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Then we came to the end…

5 Oct

… A fabulous book by Joshua Ferris, but none of this has anything to do with that.

‘Then we came to the end’ just seems to be the mantra of the Sports World these days that has left many, I am sure, distraught, disappointed and utterly dismayed.

Stalwarts whom we looked up to – those who hit the ball very hard, those who drove cars really fast, and some wonderful defenders and centre backs (never mind their off-centre views on a myriad other things off the field) – have forewarned that they may be calling it a day in the world of sport anytime soon!

Now with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Schumacher and John Terry having announced their retirement (or on the verge thereof), there seems to be a dullness in the air – the grass on the cricket field seems to have withered at the news; the race tracks seem to have gone dry (for a second time); and the hysteria in the football stadiums has probably died down a bit. The class acts of these men will never be forgotten, and will often be referred to – just like classics in a library. We’ll see them around – sometimes in the commentator’s box, sometimes as spectators, sometimes supporting a cause or then promoting the sport they belonged to, or even – hold your breath – in Parliament (Why Sachin, why?).  But we won’t see them doing what they did best!  Score!

When athletes retire they make their ardent followers feel old. And that’s the one thing that hits us women the most! It makes us realize that we are a part not of Gen Next but Ex-Gen. It’s time to wear the sunscreen more regularly, maybe dye the grey, and time to accept that the men we shall now ogle at on the TV screens are going to be way younger than us – that would put us in the category of …  well, whatever!

It’s a changing world, and the process has already begun. The damage is done. Yes, Virat Kohli is hot, Messi bends it like Beckham and Sebastian Vettel seems to be steering right.  But Sachin, Schumi and gang – Nah, He just don’t make it like ‘em anymore!

Yes, my heart is broken. But it shall be completely shattered the day Roger Federer keeps his racquet aside, and when Usain Bolt hangs up his running shoes. Until then I’m running, baby! I’m running… 34!


The Queen of all Opening Ceremonies

31 Jul

Her Majesty and her little pink dress were show-stealers at the London Olympics opening ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth II, James Bond, Daniel Craig, London olympics, Olympics 2012, Olympics opening Ceremony I ought to begin this post with a curtsey.

Now to get on with it…

Yeah, so our eyes were glued to the TV set. We were all watching the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012, waiting eagerly for something grand to happen. And then it did: Her Majesty the Queen, dressed in a pink salmon dress jumped off a chopper, flipped like a coin tossed into the air, and thankfully didn’t land on her head. This tale, I tell you, is true!

Okay, so what if it was actually cross-dressed stuntman Gary Connery pretending to be the Queen who parachuted out of the flying machine? The act at least made all the Britons gape in shock with their stiff upper lips well parted before they realized that if their Queen could have a sense of humour, they could too. After the earth shook beneath their feet, it took all of five-minutes to get things back to normal – the Brits straightened up, adjusted their folds – stiff upper lip back in place – and clapped in perfect rhythm – 1-2-1-2 – as Queen Elizabeth II made her way to her seat with Prince Philip in tow.

While a few in the United Kingdom are amused, a few others have taken offence to this non-decorum of Her Majesty and have, as an act of revolt, dumped English tea-sets right into the Thames*. Although I would like to confess that it was much more fun to see Her Majesty loosen up and drop straight into the Olympic arena than be party to the same old clichéd Royalty hand-in-glove wave that royalty is so wont to do.

It’s wondersome how Queen Elizabeth agreed to all that unconventional dramatics. Danny Boyle, besides his Oscars and Globes, seems to have earned a Masters in Convincing, too! I believe he tricked the Queen by playing on the idiom – building castles in the air – all too literally. “Ma’am we’re building castles in the air, and you’re invited!” or better still “Ma’am don’t you think Kate Middleton has lapped up enough and more newsprint? Before the media gets ecstatic about her in her Christopher Kane ensemble, let’s show the world that we are able too!”

Queen Elizabeth is known to have nodded a vigorous yes to that one and chanced her leap of faith. Now never mind that it’s summer in the UK, after the Olympic opening ceremony, Londoners are celebrating ‘The Fall’. That too quite enthusiastically.

*Just like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman narrated in Good Omens. Don’t believe them. Or me.

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The name is Holmes, James Holmes

26 Jul

Joker, Batman, Dark KnightNow what would I have thought of a man named James Holmes if one were to come up and introduce himself to me before that ‘dark night’.

“Hi, I’m James, James Holmes,” he may have said.

And I may have been delighted. A James (Bond) plus a (Sherlock) Holmes hardly leaves you asking for more. He would’ve been street smart, would’ve possessed the perfect mix of brawn and brain; would’ve been a top FBI agent, solving crimes and bringing to book all the bad men of the world. That would’ve been so cool. He would’ve worn a stunning woman on his arm, and would’ve left all the hot actresses of Hollywood begging for the part next.

Actually, he could’ve been a Batman-like character in his own right. Sadly, the infamous James Holmes chose to be the Joker instead, and nothing of what he did on the night of July 19 was amusing. It would’ve been had he entered the Aurora theatre in Colorado with a toy gun that sprayed water instead of ammo that actually worked. Now something like that would’ve surely earned the guy some Facebook friends, if nothing else. Instead he killed 12 and wounded 58! Mean kid. Bad seed. Hurt people.

A lowdown on what is known to have happened at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora theatre, Denver: James Holmes got himself a ticket for this much-awaited event. Saw the first-half of the film. Went to his car during the interval. Returned with guns. Began shooting. Killed some. Hurt many. Eventually gave himself up to the cops in the car-park area.

James now finds himself in solitary confinement, and has made even the Arapahoe Detention Centre a three-ring circus. The Batman nemesis is working hard at being the ‘spitting image’ of Jack. Yes, he has been spitting on prison guards. Nay, not cool at all. So now he has on himself a face mask, ankle shackles, and Holmes is particularly happy with the green bullet-proof vest given to him. It fits in well with the Joker’s palette of colours. Purple. Orange. Green.

Our red-haired James Holmes is not compos mentis. He continues to believe that he is shooting for a movie, and that he is simply enacting his part. Try telling him he is insane and he’d probably turn around, laugh that laugh and tell you that he thought he is Pisces. He may then just gun you down, marvel at the deep red of your blood, and feel liberated. Shot well taken.

I feel sorry for the guy. He has made life into a motion picture and isn’t getting good reviews for it. Whom is he considering director by the way? And how many million dollars is he – the actor – getting paid? Well, it was never about the money, for the Joker.  It was always about sending a message. But James Holmes doesn’t even have a message. As far as he is concerned, he’s just acting in a film, or is trying to act like he is acting in one. Phew! Over to you Psychiatrist!

The Dark Knight massacre has left filmmakers the world over accused of inspiring violence. Not fair at all. For out of a million, there’s just one that set out to be the Joker. The rest are inspired to be Batmen. Also, James Holmes, who apparently saw the first half of The Dark Knight Rises is curious to know what happens in the end in the film. He’s been asking around. Well, try asking that again pretty boy, and the cat may just get your tongue.

P.S.: Deepest condolences to the families who lost their dear and near ones in this horrific episode that shouldn’t have ever happened.

Photo Credit: Orlando Aquije, Deviantart

A Hell of a time in Heaven

20 Jul

Candy Cane CurveWhat happens after you die? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. Although I believe you go to a better place, where you bounce on clouds and rest on the ergonomic moon crescent; where the temperature is just right – the AC not too strong, the ball of fire not too hot; and where you get candies of all shapes and sizes.  If you are fond of pets, there are little puppies all around you; and if you aren’t, there isn’t a single dog in sight.

In short, you go to a place where you have it your way – Your cholesterol isn’t high; your BP is in check; bones strong; and the fat percent – an ideal 21 for the women, and 14 for the men;  Also, you don’t have to worry about trans fats, or nicotine (You get your kick anyway); You can have your cake and eat it too, can put all your eggs in one basket, and are even able to lead the horse to water and make it drink.

Call it optimism, imagination, or escapism – the above picture may just be a way of helping me cope with some harsh realities; a way of convincing myself that ever since my sister left us, exactly a month ago, she has been living it up, and that it’s ok! You can imagine she has become an angel or a star in the sky, and then not feel guilty about your own little celebrations back home – a marriage in the family, a new job, and all those fancy dos for which you put on your best attire, and of course that smile.

That’s just the way it is. Life goes on. The earth continues to spin counter-clockwise on its axis, the sun rises – and sets 24-hours later, and the milkman promptly delivers the cartons of milk at 6 a.m. every morning.  You’re left aghast. Nothing much has changed, really. Externally, it’s all like it was before, but internally you just have to deal with the dark void, a space that keeps shrinking with time.

Why do I write this? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the surge of ‘deadly’ news that’s been trickling in day after day: Indian actor Rajesh Khanna passed away; Stephen Covey and Jon Lord left for ‘that splendid place’ after introducing us to some good habits and deep numbers; Queen of Country, Kitty Wells died from a stroke; Oscar-winning actress Celeste Holm died at 95 (She lived!); Sly’s son, Sage Stallone (36) passed away of we-don’t-know-what-yet. All this in the last two weeks!

While we grieved for the above-mentioned, we cheered for a few others. If there were coffins and condolences on one hand, there were balloons and bubbly on the other – Nelson Mandela turned 94, Sunita Williams went on her second space mission, the coming of Toy Story 4 got everybody excited. And then of course, there was the magnum merriment of Bruce Wayne, but not without the commemoration of our agent of chaos – The Joker (played by the now late Heath Ledger), who once said to Batman: Batman

“You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

Alas! The ‘unstoppable force’ didn’t let that happen. Heath Ledger was taken away, but the Batman had to come back.

You see only one end to your journey, and it’s only sometimes that a man rises from the darkness. And if that happens, he just has to wait his turn to get to that place filled with candy.

(Photo Credit – Image 1: TPorter2006)

Tom-Kat, Batman, RiRi & Nicki

10 Jul

Tom-Kat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes)
has stolen everyone’s thunder by settling for divorce. Of course, these aren’t happy moments, but they’re more talked about than Batman! Can you imagine? And then there’s Christian Bale talking about how claustrophobic he felt when he first wore Batman’s garb and blah blah blah. We don’t care, we just wanted Batman. And we want him again… nervous breakdown, panic attack, whatever. Come on, after all, he made a promise on the grave of his parents, remember?

Shut up and eat this: In the meanwhile, Rihanna forced a Portuguese restaurant in London to shut shop for a day. She apparently ordered every damn item from the eatery and had it delivered to the backstage area. 7,000 pounds, we are told – the bill or the weight people put on post the grub? Confused.

Demi Moore and Bruce Willis’ daughter has found love in the arms of Jayson Blair. Rumour? Nah, it’s Rumer!

And, rapper Nicki Minaj has been complaining: “Pretty sure I was just overtly fondled at this check point by a very old lady with an accent.” Yep, now that’s some very important information the world couldn’t have done without.

Who is Lukas Rosol?

29 Jun

The answer is: The man we’ll never forget!

Standing 6’5” tall, Lukas Rosol the aspirant metamorphosed into an inspiration on June 28, 2012, as he stunned Spanish tennis stalwart, Rafael Nadal and the world with his spectacular conquest in a 5-set match that lasted all of 3 hours and 18 minutes on Centre Court, Wimbledon.

Taking nothing away from his remarkable game and histrionics, the truth is that Czechoslovakia-born Rosol himself doesn’t know what hit him; Nadal doesn’t know either, and spectators like Yours Truly are left blinking not knowing…errr…what hit them!

In fact, Lukas confessed that he was excited to be on Centre Court at Wimbledon just to see what it looked like: the spectators, the surroundings, how it’s all done. The 26-year-old was there to first take in the experience, and then play the game. He wasn’t sure if he was there to ever win.

The match between Nadal and Rosol had a semblance of the David and Goliath fairytale. Only who was David and who Goliath, no one could tell.

The question now being raised is: Is Lukas (Seeded 100) just a one-match wonder, or is he one to look out for? The tennis player himself may not be able to answer this one as he basks in the glory of his astonishing but well-deserved win; he describes the feeling as ‘dreamlike’. At the same time, an unhappy and extremely disappointed Rafa brushes off the upset and says that ‘it was not a tragedy, just a tennis match’.

For Rosol though, this was surely not just a tennis match. It was much much more. Pinch, pinch.

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