Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stage is set for Tottenham and Liverpool

Four of the top six sides in the premier league are undergoing managerial changes this summer. Considering the enormity of the task at the hands of the new bosses, it can be predicted that Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton might not be able to repeat last season’s heroics- a fact that other teams in the top half must take advantage of.
When we look at the teams in the top half, we see that two teams-Liverpool and Tottenham have been in transition for quite some time now. Both Brendan Rodgers and Andre-Villas Boas have impressed the owners who in turn have reinstated their faith for the second term. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for them, but it is fair to say that they haven’t been as severely scrutinized as Rafael Benitez or Roberto Mancini. But this is where honeymoon ends and the marriage begins. Liverpool fans, who were unexpectedly patient last season, will rain hell on Rodgers if his side loses to Aston Villa or West Brom again. Similarly, Spurs fans have dealt with enough heart break season after season by just missing out on the top four. Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale- the two magicians who have time and again saved their managers from embarrassment are set to leave this summer. Confirmations are pending, but we all know what happens when a striker’s future is ‘uncertain’ in the premier league. It is all up to the managers now. Villas-Boaz’s task might be wee-bit harder than Rodgers, owing to the fact he wasn't as active as the man in charge at Anfield during the January transfer window.
Chelsea might welcome back miracle worker Jose Mourinho, which means sport magazines will be busier with the premier league more than ever. The owners at Old Trafford never think short term which means David Moyes can take his time to make the players and fans suited to his style. After Wayne Rooney’s departure to United several years ago, Everton have ended up being in the wrong end of the bargain once again. With Moyes gone and the tight financial condition that they have, a mid table finish is all the fans can expect. Manchester City are awaiting the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini, but coaches from La Liga have rarely done wonders in the debut season in the premier league, Rafael Benitez being a not so honourable exception.
Before anybody gets impatient, yes, Arsenal too have an opportunity of a life time to win...well, everything. If they buy a match winner, wait sorry, it’s Arsenal right? If one of the kids at the London outfit comes of age in the next season, and if, for once Arsenal could get lucky in the Champions league the trophy drought will surely end. That’s a lot of ifs. Tottenham need belief more than anything if they want to finish over their London rivals. Not so far away from London, Liverpool have a near perfect squad and manager who believes in them. All of us have been optimistic about the Reds during pre-seasons, but this is the first time something amazing might happen at Anfield.

The one that is certain is that the premier league trophy won’t be easily won as we saw this year. The race will be tighter, the competition will be fiercer. We know that the coming season will be different from many previous seasons, let’s hope it’s the best one too. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

The best and worst of LAN..

Let's begin with the news first. I have a job a now and I am trying hard to get a girlfriend. That's pretty much it. Too much has been said about girls, placements, gay issues, political leaders and what not. So, here’s something you would want to know and it’s also fun to read. Now, this post is a favour to all my friends who keep asking me what to download from DC++( yaar koi achhi series bata..). Although I am no expert, I have a reputation of suggesting quality stuff to all my patrons. And those who are reading my blog for the first time please read my previous posts as well. Let’s face it, we all love best/worst lists. This post is a list of drama/crime series worth watching. Enough chit chat, here’s the real deal. Lets start from the bottom.


Okay, first of all, I am starting from seven b’coz I haven’t seen as many shows to make a top ten list. Secondly, LOST is so much down the list because of several simple reasons. Have you ever read a book where there are so many characters that every once in a while you have to flip back to the beginning of the book to revise the character’s history? Same is the case with this show. The plot is great, the performances are good, but hey, any series isn’t complete without a hot chick. When you make a series where the maximum scenes take place on a beach, you should know guys will be looking for something more than action and suspense. Another reason why LOST is a bottomer, is that it isn’t fast enough compared to other series on this list. I watched the entire first season, but was didn’t have the courage to download the second one. Enough criticism, now the good stuff. It is one of the very few shows where the Indian guy is not the nerd. And a lot of good actors, dialogues and small but neat action sequences. I know a lot of people who would put LOST in the top three, but in the end it’s just a matter of opinion.

6. The Sopranos

I watched this series so long ago that I am not even sure of the spelling. This show was created for all those people who kept longing for more after watching all the three Godfather movies. All Italian characters, lots of guns, drugs, hookers, strippers, expensive suits, classic GTOs –everything a male needs to stay glued to the screen. Just one problem. Every episode is more than an hour long. And an Italian accent is not everybody’s piece of cake. But in every other way, a fantastic entertainer.


I started watching House after it was suggested to me by a friend. Any guesses what college he goes to? Very few people know that most episodes of this show are directed by a guy called Bryan Singer, the same person who brought us ‘ The Usual Suspects’ and the X-men movies. House is led by Hugh Laurie- a brit whose American accent can put Hollywood veterans to shame. The best thing about House is also the worst thing about House- every episode begins with a guy/girl with an unknown disease and all three of Dr. House’s interns disagree with his diagnosis, but it’s always Dr House who saves the day- or rather, the patient. Every episode. That’s the issue. Nothing new to look forward to. What’s interesting is the way they solve the problem. The needles , the blood, the medical equipment can sometimes be a pain to watch, the terms hard to comprehend, but in the end ,a medical marvel is a joy forever.

4. The Pacific

From here on there will be more praises and less bashing. The Pacific is about a group of American soldiers who battle the Japanese who in turn are trying to gain control of- well of coarse- the islands in the pacific. First reason to watch it is that it comes from the Steven Spielberg-Tom hanks house of production. It’s a mini series, but every episode can be compared to a classic Hollywood war movie. Girls, if you thought guys don’t cry, sit next to your boyfriend while he watches this show. Equipped with an awesome cast, where every actor looks as if he was born for that role, the story is told by the real heroes who survived the battle. The only part where it loses a point, is the part where the crew(directors, cinematographers whatever) try to make the scene a bit too real. There are moments in the show where you wished you had finished dinner before watching it. Otherwise it’s brilliantly made, and when it’s over, you’ll be standing up clapping your hands.

3. Dexter

If anyone is thinking of the cartoon, go kill yourself now. Enter emotionless, cold, pancake eater, beer drinker, non-abusive serial killer Dexter Morgan.

Dexter Morgan was five when his mother was murdered before his eyes. Dexter was five when Dexter died, Dexter was five when Dexter was born. Okay, too much word play. Ever since he was picked up from a pool of blood by his foster father Harry, Dexter a had an uncontrollable desire to kill people-which he did fulfill-by following a strict moral code set by Harry. He only kills people who are murderers themselves. What makes Dexter so entertaining is the dark humour associated with it, not to mention an amazing acting performance by Michael C Hall, who was awarded the golden globe/emmy( whichever’s correct) for this endeavour.

During the day time Dexter works as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police department. Supported by his foul mouthed sister, porn loving friend Masuka, and host of Spanish-american actors, you can’t help but fall in love with our anti-hero protagonist. You feel pity and hatred at the same time, but you always wait for the next episode.

2. Prison Break

When I first watched PB, I thought what the hell, it’s Sawshank Redemption all over again. Then I watched another episode. Then another. Then another......until my hard disk was full and I started making space to fit in more episodes. This is the show which has been watched by all the famous lazy-asses of the college in record time. You just can’t go sleep without completing an entire season. It’s so intoxicating, you forget about the classes or even exams- you have the next day. With the plot as it’s USP, Prison Break has broken all barriers when it comes to pure thrill. Unlike other shows on this list, the dialogues and the references are easily understandable and you don’t have to be a Hollywood buff to enjoy it. So, cancel all your appointments for an entire week, download all seasons, sit back and click the PLAY button.

1. Band of Brothers

Before you let out sighs of disapproval, let me tell you being number one is not about being the most appreciated, it’s about being the most complete. Some of the best actors, directors, writers and other technicians came together to make this phenomenal miniseries. And I know it’s really cliché that a World War II story is the topper but you have got to watch this one before you dismiss my efforts in making this list. Talking about efforts, you can literally feel that there can be no better depiction of action, emotion or drama than this one.

Once again it’s a Steven Spielberg production, and man it’s awesome.

P.S- The ones I haven't watched but I've heard they are good- 24, CSI, X-Files

P.P.S- The don't s- Heroes, all Vampire Shows

P.P.P.S- Comment,like, follow- do anything that makes me know that u have read this post. Please.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Creep who Smelled like teen spirit....

As you might have guessed,the title was inspired(not copied,inspired) from two of the greatest songs in rock history. And if you like pop music, you're probably gonna doubt your tastes after this.

The basic difference between rock and pop is that the former is meant to be created with real instruments not electronic machines. So, no Synthaxe's, Eigenharps or even isomorphic keyboards.Now, does that mean guys playing sitars and tablas are rockstars and and Linkin Park isn't? At least I think so.

My intimate affair with rock started back in the 7th grade when I first saw the 'teen spirit' video on MTv. I was so smitten that I borrowed my dad's scooter to go to a cybercafe to find out more about the phenomena called 'nirvana'(it was 2002 and internet wasn't around at every corner! and yeah I could ride motor vehicles before I was 13). I went and told my friends about it but they dismissed my revelation as weird thought from the guy who 'didn't like Eminem'. I gave them the finger and told them to grow up. But let's not get into that.

I am writing this because some people wonder why Metallica still rules the world or why Kurt Cobain's face can still be seen on every T-shirt you look at. It's not just their music but the way they gave it to us.It's all about the attitude.Don't get me wrong , attitude does not refer to the bad language or the drug usage. It's how they make you feel. If an artist doesn't make you feel like quitting your job and try doing whatever he does, he isn't a rockstar. He's just a guy making a living. And they don't care about how they look or what they drive(Alice Cooper and Marlyn Manson are honorable exceptions). The point you stop giving a f*** is the point where a musician is born. Look at John Frusciante (lead guitar RHCP)for instance. The guy can't drive nor does he have a credit card, but give him a fender and you'll bow down to him.

No disrespect, it does take a lot of energy to compose a song, whatever genre it may belong to. But the point is, why go for a caddy when you can have a Ferrari? Just do an experiment. Listen to the usual bullshit you like and then go for any Iron Maiden classic( say, number of the beast).You'll get my message.

If music is meant to inspire why pollute it with technology? Rock is a real, pure, and uncorrupted form of art and it won't lose it's glory till the end of time. It's a religion and as a proud devotee, my pilgrimage has just begun.

PS - Caddy is short for Cadillac, just as merc is for Mercedes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

23 hours of solitude….
I have two other friends who are from my city and study in my college, yet every time I go home during the holidays, I have to travel alone. Of all reasons- attending summer semesters, not wanting to go home, or a trip to Agra with friends (or Lucknow or any god forsaken place) -this time I wasn’t graced with their presence for the worst reasons of all-they missed the bloody train.
Most of the time I have a smooth ride home owing to the delay in the arrival of trains. No, I’m not trying to sound ironical-when my train from Allahabad is late, it actually shortens my journey-coz the time gap between the two trains which take me to Rourkela is reduced. But this time the impossible happened-the train reached before time at both the stations-which means I reached Bilaspur at 3:30 in the morning, and my next train was 7 hours later. To make matters worse, I had forgotten my earphones at my hostel….music, my faithful companion had ditched me this time.
The first hour passed with me trying not to fall asleep….then the tea stall opened-and I don’t know what the owner put in that small cup of hot brew but it kept me awake for the rest of the journey. I didn’t go to the waiting room as I was afraid I would step on the numerous people sleeping on the floor. And I didn’t go outside coz my luggage was punishingly heavy….how did one laptop and 6 pairs of clothing weighed more than a 7 year old is another story. Not to forget I needed protection, coz two months of hostel food had made me hollow from the inside. So there I sat… surrounded by hundred different kinds of people yet alone. And then I observed very interesting event…..

I was trying to find if my e-mail about a Michael Jackson article had made it to the ‘Your letters’ section of the latest issue of TIME magazine I was holding when I saw a young kid dressed in what appeared to be very old t-shirt with a printed message: ‘I was born intelligent but education ruined me’. He was holding a broom in one hand and was possibly waiting for a train to make money by sweeping the floor. He looked as if he hadn’t eaten for days….he sat with the bridge of his nose tucked between his knees and I saw his that forearms were unbelievably thin. I had a box of fried rice I bought from a takeaway restaurant at the Allahabad station and was about to reach for it when a generous looking woman offered him a 5 rupee note. He looked her in the eye and replied ‘hum unke jaise thodi hai aunty, kaam karlenge phir dijiyega’ pointing at a beggar woman(I am not like them, pay me after I do my job). The ‘aunty’ guiltily withdrew the money. The box of food was in my hand. I put it back, returned to my magazine and let the boy have his moment of pride.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

who's right and who's wrong

23rd may 2009

on the 23rd of April ,i was sleeping past 12, i wasn't in bed. i was sleeping because i wasn't at the polling station. a lot of my friends made fun of each other based on the little TV ad in which a guy is serving tea to people on election day so as to 'wake them up' while i wondered how could the elections effect my life. i asked myself what good can come from voting for some sardar who did nothing when terrorists were touring like a rock band through the big cities of our country or for some 76 year old who advertises for himself on face book but promises different things to people of different religion or some third party leader who got an engineer killed for a birthday bash.......

the big question is not why to choose or how to choose but who to choose. from a layman's view there is not one person in the country on whom we can rely and say that we trust him/her with our money and our vote. we have a tendulkar in sports , a rahman in music, people like swaminathan and apj abdul kalaam in science; why not a world class leader in the government? right now its not about choosing the right guy, it's about rejecting the bigger criminal. these were the thoughts running through my head a month ago.

yesterday i was watching the swearing in ceremony and i noticed the average age of the cabinet members was about 68 years ......and i started thinking again.....every government official retires at sixty but the govt is itself seventy years old. doesn't the old law apply here? issues like these make us question our own claim to be the most successful democracy in the world.

then why should we vote? and the answer is quite simple ....we should vote because we ourselves should not be guilty of neglecting our constitutional duty- the same thing we accuse our leaders of.maybe such a situation would never have aroused if we were more responsible in the first if u thought your vote didn't matter , think again.