Archive for the 'World' Category

18
Aug
09

Much ado about nothing

Shahrukh Khan arrested and detained  for suspicious behaviour. If you assumed that I’m talking about the recent ‘detainment’ of SRK at Newark International Airport, you are wrong. The arrest I’m talking about is in fact a part of the story of an upcoming Bollywood film.  And guess what, it stars none other but the mighty Shahrukh Khan himself. A mere coincidence? You decide.

Of course, I would be exaggerating if I say the Baadshah of Bollywood planned the ‘detainment’ in advance as a publicity stunt for ‘My Name is Khan‘, his next movie which follows a Muslim’s tribulations in post 9/11 America. You don’t have to pass through the immigration checks at Newark or travel to the USA to realize the ‘torture’ faced by the actor is something every Asian, Muslims in particular have long  faced. But to make such hue and cry about it was absolute shame. Whether you like it or not, these checks have prevented possible security violations.

Shahrukh couldn’t have asked for a better promotion for the film. He was simply in the right place in the right time. He is possibly the best person to know how to handle the media in the right way to hios own advantages. Now all he has to do is to wait for the media to highlight the similarity of the film to this real-life event faced bu the star of the film himself.  He may have shed crocodile tears and threatened ‘never to set foot in the US again’. But at the end of the day he is Bollywood’s biggest star and a big percentage of his moolah comes from overseas, in particular North America. Not just that, the whole incident also would also increase awareness about him among the Americans, probably even land him a future Hollywood role.

Shahrukh should learn a lesson or two from former President APJ Abdul Kalam. He kept his mouth shut and did not want up to stir a controversy after the ‘mistreatment’ meted out to him by an American airline. Be it SRK or Kalam, they are no different from the common man. They may have done great deeds but that doesn’t mean they get special treatment wherever they go. Very few Indians are aware of the fact that even former American Vice President Al Gore was checked after he inadvertently bypassed security. Unlike SRK, he made no fuss about it and politely went through the check.

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05
Jul
09

Wimbledon final – The greatest game of tennis ever played

Roger ‘Fedex’ Federer (SUI) beat Andy ‘A-Rod’ Roddick (USA)  5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14

4 hours and 15 minutes of insanity. This is tennis at its best. If you thought Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2008 was astonishing, then what would you say about the battle that just got over? Who would have ever thought in their wildest dreams that an American who last won a Grand Slam way back in 2003 would be the one to challenge the might of Fedex? Anybody who saw the match would say Andy Roddick was chosen by God himself. But then Federer had the last laugh, probably at God himself. Such was the greatness of the match. This is what a friend on FB had to say about it, “Federer, you are a legend. But Andy, you won thousands of hearts today. What a performer!”. Absolutely true.

Greatness PersonifiedRussell ‘Gladiator’ Crowe was among the numerous celebrities present at the event. But even he would agree Gladiator is a term that no longer applies to him, rather to a man from the Alps who fought his heart out. Sir Alex Ferguson also present there, might have sold off  Ronaldo and signed Owen. But even the combined greatness of the two could never match that of Roger Federer. I’m sure he would have wished more than once during the match, that either Federer or Roddick was not a tennis player but a footballer. But the person in the stands who mattered more than anyone else was the Legend himself, Pete Sampras. It was his record that Federer was chasing. Something that he did achieve after a marathon 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14 match. Yes, you read it right, 16-14 in the final set. When was the last time you were witness to something like this.A fitting end

Before this match, I was also among many who questioned the ability of Federer. Of course, it is easy to say it was Nadal’s absence and not Federer’s brilliance that has made him a 15 time Grand Slam champion. It may be true. And it does look at the moment that Nadal might the only person capable of bettering Federer. But till then at least, it would be safe to say,Roger Federer – The greatest man to have ever held a tennis raquet. I’m sure that is something even the likes of  Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver and John McEnroe would agree. Hell, even Sampras.

What happened today at Centre court was not just a great match, it was history being made. I don’t think you will ever get to see anything this thrilling in any sport, let alone tennis. Federer won the Championship; Roddick won the hearts.

Greatness was not Federer. Greatness was not Roddick. Greatness was the match itself.

26
Jun
09

RIP Wacko Jacko (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

I was fast asleep today morning when mom woke me up and said, “Your friend has died.” “My friend?”, I was surprised. She then broke the news to me, “Michael Jackson is dead”. I was shocked. Words fail to express my emotion when I heard it. Of course my mom was joking when she said my friend had died. She was also among the countless other people who have always ridiculed MJ. But she was right, Michel Joseph Jackson was my friend, and he WILL be my friend, always, for years to come. Not just to me, but to everyone who loved him.

The King of PopPeople have always given MJ  hard time. They called him a paedophile, a faggot, a weirdo. But not one soul can deny that he was and is and always will be the King of Pop. Controversy may have been his middle name but when it comes to talent there are so very few who could be paralleled to the maestro.  As long as I can remember the only true interpretation of his life, at least in my opinion was the South Park episode ‘The Jeffersons’. An obvious parody of MJ, the show portrayed him not as a uncaring child rapist but as a man who only wanted to give children a happy life, something that he was denied as a child.

MJ was an inspiration for millions of people around the world. He was an icon for the black community, long before Barack Obama. Here in India, where films are only about ‘song and dance’, any song is incomplete without one of Jacko’s famous moves. The first MJ video I ever saw was ‘Thriller’ where he dances as a zombie. I wish he would dance his way back from the real world of the dead now.

He was only 50 when he left us. Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon and now Michael Jackson. Why do all great entertainers have to die young? Perhaps God wants a piece of their magic too. Cliched, but that may well be truth. We’ll miss you Jacko. RIP

Here is one of my favorite MJ songs.

12
Jun
09

Euros and Pounds don’t mean Success

Second time Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has pulled of a major coup with the signing of Kaka and with Cristiano Ronaldo left to say just a ‘yes’. The two transfers together costing Madrid a whopping £136 milion at a time when the club’s own debts tune upto £900 trillion. Media reports suggest Perez is preparing for the second coming of Los Galacticos. Rumors linking the club to top footballers such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Ribery, David Villa etc are already doing the rounds. Three words for the club – What the fuck?

Hasn’t Florentino Perez and Real Madrid proved us already that money alone can bring silverware? Perez became Madrid’s President in 2000 after promising to bring Portuguese winger Luis Figo to the club from arch-rivals Barcelona. This was a promise that he promptly delievered and that too at a then world record fee. Figo was followed by the arrival of an array of world-class players such as Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Robinho among others. Los Galacticos, as they were known, found some initial success, but only flopped in the long term. You might as well say Ronaldo’s career doomed after the move. He is yet to recover his magic form that made him the magician even after 2 years of leaving the club. The same could be said for Michael Owen too. Beckham’s arrival was solely kept in mind his off-field attractions than on-field performances. The club’s revenue skyrocketed with his shirt-sales but the former England captain’s  own career hit rockbottom.

Los GalaticosThe Real Madrid side of Perez looked almost like a World XI with the best talent from all over. But that also came to be the bane of the club. Most of the Madrid players had already reached the prime of their careers and it was only a matter of time before age and lack of form tested them. This combined with the egos of the World’s best created a lot of problems for coach Vicente del Bosque. While Beckham and Owen rarely started for the team, others like Ronaldo were usually playing out of position. Perez was only on keen on signing attacking players and gave no importance to the defense.  Claude Makalele who at the time was one of Europe’s best defensive midfielders was only paid a fraction of what was a Galatico’s salary. When Perez refused to hike his fee he promptly departed. Perez then signed a host of good if not not great defensive players including the likes of Walter Samuel, Thomas Gravesen and Cicinho. But these players failed to live upto expectations.

The final nail in the coffin was Perez’s decison to do away with the services of coach del Bosque despite him leading the club to 2 Champions League and 2 La Liga titles. Del Bosque’s departure also hastened the leaving of regulars like Fernando Hierro and Fenando Morientes. Both these players had backed Makalele for a pay-rise along with the coach. Carlos Quieroz who succeeded del Bosque too was forced to play the star players and the team continued in its stride downhill. Even Luis Figo who was the first ever Galatico left for Inter Milan after being denied a regular place. The problem with the team was that despite individual performances they failed as a cohesive unit, especially without the charismatic del Bosque.

The Galatico affair was heavily criticized. Steve McManaman, another former Madrid regular who suffered due to the arrival of Los Galacticos called it ‘The Disneyfication of Real Madrid‘. McManaman had lost his place to fellow Brit David Beckham was alleged to have been bought only for his off-field value. Somebody had even said Beckham was signed only for his looks while Ronaldinho who was bought by rivals Barcelona, did not interest Madrid since he was ‘ugly’. The signings of Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate did not escape any criticism either. It coulld be said Los Galacticos ‘officially’ came to an end when star-studded Real Madrid crashed out of the 2005-06 Champions League to an inexperienced Arsenal, a team in stark contrast to Madrid was made up of talented and young homegrown talent. Florentino Perez resigned from his post as President shortly after this.

Florentino Perez has been elected President for a second time after a disastrous last season. I agree, the less said about the club’s last season, the better. But then Barcelona were supermanesque and even a team which had Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Torres together couldn’t have stopped them. But surely the two seasons before that, Real Madrid was nothing short of being called stupendous. If arrogant Mr. Perez fails in his Los Galacticos venture for a second time as well, which looks most likely, then stupendous wouldn’t be the word to call, rather stupid. One can only hope that the bright careers of Ronaldo, Kaka and many others don’t meet their waterloo at the Bernabeu.

Update – Ronaldo and Kaka will be joined by Raul Albiol, Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery in this mass (career) suicide spree. Probably even more coming up.

05
Jun
09

Communism = Lack of regard for human rights

Yesterday happened to be the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. It may sound funny but you know what, the number of people killed on that day depends on whether you are a communist or not. Now if you’re a Commie ass licker, you most probably will go by the ‘official’ figure given by the Chinese government which is 241. It’s not that bad is it? Well then read the following figures given by various other sources.

1. NATO Intelligence – 7000

2. Chinese Red Cross – 5000 dead, 30000 injured

3. Amnesty International -1000

4. A People’s Liberaton Army defector – more than 3700 excluding those denied medical assistance and died

5. Soviet Union – 10,000 (Maybe an exaggeration considering the conflicts between the countries)

Which is bigger? 241 or Amnesty’s minimum figure of 1000. You decide. Now the reason I’m writing this is my friend who thinks I’m a fuckin retard to diss communism instead of China, USSR or Cuba. Frankly, does it make a difference? Now he tells me to go and read Das Kapital to know the real communism. Well I don’t fuckin care about the Das Kapital but I do fuckin care about the people who’ve been violated in the name of a Das Kapital or A Communist Manifesto. My dear friend says you can’t judge all communists by judging one. OK, I get his point. I dared him to name one Commie head of state who has at least a decent human rights record. Lenin started by eliminating the Czars and Stalin continued his ‘good work’ in an even grander manner. We talk a lot about Nazi concentration camps, but then what about Stalin’s own concentration camps (Gulags). Some reports suggest even forced cannibalism took place there.

Havana sounds like heaven and that’s what it was, that is before Che and Castro. Hollywood is obsessed with the so called romanticism of Che Guevara’s life, despite the find that most director’s who made flicks on his ‘saga’ actually knew what a cold-blooded person he was. Today’s rock culture adherents idolise him. Gays look upto him for his ‘revolutionary inspiration’. How many of today’s counter-culture youth know that Che hated rock genre, that he jailed homosexuals? Tees with his face sell like pancakes. Isn’t it an irony that he hated Capitalism and his own face is the best way for making big money. It is a fact that Che ‘bravely killed even 14 year olds for disobeying him. Batista’s govt. may have been bad, but Castro’s is hell. It seems Communism means equality for all the people. But apparently Fidel hasnt heard of that bullshit. Racism in Cuba is worse than what it was in the US. Many of Cuba’s children are in the streets with their parents put in prison for protesting against the govt.

If you think Castro and Stalin are the worst, then wait till you hear about Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il. Only in a communist country can you be a President even long after your death. Kim Il Sung is gave himself the title, ‘Eternal President of the Republic’, and so he still continues to hold on to the post 15 years after he died for good. South Park jokingly once called Romania the ass hole of the world. But in my opinion,that title should go to North Korea. While democratic South Korea is fast becoming a global centre, its counterpart is in the feudal ages. North Korea goes officially by ‘Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea’. Really? Chinese Democracy was just a music album but we got ourselves an even better oxymoron ( or is it irony, I’m not sure) The whole world knows of the elder Kim’s numerous illicit affairs. But truth is none of his countrymen are even aware of it. I recommend Nat Geo’s North Korea episode of the show ‘Don’t tell my mother‘ where host Diego Bunuel went to N.Korea in the guise of a tourist and managed to film a lot of interesting things.

I don’t have to say much about China. Tiananmen was tragic enough. It is no different in any other commie ruled country. Be it the military rule in Myanmar or Chavez’s ‘democratically’ elected Commie govt. in Venezuela. These leaders have never heard of the word ‘Human Rights’. Marx may not have envisaged all of this when he wrote his book, but his ideas definitely are not in sync with the current world. You cannot ask a child to go and plough the fields when all he wants to be a doctor or a pilot and make it big in life or in the case of my friend, an ad man. Neither can you ask a man to give away his hard-earned money to the govt. so that it can be ‘re-distributed’ to the poor. Marxism may have been a great idea on paper, but to be honest the execution sucked. And it will always be known only for the execution.

20
Mar
09

Champions League draws announced

 The draws for the Champions League Quarter finals were announced today and it promises some really mouthwatering clashes. Defending Champions Manchester United take on Porto while rivals Arsenal take on the Yellow Submarines, Villareal. Liverpool who earlier thrashed Real Madrid will be facing off against Chelsea in all-English clash. High flying Barcelona square off against Bayern Munich.

United will be looking for revenge as it was Porto who triumphed last time they faced, throwing the Red Devils out of the 2004 tournament. But this time around, things may not be the same for Porto as half the side from the 2004 team are away. But the biggest person missing for them would be Jose Mourinho. It was the ‘Special one’ who guided the underdogs to a famous victory and later clinched the League itself. United are not the only club looking for vendetta. Spanish club Villareal crashed out against Arsenal in 2006 when Juan Roman Riquelme’s last minute penalty was saved by Gunners keeper Jens Lehmann.  Arsenal should be able to see off Villareal this time too.

Liverpool definitely are the team to watch out for. Captain Stevie G and marksman Fernando Torres are both in lethal form, blasting away oppositions including the likes of Man Utd and Real Madrid in recent weeks. Chelsea are under a Guus Hiddink revival, although I seriously doubt if even he could help them overcome the Merseysiders.  Barca vs Bayern is undoubtabely the clash of the stage. The teams are equally matched in all the departments and both the managers are relatively young and also have played for the respective clubs. The Catalan giants should reach the semis; a penalty shootout is very much a possibility here.  

I was hoping for an all-English semi final line up but with Chelsea and Liverpool facing eachother that is unlikely just like the last time. Also for the first time since the 2001-02 season, the quarters would see the absence of an Italian club.  My prayers are with Manchester United and I hope they repeat Moscow at Rome too later this year.

05
Mar
09

Lahore attacks a diversion

 The whole world knows of Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 Bombay attacks. The ISI needed to do something that would turn the turn the attention of the world away from the governments  ‘investigations’ on the Bombay attacks. The Lahore attacks could well have been the answer. After their mission the terrorists walked away from the scene, quite literally,  as if they knew not one cop is gonna be after them. Isn’t this enough proof that that the cowardly act was an inside job?

Just like the Bombay attacks , the Lahore attacks was also a perfectly orchesterated operation carried out under the guidance of the ISI. The attack on the Sri Lankans definitely had shades of what happened in Bombay. A hostage situation was obviously on the cards. But for some reason the terrorists left the scene