Monday, July 09, 2007
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
perhaps roger federer is a fan of dylan thomas. perhaps he read these lovely words of his. roger is not old. nor is he in the twilight of his career. nor is the genius back in the bottle.
but it has been a tough year for him. the australian open win was followed by some pedestrian displays and then he came back emphatically at hamburg, only to be quelled at the french open by the spanish matador.
the pack smelt demise. the pack smelt the end of an era. it was growling,snapping, sniffing and biting. and we could see the pack in the form of the spanish conquistador.
and this was the backdrop to the coliseum that was sw19 yesterday, whence our gladiators clad in pristine whites came to do battle. the challenger who doesnt know what capitulacion means.. and the defender who doesnt know what defeat means on grass.
the puppet master, above, in his wisdom, knows genius cannot be made on an assembly line. it has to be handcrafted in a minority to enliven and enrichen the lives of the masses. and hence one shane warne in australia, one sachin tendulkar in india, one jonny wilkinson in england and one roger federer in switzerland.
the puppet master also knows that genius is not on tap. these greats will have ordinary days. yes their ordinary days are on a different scale to us mere mortals. but they are still ordinary. and hence roger federer had, by his own standards a very ordinary year.
we hadnt witnessed the glorious shot making that we know he is capable of. we hadnt witnessed the mind numbing beauty that his tennis is capable of the whole year. and we had too few of those jaw dropping, pinch myself, am i alive, moments.
we the discerning started doubting the maestro. maybe the maestro started doubting himself. after all michaelangelo cannot paint a sistine chapel every day.
and so the gladiatorial contest started yesterday. doubt and hope warred amongst the believers.the spanish matador ran better, ran quicker, hit harder.. set 1 came and went. set 2 went .and set 3 went and so did set 4. the maestro still hadnt gone into his turbo charged game.. and doubt started turning into despair for us believers.we railed and ranted internally. surely the puppet master had not set an expiry date on genius.
maybe the maestro heard us. maybe he didnt.
but came set 5
and the maestro went into the ZONE.
i do not know what the zone is. i am not a genius. mere mortals cannot describe it. genius cannot describe it and will not describe it cause they know mere mortals cannot comprehend.
but the zone is jonny wilkinson with that final drop kick. the zone is that day in adelaide when shane warne commanded the field.
the zone is roger federer, the maestro, in the 5th set of wimbledon 2007.
it does not matter to me now if roger federer should or should not be called the goat. it does not matter whether he wins the french open.
all it matters is that i was witness to this 5th set. there was reason to be alive. there was privilege to see this man play, win. and stamp his greatness on the grass. and tell the matador, not yet my friend, the day still belongs to me.
and so onto monday. the day is flat. the day is empty. the gladiators have packed their bags and gone in search of other coliseums.
there will be days when the demons come back. there will be days when insecurities rear their head. there will be days when i can hear the pack growling in the background.
to such days i have the antidote.
it is chris martin on the boom box
"When you try your best, but you don't succeed...
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace...
Could it be worst?
Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones,
And i will try to fix you"..
and remembering the 5th set with the maestro in the zone... then the day will be brighter.. the demons will recede.. the impossible will be possible
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I liked Tony B during the initial years of his office. he had charisma. that,since then, has leaked faster than a Roger Federer forehand. But to get to the point, i wish he read 'Negotiations for Idiots'.
when you sit across Putin and want to tell him you are concerned about their aggression.. Don't say, "people were becoming fearful" of Russia's foreign policy"!
Negotiation 101 says, DON'T expose your weaknesses and fears!
Tony B, which address may i post 'Negotiations for Idiots' to?
Ash Crowned: MSN's most searched person.
Ash Crowned: MSN's most searched person
Friday, June 08, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
i wonder what sam raimi did with the song and dance routine? maybe kirsten dunst and toby maguire were singing and dancing around the web and the web gave way...
other than the song and dance routine and the fx, its very much takes off on orthodox bollywood themes.. love between friends, two friends after the same girl, evil avatar of the good hero (though bollywood would have made this as the evil twin of the hero and the twin too would have been after the girl), and lastly, sacrifice of the friend in the end..
if bollywood was able to copyright its themes it would have made a killing on spidey
Friday, May 11, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Cricket is not my first choice game to watch. that's tennis. Neverthelss cricket is a fascinating watch for me, not the least, for the spell it casts on a billion plus people on the subcontinent.
Brian Lara's retirement from the game will no doubt leave a void amongst the Windies. Brian made an insightful comment on asked whether he was happy with his 17 odd year stint in cricket. he asked the crowd whether he had entertained. and gave a big smile at the emphatic yes.
too often celebrity loses sight of reality. that it is the paying public that makes them. and can break them.
Joe Public in India and England, should leverage this to bring the cricket and football teams of the two countries to heel.
this is not about nelson mandela or stephen hawking.. enough has been written on such worthies..
a lot of people have shaped my life for the better... i am frequently conceited enough not to acknowledge that...time for a change.
Mr N.B Nair, teacher extraordinaire, godliness never came second to teaching, with him
Shyam Sunder Rao, Castrol, brilliant presenter, motivator, manager,entrepreneur and colleague
Rene Carayol, business guru,speaker, motivator.. when Rene speaks a packed hall listens and takes it to heart
Bernard Fisher, mentor and deal maker consummate
Beach Bum for showing that success and selflessness can go hand in hand
the person who followed me for 5 miles on the motorway to indicate i had a flat
Muhammed Ali for ' If you dream of beating me, you had better wake up and aplogize'
and a few more who have entered my life recently..
regret is not an emotion i indulge in, nevertheless, if i could go back in time and change a few circumstances, i would
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
one team has had an absymal Ashes series in which they reached rock bottom and then roared back in style to win the tri series, which was the one day series subsequent to the Ashes. yes they beat Australia, in Australia, not once, but thrice. lions indeed.
the other team could have won in South Africa, in December. the subsequent wins over the West Indies and Sri Lanka don't count.
home wins don't count. home losses do.
both England and India have teams with talent. and yet India remain paper tigers. so whats the difference between these two teams? what makes one come back from adversity and win triumphantly? what makes the other open its mouth to roar like a tiger... and out comes a squeak?
can it be hunger? the desire to win? that unquenchable desire that makes you sleepless.. that desire that lead Sir Steve Redgrave to 5 Olympic Golds.. that is 20 years of slog..
it certainly can't be lack of talent. the Indian team is probably the most talented team, counted individually. talent alone can take you so far. It is the desperate desire to win that tips the scale in your favour.
Don't believe me? Look at Tim Henman. oodles of talent. but lacked the steely determination that Pete Sampras had.
and then look at Ivan Lendl. no talent on grass. but can you imagine the grim, cold eyed will that lead him to 3 Wimbledon finals?
or is it not even the hunger.. is it something far deeper? the cultural and emotional psyche of Indians that make them less suited to competitive physical sport?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
today in the US we have the first Afro-American Presidential candidate in Obama and the first woman running for President in Hillary Clinton.
wow. make that double wow.
having watched American politics for a long time, i am flabbergasted. In the Reagen years I would never have thought of America having candidates from minority commmunities running for President. It is all the more astonishing given that mainstream US is very conservative. anti abortion, anti gay etc.
I think we are seeing a seismic shift here in US politics and minority relations. Its possible, probable in fact, that Obama and Clinton will not win the elections and we end up with another white middle aged male as President. But having Obama and Clinton getting considerable TV and mindspace in the next few months alone will have a significant impact on the conscious and subconscious of middle America.
so where does that leave the UK? the UK has always been a liberal home for views on abortion, gay rights, minority rights yet the UK has yet to have a black candidate for prime minister. Oh yes, we had a woman prime minister, the iron lady, but no black prime ministers or prime ministerial candidates. The UK has always followed a state driven initiative of improving race relations. is it because of this state intervention, which is often heavy handed, that is preventing black candidates to come to the fore? is it state intervention that is stifling activism that has lead to the US getting its first Afro American candidate? isnt it ridiculous to have the prime minister, chancellor and parliament lending their voice to the noise over the irrelevant Celebrity Big Brother?
i think it is. The UK is fast becoming a nanny state where state is expected to, and does, guide citizens on how to lead a life.
take the latest Unicef report on a survey of childrens' well being in different industrialised countries. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6360517.stm. UK comes bottom.
reaction from a concerned public : "
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne accused Chancellor Gordon Brown of having "failed this generation of children"."After 10 years of his welfare and education policies, our children today have the lowest well-being in the developed world," he said."
and here i was thinking upbringing of children and their well being was the primary responsibility of parents! no doubt the government will bring out a series of measures to monitor childrens' well being which includes incentives and penalties for defaulting parents.
a change of government is fast becoming attractive. provided the Tories take a fresher approach.
coming to national identity, i think the current lack of a unified national identity and debate on Britishness is down to decades of lack of appropriate state intervention. I am a naturalised British citizen. There wasn't a Union Jack in sight during my naturalisation ceremony. I cant think of any more damning evidence about national identity (lack of), than this.
citizenship is a privilege. its granting should be underlined by making an occassion of it. The single most important visual affirmation of identity is the national flag. and yet it is absent in these ceremonies.
maybe the state should devote its time to this. and maybe it will lead to an abatement of radical fundamentalism.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
i watched this for all of 15 minutes,before boredom set in
to give some perspective on who shilpa shetty is in bollywood... shes not an A lister star like aishwarya rai but neither is she a C lister.. so she is pretty much part of the current Bollywood firmament, very well recognized and mobbed in India. No she's not a has been. she's an IS actress.
she seems lost on CBB and i guess she did not know what she was getting into when she agreed to take part. as to why a Bollywood film star mobbed by millions is taking part in this show, i guess the moolah CBB is paying her plays a small role ! after all isn't David Beckham is moving to MLS (who? :) ) for a meagre £128 m.
there have been some comments of racism by the other house members towards shilpa. i havent watched the show long enough(nor can i be bothered) to determine that.
one alleged comment about her had me in splits. and that was about her having an indian accent! duh. like what accent is an indian, whos lived in india most of her life, supposed to have?
there have been some (alleged) comments made by shilpa and also by the indian media about shilpa shetty representing indian culture and ethos on CBB.
hmm, Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother arent synonymous with culture are they?