Manchester United: Soccer Punched ?

Manchester United have been dominating both, English & European Football of late, much to the chargin of supporters of other teams in the English Premier League. The proverbial sweet nectar of success always has people running after it, and that is true for Manchester United more than any other club.

The Manchester United fan club ( The Red Army) is the largest footballing fan club & mainly comprises of three kinds of fans.

Firstly, the ones who form the bulk of the Manchester United Fan Parade, the proverbial insects that leech onto the silverware that Manchester United has been able to garner quite frequently.These are just Fair weather fans, who would jump off the wagon the moment Man Utd stop having podium finishes.

The second contingent of the army consists of the unfortunate souls who have never watched much football, and Manchester united is pretty much the only team they have heard about. These “fans” probably don’t watch a single premiership match & coudn’t tell recognise Ryan Giggs even if he was standing amongst Lalu Prasad Yadav’s buffaloes. The female bastion which claims to follow football mostly falls under this category.

The third and the smallest group of the “Red Army” are those who actually know what they are talking about. Those who know that David Beckham doesn’t play for manchester united anymore & are perfectly aware of the points differential in the Barclay’s Premier League points table between Manchester United and Chelsea at any given time.

It can be said without a speck of doubt that  cups and medal’s have an affinity towards Manchester United  unmatched by any other team and I would be lying  if I say that this doesnt ake me jealous.If only I could implement a few of the following conspiracies and sabotages which tickle my thoughts, in the Man United Camp ,… ah well, atleast thinking about them gives me some joy while Liverpool struggles through on of their worst seasons ever.

1. Set the “Tiger” loose amongst the Devils

Get the Red Devils involved in a multi faceted internal “Tiger Woods-esque” scandal with a steamy mix of Manchester United WAGS & players in a sexual jumble fit for Sherlock Holmes, as a result of which we might see Vidic chasing Berbatov across the pitch and Rooney trying to headbutt Scholes. It would really bring out Manchester United’s proficiency in “counter attacking” quite literally.

2. Hit out of the “Orbit”

Sir Alex Ferguson is a tactical machine, which runs on chewing gum. Steal his Chewing gum stock, maybe his running out of fuel would make his brain functioning fuzzy.

But who is going to sneak out the Orbit cartons from his storeroom?

3. Hello JI, Some PORK?

Conspire to overfeed Ji Sung Park, change his lifestyle to ensure that he gets a little roley poley around the waist and can’t run around the park as if his backside is on fire.

4. Valencia …… Balance gaya ?

Run Valencia over with a Truck ( or make Gattuso give him a gentle push). The resulting impact may loosen this prodigious footballer’s internal wiring short curcuiting his balance and finesse with the ball.

5. Hair he is…. Wayne Rooney !!

Get Rooney some complimentary hair weaving sessions, because that shiney cue ball of a head that he has on his shoulders, is slotting a lot of balls into the back of the net. Maybe if we can get him to grow hair à la Ronaldinho, it might cushion the power he is able  to put behind his headers.


As I end this Post, Manchester United are, after a hat-trick of wins, tipped to finish second at the end of the season. It is with a sigh of relief that I greet the thought that the team isn’t invincible after all, atleast as far as winning silver is concerned.

An “Ad-Hock-ey” arrangement ?

India’s win against arch rivals Pakistan in the hockey World Cup recently generated the image of a pheonix, emerging from a flame which all but obliterated the humiliating thrashing that India had to face in the 1982 Asian games at the same venue.This Indian win must have sent the bookies  scrambling to their worktables in order to tweek the probabilities and calculations on the tournament favourites. Sportswriters got down to cramping up the columns of the next day’s newspaper, drooling over India’s  “prowess” in the mid field. The corrupt Hockey India officials would have felt a sense of relief since a strong performance by the home team would have helped them pull some curtains of glory on their corrupt ways.

But it was not to be, India’s win was more like Sehwag’s forward defence, or sensible news on INDIA TV, rather rare.

India went on to be thrashed by Spain & Australia & the tiny hockey butterflies that had begun to cause a few flutters in the Indian fan’s heart, died as the ball smacked into the back of the Indian net again & again. The media was back to square one, blaming everyone from the security check gaurds outside the stadium to HI officials. For the media, the Indian team went from being touted as a mid field tiger to a group of chimpanzees running around in circles.

The Sports-Media love hate relationship is set to continue, every win makes the media go wild with praises & a loss makes the media compare the Indian contingent to a group of nursery kids playing “Ringa Ringa Roses” who quite true to the Rhyme, by the end, “All Fall Down.”.

Speaking of the media,recent times have seen a lot of buzz created around hockey.About how Indians did not really know about the dismal conditions of Indian hockey. The television saw the “Phir dil do Hockey Ko” advertisement campaign come to life with Priyanka Chopra, Sehwag & Rajyavardhan Rathore, wielding the stick.

I think rather than spending so much on advertisements, there are a few things which could be more effective in bringing back hockey to the Indian Psyche..I would propose a few of them here..

1. If you have seen the Hockey world cup matches, you would probably have noticed (especially if you are a guy) that the cheer leaders are rather ……ummm….. well covered. The audience could do with lesser clothes on the Cheerleaders, after all, Where’s the cheer otherwise ? 😛

2. Everytime the members of parliament decide to pick up fights, they can be provided hockey sticks, rather than having them uproot expensive microphones for the lack of things to hit with.

( I would guess that Mayawati Ji might get the handbag in her gigantic statue replaced by a hockey stick .)

3. Make Sachin Tendulkar play cricket with the Hockey stick,- The man is pure genius, he could play with a needle, a hockey stick is more than enough. Maybe Tendulkar will invent a Tendulkar “drag Flick” much on the lines of the Dilshan “scoop” shot. ( on second thought, since Dilshan also tries to scoop everything, he would do better with the stick too.) 😛

4. We can also use hockey to solve other problems too while it creats awareness for itself. Say, for example, the Indian Judiciary.

I read recently that the Indian Judiciary would need another 320 years to clear all the pending cases if it were to continue at the same pace. If we have to do something radical about this, lets make any legal case a field hockey match.

The problems solved would be-

a) Hockey players get a job & get paid for it  too,something they have been vehemently complaining about.

b) Rather than having legal cases run for years, every case gets over in 70 minutes.

c) Our judiciary can boast of being in really “good shape” literally & figuratively too. (enough of the pot-bellied, high salaried lawyers I say !). 😛

d) National Law schools will start training hockey players, so that ensures a healthy batch of talent coming up all the time.

P.S. I hope you had a good time reading this one. Please don’t sue me, I cant “play my case”  if my life depended on it. 😛

Love,

Sid      🙂

From the Other Side of The Seive

There are times in life when every cloud is a puzzle to be solved in the blissful pursuit of happiness, when the flight of the birds & the spring in one’s step is astonishingly similar.It is this time which rejuvanates our hope and instills renewed vigour in our existence. There always pleasant times in ones life , but  this is not it for me.

What I resemble today, is but a fragment of the glass from the mirror of society, smashed to smithereens within its pursuit to compete. I have been reduced to the generic crowd, that lives its life by the numbers, where puny numbers decide there existence & hope. where the change of a single digit could cause one to go into fits of bewilderment.

It is indeed tragic, that what forces me to introspect is the unenviable position of having to find myself amongst the millions on the wrong end of the societal seive.

But the saddest thing is that only because success eluded me, did I look into the unflattering mirror of competition & relativity with disgust.It is the change in that all powerful numerical digit that is sizzled into anyones life with brutality that forces one to think, but I guess that is but natural with human nature.

The beautiful thing about life is that it is always cyclical, thus, after having gone through a trough, I hope my life starts to look up.

Sidhanth, A 98 point someone.

Burp it up !

India is, without a modicum of doubt, the land of food. No I am not trying to comment upon India’s self sufficiency in food production. Rather what I have experienced is that, despite having quite a low Per Capita Income,India never fails in coming up with the most extravagent fares for the foodies. While the Indian curry is a rage abroad, the middle  & high income Indian is adding inches to his midriff with the help of those potfuls of sugar,spice & everything nice.

The Indian Societal Paradigm allows for indulgence in food on numerous occasions, I would merely like to bring out a few of them here, some situations where food is your primary concern & some fixes where food is far from your mind.

The Shaadi Dinner-

  • You fill up to the point of bursting. payment is made by the plate & the fact that the waiters have started giving you the evil eye about three helpings ago is irrelevant as you step up to fill your plate yet again.
  • A shaadi dinner serves to challenge the laws of spatial geometry of a human stomach (in common parlance, how does it all fit in!)
  • For those interested in the economics part of it, free food translates to eating till your marginal utility is zero, and for those who are comfortable with the expanding waistbands it is quite I while (and quite a huge amount before you get to zero)

The First date dinner-

  • Fancy restaurant,
  • Butterflies in your stomach thus not very interested in eating much.
  • looking at your date, the sparkle in your date’s eyes seems priceless,for everything else there is mastercard ( I hope, else you are screwed).
  • Have given her an expensive gift. Money is mere paper infront of  the magical essence of love.
  • Typically, the menu would be gourment, you want to show that you enjoy culinery experimentation because  it seems sophisticated.
  • Will not let her pitch in for the bill.

The Nth Date dinner   (where “N”  is greater than 10)

  • Cheap Dhaba, swatting flies, irritable about having to miss the EPL match for the date your partner insisted upon.
  • Slow to pick up the check hoping that she will offer to pay, since u gave up being the financial scapegoat long ago.
  • Have stopped experimenting beyond butter chicken , dal makhni, after all these dishes didnt become standard fare by a coincidence.

Friend’s Brithday-

  • Hog, quantitiy is very much similar to the shaadi dinner, though maybe u respect the fact that ur unfortunate birthday pal needs to have atleast bus fare money, so u dont order too many dishes.

Your Birthday –

  • Almost dont eat, worried about the bill coz  some people whome u expected to turn down ur invitation have turned up.
  • Keep feeling your back pocket for the reassuringly (though very rarely) fat wallet.

A Homely Dinner-

  • Hardly eat anything. those who believe that there is nothing as good as mom cooked food, yeah right, You havent been to good restaurants, maybe you need to pick up The Times Food Guide. 😛

The day before an important exam-

  • Stomach is feeling queasy, as if you have just seen a B grade bollywood flick.
  • You can hardly nibble on anything though mom wants you to eat well so that you get energy for the exam.(How much energy does it take to write an exam, especially if your preparation level prevents you from writing much in the exam.)

The midnight snack

  • Quiet , You don’t want your parents to wake up and scold you for not having a proper dinner. Ah, The blessed packet of Maggi.

I end here in the hope that you would help me add some more, which may have escaped my digital pen.

P.S. Chocolate Ice cream with Chocolate Sauce is really not tasty, as sumptuous and tempting as the dish may sound. I had the regrettable urge to try the heady cocoa concoction and my advice is,Do NOT try it.

35 umm..umm

The lights came on, the credits started rolling (with a “blink & u miss” reference to Chetan Bhagat), and the melody of the background score was broken by the applause of a houseful crowd. Game, Set & Match for yet another Aamir Khan Magnum Opus……..

I had just watched 3 idiots, the much awaited & anticipated Aamir Khan Starrer, with my family. After having worked through serpentine queues for entry into the hall & having eaten a bag of frightfully overpriced stale pop corn at PVR Priya, I think I had at least redeemed my money’s worth from the 2 hrs & 44 minutes of above average cinema.

I am not going to comment on the movie here, what is far more interesting here is the reason which allows Aamir Khan & Co to laugh all the way to the bank, every time. To put it in a different way, what has put all the “rockets” in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s pocket this time around……

No, I do not believe that this success has anything to do with numerology or astrology (or a combination of both), though Aamir Khan’s strict preference to release his annual indulgence around Christmas is a well established fact.

Is the good storyline, great acting & other cinematic attributes the main reason? Yes, of course it is.But I am not going to discuss the obvious here, let’s get a little unconventional, lets move away from what is good about Aamir Khan movies & look at the other side of the story,

What is wrong with the rest of the movies?

To be honest, most of bollywood stuff seems to be made by Koko the monkey, at least till recently bollywood was a temple of clichés, a male protagonist mostly being the one who singlehandedly fights off dozens of Ak 47 ridden goons with a knife no bigger than a razor blade (maybe he uses Gillette for the smooooth kill )& a heroine, forever painted with a couple of kilos of make up on & concealing a mini glycerine industry within her eyes( The glycerine industry is basically growing on the behest of the twin pillars of Hindi movies & television soaps)

Even at approximations favourable to the Indian Film Industry, not more than 20 % of bollywood releases are worth the time. (And the exorbitant ticket price).Thus an overwhelming majority of the releases are just corny idiotic Hollywood rip offs or bleak attempts at venturing into parallel cinema.

(FYI – I would also hazard a guess that more than 95 % of Hindi Movies show either the take off or a landing of an airplane. It is one of the most commonly used movie opening scenes.)

Now the next question is, how do these bad movies help the good ones?

The answer lies in the law of averages, the bad movies serve as riders which drastically pull down the average expectations from any movie, thus enhancing our perceptions of a good quality movie.In common parlance, I would like to call it the Ice Cream Relativity Principle.

“Ice-cream is exquisite – what a pity it isn’t illegal.”

–   Voltaire

The basic notion of the principle is that the only reason a typical human being likes the taste of ice cream so much is because most of the other edible foods are not as tasty, had we had tastier stuff to eat (with spinach matching the hot chocolate fudge in taste….no offence to Popeye though :P), I am sure that the above mentioned quotation by the French enlightenment writer would have been rendered moot.

The discussion boils down to the question of whether the good can exist without the bad.

Putting the Ice cream relativity principle in perspective I would conclude that bollywood thrives not just on the fodder of Ghajini, Rang de Basanti or 3 idiots, it needs the RGVs to bring out a few more disastrous adaptations of sholay & the Himesh Reshammiyas to croon out a couple of jarring notes on the “Radio” every year.

Cheers,

-Sid

A backlog of a blog….

I am sure that some of you would consider me to be an oddball to have started blogging as late as  2010. After all, blogs have been around for a decade or so now. Why am I so late ?

I guess that is just how I am, I have always been late at catching up with Trends. So much so, I thought Gmail was spelt as “Zeemail” for about three years since its inception. (:P) Even during my childhood, I have often been casualty to the demon of “current trends”, for example during school while I fervently claimed to  be a part of the then popular fad of ” Loving Rock Music” , the only English Music I had heard till Class 10th was Backstreet boys. (Though I did buy Nirvana Cassettes purely under peer pressure to seem “cool” amongst my classmates- Bloody expensive they were too costing me a substantial Rs125 each from my measly pocket money!)

Trends to me are like the  “merry-go-round” to a small kid, he thinks that they must be exciting to ride on, but is scared of falling off.

Coming back to the fact that I would be blogging from now on, I just hope that this doesnt turn out to be like a winter bath, where you cheat yourself into believing that the artificial splash was good enough. (Btw…Don’t tell me you haven’t had a proxy bath once in a while 😉 ).

The first thing that strikes me when I think is the question “WHY ?” , Why do I need to write a blog?, What kind of irrational thinking will makes me think that banging keys on my keyboard on a cold January morning will lead to some greater good along the course of me publishing this blog?. And lastly but definitely not the least, Why would anyone read my blog, I am no Aamir Khan or Amitabh Bachchan that people will hang on to every word I write.Hell, I am not even a Rakhi Sawant that I can just whirl controversy with my “silicon enhanced wand”. 😉

The answer lies, fathoms deep, in the fact that I am just too, for the want of a better word, “intrusive” ,  to not comment on the happenings around me. I just have too many views & lamentations to express about all & sundry. Some of my friends just call me “technical” for the very same reason.

I believe good stories should always have succinct beginnings, & I hope that this would be the start of a long story to come. I leave you with a couplet from my poem,

Life is more than just days & nights,

a tale of songs a flight of kites.

– Sid

P.S. This is my first ever blog  thus please do excuse my inaccuracies, which I am sure will be in abundance. I would however, really appreciate if you could point them out to me.

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