Tuesday, November 30, 2004

"I wanted to go on to make a big score and put the team into a really strong position."
"we would have liked to be about 100 ahead with a couple more wickets in hand"

-Rahul Dravid


Eh...are you forgetting something. Dude, it was you who batted slowly and pulled the run rate down.

Election re-runs

Romanian opposition demands election re-run
The leader of Romania's opposition party called today for the results of the country's parliamentary and presidential elections to be declared fraudulent and for a re-run to be held.

Ukraine Challenger Willing to Rerun Election
Ukraine's liberal challenger Viktor Yushchenko said on Wednesday he was prepared to rerun a disputed presidential election provided it was overseen by honest officials.

You see... this is why John Kerry ended his presidential campaign with more than $15 million in the bank. He thought that in case US goes for a rerun of 2004 elections, he would have a jump start ahead of Bush in Campaign money.

Democrats Question Kerry's Campaign Funds

Monday, November 29, 2004

Thanksgiving weekend was very relaxing. I went to the movie Alexander. It was an ok movie. Not excellent, not very bad. I felt it could have been made lot better. I liked one battle scene where Alexander's army and Persian army are confronting each other and some shots were taken from aerial. It was really awesome and I don't remember seeing anything like that in any other movie before. Then later I saw the Tamil movie Gajendra starring Vijaykanth. Then I saw Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs. That was a very funny movie. Mel Brooks made fun of movies like Star Wars and Star Trek. I enjoyed the movie.
The Government of India should stop harping that Kashmir is an integral part of India and Kashmir is that and is not that.. etc, etc. India should come out open with their ideas. Whatever is not acceptable to India, Kashmir and Pakistan should be kept aside, and move ahead with something that is acceptable to all.-Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, leader of the separatist All-Parties Hurriyat Conference

Not acceptable to India: no giving up on Kashmir
Not acceptable to Pakistan: no giving up on Kashmir
Not acceptable to Kashmir : no giving up on Kashmir

If they set aside these 'not acceptables' what the heck are they going to talk about and move ahead?


Sunday, November 28, 2004

Extreme Makeup

Rajni before makeup and after makeup(chandramukhi) Posted by Hello
Thanks : http://www.chandramukhithefilm.com/

Roja before makeup and after makeup Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving...everyone is killing Turkey, my friend Mukesh and I decided to kill a goat :) we went to the movie 'National Treasure' today afternoon. Then we came home and cooked yakmi pilaf goat biryani. Then I saw the tamil move 'Giri'.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Today I tested my Sidekick II phone at work. As expected the signal was bad and lots of calls were missed. I can live without dialpad. I do not need to browse while talking. I can live without Javascript. Bluetooth is pretty much useless in phones which has good speaker-phone like Sidekick II. But the signal...well..that's the important thing for a cell phone. I will return this phone for now.

Kanchi seer booked in another case

Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati was on Tuesday booked in another case relating to an attack on a former official of the Kanchi Mutt, G Radhakrishnan, and two others in September 2002.
Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police S P Sakthivel served the arrest memo on the Shankaracharya at the Vellore Prison, where he is already in judicial custody after his arrest on November 11 in connection with the Sankararaman murder case.

Does anyone else have any cases still open and pending?
Bring it on; we have a guy on whom we can dump all those cases. Dump 2 cases and get 1 free.


Was Kanchi Seer’s hastened arrest a diversion by the government?

Was the arrest a ploy to divert the public’s attention away from the ‘mystery of Veerappan’s killing’ controversy?

I’m not sure about that, but if that is the case, well they did a damn good job. You see…now nobody is talking about Veerappan’s killing and everyone seems to have forgotten that issue. God, I love politics :)
The partnership for the second wicket was worth 76 and Dravid's contribution was just 12. Sourav Ganguly, the next man in, and Dravid struggled to get the ball away in the next 30 minutes as India's run-rate rapidly dropped to 3.5. 59 runs were scored in the first eight overs of the session, while Sehwag was going berserk. 30 runs came in 21 overs since his dismissal.

30 runs in 21 overs! Dude, Just to get your 'Big Knock' don't knock the team down.

"I have been practicing hard in the nets. Hopefully once I get a start I can play a long innings. A big one is due now."

That's one hell of a start.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Tonight I went and bought the T Mobile phone Sidekick II. Some of my friends bought T Mobile phones few months back. None of them were satisfied with the service. By service I mean signal reception. One common thing was all of them had the same model. So I thought a different phone may get better signal. So I went and bought the Sidekick II. It just took 20 minutes for the whole process. It's pretty amazing how fast things can be done now a days. OK, now coming to the signal problem...Guess what...I did not get a friggin signal at the T Mobile store. Can you believe that?
I came home and called the new phone with my old cell phone. One call went through out of 10 calls. Later in the night I called my friend Mukesh and was able to get through and asked him to call back and surprisingly got the call. Tomorrow I will take it to work and see if I get a good signal reception there. Also I will have to ask my parents to call from India and see how it works. Saying all this, I still love this phone. This is a cool phone, sexy looking, and the speaker phone quality is damn good. I could speak from like 7-8 feet away and still the other person could hear me clearly and I could hear the other person clearly. So the few cons of the phone are:
1. Signal not consistently strong
2. Can't dial using dialpad without flipping open the phone
3. No Bluetooth
4. Can't browse the web while talking
5. No Javascript support
Toxicology tests outlined in Yasser Arafat's medical records did not find any known poisons, the late Palestinian leader's nephew said today, adding that the records gave no clear cause of death. The medical dossier has 558 pages, plus X-rays, he said, adding that he had not had time to read it all yet.

Considering the fact that Yasser Arafat 'died' several times, no wonder the medical dossier has 558 pages. You see...everytime he came back alive and died again, they had to add a new chapter.


Karunanidhi sees vengeance in Seer's arrest

In surprising comments that indicate a turnaround, DMK President M Karunanidhi, today said "vengeance" could be seen in Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, in the arrest of Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendera Saraswathi, and "doubts" have arisen over many issues.
Asked if his statement welcoming the arrest then and expressing doubts now about the arrest of the Sankaracharya was not contradictory, Karunanidhi said "I gave my views soon after the arrest. But on the basis of details subsequently available doubts have arisen."

May be he should just keep his mouth shut, till the investigations are complete and not issue premature statements.

The Hindu Story

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Hey, this is cool

Tonight I went to the movie SpongeBob SquarePants. Actually I wanted to go for that movie but when I went to the theater I got confused if I should go for that or 'National Treasure'. I ended up buying tickets for 'National Treasure'. Then I was like 'Gosh, what was I thinking, why did I change my mind?'. Then when I passed the entrance I thought, 'Hey I can go into SpongeBob SquarePants' and I did. I think once you get tickets here, it really doesn't matter which movie you go (as long as it's not a full house, I think you are safe). I don't think you can do such a thing in India. I thought the system here was pretty cool. Anyway, I enjoyed the movie SpongeBob even though some critics think otherwise. My home is little bit mess now, I better go and clean some of it.
Last night I went to T Mobile showroom in Short Pump mall. My cell phone lease is over with Sprint and I was particularly interested in Sidekick II from T Mobile(manufactured by Danger and Sharp,Japan). It's a hot selling cool gadget phone. It costs about $600 without any rebates. The only problem that I see with this phone is that to dial a number using keypad, you will have to flip open the screen. I'm not sure how easy that will be to dial a number while driving that too in a manual transmission, if you know what I mean ;-). Another beautiful young lady next to me concurred.
Other problem, which is not such a big deal for me as of now, is that it doesn't have Bluetooth. Anyway, I think I will buy that phone tomorrow and evaluate. There is a trial period of 14 days.

Friday, November 19, 2004

A big knock is due, says Dravid

Rahul Dravid sounded a warning to the South Africans on Thursday when he said his poor run of scores was over and a big knock was due from him.

Ooohh. That sounds scary. The South Africans are now going to crap their pants.

He also said that:

"I have been practicing hard in the nets. Hopefully once I get a start I can play a long innings. A big one is due now."

eh...so...has he not been practicing hard in the nets for the Australian series?
Well...anyway...let’s hope he “gets a start” so that he can play a long innings. You see...he is different from the other batsmen, who all play long innings without getting a start :-)


Kashmir response dismays Pakistan

Pakistan says it is disappointed with India's response to its proposals to solve the dispute over Kashmir.
During a visit to Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, Manmohan Singh said: "I have made it clear to President Musharraf that any redrawing of the international border is not acceptable to us."
Responding to the Indian premier's statement, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri asked Delhi to avoid making "controversial statements".
"The fact is that Jammu and Kashmir is a dispute which Pakistan and India have to resolve through dialogue and negotiations," he told Pakistan's state-run APP news agency.
Speaking to AFP, Gen Musharraf said the signals coming out of Delhi were not encouraging.
"Certainly the vibes should be much better than this... there ought to be a desire to move forwards towards peace," he said.

Yeah...here we are. Again. Back to square one. Right where we started. The talks between India and Pakistan is like going in circles. It ends right where it started.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Call centre employees gets into a major fight at a pub over a girl

Rati Bawa, who works with a Delhi-based advertising agency, says "The first time I went to Gurgaon to party was at The Deck, Odyssey (a nightclub in Sahara Mall).
"At about three in the morning two guys started hitting each other in the middle of the dance floor," she recalls.
"There was this huge outburst, apparently over a girl.
There was another instance when two girls almost tore each other's clothes off - this time fighting over a guy.

It’s still lot better than here in America, where guys fight over a guy and girls fight over a girl.
Yeah…How about that :-)


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

FCC's Powell disappointed in 'MNF'
The nation's chief media regulator expressed disappointment Wednesday over the steamy locker room opening to ABC's "Monday Night Football" broadcast.
The opening, which has generated complaints to ABC and the FCC, featured actress Nicollette Sheridan in the locker room, supposedly dressed only in a white towel. She drops the towel and jumps into the arms of Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens. Sheridan was shown only from behind and above the waist after dropping the towel.

You are not alone Mr. Powell. We all are disappointed. We deserved more.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by Bush appointees, is seeking input on a new proposed study in which infants in participating low income families will be monitored for health impacts as they undergo exposure to known toxic chemicals over the course of two years.
For taking part in these studies, each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation.

$970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation???
"EPA, How about adding a coffin too to that list. I think that will be more useful."


Monday, November 15, 2004

Today morning when I started my car, the battery died. First I thought it was just a low battery needing a jump start. I called Dixita and with the help of her tried to jump start my car. But it failed. Then Pat took his car and we came to work in his car. I was concerned that the alternator had to be replaced as they cost few hundred dollars. Later in the evening after I came home I called AAA. The guy came after 30 minutes and I asked him to try jump starting one more time. And this time when he tried it worked. I was so glad that I didn't have to spend money. The water in the battery was completely drained and we filled it with water. I hope tomorrow morning when I start my car there is no problem.
Condemning the arrest of Hindu pontiff Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi, various Muslim clerics on Monday came out in his support, demanding his immediate release and dropping of all charges against him.
In their statement, Muslim leaders said putting a "senior religious leader" of this stature with other criminals in jail was "highly deplorable".
They referred to reports that he was not being provided his traditional food.
"His age (70) factor has not been taken into account. Such treatment is not even given to hardened criminals. The Shankaracharya is a global leader," the statement said.

Yeah…I think they are just taking a ‘preemptive strike’ and making sure that they are not subjected to the same treatment in future.
When I heard the news that ICC banned Sourav Ganguly from playing 2 tests, I felt sad. BCCI is the most powerful board in ICC, but still they somehow fail to lobby and dominate their positions in ICC. Same happens in Washington. But, that's another big story. The interesting fact is even our arch rivals, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan, came in support of Sourav Ganguly. But some of my colleagues (fellow Indians) were rejoicing the moment. It's kinda sick in my opinion. I saw the match and I know the ground conditions exactly. It was very tough to bowl and field under such conditions. At one point when a Pakistani batsman hit a straight drive, and as the ball was racing towards boundary I could see water splashing on both sides, resembling a car speeding through half a feet of water. The fielders and bowlers had to clean their shoes every now and then because of the mud sticking to their shoe sole. It all takes time. It's funny when a player makes any mistake they are penalized by the ICC, but when an umpire makes a mistake...well...we all know what happens.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Jackie Chan in Indian Ad

Hey...today while I was watching Lion Dates Top 10 movies in Sun TV an Ad came featuring my favorite star Jackie Chan. The Ad was for Bajaj's new bike 'Discover'. It was a very good Ad. In the class of a Hollywood movie or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and it was shot entirely in China. The Ad was scripted by Ogilvy & Mather senior creative director Abhijit Avasthi and directed by Corcoise Films director Prasoon Pandey.
You can view the TV commercial at http://www.bajajdiscover.com. I'm sure you will love the Ad, and the background score is awesome and the tempo of the music changes beautifully according to the situation.
Indian Marketing Ads have always been very good. But now bringing in International stars and celebrities like Aussie cricketers(Bret Lee for Timex) and Jackie Chan, wow...companies are not hesitating to spend millions on Ads. This Jackie Chan Ad is the costliest Ad ever made by Bajaj. I think the reach and returns on Ads on Indian population is really good. Well..There is one good side-effect of over-population :-)

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Last night Mukesh and I went to temple for Diwali. It was not very crowded as Diwali pooja and celebration was over the previous day. Then we rented the DVD 'Solaris' starring George Clooney and I cooked Idlis and Dosas and had it for dinner. Mukesh decided to stay at my place to watch the India - Pakistan cricket match. So we decided to check out the movie Solaris. The movie ran for about 1.5 hrs. The story was ... well...after 1.5 hrs neither Mukesh nor I understood the story. If someone has seen the movie and know the story please tell me about it. Yeah...How about that.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Today I was thinking about the growing population in India. Unlike China, India does not have huge land area and if we are really looking at the next 50 years and trying to compete with China in the international arena, how tough is it going to be for India with such growing population. Then I started to look at the population density of India and other countries. India is ranked 20th highest in population density. Singapore, South Korea, Netherlands, Belgium and Japan are few big guys ahead us(for now). I think it's time India start to seriously implement some population control measures. Otherwise, down the road, 50 years from now, we may be in trouble, unless Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal all unite with India and form the old Akhand Maha Bharat.

List of countries by population density

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

You can run, but you can't hide

"Militants abduct a first cousin of Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and two of his family members in Baghdad, reportedly threatening to kill them unless the Falluja siege is lifted."

What are the militants going to do after US forces leave Falluja? They sure can't hide anywhere.
"There are no buildings left anywhere in Falluja. Wake up you militants. You can't hide in Falluja."

Remember..."You can run, but you can't hide"

I know what it means now.

Win or loss does not matter

Inzamam said winning or losing would not matter much in the commemorative one-day international against India on Thursday as the emphasis should be on goodwill.
"Celebration will not take away focus from cricket but the important thing is to build relations. So win or loss does not matter on this occasion," the genial batsman said.

So...why are we even playing....eh...Let's just party and build relations !

Monday, November 08, 2004

Tonight I saw the movie 'The Day After'. It's an old movie. The story happens during the heights of cold war. Soviets and Americans launch nuclear missiles on each other. The story is on the American side. Kansas City to be precise. The movie tries to show what happens after the nuclear attack. It was a very touching movie. I hope this never happens in real life. Now I have started to see another movie 'How the west was won'. I played with my PS2 for a while. I did pretty good in Nightfire. At least that's what I thought.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The weekend is coming to a grinding halt. I didn't do much this weekend. Just stayed at home and relaxed. Friday evening Mukesh and I went to the movie 'Incredibles'. The name of the movie says it all. It was incredible. The movie was very funny and entertaining. The show was full and equal number of kids and grownups were there, and all of us seemed to enjoy the movie. I also saw another movie in DVD 'Dances with Wolves' starring Kevin Costner. It was a classic movie. On Saturday I went and bought a Sony PlayStation 2 video game console and 2 games. I finished setting it up and played few games. If an experienced gamer had watched me playing he would have committed suicide. I played so badly. But then, it's been a long time I played and I hope I will learn fast.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Steelers or Eagles

Every year my friend Jeff and I have a bet on who will win the Super Bowl. Last year I picked New England Patriots and Jeff picked Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, you must have known that Patriots won the Super Bowl. So I won the bet and according to our betting terms Jeff had to treat me to lunch at a restaurant of my choice. We went to Curry House, an Indian restaurant, at West End of Richmond.
This year Iam betting on Pittsburg Steelers and Jeff, a die hard fan of Eagles, is betting on Eagles again.
I watched most part of the fourth and final day of the fourth and final test between India and Australia. Man...What a game. I noticed few interesting things in this match. One of them is the way Sachin Tendulkar played. He was very aggressive, on the offense and was full of confidence. This is the real Sachin that made him so famous. This is the guy that we all know. I personally believe this is the way he should play; his natural game. I cannot buy his excuses like he is matured, old, he cannot play like that, he has to stay and maintain his wicket...blah...blah.
One more thing I noticed is the reason he got out. I don't know how many noticed, but I would say VVS Laxman was the reason for Sachin to get out. I've been watching cricket for more than 2 decades. I have observed one very clear thing. When a batsman is on the roll, hitting well and the other batsman, doesn't rotate the strike to give more chances to the aggressive guy, he gets really frustrated. And after a while when he gets the strike back, he tends to play shots which usually he won't play, even in aggressive form. And usually he gets out. The same phenomenon happened today. Sachin was hitting Nathan Hauritz for 6's and 4's. But VVS Laxman, after that over, did not rotate the strike he occupied the batting crease for a while denying Sachin more strikes. Then after some time Sachin came and played a sweep shot and got a top edge and was caught. I hate players who don't rotate strike.
Coming back to the issue of VVS Laxman, I still stand by what I said earlier. Even though he scored some runs, he MUST be dropped from the team. He is not consistent. He should not be in the team. I'm glad Murali Kartik received Man of the Match. I think he deserved it. One more thing I would like to appreciate is the fact that both Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting was invited to receive the Border-Gavaskar Series trophy. Gilly did a fantastic job.
I couldn't believe Ricky Ponting was talking like a cry-baby. He was blaming the pitch for their defeat. I think every country have their own strengths and weakness. Let's face the truth. Indian's don't bat well in fast, bouncy pitches, and the Aussies can't play well in pitches which turn a lot. I think Ricky Ponting should have gracefully embraced the defeat, and accepted the fact that India outplayed them. But instead, he went on to blame the pitch. That was pathetic. So after all Aussies are not invincible. They can't play in a wicket like this whereas India can.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It's 3.25 am. Iam flipping channels and watching the presidential elections results. No cricket match because of rain.Oh no, match is starting at last. Looks like India is batting first. Ohio is going to be like what Florida was last time. I thought of going to bed as no more election news is likely to come till dawn. But now cricket starts, huh, no sleep again. Let me see how the new guy Gautam Gambhir plays. He is opening with Sehwag. I heard Sachin Tendulkar will be opening the bowling. Interesting.