Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Curse of Religion

The birth of man in the utmost right was destined
Religion was born and then there were many
As man evolved there were many such curses
Without a though for any soul's penny.

The numerous digs at mankind it does take
It aims to send people in a craze and divide them,
One by one, each man’s turn such come,
As the Gods, themselves sit on the stars and condemn.
Wars, crusades, jihads all included in a bottle
All men try to open it and increase the fizz
But half of them, half as unsuccessful as the rest
All in this crazy world of fashion and showbiz.
Is this the path that we shall follow?
Is this the hatred that we shall lead our children into?
Why is the world that welcomed us so divided and unworthy?
Unfortunately, the population never knew.
Civilization is long lost and supposedly we differ
Man to man, woman to woman, we are not the same
We shall follow in the path of our faiths
Without a thought or care in a kindle of flame.
The believers are all to be one and united
But they choose their own path and throw disgust at others
The fame, pain and the glamour not withstanding
Aren’t we all sisters and brothers?
The day shall come, where we all are stitched as one
And we live as joyful as a tiny pigeon
Then the Gods shall not look throw the clouds and cry for us
Until then, we need to live with ‘The curse of Religion’

Thursday, February 3, 2011

India's Greatest ODI XI

Although it is nearly impossible to pick a team comparing players from different eras, I have tried my best to pick 11 players among all Indian players who have played ODI cricket for Team India based on CNN-IBN's attempt to do the same.

Main criteria for this team are :
1. Team balance - I wouldn't want the team to end up with 8 batsman and 1 fast bowler just because we have produced a lot of world-class ODI batsmen, while we can't the same about fast bowlers.
2. Talent and Longevity - I've tried my best to balance out the two.

Team :

Team with WC stats only.

1. Sachin Tendulkar : Duh! A very obvious choice at the top of the order. I wouldn't dare think any being that follows Indian Cricket would keep Tendulkar out of an all-time Indian Team, be it Test or ODI.

2. Virender Sehwag : Here rises a situation of being caught between the devil and the deep blue-sea. I was really tempted to open with Ganguly-Tendulkar. But I'll pass that opportunity to open with Sehwag, considering after his early career he has seldom played down the order. I know some of you point how that Sehwag has an average in the 30s in ODIs and hasn't been as effective as he ahs been in Tests, but Sehwag remains a destructive batsman who you just cannot ignore in any format of the game.

3. Sourav Ganguly(c) : A position where Ganguly usually batted later on in his illustrious career after Sehwag, Gambhir and Uthappa burst onto the scene. I think there is no denying Ganguly a place in this team, he was an absolute legend in the ODI format of the game. Captain of my team as well.

4. Rahul Dravid : Another legend of Indian Cricket. Having scored over 10,000 runs in ODI runs in International Cricket, he walks straight into the team although he doesn't seem to walk into the Indian ODI Team anymore.

5. Mohinder Amarnath : This was a tough spot to fill. I was in a dilemma to choose between between Mohammad Azharuddin and Mohinder Amarnath, stuck with the latter on the fact that he is a much better bowler(understatement of this piece) and played a big role in two of India's greatest moments in the World Cup.

6. Yuvraj Singh : Another talent like Sehwag who I have chosen for his pure ability to being able to change games in a matter of instances. Batting at a position where he started his career at, Yuvraj should be comfortable batting at the end of the innings.

7. Kapil Dev : India's only World Cup winning captain and one of the greatest cricketers to have ever step foot on the planet, Kapil Dev was a hard hitting batsman and an excellent bowler. He was also one of the better fielders, Indian Cricket has produced. The most perfect player to have in a team to add balance.

8. Syed Kirmani : Some people might criticize me for going with Kirmani over MS Dhoni but the reason, I have done that is because the batting line-up is already very strong and I wanted someone who was outstanding behind the stumps. Besides that, I'm not one who rates Dhoni's batting very highly though obviously I would say Dhoni is a better batsman than Kirmani was.

9. Zaheer Khan : I was stuck with another dilemma here, to go with 2 spinners or not. I decided to go with 1 spinner in the end as I would take Zaheer in my team any day of the week over Harbhajan Singh.

10. Javagal Srinath : One of Indian Cricket's only bright lights in the fast bowling department over the years. Has a record almost identical to Zaheer's current ODI record.

11. Anil Kumble : Walks into the team ahead of Harbhajan Singh. Highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs for India. Enough Said.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Indian Premier League : Rant Session

So here we are with an IPL auction occurring on the 8th and 9th of January, 2011. Was this necessary at all? Were two teams required to make the IPL more lucrative and better than it already was?

First and foremost, I'd like to point out that two teams weren't required at all in this season's IPL. Eight teams were just doing fine. The two new franchises Kochi and Pune were bought at very high prices, if you add the prices at which the teams were bought they add up to a whopping Rs. 3,235 cr which is more than the prices paid for the original eight teams combined. Good money making motive, eh? Ideally, if the BCCI weren't moneybags that they are, they would have in all means started another tier of 6-8 teams and used the promotion-relegation system as it's used in Football. Such a venture would have also helped a lot more cricketers a chance to play in the IPL and it could have spread the event to other parts of the country.

Cheerleaders at a game in IPL '08

Coming to the players auction which is taking place in a fortnight's time in Bangalore. It's a shame really, I can't really understand why there is a need for the whole process to happen. Level playing field for the two new franchises? That's their bloody problem if they were tubelights who woke up three years late. The teams that are already in the league should have been the first ones to have negotiations for new contracts with every member of their squad. The players who couldn't strike a deal with their franchises, could have been placed in the auction without a reduction of money or limit on the number of players who could be retained. The process of retention of players just widened the smiles on the faces of the Pune and Kochi owners seeing two franchises in Chennai SuperKings and Mumbiai Indians have half their money gone on four players and three other teams whose pockets will be smaller in the auction.

Now coming to the procedure of actual auction that is taking place. I find the whole thing that is held every year, a bit ridiculous. I think the player should be consulted while the auction is taking place. What if he wants to play for his home tean for any price and doesn't want to show up for another team for a very high price? I'm quite sure there are a few Francesco Totti's and Matt Le Tissier's in Indian Cricket. It's plain stupidity just giving away the player to the highest bidder and not thinking about the player and whom he plays for. We already have Robin Uthappa who said he didn't particularly enjoy playing for Mumbai Indians in the first season and was glad that Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him.

To summarize it all. IPL was a good idea(I wouldn't call it a great one because it's based on The Football League System and American Sports) but has been led down by the board acting like money grabbing whores and desire for Page 3 limelight. Now it's merely turned into a commercial event. From Lalit Modi to Shashi Tharoor, the IPL could have been so much better as a sporting event if it was handled the right way.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dexter : The Big One (Season V Finale Review)

The last episode was excellent, not earth-shattering like 'The Getaway' but it was amazing in it's own way. It was kinda different, like the whole season. It was the most emotional season of all, which was of course expected after Rita's death. The scene between Astor and Dexter at the end was very touching. I'm thankful that Lumen's gone away, I've always liked it better when Dexter hunts alone, didn't like Miguel Prado in season III either. It was more weird to see a woman killing someone in his signature style. Plus, I wasn't a big fan of the idea of a serial killer couple. Serial killers always work best alone.

Lumen's exit was somewhat very pale, though. I expected better. The whole theme of the series is : Something just change your DNA forever. But wonder how Lumen got the dark passenger out so fast, just a day after killing Chase? I would have thought it would have been better if they killed Lumen. Now there is a person living in the world who knows Dexter's dart secrets perfectly well. Not happened before. The Ice Truck Killer, Doakes, Lila, Miguel Prado - everyone died. Perhaps, a return for Lumen later on? I hope not, but I sense that happening.

The Quinn twist is very interesting, now Quinn in all probability knows that Dexter is the one who killed Liddy and purposely let Quinn off so that Quinn doesn't confess that Liddy was following Dexter. I'll be interested to see if Quinn and Dexter become pals, because each other know each other's secrets(Quinn taking cash from a crime scene in season IV and hiring Liddy to check on one of his colleagues) or will Quinn look deeper into Dexter's dark secrets like Doakes did?

I think it is quite evident that Debra will catch Dexter eventually, every season she's getting closer and closer. This was the episode I thought, here's the moment but then not really. But it was so, so close, unbelievable. A theme attached to that can be that Debra like her dad Harry doesn't mind people killing murderers when the law can't help.

The big disappointment of the season : Definitely the fact, that there was no follow up on the Trinity case. I know it's with the FBI and stuff but I seriously expected more since Dexter was so heavily involved in it. He was Kyle Butler and Trinity was his wife's murderer.

Episode Rating : 8.5/10. (If Lumen's exit was better, a 9+ for sure, that was really a drag in another enthralling episode.)

Season Rating : 9/10. (Different from the first four, but once it picked up pace it was awesome.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Start !

Though I've always been a fan of blogs, I've never had one myself apart from a quizzing one which I haven't updated since my first post. So I thought it would worth creating a blog that would help me express my views and opinions and so was born : The Holy Crow !

There have been a lot of celebrations lately in the Indian metal community. After the disaster that was Rock 'n India '10, came the good news that Lamb of God will be headlining a new festival called as 'Summer Storm' in mid-May.

But I'm more interested in knowing whether the rumours of Judas Priest playing over here in the same month are true or not. Lamb of God are a very good band, probably one of the best recent metal bands, but they are no match to the Metal Gods.

I'm also one of those (supposedly) rare breeds who thinks Lamb of God is overrated. Like I said earlier, they are very good but overrated by most metal fans especially in India. Anyway, if Priest do come here, I will definitely give the LoG concert a miss. Else, I might have to be satisfied watching LoG LIVE for the time being.

The most happening thing in town at this time of the year is T20 cricket. Though T20 will never be a barrier for greatness in the sport, it usually guarantees good entertainment. Must say, I've been mighty pleased with the way RCB have played this season. Quite a turnaround in our fortunes after the misery that was IPL I and the pathetic start under the million dollar Kevin Pieterson in last season's edition.

Now coming to the selection of the Indian team for the World T20 to be held in the West Indies soon after the IPL. We will be sending a team without our best batsman and and our best bowler on current form. Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble if you didn't figure that out.

Out of the players selected, it's shocking to see Rohit Sharma in the squad ahead of Virat Kohli. Sharma has done absolutely nothing for the Indian team in the last year or so. On the other hand, Kohli has been in terrific form with the Indian limited overs team in the recent months. Surely the Delhi lad deserved the chance.

Sending four batsmen in Raina, Sharma, Pathan and Jadeja who are very vulnerable to short pitch bowling is a big risk. It cost us the last World T20. Some lessons are never learnt in our country.

Lastly, but most importantly, it's a massive day in League One today and especially for a Leeds' fan like me. First vs Second, Norwich vs Leeds at Carrow Road. For the first time this season, I'm really nervous about our promotion hopes after the Millwall game on Monday. We have fallen off the pace in a big way after the historical cup win at Old Trafford. We held a healthy 7 points lead then with a couple of games in hand and now we find ourselves 8 points adrift of table toppers Norwich.

Personally, I'd take first or second. It's automatic promotion that counts. Don't want to get into the messy situation that is the playoffs again. With Millwall, Colchester, Charlton and Swindon breathing down our necks, we need to win today.

Keep up the faith, lads.

Marchin' on Together
We're gonna see you win
(na, na, na, na, na, na)
We are so proud
We shouted out loud
We love you Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!