Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not again!!!

Crossing the Bangalore City Railway Station in the morning of 6th Dec 2008 at about 7 am sitting in the plush Tata Indigo; seeing the rush and the pushing of people trying to get into the station, I somehow felt nostalgic. Eighteen months ago, I was one of them when I was studying at my University. I too had to push and shove in the lines in order to get ahead and catch the train at the earliest. But now! Now the situation was different. I was being chauffeur-driven to the Bengaluru International Airport to catch the Jet Airways flight to Kolkata as a guest of Jet Airways itself. Wondering why? Lets go back one day.

It was 5th of December 2008. I was supposed to catch the JetLite evening flight to Kolkata. The flight was to depart at 8:10 pm. As the new airport is very far away from the city, taking about 2 hrs to reach, I planned to take the BMTC BIAL shuttle BIAS11. I reached the airport shuttle bus stop at about 4:45 pm. The bus came at 5:15. No issues. I was on my way home. But fate had some other plans. The bus had some suspension problems because of which it stopped at Mekhri Circle. The time was 6:50 pm and I still had more than 20 kms to cover to reach the airport. The conductor put us up into some other BIAL bound bus BIAS3. But I had lost some vital time. It was this loss of time which proved costly to me.

When I finally reached the airport, it was already 7:40 pm. I was wondering whether my flight was on time or not. But before that, I had to put up with the extra level of security checking at the airport. This time, at the entry point itself, the security guards were checking the tickets along with a valid identity proof. A huge line to get in. But since it was being serviced by 4 entry points, it didn't take time. Alas! It was of no use. When I finally entered the airport, I looked up at the digital display board showing up the schedules of the departing flights. Jetlite flight to Kolkata was on time and that made me happy that I would reach home in time for dinner. But the Jetlite personnel at the check-in counter had other news. According to them, the flight was overbooked by 2 persons. This meant that there were no seats left in the flight. All the passengers had checked-in. I was shocked! Overbooking in flights was not new information to me, but now I was actually a victim of it. I had no idea what to do. According to the officials, all flights departing from Bangalore were already overbooked. This meant they couldn't put me up into any connecting flight via Mumbai, Chennai or Hyderabad. I called up mom who was furious. According to her, flight officials couldn't allocate tickets more than the seats. I made her understand that they don't provide us final seats at the time of booking. So this kind of situation could arise. The only way to avoid this was to arrive early which unfortunately, I could not that day.

Coming back to my situation, the officials offered me a compensation. They said they will put me up onto the next morning's Jet Airways flight to Kolkata at 9:20 am. They would check-in me and provide a boarding pass so that I would surely board the flight the next day. What more, they would provide me a pick up from home in the morning. I was kind of smiling at the thought of it and decided to take it ( I had no other option anyways ). So I picked up my bags and again caught the BIAS11, taking the tedious trip back to my flat in Bangalore. It was already 11 pm. I was hungry, disgusted and sad. Somehow, I got back home; ate something ( I was weak because of fever anyways so couldn't eat too much ) and slept.

Next morning getting up at 6 am, the first thought that crossed my mind was whether I would need to buy breakfast for the trip. I couldn't stay hungry for too long and eatables at the airport were simply priced over the roof. It was then that I realized my boarding pass was for the Jet Airways flight ( The kinda ones my dad used to go when travelling on official visits ), not for Jetlite. So I was getting to go in a full service aircraft at the price of a low cost ticket. Awesome! The cab driver called me up at 6:20 and I was off to the airport by 6:45 am. I could not help but laugh on my fate that I was taking the same route of journey to the airport thrice in the span of 14 hours. But somehow, the trip was different. Apart from the fact that I was going in a car and not in a bus, it was also daytime while I was travelling. This meant I was actually able to see the 'Route' to the airport. This time the journey took just 45 mins and I was at my destination by 7:30 am. Excited, I checked-in my luggage at the counter but then lazily went up to the cabin luggage check. There was too much time to kill. This time though, I was in for more. The scan of my cabin luggage showed some suspicious item on the screen of the personnel manning the x-ray scanner. So the security guy asked me to open the bag. Alas, it was my deoderant. Apparently, due to some idiocracy by some British Airways customer, they were not allowing deoderants to the cabin; they had to be in the check-in luggage. Obviously, I couldn't go to the check-in counter at that time. So I simply submitted it to them. The guy took it, brought out a tray and kept my Axe deoderant in it. And the entire process left just enough time to reveal that there were atleast 20 more deoderants in the tray. What an idea, sirjee! They would not register these; so could simply take them home. Awesome!

Hanging around the lounge of the departure area, I just could help admire the beauty of it. Some place! Beautiful shops and restaurants. Most of them were of international brands and befitted the culture of the new airport. I spent my rest of the waiting time for the flight in there and finally boarded the flight at 9. And from then, the khatirdari started. First, the towels to clean off your faces. Then the juice. And finally, the breakfast which was not too much in quantity, but marvellous in quality and taste. Satisfied, I took a small nap and thus spent my rest of the journey to Kolkata.

Now, you may have heard of lightning striking twice। But have you ever experienced it? I am not talking of that happennig to you literally ( You would not be in here to narrate that experience anyways) but figuratively, has it? Well, this time it did for me. My return flight was on Sunday 14th Dec 2008, again in JetLite. This time, the flight being from Kolkata (which I was very familiar of), I decided to reach the airport an hour before the scheduled departure time of 5:20 pm. I had been doing that most of the times I had been flying out of Kolkata ( which is just 4 times apart from this, but who cares! Its more than one na! ); so was pretty confident I would not face any issues. But alas, that was not to be! Whoever had advised me to read the paper and see the news everyday had did it for a good purpose, but this time I had not followed him. I had forgotten about the new security cover at the airports. So when I reached at about 4:20 pm, there was a huge line to enter the airport. Also, since it was the Kolkata Airport, where passenger concern is given least priority, they had just one entry gate. So by the time I entered the airport, it was already 4:50 pm. Add to that the baggage check, and I was at the JetLite counter only at 5 pm. At that moment, the lady in front of me was being given the boarding pass for the flight. So I was relieved that I would also get mine. But not to be! When my turn came, the guy at the counter coolly told me that the flight was full. No seats. I was like - not again! I was stranded again. And this time, they didn't offer me any flight straight away. Instead, the Jetlite personnel was scolding me for being late. I told him that I was well ahead of time and early too. But he was in not buying my explanation.

For the next 30 mins, I was simply standing there, knowing nothing as to what would happen next. Whether I would be able to go to Bangalore that day or not? Whether I would have to wait for another day? No idea. It was only at 5:30 that he informed me that there was a Kingfisher Class flight to Bangalore at 5:55 pm and he would try to put me up in it. But it was via Hyderabad. I was overwhelmed! No issues about the extended journey. For the first time, I was actually thanking Mr. Mallaya and Mr. Goyal for the tie-up of their respective airlines. I got my boarding pass at the Kingfisher counter after being informed that I was a guest of Jet Airways ( What a feeling! ) and off I was to board my Kingfisher flight. Security checks done. Nothing taken this time from my cabin luggage ( I had been careful this time ), and I was at my seat. TV in the front and KF airhostesses passing by my side. Amazing! The Air Premiere of Singh is Kinng was playing and I decided to watch that during my flight. An airhostess came by and provided me with a pair of earphones and the menu card. The menu card informed me that apart from the dessert, we had chicken tikka, veg kati roll and a corn and spinach dish for evening snacks to Hyderabad. Amazing! Too good! I enjoyed the movie and the food and for the first time did not sleep during my flight. Hats off to Mr. Mallaya! No wonder Kingfisher has been voted the Most Admired Airlines in India. So when I finally reached Bangalore Airport at 10 pm, a full 2 hours 20 mins behind schedule, I was actually thoroughly satisfied with my experience and ready to take that same monotonous trip back to my flat from the Bengaluru International Airport.
Monday, July 07, 2008

My first year in Bangalore

So, we have finally completed a year in our job and also in Bangalore. From young graduates right out of college to software professionals, its been an amazing transformation. A transformation which includes an experience like never before.
I still remember the day I was coming to Bangalore. Right after my final semester exams and after just a week's break, I had set out on the flight from Kolkata to Bangalore. It was my first experience of a flight and was full of emotions. My mom had tears in her eyes as she bade me goodbye at the airport and my grandmom could hardly speak. I was about to set foot out of my safe zone and face the world to make my mark, to become a man.
So when the flight touched down at Bangalore's HAL Airport, the first thing that caught my notice was the weather. It was cold; really cold. From the hot and humid high 30 degrees in Kolkata to a low cold 20 degrees in Bangalore on June 30th, the weather change was dramatic. This actually lasted the entire time from July - September and we got used to wearing jackets which we could never imagine in Jamshedpur or Kolkata during this time.
Apart from the weather, what also I noticed was the language and the culture change. But Bangalore is a very open-minded city and you can easily manage here without knowing the local language, a very unlike Chennai. But yes, the culture change was evident everywhere. From a very laid-back approach in Kolkata, you are into a highly professional culture of Bangalore. Every morning when you board the bus to office, you can see a huge crowd of people wearing tags and waiting for their buses to take them to their workplace.

Now talking about workplace, the experience at MindTree has been phenomenal. First 3 months of C2 training - the Orchard experience, House activities, PALs, inter-house competitions, Ethnic Day to sessions, lectures, assessments and finally allotment into projects; it ensured our transformation from college to corporate was smooth and actually enjoyable.

It was also during the C2 training that we had our OBL trip to Savandurga. 120 Campus Minds on a one-day trip. Savandurga is famous as the largest single rock structure in Asia. From garbage collection drive to walking on ropes, from getting thrown off a rock in Trust the team to playing dodge ball in the mud; it was amazing fun. But the enjoyment in Bangalore didn't remain confined to team outings only.
In August, Payal Di had come down to Bangalore from Cambridge for Rakhi. And the 3 days she was here, we had awesome fun. I had my first experience of late night movies at a multiplex when we watched 'Heyy Babyy' 10:30 pm show on the day of Rakhi.

Now it took me 2 months since coming to Bangalore to make my first trip out of Bangalore. On 15th Sep morning, I boarded the Volvo bus to Mysore for which was to become the weekend trip I would never forget. From visiting the Infy campus (which was simply breath-taking) to Brindavan Gardens, I had an awesome time with my friends. We managed to offer puja at Chamundeshwari Temple, lunch at Rice Bowl and even make a trip to City Palace in the rain. A whirlwind weekend and a truly cherishable experience; an experience which I was to revisit two weekends later with my MindTree mates.

Then came the Pujas and my first trip back home. It was so uncertain that we had to go by train from Chennai. The trip by bus to Chennai was pathetic and the weather was worse. But our eagerness to reach home made me forget all those hardships faced. Pujas were great and I had a beautiful time home. It also made me realize how important it was to spend time with your family and relatives.

We came back refreshed after the trip and ready to face the next months which went off in a fly. The Avis Redesign project, the host of sessions & lectures we attended as part of the ramp up sessions and whole new team feeling. It was amazing. What really went in my favour was that I had about 15 Campus Minds from my batch joining along with me. I had a group at the very start.
The project time has been a total learning experience. Apart from learning a whole set of new technologies, I also learnt how to actually work in a team. How to coordinate, cooperate and share knowledge so as to benefit everyone. And being part of a huge group had other benefits too. Frequent outings, team outings and even over-night trip to Value Lanes in January. It has been a rocking time being part of ABG and Avis Redesign.
Bangalore also got me in touch with another thing I truly liked - Blogging. And it was being part of Blogger's Community that took me to these camps being held in Bangalore - DevCamp and BarCamp. A truly enriching experience, I got to know a whole new side of the city. I met up with a lot of people who shared similar interests and really enjoyed the concept of knowledge sharing and open-source community.

In between all this I managed my second trip back home. This time, it was for my convocation. On 16th february, when I received my Bachelor of Engineering degree, I finally graduated from college. I was an Engineer. That day was truly enjoyable. Lunch at Rich (I realized how much I missed it; especially Chamki's food) and then party in the evening at Park Street with friends. Then I went for a trip to North Bengal with my parents. A week at home and I was back to Bangalore.

It was only in March that we managed to form our Loyola group in Bangalore. It took some special effort from some of us but we were back together. Then a host of parties at various hangouts in Bangalore. Suddenly, life was no more only work. It was enjoyable. From watching IPL matches at Mojos to listening live music at Java City, from bearing Sayantan's jokes to celebrating birthday at Barbeque Nation; its been masti all the time.
Now a year has passed and I have supposedly grown one year wiser. Can't confirm that but have certainly confirm is that I have definitely become a lot more independent and a lot more informed. Hopefully it will stand me in good stead for a lot more years in the future.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ABG's IPL Match Outing

It all started when Sajan, ABG's Delivery Manager, told us that Avis Budget Group, on the occasion of completing of 8 years of the account, had asked us to have a celebration. There were many suggestions pouring in on how to spend the funds allocated. They ranged from social service initiative to trekking in Kerela etc. But finally, the one which was chosen was the entire team going to watch an IPL match. The match chosen was Bangalore Royal Challengers vs. Delhi Daredevils on 19th May.
There were a lot of preparations done before the day ranging from getting the exact number of people visiting to the transportation. Routes were earmarked. Vehicles were assigned and route coordinators chosen who would take care of the team members going from their route.
Finally the day came. We got our tickets in the morning. We learnt that we had got corporate passes. So we would be sitting in the corporate stand. Finally we left our office at about 5:45 pm. Heavy traffic in Bangalore (as usual) meant we reached at about 7:10 pm. In the meantime, it had began to rain and drench our expectations. Weather in Bangalore is unpredictable and so we all started praying that by the time the match started, the skies would clear up. I think the weather gods heard our prayers because the rain stopped just when we reached the stadium.
As we took our seats in the stands, one couldn't help but praise the ground. Amazing! The ground was right in front of us as we were in the lower row. And the entire view was simply breathtaking. Shaan had just finished his performance (which meant we had missed a great show) and got the crowd buzzing. As the captains of the 2 teams (Dravid of RCB and Sehwag of DD) came out into the ground along with the cheerleaders, the crowd started shouting. We were divided over where to keep our focus on. Sehwag then won the toss and chose to field first.

So RCB were to bat first. We got our drinks (which were complimentary) and waited in anticipation. Unlike the earlier tournaments, when one had to wait for the teams to come out for the entertainment to start, the IPL didn't keep anyone waiting. The cheerleaders had started their job. One song after the other, and one move after the other, they managed to make the crowd dance very well to their tunes. The ground had 3 symmetrically placed stands for the cheerleaders and fortunately, one of them was just on front of us.

Now having a group of about 100 members, with minimum 20 of your peer age has its benefits. You can have amazing fun without worrying if anyone would feel bad about it. We had lots of placards put up. From 'Mallaya Adopt Us!' to 'Cheer gals V Luv U!', we had various kinds of placards. People put up their cell numbers asking the cheerleaders to call them. I have no idea how much of their effort suceeded. But one thing was sure, the amount of shouting we did managed to attract the attention of the dancers and they actually waved back. Awesome fun!
Meanwhile, the match was in progress. Bangalore were struggling (as usual) but their debut batsman - Srivatsa Goswami wasn't. He was hitting fours and sixes all over and managed to take the game to the Delhi bowlers who were on fire. McGrath was bowling with an impeccable line and Maharoof was chipping in with some good bowling. On the other hand, Goswami was losing partners as most RCB batsmen were losing wickets. But Misbah managed to hit some sixes towards the end to bring up the Royal Challengers to some respectable total.

The break meant some more show by the cheerleaders. And when the second innings started, Bangalore was bowling. So they were dancing at the fall of the wickets and in between overs. There were a lot of people clicking their camera phones. Nobody wanted to miss the fun. But the nature of the crowd, coupled with the moves of the dancers made it very difficult to get blur-free images. Anyways, I managed to get some decent clicks of one of their moves.

Moving on to the game, for Delhi, Sehwag and Gambhir, the highest scorers in the competition, came out to bat. And as predicted, they started hitting the Bangalore bowlers. After Sehwag scored a typical quick fire 47, Praveen Kumar got him caught by Chipli. Then De Villers came in and steadied the innings with a patient 21. Meanwhile, our ABG team was going crazy. As most of them were Delhi supporters (which was actually not surprising), they were cheering each hit by Delhi. Finally, with some hitting by Dhawan and Maharoof, Delhi managed to end the match. In fact, Dhawan ended the match with a six. Bangalore team had lost another match but our ABG team had not. It was a thoroughly delightful experience for all of us. Hopefully, we will have more such fun with this team in the future.
Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bangalore traffic woes: Can we improve the situation?


Bangalore as a city is severely plagued by traffic issues. And it has numerous reasons to be in that situation. The steady influx of people from all over the country, to either work in the IT city or study at the numerous institutions here has translated to good business for contractors, but has eaten up the lungs of the city - the roads. You go to Hosur Road on any of the weekdays and you will find that from the Silk Board Junction to Electronic City, vehicles are lined up bumper-to-bumper. Just traveling during office hours has become a nightmare for most, leave alone driving. No wonder you hear of so many incidents everyday of someone getting crushed by a speeding bike or hit by a car. Its actually very easy to lose your cool at times. Also, the deteriorating condition of the roads has meant that the load of the traffic is not shared well amongst the existing roads; thereby worsening the situation. Instead of coming up with new roads and flyovers all the time, if they could improve the inner roads; these roads could serve to bypass some of the major thoroughfares, thus distributing the load and speeding up the process.
What is utmost important at thus time is the need for an alternate system. The transport ministry is putting the Metro service into place and I think that would be a huge boost. If the service can be maintained well and connect most of the important locations in the city, if not all; then it would serve two purposes. Firstly, it would no doubt help the worsening traffic problems as the bulk would be routed to the Metro. Secondly, it would help reduce the burden on vehicles which would mean that people would be less encouraged to own personal vehicles. Thus, ultimately we will also be able to reduce the levels of pollution.
Another thing that can be done is to discourage people to buy personal vehicles. Either increase the costs of buying a new vehicle like taxes etc. Already the fuel hike pinches the public. A further increase in base costs of owning a vehicle would definitely help( I don't know how much that would be feasible, though!). Further, incentives could be provided to people to use public transport. Like reduction of prices of public transport vehicle tickets. Also increasing the frequency of the vehicles or providing better facilities like they have in the Volvo buses (which are an experience by themselves). These measures would not go unnoticed.
But I believe that the need of the hour is to educate the drivers and discipline them. A lot of the problems arise because of rash driving. People change lanes, zig zag on the road, its like crazy. All that needs to be stopped. A good way is to severely punish them and the punishment should not be in monetary terms because that does not help. Either you take the driving license away or ban the driver for a few months. Once the laws become stringent then people will take up notice and start adhering to them.
I don't know how much of all this would be actually applied. But even if 10% of it is, traveling in Bangalore would be that much better.


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Royal victory for the Kolkata Knight Riders

As the official website of Kolkata Knight Riders had put it 'Royal win for Kolkata Knight Riders', it was truly a win in ROYAL style. Right from the first ball bowled by Praveen Kumar to Ganguly till the end when Shukla got the ageing Sunil Joshi caught by McCullum; it was Kolkata Knight Riders all the way. The Bangalore Royal Challengers could never put up a good challenge and thus got crushed by a mighty margin of 140 runs in the opening match of the Indian Premier League held at their own backyard - The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
But lets rewind ourselves to the start of the match. After the dazzling fireworks and the sizzling show put up by the performers, everyone was expecting a similar display from the players. And boy, did they get one! But it came from one of the most unlikely fellows in the team - New Zealand wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum. He hit an unbeaten 158 of just 73 balls, which included 10 fours and 13 sixes. Not only was it the highest score in the match (for which he rightfully got the Man-of-the-Match award), it was also the highest score by any individual in a Twenty20 match. Such was the impact of blitzkrieg that Dravid and his men were down and out when returning to the team dug-out after the Knight Riders' innings. The next highest score was that of Ponting who made 20 followed by extras which amounted to 17. Sourav hit 2 fours. Ponting hit a boundary and cleared the ropes once during his stay. Hussey played a bit too. But no one could take the glory away from McCullum. His innings was a show of clean hitting, improvisation and some clever positioning. That he was able to survive the entire 20 overs tells the story. The Bangalore Royal Challengers' bowlers had no clue as to what to bowl to him. Even Dravid admitted during the presentation ceremony that he tried various strategies to get him out; rotating his bowlers, trying new tactics; but to no avail. One of the shots that I truly liked was the attempted sweep which went for a six. Whew! How can one hit such a cheeky shot to the ropes, I just can't fathom! Quite deservingly, the Kolkata Knight Riders ended their innings at 222/3, thus setting the Bangalore Royal Challengers a target of 223 to be scored in 20 overs at an asking rate of over 11 per over.
Now what would you expect the captain of a team coming out to chase a score of 223 in 20 overs to do? You would want to see clean hitters opening the innings so as to get the boost. But what do you see? Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid coming out to open the innings. I presume they took it as a Test Match where their Objective was to survive the 20 overs. The home crowd expected fireworks from their Royal Challengers team. But sadly there were none to come. In contrast, Kolkata Knight Riders chose to open the bowling with a rookie - Ashoke Dinda. He was quick, pumped up and accurate. From the first over itself, he showed no nerves (None of the bowlers needed to; the target was too big and the pressure was totally on the batsmen) and bowled to the field. His first over on the big stage was good but there was better to come. The prized bowler of the Kolkata Knight Riders - Ishant Sharma was next. And his entry was a bang. The first ball he bowled ripped apart the leg-stump of Rahul Dravid as he attempted to hit through the line. The WALL had been breached. Next came the captain of the Indian U-19 team - Kohli. Ishant Sharma was bowling in-swingers to which he had no reply. He was bowled by Dinda in the very next over. Kallis came in next and tried to steady the boat. he hit a six too. But the rout had started. He was caught off the bowling of Agarkar (who as usual got hit for a few runs but as usual took some wickets, which were all that mattered). And then Jaffer was caught by Ponting. The others just came in and tried their hands at swinging the willow. The Knight Riders were enjoying their time so much that Ponting could even afford to miss a catch ( so rare I don't remember any instance of this happening before). In the end it became a no-show with the Bangalore Royal Challengers getting bundled for a mere 82 runs, thus providing the Kolkata Knight Riders with a victory of 140 runs.
My roommates were joking that the Knight Riders don't have to bat in their next match. The opponent team should first chase down the remaining 140 runs, then they would come out to topple the score. In the presentation ceremony, Dravid was looking dejected as usual as he admired the innings of McCullum and Ganguly was understandably elated. The tournament had started well and I hope that the 40 day Festival of cricket really lives up to its massive billing.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BarCamp Bangalore 6


The summer edition of this year's Barcamp Bangalore is going to take place at IIM-Bangalore on 19th and 20th of April,2008. Since it will be my first visit to a Barcamp, I am really excited. In february this year I had gone to the first edition of DevCamp which took place at Thoughtworks, Bangalore and really liked it. The unconference format was not new to me since we had the same at Osmosis - The MindTree TechFest, but the sessions were really enriching.
DevCamp was more of a tech, geek conference and it was suitable to hold it in Bangalore. But BarCamp is a universal concept with much more participation and a greater appeal. So I am going this weekend. Hope to see a lot of you there.
Saturday, March 22, 2008

PeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenP

You must be thinking what this is, isnt it? But seriously, this was the best eye-catching topic name that I could come up with for an article on the most mudslinging, bitching, politics-filled show on Indian television right now - Roadies 5.0.
The show is filled up with more instances of slang use than other things. Its difficult to hear even a single line said by the contestants without this sound. And in 90%+ cases, its done to mask the F-word. From reactionary comments to bitching, the contestants use it as if they got truckloads of it and want to dispose them off. I understand that in the current Indian society, it sounds cool to use this language. And probably its our generation getting personified screen there.
But seriously, it seems that this current edition of Roadies has taken bitching, politics etc to a whole new level all-together. The show had started out promoting itself as the place to find the toughest roadie. In the auditions too, what was tested mostly was the strength of the contestants in handling situations and confidence in performing tasks.
However, tasks are the least interesting events on the show now. In fact, the current group is performing so badly, they have already been branded a group of non-performers. The best performer by far was Vikrant. But he was voted out due to some expert strategy by Snehashish and Nihal. And then, very cleverly Snehashish was voted out. Shambhavi has been getting lucky a lot of times. She got the advantage once and then the roulette thing. She will go a long way because of this. It was precisely because of bad luck that Ankita is out. And in the last vote out when Ashutosh gave the immunity to the group of Shambhavi, Anmol and Aayaz saying that Aayaz was the closest to getting the immunity, so he deserves it; it was fully clear that they had planned to vote out Prabhjot from the show. Vote-outs have indeed become the most interesting part of Roadies.
Coming back to the tasks; be it money task, or immunity or advantage; this batch of Roadies have been doing very poorly. They fared miserably in the ball-out immunity task with none of them hitting the stumps. In fact, at some point they started indulging in sledging and commenting about one-another's looks rather than concentrating on the task. And be it the tennis task in Bangalore or the banana task in Goa, they have been pathetic. Most of the points scored during the tennis task were from double faults or mistakes by the trained players. And yet they seemed too happy. But come to using foul language, and they are champs there.
The show is indeed getting away from the bracket it was earlier in. I used to watch the earlier Roadies to see people who had guts to complete tasks. But now, I mostly watch it for the vote-outs, masala and stuff. And most of the viewers will agree with me that this has become the thing to WATCH OUT FOR in this current edition. The auditions were far better and much more interesting. I just hope that Raghu can make it interesting in the International leg. Otherwise a good show will become just some other late night show.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Saluting India's victory of Commonwealth Bank Series

Finally! Finally after three lost chances in 1986, 1992 and 2004 when they didn't even win a single match in the best-of-three finals Down Under, India has managed to upstage the Aussies. It finally ended one of the most turbulent tours for India, a tour which was at a point in danger of ending prematurely. The racism row involving Bhajji and Symonds; the on-field bickering; all seem to have been forgotten in this wonderful victory of India. The impact, importance and extent of the victory for India could be easily seen from the wild celebrations at the Gabba that were triggered by the fall of the wicket of James Hopes. The wicket of Hopes finally ending any hopes of Australia of snatching the match from India and keeping the series lively.

But unlike previous times, this victory was not fashioned solely by the so-called seniors in the team. In fact the lion share of the victory goes to the 'Young Brigade' of India. It was Praveen Kumar who started the Aussie downfall with the highly prized wickets of Gilchrist(1st over) and Ponting(3rd over). And then later when the Hayden-Symonds partnership was beginning to threaten India, a single over of Bhajji turned around the match in favour of India. Hayden was run-out and Symonds was out lbw. It turned out to be the most important over of the match.

Before that it was Tendulkar who played the anchor role again to steer India to a competitive score. He was unlucky not to score a second succesive century missing it by a mere 9 runs. Uthappa, Yuvi and Dhoni chipped in with important and quickfire contributions. India missed a golden chance to score big in the final overs when they lost their way somewhat in the overs 40-45.

But then, All's well that end's well. India have won the series 2-0, and that's what matters. Coupled with the colts victory of the U-19 WC at Malaysia, and it already looks like the next generation of Indian cricketers has arrived and they have that hunger for victory which we so badly missed earlier.

The entire nation is celebrating this superb time for Indian cricket, and so am I. When Dhoni's boys had won the T-20 WC I had jumped on the floor and danced on the streets with my roommates and others in the locality. That's because there is nothing more binding for the people of India than cricket. Now when the boys look to have turned to be men, showing the character and will-power to upstage the Aussies at their own den, I bet that each and every Indian has a smile on his face.

Finally I would like to sign off with statement. When Ponting had said before the start of the Best-of-three finals in the Commonwealth Bank series that the third final would not be required, I bet he wasn't expecting this result. Cheers!

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Abhishek Saha
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
A NRB (Non Resident Bengali) or rather a 'Probashi Bangali'; born in Kolkata, brought up in Jamshedpur and now trying to make his mark at IIM Lucknow.
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