The Discourse: Ep.1: Arrival

We go to the movies to be entertained. But, once in a while a movie comes along that asks us to invest ourselves into it completely. We need to be watching very closely since each scene will tell you something. You might not understand the movie in ‘one watching’, it happened for Inception. It happened for Interstellar and Arrival joins these prestigious films in making the viewers think and Dennis Villeneuve has made sure that his vision has been translated into the screens to the fullest potential setting the right moods with his scenes and backed up with a beautiful OST.

*SPOILER’S ALERT* Continue reading

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MS Dhoni-Captain, Leader, Legend!

Late last night, pretty much every Indian who follows cricket as a religion came in for a rude shock. MS Dhoni, Indian ODI & T20 team captain had decided to stand down as skipper in both formats and continue just as a player.

Dhoni is without an iota of doubt the very best ODI & T20 captain for India. Infact, he was the person who had brought in the dynamism in fielding & running between wickets into the Indian cricket team. If ever there was someone better than Michael Bevan and deserved the finisher tag more than him, it was MS Dhoni for all his last over exploits. Dhoni gave us many such memorable moments, ill mention my favorite 5 which are etched in memory;

1.India v Pakistan, 2007 ICC World T20 Final

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I precisely remember where I was during this game. At my aunt’s place, watching the game with my brother. I remember my uncle calling to ask for a score update and I was on the phone updating him regularly. Last over, 13 needed, and he threw the ball to Joginder Sharma. First reaction, is he mad? After the 6 off the 2nd ball, we all but lost hope. My uncle was still on the line and I am giving him running commentary. 6 needed from 4 balls, 1 wicket to get. Sharma bowls, Misbah goes for a paddle scoop, I tell my uncle, it’s a six(on first impression of the shot), then it dawns. No, it’s a catch.(honestly, Sreesanth always looked like dropping it until he caught it!). I am shouting and jumping at the same time while still being on the phone. India win and thus dawned the era which a few years down the line we will call the Dhoni era.

2. India v Sri Lanka, 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup Final

Yet another World Cup, yet another game I remember where I was and what I was doing. Friends gathered at my place watching the final. Sri Lanka amass 275 owing to a classy century from Mahela and India start in rocky fashion losing big guns Sehwag and Sachin for just 25 runs. Harrowing memories of South Africa 2003 return. Gambhir steadies the ship with his 97(for me, the deserving MOM). Dhoni promotes himself and partners Gambhir to consolidate and bring it close. Dhoni scores 91*(78) and the final 6 to seal the deal will be an image that no Indian watching would be able to forget in their lifetime.

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Ravi Shatsri’s words still echoes in my ears:

Dhoniiiiiiiiiiii finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lift the World Cup after 28 years, the party starts in the dressing room and its an Indian captain who’s been absolutely magnificent in the night of the final

Here is something from my archive reminiscing that fateful day; ON TOP OF THE WORLD!

3. England tour of India 2006, 6th ODI

This was the early years of Dhoni the captain in the making. Dhoni actually opened the innings with Sehwag and went on to score 96. This is the innings that I consider ranks highly than any other century he has gotten. The pitch was a seaming track and the Indians were falling like 9 pins. Dhoni with Ramesh Powar for company compiled a well crafted 96. It was disappointing to see him not get that 100 and India lost the match too, but then his innings had really made an impact on me and hence I remember it fondly.

4. India v Sri Lanka, 2013 West Indies Tri-Nation Series Final

One of the matches that brought about the class of Dhoni the finisher. India chasing a meager 201 to win the Tri-Series lost the 9th wicket in the 47th over with Dhoni still at the crease. The target went from 19 off 18 balls to 15 off the last over. He sure loves those last over finishes. Eranga was given the big responsibility. The pitch was not helping the batsmen,so this was Sri Lanka’s game to lose. But, Dhoni had other ideas. 0,6,4,6. Cool as they come. Another trophy in the kitty. They don’t call him captain cool for nothing!

5. KXIP v CSK, IPL 2010

Whatever happens, Dhoni will fondly be remembered forever as captain of CSK. This one from the archive is one of the favorites of every CSK fan. Typical Dhoni territory. 16 needed off 6 balls to qualify for the semi finals. What does Dhoni do? Decimate the bowling off course. And this is even more famous for his ‘helmet punch’ after hitting the winning six. This was a rare show of emotion by Dhoni on the cricket field and surprised many.

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But, Dhoni the test captain was a bit of an enigma. In tests, he was mostly resigned to the fact that the fast bowlers were ‘not fast enough’ or are always injured when more is needed from them. He let the games drift(especially abroad) whenever there was a chance to tighten the noose. Cue cut to England in 2011, India took a meager lead in the first innings of the 2nd test and had 2 quick scalps in the second innings, enter Ian Bell, and the game was gone. The game was infamous for the ‘recall of Ian bell after her was run out‘ incident. Then, New Zealand in 2014, yet another 2nd test and NZ were all but out of the game with half the NZ side back in the hutch for less than a 100, when India let them back in the game after a swashbuckling triple ton from Baz and centuries by Watling & Neesham. In the spinning pitches of India, Dhoni was a master and marshaled his resources like a king, but when there was less on offer for spin abroad, Dhoni was always found wanting and was at best a defensive captain.

Overall, 2016 was a decent year for Captain Dhoni, but, the pressure on batsman Dhoni was mounting to no end. His mantra of taking it to the final over began to work less, bowlers had become more skillful and wily while operating to Dhoni and Dhoni was at the receiving end of the pressure quite lately. Dhoni has always been a selfless statesman, be it his retirement from test cricket or the announcement that he is standing down as skipper from the shorter formats and with this announcement, I feel that the 2017 Champions trophy will be his swansong.

or does he still see himself playing the 2019 World cup?

Only time will tell!

Image courtesy: Google; Header Courtesy: ©Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Rewind 2016

Personally, 2016 for me was a fairly innocuous year. There were periods when a lot of things happened and there were periods where there was a lull. But, hey, I survived it all. Here is a rewind of my 2016

  • Attended a christian wedding right at the start of the year, of a colleague in Manila, dressed in a traditional Filipino dress(The Barong Tagalog).
  • Applied for a Singaporean PR, got rejected in record time(29 days). LOL!
  • Traveled to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines with friends. Had a wonderful time. 5 full days of masti.
  • Watched KABALI, first day first show(FDFS) @ Mayajaal, Chennai, India. Woke up at 4am and traveled about 40 kms.
  • Got my AADHAR CARD. w00t w00t!
  • Got my Philippine driving licence.
  • I broke something. Something important, something very precious and I dare not speak about it now.
  • Traveled by train and returned by flight(my first domestic flight experience) to Trivandrum, Kerala, India to attend the wedding of my dearest friend. Yet, another Christian wedding. What are the odds?
  • Had a family trip to Phuket & Bangkok, Thailand. Was in a cage with a live tiger, pro-kart raced and drove a jet ski. Three things ticked off the bucket list in one trip. And family time 🙂
  • Returned back to MNL after the trip and was hospitalized for one full week with Dengue. Darn the mosquitoes! More than the stay in hospital, what bugged me most was each day, anew nurse inquiring ‘Are you alone?’ and not to forget my veins beaten to pulp with needle pokes for blood tests(19 times, yes I kept count.)
  • Learnt that my company had a travel insurance in my name(since I am posted abroad). FULL REFUND!
  • Fitter than I was in 2015. Still a lot of weight fluctuations and bad diet practices. One step at a time.
  • Watched a hell lot of movies and series once again. Don’t see that changing one bit in 2017 too.
  • Planned to go skydiving, did not!
  • Failed miserably in my reading challenge for 2016. Read 8/15 books. The good thing though was that I had read all the 8 books by mid year and read bits and pieces the remaining 6 months. Will set the record straight in 2017.
  • Turned 30 this year. 30 years of pure awesome.
  • First Christmas and New years in Manila.

So, that was my 2016. If you read this, do leave a comment on how your 2016 was and wish you all a very Happy New Year 2017. Cheers 🙂

 

2016-The Year in Music-Tamil Top 10

file_000-12016 was an average year music wise with not many great songs to choose from. A.R.Rahman was at his standard 2 albums a year, Anirudh was much out of sorts and D.Imman was churning out albums like an assembly line(think he had 11-12 releases this year). Harris Jayaraj is still searching for his missing omakaziya and Santhosh Narayanan is moving further away from his brand of music with his recent releases(read Bairavaa). There were some bright sparks though coming in from young upcoming composers like Nivas K. Prasanna, Leon James, Sean Roldan and K. So here goes my best 10 of 2016, songs that I loved and listened to on repeat this whole year.

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Before the Flood-A movie on Global Warming

We have heard so much about global warming over the years and probably even know some of its effects on our environment. But, how far have we come? Is everything we have known about it true? Is there any hope left?

Watch the trailer of this thought provoking documentary below;

UPDATE: The documentary was available to watch for FREE on YouTube for just a short while. If you are still interested to know more, you can follow the links below;

Before the Flood on NGC

Buy Before the Flood on iTunes

#PrayforPeace

Woke up early morning to the tragic news of terrorist attacks in Paris. No one is immune from such barbaric inhumane unleashing of terror. Prayers to everyone in Paris. Stay strong. We are with you. The world is with you. Let us embrace peace to triumph over terrorism. Let’s us bring back the love.

Father, Father, Father help us

Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questioning’

Where is the love???

CTvaqE1WEAArpVa

இனிய தீபாவளி நல்வாழ்த்துகள்!!!

And so comes the festival of lights, a time for festivities and family gatherings and a day to signify the triumph of good over evil. Light over darkness. it’s Diwali time.

My earliest memory of Diwali was the times spent together with extended family. When it was Diwali, it was the time everyone would get together. Periappa used to get the best crackers that were available in the market, always! And then who can forget the new dresses and food. And bursting crackers with everyone was great fun. Our biggest challenge was to find a bottle to launch our rockets. We(me along with my cousins) would have great fun during this time as it was the only time, probably year round where all of us would be under one roof. Later, during my college days there was a craze to watch movies released during Diwali. I can still remember vividly watching 4/5 major movies released that year(think it was 2006). Good times!

As we grow, the enthusiasm to burst crackers waned off. They were no more the exciting thing they used to be. As the name of the bombs kept changing(Laxmi, atom, nuclear and what not!), the interest too deteriorated. Also contributing to this was the fact that crackers cause pollution(noise, smoke) and Diwali was never the same again. There were restrictions everywhere, for everything.

Once you move away from Chennai(Tamil Nadu), Diwali is never the same ever again. You hardly feel any festivity and given the fact that some countries I’ve stayed in do not even declare Diwali as a holiday. It is just another day in the calendar. Except for the wishes you receive on social media, where you get the same msg/video/text forwarded in multiple groups. The spirit of Diwali is lost in its entirety.

இனிய தீபாவளி நல்வாழ்த்துகள்!!!