Rivalry=>Trivalry=>Quadvalry


Is this a good generation to be in to watch tennis especially Grand Slams? I believe so. I ain’t an expert; I only started watching tennis in late 2006. But seeing the way how hard it’s fought especially in the fag end of the tournament with quality tennis involved, I believe so. Haven’t seen much of Pete Sampras or Agassi play tennis, but I like the crop of players coming up starting from Roger Federer .

First up,lets talk about Roger Federer.He has an aura like Sachin Tendulkar has in cricket. When he came, he conquered and played better tennis like no one else do. He was and is the undisputed champion and one of the best to hold the tennis racket.He is the one who demands respect from all quarters whether you like his game or not.Someone has rightly said, it’s easy to get to the top but it takes guts and determination to maintain your position at the top.A 237 consecutive week stretch at the top from 2004-2008,that’s Roger Federer for you.

Then came Rafael Nadal and challenged him at his game.Forced him to work harder for a win. That was a golden period for me to just start of watching the great rivalry and these two great players compete. Everyone used to long for that big final where more often than not these 2 players landed up. I like this game, no sledging or teasing as in cricket, it’s all in the mind. A stare or a quiet and small celebration for winning a point with crowds cheering and then back to square one and you are focused on your next serve.Rafael Nadal-The King of Clay as he is often called, beat Roger at clay twice in 2006 and 2007 when Roger had won all other 3 grand slams of the year. That says something of how good Nadal was in Roland Garros. Nadal even went onto challenge Roger at grass in Wimbledon where he held his fort for long. Tat 2008 Wimbledon win over Roger in an epic 5 setter match is still the best I have seen in numerous contests between these two champs.From 2006 to 2008 they have played against in every French Open and Wimbledon final. Nadal younger than Roger known for his power hitting and stamina coupled with Roger’s class and elegance,made a great rivalry and a treat to all tennis fans.

Meanwhile Djokovic quietly made his mark by winning 2008 Australian Open and beating Federer in the semis. On both occasions- in 2008 and 2011,Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets in the Australian Open.In 2011, he went onto win 3 grand slams except French Open beating the best in the process and thus making an ascent to World Number 1 ranking.In 2012 Australian Open,he won an 5 set thriller defeating Andy Murray in the semis with the best yet to come in the finals. In the finals, in what could be the longest Grand Slam match in Open Era clocking at 5 hour 53 minutes he won an epic 5 set grueling match defeating Nadal. Nadal played equally well and it could be anybody’s game but seriously anyone would want to win an epic as big as this.That was something special from Djoker as he is fondly called. But Nadal avenged his Australian Open defeat by beating Djoker in Roland Garros. From Fedex-Rafa rivalry , it turned into Fedex-Rafa-Djoker trivalry.

Andy Murray felt left out when he went so close to win one but eventually fell short by some distance to win a Grand Slam.He was defeated by Federer in 2008 US Open and 2010 Australian Open both in straight sets and in 2012 Wimbledon in a 4 setter. Andy lost 3 consecutive grand slam semis to Nadal in 2011. They have never met in a grand slam final. 2012 US Open marked his first Grand Slam win by defeating Djoker in a 5 setter match. But turning point for him was winning Olympic Gold final match over Roger Federer just weeks after getting defeated in Wimbledon and also winning against Djoker in the process. After this win, he looks as good as the Big 3 with a belief to win against anyone. He went onto win a first grand slam match by defeating Federer in this year’s Australian Open in yet another epic encounter. However Djoker defeated Andy in a 4 setter final to mark his hat trick in Australian Open.Going by 2012 Grand Slams, each one of the 4 champs has won a  Grand Slam- Novak started off with Australian Open, Nadal clinched French open trophy,Federer was Wimbeldon champion and Murray won US Open.So with Fedex-Rafa-Djoker-Andy the trivalry has turned into a quadvalry.

Hope this Big 4 continue to perform and give us many such epic encounters.

P.S.- I have one unfulfilled wish. I want to see both Nadal and Federer in a final that too in a French Open preferably the next one..I want it to be a 5 setter with Federer winning dramatically.
Smile

There is one such person…


Prologue: Dedicated to all my school/college friends.

There is one such person who always comes first in class.
There is one such person who everyone falls for.
There is one such person who is a bookworm.
There is one such person who is good in all sports.
There is one such person who is filthy rich and has many girlfriends/boyfriends.
There is one such person who makes you wonder how he/she can attract opposite sex even though he/she looks dumb.
There is one such person who is miser at highest level you could ever imagine.
There is one such person who comes late to school/college every time.
There is one such person who is always a back bencher.
There is one such person who is always a first bencher.
There is one such person who is a body builder.
There is one such person who looks like a fashion model.
There is one such person who is a chatterbox.
There is one such person who is always seen in a library.
There is one such person who cannot be seen in a library.
There is one such person who is every teacher’s favorite.
There is one such person who has a very good memory.
There is one such person who is victim of everyone’s leg pulling.
There is one such person who has a singer’s voice.
There is one such person with dancing shoes.
There is one such person with smelling socks.
There is one such person seen always with headphones blaring.
There is one such person who does everything except studies.
There is one such person who does not do anything except studies.
There is one such person who is seen with a particular person always.
There is one such person who is always speeding on his/her bike.
There is one such person who is always involved in an accident.
There is one such person with a cute smile.
There is one such person who has a crush on his teacher.
There is one such person who always lies.
There is one such person who is in love with someone-one way.
There is one such person who is in love with someone-mutual but without parent’s approval.
There is one such person who mugs up just about everything.
There is one such person who cannot be seen in jeans.
There is one such person who has latest bike in the town.
There is one such person who is regular to classes.
There is one such person who always overreacts.
There is one such person who imitates others.
There is one such person who always prefers unlimited food.
There is one such person who looks like someone else in class.
There is one such person who you don’t like to be with.
There is one such person who always deals with double meaning.
There is one such person who always gets punished by a teacher.
There is one such person who is always smiling.
There is one such person who is weight conscious.
There is one such person who is artistic.
There is one such person who is always on phone.
There is one such person who gets drunk often.
There is one such person who does not have a nick name.
There is one such person who always hogs the limelight.
There is one such person who always completes homework by referring other’s notes.
There is one such person who does Physics on a History class.
There is one such person who always copies during exams.
There is one such person who has a neat handwriting.
And there is one such person i.e. me who can write all such nonsense.

P.S: If you have survived till here, would love to hear your feedback.

Cheers,
Harsha

Celebrating No Hike Year


All music artists of Indian fraternity came together to celebrate ”No hike” year. They raised their voices and dedicated some of their songs for “Hike” or rather “No hike”. (Inspired from my own experience of not getting annual hike this year amidst rising costs and inflation)

Caution: Jo bhi mein kehna chahun who sabi kalpanik hai.<Just for fun> ke liye likha gaya hai.

Mohd Rafi : Aaj kal,bina hike year ke charche hai har jubaaan par; Sabko malum hai aur sabko khabar ho gayi

Udit Narayan: Arre re arre ye kya hua maine na ye jaana; Arre re arre kuchh ho gaya koi na pehchaana

Shaan(from his latest Housefull 2 song): Kaise kab ho gaya, Kya gazab ho gaya; Hamein kuch bhi pata na chala; Ho meri chahat bhi nafrat hui hai ; Oh companyyy, do you know..

Asha Bhonsle: Haay mar jaayenge, hum to lut jaayenge; Aisi baatein kiya na karo; Aaj na dene(hike)ki zid na karo

Salim Merchant: Mein toh Ainvayi Ainvayi lut gaya

Lata Mangeshkar: Luka Chuppi bahut huyi saamne aa ja naa; Kahan kahan dhoondha tujhe(hike) ; thak gayi hun mein, ab to aa

Mohit Chauhan: Sadda Hike Aithe raq

Abhijeet: Badi mushkil hai, khoya mera dil hai; Koi usse dhoondke laaye na; Jaake kahan main rapat likhaaoon; Koi batlaaye na; Main roun ya hasoon, karoon main kya karoon

Atif Aslam: Hmmmm.. Milke bhi, hum na mile; Tumse(hike) na jaane kyun, milon ke.. Hai phasle tumse na jaane kyun Anjaane, hai silsile, Tum se na jaane kyun, sapne hai; Palko tale tum se na jaane kyunnnnn o o o o o Tu Jaane na

Sadhna Sargam: Subah se lekar shaam tak, shaam se lekar raat tak; raat se lekar subah tak, subah se phir shaam tak
kaam karo hoo, bas kaam karo…hard work karo, bina hike ke kaam karo

Sonu Nigam(in sad tone): Acha sila diya tuney mere kaam ka

Mohit Chauhan: Sadda Hike Aithe raq

Kishore Kumar: De De hike de; De-de hike de, hike de, hike de-de hamen hike de

Lata Mangeshkar: Mere Khwaabon Mein Jo(hike) Aaye; Aake Mujhe Chhed Jaaye; Us Se Kahoon Kabhi Saamne To Aaye

Salim Merchant: Mein toh Ainvayi Ainvayi lut gaya

Sonu Nigam: Ab mujhe raat din tumhara intezar hai, Kya kahoon ab toh mein,haal behaal jo hai

Vishal Dadlani: Bin tere bin tere bin tere; koi khalish hai hawaon mein bin tere

Raghu Dixit: Hey bhagwan mujko tu; Zindagi dubara de ya na de, hike dilva de

Mika Singh: Bara mahine mein; Har tarike se ;kaam pura karva dunga re
Hike dila hike dila; Hike dila hike dila

Re ae ae..
Ae ae ae..

Sukhwinder Singh: Haule haule se hike milta hai, haule haule se promotion milta hai; Yeh it na haule hai ki : Dil haaaara re, dil haara haara haara haara mein dil haara

Farhan Akhtar: Pichle ek saalon se mein ne kuch nahin paaya; Kabhi khud pe hasa mein kabhi khud pe roya; Na na na na na na na na

Mohit Chauhan: Sadda Hike Aithe raq

Salim Merchant: Mein toh Ainvayi Ainvayi lut gaya

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: Oh Rabba mein toh mar gaya oye

Kumar Sanu: Tum(Hike) Mile, Dil khile; Aur jine ke liye kya chahiye, Tum na mile toh dil na khile, jeene ke liye har saal chahiye.

KK: Tadap Tadapke Is Dil Se Aah Nikalti Rahi Hai; Mujhko Saza Di Kounsi Aisa Kya Gunaah Kiya
To Lut Gaye Haan Lut Gaye; To Lut Gaye Hum Teri Intezar Mein

Mika Singh: O meri jaan O meri jaan mere ko tarsa tarsa kar kaha chaldi kahan chaldi bina hike ki pungi baja kar

Javed Ali: Tu meri adhuri pyas pyas; Tu agayi mann ko ras ras; Aab tho thu aaja pass passsssss; hain Guzarishhhhhh

Mohit Chauhan: Sadda Hike Aithe raq

Daler Mehndi: Zor ka jhatka hain zoron se laga

Bappi Lahiri: Shock jo tune hume diya he;Zoron se diya hai, Yahan wahan; Rutha hoon main tujhse roota hoon; Mujhe mana le na O jane jaan; Choodenge na hum ab tujko ;Tune hadh to ab par kar liya; Oh la la Oh laa la

Farhan Akhtar: Tum(hike) ho toh, gata hai dil ; Tum nahin, toh geet kahan; Tum ho toh, hai sab hasil ;Tum nahin, toh kya hai yahan
Tum ho toh hai, sapno ke jaisa hasin Ek samaa; Jo tum ho toh, yeh lagtha hai; Ke mil gayi har khushi
Jo tum na ho, yeh lagtha hai; Ke har khushi mein hai kami; Tumko hai mangthi
Yeh zindagii….
Huuuuu……Oh ho oh ho oh ho ho ho ohh……

Aditya Narayan: Kabhi na kabhi to miloge kahin pe humko yakeen hai ; Tere bina, na hum jee sakenge yahan ek pal
Teri zindagi, meri zindagi hai; Tere bina, na hum jee sakenge yahan ek pal

Salim Merchant: Mein toh Ainvayi Ainvayi lut gaya

Mohit Chauhan: Kaali kaali khaali raaton se; Hone lagi hai dosti
khoya khoya in raahon mein; Ab mera kuch bhi nahi
Har pal her lamha, main kaise sehta hoon
Har pal her lamha main khud se yeh kehta rehta hoon
Tujhe bhula diya, oh,
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Tujhe bhula diya, oh
Phir kyun teri yaadon ne
Mujhe rula diya.. oh
Mujhe rula diya.

Atif Aslam: Ab tho aadat si hai mujh ko aisay jeenay mein..

The Running Train…


Rail Gadi Rail Gadi chuk chuk chuk chuk chuk chuk…….

Pranab-Our Hero was running behind a speeding train.

Flash back: He had got down for a loo break at the station town of Chamba. It was 8.00 AM and the sky was covered with dew, hence the weather was chilling. He got attracted by the picturesque view of the landslide which moved him quite a distance away from the platform. He began to click pics from his new Smartphone and began to appreciate the scenic beauty.

There you go-Hero already in the run. He had boarded the train from Pathankot in Himachal and was travelling to Delhi. He had an appointment at 3.00 PM for an important interview and he could not just throw away this excellent opportunity. Moreover he could not afford to miss the train as he had some important docs in his left out bag in the train. Pranab (being a hero) ran around 200m in only 40 sec (something which even Usain Bolt would be proud of) just enough to catch last bogie of the train. He was sweating profusely because of this misadventure and was panting like a dog. He knelt down for a minute or so and then found his way to the compartment where he had deposited himself before going onto photo shoot.

His bag was intact and no one had occupied his seat. However an elderly woman who was sitting opposite to him was replaced by a beautiful woman in her early 20s.The girl was very very pretty (sorry for over exaggeration) and our hero couldn’t let his eyes off from her. Just then all his compartment mates began to stare at him to which he was embarrassed. A thought from his friend came into his mind that girls from hill stations are usually pretty, assuming that she was from Chamba-a hill station. He was pretending himself as though he was seeing through the window and was secretly looking at her, both being seated at the window seat opposite to each other.

His mind was occupied with what could be the Ice Breaker to start off a conversation. He had to ensure that he didn’t sound like a despo. What is her name? Is she travelling alone or with someone? Where is she travelling to? All sorts of Qs began to originate from his mind, when an elderly man in his late 40s seated beside the girl broke the ice. He introduced himself to the girl as Ananth travelling to attend his friend’s daughter marriage. Girl replied that she was Sunaina travelling to Delhi with her friends who will join her in the next station. Our hero imagined himself to be in company of pretty girls along with Sunaina. Just when the elderly man began to reply, our hero interrupted by introducing himself as Pranab. The man seems to be disinterested but that didn’t bother him as Sunaina greeted him with a smile.  That did a lot of good to Pranab’s confidence and began to boast that he was the only gold medalist from his town and had been invited for an interview in a top notch consulting company. He was a commerce graduate with a master’s degree in business consulting with 2 years of industry experience. The girl reciprocated that she was a first year engineering student and had planned to spend her vacation with her friends in Delhi. The man felt left out and said he would get down at the next station much to the amusement of our hero.

There was silence for 5 mins and our hero was utilizing this valuable time by devising strategy-what his next move was, now that the girl will be accompanied by her friends. The man pulled his bag and began to move towards the door as train was nearing the station after saying bye (‘n’ number of times- ‘n’ being an unknown variable>10) only to the girl.Suddenly, Sunaina asked our Hero-Are you married? He was puzzled and proudly said with élan- a big NO. Also, he went on to say that he had got lot of marriage proposals, but he rejected all of them due to some reason or the other. With this, the train came to a halt. Sunaina got down to see her friends but our hero stayed in the train not opting for a running practice this time.Our hero was in his thinking cap again-this time his mind pre-occupied with the question the girl asked about his marriage. Also the question was timed when no one was around in the compartment. Did he impress her Already? The silence in the compartment was broken when Sunaina arrived with her gang. Pranab looked at each one of her friends (there were 4 of them) and reassured himself that Sunaina was most beautiful.

Once a guide of Niagara Falls had boasted that, its sound intensity was so high that passage of 20 supersonic planes couldn’t be heard. Then he went on to request the ladies to keep quiet in order to hear the falls. Now Pranab felt as a guide with ladies talking continuously one after another (I know ladies will not like this-pun intended). After 15 minutes or so, Sunaina sensed our hero’s presence along with her friends. She introduced him to her friends as a gold medalist from Pathankot which made him raise his collar.

They were nearing Delhi and Pranab (being a hero) thought that it was the right time to propose his heroine-Sunaina. Suddenly our hero was no longer a hero. He turned into a zero when he was woken up by his Mom after it was too late for him to go to college… Shouting at his mom for waking him up at wrong time Pranab went to college singing from Chandni Chowk-

Tere nainaaaaa has diye..   Bas gayi mere dil mein Sunainaaaaa….

A year gone by….


April 14,2010 will be etched in my memory for a long long time,thanks to Mr.Ambedkar.

April 10th,2010: After successful completion of 5 months of training in Infosys Mysore,finally I headed to Bangalore as I was posted there much to my desire. Training days in Mysore campus was unforgettable. A place where I believe is the best place after getting out from engineering college and before plunging to make a career in IT world. Till date I long for those days,those night outs to clear next day’s exam, late night birthday parties in food courts, playing any sports  just after moving out from class after giving last attendance(mandatory hai isliye karna padta hai),to catch up a film on weekends in the multiplex(I remember I had to stand in the queue for 2nd instance, for 4 hours in all,to get the tickets of 3 idiots after I didn’t get tickets on 1st instance),competing with friends to score highest in bowling alley(once I deliberately didn’t throw the ball up to the mark in last 2 rounds to avoid giving treat to all friends on being the highest),after 12am IPL matches repeat  highlights in the room the list goes on. Simply put as Bryan Adams would put it,those were the best days of my life. After 5 months of training and being posted to Infosys Bangalore,here I was in Mysore railway station to board a train to capital city. I was with 2 other friends,one who was to accompany me to Bangalore campus and other had to travel to Chandigarh from Bangalore. The ride was smooth sitting on AC compartment. The time was spent reading magazines(bought to take full advantage of allowances offered),listening to music and calling friends. After 3 hours I was in Bangalore-the city I love the most.

Since we were 3 of them we had to move huge luggages of our belongings from train to the platform. We thought we would pass each of the luggages one by one. After moving all the luggages we stood for a while for crowd to disperse so that we could catch a taxi. After 10 minutes or so,the train began to gather pace to head towards Chennai.Just when the train had covered a fair distance and the platform was empty I realised that one of my suitcases was not present.Oh shit,Did i miss it?Then I realised that since there was no space to keep the suitcase near our seat,I had kept it some distance away from where we were sitting,because of which I forgot to unload from the train. That bag was precious not because it had gold in it but it had 22 years of my life in it- All original documents of my mark sheets and degree certificate and all the files was present in the suitcase. How could I miss it? At first instance we thought we would contact the nearest station master to take care of this bag and we would move there to collect it. Dropping the plan, thinking it would be time consuming and risky we thought of other plans. I was running out of ideas. Suddenly I realised there was a class mate of mine travelling to Chennai on the same train. I happen to talk to him(if I am not wrong for the 2nd time in 5 months)in Mysore station as we were waiting for the train before coming to Blore. Since I was not that close to him I didn’t had his cell number and somehow managed to get his number from a common friend.I described the compartment where I was sitting on the train and where I kept the bag giving all sorts of explanation about the bag. He managed to find it with some struggle. At last a sigh of relief!! I told him to take my bag to his compartment and keep along with him. I was in constant touch for next 1 hr or so while moving on a taxi to Bangalore campus. He being new to Chennai and for the reason that he had 6-7 bags to carry he told that he will give my bag to his other friend travelling along with him to Chennai to take it to his home. I told I will call in some time to guide him to send that bag back to me. Now that the bag was found I had to somehow get that bag from Chennai. I thought of all possible options to come to a conclusion to acquire that bag from my friends based in Chennai. My friend went on to say that he would get surely but only on the next weekend. I would not have waited for 7 long days worrying about the bag, I was not bothered about the lost clothes but original documents was my main concern. Since I had just joined Bangalore office,I was skeptical about getting leave in 1-2 days. For next 2-3 days I was in constant touch with friend’s friend who had kept my bag in his house in Chennai.

April 14th,2010: Then came April 14th -a holiday in Infosys Bangalore  thanks to Mr.Ambedkar, I realised it was best option to go myself to Chennai to acquire my lost bag.So there I was travelling to Chennai in a not so good frame of mind. Only the sight of the bag could brighten me at that stage. I boarded a 10.30 bus to Chennai only to reach there at 5 am. Chennai was very new to me and for the fact that I didn’t sleep  last night, I thought that I should catch some sleep in a nearby lodge before moving to the friend’s friend place because going at 5.00 am to friend’s place was not an option. I didn’t even knew how that friend’s friend looked, only thing was that I had his number and house address which I was told was near to bus-stand.Then after getting fresh in the hotel room and skipping breakfast(as bag was only on my mind), I thought of hiring a auto to his place. I was charged Rs100 for a 2-3 km ride on a prepaid auto(the auto driver convinced the pre-paid fare collector to charge 100 even though it was well under 3km range  when I denied to come in his auto). After fighting with him(no use since he was talking only Tamil and I didn’t know Tamil) I somehow reached the destination written on the address slip. It was 9.00 am and sun was violent with temperature touching only 36 degrees. I had to walk some distance to reach tat friend’s place.After seeing me sweating I was offered water and some special sweet(as it was Tamil new year). I told him to show my bag before anything else. Strange thoughts began to creep in my mind like-What if he picked the wrong bag which didn’t belong to me?What if the documents were not present in the bag?The sweet which I was offered began to taste sweeter as I saw my own bag with all the neatly kept documents in it. I  was thrilled to get my bag back.When you get back anything which is lost your joy has no bound. I spent next 30 minutes or so talking casually about the weather,Chennai DC(Development Center) and Tamil New year. I started complaining it is very hot in Chennai (After all I was coming from cool Blore). I was told that it was just a start to summer and 36 degrees in Chennai was normal by any stretch of imagination. So it was time to leave and thanked the friend whole-heartedly for taking care of my valuable bag.I had a quick lunch to board bus to Bangalore now in a happier mood.

All is well that ends well.

P.S: Never ever in my life I had misplaced or lost something valuable thing like this.But after this incident I have become more aware of my belongings. My parents were unaware of all this drama only to laugh after hearing the whole story.

Luck By Chance….


It’s everyone’s perception that whenever anyone is at his peak of his career he is being termed as “LUCKY”. Yes, Luck plays its part, but its one’s sheer perseverance and dedication that counts to take him to the top of his game.If you work hard luck will be on your side. Scientists before Archimedes had entered bath-tubs and apples had fallen on the heads of people sitting under trees. But it was left to Archimedes to discover the law of specific gravity and to Newton to formulate the three laws of motion. Napolean had thousands of leaders in his army yet why did he alone become the Emperor of France? These were the people who led significant lives which were useful to society not by their luck but by their dedication towards work. Take the example of Abhishek Bachchan. When he stormed into film industry every one quoted him saying “Yeh toh bade baap ka beta hai, Kitna lucky hai”. Yes, dad’s influence made his job easier to pursue his career in film industry but luck alone did not make him what he is today. When he gave a series of flops to start with, everyone questioned his acting ability. But his commitment towards acting made him a lot better actor to give some of the biggest hits in Bollywood.(Guru and Bluffmaster being my favourites)

But this is not what I want to write about. My main concern is how to gain self-esteem to improve one’s chances in one’s life.

* One should listen to their gut feelings which are normally right. The best example here would be that of M.S.Dhoni. Being an Indian Cricket team captain he is bound to take risks by taking some tough decisions. But what is best part of him is that he works as according to his instincts and gives no second thoughts. Otherwise who would have thought of giving a chance to newcomer like Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over by backing him in 2020 finals to win a WORLD CUP for India

* One should be open to new experiences and breaking his normal routine. New experiences do teach us something good and to think out of box. Also it rejuvenates by making us do something different than our daily routine and one will be refreshed to take up another challenging task.

* One should spend some moments of the day remembering things that went well so that we feel confident about ourselves.

* One should visualize himself being lucky before any important meeting or a telephone call so that we can make the most of it.

We must all realize that we have been entrusted by God to achieve something in our lives. Yeah,Luck plays a part but one cannot solely depend on luck. God will help you only when you help yourself.

P.S: This article was written way back in 2008 during my engineering days for college magazine which never got printed…

We Lived our Dream


It took 28 years for an Indian to hold the much coveted World Cup trophy and what a time to get it on our own backyard with crazy fans cheering all around and over 1 billion eye-balls on TV screen. To bring smiles on every Indian and to make them feel proud after India was plagued by corruption, scams and what not in past few months was a much greater achievement. Winning the way we did,with emotions running high and Sachin playing his last world cup saying the win was an ultimate thing and proudest moment in his 21 year career suggested what the trophy meant to him and each one of us. We lived our dream, a  beautiful dream indeed.

I feel the key to India’s success was peaking at the right time and Dhoni’s captaincy.We had arguably the best batting line-up ever to take field on a WC but our bowling was not at all on par. A leader is the one who knows his strengths and knows his weaknesses better. To get the best of his team is Mahi Way of doing things.He backed the bowlers to bowl the crucial overs and more often than not the plan clicked. And one man we cannot forget,our coach Gary Kirsten who was always there toiling hard with the team. More importantly each player played their best game in whatever roles they were supposed to play.

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Our batting was always a threat to the opposition and with the starts given by Viru and Sachin decimating the bowling attack,it looked more ominous. Sachin needs a special mention here. Lot was talked about him going into the tournament-His last world cup,only trophy he is missing in his kitty,best chance to win a world cup for the very reason it is played in India.It was indeed a privilege to see him bat the way he did. Being the second  leading scorer in the tournament giving solid starts for the lower batsmen to consolidate is what he did best most of the time. Viru was at his explosive best-Especially the 175 knock that he played against Bangla in the tournament opener, was crucial to settle the nerves. Then came Gauti to play THE innings of his life in the finals.Tat 97 was very crucial after India lost both the openers cheaply. Virat Kohli is the future and present of India.Whenever I see him bat,I feel India is in safe hands.Then came Yuvraj-the flavour of Indian cricket in the world cup. Making a comeback into the tournament with not so good 1-2 years, he was the game changer for India.4 man of the match awards and man of the tournament.Wow! A dream outing.He played the sheet anchor role with perfection. We all know what he can do with the bat when on song,but the way he bowled with 15 wickets in all, was astounding.India found an all rounder in him.Suresh Raina’s cameo  against Aussies and Pakistan was very very crucial given the situation.With his surprise entry into the team in quarters replacing Yusuf Pathan, he proved his point big time. And with his inclusion the fielding standards were raised automatically. Then the captain who looked patchy in the entire tournament and to play a innings like that he did in finals was simply special.It was only fitting for him to finish things off with a thunderous six. Zaheer Khan was the bowler of the tournament for me.Especially the way he bowled with the old ball, every time a bowl was thrown at him with India needing wickets desperately he didn’t disappoint at all. He leaded the bowling attack with elan. Bhajji looked good in patches especially against the match against Pak. That void in spin bowling was filled by Yuvi’s bowling. Munaf,Nehra and Ashwin played the supporting role.

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To dethrone the Aussies who ruled the world cricket for a decade or so, was special. Aussies were not all at their best in this tournament. To defeat them and to go on to win the title was icing on the cake. With West Indian domination of world cricket in 70-80s and Australian domination in late 90s,this could be the time for India for world domination. I liked Ponting’s face of disappointment after playing an innings of substance to end on loosing side. India held it’s nerves to go on to win the match in style. Yuvraj’s celebration said it all.

Then came the mother of all battles- the much hyped Indo Pak encounter. With ticket rates touching sky high,Pakistan PM  and Pak delegation along with Indian PM witnessing the match,likes of  2G s-SoniaG and RahulG in the stands giving political angle to it added much to the hoopla. It was a self declared national holiday on that day. Sachin getting dropped 5 times,Yuvi and Raina’s rescue act,Umar Akmal’s fabuluous shots,Bhajji’s roar to celebrate a wicket, Misbah’s late hitting- the match had it all.

India were never beaten in a world cup game against Pak and history repeated itself.With that confidence,India went on to conquer the final frontier-the Lankan juggernaut.I felt Lankan side were mightier than Oz and Pakis and looked a much more balanced side then we were.Taming the lions was not impossible but difficult. After they set a stiff target with an amazing innings from Jayawardene,Indians had to bat very well to win,keeping in mind the pressure always building up to the chase,after all it was a world cup final.Early wickets of Sachin and Sehwag added to our batting woes in big finals. I sought for divine intervention- a rare occasion in my cricket watching career.Some of my friends went on to switch off the tv thinking it’s all over.But Lankans were up to a resurgent Indian batting. Gauti rose to the occasion and deserved a 100 the way he batted, equally well supported by first Virat and then MS who promoted himself ahead of in form Yuvi. As India looked confident to seal a victory,MS began to cut loose letting his bat do the talking to silence his critics. After Gauti’s unfortunate dismissal,it was only fitting for Yuvi to join in and finish things off along with MS. India winning the world cup and winning in style led to night long celebration as though India got independence.People dancing on the streets,bursting crackers with joy all around,distributing sweets to their loved ones was a common sight across the nation.

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Someone rightly said -As long as Rajnikanth was on the stands cheering the team,India would never loose. After it was proved ,quite obvious though,people were wondering where was Rajnikanth when India played 2003 World cup final.We as fans by being superstitious did anything and everything to bring back the cup. Aamir Khan who saw India winning against the arch rivals Pak in Mohali,went on to wear the same T shirt (thinking it as lucky)to cheer the team in Mumbai. The great Amitabh Bachchan did not watch the quarters,semis and almost resisted to not watch finals with the belief that if he watches India would never win.It was a grand celebration in field too. Emotions were running high with likes of Harbhajan,Yuvi,Sachin in tears-tears of joy,tears of success. Then it was time to hold the world cup-the moment everyone longed for. With hand shakes,hugs all around someone had an idea to take Sachin on their shoulders and go around Wankhede- the hometown of Sachin and the very ground where he was an ball boy in one of the 1987 World Cup matches.It was apt for Virat Kohli to say that it was high time, to take Sachin on their shoulders after he served for 21 long years by taking responsibility on his shoulders.Most of them went on to say they were playing for Sachin as he deserved to hold a world cup after representing the country for so many years.Indeed it was a fitting tribute to his illustrious career to lift the ultimate prize which had eluded him in his past 5 world cup appearances.

Then it was chance of Guru Gary who was taken around the stadium for some time. It was unbelievable scenes from Wankhede and  people were getting crazy and it took long time for the news to sink in. I had never seen people so happy dancing with joy. I got up from the bed the next day realised we were world champs recalling the match felt very happy and slept again.

With this win comes an additional responsibility of maintaining the tag of world beaters.HOPE we do so…

Harsha Unplugged:Cricket Mania


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After 14 long years India get to host the cricket world cup along with other associate nations like Srilanka and Bangladesh(Pakistan missed out due to security reasons).Hosting the world cup in the subcontinent
especially in cricket frenzy India is good for the future of sport(due to lack of interest for longer versions of cricket with the advent of 20-20).

In India, people follow cricket religiously. Cricketers(apart from Bollywood actors) are worshipped like any other God.Such is the enthusiasm and passion for the game that people throng to get a sight of their favourite cricketers in action,there are dedicated temples and worship places for players,people conduct special pujas praying for India’s win.However people In India are very emotional,just like they worship their cricketers when they entertain,the same people pelt stones at player’s possessions when they flop at critical games. However our cricketers are used to playing under such pressures at big stage.

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           Winning Cricket world cup in 1983(highly unexpected in era of West Indian domination)under inspirational leadership of Kapil paaji changed the whole facet of cricket in India. After 20 long years India went close enough to win another one(which was hugely expected the way we were playing) until our bowlers chose world cup final as their off day to set a huge target for our batsman to chase. Dreams Of Sourav Ganguly (arguably the best captain India has ever had) holding the world cup were shattered. Then came the 2007 WC which was by far India’s worst performance to get knocked out(after barely 2 weeks at WC) at group stages considering the fact that we were one of the favourites.

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So 2011 WC holds lot of significance for India to win the championship. One, It is played on our own backyard allowing our players well-equipped and assimilated to the conditions than any other overseas player. Two,it is the last world cup of architect of many Indian wins-Sachin Tendulkar. Even Indian cap. MSD went on to say tat a world cup win would be ideal gift to batting maestro for all that he has done over the years. Carrying a billion people expectations on his shoulders over the span of 21 years and winning matches is no mean task and for the fact that Sachin has done it with great gusto with his never ending passion for the game is an inspiration.

Winning a world cup with Sachin leading from the front will be huge and there’s no reason why one cannot believe on such lines because Tendulkar has delivered in most of the occasions.Its said that the whole nation comes to a standstill when Sachin is nearing his century.Name any batting record he has it, whether its highest number of runs, centuries, individual score etc the list goes on(During my school days, etc  was what I  used quite often to convince the examiner that i know more than what is required).But some people dare to differ that Sachin plays only for records considering every other batting record under his name. Given his longevity and consistent performance over the years(Just when critics starts to question his place in the team he shuts them off with a brilliant hundred) if records come in way while piling runs for the team its not his fault. And as far as runs are concerned his dil maange more. So the stage is all set for India to win and win handsomely to bring smiles to billion people supporters.

As far as team is considered it looks settled. The weakest link one can think of will be in bowling department given that we have best batting line-up compared to any other team. Zaheer Khan(Zak) leading the attack to bring all his experience into play would do whole lot of good given the way he has been bowling for past 1-1.5 years. His form with the ball would be vital for India’s chances supported by our other pacers  Munaf Patel(coming from a great SA tour), Ashish Nehra (His 6/23 against England in WC 2003 is still best bowling performance from an Indian in WCs) and Sreesanth (aggressive and genuine wicket taker). As far as spin is concerned it largely depends on the turbanator Bhajji’s form given that he will play almost all matches.Also he is very handy with the bat as well.He is backed up with some more spin from R.Ashwin(smart spinner-impressed his bowling skills in IPL)and Piyush Chawla( a surprise pick in final 15 as he is a lone leg spinner). Not to forget that our part timers  Yuvi, Pathan,Raina who have been doing well consistently to contain runs and grab wickets.Likes of Yuvi, Kohli,Raina will bring some energy in the field to back the bowlers.Brilliant catches here and there or a crucial run out  can change the course of the game very quickly.

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As far as batting goes God save the opposition because the batting line up looks ominous at least on paper. Lead from the batting legend himself Sachin(already lots have been said about him)paired with most aggressive batsman in modern era Virendar Sehwag (Viru as he is fondly called). Most destructive opening pair one can ever think of. Followed by the likes of Gambhir, Yuvi, Kohli,Raina,Yusuf and not to forget our Cap.MSD. So here is the trade-off given that Yusuf is playing,you play either Kohli (in the form of his life) or Raina (genuine match-winner). The way Kohli is batting consistently (looks like the records will be up for grabs, not to forget he is the fastest Indian to complete first 1000 runs in ODI) has  a slight edge over Raina (too good a player to miss).Last but not the least the man who invented the Helicopter shot- Mahendra Singh Dhoni our captain. The man who works as per his intuition by which his moves click most often. I get livid when people attribute success of Indian team due to MSD’s good luck. I feel its just due to his gut feeling about his moves backed up with support which plays an important part. As Tendulkar who was more of a aggressive player in his early days,MSD has become more of a composed batsman(guess that comes up with responsibility) than his early days where he used to hit the ball with disdain.However he has unique ability to play a cricketing(this adjective is v.imp) shot with a great power(drinking milk helps) and can up the ante at his own will when the situation demands. Overall batting looks v.good with some technically solid batsman and couple of hard hitters,so as per the start we can fiddle with player’s position keeping in mind the remaining overs,power-plays etc.Overall it looks a v.good team to take on any opposition.

But playing in front of the home crowd will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Crowd backing you every time is ok but when the chips are down the pressure can play on your mind,But as I said our team is used to all this and I am pretty confident we will have a positive result this time around.

Go India Go! We want you to bring back the cup this time.

P.S: So here I go, I am done with my first post. Blogging was in my mind for a long time. Finally content,that I pulled it off somehow.Could not find a better way to start blogging when the cricket fever was on. Loving the telecast on Star Cricket with every bit of cricketing action and when India does well it will be a icing on the cake. Also loving  Pepsi’s Change the Game ad campaign…

Thanks & Regards

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