Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Another classic at wimbledon and Roger has his 15th. Well done Andy Roddick, you have come a long way. This is just the beginning for you. I'm certain you will be a Wimbledon champion in the coming years.
Roger, Congrats !!! Sky is the limit, just keep going .
Sunday, June 7, 2009
It has happened.. yes yes yes .. it has happened... i have waited 4 painful long years for this day. I always truly believed Roger would win the french . Today is the happiest day of my life.. something i visualized in 2004 has come true and we ROGER FEDERER fans are proud of our great champion.
For me personally, to watch Andre Agassi present the trophy to Roger (2 of my favorite tennis players since i started watching this beautiful game in 1991) on this great occasion was such a beautiful moment ... couldnt have asked for anything better... :-)
Three cheers to "The Greatest Tennis Player of All Time -> Sir ROGER FEDERER
Sunday, February 1, 2009
“God, it’s killing me”, the great man said and my heart broke. Roger pats Rafa as he walks past to collect his trophy. Just when my mind coaxes me to get angry at the man responsible for causing this pain, he goes around and puts his arm around Roger. Aaaah ... Damn.. shame on me. My heart melts, Sportsmanship was the clear winner. Two Gentlemen at their finest behavior.
One Spanish bull and the other a Swiss velvet sledgehammer. Contrasting tennis players on court, but off it, completely similar. Humble & Gracious both in victory & defeat. Roger set the standards and i'm proud that Rafa has followed in his footsteps. I don't think I've seen nicer guys than them in the entire planet and these 2 champs are supposed to be fierce rivals. They are definite role models for ordinary humans like us who go overboard after every one of their classic encounters.
Well, it was a roller coaster ride. I hope to see few more days of tennis like this when im alive. If the Wimbledon final was out this planet, then this one was out of this universe. Rafa nadal, with nerves & legs of steel, simply was the tougher one. There are no adjectives to describe the sheer desire of this man to beat the best, that's why sport is played. Roger's done it before and now the youngster has.
Looking back at the game, rafa converted roger's winners to his and federer's serve let him down the entire match. The quality of groundstrokes was pure magic, unhuman almost.
Rafa has grown as a tennis player, from the mud of Paris to the grass of London to Melbourne's synthetic turf, he has done it in less than a year. He is at the peak of his powers, both physically and mentally and i hope he sustains this level to achieve greatness over the next few years.
Roger may not be the supreme force he was a few years back but has a goal to achieve this year. The champion that he is, i'm sure he will. His tears today showed how much the game means to him, hell he even cries when he wins (check out the last link at the bottom). Many might not give him a chance at the French, but i genuinely believe he can. Will Nadal be there to stop him again. What are the odds i say :-)
Go Roger , Go Rafa , I love your tennis, I love your sportsmanship , I love being alive to watch it !!!
I just wish i was playing sport.
Federer cries in defeat and
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Well done Graeme Smith and SA !! Sensational year of Test cricket..
Dont relax though, MSD and Apna India are right behind.... we want to see some feisty contests ahead
Bye Bye Punter, you are a useless captain
Cheers to Test Cricket !!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
It’s been about 3-4 months since I bought my mountain bike, an orange, super cool looking TREK 4300. I paid a lot of money for it. I was inspired by a friend of mine, Mithun fondly called NP. He had bought his TREK a year back and would use it to commute daily to office. I always wanted a bike for long, but definitely hadn’t thought of a mountain bike. One ride on NP’s bike convinced me that I needed to have one. Yes the price was a bit on the higher side, but I decided it was worth it. It was better than spending 60k on a motorbike, fuel and getting stuck in traffic. I made up my mind that I would use it for most of my commutes around the city. Half hr’s ride every morning prior to catching the infy bus would be a daily routine I thought. However, I wasn’t able to keep that up. I would ride it around during weekends, but daily morning was really tough. Sleeping late, laziness and cold weather were excuses easy to make up. Meanwhile NP, (who jogs for 6-7 kms daily morning) was making plans of going on a long bike journey. Nandi hills, Big Banyan tree were some of the places he thought off. I would always say, “Sure” to him, but I was not sure if I had the stamina to bike 70-80 kms. Plans kept happening, but something would always come up and things didn’t materialize. This weekend, both of us were free, and our gang hadn’t met up for long. So we decided to meet up in Nandi Hills. Plan - Np and me to start the bike journey early morning and for the rest to join us in their car and bikes on top of the hills. I hadn’t biked enough for nearly 2-3 weeks and had doubts if I could actually do it, but I was determined to have a go. What’s the use of an expensive mountain bike, if I don’t make it do what it’s supposed to? So, everything was set.
Np calls me up at 5-30 in the morning (I was in deep deep sleep). I don’t know how I picked up the phone. He said he’s setting off from his place and would meet me beyond Hebbal Flyover in half an hour. I said “OK”. I almost went to sleep again, but somehow managed to drag myself out of bed. I was ready by 6 and set off to our meeting point, which was 3-4 kms from my place. It was precisely 6-20 when NP came and we set off. I was enjoying the cool breeze. “We are not stopping until we near the airport maga” announced NP. “ok maga”, I replied meekly, not very convinced. I had given my cash to him and had nothing but the phone in my pocket. We alternated between steady and short bursts of speed. The taxis, buses and cars would zoom past us, all heading to the airport. We would slip into the side roads at every opportunity to be on the safer side. It was smooth going till Devanahalli, which means we had covered about 28 kms. I had kept up with NP for most part of the ride, but he had surged ahead later on and I couldn’t see him at the end of the long highway. I was tiring by now. Non-stop for 28kms, without any warm up, what do you expect?? I desperately wanted to have a few sips of water, but I had no cash. I stopped for a while, and NP called up saying, he’s waiting for me at the deviation towards Nandi. I inched my way for next 2 kms and there was NP, looking fresh as if nothing had happened. He set off once he saw me; I shouted out with whatever energy left and asked him to stop. I needed some liquid else I would have collapsed. There was a small shop in the corner. I bought 2 bananas, gave one to NP. He reluctantly took it, saying he wasn’t too hungry. He could sense my struggle, but encouraged me - “Just 23 kms more maga” Eating another banana wasn’t such a bad idea, I figured. We set off again and NP disappeared from my sight soon. I just couldn’t feel the bike moving, though I was putting in every bit of my energy. I would eagerly wait for the next downward slope to relax. My hands and especially my backside were beginning to hurt. My neck muscles weren’t in happy state either. I reached another deviation point which read, 12kms to Nandi. I expected NP to be waiting there. He had told me earlier, we would have breakfast at the second deviation. He wasn’t around and I cursed myself for not taking some cash from him at the first deviation. I couldn’t even buy a bottle of water and there was no network coverage to call him. I struggled another 4-5 kms, and encountered a steep upward road. I decided there was no way I was going to make this one, and parked the bike on the side and made myself comfortable under a tree. People in every vehicle that passed by would look at me curiously. They were probably saying, “Who is this specimen?” I almost dozed off, until a couple of stray dogs, started barking ferociously at me. I’m guessing they were startled to see something with a bright red, strange looking helmet and an orange bike. They probably thought I was an alien. They would alternate between barking and howling. They didn’t stop for 5 mins and it was getting embarrassing for me. Finally I said. “Tommy… Tooommy… tommy tommy tommy”. It worked!! They were convinced I was human and disappointedly went away. I kept an eye on them to make sure they didn’t attack from behind. I rested another 10 mins and decided to walk up the steep road pushing the bike. I reached a downward slope soon and happily hopped on. Soon, I reached the foothills of Nandi. Np wasn’t there ..again and I still had no cash. Luckily the network was back and I got a call from him. He was just 2 kms from the top. He had actually biked 8 kms of steep hill road at one go. Phew! Meanwhile 2 of our gang, Anish (Shetty) and Abhilash (lambu) were on their way by car. The rest of the gang had ditched the plan, obviously too lazy to get up. I was happy to hear that a car was on its way. I quickly decided that I would use the car to reach the top. No way would I attempt biking up the hill in that state. The car arrived and thankfully lambu paid for the biscuits i had gobbled up waiting for them. I got into the back of the car and we slowly made our way up. Finally, we reached and the weather was awesome. Chill and foggy, it was a beautiful sight. Finally we found NP, and everyone was amazed to see him looking pretty fresh. What the … I thought.
We went to a hotel and hogged 1 onion dosa + 1 tomato omellete + 1 plate Maggi + Boost. Finally I felt alive. We walked to Tipu point, enjoyed the chill breeze, clicked some pics, saw a dog and a monkey fight, a kid telling a monkey “That is the last piece of biscuit i'm giving you” and a cute little girl asking if she could ride my bike. We spent about an hour and a half there and decided to leave. Np and me got a head start and zoomed down the hill. That experience was probably one the best of my life. I'm guessing we were coming down at a speed of 40-50 kmph and the curves, late breaking, overtaking motorbikes made it a wonderful experience. That gave me the JOSH I desperately needed and decided I should complete the entire return journey by bike ( I was contemplating getting into the car till then)
Shetty and lambu caught us soon and asked if I was fine enough to ride another 55 kms. I said yes and they left. Once again, keeping up with NP was going to be impossible. I was slipping behind with every passing mile. We got caught up in 2 heavy downpours and were drenched and had to halt. I was happy coz unlike the onward trip, this time I got some rest every 20 kms. Finally after 3.5 gruelling hours, I reached home at 3 pm. A cold water bath was what I needed and it felt great. My body was aching all over, and my backside the most severe. Had a good lunch and crashed. 3 hrs on, I found it difficult to get myself off the bed, an “Aaah” here and an “Ouch” there. The usual power cut at 8, and it struck me that a blog would be good time pass.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. 100 plus km (up and down), wasn't a bad start i guess. Hopefully it’s the first of many more memorable bike rides.
“Aaaaouch, my back is hurting real bad”I think a good masseuse is what I need right now.
Monday, November 10, 2008
In 1996, ESPN had just about entered the Indian television space. They had the exclusive telecast rights of
Nevertheless, it was much later that I understood the uniqueness of what Saurav had accomplished in that tour. It probably was the most bizarre sequence of events which led to his arrival. Having being dumped after one tour game in the 92 aussie tour, he was making a comeback to the Indian side. His selection for the tour had sparked off wide spread accusations of it being political and zonal. It may or may not be true, but no one in their wildest dreams would have expected what was to follow. Navjot Sidhu returned home from the tour claiming he was humiliated and Manjrekar was injured. This opened the gates into the first team for Saurav and Rahul. The innings Saurav played in Lords, was a shocker. I call it a shocker coz he probably hadn’t played so well ever before. His brother and
The next 4 years in his career was something of a phenomenon. He formed a lethal opening partnership with Tendulkar in ODI’s and averaged in the mid 50’s in Tests. Heck, he even got 5 wicket hauls. He seemed to play with a kind of passion and aggression, never visible in an Indian cricketer before. No wonder then, he was given the captaincy after match fixing had infected Indian cricket. The public had lost faith in its team.
Somehow the team under him seemed to show more interest. It all started in
It is never easy for a leader to demand performance from his players, when his own performance is below par for an extended period. But a good leader deserves to be treated with respect. Greg Chappell’s scathing email reached the media (shows the high degree of professionalism BCCI maintains) and Dada was publicly humiliated. Most of Greg’s criticisms’ of Dada may have been right, but it needed to be handled professionally. Both Greg and in particular BCCI lacked it. All of Dada’s work in the last 8 yrs was forgotten. Dada was down in the dumps. Courageous Leader to forgotten man, quite a steep fall. No one gave him an iota of chance to comeback. The Dada chapter was closed. Yeah right!
It would have been easy to give up and announce retirement. After all everything was against him. But a fighter never lies down. Determination and will to succeed were his strengths. He went back to Ranji with the sole aim to regain his place. Not surprisingly barring a few initial hiccups, Dada was back among the runs. His determination was evident from the Pepsi ad in which he says, “Main Saurav Ganguly, boole toh nahin” What amazed me was the fact that he had the guts to do an ad of that nature, practically announcing he’s gonna comeback. Some may call it cheap, some brave. Well, evoking extreme reactions was Dada’s pastime.
When you have the will, there will always be a way. The once closed doors to the Indian team were beginning to re-open. The youngsters inducted were too raw and it didn’t help that captain Dravid was not as pro-active as he probably should have been to guide them. Colonel Vengsarkar decided it was time to get back the man he dropped as captain. SA 2006, Dada walks into to bat in the warm up game on a lively pitch with the scoreboard reading 40 for 4/5 wickets. He rescues the team from folding up and plays a classy innings. Grabbing the opportunity presented is an art well mastered by him. He ended up being
He continued his brilliant batting for another 2 years. One bad series in
The burden was off his shoulders. He could enjoy his last 4 tests. What’s more, it was against his favorite opponents. He got a 100 and 85 in the tests that
He will forever be remembered as the cricketer who truly changed the face of Indian cricket and for good.
THANK YOU DADA