End of the drought…

I’ll just admit that I am not the most consistent blogger. It’s not that I got caught up or something. I am just too darn lazy to blog, period. Besides, I always forget that I even have a blog. And when I do realize that I have a web space to write on, I end up making a new blog page. But it won’t happen this time. ~Crosses his heart~ .

So the last post I made was after a long period of 7 months (This time it’s just 5 months. Mark the improvement already ^_^) and it was about a movie by Darren Aronofsky. And this time it is about another movie by Darren Aronofsky. Pi. (OH WAATA MOVIE!!)

In a nutshell: Hibernation is over baby!!

The Requiem for a Dream and me

I am an average movie buff. I have seen some of the greatest movies of all times. But the word “GREATEST” became pocket-sized after watching Requiem for a Dream. I was shell shocked and awe-inspired by the sheer beauty of the movie. When this creative masterpiece ended, my mind had gone numb, my senses were not working and there was just one thing on my mind. “What in the name of hell was that?”

Requiem for a Dream is the art of film making at its apex. Now I won’t waste my time and space writing about the story or the characters because it was all beau idéal. So, I am just going to write about the things that are still giving me Goosebumps.

THE EDITING & DIRECTION: First things first, Darren Aronofsky is a genius. The way he used the camera is beyond imagination. Those short shots used throughout the movie with perfect editing, plus the split screens and the extreme close-ups will definitely pull you into a surreal black-hole generated by the movie. The main reason why the scenes are so dark and psychologically challenging is that they are very close to the reality.

THE SCORE: Oh yes, the score. The score. The score. While watching the movie you are completely spell bound to it. And a huge credit for this goes to its score. The movie has the best score I have ever heard. The darkness and the depth in the music strike your mind so badly that you actually start feeling the pain and torment being displayed on screen.  The images in the movie are itself so disturbing and the soundtracks like “Lux Aterno” and “Summer Overture” act like a catalyst to it. The movie would have been nothing without the score.

All I can say is that the movie isn’t fun, the movie isn’t pretty. It is actually very difficult to watch this film because it is the reality. And this is what makes it even more mesmerizing and hence, the best movie of all times.

P.S.- If you didn’t like the movie then I guess you are not mentally ready to watch it.

Hockey World Cup 2010 Match Fixtures/ Schedule

Awesome! So the show has finally begun. I am super-excited about Hockey World Cup 2010, being held in New Delhi, India and I am doing everything I can to promote it around my circle. Finally, those thirsty-for-hockey crows in India (like me) will have their thirst quenched.Hockey

Here are the teams and all the fixtures and match schedules you might want to remember. Added the Points Table now as well. Stay up-to-date with your favorite team…Comments Are Most Welcome.

Note: All matches will be played at Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi and all the timings below are according to IST (Indian Standard Time).

POOL TABLE:

POOL A PLAYED WON DRAW LOST POINTS
ARGENTINA 5 2 0 3 6
CANADA 5 0 0 5 0
GERMANY* 5 3 2 0 11
KOREA 5 3 1 1 10
NETHERLANDS* 5 3 1 1 10
NEW ZEALAND 5 2 0 3 6
POOL B PLAYED WON DRAW LOST POINTS
INDIA 5 1 1 3 4
SPAIN 5 3 0 2 9
ENGLAND* 5 4 0 1 12
AUSTRALIA* 5 4 0 1 12
SOUTH AFRICA 5 1 1 3 4
PAKISTAN 5 1 0 4 3

*POOL LEADERS

MATCH SCHEDULE:

28 February 2010
16:35
WINNERS
South Africa v Spain


2-4 Spain
28 February 2010
18:35
Australia v England


2-3 England
28 February 2010
20:35
India v Pakistan


4-1 India
1 March 2010
16:35
New Zealand v Canada


3-2 New Zealand
1 March 2010
18:35
Germany v Korea


2-2 (DRAW)
1 March 2010
20:35
Netherlands v Argentina


3-0 Netherlands
2 March 2010
16:35
South Africa v England


4-6 England
2 March 2010
18:35
Pakistan v Spain


2-1 Pakistan
2 March 2010
20:35
India v Australia


2-5 Australia
3 March 2010
16:35
Canada v Germany


0-6 Germany
3 March 2010
18:35
Argentina v Korea


1-2 Korea
3 March 2010
20:35
New Zealand v Netherlands


1-3 Netherlands
4 March 2010
16:35
South Africa v Australia


0-12 Australia
4 March 2010
18:35
England v Pakistan


5-2 England
4 March 2010
20:35
India v Spain


2-5 Spain
5 March 2010
16:35
Korea v New Zealand


1-2 New Zealand
5 March 2010
20:35
Germany v Argentina


4-3 Germany
5 March 2010
18:35
Netherlands v Canada


6-0 Netherlands
6 March 2010
16:35
Australia v Spain


2-0 Australia
6 March 2010
18:35
South Africa v Pakistan


4-3 South Africa
6 March 2010
20:35
India v England


2-3 England
7 March 2010
16:35
Korea v Canada


9-2 Korea
7 March 2010
18:35
New Zealand v Argentina


0-1 Argentina
7 March 2010
20:35
Germany v Netherlands


2-2 (DRAW)
8 March 2010
16:35
Spain v England


2-0 Spain
8 March 2010
18:35
Australia v Pakistan


2-1 Australia
8 March 2010
20:35
India v South Africa


3-3 (DRAW)
9 March 2010
16:35
Germany v New Zealand


5-2 Germany
9 March 2010
18:35
Netherlands v Korea


1-2 Korea
9 March 2010
16:35
Canada v Argentina


2-4 Argentina

Play off

11th\12th Position

11 March 2010
15:35
Canada v Pakistan 3-2 Canada

9th\10th Position

12 March 2010
15:35
New Zealand v South Africa 4-4 (PS-5-4) New Zealand

7th\8th Position

12 March 2010
18:05
Argentina v India 4-2 Argentina

5th\6th Position

12 March 2010
20:35
South Korea v Spain 0-2 Spain

Knockout Stage

Semi-finals

11 March 2010
18:05
Germany

Match 31

England

4-1 Germany
11 March 2010
20:35
Australia

Match 32

Netherlands 2-1 Australia

Third place play-off

13 March 2010
18.05
England

Match 33

Netherlands 3-4 Netherlands

Final

13 March 2010
20.35
Germany

Match 34

Australia 1-2 Australia

Parents and WWW.

(This post has been made in accordance with the thinking of parents in India towards internet.)

Everything imaginable and theoretically possible comes to existence (virtually) on internet. Internet is like a doorway to a library. A library with endless rows and infinite shelves which are filled with all kinds of genres of knowledge and entertainment and god knows what. Wait, correction, and god knows what, and man knows what. So it has become a necessity for every human being to hold a key to this doorway. One who doesn’t use internet can rightly be said to be living in a cave because he is missing on a completely new and improved world. Unfortunately, I still find such primitive human beings in India.

There is still a huge section of our population (parents in particular) who believe that internet is poisonous, hazardous, injurious etc. etc. (with all the synonyms of these words included). So far, during my short stay of almost 20 years in this country and on this world, I have observed various kinds of assumptions that our older generation make about internet. The three most common types of assumptions are:

  1. Computer is nothing more than a gaming device and internet is one of the games which can be played on internet.
  2. Computer is useful in some ways but internet is bad and immoral, especially for kids (read: social networking, pornography)
  3. Computer is vital for a kid and internet extremely essential for a kid.

THE FIRST KIND:

Once upon a time, some guests came to visit my father. I was in the same room doing something random on Firefox. After a little conversation, they asked me, “Hey, what kind of game are you playing?” Then he turned to my father and said, “My son is so silly. He used to play some kind of car game on his computer instead of studying so I plugged out his computer wires.” I was committing a serious crime in his eyes. They believe computers are a big obstacle in the path of education of their child, forget internet. Firstly, thank god this category is very small and is shrinking very swiftly.  Secondly, games are essential for kids in so many ways. They learn the basics of using the computer, awesome source of entertainment and most importantly, games boost a kid’s imagination and etc. etc.

THE SECOND KIND:

Alright, so no matter how modern or advanced or educated your parents are, they will never get out of this category, even if they truly believe they don’t mind. Our not so open-minded society doesn’t like the opposite sex interacting with each other (especially girls). And if you have a girlfriend/boyfriend then, “OMG! YOU HAVE A BAD CHARACTER AND YOU ARE BLA…..BLA…..BLA…..Back to the point now. Parents belonging to this section are well-aware of the importance of Internet in today’s world but they believe that the teenagers are too young to use Internet. Chatting is immoral for them and if the person on the other side is from another country, like US then it is the “immoralest” thing ever. To be honest, I believe chatting is quite necessary for teenagers in India. You explore and learn about different cultures. You get to know about the world around you. It can help a teenager to have a healthy, respectful and friendly approach towards the opposite sex. It improves your social skills which come quite handy in the latter stages of life especially on the professional front.

Those online crushes and loves can be taken care of through discussion with friends or even parents if extremely necessary. In my case, if my parents ask me with whom I am talking to, I genuinely tell them the truth and its important because then they start trusting you.

As for the pornography part, I can only advice the parents to have an open relationship with their children. Sex education is very essential and teenagers should be mature enough to understand and make use of the boons of internet.

Note: The interest in social networking doesn’t stay too long. You eventually get tired of Facebook and Orkut and various other such websites.

THE THIRD KIND:

Now they are smart, understanding, educated and open towards their children. But most importantly, they are the regular internet users themselves. They have a healthy parent-child relationship and they want their child to be up-to-date with the world. And fortunately, this “third kind” is booming rapidly.

Now I am not going to write the benefits of Internet for teenager. If you have reached this blog then you probably know it or you can probably google it.

I just want to say that internet is playing a very crucial role in the development of this country and kids in India should not be denied its awesome benefits.

So much for a fan….

During my early childhood, like a normal Indian child, I was obsessed with cricket. No wonder there’s so much fun+fame+money in this game, especially in India (read: IPL), that a child easily gets devoted to it. But. Once upon a time, my dad was watching something called HOCKEY on TV and I was like what the hell is this! Like a normal Indian child I knew HOCKEY by name but had never seen it and I blame Media and poor performance of Indian hockey (during those days) for it. Also, I never knew till that day that my dad was highly addicted to hockey. Okay back to story now. So I sat down half-heartedly next to my dad and started watching that WEIRD game. Within five minutes I was spell-bound to this beautiful, high on adrenaline, game. From that moment, my insane love for Hockey began. Even today I would rather watch India losing a hockey match over India wining a cricket match. No offense.Hockey Team India

When Indian Hockey failed to qualify for Beijing Olympics, I almost cried. But then I thought alright now the defeat will inspire our players to do better. But what followed were the darkest hours of Indian hockey. The SECRETARY GENERAL of IHF(Indian Hockey Federation) was caught taking bribes for  selection of players in national team (check my old blog). IHF was dissolved and a special Ad-Hoc committee was established. Well reputed names got attached with this special committee. All the hockey lovers in India were on high spirits because they thought now India will once again dominate world hockey. But soon the same old trend followed. There were news in few newspapers that so and so tournaments are going to begin but none were telecasted on TV. No news channel displayed any kind of live scorecard as they do for cricket. Once again hockey went *POOF* and vanished from the minds of Indians. Personally, I used to google for any kind of information about hockey tournaments. Believe me, for a normal Indian fan it was extremely frustrating to know that the matches or tournaments have already ended.

Note: During last days of December itself I came to know that HOCKEY WORLD CUP is starting from February and more surprising was that its happening in Delhi and there is nothing about it anywhere.

Omitting various other issues that have happened all I am trying to say is that a normal Team-India player will definitely feel pinned if they are not getting their share of respect and a tiny little bit of fame. There has been some improvement in the performance over past years and they deserve to be rewarded for it. Most importantly, they deserve to be treated like members of an international team who are playing a world-famous game. More famous than cricket I must add (read: Olympics).

Hockey World Cup is next month, Ad-Hoc committee is yet to be made permanent (only a few days left though), players need to be paid and various such issues are surrounding Indian Hockey at present. They had said that they will re-establish hockey from scratch. But sorry to say I have not seen any kind of eye-opening improvements over the years. Let’s just hope that World Cup will go well next month. And for the team, I have complete faith in them. They’re going to win for sure. How can I say anybody else is better than team India?  After all I am a die-hard supporter of hockey.

P.S. – At least watch the first match of the tournament on 28th Feb. India Vs Pakistan. Believe me you don’t want to miss it.

Confessions of a Paranoid

In the eyes(NOTE: This blog post is completely fictitious and is a construction of my own imagination.

A guy is suffering from Paranoia and has closed himself up in a dark room, has shut off all the light coming into the room)

“The sun goes down, I feel the light betray me……..”- Papercut by Linkin Park

Keep the lights off. I like darkness. Light brings along with it all the betrayals and deceives I have always faced. They frighten me. No one is true to me. My trust in mankind has shattered. Even in the darkness I feel the walls closing in. The room is getting smaller and smaller. It’s like I am in hell and the devil has made me sit on this rock of life to watch every incident, every face, every experience, every shame, every failure, my whole life in a flashback. These faces are everywhere in this room. I shut my eyes and try to fade them away but they re-appear in my mind. They shout at me, laugh at me and are breaking me into millions of tiniest pieces of glass which are as sharp as a sword and it feels like these glass pieces are all over my heart, covering every inch, going slowly deeper into the heart with every passing second and bleeding out every single drop of blood out of my body. I am decaying gradually to death, these voices are killing me.

Please stop shouting at me. I cannot bear this. You are killing me. Get out of my head. PLEASE! PLEASE!

I didn’t sleep since months. My eyes are numb now. I can’t tell anymore if my eyes are open or shut. These faces stay in front of me no matter what. I have decided to lock myself down in this dark room. I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to face this world again. Everyone looks at me as if I have committed the worst crime ever known to mankind. They don’t like me. It’s better to stay inside than to watch those eyes of the whole world stabbing every spot of my body with their eyes.

I will tear myself down! Stop calling my name! No! Go away!

Keep the lights off. I like darkness. Light scares me. Dark is lonely, SAFE

Four Friends and A Basketball

It all started with a phone call…

5:14 am : *Zhhuummnnn**Zhhuummnn*Zhuuummnnn* (Half-asleep) Is my phone vibrating? (Observes)….Naaa….

No, my phone is really vibrating! Kunwar? Why is he calling so early? “Hello?” and a just-awake voice on the other side replied, “Dude are you coming to play basketball?” My idle brain asked,”Only the two of us?” This time he sounded a little more conscious and said, “I made Raj to wake up, Harry is coming as well. Are you?”  I don’t want to get up I thought and replied, “yyeeaahh” let me lay down for a few more minutes. Now Kunwar sounded excited, “Great, meet us at the entrance in exactly 10 minutes.” And I resumed my dream from where I left. After 5 minutes, somewhere deep inside my brain I heard something. BOOM. Wait, did Kunwar just called me and told me that HE IS AWAKE! And so are other two sleeping beauties? I don’t believe this! I quickly jumped to my feet. And senses.

(Ask any student or teenager in the world how hard it is to get up early on a freeze-you-to-death winter morning. Being completely aware of the conditions, we were planning to play basketball and also joking that not a single one of us would get up the next day. So, when Kunwar called in the morning, I was surprised to know that all the snoozers were awake.)

After 15 minutes, I reached the gathering point where Harry and Kunwar were waiting with a airless Basketball and a air pump. Somewhere in the dark, the human figure of Raj was also moving towards us. With half-closed eyes and half open brains, we were all very happy that we finally made it. After chatting for a while and joking around, we finally went towards the gate. IT WAS CLOSED! We knocked twice but no one answered. So we thought we should break in and tell the gatekeeper that we want to play. There is only a tall wall dividing my house and the school. Throughout my childhood I have been going to that playground but I never used the gate. And today as well we opted for the traditional method.

I was jumping off that stupid wall after 2 years and all my childhood memories engulfed my consciousness. Nostalgia. Lost in those memories, I reached the other side with Raj, Harry and Kunwar following. Then suddenly Raj said that there is a dog in the shadows. For a moment that figure seemed pretty much convincing and I got scared but after looking closely , I realised it was just a plant. Raj Kumar Sharma forgot his glasses at home! PHEW!

The sky was still pitch black. With no intensions of finding the watchman, we went to the basketball court and started pumping air into the basketball. Busy in, “remember we used to play cricket” and such similar conversation, we didn’t realise the watchman was up and observing us. The air pump was not working and it was making a lot of noise. Then we saw the watchman coming out of a dark corridor. The outline of his body against the dim light itself seemed to be shouting out loud that, “I am ANGRY!!!” By the time he reached us, the four of us were standing in a semi-circle, facing him and it seemed as if 8th grade girls were about to sing their group song with the watchman being the mike.

What followed, seemed completely like a criminal interrogation. The mischievous of us all, Raj started with his stories. He convinced him that 1) We are students in the school (even though it was a high school and the four of us have completed the high school, also none of us ever studied there) 2) We have the permission of Phy. Edu. teacher (whose name he didn’t know). But there he made a mistake. He told the watchman that I live in the neighbourhood. Hearing that, he was all guns and missiles against me. What started as a group song became a solo performance with only me in front of the mike(watchman) and rest of the guys standing behind him and laughing. He was saying something regarding morals and stuff which I didn’t care to listen because I was having a hard time controlling my laughter and the faces of my friends were making it even more difficult. After the speech, the guard neither asked us to leave nor did he say that we could play. He didn’t even unlock the gate as well. As the air pump was not working, we decided to leave. So we went back from where we entered, smiling and laughing, just like old times.

Now it was around 6 am and going back home was completely useless, so we started roaming around the town. Actually, I didn’t realise at that time, our get-together can also be called as a re-union as the four of us were together after almost three years. Having nothing to do, we took the usual morning walk route and after that, we lost the track of time. Kunwar turned on the music on his cell phone, while all the temples and gurdwaras were playing hymns on the speakers, we talked about almost everything. The conversion ranged from girls, old classmates, old batch-mates, some more girls, current affairs, affairs,movies, Harry joining the gym, Kunwar not going to college, Raj’s girlfriends, even more girls, old teachers, old friends, old memories to new houses in the town, new house of our old teacher and various other new-old things that has happened around us.

By the time we reached the main road, we realised that it was 7 and it was not dark anymore. So we parted and went to our respective houses. I also met my old school bus and surprisingly uncle recognised us and was genuinely happy.

We had a very entertaining and joyful morning even though we didn’t even play basketball. A bunch of best buddies, some nostalgic memories and a cool morning is all it takes to imprint a moment on the canvas of life.