December 29, 2009

Tharoor's Unfettered Tweets

December 29, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
Tharoor is in news again for his tweeting antics. This time around he has tweeted on the strict VISA regulations following the Headley findings. Tharoor has aired his concerns on twitter, and this has not gone down well with SM Krishna. He has been pulled up, but Tharoor has once again tweeted on how he missed the whole brouhaha. Tharoor had earlier tweeted into the headlines for his cattle class remarks following the Congress' much publicized austerity drive.

Is Tharoor trying to woo an online audience which is supportive of his tweets? Or is he being too naive and not being sensitive about the reason for the strict VISA regulations. Tharoor maybe the tech savvy politician that India may have never had. But his online support will remain online. Only his offline support can win him elections. So, even if media channels showcase his tweet supports on twitter, ground reality will be totally different. The online audience in India is sadly one which remains online and will seldom wield its voting powers.

December 27, 2009

Sleaze with Ease

December 27, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 1 comment
A multitude of issues are tumbling out of the ongoing sleaze charges against Narain Dutt Tiwari (N.D. Tiwari) and molestation case against S.P.S Rathore. If not being responsible enough about the position they held wasn't good enough, they have been cunning enough to have hidden away their cheap escapades using political clout and misuse of office.

It is funny to note that these high flying gentlemen are well past their reproductive capabilities (Tiwari is 85 and Rathore is 67), but still manage a fling. I can be argued against by stating that S.P.S Rathore molested Ruchika almost 19 years back. Ironically, 28th December is precisely the date when the charges were levelled against the supposedly celebrated police officer.

N.D.Tiwari on the other hand, has been a step ahead, as should be the case with someone administering affairs of a state. While being chief minister of U.P. it was an open secret to many of his extra marital affairs. He did use his wife's gynaecological knowledge to manage his flaccid endowment on three women. It is as yet unknown if his performance or the lack of it with the three women was the reason for his ouster from governorship of Andhra Pradesh.

December 26, 2009

Nagarholing Mysore to Calicut

December 26, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
It’s been really long since I went on a trek. More than eight months I guess. But, I did manage to sneak some snaps on a short trip to Nagarhole earlier this year in May, and then again yesterday, en route to Calicut. So finally I have some snaps to share on slideshare.

December 23, 2009

Fleece Frenzied

December 23, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
Private bus travels in India can be quite mean and unrepentant. I can cite my examples with those in Bangalore, but I can bet a dime a dozen, that it would be a similar case elsewhere in India too. One trip to Kalasipalayam in Bangalore, and you will be overwhelmed by the number of touts who want to make a quick buck by selling tickets to places as far off as Goa, Mumbai, Pune and so on. The irony of a booming Indian middle class is all too evident in such areas.

As more of the Indian middle class population moves around in the country, working in different locations, travelling back to their hometowns becomes a frequent necessity. With more of money and less of time to spare, the willingness to pay an extra 50 or 100 bucks has become commonplace. The extravagance is also on the rise with Volvo buses giving all the comfort in the world for the burgeoning Indian middle class traveller. But in the midst of all the hurry, the typical middle class traveller ignores how the bus agent goes about fleecing him/her.

When a festival season comes up, there is even more rush, and even normal air buses which would cost a few hundred bucks are plied at double the normal price. And the traveller is firstly left with no option (lack of time, hectic work, no time for booking in government buses .. reasons are endless ...), but has enough and more money to pamper the increasingly fraudulent bus agencies. Sadly for the passenger, there is seldom any guarantee that there will be atleast half the value of what is being promised in terms of comfort in the bus.

December 18, 2009

Don't let Agile Beguile !

December 18, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
I have been more than curious as to why Agile methodology is so sought after in software development. With very little knowledge on the thought and the process behind it, I could well be misinforming my far and few in between readers.

As the name suggests, the need of the hour is fast paced development. And agility in any form can always bear rich dividends. When it comes to business, the benefits are manifold. So it is no surprise that there is a constant push for an Agile model of project execution in software development. To put it simply, Agile methodology lays emphasis on incremental, iterative software development with rigorously frequent reviews between all the project resources. The pretext for the push for Agile is the rapid progress in each of the phases of a typical SDLC.

Imagine a scenario when the requirements gathering is going on, and simultaneously the design also is kickstarted. Typically in a sequential development project, the development team would wait until the requirements from the customer are frozen. Once this is done, the design and implementation starts. Thus, a project which is simple and has medium complexity would need, say 6 months from start to end. But with Agile, the end objective is to do parallel activities starting from requirements till the end.

December 12, 2009

Test Cricket : A T20 Twist

December 12, 2009 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
India sure managed to scale the expectation and reached the top of the ICC Test cricket ratings. India, like Australia and South Africa has been the only Test playing nation to have consistently performed in away conditions with victories. In that perspective, India deserved to be among the top 3. But, the very best? I wouldn't think so. India still has a weak bowling attack, and there is no certainty or surety of a return to form of Ishant Sharma. Moreover, Harbhajan Singh's performances have been patchy to say the least. What India surely is missing though is an express pace bowler to bowl at 145 clicks consistently for a entire spell of 4 or 5 overs. Until India finds consistency in its bowling attack, the Indian team will continue to rely heavily on its batting.

Even so, the top spot in the ratings look like more transient in nature, because of the lack of test matches India would be playing. BCCI has now asked South African cricket board to play two test matches, by dropping two one day internationals in India next year. While it would seem that this maybe an opportune moment to give a much needed fillip to sagging fortunes of test cricket, BCCI surely wants to give the Indian team a fair opportunity to continue atop the test cricket ratings. While these are certainly welcome thoughts, one cannot but be reminded of the lack of sponsorship interest for the Indian cricket team. If the BCCI can bring in more crowds to see the Indian cricket team perform well and retain its top ranking in test matches, there could be an opportunity to win back elusive sponsors.

December 10, 2009

Tiger drinks Gatorade for Accenture

December 10, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 2 comments
Note: Some portions in the post may be offensive to some readers. Reader discretion is advised

To follow and know more about gossip on news channels can be quite addictive. The more spicy the news, the more eyeballs it gets. Rather sadly for Tiger Woods, its not his growls on the golf course, but his groans and moans of an otherwise guarded life which is being heard more. He may have hit a good ball with a golf stick, but he didn't need more than a pair of them to hit a dozen birdies. And birdies which have not ceased tumbling from the nests he secretly flew to. Birdies which were so free to fly anywhere but found great comfort in building nests in Tiger's Woods.

Isn't it the easiest thing on earth to have a chance to point fingers at someone ? It sure is, and when it is something sensational, media and bloggers like me feel it is our right to frame a celebrity as a scandalous man, an ill-worthy sportsman, and never a role model. As I did read, internet publications are attracting huge traffic, riding on the Woods controversy. On a self confession note, I wouldn't be too far behind either.

But I would like to acquit myself of using the controversy and ponder over what led the Tiger to moan in the birdies' nests and not growl in his own den. First and foremost, it goes without saying that his flings brought him a zing in his life, which probably helped him win 14 majors. Besides, he may have felt that he had to prove to himself of being a major (the adolescent one, silly) and so visited the birdies. On an empathetic note, one cannot blame a normal guy to not be visiting nests of experienced, bootylicious birdies, when there is a bottomless wallet to boot. If he hadn't been attracted, he may have been stamped as gay !

December 1, 2009

To Tweet Or Not To

December 01, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments

I was neglectful of twitter for a long time, but the tweeting bug finally bit me . Twitter has been the rage, especially in the past year. The fact that twitter is the top word used in English language in 2009 bears testimony to this. Quite an act, driven almost entirely by the social website's popularity. It took out words like H1N1 and stimulus in the top words list, published by Global Language Monitor.

Twitter is such a rage, that it is almost like the next rss out there. While twitter restricts the number of characters to 140, the impact of tweeting has been contagious. Any news channel or website, which does not have twitter ids would come as a shock for me in this day and age. Any mobile phone which comes out these days, brands itself with claims of having tweeting options in them.

It does seem to me though, that twitter is the sms version of the web. The crucial advantage twitter has, that it is ubiquitous due its presence in the internet. A sms though is confined to a circle. The only comparison which comes up and which ends abruptly is the character based entry. While a sms would be a quick message or response to a select group, tweets are more for a quick update or a news item on the web, for one and all to see. sms is at a personal level, while tweets are at a social level for anyone accustomed to internet.

A tale of two crashes

December 01, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
Note: All views expressed or concluded here are my own, and are a figment of my imagination and nothing else. If anything in this post makes sense to the reader, it is not my responsibility for any hallucination resulting out of such an exercise.

Two crashes in a week, has spiced up the tabloids especially in the U.S. So, the question is which is the spicier of the two ? Oh well, if one were to go by the nature of these crashes, one is metallic in nature and the other very wild. Though metallic is exaggerated from the term gate crash,  crashing into a tree certainly speaks of someone dying to be natural, even in a crash. Going by comparisons though, while the gate crash was inflicted at the White House by a couple obsessed with publicity, the tree crash by Tiger Woods was seemingly self inflicted.

Two spectra of society, one of a pure sports star celebrity who craves for privacy, while the other is a world leader, out to bring U.S economy out of its slump. Creditably though, both Tiger Woods and Barack Obama are certainly the best in their business. While in Obama's case, its a question mark and certainly a blot on the security cover at the White House, in Tiger Woods' case, its a question mark on his privacy.

November 29, 2009

Preserving pace's space

November 29, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
When was the last time India had a bowler bowling at over 145 kph ? Oh well, recent memory might serve up Ishant Sharma. But, rarely has he touched 145 kph. He was effective more out of his height and the bounce he extracted. So then, who else ? Zaheer Khan when he initially burst on the scene was almost always in the 140 kph mark. Munaf Patel too clicked the high 140s. Even Agarkar used to clock the mid 140s until few years back. Well, these instances were not even spanning one season, forget more than a year. All of these bowlers are still playing active international cricket for India, but none of them possess the pace to trouble batsmen, even on foreign soil.

The recent decline in Ishant Sharma's form is hardly surprising. Within a month of a famous spell in Perth against Ponting, he was offered nearly a million dollars for Kolkata Knight Riders. Irfan Pathan is a similar story, when he burst on the international scene in Australia in 2004. He has become a part of distant memory of the selectors and the spectators alike. Unlike Ishant, his batting abilities helped elongate his struggle for over 4 years. Its quite remarkable that these supposedly quick pacers invariably lose steam within a season of international cricket.

No ease with Chinese

November 29, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
The past few months has seen some unusual posturing  by India on the international stage, especially against China. There are a lot of factors backing India's new found confidence. India has come out largely unscathed from the economic recession, posting a strong growth of over 6% thus far in the preceding quarters. That the Indian prime minister, was hosted by Obama for his presidency's first state visit is testament to India's growing stature.Issues, which plague India quite often, have not subsided though. Drought due to a delayed monsoon, and then the monsoon itself unleashing its fury, has befuddled farmers and the government alike. Inflation which was in the negative territory after the government stimulus is on the rise and food prices are already shooting through the roof. Issues which, by design or ignorance have left a blemish in an otherwise healthy growth scenario.

Unfazed by these domestic issues, India has sent out a slew of strong messages to China. Even at the White House during his visit a week ago, Manmohan Singh, though unprovoked, minced no words in questioning China's human rights record, while conceding China's far superior growth rate. Earlier, the Indian establishment expressed its displeasure in no uncertain terms, on the Sino US statement of China having a role in South Asian matters. India clearly conveyed that no country needed to play mediator in Indo-Pak disputes. Both China and US issued clarifying statements, allaying Indian concerns of external mediation.

Using its strong growth story,  India seems to be asserting more against China's recent posturing at the border areas in Sikkim, Arunachal and Ladakh. Frequent incursion related incidents had raised eyebrows on the Indian government's inaction. India now, through its own diplomatic measures has sent a strong signal back to Beijing. In the past few months, China has been trying to rake up its claims on Arunachal Pradesh repeatedly. By conducting peaceful and successful elections with a high voter turnout India sent out the apt signal of what its citizens want. On top of this, India hosted Dalai Lama, in Tawang in November, despite constant protests from China, questioning India's motive in entertaining the Tibetan leader's visit. China has has also been issuing stapled visas for Indians of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh domicile. India, finally took action and declared any such stapled visas as invalid. Three strong signals in a span of a month, have surely acted as a rebuttal to Chinese assertions.

November 26, 2009

Publicity from Audacity

November 26, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
A year on, India may have learnt some lessons. 26/11 for Mumbai, befell from some evil script written by satan. What has changed post 26/11, is the harsh reality of how cruel and audacious terrorists and their attacks can be. So far, and still, it is mostly fidayeen attacks, or other timer based bombs. Laying seige to a city by holding soft spots like hotels hostage came out of the blue. Expectedly, India was caught unawares.

What however was troubling, was that this was probably the first time, that 2 days or so of terrorist attacks were telecast live on television. And the entire world was witness to less than 10 terrorists, creating panic amongst an entire nation. In fact, it is now clear, that such attacks magnify the terrorist activities, and this is precisely what they want. Sensational events, covered by media, where the terrorists can claim responsibility and get away with ample free publicity, out of sheer audacity.

While the media has been, and will always be criticized for sensationalism, there is no doubt that message through the media, especially the visual medium is here to stay. Innumerable news channels, can influence an entire public mindset, turning the tide for or against political parties. However, annoyances and uselessness from this very medium (especially television) are equally on the rise.

November 12, 2009

Flickr 2 Twitter !

November 12, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 1 comment
How HOT is Twitter ? I was loathe to using Twitter, for I was getting irritated with the number of social networking sites on the web. I am on orkut. But then, the list is fast becoming endless. Facebook is the other. Twitter too was out of bounds for me, since I did not want to venture into more networking sites and not concentrate on any at all. I seldom go to orkut either these days.

But Twitter, seems different. As a blogger, it does give me a window of opportunity to have more visitors to my blog, and any other publicly shared articles or materials of mine, which of course I believe are worthy of sharing :). Twitter is unique in another way. It is so upto date with any information, that new sites have to be on watch. It is undoubtedly real time information, though in an amateurish, first hand way from any normal netizen. But, it opens up a plethora of information for netizens who sit and browse from distances far away.

Here is an example that often comes to my mind. If I wish to go hiking to a spot, 6 hours away, I would want to make sure the weather conditions over there are reasonably good. This would expecially come of use, when it is in a matter of hours that I want to travel. If there is someone on twitter, tweeting about the weather conditions, I can just go, look it up and make a decision in a matter of minutes and deicide for or against my hiking plan. That, for me is the power of twitter. Short yet 140 sweet, pertinent characters are slowly revolutionizing how the web will collect the hottest news stories around the globe.

November 11, 2009

ODIs - No Epitaphs Please

November 11, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
Though a day late, I can't but write about the fate of one day internationals in cricket. ODIs have been questioned for their relevance and the boredom during the middle overs it has created. Leading many critics, seeking modification to the format of the 50 over a side game, to retain interest in spectators against the rapidly increasing 20-20 format.

Over the past few weeks, it has become quite evident, that there is still a massive place for ODIs in cricket. Beginning with the 7 match ODI series between Australia and England in England, then the Champions' Trophy. Comparatively, the Champions' League 20-20 matches held in India, drew only a lukewarm response from television audience and spectators alike.

The reasons, for many would seem very simple. Champions League was held in India, with many of the IPL teams falling away during the league stages and the lack of Indian cricketers in the games. The Australia-England ODI series was held in home conditions in England. So is the ongoing India-Australia ODI series which has been a resounding success, with jam packed stadiums for all the matches. Home conditions one may say. But the positive to be taken is, there is no need to write an obituary for the ODI format as yet.

This brings to focus the need or the lack of it, to refine ODIs. The difference and the benefits of each of these formats cannot be ignored. While the romping success and million dollar prizes accompanying 20-20 tournaments has catapulted cricket into the global arena, ODIs are more favoured by cricket followers. It is vital for cricket to have a global audience than stagnate as just a colonial game with not more than 10 officially recognised nations.

November 10, 2009

MNS - Mentally N-ill Sena

November 10, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 5 comments
Note : This post does not intend to hurt or insult Maharashtrians. It is only an attempt to scoff at the absurdity of MNS in trying to push their agenda. I whole-heartedly respect every human and am proud to be an Indian (HINDUSTANI!) and respect every Indian, wherever (s)he hails from. Only after my identity of an Indian, can I claim to be part of any state in India.

Imagine a scenario: Ponting takes the field in the mysteriously titled Honour Series (The what ?!. Courtesy:Times Now) or the still more bizarre Grudge Series(The what what ?!, courtesy:Headlines Today) in the final ODI in Mumbai tomorrow. Imagine the contradictorily paradoxical coincidence of Ponting at the press conference with Dhoni. Ponting, speaking in Marathi !?! duh ! MNS workers wielding swords and threatening the Aussie cricket captain at the post match podium - "We don't even care what happens to non-Marathis being assaulted in Australia. But while in India, and that too in Maharashtra's capital, you better be talking in Marathi. We have recorded your on-field conversations. They were in English. How dare you not learn Marathi and set foot on our proud Marathi land ?!" Ponting blinks - "?!?!"

Imagine a scenario: Call Center and BPO firms in Mumbai and Pune. MNS workers would be at the office premises, shouting slogans - "We demand all call centers be shut until the calls are answered in Marathi!". All the employees would be stunned and scratching their heads. But, the justification could well neigh be, more employment opportunities. Don't get it ? Employ a Marathi translator (re-director ?) for every Call Center employee.

Wait. Should the voices on the other side of a call also be in Marathi ?! I wonder. More technological advances to be ushered in. When a caller, calls a number which is at that moment in Maharashtra, owing to pressure from MNS, the incoming voice data service provider should translate the language in the air waves into Marathi and transmit to the receiver ! Language support should be enabled, even if the call is from a tribal land in Somalia. Wow, more employment opportunities. Courtesy, MNS !

October 20, 2009

October 20, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments

Google has been quietly gunning away at the technology behemoths. Being itself a giant, it makes things easier for Google to take on the might of Microsoft and Apple. Just as recession is ending, Google beat market expectations and grew 7% for Q3 ending, September 2009, as compared to Q3 in 2008. Ad spending, undoubtedly is flooding Google's coffers once again, after a rather grim year of recessionary trend. Google announced a surprise bonus for all employees across its board, as an incentive for their efforts during October 2009.

Riding on the wave of the strong growth, Google, which has always been quietly working at spreading its wings far and wide, is investing more in view of the positive outlook in the economy. Cues such as its aggressive ad campaigning for businesses to adopt its Google Apps services to embrace its enterprise search appliance option are just an indicator. Touted as Gone Google, the marketing campaign is going to be featured in airports, high traffic spots through billboards.

Google, clearly is also pioneering the cloud computing phenomenon, to have any or all softwares hosted in an internet cloud hosted by Google, and accessed by an entire enterprise, rather than store them in separate servers, thus saving costs for big and small organizations alike.

Google's Android open source mobile platform, for mobile phone handsets is just beginning to open up. In what is being touted as the biggest threat to Apple's iPhone yet, Motorola, after being on the wane for almost 2 years in the mobile market, would hope that Droid would change its fortunes. Droid, runs the Google Android software, and will be sold by Verizon Wireless in the U.S. That would mean a 3 way battle through one collaboration : Verizon taking on AT&T; Motorola taking on iPhone; Google taking on Apple itself !

October 17, 2009

Let Security Be !

October 17, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
Though the much hyped Champions League T20 has been a dull affair, an extra dose of spice will always help. What with the drama and events leading upto the double header at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru today afternoon. Just few hours before the start of the match on today, there was a scare when bomb detectors found traces of explosives inside the bag of an under-22 cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir at the stadium. Pervez Rasool, the accused was arrested to investigate the case further.

As a result of these unexpected turn of events at the stadium, there was another thorough search done at the stadium to ensure no untoward incidents unfold during the matches. After few hours of his arrest though, the cricketer was released for want of evidence. The matches at Chinnaswamy were delayed by an hour or so.

October 14, 2009

Deliriously Deranged !

October 14, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 5 comments
When cornucopia's conundrums can be multifariously interviewed with never ending antagonism, it is succinctly inane to conjure cannibalistic properties out of sheer ballistic systems vacillating between the ensconced and erudite to the prudent and prolific.

October 10, 2009

Mum(bai)'s the word !

October 10, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
That I am writing a post after a long hiatus, should probably be the ostensible excuse I give myself to write about something more than a week old. But, I have always been someone who goes by instincts and is driven by thoughts which make me passionate about a subject, or anything close to my heart. So, when I saw the news piece about Karan Johar (Kjo ?!?) and his apology to MNS' Raj Thackeray, I had a strong opinion. One that refused to accept any reasoning behind such an apology.

With elections just a few days away, this probably was another attempt by Raj Thackeray led MNS to garner the Marathi Manus vote bank. Honestly, there are a few things which to this day bewilder me. I would cover these as we go along in this post. The sunny side to the apology given by Karan Johar could be the good reviews that the movie which he produced, Wake Up Sid has been getting over the past week. The unfortunate side of the entire episode still rankles me though. For, till date I can't understand why an apology was even issued by him.

One thing India is definitely lacking is an openness to embrace creativity without confusing it in the name of politics. When Wake Up Sid's first day shows were being attacked because the now rechristened Mumbai was called as Bombay, I couldn't conceal my surprise. I was wondering, what is so wrong in using Bombay in a creative medium. Creativity in any form cannot be manipulated to the whims and fancies of the political class. It is a free art form, and anyone should be able to express it the way they wish to. Yes, with the caveat that there is no malicious overtone against any caste, creed or community.

July 23, 2009

Miffed at being Frisked ?

July 23, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 1 comment
So Dr Abdul Kalam was frisked by Continental Airlines staff. That he was a beloved and most loved president of India is unquestionable. But what is unfathomable is the way in which this episode is being interpreted. Agreed, a person who held that high an honour in a country of billions should have been treated better. But, so what if he was frisked ?

When the 9/11 attacks happened and the London bombings took place, asians at large were subjected to racial profiling. Well, if Continental Airlines had racial profiling in mind, then that is more serious than just frisking. If I were to add an even wider angle to it, the honorary president's name rings as a muslim's name. With the paranoia surrounding the Westerners about Asians and muslims in particular, (especially those sporting long beards) it is not quite the unthinkable that the airline staff found his name itself suspicious.

June 20, 2009

Fairy Tale of Justice and Resilience

June 20, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
A dream final. A final which one may never have imagined could happen so soon, after the terror attacks on Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan. A final which now seems like the God sent gift of divine justice to the cricketers who bore the brunt of that cowardly act. Pakistan, having ridden an indifferent form throughout the T20 World Cup in England, found the mettle and the resilience to wear down and choke the Proteas in the 1st semi final. Pakistan had been virtually isolated from playing cricket at home, after that terrible attack. Though they did play a 5 match ODI series against Australia, which they lost 3-2, there really wasn't any other serious cricket they played at the international level.

Coupled with the often blow hot - cold symptoms of a supremely talented side, Pakistan's run to the finals may not seem that surprising after all. There has never been a question raised about the passion of Pakistani cricketers. Often ridden by controversies on and off the field, Pakistan found maturity in Shahid Afridi, and confidence in Umar Gul to take them till the Finals at Lord's on Sunday. Moreover, after an early exit of the defending champions India, it was important that the crowds in England still poured in to witness the matches. Pakistanis being a significant population of Asian immigrants, poured in to encourage their team. And respond they did, and how !

For no fault of theirs, the Pakistani cricketers were deprived of playing international games in their own den. For no reason of theirs, their IPL participation was declined in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks in 26/11. For no reason of theirs, their plans to host matches of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in the Indian sub continent was withdrawn. Another opportunity lost for the unfortunate cricketers. That's why justice is delivered by someone invisible, whose magical powers let Pakistan come through struggles at home and on the field to qualify for the World T20 final.

June 7, 2009

Fourteen For Federer !

June 07, 2009 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
When Del Potro faced upto Federer in the semis of the French Open on Friday, there was only 1 man the entire Rolland Garros crowd was supporting. A man, chasing history, of 2 kinds. An elusive French Open title, and in doing so, equalling a record 14 Grand Slam which Sampras held. Del Potro was upto the task, though he had a 0-5 losing streak against the Swiss superstar coming into the match. Del Potro started strongly, using his tall 6'6'' frame, and rushing Fedex all over the park. One wondered if Federer would lose out on a big opportunity. But as the game wore on, Federer was the stronger, as he held his nerve and won a tight five setter.

The stage was set today for Fedex to chase history, and Soderling was at the receiving end. It is destiny, that Soderling had defeated Nadal en route to his dream run to the final. Though not a Nadal, this was as good as Federer v/s Nadal at a Grand Slam final yet again. But Federer had nothing to do with any such thoughts and came out guns blazing against Soderling. Soderling had no clue what hit him, as Federer wrapped up the first set 6-1 in under 30 minutes.

The second set was more tight, with neither player giving a break of serve. The tie breaker saw Federer keep his cool, and win it comfortably, 7-6(1). The crowd was more expectant and badly wanted Federer to win the 1 title, he deserved to win, for the sheer consistency of his appearances at the FInals in the last 4 years. But which had been denied to him by a relentless Rafael Nadal.

June 1, 2009

Rafa's Rolland Roll Ends ..

June 01, 2009 Posted by Vijay No comments
Watching the match between Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling yesterday was indeed a privilege for me. For here was a man, who was undefeated since his first ever attempt at Rolland Garros in 2005, pitted against a rival who has struggled to find his footprint on a ferociously competitive men's tennis circuit. Rafa, as Rafael Nadal is fondly called, was defeated by a more resolute and clinical Soderling 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 in the Fourth Round at the French Open yesterday.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind, that if ever Rafa plays a five setter against any player, there can only be one winner. Rafa. Nerves of steel and hours of concentration which are as yet arguably unknown to men's tennis. That's what Rafa owns. Or atleast till yesterday's big upset. Soderling had to make sure he wraps up the match in straight sets or four to have any chance of overcoming the relentless Rafa. Soderling did just that.

Roger Federer would be as pleased as he would be surprised at this early exit from the Spanish Armada. Rafa has been the biggest nemesis to Federer's aura of invincibility, having a stupendous 13-7 win loss record against the Swiss maestro till date. Credit to Federer to have an astounding 19 consecutive grand slam semi final appearances or better. Rafa though has been always there to spoil Federer's quest for ultimate greatness when he won the Australian Open earlier this year, denying the Swiss from equalling Sampras' all time record of 14 Grand Slam titles.

May 31, 2009

A Media Check, Mate !

May 31, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 2 comments
Media has done it again. Sensationalism is one, while responsible journalism is another. The current spate of racial attacks on Indian students in Australia (or which seem like racial) are doing the rounds in all news channels. And with the burgeoning number of channels, it is not surprising that the Indian youth and telly audience alike is being overfed with information. There is no doubting that the attacks do seem racial. There is also no doubt that the attacks have been gruesome in nature, which makes it all the more worrisome. But do 4 attacks warrant stamping an entire nation as racist ? That would be going too far.

But our television channels are determined to mint the sentiments of the Indian youth and build a case against the Australians in general. No channel has spared to blame the entire country of Australia as being racist. Hence the attacks on Indians, they claim. Racism need not be confined to brown skins being attacked by white skinned. It can also be the other way round. If Indians treat fair skinned Australians badly, Indians too are racist.

April 22, 2009

Lowly Deception ..

April 22, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 2 comments
They say I pester with my blogging updates. They say, I write pretty nonsensical stuff. Well, I don't want to get into denial mode, but some of these claims could be true :) Though I'd not want to prove these so called critics right, I sure am giving them ammunition for the future.

Once upon a time, a young man walked into a garment shop to buy a jeans pant for himself. He was badly in need of one, to adorn his handsome self to impress the supposedly available pretty young things. His need was so bad, he was keener on the attributes of the pant. And of course the waist size. Once the requirements were met, he went about altering the length, to suit his supposedly diminutive physique. Which he till date insists is not the case.

Once the length was altered, he was good to go and try it on. Which he did after a few days, when he was ready to impress some pretty young things. While the objective of impressions was still far away, what he did oversee was the trial he never had while purchasing the pant. When he realised the pant had a caveat of not sticking around for long, the realisation dawned that the jeans is supposed to drop off if left without any support whatsoever. A belt seemed to be the need of the hour to hide the blushes from the possibility of a dropping disorder !

April 4, 2009

Periyar - Profusely Nature's

April 04, 2009 Posted by Vijay , 6 comments
Thekday was calling loud and clear on the Ugadi weekend. I reached Kumily, which is the town nearest to Thekady by bus from Bangalore on the morning of 28th March. It is at the Tamil Nadu/Kerala border and very close to Kodaikanal and Munnar. The plan was for the old Reflections (a collegiate magazine team of ours during Engg college days) to meet and have a look around. Sujith, Rahul and Thomas ettan apart from me were the participants for this trip. Sujith had booked an Inspection Bungalow (IB) at Kumily, which is where the stay for the next 2 days had been planned for. Kumily being just 4 kms away from Thekady, this was the perfect place to halt.

After the gang arrived, we told the IB caretaker of the previous DFO being Sujith's close acquaintance, and enquired about the availability of a room or 2 at Edapalayam Island's Forest Guest House. This is an island within the Periyar Lake in Thekady, amidst all the flora and fauna of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Fortunately, there were no bookings, and we changed our plans and decided to stay at the island instead. It is difficult to get accommodation here, and one needs someone higher in Forest Division circles to get accommodation. If one gets it, it is well worth at 1300 for a double bedroom.

A boat ride took us to the Edapalayam island in Thekady, and we were awestruck by the beauty of the surroundings. Though end of March is not peak season, the beauty of the island, encompassed by the lake was mesmerising to say the least. There was still lot of greenery, and the lake was still and reflective of the tranquility surrounding the island. Gaurs and Barking deers came out of the wilderness on the other side of the lake, to munch on the green pastures. During December time period, the surroundings would look much greener and prettier.

The 4 of us got talking and taking pictures, and were discussing how privileged and lucky we were to just get a glimpse of the Periyar Tiger Reserve at close quarters. We did not realise how time just flew by, and had requested the forest guest house staff to prepare dinner for us for the day. The dinner was awesome, and so was the calmness of the island. The Lake Palace at the island is just beside this guest house and they charge a whopping 28000 INR per day for availing its facilities. But we were more than happy with our accommodation and enjoying it every bit.

The next day morning, one of the staff took us for a nature walk, and was narrating incidents of Tigers and elephants during his stint at the Reserve, and in and around the island. We were hoping against hope to atleast sight some elephants. But alas, that was never the case, and we returned back from the island before noon, having witnessed what nature truly beholds.

February 26, 2009

Oscarred ..

February 26, 2009 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
Although late in the day, I badly needed to speak on a topic to kickstart my blogging activity again. What better a topic to choose than the widely discussed Oscar night. Without doubt the biggest Oscar night for India, with 2 Oscars for A.R.Rehman and another for Resul Pookutty. Honestly, the accolades one showers on A.R.Rehman are duly deserved, though in India everyone senses, this probably wasn't his best score. Well, more than 15 years of talent and musical wizardry had to be rewarded some day. Oscar was the ultimate.

Debates keep ranging from whether Slumdog Millionaire has exploited the slum dwellers of Mumbai, and their daily livelihood in making the movie this big a success. Honestly, it does help when an international audience witnesses the true plight of slum dwellers, and lend a helping hand. Albeit reluctantly, India's general elections coinciding with the Oscar awards for Slumdog, could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for these slum dwellers. Though there is always that lingering perception of empty promises, politicians would definitely woo these dwellers, and keep their causes in the limelight for a few years atleast. Maybe, just maybe the slum dwellers have a glimmer of hope in that way.

February 23, 2009

February 10, 2009

January 27, 2009

January 6, 2009

Vaishnava Jana To ..

January 06, 2009 Posted by Vijay 3 comments
Fondly remember this video and of course the slew of artists singing - Pandit Jasraj, Eashwari Pandit, Alka Yagnik, Chitra, Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigam, Jaspindar Nirula & Shaarang Dev.

Can't believe this is a bhajan, when the rendition is so modern ! I loved the rendition and only then related to how well this has been blended into the song. This was certainly one way to pull the youth into realising and understanding the core values of Indian traditional bhajans.

Note : The following lines do not in anyway intend to portray any religious values of mine. These are just to explain the lyrics and the meaning of the bhajan. I got them from this link.