Playing Carrom

Carrom I believe is the game that brought us together. I still remember Nandan my test project lead at Newgen called me one day in conf room . I thought it was to discuss some work and instead he told me that there is a plan to play carrom at my home at Atta in Noida. He told me to go to CP and buy new carrom board. I left Newgen at lunch time and took auto and went to CP. I found myself short of money and went 1 KM away to ICICI bank to get some more money. I think that was the second time I withdraw money from ATM. I then went ahead a bought wooden playing ‘Ghotis‘ and ‘Striker’. We finally changed it to plastic one later.

The Carrom board was finally shifted to 437 after it was famous is my atta house. Pankaj never used to play but always rank people. The key players
were – manish/rahul/nandan/avinash. Rahul was famous to take all the 9 points. Avinash was consistent and always strike. Nandan always use to take the points with shaky fingers. I never use to take a straight point and was famous for the cuts.

Some things to remember…

1. Nandan/Manish lost 9 staright games and had to switch partners. Nandan was seen frustrated during those times.
2. Who said these famous lines’ Oye Syal and Rahul thek sae kehlo.nahi tau utha ke bahar phek dunag…’.
3. We played upto 4 am with candles on four corner at my atta house.

Thanks to Carrom .

Where is that famous Carrom these days?

Who paid for Rahul’s air ticket in April 2003 (Dli – GKP – Dli)

It was in April 2003 and he was the first among us to get married. The engagement happened during late 2002. Anshu, his would be wife, have met us and infact we were all together at 437 during New Year celebrations for the same year (i.e. 31st December, 2002). The marriage ceremony was to be at Gorakhpur, Syal belongs to Gorakhpur and yes we all know that he is a true punju. So all of us were to go to GKP and that also included one of another old 437 fan and my old school friend, Vinod Durga.

Incidentally Ravi didn’t come with us and I dont remember why and Rahul was not in country. We took Vaishali Express and reached there a day before. Since Rahul was not in country, it was a big problem for Syal. Rahul was his half-brother and w/o him the marriage was not as colorful. So after much deliberation and planning it was decided that Rahul would tweak his work schedule so that he reaches Delhi the previous night but since there wont be enough time left to further take a train and come to GKP, he would instead take a flight. Arrangements were made so that he can pick his tickets and Syal agreed to fund the journey, probably thinking that he would get the money back :). Poor Soul.

Rahul did join us, on the day of marriage and we had lot of fun. Here’s a pic of myself, Rahul, Durga and Avinash. I am in traditional ethnic wear, Rahul in a western attire with the tie and Durga and Avi in smart casuals.

After marriage, the issue of funds did come in various discussions, over bottles of beer but I guess Syal didn’t get the money back. I am guessing.

If you are reading this then let me know whether Rahul should pay the money back or not and why. Or do you think that he has already paid. Should Syal ask for the money and what should the other punters do.

Best answers would qualify for the lucky draw and the winner gets a keg of beer.

Eden Kitchen & Bar at Noida โ€“ Review

In recent years Noida has seen many malls coming up. It all started with a small tiny mall, which noone now remembers though, at Atta Pir junction called SAB Mall. And then came the big one called Centrestage mall. All the action was on Sec 18 till Shipra Mall opened in Indirapuram and then we had Shoprix Mall in Sec 61.

I am giving all this background just to better understand the overall setting. Shoprix mall has a food court with Otik, Sagar, Domino’s and others serving hot dishes and then Pulse opened, a express restaurant. Incidentally even after about two years of its opening there was not a single water-hole so no beer vendors and one section of eating-out public would always had to do with Juices and Colas.

In this setup, a new restaurant-cum-bar opened called Eden and boy, it started getting folks, for the simple reason that it serves alcohol. So thats the long background ๐Ÿ™‚ and here comes quick review

1. Liquor is good since they dont make it. So if you are stuck in Shoprix and want a few chilled beers head for it.
2. Its very expensive with a bottle at Rs 175 and cock-tails at Rs 199 with no happy hours for Cock-tails.
3. Ambiance is dark and sort of hmmm, something like ‘Ice Cubes’ of Sector 18 but thats ok, a personal choice.
4. Food is just ok.

So go for liquor, if you are really looking for a new place, else the joints in Sec 29 are still very good.

โ€˜Chak De Indiaโ€™ โ€“ Movie and more

Last week, I watched ‘Chak De India’ at Spice PVR. It was an evening show, there were 9 of us, all from the same company, same team, and we carry a damn good rapport within ourselves, a swanky plush setting, large popcorn packets, nice and clean setup, terrific air-conditioners, pretty girls and lots of same-team humor-fun and more. Probably a brilliant starting band setting, we were already euphoric, before the real band came on stage, the one with so many girls and getting-old SRK, Shahrukh Khan, along with some good games of our national sport. Everything just fell in place, infact I missed to mention that it was on 16 August so all of us were just out of 15th August, the 60th anniversary of Independence Day and with the advent of still-counting TV channels, a sense of patriotism, a sense of being on the verge of doing big was already pushed-in these tiny minds of 9 people, everything was in place, just everything and it would have taken something really earth-shattering for us to not like the movie.

So did I not like the movie ?

No, I did. Its a wonderfully made movie, it caters to Mass Market Indian sensibilities, its quick, there are no songs (did we have songs in Ab Tak Chhapan ? ) , lots of sports, beautiful girls and most importantly SRK.

So did I not like the movie ?
Well, to be honest I was as engaged and as engrossed in those 2 and half hours that I didn’t think of anything else and for any film-maker, that itself is a decent barometer of success so I must have liked it.

So did I not like the movie?
I did, c’mon, its a good movie. But its just another good movie and probably nothing beyond that.

Oh, so you didn’t like the movie, haan, say it, c’mon, did ya or did y not ?
I did but would it have done equally well if it has not been SRK ? Probably not. SRK is god in these times and he did so well. He should more of these roles, more of Swadesh, more of Paheli and certainly more of ‘WE-can-do-it’ kinda roles.

To cut this (read to cut this crap), I liked the movie and I can watch it again. I would recommend it any day. Lets talk more about the movie now.

CDI is a movie about loss of face and resurgence of a young man. Kabir Khan misses a Penalty stroke against Pakistan in a world-cup match and loses the trophy. Being a muslim, he is blamed for being with them and loses his esteem. After few years, he gathers his lost esteem, gets courageous and offers to train the Indian Womens Hockey team and claims that he would actually make them win the world cup trophy. An offer which non one can refuse (remember Godfather) so the management buys into that and He actually does that in the end. Losely based on the life of Mir Negi, a goalie who conceded as many as 7 goals in a similar match and then goes to train India women hockey team which actually wins a gold at Commonwealth tournament.

The movie runs like a charm with SRK in full control and probably everyone is hinged on to see what magic this guy will do to pull this off. This is one big thing where Shimit (director for this movie, has done Ab Tak Chappan) has been wildly successful, even though there is no secret, it keeps you thinking on ‘how will this bunch will do it’.

So far so good, no songs, some real beautiful tracks played in the background. I liked the one which is “…. maula meri le li meri jaan…” or something like that. No lady love, no skin, minimum to zilch action, lots of sweat and lots of hockey.

Ok. Why did i sound like someone who was not impressed ?

So here is the reason. When you go and watch a movie, that movie stays with you for a long time and as you think more about it, you tend to discover things which probably you have missed while watching it.

CKI has done so poorly on developing the ‘Characters’ , not a single ‘character’ has been established well enough. Lets start with Kabir. Who is kabir ? Just a captain who lost a penalty stroke and everyone started to dislike him, so much that he was not only thrown out of team but no one knew where is he and what is he doing. What did he like, where were his team mates, it was just ONE penalty stroke. Shakil was India’s one of the greatest Penalty Stroke specialist ( I am talking about the era of 1985 – 1990 or so) when Pargat was captain and boy he missed too at times. He was a muslim as well. Mir left as many as 7 goals and thats really too many. But for one goal or one miss. Where did he go ? Was he someone who we all thought as a resilient quiet guy or a one who would joke around and is a team person. When Kabir comes back, he is shown as gritty, firm and a hard-brain person, remember how many times he said OUT in first workshop. If he is someone like that then why didn’t he fight when he lost that goal. Was he tamed, or was he shooed away, or was it just that some Tom Dicky Harry-er called him a cheat. What was the reason which director would throw to the movie watcher to like the character. Probably none.

Lets go further. The team which played had so many girls. If we leave Preeti, Komal, Vrinda and Vidya, who were other girls. The only thing which was told was they come from various states. But what do they carry with them. If you have someone from Sundargarh (Orrissa) then how many of us know that you have someone who knows hockey by heart because everyone plays hockey there, with bamboo and those wooden-cloth-padded balls. When Preeti takes the ball, did you feel assured that now the ball is with the champion, we will get the goal. Or for that matter, why and how Vrinda break the man-to-man shadowing in the game against Korea. If Kabir was so certain of not dropping Vrinda from the squad then was it just her seniority or something else. What did each one of these players carry home, who was Aaliya aur Nethra reddy or Soi-moi or Prasad.

calm down, calm down.

I would possibly save my further thoughts for some other day but probably down the line people wont remember the details of the movie and the big reason for which you feel the excitement is because its a movie based on a game.

Yes, I did like the movie but then I wont buy a DVD of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pihu Arrives !!

I wrote this on 21 June————————–
Its been a little over 10 days now. If you think blogs are really instant then I guess I am really really slow.

I write this today i.e. 2 Nov
I guess I know whats the future is going to be. I was very true when i wrote above about 4.5 months back. I logged in again today to tell myself that I better write something on whats been happening around. So I am posting this particular one and would write a new one. Incase you dont know whats over 10 days on 21st June, its the arrival of my daughter, Pihu, on mother planet as an independent human being. For last 9 months (prior to 10 June) she was in the womb :), and you tell me that my sense of humor is no more cutting. its bleeding instead.