Transformers: Raw Boys to Resilient Men(Under-26)

The piece of post contains the list of batsmen who have evolved from brash and talented bunch of folks to responsive and deliverable commodities in the cricketing household. Watch for these guys in 2015 (in all formats of the game) as they get transformed to real men,who now possess the ability to read the game and turn it single handedly through their sheer passion and commitment.

  1. Kane Williamson [24 years 120 days]
    New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson is one of the brightest sparks in the game today, and it should only be a matter of time before Williamson goes on to engrave his name among the likes of kiwi greats -Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe.He has scored over 2600 runs from 34 Tests at a scintillating average over 40 .Without any elementary doubts,Kane is one of the complete players of modern day era. He already has made his way into the list of Top 10 New Zealanders to score most Test centuries for his country.With 7 centuries, he is next only to Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Gary Sobers as a batsmen with most 100+ scores before turning 24.

    Williamson kick started his Test career by scoring 131 in his maiden Test innings against India in 2010 to become only the eighth New Zealander to score a century on his Test début. Later in 2012, he went on to play a match-saving unbeaten 102 in the fourth innings against the mighty Proteas.In the recent times after taking on the manhood in 2014,in his second tour of the West Indies in June 2014;Williamson finished as the top run-getter with 413 runs, including two hundreds that contributed to a historic series win for the kiwis.

    The innings of 192 against Pakistan is by far his best knock that reflects his character.Take a bow for that ! Williamson’s batting has reassured the team management, here’s a batsman who’s not just good enough in one format, but an asset who can bat classily at the No 3 position across formats.Kane averages over 40 in both Tests and ODIs.

    Williamson can well be compared to Virat Kohli, in terms of pacing his innings .He times the ball to perfection and is effortless in finding gaps. Williamson is rock solid and calm in everything . He not only defends sublimely but attacks with absolute control as well. His fastest CLT20 ton (of just 49 balls)playing for Northern Knights is the prime example of his adaptability,embracing the change of format.

    He is the complete man and the most apt batsman to endorse Raymond clothing.

    Kane Williamson - A legend in making.

    Kane Williamson – A legend in making.

  2. Steven Smith[25 years 187 days]
    Capable of taking the attack to the opposition, never say die spirit and giving more than 100%in every game that’s what Steven Smith is all about.Smith is currently one of the finest fielder out there and the most innovative batsman as well.He came into limelight in the first innings of the last Test of the 2013 Ashes Series at The Oval,where he scored his maiden hundred,reaching the total in style by hitting a six off a spinner.Then in 2013 at Mohali, he demonstrated his true grit by absorbing the pressure and delivering at a crucial stage.Smith’s 92 was a message to the world that he is a dark horse who can take on the bowlers outside the sub-continent as well.

    Currently,he is proving to be a captain’s nightmare.After his back to back match winning knocks against the Proteas this is what ABD had to say-“You’re going to have to work hard for your wickets, and if you get a busy cricketer at the wicket it makes it very difficult for you to control the innings, to keep your rhythm and just to pace it a little bit better. He makes it really difficult for us in doing that “In the T20 format he is the go-to man for Rajasthan Royals.Smith is in such impressive touch across all formats that he should enter the Test series against India as Australia’s most in-form batsman.He has provided an example of how to grasp technical and mental maturity.Smith at the moment is the potential successor of Michael Clarke.

    Steven Smith- Future of Australian cricket.

    Steven Smith- Future of Australian cricket.

  3. Gary Ballance[25 years 14 days]

    His back to back tons at Lord’s and Rosebowl has not only made him earn the emerging cricketer of the year award but he has made him worthy enough to
    fill Trott’s shoes with extreme efficiency. The heavy built Zimbabwean born southpaw is only the third English player to have scored hundreds in his first two
    Lord’s Tests, after Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott. He is an exception catcher as well.He understands the importance of his wicket and the that’s clearly evident from the fact that he likes to spend time on the crease and tries to capitalise as much as he can. Currently Gary averages 61 from his 8 Tests. Watch out people. Be scared ! Very very scared of Gazza in the years in come.

    Gary Ballance- Lord of the Tests.

    Gary Ballance- Lord of the Tests

  4. Quinton De Kock [21 years 35 days]

    This boy has certainly come of age over the past few months.
    At 20,De Cock became the first Batsman in the ODIs to hit 3 centuries from 3 matches in the series.What made it more special was that De Kock had managed a 100% conversion rate from his fifties to hundreds;that showed no sign of ending, even after he turned 21.Quinny is equally a handy customer with the gloves as well.He is the fastest to get 50 dismissals in ODIs and 6 dismissals in a game.Also,he holds the honour of being the fastest to score 1000 runs in ODIs.

    “He plays a bit more fearlessly, takes on the bowling upfront and then settles in and gets the big runs. Quinny is a fearless cricketer but at the same time he is quite intelligent with the way he goes about his business. But he probably doesn’t think about the game as much as the other guys which is a positive.The way Quinny plays has been very refreshing for us. He can obliterate any bowling attack.
    He is going to be a superstar”  -Amla on Kock.

    Quinton De Kock- The mini dynamo

    Quinton De Kock- The mini dynamo

  5. Ahmed Shehzad [23 years 13 days]
    The Kohli look alike is held in high regard in his country and is the most promising youngster out of the lot.Currently he averages 48 and 34 in Tests and ODIs respectively. Shehzad was exceptional with the bat against the mighty Ozies in UAE in 2014. His knock of 176 was by far his most composed innings. He has a lot to offer to the green caps.The gritty stroke maker is hopeful in ending his nation’s quest for a quality batsmen.

    Ahmed Shehzad - The Green Sparta

    Ahmed Shehzad – The Green Sparta

Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane : The Pursuit Of Versatility

As the name suggests,”Ajinkya” which means invincible;this Marathi boy is an insightful talent when it boils down to discipline and professionalism.

Calm,focused,introvert,gentleman and steady like an impregnable fortress,Rahane is an ideal Dravid prodigy. Ajinkya,with his technical eminence and stalwart demeanour has cemented his spot in the Indian line (both Tests and ODIs) with extreme delicacy.

The perfect straight drive.

The perfect straight drive.

Rohit is injured. Can you open ? YES!

Yuvraj is out of form.Can you reinforce the middle order ? YES!

The team is crumbling overseas.Can you bat at number 3 and anchor the innings? YES!

Slip cordon looks vulnerable.Can you stand at slips and pull off blinders? YES!

Team needs some buoyancy.Can you carry drinks? YES!

Within no time,the nifty right hander has evolved as the most faithful name in the Indian cricketing household and indeed Rahane is the epitome of a modern day versatile cricketer.

Epitome of versatility- Rahane

India’s current batting brigade with Rahane as the most versatile batsman

He has a subtle blend of timing ,artistry and aggression which not only has helped him flourish in the sub-continent but overseas as well,where others did struggle in the recent times.Till date I have not seen Rahane slog,exactly the way his mentor used to play.

With the mighty Australian tour lined up,his skills would come handy especially facing Mitchell Johnson. If he can shield the team from his wrath and try inspiring the team by sticking on the wicket,our young guns might turn out to be formidable.Also,Virat is sort of back in the form. Hence, I strongly believe that the duo of Rahane and Kohli have the balls to turn the tide this time. Hoping to witness a good show and #InRahaneKohliWeTrust trending in the Kangaroo land.

Rewinding a bit,Rahane incepted his vintage form from being called as The Night’s Watch for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL season 6. The boy had become a man back then.He scored 560 runs at a scintillating average of 40 from 16 games at a strike rate of
130,which included two classy knocks of 98 and 103* as well.

Tendulkar’s retirement proved a blessing in disguise for Ajinkya.He was offered a permanent berth in the Indian side at number 4.Finally,his patience paved off and that meant NO MORE BENCH for him.

Without seeking much of stardom,Rahane silently started putting some runs under his belt ,that too on the foreign soils.Right from 51* and 96 in Durban to 118 against the black caps,Rahane always kept his head high and did his job meticulously.Subsequently,his rock solid technique fetched him a ton at the Mecca of Cricket as well.That knock of 103 at Lords marked the dawn of a new phenomena – a phenomena of trust,hard work and consistency.He carried that momentum and scored a vintage ton at Birmingham in the third ODI in the same 2014 England tour.

A moment to cherish. Ton @ Lords.

A moment to cherish.Ton @ Lords.

Effortless straight drives,mighty pulls and a chip over cover are the prime ammunitions in his armoury.It’s a treat to watch him bat when he is on a song.But it is equally disheartening to see him throw his wicket after being well settled ,the way he did at
Dharamsala recently.The effort that he had putting scoring those 68 crucial runs went in vain.He certainly needs to work on that bit.

But let me tell you one thing very clearly.Whether it is Rahane ,Kohli or Pujara these lads should never be rated against the veterans.It is unfair for both the camps.Those legends belonged to a different ball game altogether.They played under different circumstances,under a different leader with a different mindset.Give them some time to explore,to struggle,to loose and to fight back.Trust me,you will eventually start looking up to them as well.

On a positive note,with the kind of form he is in both personally(just got married) & professionally,if he continues this sort of maturity for another year or so; I definitely see him steering team India to the paths of glory.

The Diary of a Filmy Kid

I don’t have a plan for the day. So,let’s just draft down some of the Bollywood movies that I admire and love watching over and over again.The cinema which has impacted me,taught me things and has made me enjoy my life till 24.That way I can keep a track of the evolution of my taste if I stumble upon this document 30 years down the lane.

So,here is my list -

Dil Chahta Hai(2001)

The movie was released at the time when Bollywood was in a dismal state,producing one catastrophe after the other. DCH was like a breath of fresh air.Original .No villains.No fighting sequences.No melodrama.Plain.Simple.Refreshing and youthful !

Dil Chahta Hai - Chapora Fort

Dil Chahta Hai – Chapora Fort

Maintaining a vivid yet tranquil pace throughout,Dil Chahta Hai is woven around the love and life discovering experiences of three Mumbai lads.”What your heart wishes,just go with it” is a sort of theme that persists throughout the film.It has everything. Comedy, drama, great songs, love stories,exotic locations and some truly heart touching moments, which we tend to ignore at times in our real lives.

DCH  just floats along like an opera and the FRIENDSHIP part takes you on a song.It’s more of a character driven cinema rather than the script-driven and they end up staying in your system forever. Farhan’s directorial rawness and the unharnessed energy engages the audience to perfection for 3 long hours.The movie did mark the evolution of a new era in the Bollywood.

I have seen the movie more than 100 times and I can admit the fact that every time the music “Just Turn Around”plays I cry with joy every single time.The only reason I visit Goa every year is because of this movie.The best of my college life memories revolve around Fort Chapora. Best Dialogue -

Haan waise bhi perfection ko improve karna mushkil hota hai.

Gangs of Wasseypur(2012)

Centred on the coal mafia of Dhanbad(Jharkhand),GOW is an epic tale about fidelity,crime, lust, betrayal,politics and vendetta. A cinematic chef d’oeuvre !

Gangs Of Wasseypur - Sardar Khan

Gangs Of Wasseypur – Sardar Khan

Anurag Kashyap has put his soul into each character and that is visible from every frame of the movie.The direction ,the bloodshed,black humour,witty characters, adultery, bullets,vengeance and the slangs have truly given it a cult status quo. This is India’s Pulp Fiction.

The one thing that truly holds out for me are the dialogues. They are sharp and as close to reality as it can get. Manoj Bajpai has proved once again that he is the patron in the business especially,when it boils down to this kind of honest cinema.The screenplay is well structured and the music by Sneha Khanwalkar has added a new dimension to the movie.

Overall,It’s a masterpiece .Respect to all those who had watched it at Cannes,the entire 5 hour long movie Give it a chance and you’ll never look at Bollywood the same way again.Best Dialogue -

Hamare abbu ko marat hai.
Hamare abbu uski gaadi mein baith ke uske saath gaye they.Kabhi laute hi nahi.
Hamari zindaggi ka ek hi maqsad hai. Badla !
Ramadhir Singh ko budhappan ka seedhi chadte hue dekha nahi jaata.
Us haraami ko humein mitana hai.
Goli Nahi Maarenge Saale ko,Keh Ke Lenge Uski !
Usey uski aukaat batayenge.Dheerey dheerey uska sab kuch chheen lenge,apne aap hi mar jayega madarchod.


Queen is story of a naive middle class girl living in Rajouri Garden(Delhi),who decides to go on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam alone, when her fiancé dumps her two days prior to the wedding.

It is a journey of discovering oneself. Kangana Ranaut is the real Rani in the film .She is a delight to watch especially when it comes to acting and portraying the real life emotions on the big screen.She is spectacular and steals your heart with her innocence,confidence and simplicity.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts

Ranaut always seemed like a misfit in the mainstream Hindi cinema;a stunning but strange creature who belonged to a different ball game, but now our movies are beginning to catch up with her. Kangana carries the film on her shoulders throughout the 2 hours 30 minutes run time with such grace ,that the moment you step out of the theatre you start admiring her vividness not only for her on-screen character but the sort of person she is in reality. Candid and emphatic ! The movie will definitely make you a better human being at heart.Best dialogue -

Mera haal na Gupta uncle ke jaisa ho gaya hai. Gupta uncle ko na cancer ho gaya .
Unhone kabhi sharab nahi pi, cigarette nahi pi, phir bhi cancer ho gaya. Isse accha toh pi hi lete.

Andaaz Apna Apna(1994)

More than the commercial or critical success,the movie has done wonders to the 90’s kids,has made their childhood awesome by offering such epic one liners.
Salman Khan is hilarious. But Aamir Khan steals the show with his witty dialogue delivery.AAA is a comical genius.

Andaaz Apna Apna

Andaaz Apna Apna – A laughter riot

There is not even a single dull moment,villains for that matter are humorous. Shakti Kapoor as crime master Gogo and Paresh Rawal as Teja are simply awesome.Right from the first scene to the last, your giggles won’t stop .It’s a story of two conmen competing for a girl and how they end up landing in goof ups .It is a very underrated piece of cinema but for me this is the best comedy movie made in Bollywood.In case you are ever feeling low,switch on Andaaz Apna Apna ! It’s comedy is the ultimate remedy.Best Dialogue-

Crime master Gogo naam hai mera … aankhein nikaal kar gotiyaan khelta hoon main. Gotiyan ! Kahaan hai tumhara boss Teja ? Mera paisa lekar bhaag gaya.

Black Friday(2004)

The film is based on the journalist Hussain Zaidi’s thoroughly researched book,Black Friday;on the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.You need balls to show such a controversial issue so blatantly and Mr. Anurag Kashyap has done it with chivalry and brevity.

Black Friday

Black Friday- March 2,1993 Mumbai (formerly Bombay)

The film definitely exposes some old scars but only to find the root cause of it ! Only to find the cure for them ! Only to make sure they are eradicated and are never resurfaced .

Black Friday has given a new direction to the realistic cinema by referring to the real names, real incidents, and real people.Take a bow Mr. Kashyap ! It tries to make a point that how some evil souls make their business out of our religious sentiments, at the cost of human lives. The trauma not only affects a specific religion,rather the entire humanity.Technically too, the film is impeccable. Everyone has acted beautifully in the film but Badshah Khan, Asgar Mukadam,and Tiger Memon stand out of the league.Music by Indian Ocean, is in sync with the theme.Despite the length of the movie(the same case with all his movies) the director never loses the plot and that’s really commendable.

Black Friday for that matter, is amongst the greatest films Indian cinema has ever produced. Watch it NOW ,in case you have missed it.But within an open mindset. It’s not for the faint hearted !
Remember it. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - MK Gandhi.

Best Dialogue-

Bakwaas kar rahe ho tum ! Allah kabhi begunaho ko nahi maarta.
Har sachche aadmi ke saath allah hota hai.Unka bhi wahi bhagwan hota hai.
Woh farq nahi karta. Farq tumlog karte ho saalo.
Aur is baar allah hamare saath tha.Hamare saath tha isliye tumhe woh Maruti van wahaan chhodni padi.
Hamare saath tha isliye do mahino mein humne do sau giraftaariyan ki.
Agar allah tumhare saath hota to tum yahaan nahi hote.Humein koi saboot nahi milta.
Tumhare saath tha Tiger Memon jisne tumhare gusse ka fayda uthaya.
Pehla bomb lagne se pehle hi nikal liya.Apne pariwaar ko lekar.Chhod gaya tumhe.Bhugatne ! Danda khane !
Usne tumlogo ko chutiya banaya.Jaante ho kyun ? Hmmm.kyunkii tum chutiye ho.Dharam ke naam par chutiye ban gaye tumlog.Aur bante rahoge.
Tumhe maarne wala woh har hindu banta rahega.Har woh aadmi jiske paas kuch nahi hai karne ko,dharam ke naam par chutiya banta rahega.


Whenever I hear this word,it gives me the zeal to achieve something significant in my life.The movie is based on a teenager’s journey to freedom and pursuing his dreams. Even before I write anything on the script,direction or even acting;let me comment on it’s music.By far , this movie has produced the best poetic songs and soundtracks in the history of Indian cinema.Amit Trivedi,tohfa kabool karo !

Udaan- Give wings to your dreams

Udaan- Give wings to your dreams

Coming back to the crux, Udaan is a story of a teenage boy,Rohan(who comes back home after 8 years,after getting expelled from a boarding school) who rebels against his cocky father to work in his factory and runs away to become a writer along with his younger half brother.It is an anecdote of Rohan’s struggle with his loneliness and desperation. It is not a commercial cinema but the film has got a lot of soul.

Udaan is a coming-of-age movie that you can connect to,because of its probity.Every scene is ingeniously shot.Vikramaditya Motwane’s direction deserves a medal and so does Ronit Roy for being the perfect scoundrel.Rohan has delivered one of the most subtle, yet effective role by putting up a stoic face against the circumstances, yet showing us the vulnerable teenager within.

Udaan is all about chasing your dreams and living your life to the fullest. It celebrates the power of the human spirit, showing us that we can only fly if we dream and do something about it. Highly recommended.!! Best dialogue-

Jo lehron se aage nazar dekh paati toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.
Wo aawaz tumko bhi jo bhed jaati toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.
Zid ka tumhare jo parda sarakta khidkiyon se aage bhi tum dekh paate,
Aankhon se aadaton ki jo palken hatate toh tum jaan lete main kya sochta hoon.
Meri tarah hota agar khud par zara bharosa toh kuchh door tum bhi saath-saath aate,
Rang meri aankhon ka baant-te zara sa toh kuchh door tum bhi saath-saath aate,
Nasha aasmaan ka jo choomta tumhe, hasraten tumhari naya janm paatin,
Khud doosre janam mein meri udaan chhoone kuchh door tum bhi saath-saath aate.

Chak De India(2007)

Chak De India is a narrative of a hockey player(Mir Ranjan Negi), who returns to the game as a coach of a women’s hockey team in a process of redeeming himself of the allegations that were put on him when after a disastrous loss to the Pakistan.

Chak De India- A still from the World Cup Final.

Chak De India- A still from the World Cup Final.

Chak De explores religious prejudice, ethnic bias and sexism in the contemporary India through the field of hockey. The movie is about unity in diversity. It urges everyone to put THE GAME above everything.It is real, engrossing and nationalistic without being chauvinistic. Chak De shows hockey not just a sport,as a larger than life thing for the people who have sacrificed so much in their life just to represent India.

There is a storyline.There is no room for big stars,schmaltz,foreign locations and whacky songs.So,if you are expecting it to be another Yashraj film;it is not the movie for you my friend.

For a change,Shahrukh has not over acted and has done a sensible job,incredible is the word here.I believe it’s his only rational movie apart from Swades. The credit of the movie goes to Jaideep Sahni for crafting well etched-out characters and Shamit Amin for his superb direction.

If I’ve to sum it up in three words,Chak De India is -Goosebumps,Adrenalin rush and Patriotism. Best Dialogue-

Sattar minute hai tumhaare paas.shaayad tumhaare zindagi ke sabse khaas sattar minute.
Aaj tum achchha khelo ya bura,yeh sattar minute tumhe zindagi bhar yaad rahenge
Toh kaise khelna hai, aaj main tumhe nahi bataaunga
bas itna kahunga, ki jaao aur yeh sattar minute jee bhar kar khel lo.
Kyun ki iske baad aanewaali zindagi mein,chaahe kuch sahi ho ya na ho.chaahe kuch rahe ya na rahe, tum haaro ya jeeto
lekin yeh sattar minute, tumse koi nahi chheen sakta, koi nahin!!

Toh maine socha ki iss match mein kaise khelna hai
aaj main tumhein nahi bataaunga, balki tum mujhe bataaoge, khel kar.
Kyun ki main jaanta hoon ki agar yeh sattar minute
iss team ka har player apni zindagi ki sabsi badiya hockey khel gaya toh yeh sattar minute khuda bhi tumse waapas nahin maang sakta.
Toh jaao, jaao aur apne aap se, iss zindagi se, apne khuda se
aur har uss insaan se jisne tum par bharosa nahi kiya
apne sattar minute chheen lo.

Jab We Met(2007)

Jab We Met is a tale of instances ,conversations and a romantic journey that transcends from a train after a depressed businessman befriends a carefree,over expressive and alarmingly loud yet friendly Punjabi girl Geet from Bhatinda;in a train.

Jab We Met

Jab We Met – Ratlam ki Galiyaan

One simply does not love the movie unless he knows each and every dialogue by heart and can recite if it’s put on mute.Yes, I can proudly do that. I rank this as my all-time best romantic movie.

If a director has the courage to take an outdated story line and execute it to a perfection,then the guy has got some serious talent.Trust me,only Imtiaz Ali could have pulled off that.His belief and the actors’ dedication towards owning the characters made it such a grand success that it revived both Shahid’s and Kareena’s career completely.The dialogues are sparkling despite being mature. The funny moments are truly jolly and emotions look real. The chemistry between them is absolutely electrifying.

Trust me, the song “Tumse hi” will allure your heart. Kareena’s bubblyness will definitely incite you to fall in love with her.Jab We Met is an exciting space for those who haven’t tried a good Bollywood romcom .Best dialogue-

Toh kisne kahaa tha train se utarne ke liye. Hain ?
Tumhe hoshiyaar rehna tha.Ab kya karogi ?
Jawaani ka josh. samajhti nahi !
Dekho zindagi ek rail ki patri hai, ek inch ka bend aur meelo ki doori hai.
Tumhari chhoti si bhool tumhari zindaggi kharab kar sakti hai.
Haan meri bhi kayi traine choothi hai par un dino mein main mard tha… matlab abhi mard hoon, lekin tum ek ladki ho!!

Akeli ladki khuli tijori ki tarah hoti hai.

Haan. tumhe pata hai tumhare saath kya kya ho sakta hai! Main batat hu.


Based on Macbeth, Maqbool is arguably the best adaptation of a Shakespearean play ever,which also happens to be my all time Vishal Bhardwaj’s favourite saga.


Muqbool – Macbeth with the Lady Macbeth

The plot is set up in Mumbai,with the underworld mafia as the mainstay. Pankaj Kapoor plays the role of a powerful Godfather like person with Muqbool(Macbeth’s equivalent) as his right hand. Om Puri and Naseer sahab are the corrupt officials portraying the witches. Tabu(the lady Macbeth), the king’s mistress loves Muqbool and seduces him to be the king and plots the king’s assassination. Piyush Mishra as Banquo is equally delightful to watch.As a lead character, Irfan Khan seeps the correct levels of vulnerability and passion.Watching his character react to the highs and lows of his life keeps you equipped. Tabu can be the synonym of a dark evil in the film.Her gradual insanity is heart- wrenching.

The cast is packed by the maestros .The execution of the film is flawless and makes it as a drama of high quality. Muqbool for that matter is a cinematic gold that can be appreciated by anyone, regardless how familiar one is with Macbeth. However, those who have read Macbeth will feel an appreciation that goes beyond a five -star rating.It is a class act.Best dialogue-

Shakti ka santulan bahut zaroori hai sansar mein.

Vicky Donor(2012)

The movie is rooted on Sperm donation with Vicky Arora, a typical young Delhi based,fun loving,happy go lucky Punjabi guy as a protagonist.Despite the concept being a taboo in India,this movie is a family entertainer.Neither does is it cater to any sort of vulgarity nor does it really dwell too much on the sensitive nature of infertility as public message on preaching sperm donation.It’s witty,funny and emotional.

Vicky Donor-Pani Da Rang

Vicky Donor-Pani Da Rang

Lajpat Nagar boy- Vicky naturally glides into the boy next door image. Dr. Chaddha ,the fertility specialist deserves a standing ovation for performance.I think the role was tailor made just for him. Yami looks gorgeous and so does her Punjabi mother in law and granny when it boils down to the business of acting.There is no concept of side actors in the movie. Everyone is a star.Delhi is almost a character in the film. Be it the CR Park and
Lajpat Nagar rivalry, lovers point in Connaught Place or Dr. Chadda’s infertility clinic in a dingy Daryaganj, ‘Vicky Donor’ captures the soul of the capital in different shades. Pani da rang is an icing on the cake. It’s a low budget good hearted package pitched to perfection. Best dialogue-

Yeh kaam legal hai, aaj se hi nahin Mahabharat ke time se. Janaaniyon ke jab bachche nahin hote the, toh rishi muniyon ko bulva lete the. “Baba aulad nahin hai.”

Baba ne “tathastu” keeta aur hogaye.

PS : Main filmy tha,main filmy hoon,main filmy hi rahoonga !

Photograph source-Internet (Glad to see a few good men not putting watermarks. Seriously ! Copyright is for loosers -Banksy)

The Cricket Chemist: Harsha Bhogle

The man of his stature needs no introduction.But it would be too naive on my part if I don’t say a couple of sentences.

Without an iota of doubt Harsha Bhogle is the best English cricket commentator in the world right now. The way he talks, portrays an altogether different image of our nation- India. I’ve grown up listening to his commentary right from 1992 world cup when I was two and I can admit the fact that till date I haven’t seen anyone speaking with such wisdom and chivalry. He is my role model and is amongst very few people who have actually inspired me in my life.

I have this dream, the day I retire from my profession(whatever I do) I wish to depart either with the kind of respect what Rahul Dravid or Harsha Bhogle have attained from the cricketing fraternity.

Let me take some pride in sharing some of my all time favourite quotes of Mr. Harsha Bhogle -

The Alchemist :Harsha Bhogle

The Alchemist :Harsha Bhogle

  1. Well we let you rule our nation for so many years. I believe that’s the least you can do for us. “- This was quoted to Nasser Hussain when the English curator provided the Indians a turning track in the 2014 champions league final against England and when India went on to lift the cup in the post match presentation Harsha applauded the young Indian team’s effort and presented this rhetorical statement “The sun is setting down in England and now maybe the sun is rising in Indian Cricket”.
  2. This was in conversation with Ian Chappell. India’s 9th wicket fell, the No.11, Narendra Hirwani came out to bat. The commentator (Ian Chappell) asked Harsha whether Hirwani could bat. Harsha replied:”If you make a team with all the number 11s of all the teams, Hirwani would still come at No.11 in the line up“.
  3. After Anil Kumble scored his maiden ton, this is what Harsha had to say:”This is the most romantic moment in Indian Cricket!”In the same match Ricky Ponting had set a much unfurled field for Kumble allowing him to take a single with a only a couple of men in the circle. Harsha said-”Kumble would take a photograph of this and show to his grand children and say that this was the field that Brett Lee had for me when I was 37!”
  4. Once, Chris Gayle was demolishing the opposition in the Indian Premier League. Every other ball had to be brought back to the park and at that moment Harsha responded in his canny manner “6 and 4 seems to have become the new Binary Code for this man.
  5. Geoffrey Boycott during one of the lunch breaks: Sachin maybe a great batsman but he has never been on the Lords honours boards! Harsha Bhogle snapped: So whose loss is it more, Sachin’s or the honours boards?
  6. In one of the games, Dravid left an unplayable delivery while batting. To this Gavaskar, who was commenting alongside Harsha got impressed (which seemed to be Sunny’s favourite shot, considering his slow and defensive style of playing back then) and went on appreciating Rahul for a long time. Then Harsha replied, “Sunny, you nearly got an orgasm of happiness, didn’t you!” after that both went berserk laughing.
  7. Harsha Bhogle during the commentary on Rahul Dravid, in his first and last T20 international game, said this masterpiece quote “Ask him to walk on Water today!! He’ll say OK. Ask him to jump off a cliff with the form he is in  with a parachute  and he’ll say I don’t need it”   This is one of my personal favourite as he whacked 3 consecutive sixes in that  game and retired from that  format like a boss.
  8. After seeing a splendid straight drive from the Little Master Harsha said, “Suddenly the world looks like a better place “and I can remember another one on Sachin. Well, Harsha used to like him to the core. It was like, once India lost two early wickets in a crucial game and to the contrary the crowd went frenzied (as they saw the Master blaster arriving). To that, he said “Eruption of joy at the fall of an Indian wicket can only mean one thing”.
  9. Once Dhoni had bowled Suresh Raina before the lunch Geoffrey Boycott during the lunch: What kind of a bowler he is? Even my grandmother could hit him out of the park!Harsha Bhogle: Your grandmother was the greatest batsman known to mankind! She could come down on a sticky wicket and score a hundred before lunch.
  10. India versus. England 2002: When Sachin once got out on a dolly facing a part time spinner Harsha said, “Oh what a shame. It was reminiscent of a soldier who survived the war when all the bullets were flying by his nose and then got run over by a bicycle in his native town.
  11. This one is from the Ind -Aus test at Chennai when Ashwin joined Dhoni at the crease – “Dhoni is extremely quick between the wickets, and Ashwin, let us just say he has other skills”. In a match against England, he mocked Ashwin again. That time Ashwin had just come to the crease and he started playing some playing unconventional cricket shots. To that, he told “Ashwin has just played 3 shots that no father will ever teach to his child.”
  12. In a test match in England, Umpire Rudi Koertzen was spotted grinning due to some fielding fiascos. On that he whipped “Oh, Rudi Koertzen is smiling, last time he smiled, there was peace in west Asia.
  13. This is from the NatWest trophy final, July 13, 2002 Lord’s. When the callow Yuvraj got out chasing England’s 326 Harsha said “Yuvraj Singh will realize that this will be his longest walk back to the pavilion “. In the same match after Nasser’s lucky (which resulted after a lot of miss timed shots and edges here and there) ton he told “Nasser Hussain is trying desperately hard to find innovative ways of getting himself out. At last when Kaif was cruising India’s ship to victory the expert commented “if you are not watching this segment of play, don’t ever call yourself a cricket lover any more.You are watching cricket of a very high order here”.
  14. Here’s an old one. At Perth Adam Gilchrist took a blinder and he described Gilly’s dive as – “Some of the sea-gulls flying here are going to get a complex.
  15. Once Smith dropped Sachin in a Test match at a vital stage that actually costed them the game. To that he responded “Graeme Smith would be hoping that the world under his feet opens up and he would find a crevice large enough for him to slip through.”
  16. In a SL-Aus game when Harsha said this to Ian Chappell, “I am sure you’ll never become a lawyer, I understand everything you say “he was left dumbstruck.
  17. Once he was hosting the ICC Awards before the T20 World Cup and he called on Jonty Rhodes to present an award. As Rhodes began walking down the stairs, Harsha exclaimed, ”it’s pretty unusual to see Jonty walk down the stairs, I thought he might slide down them!”
  18. In one of the T20 games in Australia, wickets started to fall like a pack of cards. To that he said -” This series is sponsored by KFC and the wickets are falling faster than their deliveries.”
  19. Once Gambhir was dropped twice on consecutive deliveries, – “We should conduct a dream job in Australia & the winner will get to stand in the slip region.
  20. Dhoni was batting and Kumble was at the non striker’s end. Dhoni called for a tight single, and what Harsha told still cracks me up.” Dhoni scrambles for a single and causes Anil Kumble and all of his 37 years to rush to the other end.”
  21. After Shaun Tait did not live up to the hype Australian media had created around him, punter took him off the attack. Harsha, in his own inimitable style: ‘Shaun Tait should go up to Ricky Ponting and say ” Hello Mr Ponting, my name is Shaun Tait, and I am supposed to take 45 wickets in this test match “and I think in the same game when Michael Clarke was caught at slip off Kumble, he was still waiting for the decision, over this he taunted,” I think he is waiting for tomorrow’s newspaper to declare him out”
  22. Once Laxman was fighting for a game with the Indian tail.RP Singh was his partner. Aussies wanted Laxman to go off strike so that they could attack RP. Thus, they spread out the field completely, with only the keeper, one slip and one gully inside the 30 yards circle. But Laxman went on shielding RP for so many overs and when RP came on strike Harsha laughed and said “Now suddenly, Don Bradman is batting out there in the middle.”
  23. During the 2014 Ind-Eng series, when Matt Prior was constantly chirping from behind, to that he said,” This guy must have swallowed a dictionary
  24. When the Indian skipper Dhoni lost the toss on a trot Harsha remarked, “MS DHONI has yet again called for heads to the coin which has two tails”
  25. “Robin Uthappa will write in his CV – Played for India as batsman at No 8 when Irfan Pathan was prompted at 3 “, this was quoted in the Melbourne ODI.
  26.  I just wonder can Zaheer write a letter to BCCI, can I get fielders who can take catches” after 2 catches were dropped in one Zaheer Khan’s over (England 2007)
  27. In an IPL match when Dwayne Smith very luckily survived 3 times, Harsha said “After the match I am taking Smith to a Casino
  28. Admiring Sachin “The greatness of a batsman is not measured by the number of big innings he has played, its measured by the standard deviation of his scores from his average. That is the hallmark of a consistent batsman and that’s what makes Sachin Tendulkar the greatest batsman on Earth”.
  29. India doesn’t have a set fast bowling attack, describes about some bowlers and our Pravin Kumar has vanished. To that Sunil Gavaskar asked, “Vanished or banished”? In his legendary style Harsha replied “Well if you are from Bengal, both mean the same. He actually vanished though!”
  30. In one of the IPL games seeing a lot of slow stuff from Rajat Bhatia, “Any bowler has three pace variations- fast, medium slow but this guy has slow, slower and slowest.”
  31. After his recent sparkling performance against India in the test series, “Stuart Broad is the kind of player we all love to hate, but secretly admire.”
    Harsha -The Alchemist

Finally I shall sum up the post with something that I relate the most to “If you really want something, you will get it and there is no scientific explanation for this.”

The fact that he is a chemical Engineer; I strongly feel he is that sort of a chemist who,with every game makes the world of cricket a healthy and fun place through his delightful insights just like an experienced chemist would contribute to the field of medical sciences.

Thank you for everything Harsha.

One people! One nation! One destiny!

“Look at the eyes,the concentration. Trying to scare the batsman! I reckon this one will be straight at the jaws as well. Oh it’s a good bouncer that just missed his nose. That was a fine aggressive nasty delivery. “

The moment I hear it, I get become hysterical and the first thing that pops up is the ferocious West Indian pace attack of the 70s. Let me take some pride in sharing how the Caribbean boys became invincible.

During the 1960s and 70s Blacks were not regarded as equals. That was the time, the heat was on for them to get up, stand up and deliver for their respect. Cricket was an instrument of colonialism for the whites and was very much seen in imparting English aristocratic values to the blacks. In West Indies cricket is something that flows in the blood. They play cricket for the value of the cricket. Their history has been a long and painful struggle against the forces that denied and depressed them. Babylon! And it was only through the same cricket, they could win their long lost respect (which meant freedom to them) back.

But there was a big catch to it. Initially, there were sparks and flashes of individual geniuses but it never resulted into West Indian victories. It was like a bunch of non serious locals playing it for fun and frolic. You could read “Calypso boys collapse again.” very frequently with every country they toured.

Their team had no backbone .They desperately needed someone who could hold the people together. Someone, who could bond them and inspire them for the common goal of being victorious, they needed a composed figure and then Clive Lloyd debuted in 1966.He made the gang into a team by giving direction. He was a great thinker and everybody respected him as a leader. He wanted to have a different team with a different thinking. His mentoring instilled the thought process that look “we are strong people, we are here to win”.

Clive Lloyd- The captain. The Leader . The Father.

Clive Lloyd- The captain. The Leader . The Father.

In 1975, the young and inexperienced WI side travelled to Australia to face the champions on their own soil. During that era in Test cricket, a set of fast bowlers(fast as in really fast people who bowled at 90-95 miles an hour and that  extra dimension decided whether you get hurt or not ) were used as a parameter to distinguish between a good side and a quality team. Wait; let me tell you Australia was the number one ranked team. All thanks to Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee – these names were ruthless enough to scare any God damn batsman. They were truly intimidating. Their ideologies were simple – “Once you have the capability to hurt someone with a bullet in your hand, the person facing you isn’t thinking of hitting the ball, he is thinking of self preservation.”

The Ugly Aussies-Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson

The Ugly Aussies-Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson

During the game all you could hear was LILLEEE-LILLEEE -KILL -KILL -KILL!! Out there it was a war. There were injuries, broken fingers and jaws EVERYWHERE. It was a humiliating sight; like a military assault on the West Indian cricket. That was a nasty series with a lot of confrontations both on and off the field. Australians played like seasoned campaigners and they literally screwed the Caribbean bolts. Test cricket wasn’t a gentleman’s game anymore; there were chants of “You black cunts! Go back to your trees” after the Score line (AUS 5 – WI 1) was displayed.

Once they came back, they realised everything was at stake. WI cricket was at the crossroads. Their own people had turned hostile and that sort of environment could either make you or break you and they didn’t have a choice. They didn’t want any crumps, they wanted the loaf. They knew that there was no going back and it was cricket, which had to pave the way for their better future.

Clive stood strong and said never again! If we also can find some good fast bowlers who are just as quick as they are or even quicker that’s it. He went into the Caribbean, looking for genuine spearheads that could fit into his plan – “One people! One nation! One destiny!”.

Geographically speaking Caribbean islands are the countries/ islands which are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Some of the well known islands are Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica and Trinidad. All have diff Governments, diff attitudes towards diff things but everyone is united by a common banner that is the West Indian cricket. Their cricket speaks for all the different accents and forces out there.

Caribbean Kings sharing  a jolly moment after the hunt.

Caribbean Kings sharing a jolly moment.Michael Holding,Andy Roberts,Joel Garner,Colin Croft and Viv Richards(from Left to Right)

Initially his two major findings were Michael Holding and Andy Roberts.

“When you look at Michael Holding carrying a ball in his hand; what you are looking at is an African individual with African rhythm born to just bowl .Michael with that stride would put that fear into any batsman.” These were his exact words on Michael Holding .He was a young man, who just knew how to bowl quick and knock the timber out. He was popularly called as whispering death, because of the way he used to run while bowling. It resembled the way how a cobra takes it stride calmly, hypnotises it’s a prey and them hunts him down.

Andy Roberts: One of the hard noses! A warrior, who took his fast bowling more seriously than anything and bowled fearlessly without a smile”.Never show any emotions, so that nobody knows what to expect “was his mantra. He had two different bouncers. The first one was the one that could be hooked for a boundary effortlessly while the second one was with the same action but thrown with a greater force. It aimed straight at the batsman’s face with the sole motive of inducing a great deal of pain to him. He was the original lead of the pace attack. The Hitman!

Not long after that the Indians toured the Caribbean islands. Lloyd was eager to banish their humiliation and wanted to show that they had a character to win. West Indians made India buckle and wounded. Gavaskar surrendered that match as a sign of protest. Killer instincts floored the Indians and battered Indies hit back mercilessly.

Now, aggression meant passion for them and they bowled belligerently to kill! They were on a mission. A mission in which they believed in the fact that they were as good as anyone (referring to Aus and England).They instilled fear in every batsman’s heart. They wanted to prove the world what these bunch of black guys were capable of. They were playing to make their people proud.

In 1976 they toured to England to beat their former masters.

“You brought the game to us and we are better than you “every guy in the team wanted to demonstrate it to the Englishmen. Losing a battle or a territory was acceptable to the whites but not a test match from the blacks. Tony Greig made a statement -“make them grovel “just before the commencement of the series, that acted as a catalyst in igniting the Caribbean spirits exponentially. Clive responded with a vengeance “Guys need not say much. Our man on the television has just said it all. We know what to do now” and everyone took that seriously. VERY VERY SERIOUSLY! That comment alone was enough to set the tone for the series.” FOCUS TO DEMOLISH “became the Caribbean motto. The bowlers turned the heat on and made the whites beg for mercy. That by far, was the hottest English summer ever. Nobody wanted Tony to get caught or leg before, they just wanted to knock his timbers out of the grooves and they did it with absolute perfection. That’s one thing I’ve learnt personally as well from them “Forgive but never forget!

Score line read Eng 0 – WI 3.

Through cricket it was a message to the white world to abort this racism by defeating it on the field of play.

During 1977-1978, Kerry Packers’ World Series cricket sharpened their skills. They were a much more lethal and professional team by then. The other two finds for Clive were- Joel Garner and Colin Croft.

Joel Garner-The big bird (debuted 1977): 6′ 8”, someone who either aimed at your toes or neck. Garner relied more on accuracy than on lightning pace and was termed brutal when it came to the bounce.

Colin Croft (The smiling assassin).”Croft goes for the throat. “Chants were viral when he used to bowl. His action was the most complicated part about his life .The prancing run was straight but the batsman saw only his head bobbing behind the umpire until he veered out wide of the crease just prior to delivery, leaning back and slanting the ball awkwardly in to the right-hander. He was a menace to the batsman fraternity. He would knock you down and would simply laugh at you for hours. You do not get to see such raw characters these days.

Quartet broke the mph limit. All 4 could bowl at stupendous pace and were rightly called as terrorists, dangerous or even murderers. They were on top of their game. All of them! After defeating England, they had traversed a long journey- from being called as the third world citizens to the pioneers of the game.

Let’s talk about the most significant part in their cricket history. They decided to tour Australia in 1979.With every day passed; they were made to relive 1975. Everywhere they were made to watch the highlights of the massacre that took West Indian cricket for a toss 4 years back.  *“We must beat Aus at all costs. I didn’t matter how we did it but we had to, UGLY NICE PSYCHOLOGICALLY PHYSICALLY any adverb that comes to your mind put it ” – Colin Croft

The Ozies were the masters of sledging back then as well. Once Lillee signalled Viv that he was going to blow off his fucking head on the next bowl and he literally meant that. To the contrary the West Indians were ready to take them on this time. Viv in particular was very clear.” I don’t want any helmets or any sort of protection. The only way I smell defeat is if I’m knocked down and that won’t happen. Bring it on!! “- were his exact words in one of the games in that series.

The same Australians who were so damn aggressive while bowling were crying when the Caribbean quartet came onto bowl. The harder they bowled, the harder they fell! Game after game, they kept on building the pressure and slowly hammered them into the ground.

Australia 0 – WI 2

Wow that indeed was special for West Indies. They had become the best team in the world and their joy was beyond any words. The world saw the emergence of a whole new breed of people and culture. Even the term whitewash was renamed to “blackwash” after that. Black was the new brave.

Bob Marley- The legendary Jamaican singer

Bob Marley- The legendary Jamaican singer

Cheers to their spirit. Now plug-in to Bob Marley’s “Get up, stand up!” and feel their glory!

PS: Listening to the same song in loop on India’s 68th Independence Day
* References from the movie Fire in Babylon.

Bytes to Biryanis: Fateh Hyderabad

The mid of the week is usually the most ambiguous time in the life cycle of a software engineer. Monday blues are over, tasks are stacked up and Friday looks like a mirage. On a Wednesday afternoon, tired of the same old canteen food and life we decided for a getaway during the weekend .A much awaited change- way back to our sanity! A unanimous call on Hyderabad was taken and a joy wave traversed across the lunch table.

Charminar -The first thing that comes to mind when you listen the word Hyderabad.

Charminar -The moment you hear Hyderabad.

Before I imbibe the readers with my story, let me put some light on my allies- Avinash Hegdal and Mayank Dua.

Avinash: The not so foodie, happy go lucky, damn enough of Karnataka now let’s go out of it guy! Avi is also known as the loud speaker of the team. Office turns out to be a deserted island the day he isn’t there. You can pull his leg all day long, you’ll get tired but he’ll stay at peace like a monk.

Mayank: The not so golibaaz guy anymore. He is someone who values the relationships more than anything in this world be it family ,friends or his girl( extra affection included here ).Khulla saand ,ready to take on the world right now (Just imagine Sunny Deol from the movie Gadar).

More than colleagues or friends I see them as brothers for lifetime.

Coming back! So, Avinash decided to book the tickets from Bangalore to Hyderabad, Dua sahab did it for the return and I decided to take on the planning department. There we were – Looking for a transition from bytes of code to kilos of biryanis.

On Friday July 25(which was our scheduled date to travel), the first thing I listen to in the morning is “Bro we guys are saved! By mistake I had booked the 9 am bus instead of the 9 pm one. Hahaha! What a way to sally. I had an evil laugh in my mind and I started to ponder about the bloopers to come.

We boarded our KSRTC airavat bus from the Shanti Nagar bus stop. As soon as we occupied our seats, clouds of sadness started hovering over Mayank’s head as there wasn’t any charging facility in the bus. Just imagine a guy obsessed with whatsapp (24×7) had to go through when he saw that. To add fuel to the fire was the battery symbol in his cell phone that was proudly displaying 40% charge. Woahhh! Now this was something to cheer me and Avinash, considering the fact that it could’ve helped him follow the brocode. Well, the brocode said “No whatsapp, no reading, no girls and follow the divided by N principle.” which implies that we’ll live together, sleep together, drink together, eat together and divide the expenses by N (3 in our case).

The journey to Hyderabad was a bumpy one. We reached a couple of hour’s late courtesy the flat tyre but it was a memorable one. Avinash also was the victim of brocode. His exacts words were “Yaar jab bhi main travel karta hu tab hi sab ladkiyaan kyun ping karti hain, baaki din kyun yaad nahi aata unhe yeh Avinash and Dua gave him that look – Bitch please. Put the mouse back in the house and don’t give us all that! Hahaha.

The fun part begins now -

Saturday 6:00 a.m. MG Bus Stop Hyderabad- Day 1
The so called “Planner” just woke up from his slumber with absolutely no clue what to say when bade Nawab and chhote Nawab asked him “Planner Bro! Where do we have to get down?” The thing that made them doubt my planning abilities was the reply “Saalo mujhe kya pata.Jo last stop hai utar jao. Yahi hoga! Dekho  sablog to utar rahe hain.

Waah as if it wasn’t enough .Another event triggered at the wrong time and gave me the official tag of “A Useless Planner”. As soon as we got down the bus, we were bombarded with hotel brokers from all possible directions. Panic button was pressed and it was I ,The Planner who took the charge and told one of the broker/auto  guy to take us to Taj Mahal Hotel(as per my itinerary).The move backfired as he enlightened us about the existence of 6 different Taj Mahal hotels situated at different corners of the city. I recollected from my little memory that it was Secunderabad and ordered him to take us there. He replied “Bhaiya 15 km hai! Chaloge kya?” Nawabs were left dumbstruck.

Considering the fact that we had to board the bus from the exact same point the next day and logically the hotel should be in some proximity. Then the so called “Wise Men” took control of the situation and we settled at Hotel Sandarshini Inn. When you can’t decide between your heart and brain, go for the dick. Well the same logic was applied in the hotel selection process. Not that the hotel was great or the tariff was low, the fact that we got a magnificent view near the reception counter did the trick.

the three musketeers

the three musketeers

After some spicy roadside dosas, we decided to get into an auto rickshaw for our first destination- Golconda Fort. The auto guy told us about the various places on the way ,their history and seemed to be a genuine guy till he stopped his auto in the middle of nowhere and told us “Bhaiya aapke 7 Tombs aa gaye” and we were like WTF we didn’t even ask you to get us here !We were still OK with it .The moment he asked for 300 INR for a 200 INR meter reading, saying “Bhaiya yeh to purana meter hai new rates ke mutabik 300 hoga ” and when he replied that the updated price sheet is at his home when questioned Dua sahab lost it completely. He was belted left and right with all possible mother sister words. I was the peacemaker and Avinash bhai a mere spectator (standing 3 feet away).

Once the brawl was over and the auto guy was about to leave the Saint (Avinash) popped out and told him some words of wisdom – “Bhaiya aapne galat kiya yeh!”God knows why he took it to his heart so much that he started emphasizing on the fact that he would drop us to Golconda Fort now, no matter what happens !Our Punjabi brother (Mr Dua) advised him to leave ASAP unless he wanted bruises all over his face. After a mild tussle with the security guard over the camera, we were lost in the picturesque view of the 7 tombs of Qutb Shah Dynasty. There were three kinds of people over there. First – The photographers, Second- The coochy coo types love birds and Third- US. The sight was reasonably unpleasant for our Dua sahab considering the fact that he was on a sabbatical from his love life .We have termed it as “Off season“- the time when bros before hoes saying holds good in a true spirit.

Nawabs -Standing tall at Qutb Shahi Tombs

Nawabs -Standing tall at Qutb Shahi Tombs

Finally,after admiring the beauty of the tombs and decided to save some precious calories took an auto for the Golconda Fort .We BTW, refers to the two Nawabs who did not show  any spirit in walking at any point of the trip. For the first time the auto fare was actually fair. Then arrived the biggest dilemma whether to take the guide or not. The planner acted like a small kid and after a series of yes-no-yes-no finally it was decided to include Afroz (the guide) with us .Trust me the decision was worth every penny we gave him. Afroz is a pioneer when it comes to history, facts and engaging people. He made us climb 360 steps within no time, told us about the tharkiness of the king (how he had created a secret tunnel for one of his mistress that connects Golconda to Charminar, later married her and named the city Hyderabad on her name “Hyder Begum“).He demonstrated the architecture like a true craftsman.

Golconda Fort (shepherd's hill)

Golconda Fort (shepherd’s hill).View from the entrance

Golconda Fort (View from the top)

Golconda Fort (View from the top)

After the tour we were dead tired. I, on the other hand was equally scared at the same time. Considering my lack of geographic knowledge about the city what if they ask me “What next Mr Planner”. Playing safe I told them I don’t know which location would be geographically feasible from here, it’s better if we ask some locals. Based on majority of the recommendations, we decided to head towards the legendary Paradise Biryani at Secunderabad. The auto guy had an amazing Hyderabadi accent and was really a gem of a person.

On the way he helped us in restructuring our itinerary and emphasized on going to Salar Jung museum the next day especially because of the dwarf that rings the European clock. The Biryani was good (though I expected it to be fiery spicy).After the sumptuous meal,Birla temple was right there on the cards.

Paradise Biryani,Secunderabad

Paradise Biryani,Secunderabad

The planner was at his best once again, when he suggested walking down those 3 miles. How long it’ll take, just check your GPS?, asked Mr. Avinash. 20 minutes bro! Those two got furious at the reply. Seriously Bhai it’s by car not if we walk! Considering the criticality of the situation I didn’t retaliate and calmly slid my bums in the nearest parked auto because I knew even if I don’t take the rickshaw those Nawabs would’ve charged me anyway (remember the mighty By N rule).

Afterwards we saw the display of some quality marketing skills. The auto guy agreed to take us to the hill (where Birla temple is situated) in just 10 bucks, provided we visit a Pearls shop and spend at least 5 minutes over there. Even after the extensive peer pressure Dua sahab (the only eligible contender to buy something from there) didn’t buy anything and flabbergasted us with this filmy reply “Bhai baat 250 ki nahi hai, khareed to main 25,000 ka bhi lu, saali koi value to kare iski “. We both laughed till our stomachs ached. That by far was our cheapest auto ride in Hyderabad.

Later, my darshan got jeopardized and I was barred from entering the temple because I wasn’t wearing full length pants. All thanks to my brilliant convincing skills I was allowed to go inside. We offered our prayers and headed for Niloufer Bakery to have the best Irani chai and Osmania biscuits in the town. The bakery was named after Niloufer, one of the Nizam’s daughter  who was also considered the most beautiful lady of her era. The tea was simply breathtaking. No water, loaded with milk and sugar with a slight aroma of chaipatty.After a soothing stroll at the nearby Necklace Street we decided it call it off for the day and went straight back to our Hotel. The day ended with some peaceful pegs and “Yeh Veeraniyaan”(Dua’s favourite) in the hotel room.

Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir

Day 2 kicked off with another major goof up. Finding Govind was the sole aim of our souls. We reached Ghansi bazaar early in the morning looking for the best street food Bandi (lorry) in the town. Our confusion level reached the peak when we couldn’t figure out which was Govind as we saw two lorries parked back to back at the Ghansi Rd junction with equal number of people circumcising them in terms of popularity. Then the wise men suggested the usage of GPS, which clearly indicated that it’s 500m from there.

So I switched off my data packets and we proceeded. Merely after walking some 200 m God knows what struck us; we saw a fancy lorry and assumed it to be Govind’s. We stopped there, ordered 3 plates of Idli vada and even clicked a couple of pictures. Later the planner’s photographic memory came to the rescue and the planner suggested that it can’t be Govind as I can’t see any cheese and tomatoes here, which according to the internet is his speciality. After Dua sahab’s intervention we decided to move on and the moment we saw the GOVIND DOSA board, we were ecstatic. After eating at that Lorry, I could proudly admit that it was the best street food I’ve had in ages. Govind, the guy who runs on a Red Bull, should be treated with uttermost respect for his offerings to the food lovers.

Govind ,Ghansi Bazar

Govind ,Ghansi Bazar

After a brisk affair with Charminar and the Persian tea at Nimrah we decided to check major tourist destinations off our list. I don’t know whether the autowallahs in Hyderabad don’t interpret what we say or they are over smart to take us wherever they feel like taking. Again we got fooled and were transported to Chowmahalla Palace instead of Salar Jung. Due to that over hyped dwarf story, we wanted to be at Salar to witness the bell ringing ceremony.(12 times for 12:00 hours) and asked him to take a U turn and drop us at Salar on account of some extra money. Our sheer curiosity went in vain as no dwarf turned up (kat gaya bhai bade wala feeling aa gayi), still we had a great time exploring the museum.

The sword collection was imperial. It made me get lost in my wander land of Game of Thrones. We even checked our BMI and horoscopes. Mayank’s slip read “You exaggerate too much at times. Behave yourself” and mine said ” You are bound to get ditched by a colleague of yours .Sadness is expected (which did happen in terms of travelling plans)”.After a tiresome time we revisited Chowmahalla. Vintage cars and the royal photo shoot finally reflected the planner’s hard work and resilience.

Salar Jung Museum

Salar Jung Museum

Then came the major twist in the plot.Samridhi (one of my friend from Hyderabad) called me and said she wanted to meet and keeping in account the fact that you cannot expect her to come that far because of the iron nail incident, we had to go to Madhapur (that’s where she stays).Also Shadab Hotel’s haleem was still on the list to be checked, which was in the opposite direction to way we were planning to go then. I went into a numb state for a fraction of seconds due to the fact that I had to choose any one keeping the time constraints in mind. Then the Sr. Nawab’s decisive skills, Junior Nawab’s bargaining skills and their leniency in modifying the brocode came to my rescue. We decided to meet her at Basheer Bagh (half way at Madhapur).The Nawabs could see a big smile on the planner’s face. We escaped the narrow lanes of Charminar and Mecca Masjid and with every lane crossed Avi bro was chanting “aaj to bhai ko Samridhi se milwa ke hi rahenge in an over filmy way”. Finally we met her at Cafe Bahar and had Haleem as well. My joy had crossed all boundaries.

The famous Hyderabadi Haleem

The famous Hyderabadi Haleem

At last we bought some souvenirs from the Karachi Bakery and boarded our multi axle Volvo(the one  booked by Dua sahab). We had a hearty laugh looking at the charging sockets.

Cheers and I’ll come back soon Hyderabad.

Bangalored !

I love you Bangalore !
Not just for an awesome college life, the craziest of the friends or the MNC job that you’ve offered me; there is something more to it. I wonder I would ever be able to express it.
6 years man! I know you in and out. Trust me you are the best, leave even the weather part aside.

The fact that I owe you one big time, let me pen down where all you’ve made me felt ecstatic. The places where I love to go again and again..In case, someone’s new to town and inquisitiveness in him happens to drag him down to these  places  after reading this piece of blog, I’ll be extremely glad .Here’s my list-

Now, Swalpa Cheers Maadi Saaar!

1. MTR 1924:
Considering the rich cultural heritage of Lalbagh MTR, if you think it is somewhat less, No is the answer. This place deserves the cult following. The very fact I love it because of the simplicity in the food, the menu and everything is enriched with the aroma of desi ghee.
Majority of my Sunday mornings are dedicated to relishing the best bissi belle bath, rava/masala dosa, idli vadas and filter coffee in town.

Well, you don’t judge a south Indian restaurant with its sambhar in Bengaluru!!Chutney is the one that matters the most and let me tell you it is just perfect here. Staying closely offers me the luxury to barge in any moment here. Even the 220 rupee one special meal during the lunch is equally delightful. Once you see the variety it offers to your plate you tend to forget the long queues and all the waiting.

If a Punjabi like me feels this way just imagine the joy on the faces of hardcore Kannadigas eating over there.

MTR's special bissi belle bath

MTR’s special bissi belle bath

2. PLAN B:
Dimly lit, glass bottles hanging over the bar adorned by cool posters and enormously loud music to go on with it! Well that’s plan B for you. Do not go on its name. Trust me! Once you have the chicken wings spiced with their iconic ABS sauce (ass burning shit) you’ll say realise that it is the only plan if you are visiting Ashok Nagar.

ABS for that matter is no ordinary piece of sauce. It has the potential to put your face on their legendary walls.  If someone can finish the wings (a dozen of that kind) in 120 seconds he is right there adoring the prestigious wall of fame. Plan B is like a small roadside American pub next door run by an over friendly Coorgi uncle. I can bet he will remember your name for his entire life once you share a talk/smoke with him for 5 minutes. Sometimes I wonder is it those pink lil Coorgi swines or the cigar he keeps smoking responsible for his sharp memory.

Even though it’s overcrowded, you can’t listen to what the person smelling your burps is talking or the fact that you always have to shred 45 minutes of your life to get into this place, you’ll still love it; the way I do. Just to clarify the above written statements have nothing to do with the fact that I have special liking for Coorgis. Their burgers, wings and pork have made me do the talking.

Ultra Spicy chicken wings at Plan B

Ultra Spicy chicken wings at Plan B

There are some good bars. There are some better bars and then there is CHIN LUNG.
Located right at the junction of residency road and THE Brigade road; stands tall this epic place. It is the one of the classiest and the shadiest places I’ve ever been to. You can find from rags to riches drinking pauwass (quarter)over there, where in rags being referred are the college kids, people just starting their careers like me and riches are the ones who are richer not only by their hearts, their  car brand as well.

Spread across three floors, the top floor gives the best view .The terrace is a space for heated conversations, loud exchanges, raucous laughter and the occasional brawl. If it is drizzling that day, the peanut masala and the chilli chicken can give you goosebumps.The best part about the place is that the waiters are the real bosses. I’ve never seen such rude yet caring staff at the same time.

It might resemble to some kind of hazy bars you could’ve seen in Bollywood movies but trust me just go there skip the dingy entrance, overlook the weird people occupying the dark alleys with chillums, grab a table on top, pour some whiskey and take a deep breath, feel the neon rays across the street and think about life; you won’t regret it.

Chin Lung-The hazy kingdom

Chin Lung-The hazy kingdom

4. OPUS:
Better known for its activities, situated near the great Bangalore palace; this place is a complete action hub. Ranging from a wide range of social events like Karaoke, Live Bands, Stand up comedies what stands apart and attracts me to book (I prefer to skip the curious case of drink and drive) a cab almost every alternate Thursday is the fact that 10,000 rupees, a trophy, a table on the house and an infinite amount of knowledge is up for grabs at Booze and Brains.

It is an ideal place for catching up with friends or a casual dine out with intellectual colleagues over drinks and some quiz stuff. The main courtyard is open and airy. Amazing music, Goan food, great vibes and the voguish chicks of The United States of Bengaluru are my secondary reasons to love this place.

Booze and Brains hosted every Thursday by Mark Rego

Booze and Brains hosted by Mark Rego.

Life is too short to not eat the All American Cheese Burger at Truffles (Ice and Spice).I mean the cheese literally melts in your mouth. I’ve never had a better burger than this in my entire life. It’s proximity to the all girls Jyoti Niwas College converts the inevitable boring waiting durations to bird watching sessions .The USP  of the place is the enigma that makes you feel younger.Their chicken steaks are yummy and definitely add a great value making it as the perfect “American Brunch Place” in the town. Planning of giving a Budget treat- Don’t think too much. Start heading towards Kormangala Truffles.

The legendary All American Cheese Burger

The legendary All American Cheese Burger

6. TOIT:
This is THE PLACE. It never gets older. Toit is an iconic landmark in terms of being the oldest and coolest micro breweries in the town. The first thing you see as you enter is a Dravid’s portrait (just behind the fumy reception desk) that says “To TOIT from Rahul Dravid”; I mean what else you want then! If someone in my circle comes to visit Bangalore I make sure that he/she has to have their Tintin and Baked Nachos.

I’ve had the most epic conversations here at Toit, ranging from “How does it feel to work for Anurag Kashyap” to “Bhai kuch to karna hai life mein. BC dekh lio”. Friday night is the best time to go there, stand at the bar, get sloshed, watch a game and dream. Their motto is “Fuck Reservation”. Hardly twice or thrice in my life I’ve sat there and eaten. The crowd just hits you and the best part is you barge into a lot of known faces and if you are high you are bound to have a gala time.

A brave new happy world

A brave new happy world

Located right at the epicentre of the city’s most posh area, Indirangar is this small house turned into cafe. It unleashes my creativity and I call it as my “Quantum of Solace”. Usually if I’m alone, I just sit back, get lost in my wanderlust, pen down my thoughts, plan my itineraries and take all my life’s imp decisions at this place. Ironically, it turns out to be a gossip ADDA in case I happen to visit it with the boys. That time we use the footpath space, share a smoke, sit outside and talk and the best part -you can peacefully sit there for hours without getting bugged for placing the order.

Another thing that I like here is its diversification of the crowd. At times you can see kids modelling clay pots, people holding hands on a date, someone playing with their pet or a group of friends relishing smoothies in a single frame. I like their Grilled Lamb Burger and Omelette the most.

Claypot your thoughts !

Claypot your thoughts !

Some wise man once said “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I think he was at Mahesh Lunch Home while phrasing it. Forget about the ambience and the warm welcomes! It’s their food that does the talking. Undoubtedly the best sea food (I call it as the real happiness) I’ve ever had.

Their chefs, managers and Stewarts treat you like their babies. They know what they are serving(with minute details) and make sure that you know what exactly do you want to eat because the menu is huge.Still,if you are confused you have the exact raw thing on your table ! You see, you like, they cook -That’s their mantra!

You can customize the spice quotient with the chef as well. When I went there for the first time, I was awestruck to see such an amazing hospitality that I ended up paying 200 /- tip on top of the tax vats n blah blah.Try their lobsters, crabs and Bombay ducks ,I can assure that you will look forward to come back for the heavenly experience.

Lobster on the rocks !

Lobster on the rocks !

Situated right across the most happening lane (Church Street) of Bangalore, this place demonstrates the true cosmopolitan nature of the city. My sole reason to love this cafe is that it gives me the perfect ambience to read.

I can’t imagine a better place than Matteo to be on a Saturday afternoon. You can spot me at the leftmost corner just next to the glass separation wall in case you happen to pass by the road. My regular is a grilled chicken sandwich clubbed with a hot coffee.

Also, this place offers me the pleasure to travel in NammaMetro at least once a weak. You can take a power break from reading and visit the Magazines (right opposite to Matteo) where in the Cats can give you the best relaxation therapy.The Entertainment Store also falls in the catchment area. So, once I am done, I usually check out that and retreat. Overall, it’s a complete package.

Matteo-Gift of God for the readers.

Matteo-Gift of God for the readers.

Located on the hustling Mosque Road in Frazer Town, Savoury Restaurant offers you the best Arabian dishes in the town. Though it is much known for their Shawarmas and pulpy juice, but I love their Al Faham Dajaj and barbecue chicken with humus equally. The meat is fresh, tender and perfectly cooked that it just hits your p spot. It always gives me the vibes to travel to Istanbul, don’t know why! Anyway let me assure you this place is an absolute delight for die hard non veg lovers esp. during Ramzan time. Go there and be their Nawab!

My little Istanbul.

My little Istanbul.

PS: All the images have been taken from the internet. Sorry, I was too busy cherishing those moments (every single time) that I couldn’t capture the photographs.