Monday, February 4, 2008

The Superbowl and Eli Manning

I watched the Superbowl yesterday. It was the first full football game I'd seen. While I'd already picked up most of the rules over the year, my room-mate helped clear my random doubts and I actually found myself liking the sport. It's very different from football (or soccer as they call it here) and you need to watch it with a different mindset, especially since it's a game that keeps stopping. The Superbowl game was a low-scoring one yesterday, but it had a great finish with the New York Giants upsetting the hitherto undefeated New England Patriots.
I think the Giants' quarterback, Eli Manning played a great game yesterday, and did a fantastic job to keep on his feet during the match-winning play. One thing that stands out about the Superbowl is the crass commercialization of the game (something that I HATE about sports coverage in the US). However, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed the commercial aspects of coverage yesterday. Right from all the celebrities trying to get airtime, to the great ads and commercials (some of them were really good) - it was a different kind of spectacle. It's not the most watched TV event of the year for nothing. The Superbowl is something you cannot miss if you live in the United States, even if you don't follow football or get any of the rules.

And after watching the game and being thrilled by the exciting finish, I know I'll definitely be enjoying the next college football season cheering for the Longhorns! Who said it's too late to become a fan of a new sport?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of the Best Websites ever!

I just came across this great web resource called Webware two days ago.
If you're a person who is having some trouble keeping up with the rapid advancements in the development of cool new web applications, or if you're just interested in staying up-to-date with Web 2.0, this will prove to be an ideal resource. I suggest you subscribe to the RSS feed.

Note: I realise (or 'realize') that my sentences are getting a tad too long, and so will remember to keep this in mind and promise to shorten them in my future posts so that they are more accessible and easy to read.

Indian of the Year

After the media is done ushering in the new year, TV channels try to raise their TRPs by covering the slew of awards ceremonies that kick off soon after. This year's itinerary was especially crowded - it wasn't just the usual Golden Globes or the Oscars (which have a history and tradition behind them that make them awards worth their name), or the Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, or Padma Shris (which are awarded by the Indian Government, and so carry the stamp of authority), but also awards no one would remember come the end of this week, initiated by CNN IBN and NDTV.

However, out of this incongruous mess came an award that I believe is finally worth something. Not because of its prize money, or its coverage in the news, but because of who it rewarded. We finally had an award going to a civil servant (I know I'm being loose with this term) - a man who broke through the bureaucratic mess and red tape that stood in his way to build the Delhi Metro ahead of schedule, and strictly within its budget. I salute E Sreedharan, and also CNN IBN for finally having rewarded true merit.

Read the article by clicking here.
(it's moderately better written than most other IBNlive articles)

Friday, January 11, 2008

More about Sydney

Finally, a balanced take on the whole controversy from an Indian writer. Check it out on Cricinfo here
Also check out

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Should we return from Sydney?

Following the latest controversy to hit the world of cricket in Sydney can be confusing for the casual observer. A game of cricket, especially a test match in Australia, usually has its share of bad decisions from the umpires (who can forget the notorious Sachin lbw from 1999?) and incidents of sledging that attract attention for about a couple of days after the end of the game. People (and 'experts') then move on, concentrate on the result of the game, and look forward to the next match.

However, that has not happened this time. The situation has grown from bad to worse, with captains, commentators and columnists making one statement after another, each adding to an already inflamed situation. Kumble uncharacteristically accused the Australians of not playing in the spirit of the game, an unusually belligerent comment from a usually soft-spoken leader. Ponting, on the other hand, has not owned up to his mistakes on the field and off it. The ICC too, has made a frankly surprising (and mature) decision to axe Bucknor from the next match at Perth. And then there was the case of the racial slur that was directed at Andrew Symonds.

What I've found most surprising of all, though, is that we've had calls from former Indian greats, reputable television channels (NDTV), and even some sections within the BCCI for a suspension of the tour itself!

Do I think that's a valid call?

In a nutshell, No! You can argue all you want about the lack of evidence about what Harbhajan Singh told Symonds, about how all bad umpiring decisions went against only one team, and how all this adds up to a situation from which we need to assert ourselves in order maintain our honour. However, in my opinion none of these things is enough to suspend a tour.

You suspend a tour when you have something against the host country. You do NOT suspend a tour if an independent match official declares one of your players a racist, no matter how unfair that situation might seem to you. It does not matter if Harbhajan were innocent - suspending the tour does not prove that he is guiltless. On the other hand, it does send across the signal that we are big bullies in the playground - other countries would get the (correct) idea that the ICC is exceedingly vulnerable to pressure, especially if applied by the powerful BCCI.

The BCCI has stated, as of now, that the tour will go one, pending Harbhajan's appeal. If the decision is taken to suspend the tour, it would be another case of the BCCI doing its best to handle a tricky situation in the worst possible manner.

Finally, an Update

Wow! It's been a really long time since I've added to this blog - I'm feeling guilty. I guess I've been too busy (and lazy) to pull it out of cold-storage all this while.
Since my last post, I've survived my first semester of college in an entirely new city (which, incidentally, is in an entirely new country...and a new continent too, while we're at it). I've learnt new sports, new subjects and new ways of spelling and pronouncing words.
In fact, my winter vacation is at an end right now and I return to school in three days! A fine time to return to the blog, indeed!
However, I decided to return today since I've made a new resolution (not a new year's's a bit too late in the year for that) to regularly update my blog this year. So look forward to a lot more in the coming weeks!

PS. : Top Gear was back in the last few months with one if its best seasons in recent times! Make sure you check it out whenever it airs.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Harry Potter

So, the countdown has a little more than a month, HP and The Deathly Hallows will hit bookshelves. I've ordered a copy on Amazon already, so I'll be getting mine on the day of the release.
So, what's gonna happen in the 7th and final book ? JK is as silent as she has ever been. What I'll do here is examine a few scenarios, a few which I hope are not going to materialize, and some I know will not materialize, and a few I don't have any idea about...

1. Dumbledore is (not) dead:
There was a website which filled me with hope in the initial days - it made me believe that Dumbledore, Hogwarts' greatest ever headmaster, would indeed spring a spectacular comeback in the final book. However, JK did indeed confirm that Dumbledore is dead...oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

2. Snape is evil:
I don't know, but I don't think he is...there is some proof that he did what he did on Dumbledore's orders.

3. Snape is good:
He killed Dumbledore for heaven's sake!!! Are you crazy??? How can he be good???

4. Harry is a Horcrux:
He is NOT. I know. Trust me.

5. Harry will find out that he is a horcrux and kill himself:
If you seriously believe that this is the case, then I don't think there's any point arguing with're out of your mind...

Apart from these, there are a few questions that are flummoxing me. For instance, what is Harry going to do after finding a horcrux? Ah, you will say, he'll destroy it of course. Of that I don't have any doubt, but how will he set about destroying it? He doesn't have the slightest idea in heaven of how to get rid of a horcrux - I'll look forward to how Rowling addresses that issue.

Anyway, I'm hoping for the best and that Harry will not die.