Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday's Two

Over the course of seventy-five engaging minutes this evening, I discussed enforced bonding, the four questions you should ask yourself about your friends, how travelling long distances for short meetings is often worth it, how the group of people you end up staying in touch with is entirely your doing, NG's 'simple but deep' lyrics, the kinds of plans you should try to avoid on Sunday afternoons, the mysteries of life, the universe and the purpose of meaning and, of course, whether the standard of the hypothetical addressee envisioned by Lord Reid at page 355 of Technograph v. Mills and Rockley [1972] RPC 346 is that of a skilled man or that of a nerd.

Alright, so I made up that last bit. But not by much, I'll have you know.

NR, thank you for letting me be me. :-)

Stumps, Day 2

I can feel a third-innings collapse coming on. Ugh.

Australia v India, 1st Test Match, Melbourne Cricket Ground, December 26-30, 2011
Brief scores, Stumps, Day 2: Australia 333 (EJM Cowan 68, RT Ponting 62, PM Siddle 41; Z Khan 4/77, R Ashwin 3/81, U Yadav 3/106); India 3/214 (SR Tendulkar 73, RS Dravid 68*, V Sehwag 67; JL Pattinson 1/35, BW Hilfenhaus 1/50, PM Siddle 1/53).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"The second 'W' in WWE"

Congratulations Bryan Danielson, for scripting the fairytale denouement of the little indy wrestler that could. You, sir, are an inspiration to everyone who has been told that it "just won't happen" for them. I was too emotionally spent after Bret Hart's shock career-ending to ever invest in the largely thankless pursuit of making a wrestling career a personal interest. However, I'm thrilled to declare today, after seven long years of following a career that seemed destined to resonate with fans for what it wasn't rather than for what it was, that Bryan Danielson was an effort worth making. In these times of professional wrestling's desperate poverty of talent that can actually "do what the marquee says", Bryan Danielson has meant as much to me as Bret Hart did in the glory days.       

CM Punk and Bryan Danielson holding the two lead titles in WWE in December 2011 - who's writing the scripts here? No pun intended, of course. :-)


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Britpop, Bad Food, Statutory Interpretation - Story of My Life

I'm riding a wave called A Northern Soul. Now this is music, no pun intended.

The bruschetta at Nirula's is bad. Really very bad.

Section 30(4) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 states:

"Sub-section (3) shall not apply where there exists legitimate reasons for the proprietor to oppose further dealings in the goods in particular, where the condition of the goods, has been changed or impaired after they have been put on the market."

For the life of me, I do not understand why there is a comma between 'goods' and 'has'. Someone 'explain me why'. Please.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Numb

The title-winning Class of '92 has lost its most honest soldier. Gary Speed, you will be fondly remembered and sorely missed. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Things Everyday

"He was never as bad as he was made out to be but he's certainly better now than he ever was."

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

No, I don't wish I was at SF.

Monday, November 21, 2011

YES!

Still buzzing from Australia's Test win over South Africa at The Wanderers. It surely ranks among the most memorable fourth innings chases of all time for a variety of reasons - the quality of the attack, the target and the conditions chief among them. 

Most important, however, was the way this win was crafted by the most embattled players in the team - Usman Khawaja with a coming-of-age fifty, Brad Haddin with a badly needed one, Mitchell Johnson with an invaluable 40 not out under immense pressure and, perhaps sweetest of all, a career-saving 62 by Ricky Ponting.

It somehow seemed appropriate that the winning runs were scored by man-of-the-match Pat Cummins in his debut Test - those deliveries he batted out against Vernon Philander (not a bad first series) and Dale Steyn convinced me that whatever problems Australian cricket has, it isn't for a want of courage and commitment.

This image will make me smile for a long time to come. :-)

     

Friday, November 18, 2011

Woo Woo Woo, You Screwed Him

"I went to the 1996 and the 2002 Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden as just a fan and it seems like this year it’ll be no different. For months, Dolph Ziggler and I have been at each other’s throats. I’ve pinned him numerous times, I’ve had thousands of Broskis sign my petition, we’re gonna be in Madison Square Garden, I live in New York and John Morrison has the US Title match at Survivor Series and not me? Are you serious bro?" #manhattanscrewjob

***
You ought to be ashamed of yourself if you haven't yet signed this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Musgrave Ritual

At around 3.30 a.m. this morning, on a whim, I dusted off an old, torn paperback, smattered with a cold tea stain on the first page that has been in my possession for at least eleven years. I flipped through the pages of this slender volume (from back to front, as I usually do) and suddenly stopped. The words “an anomaly which often struck me in the character of my friend Sherlock Holmes” caught my eye and I assumed my standard reading position - lying on my right side, head resting on my upturned right palm and wrist, the book supported by the fully spread four fingers of my left hand, with the little finger acting as a bookmark - and read on.

***  


“ ‘It is rather an absurd business, this ritual of ours,’ he answered. ‘But it has at least the saving grace of antiquity to excuse it. I have a copy of the questions and answers here if you care to run your eye over them.’

“He handed me the very paper which I have here, Watson, and this is the strange catechism to which each Musgrave had to submit when he came to man’s estate. I will read you the questions and answers as they stand.

“ ‘Whose was it?’
“ ‘His who is gone.’
“ ‘Who shall have it?’
“ ‘He who will come.’
“ ‘Where was the sun?’
“ ‘Over the oak.’
“ ‘Where was the shadow?’
“ ‘Under the elm.’
“ ‘How was it stepped?’
“ ‘North by ten and by ten, east by five and by five, south by two and by two, west by one and by one and so under.’
“ ‘What shall we give for it?’
“ ‘All that is ours.’
“ ‘Why should we give it?’
“ ‘For the sake of the trust…’ ” 

***

“That must have been difficult, Holmes, when the elm was no longer there.”

“Well, at least I knew that if Brunton could do it, I could also. Besides, there was no real difficulty. I went with Musgrave to his study and whittled myself this peg, to which I tied this long string with a knot at each yard. Then I took two lengths of a fishing-rod, which came to just six feet, and I went back with my client to where the elm had been. The sun was just grazing the top of the oak. I fastened the rod on end, marked out the direction of the shadow, and measured it. It was nine feet in length.

“Of course the calculation was now a simple one. If a rod of six feet threw a shadow of nine, a tree of sixty-four would throw one of ninety-six, and the line of the one would of course be the line of the other. I measured out the distance, which brought me almost to the wall of the house, and I thrust a peg into the spot. You can imagine my exultation, Watson, when within two inches of my peg I saw a conical depression in the ground. I knew that it was the mark made by Brunton in his measurements, and that I was still upon his trail…”  

***
In an instant, I was transported to the time I first read The Musgrave Ritual, the night before my Class X Maths Board exam. And, much as I did all those years ago, I found myself stopping at the end of each of these passages, suddenly very aware of my surroundings and able to sense a quickening of my heartbeat--those precise little signs that convinced me that I was reading something quite out of the ordinary. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Rock's Best Theme Ever

The Rock's recent return to WWE programming made me re-visit the question of which music has announced his arrival the best. Among many, many contenders (the latest one is called 'Entertainer' by Jim Johnston), I pick this one, from his 'Hollywood' heel run in 2003.

Fantastic.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black Thursday


When I see this picture, I don't feel depressed or disappointed. I feel absolutely disgusted. As Graeme Smith tucked away that final, insipid ball towards the mid-wicket boundary in Cape Town this afternoon, it struck me that the only reason my initial reaction to what happened yesterday was one of numbing shock and not disgust was because I still entertained the thought that somehow, given the extraordinary happenings over the last two days, it was possible to turn this around.

Now that that hope has been crushed by two of the ugliest Test hundreds one could ever be subjected to, there can be no running away from the fact that this is the lowest I have felt in seventeen years of following this once-magnificent cricket team.

And though I saw it live and in living colour, it is the black-and-white version of the Newlands scoreboard that will remain burned in my memory.   

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Waitlist Blues

Why is it that the words "I'll let you know" have come to dominate my life?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Breathe, regroup, kick on

Back in seventh after a cynical, fantastic, beautiful, ugly 1-0 win at Leicester. A few reinforcements in January would really help, though. I'm not dreaming of it just yet, but I'd be disappointed in the extreme if I'm not anxious about league results come April.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The End of a Fascination

Any album that (a) has a title which is nonsense, (b) prescribes its own pronunciation for said title (it’s ‘mylo zy-letoe’, apparently) and (c) unabashedly declares itself to be a concept album drawing on a wide range of seemingly powerful influences better be good. Unfortunately, the overwhelming feeling at the end of Coldplay’s fifth album is one of superficiality and of a band now utterly, irreconcilably adrift of the kind of music that made them great.

In keeping with the concept album feel, three of Mylo Xyloto’s fourteen tracks are sub-one minute interludes (one of them is even called ‘A Hopeful Transmission’, lest there be any doubt) and that is really where the problem begins—the ‘concept’ is of a ‘love story with a happy ending’ which (a) is battered into submission by Chris Martin’s alternately whooping and whining vocals and lazy lyrical imagery (‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ is referenced on ‘Paradise’ and ‘Us Against the World’ on ‘Major Minus’, all of which are painfully contrived from his bag of rainbow clichés) and (b) isn’t far removed from the majority of standard-issue Coldplay anyway.

With such a thin musical premise, the songs themselves need to deliver and, about halfway through ‘Paradise’ it dawns on you that this isn’t another experimental foray, this is what Coldplay is now—melody-driven power pop built for arenas, replete with ‘woah-oh’ choruses and a sea of shimmering synth sounds. In that sense, the last three years have not been a long journey at all—‘Paradise’ is the direct successor to ‘Viva La Vida’ from the previous album, much as ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ is an aggrandized version of ‘Strawberry Swing’. Other indications of musical continuity with their own past are to be found on ‘Hurts Like Heaven’, ‘Don’t Let It Break Your Heart’ (almost laughably similar to ‘The Hardest Part’) and ‘U.F.O.’ (Martin’s oddly lumpy vocals literally run out of things to sing about roughly halfway through), but none of these transform the urgency and earnestness that have never been in doubt into anything remotely fresh or groundbreaking.

As expected, there are some bright spots but virtually all of them—the piano motif on ‘Charlie Brown’ (you’d think that if they wanted an instrumental track so bad, they’d have picked this) and the jagged guitars on ‘Major Minus’ in particular—speak more to Brian Eno’s influence on the album and, more worryingly, make them sound uncomfortably like U2. This isn’t a harking back to the good U2 of the late 80s/early 90s either (it’s worth keeping in mind that, going by the ‘jural correlative’ theory I use to force symmetry on everything, this ought to be Coldplay’s equivalent to Achtung Baby), this is pinching riffs to pass off as a sleek 2010s rebirth of U2-lite.

There is also more wholesome, heart-warming, echoing Coldplay goodness on ‘Us Against the World’, which features the full range of Martin’s voice and is as evocative as anything they’ve ever done but also as ‘cruelly magnolia’ (since that is the colour for the album) as anything they’ve ever done. Then there’s ‘Up in Flames’ (built around a very un-Coldplay-like sparse, decaying drumbeat) and ‘Up with the Birds’ (which closes the album full of the flashes and flares of shimmering sounds that dominate the previous thirteen tracks) which, again, suggest that there’s some really good music they could produce if they so choose but disappoint for precisely the reason that they choose not to.

As if to seal the discussion, there is a collaboration with Rihanna on ‘Princess of China’, which wouldn’t be out of place on a Rihanna album, such is the extent of Coldplay’s immersion in hook-laden, get-up-and-dance-pop (albeit with a sample pinched off Sigur Rós). It is smartly done, too—a genuine surprise on an album almost devoid of it.

And so ends my fascination with Coldplay—the band that has substituted imagination with electropop, the band which now opens at #1 on music charts around the world on the back of an album which doesn’t have a single song that can be properly identified with the smooth, emotive three-piece rock that brought them this far.  
         

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some respect, Man Citeh

"Fergie, Fergie, you're getting sacked in the morning!"

I will remember this day for a long, long time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zygotic mynci? Mylo zygo?

And then, this made me smile. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G4isv_Fylg

It's true - their videos are getting better, their songs are getting worse.

A review of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (expected to hit UK #1 early next week) and Mylo Xyloto (who'd bet against it reaching #1 everywhere?) to follow soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Deadman Reloaded: The Undertaker's Ten Best Pay-Per-View Singles Matches Since 2004


Following in the (dis)honourable footsteps of his brother, Sushain counts down The Undertaker's top 10 pay-per-view singles matches since his return as The Deadman at WrestleMania XX.

Enjoy! :) 

#10. The Undertaker def. Batista (c)
15-0 for the World Heavyweight Championship
Ford Field; Detroit, Michigan
WrestleMania 23; April 1, 2007

Batty and ‘Taker can be proud that they put on "Feud of the Year 2007" and some thrilling, nail-biting contests. The first of these encounters came at WrestleMania 23. After an excellent Royal Rumbleshowing, especially the last few minutes with Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker was riding on a big wave of momentum and popularity into the promised main event, the third match on the card. Nevertheless, a unique combination of a fight and a wrestling match which blended together very well, it set a high standard for all the following matches. With someone like Batista as your opponent on the big stage, who isn't exactly mobile but, more so, stiff, you expect The ‘Taker to pull out an average performance at best. But Batty and ‘Taker were uniquely well-matched and they went at a good pace with a couple of great spots and working around the stiffness. Batista might have fallen, just like everyone else, but that does not detract from an effort that Batty was so proud of that he reportedly charged backstage, screaming, "top that!"

#9. Edge def. The Undertaker
Tables, Ladders and Chairs for the World Heavyweight Championship
San Diego Sports Arena; San Diego, California
One Night Stand; June 1, 2008

With the banishment stipulation enforced and in a TLC environment, the bout looked like Edge's for the taking. It turned out to be a well-paced contest that didn't overdo on weapons and big spots and it left you calling it better than other TLC matches. While La Familia was needed to get more heat for Edge, it was, by no means, necessary. It only left us saying that it was a terribly executed run-in and ended like it had been ending every time, with ‘Taker cleaning house. However, with a spectacular ending, good pace, no overdose on weapons/items and a heartfelt goodbye emotion for The 'Taker, it was probably his best pay per view outing for a while.

#8. The Undertaker def. Mr. Kennedy
Last Ride Match
Richmond Coliseum; Richmond, Virginia
Armageddon; December 17, 2006

When Ken Anderson debuted as the brash loudmouth Mr. Kennedy, WWE had a big star on their hands. While backstage problems became the death of him later on, his initial run was great. He had an awesome gimmick which set the ball rolling and his feud with Undertaker saw him take the ball and run with it. The 'Taker played it great and succeeded in selling Ken Anderson as a credible threat, both throughout the match and during the buildup and in previous encounters (No Mercy and Survivor Series; Kennedy won both times). The match lived up to the hype, the brawling was intense, the psychology, a couple of big spots (especially the fall from the scaffold) were perfectly executed and everyone believed Ken Anderson had a realistic chance of walking away with it for a third straight time on pay per view. With a perfect combination of the elements of action and surprise, this was one of The 'Taker's better pay per view outings of 2006.

#7. The Undertaker def. Edge
Hell in a Cell
Conseco Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Indiana
SummerSlam; August 17, 2008

The farewell emotion for The 'Taker at One Night Stand was heartfelt but we still knew he would be back. Nevertheless, the return was explosive and was done in spectacular fashion. A well-constructed storyline with human emotions being masterfully manipulated for the cause added to the fact that it was believable and the excitement and hype for the match was huge. The execution was better than could have been hoped for and I don't suppose anyone thought that this could be botched anyhow. The crowd was hot, the ring psychology added a new twist, it was fresh, anticipated and all the big spots were executed to perfection. The ending couldn't have been done better and it was a thrilling cap to the entire night. The other main event, from RAW (Cena v. Batista), and the title matches are best forgotten and this encounter can be evaluated by both men proudly as one of their finest productions, once the dust settles on this one.

#6. Batista (c) def. The Undertaker
for the World Heavyweight Championship, with special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin
Verizon Center; Washington DC
Cyber Sunday; October 28, 2007

If The Undertaker had competed in wrestling matches before, this was most certainly a fight. With a lack of scientific skill evident against this opponent as I’ve stated before, a single alternative was available: kick the living hell out of each other. That is what they did. While they were kicking the hell out of each other, the psychology was still good, the two counts were riveting and a factor of uncertainty as to who the victor was going to be remained. The 'Taker and Batista were given seventeen and a half minutes and the main event slot for Cyber Sunday and they did not disappoint as they tore the house down and, with Batista as the hometown favourite, you had to wonder if he would emerge as champion. Batista was helped massively by the fact that ‘Taker put him over cleanly and sold him as a considerable threat for the match. Done and dusted, Batista could very well acknowledge this as one of the top five pay per view showings of all time while The 'Taker could be proud that he put on another magnificent effort.

#5. The Undertaker def. Randy Orton
Hell in a Cell
Dunkin' Donuts Center; Providence, Rhode Island
Armageddon; December 18, 2005

This perhaps qualifies as the last "good" Hell in a Cell match. Blood was in and brutality was in. The PG era has totally doomed every single Cell match since 2009. The ingredients were there and ‘Taker did a masterful job—there was no question that he was at the top of his game here. The match got the gutsy Legend Killer over (despite not winning; I began "believing" in Randy Orton after the match) and it was one of his finest hours—he was certainly up for it and was willing to try all kinds of wild stuff. The splash through the table. The tombstone. All edge-of-the-seat moments. All thrilling. Thirty minutes was enough to exercise the full potential of both competitors and keeping their characters intact. The match raised the bar for all Cell matches from the beginning of the CeNation era and, safely said, none have quite matched the standard set by this particular encounter.

#4. The Undertaker def. Edge (c)
16-0 for the World Heavyweight Championship
Citrus Bowl; Orlando, Florida
WrestleMania XXIV; March 30, 2008

This encounter was tying with Shawn/Flair on points for the best encounter of the night. The trouble is that because of a booking error and despite Ric Flair's assurances, no one is going to remember this match. It could be described as the "lost classic" of modern ages. Despite a card with John Cena on it, enough faith was placed in this match for it to be put on last. And it was duly rewarded. The match was easily one of Edge's best outings and The Undertaker succeeded in making Edge look a genuine threat to The Streak. The buildup was hot and the execution was up to near perfection. What might have helped it a bit would have been keeping it a relatively clean "wrestling match". A lot of unnecessary stunts—smashing of the Spanish announce table, chair shots when the ref's back was turned, smashing of the Spanish announce table, cutting flight from the top turnbuckle, smashing of the Spanish announce table—were perhaps only some of the possible risks involved. Because if you go one on one with The Undertaker and you blow your one big spot at WrestleMania, you end up looking like the biggest fail on the card.

#3. The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
18-0 in a no-countout, no disqualification 'Streak v. Career' match
University of Phoenix; Glendale, Arizona
WrestleMania XXVI; March 28, 2010

I really can't think of any rematch that got the hype and the kind of buildup that this one got. After costing the Deadman the World Heavyweight Championship and resorting to placing his own career on the line just to get him to accept, you have to admit, Shawn played this really good on camera. The buildup was huge and it was really, really believable. The most amazing thing is that the encounter matched, nearly blow for blow, what they had put on the previous year. Most times, it just happens that when one bout is phenomenal, the rematch is built up hot but never quite manages to deliver the same high standards set by the first bout. But that's exactly what happened. Once again, it won "Match of the Year". Once again, it outclassed everything on the card. Once again, it left nothing to be desired. While perhaps not matching WrestleMania XXV in intensity, riveting near falls and commentary (no JR at XXVI), it made up for that in emotion and drama. And that, sometimes, is all that really matters.

#2. Kurt Angle (c) def. The Undertaker
for the World Heavyweight Championship
1st Mariner Arena; Baltimore, Maryland
No Way Out; February 19, 2006

I think it doesn't need to be stated, as if it weren't time and time again, that if you place a talented athlete in the ring with The Undertaker for thirty minutes, you are absolutely guaranteed to see one for the ages. That is exactly what happened here as well. The Undertaker and Kurt Angle, coming off a hot 2006 Royal Rumble return and a not-quite-so-impressive Mark Henry title defence respectively, were both up for it and ready to give it thirty minutes. While it has since been revealed that Kurt Angle was initially picked to be the one to break The Streak, it is good that it never happened because a second encounter, besides breaking The Streak, would result in blotting the memories of this classic encounter. The crowd wasn't really wild, but who cared? The 'Taker and Angle wrestled with tremendous intensity, momentum shifts and made you feel that the bout could have swung either way. Instead of having a scrappy finish, which would’ve wasted the effort put in by both, Kurt went over clean. After a brutal, hard fought bout, you never really could feel that Kurt did the wrong thing by pinning ‘Taker clean. While a WrestleMania follow up could have done big business, especially with The 'Taker telling Angle that he was, "not done with him yet", it was best to let the feud cool off then and there. In the end, you felt, it was the perfect ending to one of the best matches of all time.

#1. The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
17-0
Reliant Stadium; Houston, Texas
WrestleMania XXV; April 5, 2009

Going thirty minutes for an intense, well-paced matchup without committing a serious fail isn't always easy for two near-forty-five year olds, especially under the bright lights at a WrestleMania. We were fortunate enough, however, to witness just that at WrestleMania XXV. If anyone needs a tutorial on how to pace a match properly with excellent psychology and momentum shifts and riveting two-counts, just watch this. Easily outclassing everything else on the card, it really was one of those rare matches that left nothing to be desired. The crowd was left chanting "this is awesome" and that says it all. Even watching this after two years, it never fails to send chills down your spine. Utterly timeless. Why it didn't get Meltzer’s five stars, I don't know, but it was rightfully awarded "Match of the Year" for 2009 by the Wrestling Observer.

The most positive effect a great match can have is that it raises the credibility level of both participants (think back to the Cell match with Randy Orton at #5). Admitted, both HBK and The Deadman had attained stardom many years prior. But this match went one better. It is a remarkable instance of two wrestlers in their mid-forties, nearing the end of their careers, putting on a match that people still speak in awe of and will do so for years to come. There was something very, very special about this.

I didn't tell you so but someone else did and RCB lost anyway so hah.

Chaitanya confidently predicted that the Royal Challengers Bangalore would choke in the Champions League T20 and he was right.

Aur toh aur, "MI's victory can be thoroughly discredited because (1) their opponents choked and (2) they slimed their way to 5 foreign players."

And while this post might seem like a giant smokescreen to deflect attention away from my previous post on this subject a few days ago, I've come to the conclusion that God didn't really care much for the IPL teams in the Champions League T20 this year. I don't blame Him.  

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Prayer

Dear God,

I know you've had your hands full with Tomas Transtrőmer, Steve Jobs and Raavan in the last few hours, but please make sure Somerset and New South Wales win their respective Nokia Champions League T20 semi-final matches over the next two days. Please.

Why I'd rather not believe

This world's ability to generate sellouts in their droves, to provide incentives to existing sellouts to sell out to previously unimaginable levels and convert people you respect immensely for their abilities into garden-variety sellouts is truly astonishing.

Acceptance of the first category is perhaps an inevitable concession to the ways of this world. Acceptance of the second category is usually an exercise in spewing disgust before adjusting your life perspective to the fact that such things also, sadly, happen.

However, it is the third category that is the most difficult to accept, perhaps because it is the most difficult to fathom. And it hurts infinitely more when those converted are close friends.

Yet, it reinforces belief that there is value in fighting the good fight and holding a balanced opinion of people, no matter how worthy of admiration they may appear.

It reinforces belief that, when it's your turn to teeter on the brink of that cliff, you remember what dragged you to the edge to begin with and why living to fight another day is always, always the right thing to do.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

'Scuse Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0QMhSLg0t0

Another Noel classic. Can't wait for the album.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Absolute Truths - II

Mango Tang > Grape Tang > Strawberry Tang > Orange Tang > Pineapple Tang > Lemon Tang

Friday, September 16, 2011

Look away

Jumping back into the greatest known unknown tomorrow, very possibly for the last time.

I've been bad, jinxed, beaten, screwed and conspired out of a lot of these in the past but, for this last time, I really simply do not care. I've re-discovered why I got involved to begin with and I'm going to take that attitude forward with me.

It promises to be a wonderful six days in Bangalore.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New X Division Champion

Congratulations, Austin Aries.

J'espère que c'est le début d'une longue serie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back amongst the familiar

After two weeks that have been as perfect as can be, there's just one overwhelming feeling I have right now.

I love my Mum. If it weren't for her, there would be no me. I know it takes only so many words to express the sentiment because it's true (and always will be) in a literal sense. But in the last two weeks, I've realised how true it is in every possible sense. And that's a feeling that no amount of words can ever do justice to.  

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

First 6/27/11, now 9/5/11

WWE Raw Supershow; Columbus, Ohio; 9/5/11:

"You know what? *What?*
Just when I think I've heard it all *What?*
CM Punk starts to show off calling himself different *What?*
Now how is what he does different? *What?*
Don't what me! *What?*
Y'see, unlike CM Punk, I've been speaking the truth my whole entire life *What?*
The real truth *What?*
So I guess I need to be a good R-Truth *What?*
Keep my mouth shut *What?*
And buy a ticket and go to Night of Champions *What?*
Then I can sit in the audience and stuff my face like the rest of you Little Jimmies!" 

Ron Killings, where have you been all these years?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Never forget

Never forget who your real friends are. If you do, you'll never hear stories emerge out of thin air in conversation, you'll never quite fathom why you make the kind of sacrifices that you do and you'll never experience that familiarity, comfort and solidarity that convinces you and anyone else concerned, that the person at the other end of the line really, really cares about you.

I had one of those conversations a few minutes back and it ended with the words "when will you call me again? I still have a lot to say."

That, quite simply, is what real friendship is about. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Kill is going to Debra you."

I just finished watching my first episode of Everybody Loves Raymond in many, many years and, for that half an hour, I felt like I was sixteen years old again. Peter Boyle - God bless him - was one of the greatest and most under-appreciated TV Dads of all time. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One and one makes three

There are three players in the most talked-about professional wrestling angle this year - the COO, the Hustle, Loyalty and Respect and the Cult of Personality.

In the past few weeks, HLR has seen his fan base heavily thin out and has had his credibility hit as the 'fake champ'. The only good to have come of this for him is that he has - credit to him - kept a straight face (pun intended) through the carnage that the Cult of Personality's 'pipe bomb' has created.

On the 8/8/11 RAW, HLR made three notable points - one, he admitted that he's never going to win over Dwayne's 'millions' or the Cult of Personality's 'followers'. Fake champ or not, that's a huge concession for the company's top face to make and the resigned air with which he said it made it hard to believe that, somewhere in his heart, he doesn't think it's true. He said, however, that he's going to continue to do what he does - referring explicitly to his lack of work rate, his 'too PG' persona, his similarity to Hulk Hogan and his 'five moves of doom' - because there's merit in standing by those who've believed in you all these years.

Second, assisted by the COO, he accused the Cult of Personality of being a hypocrite (though they used the word 'phony' during the promo, ostensibly because the PG crowd doesn't know the meaning of 'hypocrite') because, for all his 'voice of the voiceless' shtick, he held out (kayfabe) for a better contract and more perks, like a selfish, money-hungry opportunist.

Third, he asked the Cult of Personality if he had any idea how much pressure there would be on him going into Summerslam - sure, he's taken the ball and run with it of late, but, in reality, all he's done is beat HLR once and if he can't do it again with everything on the line, he'd be just another one-hit wonder.

What the Cult of Personality said in response ought to be recorded as part of a highlight reel of how to build a character in professional wrestling.

He began by breaking the storyline wall (I distinguish this from the traditional kayfabe/fourth wall, though the two may overlap on several occasions) about the archetypal 'world title contract signing segment', while also poking some subtle fun at their moniker as 'entertainers'. I believe this was done for two reasons - it grabbed the attention of the smark like nothing else would have under those circumstances and it solidified his commitment to being a wrestler rather than an entertainer (those two categories, contrary to the storyline wall/kayfabe wall distinction, are notable for how they don't overlap, especially in this feud).

He then crafted a response to HLR's second point around two ideas - one, that it was human to do what he did ("do I want an ice-cream bar with my name on it? You're damn right!") and two, that it's a bit rich for COO and his Johnny (again, pun intended) to talk about being phony when they don't have the guts to fire people in person - shouting out to Vladimir Kozlov, Harry Smith and Chris Masters by name - and, instead, choose to do their dirty work over the phone (and hence are, quite literally, phony :p).

His response to HLR's third point was pre-emptive, in that HLR's 'one-hit wonder' spiel came after the Cult of Personality said what he had to say. What he had to say was that (moving beyond his own personal motivations or others' equally human reactions to similar situations) HLR calling him a phony is only to be expected because he's been on top for so long that it has skewed his perspective. When the Cult of Personality first became ECW Champion, HLR's patronising 'I almost gave up on you' revealed such a loss of contact with reality that he could not help but hold a grudge against him for saying such a thing. If anything, HLR was the one who 'gave up' on being a bodybuilder and decided to become a sports-entertainer instead. And now, HLR's going to leave Los Angeles - where he won his first championship seven years ago - with nothing.        

Then followed the skirmish that saw, as Kendra Bunyon noted in an excellent report this morning, "Laurinaitis take one to the head". When the Cult of Personality bailed out of the ring only to turn around and find HLR and the COO standing side by side in the ring, he yelled "is that the way it's going to be - this little company picnic right here? [Is] this a fix-in? [Is] this a fix-in Hunter? Are you two going to stand there in the ring and look at me?"

And in that very moment, his words from the epoch-shifting 6/27/11 RAW came hurtling back to mind - "I don't hate you John, I hate the idea that you're the best because you're not - I'm the best...[T]here's one thing you're better at than I am...and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass."

There's always the possibility, of course, that HLR doesn't have it in him to play the part needed of him to produce another great wrestling match at Summerslam. Perhaps even greater is the possibility that the COO's involvement as referee will open up a range of sub-optimal possibilities which will usher Creative into making a lazy, unimaginative booking decision on Sunday night in Los Angeles. But, right now, it is impossible to disagree that this is making for some absolutely captivating television.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhvAUbIS9Qo
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzeXu11Q9Kk
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NomCpyGXUrU

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Two Homes

Off to Delhi in a few hours. About time it all starts coming together.

It also strikes me that I now have at least two places to call home. I've never had my attention split this way before and I'm not sure if I'm going to like it.

Currently overdosing on Noel Gallagher's "The Death of You and Me" - too similar to "The Importance of Being Idle" (which, in itself, carries heavy influences from at least two songs by The Kinks) to be appreciated as a genuine creative piece of work, but it never ceases to amaze me how he's able to write entertaining lyrics for songs that otherwise sound almost exactly the same. And I love the blue girl in the video. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Diamond in the rough

I have long been a vocal critic of the heavily contrived, poorly informed, overtly opinionated, lowest-common-denominator pap that the wrestling pages of The Bleacher Report churn out almost every minute, but a few minutes back, this caught my eye:

"[...] Evan Bourne continues to sit there, just like a child on a swing set, waiting for that push he was promised so long ago."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dreams do come true :-)

Distinction in the B.C.L. - three 70+s out of four.

I cannot believe I have just typed those words. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

Pay-per-view of the year, but where do we go from here?

There's nothing quite like watching wrestling on TV. Especially when you watch the best pay-per-view event of the year, with all the right booking decisions and the first five-star match in a long, long time (it's not just me, Dave Meltzer agrees).

My only worry is that creating the hype around the finish to the John Cena v. CM Punk match involved keeping so many things absolutely secret that it could've starved WWE Creative of booking information which may mean that they have less to work with going forward. It looks like The Miz will win the WWE Championship on Monday week, which means that, unless that match ends in a controversial finish, we're setting up for The Miz v. John Cena for the belt at Summerslam (surely no one can question the latter's right to be in the main event after the magnificent storytelling we saw him contribute to at MitB), which feels like a spent rivalry.

The only possible swerve I can see as of this moment is an immediate cash-in on the winner of Miz v. Mysterio by Alberto Del Rio, which would give us Del Rio v. Cena or, at a stretch, Del Rio v. Cena v. Miz/Mysterio (whoever drops the belt to Del Rio). There could be layers of complexity added to this as well - a gimmick match or outside interference. The latter would only work if it's by Punk himself (which would eat into the credibility of his contractual deadlock-driven departure) or The Rock (which is plain unlikely). Coming off the high of MitB, my heart isn't exactly singing at these prospects.  

Looking slightly more long-term, I'm really unsure about this Triple H-taking-over angle as well. He's done nothing to prove that he's got it in him to be lead booker - indeed, his only aggressively groomed acquisition speaks no English, was drafted to the main roster too soon, forces his opponents to work with him under dangerously difficult lighting, has created zero emotional investment from fans in four months since his debut and is now under suspension for failing a drug test.

Moreover, lest people forget, Hunter was part of The Kliq, alongside Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, both of whom have more than a working relationship with WWE currently and could easily lobby for more face time on WWE programming (Nash already has), very possibly at the expense of up-and-comers. To be blunt, Hunter has rub a lot of people the wrong way in the past and, now that he's ostensibly in control of booking, it isn't difficult to imagine a scenario where the only way to get noticed is to rub him a certain way. For all his dislike of John Laurinaitis (who has more in common with Michael Cole than you might think, in that he's intensely disliked and is a poor man's J.R.), Hunter has neither found a replacement for Laurinaitis or proved that he is, in any way, better in convincing talent to sign their deals.

The other note of caution is sounded by economics. Despite the Punk angle over the last month, TV numbers haven't picked up at all - the 6/27 Punk promo drew a peak rating of 3.16 (symbolic, if something ever was, of the Stone Cold T-shirt Punk wore that night) and the highest rated Raw since then hasn't topped 3.2 (I stand to be corrected by the MitB PPV figures as and when they come in, but I will be surprised in the extreme if they top Wrestlemania 27, even though MitB was a far superior show in terms of content). Quixotically, it appears as if the Punk factor has had no effect on the bottom line (apologies for another not-so-subtle Stone Cold pun). I don't know why.

It's got people talking, though, and that's usually a good thing. Post-MitB, though, given the amount of expectation that now rests on the shoulders of the WWE and Hunter in particular, I'm not so sure.    

(c) PWI, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Guest Night

There has been a routine behind guests coming home for dinner for as long as I can remember. It usually begins in early afternoon in the kitchen and ends with dessert and/or a cup of kehva (which inevitably results in someone asking my Mum about the recipe/ingredients). Over the years, even our little skirmishes before the arrival of the guests - what each person should wear, when we should emerge from the bedroom (we have a tendency of never greeting the guests at the door as a full complement), what should be laid out on the dining table - have started to follow similar patterns.

We tend to visit the same topics over the course of the pre-dinner conversation as well - a wide range of moral-of-the-story anecdotes, the state of higher education in India, how everything around us is now a big business, a few funny stories about mutual friends, a couple of semi-stories that never reach their conclusion because it turns out that the acquaintance one person in the conversation is talking about is unknown to everyone else, a couple of stories about how some acquaintances are known to everyone else (and hence the 'what a small world' conclusion) and, more recently, owing to the direction my life has taken in the last few years, everyone's two cents on law and the legal profession. 

Dinner draws those threads into an even bigger tangle - more stories emerge and it turns out that we know more people than we did an hour or so ago. However, the dialogue is less intense now, due to the greater attention to the food on the table. From a culinary perspective, the dinners we host are never too complicated - we're restricted by my Mum's refusal to present at dinner something that hasn't been made in the kitchen that day (cumulative conditions) and by the inability of the rest of us to cook anything at all. Hence, the focus tends to be on ensuring that the guests have eaten enough, though we're not nearly as bad as some of our relatives for whom guests refusing a second (or, in cases of extremely disagreeable relatives, a third) serving is a treasonable offence, or at least a reason to put those guests at the back of the line of people to be invited to dinner again sometime. 

Once dinner is done, there is a five-minute interlude where nothing seems to happen - this appears to me to be a combination of the satisfaction of being well-fed, the minimal turnaround time we (as hosts) have in getting the next leg of the evening ready and moving the venue away from the dining table and back into the living room, the guests' awkwardness in not knowing what to do while we go from being perfectly normal fellow dinner-eaters to suddenly scurrying around trying to wind up the dinner table and move dishes to the kitchen (any help by the guests in contributing to which is, of course, cheerily and summarily turned down) and the lingering thought in the back of everyone's mind that all the threads that have been so carelessly laid out now need to be packed in. 

The dessert and/or kehva part of the evening is like the recap to a saas-bahu episode - it is great that you could find the time to come, we totally have to do this again (on a larger scale, inviting all the hapless unknowing people we dragged into the conversation this evening, if possible), a reciprocal visit demand to the home of the guests is placed on record and immediately accepted, with a vague time-frame mooted but never finalised and a bullet-point plan of taking some discussions forward, sharing contacts of the abovementioned hapless unknowing persons and a promise to stay in touch and plan the next such dinner is drawn up.

We hosted one of these dinners today and I realised that no matter how long it's been since the last one and no matter how different the surroundings are of what we now call home, some things will never change.      

Saturday, July 09, 2011

God and other things

I re-read the following extract from an email I wrote to a close friend about two-and-a-half months ago, which articulates my views on God and other things probably better than I have ever managed anywhere else - read, share and feel free to disagree:   

"I honestly believe that the shortest distance between two points always seems most appealing to people and even if you, individually, grow up to resent it, there isn't much of a chance you'll make other people think the same. And that's because taking the shortest, easiest route rather than a longer, more enriching one is a genuine dilemma - you'll wake up one day thinking you should pick one, you'll wake up another day convinced about the other. 

And given that most people have other things to worry about in a more immediate sense than the procedural propriety of their ways (and that's exactly what it is), they're more likely to fall on the easier side of the line. Which is why people always want disproportionately more than what they've worked for (or, in [my] eyes, deserve); which is why most peoples' lives ([mine] included) tends to be a constant exercise in finding a way around their limitations rather than embracing them.

If you push this line of thinking to its breaking point, someone in defence of the majority of people will say something to the effect of how a lot of our circumstances are either insurmountable or pre-ordained and therefore there's no harm or wrong in blaming circumstances (or explaining our shortcomings or failures with reference to circumstances). Now, I've searched for a long time for an effective counter to this and, at least vis-a-vis the "pre-ordained circumstances" part, I don't have an answer. Which is perhaps why belief in God or a supernatural entity is so common - it becomes this repository which we debit with all that we don't understand. 

That line you quoted ("whereas in earlier ages, religion led to a degree of fatalism, contemporary understanding pulls paradoxically towards an acceptance of risk but away from a tolerance of results when they occur") is extraordinary - not for how cynical it is, but for how unpolished and central an expression it is of what we think. Think about it - the earliest people who first started debiting the God account with everything they didn't understand would've noticed, over a period of time, that human development, especially science, started to chip away at that debit account and started to place more and more power with human reason. Assuming humans have not regressed significantly, it would seem to suggest that, at this point in human civilization, we know more about the world than humans before us did. Yet, stubbornly, we hold on to that earliest form of faith which taught us to attribute everything outside our control to God. And, naturally, we find it difficult to accept that things are often in our control because we just don't want to act on it.

But your other question - where do we go from here - is the harder one, of course. I think one thing we must do is keep questioning. It is what has brought us this far and it is, paradoxically, the reason why, today, we think we know less about the universe than anyone before us when, in fact, we know more. But alongside that questioning, we must arrive upon and stick by a settled core of meaning that we're comfortable with on most mornings when we wake up. You can make this settled core of meaning as narrow or as broad as you want - you could encompass religion, spiritual belief, self-belief, morals, ethics, values or any combination of them, if you want. 


My own experience has taught me that the larger your settled core of meaning, the more peace you see in the world around you. To me, that's the immediate benefit - I like feeling a sense of order around me and, in fact, I've grown to want it. The long-term instability/uncertainty, of course, is that I will often try to fit things into this picture that can't be fit. But that frustration, over the last couple of years or so in particular, has also come with the growing acceptance that there's no harm in admitting that there still are things about the universe that I don't understand. There's no shame in that whatsoever because to insist otherwise, I feel, would be to say that I've got it all figured out. And that, of course, doesn't agree with my settled core of meaning.

A lot of this struggle, predictably, will be with faith and what you believe in. I'm in no position whatsoever to prescribe anything to you, of course, but I did start feeling at some point that God must exist because there's just no point to existence otherwise. It's very emotive and it's very instinctive, but it hasn't let me down so far. :-)   

But to be entirely honest with you, I don't have answers. I'm only trying." 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Study? What study? :-D

I suspect I will write more about 2010-11 in Oxford in the days and weeks to come, but for now, I'm done with the B.C.L. and I'm absolutely ecstatic. :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

He of the Orphan Acronym

It's almost midnight as I start writing this. Three more of these midnights will elapse between now and my first exam. I need to write just to keep my mind from being consumed by it.

For the first time in a long, long time, I see a story within a story with a main-event angle on WWE. CM Punk is in a singles match for John Cena's WWE title at Money in the Bank on July 17 in Punk's hometown. His contract expires the same night. If he loses, he's gone. If he wins, he's gone...with the title.

Punk's contractual status at this moment is unknown. It is popularly held that the decision to draft Beth Phoenix to Raw in early summer as well as his recent booking have been attempts to get him to sign an extension. The first is no extraordinary concession, but the second is, if you take into account the fact that you need to go back almost fourteen months for his last pay-per-view win (he was admittedly out with a hip injury for part of last winter, but that still amounts to nine straight unsuccessful pay-per-view matches since he beat Rey Mysterio at Extreme Rules in April 2010). 

Over this time, however (and especially since his return from injury this year), he has been unquestionably the best character on WWE programming and arguably the best in-ring performer as well. WWE's efforts to get him to re-sign have been sincere - it would make little sense for them to lose a character fast approaching (if not already at) the peak of his career (in line with the mid-/late-30s theory). 

Would he benefit from walking away from it? Possibly - it is popularly known that he has been weighed down by more than five years of being on the road with the company and, without the considerable advantages of having a long-term contract (the kind to which Cena and Randy Orton are both tied) to bank on as security and rely on for dependable upper-card booking (Kendra Bunyon suggested yesterday on WNW that this could potentially be his own fault, for not consciously selling WWE creative on possibilities with character going forward, over a period of time), he might just be thankful for a break, whether temporary or permanent. 

But it's the latter part of that lack of advantage that rankles - clearly WWE do not see him being in the same category as Cena and Orton. If they did, the question of him re-signing wouldn't arise. Could he be frustrated enough with his inability to acquire this status that he would consider leaving indefinitely a la Chris Jericho in 2005 or Dave Batista last year? Absolutely. But surely the WWE realised this at least post-Wrestlemania (where his match with Orton was, from a technical standpoint, the best match by a considerable distance), hence the recent upturn in booking - three clean wins over Mysterio on Raw either side of Capitol Punishment, a pinfall over Cena on the go-home Raw to Capitol Punishment, a #1 contender's match victory over Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio this week and now the main-event at Money in the Bank. Surely, that would convince anyone, even if they were as badly booked as he has been over the last fourteen months or more (indeed, to find his last pay-per-view win prior to April 2010, you need to go back to the Montreal Screwjob ending at Breaking Point in September 2009, which hardly qualifies as a win), that WWE creative were finally turning the corner on you?

It's evident that a decision has been made - there's no way a kayfabe contract expiration storyline would be run if his contractual status was still legitimately uncertain. Yet, we don't know what that decision is. And at the same time, inside the ring, he is displaying something truly phenomenal - an ability to get over as a face with a significant number of fans despite a heel character and heel booking. (The second factor here is critical because Orton did the same last year, but without the heel booking.) Which is why the win over Cena on the go-home Raw to Capitol Punishment was so significant - the crowd turned from dueling the 'let's go, Cena' with 'Cena sucks' to dueling it with 'CM Punk'. Loud and clear, for everyone to hear. The same trend was picked up and amplified in this week's #1 contender match from Baltimore. Louder, clearer. 

That's two wins in two weeks (three, if you include the pay-per-view win over Mysterio, which I haven't yet seen) over the two most clear-cut faces on the roster, with the crowd solidly behind him in both instances. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that in Rosemont on July 17, the heel and face roles will be reversed and, short of changing the match, there's nothing WWE can do to stop that from happening. However, they don't seem to be trying. And by not trying, they suddenly have more of my attention than they have with anything they have tried in the recent past. 

July 17. Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois. I wouldn't miss it for anything. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

QotD

1. Ludwig van Beethoven, "Piano Sonata No. 8 Op. 13 'Pathetique'"
2. Ruggerio Leoncavallo, "Vesti La Guibba"
3. Nino Rota, "The Godfather (Theme)"
4. The Beach Boys, "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
5. Gioachino Rossini, "The Barber of Seville"
6. Harry Nilsson, "Everybody's Talkin'"
7. John Williams, "Superman (Theme)"
8. Lionel Richie, "Hello"
9. Petula Clark, "Downtown"
10. Sheena Easton, "Morning Train (9 to 5)"
11. Earth, Wind & Fire, "Shining Star"
12. Samuel Barber, "Adagio for Strings"
13. Eagles, "Desperado"
14. Eagles, "Witchy Woman"
15. Joey Scarbury, "The Greatest American Hero"
16. Commodores, "Three Times a Lady"
17. Jackie Davis, "Manana (Is Soon Enough for Me)"
18. Foghat, "Slow Ride"
19. Iron Butterfly, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
20. Wall of Voodoo, "Mexican Radio"
21. Michael Jackson, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"
22. Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"

Connect. :p (Numbers 9, 11, 14 and 22 are giveaways. The fact that this list appears on my blog is a giveaway too.) 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Minutiae

Elaine: I'm sorry, but the high-five is just so stupid.
Puddy: Oh yeah? I’ll tell you what’s stupid. You. Stupid.
Elaine: Well, that is really mature.
Puddy: Oh yeah? So are you.
Elaine: Huh?
Puddy: You’re the grease monkey.
Elaine: Uh...that doesn't make any sense. I'm leaving.

(Seinfeld, 9:11, 'The Dealership')


Jerry: What happened to my stereo ? It's all smashed up!
Kramer: That's right. Now it looks like it was broken during shipping and I insured it for $400.
Jerry: But you were supposed to get me a refund!
Kramer: You can't get a refund - your warranty expired two years ago!
Jerry: So were going to make the Post Office pay for my new stereo now?
Kramer: It's a write off for them.
Jerry: How is it a write off?
Kramer: They just write it off.
Jerry: Write it off what?
Kramer: Jerry, all these big companies they write off everything!
Jerry: You don't even know what a write off is.
Kramer: Do you?
Jerry: No! I don't!
Kramer: But they do. And they're the ones writing it off.
Jerry : I wish I had the last twenty seconds of my life back.

(Seinfeld, 8:5, 'The Package')

* * *

Had my last-ever BCL tutorial today. I'd get senti if there wasn't the small matter of exams in thirteen days. 

Hold on to that Oyster card

I didn't think I'd like London. As the bus pulled out of Victoria this morning, however, I had to admit that I've grown to like it quite a bit. Maybe that's because I don't study or work there. Yet, there's a sense from almost everyone I've met there that they, too, concur with my view that the city always seems full of possibility.

I will, of course, go back there for a couple of days in a few weeks, but I already have a sense that that trip is going to be very different. For the last nine months or so, it has been a sanctuary, something to look forward to and has offered new things to do.

It is perhaps fitting that London waited right until the end of my last trip as a student to play a significant part in ultimately clearing a lot of my career-related confusion. Naturally, the variables that cloud the picture haven't disappeared. But I now know what I want to do. Equally, I feel that I've got to do it.

All of which convinces me that even though it won't be in the foreseeable future, I will return to London at some point after July 2011.          

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Super Saturday

Just for how wrong it sounds, I have to say that I've done nothing constructive today other than read a 176-page judgement.

I've lost my faith in the summer time, because it don't stop raining.

The BBC iPlayer has ruined my life.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

June

Firmly in exam territory now. The edge and purpose to everything is already noticeable.

The Gregorian calendar has really left an impression on the world, hasn't it? June is one of at least three reasonably heard-of names lifted off it. It's also responsible for my manic obsession with dates. And because it behooves Eashan Ghosh to finish this post in an Eashan Ghosh manner, June 3 was shaping up to be a pretty special day a couple of months ago. Now all I can think of is the mock exam I have to write that day.

Closing walls, ticking clocks.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Clothes > Your Clothes

"We're a little too into sports in this country, I think we've got to throttle back, you know what I mean? People come home from these games, 'We won! We won!' No, they won - you watched."

(Seinfeld, 6:1, 'The Chaperone')

"Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city - you're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it, you know what I mean?

You're standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt - they hate him now. Boo! Different shirt! Boo!"

(Seinfeld, 6:11, 'The Label Maker')

Monday, May 23, 2011

Boing , Boing

Observations from the last round of English Premier League fixtures for the 2010-11 season:

1. Wolves should erect a Stephen Hunt statue to go with the Billy Wright and Stan Cullis statues outside Molineux. Probably the most important consolation goal in Premier League history. #legendinhisownlunchtime

2. My faith in the class of 2001 all staying up for a tenth straight season has been justified - Fulham finish second in the Teams That Don't Have Money League (8th overall), Bolton are much, much better value than 14th place and/or 46 points and, sigh of relief, Blackburn retain a reasonably flattering 15th with an excellent first half at Molineux. #amiclairvoyantorwhat

3. Only the earth-shatteringly woeful West Ham United were worse than Blackpool in the Premier League this season. So sod you, Blackpool. #thetabledoesntlie

4. Aston Villa have enough members of the England squad for them to seriously contemplate fielding a rebel English national team. Their results would probably be comparable. #midtablemediocrity

5. There cannot be too many players in the history of the Premier League whose last names roll as sexily off commentators' tongues as Hugo Rodallega. #sayitoutloud

6. Newcastle United demonstrated that their wide ranging skills of headline grabbing antics include the ability to throw away a three-goal lead at home. #arsenalmustfeellikeshit

7. Speaking of Arsenal, it really does look like it's going to be at least one more season of transition before a legitimate tilt at the title. #stillwaitingforatrophy

8. The 2-1 scoreline at White Hart Lane masks how badly Spurs hammered Birmingham into relegation. Looking at their squad, coaching staff and fan base, I don't really see why they're not in the top four, which leads me to challenge some very questionable decisions, tactically and otherwise, by one man. #'arryforengland

9. Despite the tag of 'not being good enough for the Premier League', fact is, J-Beck banged in another vital, vital goal to beat Chelsea today. #leedsstillproducestalent

10. Another classy performance by Manchester City away from home. Edin Dzeko's not so shit now, is he? #citehforthetreble2012   

I'm not sure if there's a point to this story but I'm going to tell it again.

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India
I've been wilfully caught up in the self-defeating quest to get to know myself for years. I've never expected anything beneficial to result from such a quest. I tend to evoke extremely polarised reactions from people I get to know in passing. Consequently, only those people who know me inside-out would honestly claim that I'm a person who's just "alright." It's not a coincidence that the description I've laid out above has no fewer than, title included, eleven references to me (make that twelve). I'm affectionately referred to as "Ego." I think that last statement might have given away a tad too much. Welcome Aboard.

IHTRTRS ke pichle episode mein aapne dekha...

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