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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rise of the Challengers - Bangladesh

As the umpire adjudged Mustafizur LBW, it marked an Indian win and also concluded the India vs Bangladesh ODI series. Though, the win was a saving grace for the Indian team, however, it being the high point of the 3 ODI match series wasn't something which fans back at home were execting.

There's no doubt that Bangla team has learned a few new tricks. They have produced some exceptional performances against one of the best teams in the world, especially, on their home turf. They have "Bangla-washed" New Zealand and Pakistan in ODI series in past few year, latter came just a few months back.Underestimating this Bangla team is a mistake which team India, Pakistan and England has recently committed and have paid the price.

The zeal and grit displayed by Musrafe Murtaza and Co. proves that the team is ready to graduate from newcomer to the challenger. My favorite player from the Bangla team has been Mushfiqur Rahim, who stood tall against the best of the attacks in the world to take his team home. Watching him slogging one of the best off spinners around, Saeed Ajmal, through mid wicket was nothing less than a treat.And that's not just it, his quiver is full of shots to play all around the ground. Another player which has come up in the ranks in this year has been Taskin Ahmed. Taskin is a gem of a fast bowler. He can bowl above 140 kmph without sweating, hits the deck hard and has been the only bowler to extract extra bounce from the pitch in this Indo Bangla series. Mustafizur is the find of this series. His accuracy and change of pace was impeccable and the best of Indian batsmen couldn't find a way through. He finished the series with 13 wickets and entering the record books subsequently. However, I still rate Taskin as a better bowler than Mustafizur. Bangla pace attack shows great hopes with both these youngsters in their rank, lead by seniors players like the captain Murtaza and Rubel Hossain.

Moving from Bangla's fast bowling to their spin bowling, which is lead by the ace all rounder and current number one, Shakib Al Hasan. He is the first Bangla produce who has proved himself in all different conditions and rightfully earned the title of being their best player. He leads the attach with Nassir Hossain and any occasional spinner in the team. He accuracy with the ball is the flawless.

Now, the batting of the Bangla team. The roar is lead by the fearless Tamin Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar. Sarkar being counted among the players like Gayle and Baz to have the best boundary percentage in their careers in recent year can display their ruthless aggression against any opponent. Batting line then feature the experience of Mushfiqur and Shakib whom the middle order depends. But the lower middle has Shabbir Hosain who makes sure than even with 4-5 wickets down, Bangladesh doesn't go out without a fight. Shabbir has produced a few innings in this short career which have proved crucial in Bangla wins.

I skipped but didn't forget to mention the star of the world cup for Bangladesh, Mahmudullah Riyad. Scoring two centuries on the trot doesn't happen to players every week. He plays at the most crucial position of a cricket team, No. 3. I would like him to play at the same position for many years to come.

The best aspect of this current gritty Bangla team is average age. This team has the perfect mixture of young and restless energy measured and controlled by perfect amount of experience.

I hope to see great cricket from the Bangla Tigers in the coming years.

src: ap2tsroundup.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

Take a Break - Ooty and Coonoor

It isn't difficult to find eateries in cities where tourists line up all year long. Ooty and Coonoor is one of these places. Though, being the hardcore North India food lover, it isn't easy for me to adjust to the South Indian food and their eating culture. So, the first thing I search for after getting down in a new city is to find the good North Indian serving eateries.

So, I was stayed one day each in Ooty and Coonoor. I landed two good places serving great food. First was the Earl's Secret of King's Cliff which was a bit far from Ooty railway station, however, eating in a glass house especially when its raining, make it worth your money. The property seemed pretty old, reflecting ancient English architecture.

The food left me wishing that if only the food was as good as the weather outside, then, it would have been among my top three places to eat I have eaten, yet. It goes without saying that Earl's Secret is for the elite class with an average cost of 1600-1800 INR for two people, especially when the food's taste or quality doesn't match its price. However, the property is so beautiful that I don't mind spending. In case, you are travelling with someone especial, then, this is one must visit place.

Glass House - Earl's Secret
The second best of the trip was Hydrabad Birayni House in Coonoor. Its close to Coonoor railway station. Would you be amazed to hear that their Biryani was their USP? Naah, right. Me too. But, it was among the top three Biryani's I have ever had. They serve biryani's in three sizes. Everyone knows at least one of those people who would eat as if they have been living in a dessert for last 2 years. If you know such a person, then, call her/him and challenge them to finish one large serving of HBH Biryani and bet your life earning on it. Even you home or life, I you will. HBH is exactly for those kind of people who live to eat. I would highly recommend HBH, not just for their sumptuous food but also to their great taste. I couldn't try much after ordering their biryani for obvious reasons.

If you ever get a chance to visit these place, then, try to keep an eye for these places. Also, if you tell them that I have referred you, then, you might have to pay for dessert which we didn't.

"Its monsoon in India and probably not a good time to travel" who so ever tells you this, tell them to STFU. Take some time out, visit places, when ever you get some time take a break from this hectic lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Miniclip - The Vicious Circle

One day, you think you have a few hours to kill and doesn't have any thing good to do. Everything around you is pushing you towards boredom and nothing in real life is exiting enough.

You, then, decide to take on the virtual world to seek help. You find Miniclip as the first search result for online gaming. Your inner you tries to stop you to click the link, however, the thought of being alone and bored for the next few hours has more drive. You couldn't resist yourself from click the link and landing to a home page which is filled with options, probably millions, if you count them.

This is exactly where Miniclip sucks you in and puts you on a hamster's workout wheel. You start trying out different options one by one but you can't find the way out. Actually, there isn't. Well, at least not for the faint-hearted.

Src - gymjunkies.com
Once you are addicted to Miniclip, the only way out is to have a real life. Yea, in the real world, which by this time scares the life out of you, cause lets face it, you are more alive on the virtual world than you ever were in the real world. You get your long due acceptance in the virtual world. The people in the virtual world now know you by your fake, but the one you chose, name. And, you love it more than your real life.

Like every other drug and its addiction, you would need the support of your family and friends to throw aside the addiction. But, if you had them in the first place, you wouldn't have fallen for this life sucking virtual world. This is exactly why, moving out of virtual world isn't for the faint-hearted.

I'm part of this virtual world / vicious circle. If you aren't, help me out. Calling all the people out there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toilet For Babli

During our early years of childhood, we all would go for a family trip to my paternal home/village. Being from the far and remote land of Uttranchal, the fun of spending the whole vacation at a place where we did not have regular connection to electricity, would walk about half a kilometer to fetch drinking water and poop in the open was equivalent to the amount of discomfort, if not less.

Though for us, being children and boys, pooping in the open wasn't the worst thing. After a few days of embarrassment, we would kind of start taking proud of doing it. When back in Delhi/NCR, I would boast of the my "pooping-under-the-open-sky" stories among my friends. The fun stories where we would, after being already warned many times by the neighbors, would poop in their paddy field. 

But it did not take much of time for me to realize, why wouldn't it be the best arrangement for the ladies and girls of family. The same would be an unfeasible option after the sun sets, when the reptiles and insects in the fields wouldn't even visible easily. Especially, for the locals of the village, it wasn't an experience but a suffering which was ignored over the years by the men of the family. Men of the family, who would direct them to the backyard of the house or to a lonely field, but wouldn't make an effort towards saving their dignity.

But, don't know triggered it, probably government policies or general awareness (if you want to believe) that one year when we were back in the village for vacation, we had a small walled compartment just beside our home which was marked "toilet". I wouldn't say I was happy to use it as it wasn't the nearly close to the arrangements like in cities, however, it was still a relief from pooping in the open. However, small construction like the one we had, cleared the threshold as more and more families adopted the concept of "walled toilets". 

After being past the experience, I would and have always suggested and promoted the "walled toilets". I'm here adding my experience and support towards Domex's effort towards making India villages an "open defecation" free.

You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in  and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

Be part of the change. Show Domex you support on twitter by following them @DomexIndia and be part of the awareness and twitter conversation with #ToiletForBabli.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SkyScanner's SkyScanning

What makes those experiences special which last in our memories for years? Well, it’s not a simple question to answer. Frankly and possibly, this is the first I’m trying to find an algorithm for this “Chemical X”. Let me start then, from the first to the last step.

The meet was started 24 hours when Indiblogger and Skycanner announced contest for the best travel selfie. It started showing soon in my twitter feed and many a Indibloggers started tweeting. I also couldn’t resist the amazing prize of the contest and tweeted a few 7 selfies. I did get a few retweets and favourites from fellow Indibloggers, which started the Skyscanner meet for me on twitter.

The venue - Le Meridien, is possibly the best venue I have came across and I have been to 14 different Indiblogger meets. It has this huge hall which accommodated the biggest Indiblogger meet till now, close to 400 Indiblogger. The lunch was delicious, sumptuous and very well organised too.

The people - I always believe, people around you make the experience special and the bloggers crowd was nothing less than a rockstar. All the people sitting around the table with me were energetic and full of enthusiasm. We were all together laughing at every joke, dancing when asked to, cheering loudly, listening to every point of view presented and enjoying every moment.

Presentations – All presentation and promotions were, gladly, short and precise. Skyscanner promoted their product/webpage in the best concise manner. They rightfully promoted their best features – “Everywhere” and “Monthly and Yearly”- instead of hogging time for commonly found services.

Contests – All the games we played individually or with teams were another reason why this meet was special. The prizes were special too. Actually, I and my team won the team amazing “around-the-world” treasure hunt contest too. This was the first ever team win for me at Indiblogger meets.

Even after writing more than 300 words, I still can point to one reason which puts the Skyscanner meet among the top few. I would give it up to everyone at the meet, the sumptuous lunch, the crazy content we won and new exciting people I met.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Wished - Your Wish My App

So, I got a mail from Indiblogger, while sipping coffee in a conference room at my office. I tried reaching the Indiblogger webpage and register, but damn the network service which left me high. I couldn't leave the room for another half hour and it, seriously, was killing me. After leaving the room, I rushed to my work station and registered for the event and called by friend / fellow blogger to register too. I was lucky too, cause, the number of seats left after me registering went into single digits.

After grabbing some deep breathes, I looked at the complete mail about the event and its agenda. That's when I got to know that the event was sponsored by Nokia, who were also backing "Your Wish My App" season 2. Now, I do remember the season one of #YWMA, cause it gave me the chance to see Rajiv Makhni and Chetan Bhagat face to face. Yup, face to face means face to face. I was asked to sit in the audience for the Season Final of #YWMA, which was this huge wave innovation coming across in Delhi from several and very different cities of India.

So, to be at an event, which also marked the official start to the #YWMA season 2, was thrilling. This offered me another chance to meet Rajiv Makhni, who also told me that he recognizes me from another event, Vikas Khanna, you better know him and if not, stopping reading and leave, and Vishal Gondal, the witty/sarcastic entrepreneur. Even though, we reached late for the event, but what happened next installed my faith in god. At start, we had to stand at the back, as all the seats were taken. But then Poonam Kaul, Nokia, appears from heaven with a halo invites people to move to front to the bean bags. AND WE GOT THE BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE.

With best seats, I was all geared up and the event was nothing less than an absolute laughter riot. Rajeev with his funny stories, Vikas with his innocence and Vishal with his sarcasm and wit. The wired discussions between Rajeev and Vikas, Vikas's responses to Vishal and Rajeev and Vishal playing to his reputation of being the bad-ass judge. Two best thing about the whole #YWMA Indiblogger meet was the chemistry and amazing sense of humor among the all three judges/host/celebs.

I did hear a lot about Vikas before the event, though, I found him way better than described. It's not cause others weren't or I'm being paid to write for him, it's simply because he was. I was not a fan of Vikas's but after the event, I'm and have been following him on Fox Traveller.

Even though, I didn't win or get anything this time around, but I went home with an evening filled with laughter, heart filled with memories of meeting Vikas Khanna and Rajeev Makhni (Vishal - let's give it one more chance) and tummy filled with delicious dinner at the Oberoi Hotel.

Here's wishing to be in the stands again at the #YWMA season 2 finale.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The "Many" People

"These people should be hanged, life term isn't enough", is what I heard when entering into the local billiards club. There's nothing to be amazed about, I know how to play pool. Any who, I couldn't ignore the discussion, not cause that I wanted to participate, but cause they were so loud. The discussion was over Indian supreme court overruling the high court verdict of categorizing of section 377 of IPC as unconstitutional.

The views of these guys were just a mere reflection of the rigid and conservative Indian culture and mentality. This has nothing to do with education. This has everything to do with upbringing. Many people don't like changes and the sad part of being in a democracy is that the "Many" people form a majority. And these "Many" people are scared of the up coming changes. There "Many" people believe homosexuality is not natural. There "Many" people believe that its a disease which can be cured and is against their religion.

This post is not to change anyone's view on the issue in hand. I don't have the convincing power, same's the reason I'm not into sales or marketing. But this is just to the induce a thought that if you are among the "Many" people then be ready for the change. You may not want it, but it will come in.

src: twitter.com

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