high expectations.The movie has various aspects which I can revv about but it has two of my most fev things in its backgrond. One is Mumbai and another is Rain.We will talk about Mumbai some other time.The City is too important to just mention in one line.

So lets talk about the Rain then... पाउस....पाऊस असा रुणझूणता....कधी उधाणता अन केव्हा थेम्बांच्या संथ लयीचा. The rain I like personaly is torrential one though..the way it rains in mumbai or konkan..not like Pune or London. That I cant call real पाउस. पाउस असावा मुसळधार,संततधार,आपल्याला त्याच्या बरोबर उडवून नेईल असा.आपल्याला आकंठ बुडवून टाकेल, तृप्त करेल असा.पाउस म्हणजे सरीवर सर. पाउस म्हणजे विजांचा चमचमात, ढगांचा गढ़गढ़ाट. Though I am very scared of the thunderstorm.People generally laugh when I say that my fevorite season is Mansoon. After the unbearble गर्मी of May, the hint of rain is so welcome. The first rain, the smell of earth.चक्क डोळ्यांसमोर रूतू कुस बदलून घेतो. How can someone not like it.

Every year the first rain is always special. It is different coz may be I am different each year. The first rainfall sets my mood.It feels like I am meeting my friend all over again and the love affair starts again from where it was left of the previous year. The meetings are all the special coz I know deep down they are few and the long separation is just 3 months away. मग मी आणि पाउस खेलतो,फिरतो, आठवणी गोला करतो. एकमेकांशी निवांत गप्पा मारतो.तो मला दूर डोंगरांच्या देशातल्या गोष्टी सांगतो. मी ही मग त्याला प्रोजेक्ट च्या गमती जमती सांगते. त्याला काही कळत  नहीं फारसे पण माझे मन राखण्या साठी ऐकून घेतो बिचारा.माझा पाउस आहेच तसा गुणी.

I know rain can bring all the choas.Even getting to office is a task.You have to avoid all the puddles and the vehicles who love them so much.The long Traffic jams, the mud, elecricity jana.Trains band hona.

पाउस म्हणजे चिखल सारा, पाउस म्हणजे मरगल
पाउस कपडे ख़राब करतो,पाउस वैतागवाड़ी

हे सगळे जरी खरे असले तरी
पाउस म्हणजे गार वार, पाउस म्हणजे हिरवल
पाउस म्हणजे भिजरी  पायवाट, पाउस म्हणजे झाड़ी
पावसामधे गुपचुप निघून मनं जाउन बसते ढगात
पाउस घेउन येतो बरोबर गार गार वारा.पाउस येतो घेउन हिरवीगार झाडे आणि पाउस येतो घेउन खुप साऱ्या आठवणी. संदीप खरे आपल्या एक कवितेत लिहितात

" आता पुन्हा पाउस येणार, मग आकाश काले नीले होणार,
मग मातीला गंध फुटणार, मग मधेच वीज पडणार,
मग तुझी आठवण येणार, काय रे देवा"

Rain has important part in our hindi movies too..pouring rain, starnded Hero-Heroine with couple of sidekicks,purana bungalow and your horror movie is all set to start. Or Rain can also come at the right time when our Hero just wants to be alone with our heroine in an secluded place. RGV's Satya first used rain effectively as one of the co-consiprators or a silent spectator.A ever feeling present. Rain represents happiness as well as sorrow equally effectively in our movies. Since I saw the Song रिमज़िम गिरे सावन (female version) where moushami and AB go around mumbai in that rain, enjoying both the company and the rain, so happy. I have this dream that I will one day roam around Mumbai with that special someone. And always when I wake up from my dream I remember another one of Sandeep khare's poem. (I Guess he is as in love with rain as I am. We should compare notes

बारिश से अक्सर मिलता करता था मैं
और कभी कभी तुमसे भी
इत्तेफाकन मगर तीनो इकट्ठा कभी नहीं मिले है हम

मिन्नतें तो बहोत की थी मैंने
बारिश से भी, तुमसे भी...मगर खैर..

अब की बार थान ली है मैंने
तुम दोनों को साथ साथ ही मिलाने की
इसलिए अब आँखोंमेही बारिश लेके घूमता हूँ मैं..
उन्ही गलियों में...
जहाँ इत्तेफाकन कभी तुम मिल जाओ शायद...

आणि माझा पाउस म्हणतो आमेन.........................

(p.s. The poems I have used are by Sandeep Khare and Soumitra..One of my fevorite poets..You will see some posts on them as well in future. And if you havent read their work then you are missing something)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Aus Open 2011 - What does it mean to me

Australian Open 2011 - The first grand slam of the season has already started Down Under. What would I give to be in Australia right now. There are many records on line with this Slam. It seems these days whatever Roger and Rafa are winning, they create some or the other record. So what new about this one you will ask me? whats so special about it.

If you look at it, nothing much really. but for me its really important. If Roger wins this, then he will be the first person to win 5 Australian Open titles. Also First player to win 3 different slams 5 times. That in itself is no mean feat.

Now another aspect of this AO is if Rafa wins it then he will be the first man to win all 4 Grand slams (though not in single calender year but a very BIG achievement nonetheless) at the same time after 42 years from when Laver hold this honour.

Now lets talk about the rest of the field. Djokovic is surely looking for his second Grand slam and second AO title. He is surely fired up after Serbia's Davis cup win. Andy Murray is still waiting for that 'First Grand Slam'. This year he seems to be having less pressure from British media than usual so he can flourish too. The other dangerous opponents are Soderling,berdych, Delpo (though he is just back from injury so if he wins it then its a miracle).

Now though the analysis and stakes are as high as any of the grand slams in recent years, why it is making so much of difference to me. The reason is purely Fereder's loss in 2009 AO. Since 2008 AO has been a throbbing wound for me. Nole played brilliant that year in the SF and Federer was left stranded. Though he was recovering from mono at that time which made his season one of the 'Oh so not great seaons' by his standard.(Though if I was a tennis player, I would gladly take such season as my best if I win one slam, lost in 2 other slam finals and 1 semifinal. But of course I am not Roger). So people started telling me Roger federer is done and dusted. Then next year in AO 2009 came the crushing blow.That year I was behaving very superstitious. So I was not watching the match Live. Though the stream was on my laptop I was just listening to the commentary and was following BBC's live text. So every unforced error, every point lost was like needle prick. Still I was there telling myself that this is just a game and nothing more. When Roger lost, I was still fine. But during the presentation ceremony when Roger broke down, I couldn't help but break down with him
When he said ' God this is killing me' then I am sure all Fed fans around the world felt the same. I still remember the feeling as someone is plunging a knife into my hear.Though he won last year's AO, every year the AO will undoubtedly return these memories.

I don't want to do this post as negative factor. The only point here is this outbreak showed the world how much this guy loves this sport. How much he puts into each and every match(no disrespect for all the other players please), how much this means to him. And so as a player this AO record is important to him. He can add to his tally of maximum GS too.
Over the period of time, Roger has become like a family. I was overjoyed with his each and every win and saddened by each and every defeat. Its like he is an integral part of the family. I celebrate all his joys/sorrows the way I would do for my family, my friends.That's why the above pic is the hardest blow for me as no one wants to see their Family/friend hurting so much.

Thats why this AO is important for me. This year its revenge time. A win here (preferably over Rafa) will make me treat AO as any other slam in future and will somehow help me to get over AO 2009. So all the best Rog, remove all the scars of AO 2009 from all ur fans' hearts and give me an opportunity to feel immense joy for you, my friend.