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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ronaldo versus Messi

Yesterday was the BIG day for football (soccer) lovers all over the world. Kolkata has always been crazy about football, and, as a die-hard Kolkatan, I am no exception. I have always loved the powerful manoeuvres of the players with the ball. And last night, I stayed awake to watch the dream-like finale of the European Champions League. Manchester United versus Barcelona F.C.
A little after midnight, as the television screen came alive with the players coming on to the field - with Andrea Bocelli's live, heavenly vocals resonating the stadium (Stadio Olimpico, Rome), I felt the goose-bumps. More importantly, it was the crucial question that waited to be answered: Who's bigger? Cristiano Ronaldo of Man-U? Or Lionel Messi of Barca?

Needless to say, it was a contrast of physiques and demeanours of Ronaldo and Messi, the two contemporary football legends that was being put to test.

While Ronaldo is more assertive and unpredictable, Messi relies on technique, more than anything else.

Cristiano Ronaldo is often called the Wonder Kid of football. His powerful shots galvanise into easy victory for his team more often than not. While Messi is ever impressive with his flair and finesse.

Sadly, yesterday did not go in favor for Manchester United. Right after the first ten minutes, after the scoring of the first goal against them by the Barca striker Eto'o, I sensed their despair. As if the lines of the Bard came true for Man-U:
"They've got the blues
Into their shoes...
Never shall they win again,
Destined to lose.."

- that's how they played thereafter!
While we saw Ronaldo becoming isolated and frustrated, Messi not only scored the second goal - a fine, cushioned header - after seventy minutes of play, he was central & integral to the fine and focused performance of Barcelona. Messi's status was sealed. But just for now. It isn't the end of story for young Ronaldo. And nor is it the end of the great debate which will surely continue to engage football lovers.
[pics courtesy: DailyMail]

Lok Sabha Polls, 2009

The recently concluded parliamentary elections have shown the majority of the electorate opting for two things in particular.
First, a change for the better so that the MPs are not non-performing functionaries.
And, that they want a stable government at the centre, thereby saying 'no' to dillydallying and experimental coalitions.

There are many new trends that have emerged from the results. It has been unanimously asserted that this time there were a large number of young voters. The proportion of youth among voters is larger in our country than most developed countries, thanks to the 'demographic dividend'. Our country has been passing through a phase when the proportion of young adults in the population is noticeably large. Now one might probe its political implications. The idea that a larger proportion of youth will lead to a greater role for youth in politics is based on too simplistic an assumption that they constitute a distinct political constituency - a section of population with distinct political preferences, attitudes and voting patterns. However, the induction of several first-timers and young politicians in the Union Cabinet has shown that the powers-that-be are showing that they are conscious of the emerging trend of positive bias for a fresh governance.

The outcome of the 15th Lok Sabha elections have been interpreted by many as the surge of youth. Many have analysed the young voters eager for a youthful leadership to come up. Rahul Gandhi has been seen as a major draw as the United Progressive Alliance inched towards a near-majority in the 545-seat Lok Sabha, of which 543 are elected. There is nothing wrong with the preference for a youth-oriented leadership or a mandate for Sonia Gandhi's, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi's leadership. But one also has to guard against false lessons in bureaucratic-bourgeois democracy. Parliamentary politics must not degenerate into a harmful waste because of the very structure of the economy-polity in India, whereby illusions are circulated and the way for revisionist decay gets paved.
In both West Bengal and Kerala, the common people have come out and voiced their rejection of the way CPI(M) has governed. It is interesting that the other partners of the Left Front - RSP, Forward Block and CPI - seem to have been much less hit by the popular anger; in Bengal each has won two of the three seats they contested. Thus, at the end of elections, CPI(M) finds itself in an absolutely reduced and marginalised state - far from its declared role of being the force that uses the parliament to bring relief to people within a capitalist economy.
Across the world, the neo-liberal economy has been facing a crisis. In many developing countries, people are turning to the communists and social-democrats to counter the socio-economic helplessness. It is indeed sad that in such a worldwide scenario, the common people, in their negation of the communal/corrupt/anti-people politics of many local, as well as national parties, are forced to elect a government which is in alliance with neo-liberal forces.
The Congress' gamble - focusing in a major way on the young voters, often the first-time voter - has paid off well. Its youth power has been recognised as a formidable force, and its new young leaders are raring to go. Jyoti Mirdha, Meenakshi Natrajan, Mausam Noor, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, Agatha Sangma and Sachin Pilot are some of the young faces in the Parliament that we will be watching out for.

[pic courtesy: Prabir Sikder]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SUPERNATURAL: It's All in the Family!!!!!!!!!!

Here's doffing my hat at a favorite television series of mine: SUPERNATURAL.
Honestly speaking, I did not warm up to it at first.... had thought that it is all about the spooky effects and the dishy actors Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles, and hence was prejudicially dismissive.
But lately, as I caught up with some of the episodes on AXN, I have found it to be quite fascinating!

I made it a point to watch the entire series, as released till date, on video. I have to say, unashamedly, that I found it rather gripping.
Here's the premise, in a nut-shell:
Twenty-three years ago, Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) had lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. Subsequently, their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) raised them to be soldiers. He taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America...and he taught them how to kill it.
Sam and Dean spent their lives on the road, cruising America's highways in their 1967 Chevy Impala, battling supernatural threats and searching for the demon that killed their mother. Together with their father, they closed in on that demon. A bloody battle ensued, and the demon killed John before escaping.
Grieving the death of their father, the brothers' mission to kill the demon - and every other evil creature along the way - continued. Meanwhile, they began to learn troubling details about Sam. They discovered that the demon they were hunting had a special plan with Sam at its center: to free hundreds of demons from hell, creating an unstoppable demonic army, and to make Sam the leader of that army. Horrified by its plan, the Winchester brothers fought the demon. In a climactic battle, they finally brought the demon down, but at a terrible cost. They were unable to stop the demon from unleashing three hundred powerful demons from hell. And in a shocking turn of events, Sam was killed in the fight.

Unable to go on without his brother, Dean made the ultimate sacrifice. He summoned a deal-making Crossroads Demon and exchanged his soul for the life of his brother. The deal brought Sam back to life-but left Dean with a single year to live.
Now, Sam and Dean face all-out demonic war. And as they work to stem the rising tide of demonic activity, they continue to travel the country, battling the supernatural wherever they go: changelings, cursed objects, vampires, witches, malevolent spirits, even a very un-merry Anti-Claus. Dean's clock is ticking, with Hell awaiting him in less than a year's time. Meanwhile, Sam still faces the fallout of the slain demon's plan to make him leader of the gathering demonic army. Wrestling many new questions about his destiny, Sam must uncover the dark secrets buried within his own past and within his family's history. And he must find a way to save his brother.

Friday, May 15, 2009


♥║aM i RuNnIng fRom LiFe....?║♥

It'S iMpOsSiBle To gEt aWay.......!!!!!
♥║SoMeTimEs I wIsH I coUlD jUsT cLoSe mY eyEs,║♥
AnD tHeN tHInGs wOuLd bE diFFeReNt.
♥║I jUsT wAnT tO bE sOmEbOdY.║♥
I DoN't kNoW if I cAn, BuT I'll tRy.
♥╠I'Ve MeSseD up in My lIfE mOrE ThAn oNce.╣♥
BuT at leAsT I'm sTill aLIve.
BuT do I WaNt to be?
♥║Yes . . . I do.... mayBE║♥
PeOpLe meSS uP aLL tHe tImE.....
♥⌠It'S no ReaSoN to jUsT RuN aWaY.⌡♥
If I do, mY pRoBleMs wiLL wAiT foR mE.
I JuSt goTTa mOvE on.....
♥╠OnE hAs to aCcePT wHaT onE hAs dOnE.╣♥

JuSt cAn't SiT aNd fEEl SoRRy fOr mYsElF.
LifE's noT tHaT bAd..... iS iT?
♥║It'S wHaT wE MaKe iT oUt tO bE.║♥
ThErE wiLL be gOOd aNd bAd TimEs.
♥║SOmeTiMes mOrE bAd tHaN gOOd.║♥
EitHer WaY it's LiFe.
♥⌠I WoUld nEvEr wAnT to cHaNge mY lIfE.⌡♥
EVen thOuGh I've meSSed up In tHe pAst.
♥╠I tHiNk it hAs MaDe me a sTrOnGer pErSon.╣♥
So iNsTeAd of ruNNiNg,
♥║I'll sTaY and tAkE lIfE aS iT Is║♥

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Blah-blah Times

The heat is on.
Definitely so.
Here, there, and everywhere.
In Kolkata, the mercury had soared to record levels in the past ten to twelve days, and last Saturday's norwester & brisk shower notwithstanding, the daytime heat is just unbearable.
Plus, the heat generated by the pre-poll exchange of vocal missives by the political parties, and the threat of post-poll flare ups, making things worse for the ones who've been lying low, meek and subdued.
Then there is the ongoing IPL T20 cricket tournament that has had an unbelievably poor show for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Although the matches are being played in the far-off, pleasant-climes-blessed South Africa, the no-show of the Kolkata Knight Riders has meant heated outbursts here, Shah Rukh Khan won't be too happy as he is getting much maligned here, the Kolkatans are piling up their hatred against the high-profile owner of KKR!
As a nation, we are witnessing the dance of democracy, as the parliamentary elections are a witness to newer challenges, newer lows in terms of political conduct, and thus the political atmosphere is getting all heated up, rather getting vitiated! A unique sample of the same, worth mention: As a mark of protest from the electorate, a total of 1473 voters did not exercise their franchise even after visiting the booth on the day of polling in MP!! They recorded their decision not to vote in a special register!!!
In the world of entertainment, discounting the political tamasha as not so entertaining, the tussle between the multiplexes and the Mumbai producers has seen an absence of new Bollywood releases in the theaters nationwide, since April 4. The hot debate, if the multiplexes should stop their muscle flexing and agree to a 50-50 revenue sharing, is still on!!!!
Globally, as if the heat emanating from the economic slowdown was not enough to make the nations bleed, now it is the swine flu outbreak that the World Health Organization has sought a red alert on, to avoid a pandemic spread of the deadly virus!!!!
On the global blah-blah horizon, the newer threats arising from global warming are alarming all and sundry. Major cities could be in jeopardy on account of the same!

Why has the summer become all so gloomy? Isn't summer supposed to be fun at least for the temperate regions of the world? Wish I was in one right now.....
one cannot choose to remain in an air-conditioned room 24X7!