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Friday, August 20, 2010

It's a friendship saga... and I luv it... Ronnie and Lionel

Ronaldinho’s departure made Messi grow up

The Joan Gamper Trophy is coming up and this year FC Barcelona will meet AC Milan, which means that ex-Barça player Ronaldinho will return to the Camp Nou. Ronaldinho left the club in the summer of 2008 and the drama surrounding his departure is surely still clear in minds of many culés. But what many might not know is that the departure of Ronaldinho also could have led to the departure of Lionel Messi. Happily for us Barça fans, it instead became the reason for Leo to grow up, as described by Ronald Reng in Swedish football magazine Offside.

For three seasons, FC Barcelona was Ronaldinho’s magic show. But during his last two seasons in the club, something happened and Ronaldinho was no longer the fantastic player he once was. Some say it was because of women and partying, others say that he simply burned out.

The new coach, Josep Guardiola, felt that changes were needed when he took over, and star players like Deco and Ronaldinho had to leave. But what many don’t know was that Lionel Messi was heartbroken by the decision.

When Lionel Messi joined the first team at the age of 17, he was shy–so shy that his youth teammates that he had played with for three years had hardly heard him speak. He was the one who didn’t own a pair of jeans but always wore his training outfit. But when he joined the first team, Ronaldinho decided to take care of the young boy and invited him to his house in Gavá. They talked and played football with Ronnie’s three dogs. Then it didn’t take long before even little Leo had a pair of jeans. Deco even took him to the hairdresser, but in the end Leo didn’t dare to cut his long hair off. Lionel and Ronaldinho became best friends and when everyone was convinced that Leo was the best player in the world, he would still insist that honour remained with Ronaldinho.

Leo took the departure of Ronnie very hard. He started to think about leaving the club and following his best friend to Italy. This happened in the summer of 2008 and the Olympics were rapidly approaching. Barcelona wanted to keep Leo for the USA tour and Argentina wanted him to join the national squad for the Olympic games. When Leo kept quiet about the topic, Maradona came out saying, “It is time for Leo to start acting like a man. To get Barça to release him for the Olympics, he needs to put his feet down. But he doesn’t have the character required to do so. I pray to God that his character will change, but I can not see him as a leader.”

For Leo, it felt like the whole world had turned against him. On the pre-season, he started to treat the young striker Bojan Krkic with silent contempt. He went on attacking Rafael Márquez with swearing and pushing after an unfortunate tackle during training. Leo was starting to lose it and Guardiola understood that something had to be done. He had a long discussion with the young star. Among the things he told Leo was how wonderful it had been to play the Olympics in 1992 and that if it was something he would like to do, he should say so and everything would be fixed.

When Messi came home from the Olympics, happy with his gold medal, he decided to show the world that he had grown up. He went to the hairdresser and cut his hair short. Then he asked for the number 10 shirt that had previously been worn by Ronaldinho. Lionel Messi then went on to win everything in the upcoming season, both for club as well as individually. But he had not forgotten about his best friend. “I miss him a lot! He was my best friend and he will always be my friend,” he told Offside after the record breaking 2008/2009 season.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aamir's movie makes chutney of desi media...!!!

Watched the movie yesterday night and could not stop admiring it... this piece below is by Shobhaa De... thought it would be easy to copy paste her version... totally agree to it...

It's true! Aamir ne mediawallon ki chhuti kar di! God knows what the original intention\inspiration was, but as it stands today 'Peepli' has more to do with media bashing than farmer suicides. The irony of it all is that Aamir will mint millions ( the film ,for all its virtues, would not have attracted this level of attention without Aamir's marketing might), while those bechara farmers will continue killing themselves. The joke doing the rounds is : all that Aamir touches, including 'tatti' ( excreta) turns to gold. And there is enough of that (tatti) around in moviedom for Aamir to own a goldmine soon!!
This appeared in Bombay Times today...
Amazing! ‘Peepli {Live} takes the pants off journos – TV types in particular. And journos applaud! Are we finally growing up? ‘Peepli’systematically strips away the vanities of several, easy to identify TV anchors – and the same guys invite Aamir Khan and his extraordinary star cast to appear on their channels! More masochism follows. Baby,hit me one more time, begs a fawning journo on camera, as Bollywood’s smartest movie moghul ( let’s just anoint him ‘The Khan’), proceeds to do just that with all the finesse of a smiling assassin slitting his victim’s throat. On camera, of course. We are loving it!!! Aamir and gang are flogging us in public – and we are begging for more! Wah! Aamir Khan’s love- hate relationship with the fourth estate is well known. With ‘Peepli’, he has gone the whole hog with it. Media ko nanga kar diya. No issues. To be fair, mediawallas have also demonstrated that they are mature enough to take it on the chin, particularly when the scathing representation is delivered with such lethal accuracy. I wonder how many high profile TV anchors from Delhi were red faced and cringing while watching this smartly positioned film. Did they die through the movie as their cinematic clones ridiculed them mercilessly? Did they go into instant denial (“This isn’t me! It’s that other bitch!”). Or did something positive come out of the carnage ( is it too much to expect heart felt introspection from our tribe?).Does ‘Peepli’ work for those outside the media fraternity? Yes and no. If there is any shikayat at all, it is that too many ‘messages’ are crammed into the script – from sending up ‘Breaking News’ TV types, to addressing the tragedy of farmer suicides . From mocking the ludicrous world of Indian bureaucracy ( there’s a clever cameo from Mumbai’s own Vijay Crishna as a tight assed, rules- bound Babu in the Ministry of Agriculture), to making bandars out of netas. There is nothing all that new about any of this. So many other films have gone there in the past and depicted our politicians for what they are – a pack of sadistic, venal , morally corrupt creatures. ‘Peepli’ just does it more stylishly, using subversive humour and a superbly picked ensemble cast. Malaika Shenoy playing a monster TRPs- chasing star anchor (wink!wink!)named Nandita Malik does a scarey take off on Barkha Dutt as she establishes her cosy relationship with a minister ( Naseeruddin Shah) seconds before the cameras roll. There are many such ‘insider’ tracks that keep… well…. insiders themselves panting for more. But beyond these biting insights and flourishes, this is a must watch movie about ourselves – us city slickers for whom life itself has been converted into sound bytes and visuals. The irony is not missed by anyone, as the chief protagonist, an outstanding actor Omkar Das Manikpuri ( Natha)playing the poverty stricken, desperate farmer talked into announcing his suicide,watches the media circus from the sidelines.Significantly, Natha remains stoically silent through most of the film, breaking into a love song at an unexpected moment. It is poignant touches like this that make the movie explode inside the mind and remind us yet again that while we munch our over-priced caramel popcorn at a multiplex and ‘tch tch’ away about the wretched of the land, somewhere in a parched and hopelessly marginalized corner of our country, there are people like Natha whose grim lives are not even worth the cost of our cinema ticket… or that absurd, non-functional water pump he is given by a local leader.
The manipulative, mean, heartless media comes out of this looking and smelling like excreta - tatti.
That may have been the whole idea. Right , Aamir??

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mistakes are normal... but one must learn from them...

The day that just went by had too many emotions in it for me to tackle; there was anxiety, there was happiness, there was stress, there was disgust and finally there was anger. It is actually ending up pretty impassioned and please do not ask me why. It's been that kind of a day and I always manage to beat the best out of myself. There is a saying in my mother tongue and which literally translates as "dog's tail is always crooked". The saying is used when ever a person keeps on repeating things without learning from his mistakes and it's the most paradoxical mind that gets facilitated by this ingenious phrase.

So why am I writing this and what does this have to do with what ever happened today; in fact the day was pretty much OK except for the finish and probably I must learn to behave much better than I end up doing. My emotions have not been in my control off late and I admit I have been a mess; and probably I was searching for a window to let that stress out and look for a new beginning. But what I am forgetting is that, new beginnings come with new challenges and I must be prepared to take up the challenges and fight but at the same time be prepared to accept the fact that probably the direction chosen wasn't just meant to be mine. My problem arises from the fact that I always manage to look at the wrong side of the mirror and end up hurting myself than needed.

The world is such that; there will always be people around you and you must realize and prioritize your likes and dislikes. In this process you end up hurting some of them but make them realize that you would definitely stand by them in the time of need and I guess you did a good job if you were able to achieve that. But somethings just do not help your cause at times; and today was that kind of a day where some were not letting me be nice to them, not all; and I for reasons beyond my control get annoyed more than often. That is never a good sign specially if among the people around, is a person whom you really like and want to share more time than normal. But of course, if that person is not fond of you or is not in the right state of mind, it makes a huge difference and I must realize that I am annoying her and I stand a good chance to be kicked at my face.

So yes, here is where that phrase suits me perfect. I have had my lessons in the past and I guess I am not learning from them. The stem of the fact arises from the number of times I have had to live in alienation and of course my dear friends always being there to pull me out of it. I guess I loose it way too easy and I just have to know how to control my anxiety much better.

To leave you all in some serenity... here is a nice little song. Donno why, I wanted to listen to it and thought I would make you all listen too. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Errrr... The Semiotics of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai'

I am not really into love stories and specially those which are freakingly kiddish in nature. But actually to confess a little I do watch them but not the usual stereotypes and also like some, for example "500 Days of Summer" is mature enough. But unfortunately almost all SRK movies are supremely stupid and impractical and I hate them all. So anyways, there was this little discussion about love stories with a friend of mine, an ardent admirer of all SRK movies and she adores his type of love stories. I usually do not see myself indulging in arguments other than football but this, I had to give it to her and here again I am going to tear apart the legacy of KJo and SRK. Sorry...!

This is actually a very controversial post to write. In a country where Shahrukh Khan is almost god and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has something of a cult following, to dig it up after almost 15 years and tear it apart gives me goose bumps. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

So if you havent seen the film (how???), let me give you the lowdown. Girl and boy are best friends in college, girl loves boy but boy falls for mini skirt clad hot chick but only after she has properly displayed her 'indian values'. Girl disappears. Hot chick dies, leaves behind a daughter who vows to find girl and make boy marry her finally. Which, ofcourse they do.

So lets start at the begining. Perfect stereotyping - boy and girl are best friends but he doesnt love her because she is a tomboy. The day he sees hot chick in tiny skirt, all friendship goes out of the window. But no, he is the quintessential male! So he waits for hot chick to sing 'om jai jagdish' and also don a suit, cover her head and go to a temple before he decides to shower his love on her!

It gets better. So some 10 years later, hot chick is not in the scene anymore and her daughter is trying her best to get boy to chance encounter with girl again. Which he does. And what does he find? That girl is not the tomboy he knew...she has transformed almost like a butterfly and evolved into long hair and chiffon saris which keep blowing in the wind to show her midriff. Ofcourse, boy finally decides that he loves her. Now that she is feminine enough for his taste!

But here is the clincher. The girl has only ever loved him. Even after 10 years of unrequited love and after being rejected for hot chick she doesnt so much as bat an eyelid before running back to him.

And the boy, remains happy ever after!

PS- all those wondering why in the world I have been calling Rani Mukherjee hot chick...come on guys, this is 15 years back when Kajol still had a unibrow and Karishma wore her brother's clothes... haha...!!!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

When the line between fact & fiction blurs...!

Being a writer in constant search for his genre where I write most expressively, I have often been interested in knowing how did best selling authors know which genre would work for them. Did Jeffrey Archer wake up one morning and decide to write fiction? Did JK Rowling pen down a drowsy biography before coming up with her masterpiece? By the way these are one of those renowned authors I know. I am not really into books.

But one may ask; why can't I take the movies analogy and compare the kind of genres different directors have attempted. Honestly, I do not think movie direction and film making could be linked up to writing and a particular genre. The risk that a film maker takes is tremendously huge when compared to a book writer and hence I cannot totally dwell into it. Its a form of art I really admire and one day it will have me setting pace with the money makers...! And the whole point of movie making is to entertain the audience than to merely pen down an obsessed thought into the form of a book. Not trying to demean book writers but co-relating them to film makers saddens me.

Of course books are transformed into movies; there are adopted screenplays which actually work wonders, but for the book to really work on the screen the director must be an absolute genius to portray what the writer has in the book. I do not think I really want to dwell into this subject for long but again the question just rings my mind every time I sit to write something.

This question must have haunted the book writers as it haunts me. What is even more interesting though, is that once an author has established himself in a particular genre, is he able to ever break out of it and try a new genre? I do believe transition is something every author dares to do, but isn't easy for all.

So the question remains. How does an author find his genre? And having found it, is it wise to experiment outside of it? Do you know any person whom it worked for?

Sad Sad...All Izzz Well...!!!

This again is the same thought...
Very interesting... Seem like the times are coming back...
But I ask myself if it's right...
Or am I just over reacting...
Things are the same everywhere...
But why does it feel different all of a sudden...
Jus the thought of it drives me wild and actually make me think that things could happen...
It's jus naive of me again...
Kinda sucks... But I guess that is the truth...

Anyways the point is; I am suddenly going to miss this city... I feel cheated and betrayed again. For the past 11 months I have been living on this crazy cranky lifestyle and suddenly the last two days seem so different and interesting. It's like in a life sorrowed by the most inefficient behavior of mine, suddenly everything is back. And the hope that things could shape like the way I wanted is so harmfully blissful. So what is the actual cause behind this... It's jus been 3 days I have made a new friend and it suddenly feels I am going to miss my days in the future... It is insane and it really does not fit right into the context of everything but all I know and feel is that, this is the change I have been waiting for and probably this is the change that could run my future with happiness. And that is the actual reason I said it's so dangerously blissful. Either way I guess I am happy that I will be leaving Pittsburgh with very fond memories and memories hard to forget in a long long time.

This all actually feels too premature but then, I am the best judge of my intentions and emotions. I feel I am falling for it and I could trap myself if the result does not match up.

I guess I loose it too easily and it's never a good sign. But still... I think... All izzz well... Haha

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Repost - More About Karma...Emotions Over Time...!

The more I read about Karma, the more I realize. It is true, Good or Bad...whatever it is...Everything we do matters. I’ve given this a lot of thought lately. It may seem like a strong statement, but it is not meant in a rigid kind of way. Nevertheless, the more I contemplate it, the more it rings true to me. Every single thing we do in our life, every moment, it all matters. Now obviously killing someone is different than throwing garbage on the street. But even the simple stuff like going for a walk or cooking dinner, or reading the news matters. What do I mean by matters? I mean that it all adds up, all of our actions have an effect on our state of mind now and in the future.

When the ‘09 Lok Sabha & General Assembly elections were happening, I read a lot of news; I became sort of political for a while, wanting to read anything about the inspiring man JP Narayan and his plans. A month after the election is over, I’m in retreat, not thinking about JP or politics at all and a few times I’ve woken up in the morning having dreamed about him and petty political scenarios. Something is going on here, obviously all the news reading had some sort of lasting effect on my mind, otherwise I wouldn’t be processing it in my sleep.

Powerful movies and football also seem to have this hang-over affect on my mind. Sometimes after watching a movie, I’ll go to bed and the whole dream world will be filled with the theme of that movie. The same occurs when I work many hours on the computer just before going to bed. My dreams are often a strange version of the computer world. I get illusions such as meeting my football heroes Ronaldinho, Zidane, etc., after a good hour to two spent watching football replays.

All of these examples are to illustrate that all of our actions in fact have an effect down the road. These are strong examples, but it can also be quite subtle as well. Even everything we think matters. When I first heard this, I’m not sure I believed it, but I was shocked at the idea of it. Now, years later, after having pondered over it, I believe it to be true.

Extreme examples always popup, so lets address one. If the thought of killing someone arises, does that matter? Should I be afraid of my thoughts? No, not really. I think the main point is that thinking in certain ways for prolonged periods of time can actually change our way of being. The more emotionally charged the thoughts, and the longer periods of time, the stronger the effect.

The more we do or think something, the more we are creating the momentum for that to happen again in the future. It is subtle, but over time it is surely true. I think we can all accept this as true, the more I am an angry person, in time, I just become more and more like that. This is true for all states of mind. The momentum does not stop on its own; it is a never ending cycle that fuels itself. When things get too hot, or a catastrophe occurs, only then do we change our ways.

So do we always have to experience the results of our actions? Our teachings say that if we remain ignorant, then yes, but through practice, these past seeds can be purified. So everything we do matters, whether moment to moment, day to day, after many years or even over lifetimes. This is the basic teaching of karma, and I encourage everyone to look and see if it is true.

Practice 'LOVE' (an emotion) and you shall see the difference, it only charges your zeal to live Happy (effect) more and more. Again a cause & effect attachment.

Thanks for reading.