Friday, April 30, 2004

I am There, No? - A simple masala story.

(Note: The following masala story appeared in a mailing list for "non-gaboors" that I am a part of. Thought it was, as most contemporary Bollywood laugh-fest screenplays are, funny. Any inadvertent plot exposes are intentional! If this story is truly appearing on the screen as you read this, then you can watch this movie at your own risk.)

I am There, No? - A simple masala story.

Mr. Villain is a terrorist, and Mr. Hero is a soldier. Initially at the start of the movie there is a fierce battle between them and finally Mr. Hero manages to catch Mr.Villain, and puts him in jail.

Now Mr. Hero deserves a promotion to General, but as there are some seniors who are Jealous of his success, point out that he has not completed the necessary education. So the officials grant him a leave to go back to the college. Mr. Hero joins this college, but as he is the older than all the guys out there, there is a lot of teasing and he is not accepted in any group.

But slowly, he starts mixing with the group, and if there is any problem his "I am there no" attitude, always comforts everyone and soon everyone starts liking him. He helps Mr. Lover get Ms. Lover, and also has a love story going on with the teacher Ms. Heroine. He is also invited to stay at Mr. Lover house. And Mr. Lover 's mom treats him as her own son. Even Ms. Heroine falls in love with Mr. Hero but seeing that all he does is timepass, to make him study she tells him that they both can carry on if he passes the exam.

The final exams are going on when suddenly Mr. Villain manages to run from the jail, and the only person who can catch him Mr. Hero is called back. He gives his last paper and goes off for the fight. There is big fight, and at the end there is a big Bomb explosion, where we feel that Mr. Hero also died.

As the news reaches the city, everyone is crying, and the scene is going on in Mr. Lover's house where all the star-cast is crying badly, where they are saying that he even cleared the exam with flying colors. When suddenly there is a sound from the back "Why are you crying I am there no". Every one turns and there Mr. Hero is standing in General's dress.

Big music, A small flashback showing Mr. Hero running away from the bomb that killed Mr. Villain. And everyone runs to meet him. Cool story! Now everybody go watch the above story in a theater near you!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Google files with SEC for public offering!

That's MSNBC's headline for this article! The much awaited financial geek fest of this year is here. Google however has not specified the price per share, but expects to raise $ 2.7 billion with this IPO. I wish I had some money!

GMail updates!

As a preferred GMail Beta tester (ok that's a title I gave myself), I got two invites that I could give to other people to get themselves GMail accounts. I invited my sister and after much deliberation gave the other invite to one of my friends who shares a similar e-mail checking malaise!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Playoff updates – 2

(Every Sunday, till the last team alone stands, this blog shall try to clear the murkiness that rules the NBA just about this time every year - The playoff race)

This week saw some upsets and we know of at least six teams whose paths have been defined much better now than the same time last week

Last year these two teams were the 3rd and the 6th seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff race and this years they were the 1st and the 8th respectively. And as expected, the Pacers made short work of the down and out Celtics to win their first round series by a 4-0 margin. Pacers now meet the either the Heat or the Hornets whose series is poised at 2 – 1 in favor of the former. The Nets (who might move from their East Rutherford stadium to probably one in Brooklyn next year, after a consortium that incl. rapper Jay-Z bought majority stake) won the battle of the Hudson and swept the Knicks by the same margin (4-0) as did the Spurs who showed the Grizzlies their moves. The Nets wait for the winner of the series between the Pistons and the Bucks whose series score the Pistons lead by a 2 – 1 margin. As for the Spurs, the second round promises to be a repeat of their last year’s conference finals encounter against the Lakers.

Speaking of the Lakers, they are locked in what promises to be the best and the closest match-up this year. Though the scoreline leads 3-1 in the Lakers’s favor, it has been much closer than that. After the Lakers moved to a 2 – 0 lead, the Rockets bounced back and gave the Lakers a solid drubbing before being pulverized by Karl Malone (with some 4th quarter hiccups on the way. If the Rockets win at the Staples center on Wednesday, it is going to be anybody’s game over the next 7 days.

Elsewhere, the Timberwolves, gave discerning fans a glimpse of what they do best – choke in the playoffs. After jumping to a 2 – 0 lead, the Wolves went into choke mode and let the Nuggets, powered by a double-double from Melo, thump them by a 21 point margin. A similar capitulation by the Kings, saw them lose to the Mavericks by 25 points with Peja Stojakovic being held to just 7 points just as Shaq was by the Rockets in game three.

Here are the standings so far

The Western Conference
L.A. LAKERS (2) vs. HOUSTON (7) [current 3 - 1]
Gm 1: Los Angeles 72, Houston 71
Gm 2: Los Angeles 98, Houston 84
Gm 3: Houston 102, Los Angeles 91
Gm 4: Los Angeles 92, Houston 88 (OT)

SAN ANTONIO (3) vs. MEMPHIS (6) [Final margin 4 - 0]
Will meet the winner of the Los Angeles - Houston series

MINNESOTA (1) vs. DENVER (8) [current 2 - 1]
Gm1: Minnesota 106, Denver 92
Gm 2: Minnesota 95, Denver 81
Gm 3: Denver 107, Minnesota 86

SACRAMENTO (4) vs. DALLAS (5) [current 2 - 1]
Gm 1: Sacramento 116, Dallas 105
Gm 2: Sacramento 83, Dallas 79
Gm 3: Dallas 104, Sacramento 79

The Eastern Conference
INDIANA (1) vs. BOSTON (8) [Final margin 4 - 0]
Will meet the winner of the Miami - New Orleans series

NEW JERSEY (2) vs. NEW YORK (7) [current 4 - 0]
Will meet the winner of the Minneasota Milwaukee - Detroit series

DETROIT (3) vs. MILWAUKEE (6) [current 2 - 1]
Gm 1: Detroit 108, Milwaukee 82
Gm 2: Milwaukee 92, Detroit 88
Gm 3: Detroit 95, Milwaukee 85

MIAMI (4) vs. NEW ORLEANS (5) [current 2 - 1]
Gm 1: Miami 81, New Orleans 79
Gm 2: Miami 93, New Orleans 63
Gm 3: New Orleans 77, Miami 71

Summary: Series to watch is still the Lakers – Houston matchup which moves back to Staples Center in LA on Wednesday. Malone (who became the first over 4o player to score 30 points in a playoff series) Vs. Nachbar seems be the most unlikely of rivalries but there no love lost between the Gundy and Jackson too. If the Nuggets can keep up the good work with their fast-breaks and the pick and rolls, then the curse of the SI cover might probably claim another set of victims in the Wolves trio of Casell, Spre and KG! And C-Webb has actually seemed to be the weakest link in this strong Kings lineup, but Peja and Co. should probably put the last loss to the Mavs and get on and win their series as expected.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Revenge? Whoa whoa...Grow up!

Thanks to Veeyes, I came across this write-up on Thalaiver's latest political moves. Though on the whole, the author does not seem to take any sides, some of his comments seem rather un-informed and gives a picture of someone who's just covering the issue as a naive bystander, rather than a news analyst that I would have expected BBC to press to work, esspecially his description of Rajini's stand in this issue.

Though, I am actually critical of the fact that Rajini seems to potray himself as an aspirant for a political career, I actually think he knows what he is doing. So far, he has had an uncanny knack of supporting the right causes - ranging from his appeal on telly against Jaya (it was then a just cause, though i am not exactly sure how different the MK govt was in the succeeding years after that election) to his recent stand on the common water policy and the linking of the rivers issue. This has perhaps endeared him to the already doting public in TN.

But some of the comments from by the "political analysts" quoted in this article really pissed me off. Right from the days of MGR etc., the average Tamil voter (at least the one from economically weaker classes) have always been swayed by charisma and "style" rather than performance, so its unfair to blame only Rajini's fans as sufferers from this malaise!

(P.S All those of you who did not know earlier what my nick (i.e. superstarksa) stands for, now you know!)

Initial questions...

Does GMail allow you to attach signatures (text/HTML) to all your outgoing email. Yahoo allows you 7 lines of text/html code as does Hotmail! Anyways, I did fill in a feedback form (as suggested by JR) to ask them about this, though it did take some time for me to get to the feedback form. It takes time getting used to something new!

And where are the much discussed ads? I haven't seen even a single one in the last 16 hours or so. Are they that inobtrusive?

Regardless of all this, I am thinking of moving my Yahoo groups accounts to this email! Need to use the 1GB they giving me! lol

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Would 7 rounds around a source of heat mellows someone?

Well, Shoaib thinks so. Mebbe he was joking, but the hullabullao over a marriage is making me sick. Prime culprit - that wash rag of a newspaper, TOI. At the last count, TOI has at least a dozen peices that pass for articles - all devoted to the wedding of the (triple) century! And its making me sick. In fact, this very moment, the biggest headline on TOI's home-page goes - Man of the match Viru gets hooked in style.

The TOI seems to be sinking to new lows everyday that I think a few years from now, even my marriage will be covered with a size 5 font headline. Hmm... Now what would that headline be? Any guesses?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Playoff updates - 1

From today onwards, every Sunday, this blog shall try to clear the murkiness that rules the NBA just about this time every year - The playoff race. I have been watching the NBA with renewed interest the last two years. Previously, I only remember watching the tussle between the Jordan/Pippen/Rodman trio leading the Bulls against the Malone/Stockton duo for the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA finals while cramming breakfast into my mouth before going for my in-plant training.

This year, as has been the norm since the Bulls's last championship in 1998, the playoff's are once again threatening to become the feifdom of the teams from the West. The Lakers, the Spurs, the T-Wolves and the Kings all have more or less equal chances to win it all. For the east, if there is one team to win it all, it seems to be the Pacers, the only team with 60 plus wins in the regular season. The Nets seem to be on a roll, but with K-Mart and the ever-ready Kidd, both coming off injury layoffs, I would place my money on the West, particularly the Lakers. I am however watching the Pacers carefully cos, quietly they have gone about their business and seem to be a long way ahead of all the other Eastern Conference teams. Awwww, if only the Cavs's final run had started much earlier! We might have seen LeBron do his thing in the playoff - perhaps becoming the most remarkable thing since Michael Jordan himself. Sadly that has to wait for another year, though the "Rookie of the Year" award seems to be a lock!

IMHO, the NBA has one of the stupidest methods of finding a national champion (though the media sometimes uses "World Champion" in the same breath). So if a team like the Pacers, after having a bad game or two loses to a lesser team, the national finals becomes farcial, because with 4 equally strong teams from the West, a rout from one of team is more or less certain.

Anyways, the race started yesterday with the Nets, Spurs and the Pacers all having easy runs over the Knicks, Grizzlies and the Celtics respectively. The Lakers had a ugly one point victory over the Rockets.

To sum it up, here are the scores in all the match-ups in the first round of the playoffs.
Note: The number in the brackets refer to the seedings in their conference.

The Western Conference
L.A. LAKERS (2) vs. HOUSTON (7) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: Los Angeles 72, Houston 71

SAN ANTONIO (3) vs. MEMPHIS (6) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: San Antonio 98, Memphis 74

The Eastern Conference
INDIANA (1) vs. BOSTON (8) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: Indiana 104, Boston 88

NEW JERSEY (2) vs. NEW YORK (7) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: New Jersey 107, New York 83

MINNESOTA (1) vs. DENVER (8) [current 1-0]
Gm1: Minnesota 106, Denver 92

SACRAMENTO (4) vs. DALLAS (5) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: Sacramento 116, Dallas 105

DETROIT (3) vs. MILWAUKEE (6) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: Detroit 108, Milwaukee 82

MIAMI (4) vs. NEW ORLEANS (5) [current 1-0]
Gm 1: Miami 81, New Orleans 79

Summary: No upsets in any of the games, though the Lakers ran into some rough weather against the Rockets till Shaq put the lock on the Shaq vs Yao matchup (at least for this 1st game) when he bludgeoned around Yao with just 17 seconds to go to give the Lakers the one point lead and ultimately the game. The rat race is yet to begin, but it's too early.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Well done.. Naidu!

12 wickets at the strike rate of 53 and a economy rate of 3.48 does not convey the true value of Lakshmipathy "Naidu" Balaji's performance in this series. He should be everybody's choice of the "Bowler of the series", if not the "Man of the series". But, IMHO, four balls this morning dropped the "Golden Ball" a foot away from Balaji in the general direction of Kumble who gleefully accepted it.

15.3 Balaji to Kamran Akmal, FOUR, good length delivery outside the off stump, Kamran Akmal tries to pull his bat away but the ball takes the edge and goes behind, just past the diving Laxman at second slip, was a hard chance but should go down as a DROP

19.5 Balaji to Yasir Hameed, no run, dropped! pitched up outside the off stump, driven away to the point region, Tendulkar dives well to his left but is not able to hold on to it, hard chance but another strike in the "DROPPED" column

21.6 Balaji to Inzamam-ul-Haq, no run, goodness me! another catch dropped! superb delivery on the middle and off stump line, Inzi pushes at it and gets a thick edge, this time it's Dravid's turn, another easy catch DROPPED at first slip

25.4 Balaji to Yousuf Youhana, one run, believe it or it Yuvraj DROPS another one at point, dives to his left but just couldn't hold on to it

Balaji, the guy everybody picked as their choice of the stock bowler at the commencement of this tour, fought tooth and nail with Pathan (and arguably even upstaged him today) for the strike bowler's tag. And with a few lusty blows intended to plummel Shoiab Akhtar into submission in addition in picking up 12 wickets (the fielders should apologise to him for denying him his maiden five-for) and maintaining a smiling demeanor throughout (mebbe his bone structure leaving him with a smiling expression always ;) ), this unassuming young man from Choolaimedu has perhaps set more than a few Pakistani hearts on fire. He's, in Sanjay Manjrekar's perhaps premature observation, Indian cricket's new poster boy and rightly so, possibly the unlikeliest cult figure in cricket history. Bravo.. Lakshmipathi, Bravo...

The Dream

I HAD a dream that one day this team will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all teams are created equal." I HAD a dream that one day on the green plains of India everyone will be able to sit down together at the celebratory banquet. I HAD a dream that one day, even India, a desert nation, sweltering with the heat of suppressed emotions, devoid of an away series win, will be transformed into an oasis of competitiveness and victory. I HAD a dream that my peers and the next generation will live in a nation where the cricket team will not be judged by the charisma or potential of the players but by their competitive character. I HAD a dream and that dream was partially realised today! (adapted with due apologies to Martin Luther King)

The Commencement Of This Journey

Indian cricket team members make their way out of a Pakistan Airlines flight upon arrival at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, March 12, 2004.(AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

And 36 Days later, Its Culmination!

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

© REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

© REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

© REUTERS/Arko Datta

Monday, April 12, 2004

Trinidad erupts for its favorite son!

Brian Lara breaks the world record, West Indies v England, 4th Test, Antigua, April 12, 2004
Image: © Getty Images 2004.

Setback or the dawn of a new era?

One small step for Yuvraj, but a huge step backward in time for India. At least it seems so. The guy Yuvraj replaces, loses his place for doing nothing wrong. Let me quote a oft repeated cliche here. They always say that a hundred criminals can go scot free, but not a single innocent should be punished. Isn't this guy, who has received his share of the accolades everywhere from the Gangtok Times (Google cache) to The Hindu, not to mention Cricketnext and Cricinfo, innocent of any wrongdoing? Or is doing what is asked of him, crime enough to warrant such a punishment?

Setback or the dawn of a new era?

One just hopes India wins this Test and also that this experiment succeed just this once. And one also hopes, in the six months between this last Test at Pindi and the next one, the first test of the home series against Australia, Ganguly or whoever makes the final decision then, see the sense in getting back Chopra to the top of this order.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

1000 Mb? Surely, you must be joking, Mr. Brin and Mr. Paige!

Google's (proposed) GMail offers 1000 Mb of space! And its apparently FREE! But is Google heading for "world peace through world domination"? Only time shall tell!

Update: Welcome me to the G-mail club. Logged on into blogger just like Kiruba and Dev found myself an invite to test drive Gmail. My addy is anantha(at the rate of) I have'nt really looked into all the features yet. However, I will do so in a couple of days and post my picks and piques!