Tuesday, December 20, 2005


This year I have seen more movies in a Cinema Hall than what I might have seen in past five years! Let me just do a rain check on the movies that I saw:

  • Swades - Good movie, but would have liked it more if a smaller star was in the lead role.
  • Sheesha - Walked out before interval ! Somebody's idea of a All Boys Evening entertainment!!
  • XXX-2 - Nice one, the first part was better. Vin Diesel was better as XXX!
  • Bunty aur Bubly - A nice time pass. Worth seeing once
  • Kya Kool Hai Hum - Had a blast! Slapstick comedy to be watched with a crowd
  • Mr and Mrs Smith - Slept through it. Too much hype but nothing in it!
  • D - A big let down after Satya and Company!
  • No Entry -Too silly to enjoy. Had a headache.
  • Sarkar -Nice one! Unfortunately Godfather loomed too much in mind.
  • Apharan - The best among the lot. Could have been a bit fast paced.

These are the ones that come to my mind. Saw a few more but can't remember the names or what they were all about. So they definitely fall in the Headache/Slept through it category. The two Misses : BLACK. From what I have read about it, I am sure I have missed a great movie. Well whether I get to see it ever depends on someone else! The other miss being Paheli. Thank god I missed it. Some cock and bull love story of a ghost! Not my cup of tea!

I saw a lot of movies on Cable/DVD's too. I liked Terminal a lot. But the movie of the year for me has been an old World War II related classic The Great Escape. Based on a real incident which took place in German prison camp Stalag Luft III in 1944, the movie has an all-star cast including Steve McQueen , Richard Attenborough, James Coburn, James Garner, Charles Bronson, and Donald Pleasence. The captured Allied aircrew is kept at this particular prison camp. There the prisoners device a plan to escape! They dig three tunnels out of the prison camp. The plan is around 250 people will escape from the prison and then try and escape from Germany. The minute details shown as to how they go about digging the tunnel, getting rid of the mud that is dug out, making clothes, fake passes etc for the escapees is really interesting. One of the tunnel is discovered by the Germans. But the POW's go about undeterred digging the other tunnels. On the night of escape, 76 prisoners are able to escape before the tunnel is discovered. What follows is a series of bad luck and ill fortune that hits these escapees. Most of them are either captured/killed. More than 50 of the captured are later killed by the Germans. Only 3 are able to eventually escape out of Germany. Though the great escape was a failure in terms of number of prisoners succeeding in escaping to freedom but it was a great success in terms of its objective. As said by one of the characters of the movie, "The objective of every captured soldier is to try and create as much havoc as possible in enemy country", the great escape succeeded in achieving that.

I plan not to go to Movies so much in 2006, but sure would love to see some nice classics.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Finest Sporting Moments - 2005

Its that time of year! Time to look back at the life of this old man that has been 2005 and see what went on in his life. Time to relive the finest moments of his life. Its time to reflect, make new resolutions for the baby that is going to be 2006.

As a sport loving person the first on my list of reflections is to reflect on the Finest Sporting Moments of 2005. For the last three years, January for me has been all about ATP Chennai Open. As has become the tradition of Chennai Open, the two favorites made it to the Finals. Paradon Srichappan, who calls Chennai his second home had to bite the bullet once more against King Moya. Will these two entertain Chennaities to a duel once more in the Finals in the coming edition or will it be the Spanish Prince Rafael Nadal who will upset the routine of Moya-Srichappan Final. I am not sure what I want to see more, Nadal in the final or yet another Moya-Srichhappan Final! Sports wise Chennai was unfortunate to see the India-South-Africa one dayer washed out and only four sessions of play in the rain affected Test against Srilanka. I was unfortunate to have missed the Hockey Champions Trophy which concluded last week. The high came when India defeated Pakistan in the league match in a thrilling come from behind encounter. Unfortunately the low was just round the corner when it lost to Pakistan in the classification matches to finish last in the tournament. God Save Indian Hockey! In the following paragraphs I recount those sporting moments of 2005 which I really enjoyed.

Give me Red!!
Those six glorifying minutes in Istanbul! Those six minutes in which Steven Gerrard was a man possessed! Those six minutes in which Liverpool trailing 0-3 took the wind out of AC Milan to draw the scores level and take the match to Penalty shoot-out.

A. C.Milan vs Liverpool, two bastions of European football. Before the match Liverpool, again, were the underdogs. This, however, was a tag that they had lived with and triumphed from before, so Rafael Benitez's men held no fear of their Italian counterparts. At half time though these dreams seemed to be shattered as Liverpool were simply outclassed in 45 minutes of exceptional football from Milan. Starring down the barrel at 3-0, humiliation beckoned; What was to happen now though, couldn't have been written to be any more dramatic. Liverpool clawed back the 3-0 deficit and took Milan to extra time. Jezry Dudek became the hero as his penalty saves handed Liverpool the European Cup for the fifth time; meaning that this time it was theirs for keeps.

Trivia : Raúl became the first player in the history of the competiton to reach 50 goals, he did this by scoring in Real Madrid 2:1 victory over Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League 2005-06 season.

Dhoni ne Dho Dala!!!

2005 for Cricket has been good! It will always be remembered for it was the first time that Super-Sub and Power Play was introduced in Cricket. I don't feel Power Play makes things that different. More often than not it ends up with being a first 20 over field restriction than being anything more. But Super-Sub is really a great concept which adds a new dimension to team composition. The only change that I would like is that the teams should be able to announce the Super-Sub after the toss, so that they can make full use of all 12 players. 2005 will also be remembered for the Ashes. Five great test matches and in the end the Aussie might destroyed! Brian Lara becoming the highest run scorer in Test cricket, Sachin Tendulkar getting the 35th Test Century to have the highest number of Test Centuries, Warne becoming the highest wicket-taker in a Calendar year and also highest wicket taker in Tests were some of the high-points in Cricket. The Chappel-Ganguly spat has been the low point of the Cricket Scene. Well there are ten more days left in this Calendar year and lot of cricket happening in these 10 days. So we might just some great performance but barring that the cricket moment of 2005 has been the scintillating knock of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the thrid one-dayer against Sri-Lanka in Jaipur on 31st October. English Dictionary may not have enough adjectives to describe Dhoni's knock (well if that is too tall a claim then let me put it this way, my vocabulary does not enough adjectives :-) ). Anyway lot has been written about the innings in which Dhoni created / broke a Plethora of records. So I am going to just let you all relive that knock in the realms of your memory.

Trivia : There are so many about this match, but the one that I like the most is :
Out of the 601 runs scored in the match, 327 were scored by the two wicketkeepers. This has not happened very often !


Thats how the Formula-1 season went this year. It was year that clearly belonged to GenNext. The complete domination of Ferrari in '04 had most certainly taken away a bit of excitement from this fast paced sport. The rule changes for this year came in for lot ofcriticismm and most certainly its absurdity was exposed in the Indianapolis fiasco. The rule of using same tyres for qualification and race forced Michelin to issue a letter that their tyres were not safe in the changed weather on race day. This saw only six cars on Bridgestone race and all others withdrawing. The Formula-1 calendar was especially exciting to all of us as it was the Rookie year of our own Narain Karthikeyan. Though Narain does not have the results to show for his performance, but I feel it has been a great learning year for him. If he manages to land a Test Driver seat with Williams for 2006, then it will do him a lot of good. As I said it was GenNext primarily composed of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, that ruled the roost this year. With lot of changes in Teams and team compositions and few more new rules, the 2006 promises to be very exciting. It remains to be seen whether Micheal Schumacher can stage of comeback or will it be another year for the young guns ?

Trivia :rFench tyre maker Michelin swept the three big ones -- Formula 1 with Renault, WRC with Citron and MotoGp with Yamaha.

Lot more happened in the sporting arena, but thats it from me! Looking forward to another great start to the Sporting season at the Chennai Open from 03-08 Jan.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941. A defining moment in history! The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve U.S. warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and killed 2,403 American servicemen and 68 civilians. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned the raid as the start of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, and it was commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, who lost 64 servicemen. As many believe the attack on Pearl Harbor was the catalyst that made the United States enter World War II.

Well most of you might have seen the movie Pearl Harbor (which in my opinion was not worth watching !). Some of you might have seen Tora Tora which depicted the incident in a beautiful manner (If you haven't seen it, you really should). If you want to read a nice article outlining the events that led to the Pearl Harbor, the attack and the events that followed it then Click Here.