Archive for the ‘My Favourites’ Category

IPL season 3

So the season 3 of the mad man’s game is here. So is it Back? Bigger? Better?

Bigger- it might be next year with 2 more teams to join the party

Better- is what we could decide over the next 1 month of action

But, its definitely back.. ya back to India after almost 2 yrs. That’s definitely a reason to celebrate.. Yay!! 😛

So what’s new this IPL? Let’s have a look what each of the franchises have in store this season

1. Chennai Super Kings

Its my home side 🙂 and I hope we win this time after a couple of fairly good outings in the past 2 seasons. We made it to the semis on both occasions. CSK will be as ever blessed with the presence of one of the best captains of the IPL, Dhoni. Couldn’t agree with Director of CSK more when he says, he s a 3-in-1 performer whose contribution can never go without a mention.

Haydos is back and we might get a chance to see him with his Mongoose bat. The one that looks like a Dhobi walla’s. Kemp is in the side too and we might have to wait for sometime to c the blazing opening pair of Hussey and Hayden.

Now putting the other teams in perspective in the order of my backing them 🙂

2. Mumbai Indians

+ Sachin leading from the front and in the midst of an amazing purple patch

+ The Caribbean explosive duo of Bravo and Pollard.

+ They will hope that the Indian Spin and Pace spearheads Bhaji and Zaheer fire along with Malinga’s unorthodox bowling

3. Delhi Daredevils

+ The awesome Delhi opening pair of Viru and his Ranji team mate Gauti. Warner could only add to the woes of the opposition.

+ SA’s ABD and SL’s Dilshan were well worth their money last time. ABD might not be the same on Indian tracks.

+ Nannes and Parnell will form a nice bowling pair

No more favorites.. Listing others in some random order

4. Bangalore Royal Challengers

+ My 3rd fav captain after Dhoni and Sachin. Kumble can trouble any side with balls landing on their seam

+ Kallis couldn’t have hit a good form in anyother better time. Being an excellent all-rounder he comes as a nice package

+ The young Indian contingent of Praveen, Pandey and Vinay kumar should make their presence felt.

5. Kolkata Knight Riders

+ Supposed to be the most glamorous team of the IPL. But the glamour usually limits itself to just SRK. Hope Dada leads them to a decent position this time.

+ Gayle’s flamboyant batting, Mathew’s all-round abilities and Bond’s fiery bowling should come good for them to spell success this season

6. King XI Punjab

+ Much will depend on how good Sangakkara handles the additional responsibility of Captaincy with batting and wicket keeping.

+ Jayawardene, UV and Bopara’s batting will be things to look out for.

+ The Australian pair of Lee and Marsh would be eagerly awaited.

7. Deccan Chargers

+ Gilly Gilly.. all the way. He s one another Batsman-Wicketkeeper-Captain package after Dhoni and Sangakkara. And a main cog in the wheel for the Deccan.

+ The out of form talented-Rohit and lasttime-purplecap-holder RP Singh need to come good.

+ Big man Symmo has been good with both bat and the ball. Vaas seems to be going back to his good old days with some amazing opening bowling spells. Look out!!

8. Rajasthan Royals

+ Royals = Shane Warne. The equation couldn’t get any simpler.

+ Smith’s and Dimma’s injuries have really hurt them. Should more than be compensated by Shane Watson’s return in April.

+ Warne lead a team of underdogs to an emphatic win once. Can he do it again? Wait and watch.

Advertisements

Oscar 2010 Predictions

Its that part of the year again, where movies from the Hollywood are screened, rated, reviewed, nominated and finally selected for the most prestigious movie awards on the planet Earth. Yes, its time for the Oscar festival.

This year the nominations are being announced on Feb 2
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will co-host the awards this year on Sunday, March 7

So here are the nominees.. rather, possible nominees 🙂 and winners

BEST PICTURE

Avatar
The Hurt locker
Up in the Air
Precious
District 9
Inglorious Basterds

It should be between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. With Slumdog winning it last time for the mass appeal, Avatar could very well make the cut this time.

BEST DIRECTOR

Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
Lee Daniels (Precious)
James Cameron (Avatar)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

Usually this category gets tagged along with the favourite picture. So it could be either James Cameron or Kathryn Bigelow.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
George Clooney (Up in the Air)

Jeff Bridges won at the Golden Globes. George Clooney is not a distant second.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Gabby Sidibe (Precious)
Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

It should be between Sandra and Meryl. My guess would be Sandra Bullock

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)

Other nominees need not even turn up. I can give this one in the writing 😉

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mo’Nique (Precious)
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)

Must be Mo’Nique. She won the favour at the Golden Globes too.

BEST SCREENPLAY (Adapted + Original)

Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air)
James Cameron (Avatar)
Pete Doctor and Bob Petersen (Up)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

There are seperate categories for Adapated and Original. Here I have clubbed them up. It should be a 3 way tough fight between UITA, Avatar and IB.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Up
Coraline
The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Up, Up and Away!!!!

Keep ur fingers crossed. Lets have a look at my hit rate once the nominees are announced this Tuesday 🙂

[Updated on Feb 02, 2010]

So, its Feb 2 and the much awaited nominations are finally out. Avatar and The Hurt Locker get the most with 9 noms. Inglourious Basterds – 8. Precious and Up in the Air – 6. Up – 5

And coming back to my predictions, I got 26 of the 27 noms right. Not bad really 🙂

Only thing I had missed was, I thot Avatar wud be nominated for Best Screenplay. But unfortunately it didn’t.

Anyways, lets wait for the big day when the winners r announced

TOscars 2009

This is a Desi Tamil version of the Academy awards 🙂

The movies are based on what I have seen and felt. There might be a few more worthy contenders left out. If there are any, kindly post a comment.

Here are the nominees for the various categories. Winners will be announced on the first day of the New Year!!

(Winners listed at the end of post)

The categories are simple: Best movie, Best Actor (Male), Best Actress (Female) and Best Album (Music Director). More categories might be added in the future 🙂

So, here goes the list *Drum Roll*

Best Movie 2009 Nominees

Best Movies 2009 (Click to enlarge)
  • Naan Kadavul by Bala

This movie deserved every bit of its nomination for the director’s bold effort in handling a subject that many would not even dared to think about. He was ably supported by an excellent cast including the lead pair Arya and Pooja who made the movie complete.

  • Yavarum Nalam by Vikram Kumar

A nice horror/thriller in Tamil after a very long time. Many have made an effort in the recent few years but only in vain. It had all the components to provide a nice thrill and kept us on the edge of the seats all the way.

  • Naadodigal by Samuthirakani

One of those films which went on to prove that block busters don’t really mean huge production costs. In a year where films like Kandhaswamy which largely relied on the huge budget/hype and star cast failed to make a mark, few films like this showed that as long as the story is fine, people welcome a  movie with both hands.

  • Eeram by Arivazhagan

Another not-so-big-budget films and a nice thriller like Yaavarum Nalam. It was visually appeasing and the cast was very good. Virtually unknown actor Aadhi (earlier starred in Mirugam) made a mark for himself with his performance. And ofcourse Sindhu Menon came up with one the best performance from a female actor this year.

  • Unnaipol Oruvan by Chakri Toleti

This one movie I had to think a lot before including it for the nominations. It was not an original screenplay. It was a remake of the Hindi version ‘A Wednesday’. But it was not a remake that spoiled the original even though you could not say that this was better than the original. The 2 veterans in the lead made sure they carried the movie on their shoulders.

A special mention has to be made for few more splendid efforts. Pasanga by Pandiraj, Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu by Susindran and Renigunta by Paneerselvam won the favour of the critics and did well at the box office too. Hope there would be more such honest efforts in 2010.

Best Actor 2009 Nominees

Best Actors 2009
  • Arya for Naan Kadavul
  • Kamal Haasan for Unnaipol Oruvan
  • Sasi Kumar for Nadodigal
  • Aadhi for Eeram

Best Actress Nominees

Best Actress 2009

  • Pooja for Naan Kadavul
  • Sindhu Menon for Eeram
  • Tamanna for Kandean Kadhalai
  • Abhinaya for Naadodigal
  • Padma Priya for Pokkisham

Best Album (Music Director)

Best Musicians 2009

  • Harris Jeyaraj for Aadhavan, Ayan
  • Devi Sri Prasad for Kandhaswamy, Villu
  • Yuvan Shankar Raja for Sarvam, Vaamanan
  • Vijay Antony for Nenaithaley Inikum, Vettaikaran, TN07-AL-4777

*** The winners ***

Best Movie

Naadodigal

Best Actor

Aadhi (Eeram)

Best Actress

Pooja (Naan Kadavul)

Best Musician

Harris Jeyaraj

The day I was blessed

The magician and his wand

Bless my holy angel! Was i really watching this!? I jus CAN NOT BELIEVE!! I felt like I was blessed 175 times today! Its an innings of a life time and something which u can very proudly say to ur kids n grand children that “I was alive when that happened and I watched it live!!”
And for this first time in my life i shud say n am guilty to accept that today something was more important for me than India winning. I was madly hoping that he wud cross 194 n reach whr any ODI player has never been, the magic 200. However it was dreadful that it could not be a fairy tale ending and had to end that way..
Most of us have read about One man show, single man army n all those stuff where an individual brilliance overshadows anything n everything that happened that day. This was that day and Sachin was the man. The Man of the match award for a man from the losing side stands as a little testimony.
Am damn excited and emotions are running high. Penning them all down is a pretty tough ask. I wud have written a blog for every shot he played today, that wud have been lot easier. It had his class written all over, again n again.

I guess am sounding a little lunatic. So, I wud better take a break here n go back to enjoying one of the finest moments in the history of Indian cricket.

The answer was pretty obvious when he was asked post-match as what keeps motivating him all these years. “I care about playing for India, it’s a passion and I have been absoloutely honoured to play for India so long” This is why we love u!

I cant imagine hw things wud b, once this guy retires!! I just cant digest that it might happen some day.. Sachin, Do u really need to retire!? U jus keep playing till eternity. Hope the God gives him a long life and in someway an ability to play till his very very end for the simplest of reason that the law of aging just doesn’t apply for this man.

– A Sachin Fanatic

Discoveries or Rediscoveries?

An interesting rip-off from Dan Brown‘s latest book ‘The Lost Symbol

Makes an interesting read. Doesn’t contain any *spoilers*

“So tell me, Kate,” her brother had asked while she was home on vacation during her sophomore year at Yale.
“What are Elis reading these days in theoretical physics?”
Katherine had stood in her family’s book-filled library and recited her demanding reading list.
“Impressive,” her brother replied. “Einstein, Bohr, and Hawking are modern geniuses. But are you reading anything older?”
Katherine scratched her head. “You mean like . . . Newton?”
He smiled. “Keep going.” At twenty-seven, Peter had already made a name for himself in the academic world, and he and Katherine had grown to savor this kind of playful intellectual sparring.
Older than Newton? Katherine’s head now filled with distant names like Ptolemy, Pythagoras, and Hermes Trismegistus. Nobody reads that stuff anymore.
Her brother ran a finger down the long shelf of cracked leather bindings and old dusty tomes. “The scientific wisdom of the ancients was staggering . . . modern physics is only now beginning to comprehend it all.”
“Peter,” she said, “you already told me that the Egyptians understood levers and pulleys long before Newton, and that the early alchemists did work on a par with modern chemistry, but so what? Today’s physics deals with concepts that would have been unimaginable to the ancients.”
“Like what?”

“Well . . . like entanglement theory, for one!” Subatomic research had now proven categorically that all matter was interconnected . . . entangled in a single unified mesh . . . a kind of universal oneness. “You’re telling me the ancients sat around discussing entanglement theory?”
“Absolutely!” Peter said, pushing his long, dark bangs out of his eyes. “Entanglement was at the core of primeval beliefs. Its names are as old as history itself . . . Dharmakaya, Tao, Brahman. In fact, man’s oldest spiritual quest was to perceive his own entanglement, to sense his own interconnection with all things. He has always wanted to become ‘one’ with the universe . . . to achieve the state of ‘at-one-ment.’ ” Her brother raised his eyebrows. “To this day, Jews and Christians still strive for ‘atonement’ . . . although most of us have forgotten it is actually ‘at-one-ment’ we’re seeking.”
Katherine sighed, having forgotten how hard it was to argue with a man so well versed in history. “Okay, but you’re talking in generalities. I’m talking specific physics.”
“Then be specific.” His keen eyes challenged her now.

“Okay, how about something as simple as polarity—the positive/negative balance of the subatomic realm.
Obviously, the ancients didn’t underst—” “Hold on!” Her brother pulled down a large dusty text, which he dropped loudly on the library table. “Modern polarity is nothing but the ‘dual world’ described by Krishna here in the Bhagavad Gita over two thousand years ago. A dozen other books in here, including the Kybalion, talk about binary systems and the opposing forces in nature.”
Katherine was skeptical. “Okay, but if we talk about modern discoveries in subatomics—the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, for example—”
“Then we must look here,” Peter said, striding down his long bookshelf and pulling out another text. “The sacred Hindu Vendantic scriptures known as the Upanishads.” He dropped the tome heavily on the first. “Heisenberg and Schrödinger studied this text and credited it with helping them formulate some of their theories.”
The showdown continued for several minutes, and the stack of dusty books on the desk grew taller and taller. Finally Katherine threw up her hands in frustration. “Okay! You made your point, but I want to study cuttingedge theoretical physics. The future of science! I really doubt Krishna or Vyasa had much to say about
superstring theory and multidimensional cosmological models.”
“You’re right. They didn’t.” Her brother paused, a smile crossing his lips. “If you’re talking superstring theory …” He wandered over to the bookshelf yet again. “Then you’re talking this book here.” He heaved out a colossal leather-bound book and dropped it with a crash onto the desk. “Thirteenth-century translation of the original medieval Aramaic.”
“Superstring theory in the thirteenth century?!” Katherine wasn’t buying it. “Come on!”
Superstring theory was a brand-new cosmological model. Based on the most recent scientific observations, it suggested the multidimensional universe was made up not of three . . . but rather of ten dimensions, which all interacted like vibrating strings, similar to resonating violin strings. Katherine waited as her brother heaved open the book, ran through the ornately printed table of contents, and then flipped to a spot near the beginning of the book. “Read this.” He pointed to a faded page of text and diagrams.

Dutifully, Katherine studied the page. The translation was old-fashioned and very hard to read, but to her utter amazement, the text and drawings clearly outlined the exact same universe heralded by modern superstring theory—a ten-dimensional universe of resonating strings. As she continued reading, she  suddenly gasped and recoiled. “My God, it even describes how six of the dimensions are entangled and act as one?!” She took a
frightened step backward. “What is this book?!” Her brother grinned. “Something I’m hoping you’ll read one day.” He flipped back to the title page, where an
ornately printed plate bore three words. The Complete Zohar.
Although Katherine had never read the Zohar, she knew it was the fundamental text of early Jewish mysticism, once believed so potent that it was reserved only for the most erudite rabbis.
Katherine eyed the book. “You’re saying the early mystics knew their universe had ten dimensions?”
“Absolutely.” He motioned to the page’s illustration of ten intertwined circles called Sephiroth. “Obviously, the nomenclature is esoteric, but the physics is very advanced.”
Katherine didn’t know how to respond. “But . . . then why don’t more people study this?”
Her brother smiled. “They will.”
“I don’t understand.”

“Katherine, we have been born into wonderful times. A change is coming. Human beings are poised on the threshold of a new age when they will begin turning their eyes back to nature and to the old ways . . . back to the ideas in books like the Zohar and other ancient texts from around the world. Powerful truth has its own gravity and eventually pulls people back to it. There will come a day when modern science begins in earnest to study the wisdom of the ancients . . . that will be the day that mankind begins to find answers to the big questions that still elude him.”
That night, Katherine eagerly began reading her brother’s ancient texts and quickly came to understand that he was right. The ancients possessed profound scientific wisdom. Today’s science was not so much making “discoveries” as it was making “rediscoveries.”

Mankind, it seemed, had once grasped the true nature of the universe . . . but had let go . . . and forgotten.

Really sad to know that the greatest treasures of this universe were once known to the ancient men. But later, people fell for lesser pleasures and took no pain to hail the findings of all those wise men. Here, I am hoping that at least we will be able to rediscover all of them and make sure its not lost for ever!!

The above content belongs to the author and the publishers. It has been reproduced only on academic interest 🙂

That said, there were a lot of pictorial references in the book. I had to google and then refer to each one of them, So I thought I wud put them together in a single place so that it will be helpful when reading. I shall be adding more in the days to come.

Here they go..

Apotheosis of George Washington

Apotheosis of George Washington

George Washington Zeus

George Washington Zeus

Melencolia I

Melencolia I

Pig-Pen or Masonic Cipher

Pig-Pen or Masonic Cipher

Time to fantasize

The IPL II comes to an exciting end today. It being a Sunday of underdogs in South Africa, with two retired war horses in Gilly and Jumbo leading their pack to the finals. No one would have expected them to pull this off given they were the wooden spoon holders last time around finishing 8th and 7th respectively.

One of the best things about this season’s IPL has been the Fantasy cricket, I have been playing throughout. It was really exciting to take a manager/captain’s role and pick the best 11 for your fantasy team.

So as a finishing touch, here is my hand-picked fantasy team with the best in this season so far.

Ram's 11 - My Fantasy team

Ram's 11 - My Fantasy team

Icon player [1]

It was a tough choice. Other contenders were Sachin and Dravid, but Yuvi has been good in parts with both bat and the ball, if not consistent. He has scored 346 runs and picked 6 wickets including double whammy of hat-tricks. His bowling and powerful hitting made him edge over Sachin. Dravid has been sort of in and out of the team, so he had an unsettled look. Sorry Viru, VVS and Saurav, better luck next time. But one small change, the icon player doesn’t get to be my captain.

Foreign players [4]

Orange capped Haydos and his good old team mate Gilly were automatic choices. Mr. Priest, the walker gets to be my captain for his ability to lead from the front. Bowling slot was sweeped by Malinga given his consistent performance thru out the series. I couldn’t make a quick decision reg the 4th slot. Should it be a bowler or a batsman? If a batsman then, ABD or Dilshan or Duminy. Else Nannes / Abdulla / Murali. I would love to have Abdulla in my team. This guy was amazing picking 14 wickets in 9 matches. He was unlucky to have Lee back in the side and he automatically fell out of favour. But inorder to maintain a balance, I have to go with a batsmen. And it’s the first centurion of this season ABD.

Indian under-22 [2]

Blore’s Kohli, Chennai’s Tyagi, Deccan’s Rohit n Suman, Delhi’s Sangwan, Punjab’s Sohal n Chawla, Kolkata’s Ishant, Mumbai’s Abishek, Rajasthan’s Kamran Khan n Jadeja have been really impressive and outstanding. I was really happy to see these kids perform well in the big stage, after all, IPL is all about identifying new talents like these. Now coming back to my pick, Rohit Sharma goes straight through. He has even been named the ‘Citi under-23 success of the tournament’. He rightfully deserves it. 2nd slot was a tough fight between Ishant, Sangwan and Chawla. Sangwan gets picked for his wicket taking ability (He is 8th in the top 10 wicket takers of this tourney) He bowls good left-arm medium-pace like his idol Wasim Akram.

Indian over-22 [4]

Purple cap holder RP Singh, the underdog and revelation of this season Ashish Nehra (I never expected him to be this successful) and namma Chennai’s very own super king Raina pick themselves up. The only remaining slot had the Pathan brothers from Baroda in a tussle. But, Yusuf lost it to his younger brother Irfan for his exceptional all-round abilities picking 17 wickets at an avg of 22.94 and scoring 196 runs @ a strike rate of 124.05.

All said and done, if there were no restrictions like Icon/Under-22/4 Foreigners etc., then the one below would have been my dream team.. Looks sexy na 🙂

My dream team

My dream team

Aham Brahmasmi [Naan Kadavul]

naan-kadavul-1Well.. atlast Bala’s most awaited work is out! n I should thank my cousin for getting a ticket @ Satyam on the opening weekend.

So, now answering the most obvious question. “How was the movie?”

I would say it was a little off-beat, different and quite sensitive one. I felt that it needs user discretion, as a few scenes though not very explicit, were quite disturbing. By the way, I liked it. I always like people who dare to think different. With Kollywood rollin out so many crappy movies in recent times, this one for sure stands tall.

It had Bala’s trademark style written all over it and all the way through. His usual mix of timely comedy and drama were present. I was really surprised that this movie could have had so many lighter moments.

The dark realities of our lives, which we have never bothered to know until now, have been pictured realistically by Bala. The life among ‘Agori’ Sadhus, the troubled life of blind beggars controlled by the mafia and the lives of mentally-challenged people have been narrated in a way that is new to naan-kadavul-poojaTamil Cinema.

I have to make a special mention of few outstanding performances. You might be a little shocked to know that Arya’s performance was a little over shadowed by the leading lady. Pooja has done herself some good by accepting this role. Surely this movie will be a turning point for both the lead pair.  One of those bold beggar kids with his timely comedy gave us a good laugh more than once. The cast was almost perfect.

Maestro’s songs were not really that memorable but in general his background score was neat and was really helpful in letting the story flow smoothly. I happen to hear that all those specially-abled people in this movie were actually so and were trained to act in this movie. The only irritating character was Arya’s dad. He could never emote!

Technically rich visuals, splendid re-recording apart from top-notch performances by the artistes make ‘Naan Kadavul’.

All said and done, I bet this movie wont be a darling of the audience, but if you wanna watch something thats worth ur money, then this might be the best bet.

P.S. U know who did I end up meeting in the theater!? Gautham Vasudev Menon and Vishal had been to the same show. The highlight was that, Gautham’s car was an Audi 😮