Saturday, November 29, 2008

Times of India - Chennai

I saw this video by Times of India to commemorate the 369th birthday of Chennai. The video titled 'A day in the life of Chennai' is satirical take on Tamil cinema and Tamil Nadu politics. Politics and Cinema have always had a connection in Tamil Nadu.

With a slight sarcastic undertone in the lyrics of the 'Naaka Mukka' song, the video portrays the ascendance of a film star to a minister and his eventual downfall. There are some creative visuals which captures the sad reality of the fanatical following of cinema and politics by a section of TN society.

Good video.. Times of India could have given a better birthday gift by showing the brighter side of Chennai. Oh well...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Barmy Army Chants

A follow up on crowd chants. Below are some by Barmy Army.

Note: The chants/poems below were NOT written by me. They are all Barmy Armys' creations.

Shane Warne

He's fat
He's round
He bounces on the ground
Shane Warne, Shane Warne


Row, Row, Row, Your Boat
Gently down the stream
Murali Murali Murali Murali
Chucks it like a dream

Throw, throw, throw your ball
gently down the pitch,
Murali, Murali, Murali, Murali,
isn't life a bitch.

Throw, throw, throw your ball
gently down through the air,
Murali, Murali, Murali, Murali,
where is Darrell Hair.

Shane Warne

(To the tune of 'My Old Man's A Dustman')
Shane Warne is an Aussie
He wears a baggy cap
He wears a Nike earing
He is an Aussie twat
He's got his little flipper
He's got his box of tricks
But when he bowls at Strauss
He hits him for a six

Shane Warne’s Villa
(To the tune of Tony Christie’s ‘Amarillo’)
Show me the way to Shane Warne’s Villa
He’s got his diet pills under his pilla (pillow)
A dodgy bookie from Manila
Nursey’s on her mobile phone

Repeat x3

La-la lar la-la la-la lar, Fat Git!
La-la lar la-la la-la lar, Take a bung
La-la lar la-la la-la lar,
Warney where’s your mobile phone?

Justin Langer

Langer is an Aussie
He wears the gold and green
He is the biggest whinger
That we have ever seen

He wasn’t very happy
When we called Brett Lee’s no ball
He’s got a very big mouth
And he’s only five feet tall

Ricky Ponting

I can’t read and I can’t write
I must be Australian
I can’t read and I can’t write
I must be Australian

I can’t bowl and I can’t bat
My names Ricky Ponting
I can’t drink and I can’t fight
My names Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting
Ponting is the captain
Of the Aussie cricket team
But once the match is over
He is a gay drag queen

Ricky Ponting
Ponting’s special friend
Is a man called Glenn McGrath
You’ll see them holding hands
At the Sydney Mardi Gras

...Australia's response

Sung to the tune of 'Advance Australia Fair' - Australia's national anthem. Written by Australian songwriters - Greg Champion and Dave Brookes.

Fred Flintoff is a criminal,
Trescothick is a bore,
And Michael Vaughan’s a mummy’s boy,
And Ian Bell never scores.
Paul Collingwood can’t get a game
And Pieterson’s a flop,
If they’re the best old England’s got,
They might as well give up.

Crowd at The Gabba

It was a hot Saturday afternoon at the Brisbane Cricket Ground (colloquially called The ‘Gabba) in the first test match between the Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand. The scorching heat and humidity made me run towards the sparse strip of shade in the Grandstand as the sun tilted towards west. Under this thirty-six degree heat, Tim Southee was under the cosh as Simon Katich smashes consecutive fours. Daniel Vettori, the NZ captain, has a word with his tired bowler and they make few changes to the field set up while delicately balancing attack and defence.

Amongst all this action, there was something strange happening in the background. Something…it has always been there but there is something more to it now. Ah, it’s the crowd, no the crowd noise. A section of the crowd in the adjacent grandstand, mainly Australian supporters – majority of them holding a plastic tumbler of cold beer on one hand and a plastic soft-drink bottle on the other, shouting:

“Cullum’s a wanker,

tum dum, tum, tum dum” (by tapping the plastic bottle on the seats)

Whenever a new player takes field position near that particular section of the crowd; they welcome him by chanting on his name. I have heard this particular crowd chant before in test matches in NZ and I should admit I found it quite funny the first time I heard it (especially the way the rhythm is maintained by tapping the plastic bottles for “tum dum, tum, tum dum” or by clapping).Calling a person a wanker is insulting. But it didn’t stop there. NZ players were subjected to continuous abuse from crowd with comments like Faggots, “F**k off Kiwis/NZ” etc. This resulted in a verbal and physical altercation between Australian and NZ supporters. Ten people were evicted from the stadium.

Australian crowds abusing players is not a new phenomenon. They are well known for their foul-mouthed outbursts and racial gibes – a Muralitharan, Ntini, Gibbs, Caddick or Harbhajan Singh (albeit gave a few himself) have faced the brunt and can vouch for it. Big screens in major cricket grounds regularly flash the ICC anti-racism code, but it has little or no effect.

While the group was doing their preposterous deed, I was beginning to wonder: Here we have a group of people having a good time with mates or fellow cricket enthusiasts, watching cricket over few beers. It’s all good fun, they take the Mickey out of the players – which is OK as long it doesn’t get too personal (‘wanker’ chant , even though not terribly insulting, is over the line) and gradually or suddenly – I don’t know, they get incensed or get carried away with the fun and pass a offensive and/or racist remark. Why? You may think I have already answered the question in the previous sentence. The offensive and/or racist remark is the end result. My question is how they arrived to that stage which makes them utter those remarks. Why did their behaviour, which initially was cheerful and sporting, turn into a mob-like behaviour? Would each member of that group behave the same way if they were isolated from the group? Why, when together as a group, is there a deliberate suspension of decent and responsible public behaviour? Or does the mere fact of being in this collective presence give them an ideal opportunity to vent and display a false sense of ego? I do not understand this psychology.

I am sure certain individuals in that group would know, subconsciously, that their action were not correct. But they probably shun their conscience and went with the flow. Who ever are the individuals that composed the group, whatever their occupations, character, beliefs, intelligence – they let themselves down that day. Shame on you guys!

IMHO, the reason for this type of behaviour could boil down to the aggressive nature of Australian culture and the way of upbringing children in the society - parents inculcating right morals to their children at home and education at school. This type of behaviour is sadly, I don’t see it changing any time soon.

Oh by the way, NZ lost the test match. It’ll probably add more fuel to the fire for the Adelaide crowd.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vaaranam Ayiram

Vaaranam Ayiram is Gautham Vasudev Menon's tribute movie to his late father. VA is a heartfelt, emotional movie about how a father plays an important role in each phase of his son's life.

Watching VA one would tend to feel that GVM's aim would have been similar to Cheran's Thavamaai Thavamirundhu. While TT portrayed the hardships faced by a father to provide the best for his children in a typical Cheran style, VA depicts daddy's emotional contribution and guidance in different stages of his son's life.

TT adopts
an unrelenting attack of slow, silent and subtle sentiments with strong holds of reality. VA has these sentiments but takes a melodramatic route (military operations, kidnap & rescue) which deviates from the movie's main subject/purpose - daddy, thus lessening the impact. It may be argued that this deviation plays a turning point in 'son' Surya's outlook on life, but I feel GVM could have scripted it better. Overall, VA does manage to pass on the intended message which I think can be best described by a quote - 'Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad(dy)' .

Dialogues in English - I guess GVM was trying to bring in reality of everyday speech. Yes, we all speak Tanglish these days but there should be a limit to which English is used. I am not asking for thooya (pure) thamizh here, just strike the right balance!

Great performance by Surya in both roles. GVM has brought the best out of Surya again. Simran does well as Surya's mom and shares a good onscreen rapport with 'dad' Surya - reminding me of their onscreen chemistry in Nerukku Ner. Sameera Reddy was adequate and Divya Spandana sleepwalks through her role.

Harris Jayaraj, once again, has given some awesome songs - 'Adiye Kolludhey', 'Nenjukul Peithidum' and 'Mundhinam'. My favourite song is
'Nenjukul Peithidum' - a soft melody with an acoustic guitar background sung beautifully by Hariharan.

Worth watching. Avoid the theatre, watch it on DVD.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My top 10 Ganguly moments

This is my top ten memorable moments of Sourav Ganguly's career. There were numerous moments to choose from, but I chose the instances where I/we would remember Ganguly for the person/player he is.

Here it goes.

10. On a collision course. Running between the wickets is not Ganguly's forte. 'Quick' singles are not really a feature in SG's batting. But when he does decide to take that 'quick' single, obstructions of any form doesn't help. Here is a Minties moment...

10. The comback innings - This was Ganguly's first international game after his excile due to Chappell row. 51 not out vs South Africa, Johhanesburg, 2006. Determination and grit under intense pressure.

9. Stop wasting time! Ganguly argues with Mohammed Yousuf.

8. Taunting the Iceman, yea bring back the Biff! - Irritating Steve Waugh by being late for the toss (I think it was not deliberate, well who knows?), getting the red rag out of the pocket in the Goa one-dayer, howling send off to Steve Waugh after his dismissal...It all counts!

7. The Man with the golden arm. The partnership breaker. Five-fer in Sahara Cup 199?, crucial wickets Adelaide Test '99, vs Aus Kolkata '98, vs Pakistan '0? and other matches I can't remember.

6. 143 vs Australia, Brisbane. Gutsy knock. It set up the series for India and was a precursor to some great batting in the series.

5. Ganguly - Tendulkar partnership vs SA, Jo'burg, 2001-2. Brutal knock!

4. Test Debut century vs England, Lords 1996.

3. "I was asked to step down as captain" - Ganguly spills the beans in a press conference after scoring 12th Test century against Zimbabwe in 2005. Followed by the Chappell's email...Beginning of the end?

2. The sight of Ganguly charging down the track to a spinner. In this video, Muralitharan is the victim. 183, vs Sri Lanka, World Cup 1999, Taunton.

1. Natwest Trophy final celebration, Lords. Nothing beats this.

Some notable moments & innings which just missed the cut. They are:
  • Double hundred vs Pakistan, Banglore
  • Verbal encounter with Stuart Broad in 4th ODI vs England (Don't **** with me buddy!)
  • 87 on a difficult pitch vs SA at Ahmedabad '08
  • Tense hundred vs Australia at Melbourne '00
  • 80 odd vs Australia at Melbourne '03 (before Sanjay Bangar caused a run out)
  • Final moments of his final test
What are your 'Ganguly' moments?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dada says Tata

Sourav Ganguly has retired. It was a bit sad to see him go - not because he was India's most successful test captain or one of the greatest one day batsman of all time - but he is a fighter, a natural & charismatic leader and one of the great personalities of the modern game.

I was a never a big fan of Sourav but I had this quiet admiration of his approach to the game, his intuitive - bordering towards impulsive - captaincy and the confident attitude with that touch of arrogance.

Ganguly's reign was synonymous with India's emergence as cricket's superpower. He will always be remembered as the symbol or representative of the new generation of sportsmen, why even young Indians, who dare and give a good fight.

Ganguly, in my opinion, can not be classified as a batting genius. His shortcomings in his batting are common knowledge to anyone who have followed Indian cricket. Watching him bat can make you stand up from your seat and applaud or cringe in the same seat. I will miss his leaden-footed waft outside the off stump, the WTF look he gives just after the waft, the look of being shot-down just before he faces a fast bowler (OK this was during the period when he was terribly out of form - e.g. India tour of NZ in 2002), the silken cover-drives, huge sixes coming down the track against the spinners and the uncanny knack of picking up a wicket to break a huge partnership (No wonder he is/was called 'the man with the golden arm').

Sourav, thank you for everything. We will miss you. You were a freakish legend!

Vital spark of heavenly flame

I came across this poem in high school. A poem about death. The feeling just moments before a slow, peaceful (well I would like to think that way) death.

Legendary stuff from the great English poet, Alexander Pope.

Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!

The ramble begins!

Hello! Thanks for visiting.

I've been reading many blogs for the last few years. I feel it's about time I had my own blog. So, like everybody these days, I have joined the Blogger bandwagon. As a new kid in the blog world, a short intro wouldn't be out of place. I am from Chennai, India. I am a SCADA Engineer by profession and currently reside in Brisbane, Australia.

So, what can you expect from this blog? Refer to the blog's title & subtitle.

I'll try to post often and hope you find some or all of the contents of this blog interesting and you keep coming back.

Have a great day!