Month: December 2011

Mike Shinoda!!!

The thing I hate the most about clichés is that the sentence “I hate cliché” has also now become cliché.

On 29th Dec 2011, at 16:30 IST, in my room, I had an epiphany. I, for the first time in my life realised with clarity the power of Major Scales. At that moment I was filled with a warmth stemming from the knowledge that now I knew more about the music that I love so much.

Major Scales are to music what alphabets are to communication. Every song in this world is written in some or the other scale or combination of scales. So figuring out a song is easy once you know the first note of the song.

Doing this however is both extremely easy and excruciatingly difficult. Learning songs this way call for extended sessions on the guitar. It takes years to acquire the  requisited finger strength to play continuously for a long time. I can currently sit for only an hour at a time. 2 hours if i take a break. 3 hours in total in a day. Even if I could play for long hours, I now don’t have the time.. with the work and the traveling. How I wish I had held a guitar at 14. Or 9. Or 5.

Meanwhile in football, with Chelsea and Liverpool both having drawn there matches, we had a great chance to win and go on top of Chelsea. Instead we could only manage a 1-1 draw against Wigan. It wasn’t for lack of trying though. There goalkeeper had a fantastic match and pretty much single handedly secured there team a point leaving me terribly disappointed. Our next match is with QPR and will be played tomorrow. It will definitely be a tough match.

In cricket, we lost the first test match to Australia. We bowled well. They bowled better. They batted badly. We batted worse. Net result, we lost a low scoring match. We competed well though. The next match should be better.

Though I like him personally, this post is in no way related to Mike Shinoda. Its just that when I was pondering about what to name the post, his name happened to pop into my head. And that’s that.

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Christmas? Humbug!!!

The order of this universe, they say is disorder. Entropy, if I remember correctly. An honest self assessment would elucidate the fact that disorder dosen’t work for me. The recent drive of mine, for productivity could only be sustained by order. Order has become something of a second nature to me these days. Its sad that my stomach has been out of order during this period.

The period in question has of course, been the last weeks of 2011. Including an uneventful birthday followed by a wasteful pizaa order partly responsible for my current digestion problems. Other happenings during this period include 2 premier league games and the first India – Australia test.

The first league game was against Man City away. We played well that day, I could follow some of the match through live streaming. We lost 1-0, unluckily, much like the carling cup game, just that this time, it was David Silva who scored. The next game was against Aston Villa which we won 2-1. Van Perise scored a penalty and took his annual goal tally to 34, equalling Thierry Henry.

The first India-Australia test match started today, and I must say, India are doing pretty good right now. It will take some doing to beat them, but I am caustiously optimistic.

I have in this period come up with some good ideas that I wil look to explore. The dream journal was a flop idea though, I rarely remember any dreams by morning and they mostly are just silly.

Sehwag 219!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was alive when Sachin scored 200. I also saw the match.

I was alive when Sehwag scored 219. Not lucky enough this time.

Sehwag has always threatened to set that record. Sachin managed to beat him at it. But only for a year. The fact that it was against a toothless WI attack and that Sehwag received multiple lives don’t matter. They won’t show in the record books. I can’t describe the awesomeness of the innings because I didn’t see it. But I can immortalize the innings by naming this post after him. Hereafter, after every game when he “does his thing”, there will be a post name after Sehwag. This is my tribute to the guy. May there be many Sehwagian posts.

We scored 419 that day. Won by 170 odd runs. Then we won the last game by 22 runs to take the series 4-1. With that we are second in One day rankings at 117 points with Australia at 130 being first. We are also second in test rankings behind England. In other cricket news, New Zealand drew test series against Australia 1-1.

Good news from football. We lost the Olympiacos match 3-1. All fringe players played that match and performed quite poorly, specialy Chamak. Santos injured himself and is out for a month, that means we have 4 full backs who are injured now. Vermaelen played in that position against Everton and we won  that game with van Persie scoring a stunner. With that, he has 19 goals in all competitions this season and 35 this year. The run extends to 8 with 7 wins. We move up to 4th for the first time this season. Man City-Chelsea match to be played today will be an interesting match. The best result overall would be a draw.

Rebound!!

The recently concluded test series witnessed dwindling crowds coming to the stadium. So the Indian team has decided on a strategy to pull larger crowds to the stadium. How?  By following a few rather simple steps

STEP 1: Host the matches in small cities where very few matches are held.

STEP 2: Go out and win the toss and elect to bowl first.

STEP 3: Start bowling a tight line and take early wickets typically reducing West Indies to 80/5 or something.

STEP 4: Allow Marlon Samuels to score a 60 and then take his wicket.

STEP 5: Allow the tail-enders to score about a 100 runs and take the score to 250.

STEP 6: Go out to bat and lose 3 early wickets.

STEP 7: Ask Rohit Sharma to score 70-80 runs and then get out.

FINAL STEP: Ask the tail-enders to finish off the game.

Pretty good strategy I think. Certainly made the matches more interesting. Worked for the first two games. Didn’t work out so well for the third game which India ended up losing. I wonder if they will continue the same “Strategy” for the last 2 games..

Good and Bad news in the Footballing world.

1. We lost to Man City in the Carling cup game 1-0. It was a close match which we probably didn’t deserve to lose. The lack of experience in the side cost us the game. So we are out of one competition this season. 3 more to go.

2. Chelsea beat Newcastle in the Premier league.

3. Arsenal then beat Wigan 4-0 to move up to 5th position temporarily. With that our unbeaten run in the league goes up to 7.

4. Liverpool lose to Fulham to make Arsenals move permanent.

5. Man U draws with Man City in the F.A Cup while we draw Leeds United.

I would have been happier if Man City lost to Bolton but I guess it is too much to expect. They can still lose to Bayern Munich midweek. I would certainly like that.

In Tennis News, Nadal helped Spain win the Davis cup for the fifth time. Poor Del Potro tried his best but could not match Nadal on Clay. It was according to his own words ” A FANTASTIC END TO THE SEASON”. I think so too.

Rafa 2011

One look down the career of Rafael Nadal will tell you that this year for him personally has not been that bad.He has seen the exhilarating highs of the 2010 season and the painful lows of the 2009 season. Before that he has had years of consistent tennis where he dominated the clay court season and worked hard to improve on other surfaces as well, with results to show for it. It’s just that he has had to confront and repeatedly bow down to the Serbian road-roller.

It all started with the high of the new year. Nadal was on course for a ‘Rafa Slam’ as they liked to call it. Federer was in peak form after having beaten Nadal in a pulsating Tour Final’s Final. Djokovic was also on a high after having taken Serbia to their first Davis Cup Trophy. Murray was as usual just being himself.

Nadal started the Australian Open in commanding fashion. He reached the Quarterfinals without dropping a set. Then tragedy struck. He injured himself in the first first set of the Quarterfinal against David Ferrer. Djokovic beat Federer for the first time in a Grand Slam semi-final and then beat Murray in the final.

Nadal the took his time to recover from the injury and came back on tour in march. This is when he started his battle with Djokovic. He lost the Indian Wells 1000 final against To Djokovic after winning the first set. Then came the Miami 1000 final where he again lost the final after winning the first set. Djokovic then took a break due to injury and Nadal went on to win the Monte Carlo 1000 for a record 7th consecutive  time and the Barcelona 500 for the sixth time. Djokovic meanwhile came back on tour and went on to beat Nadal in Rome and in Madrid in straight sets. This I think was the turning point of the year. To beat Nadal on courts most familiar to him in straight sets was an incredible confidence booster to Djokovic.

Then came the French Open. Federer beat Djokovic in four sets and Nadal beat Federer, again in four sets. And that was it. No more title came Nadal’s way for the rest of the year. He lost the Wimbledon final to Djokovic, Lost in the second in Montreal, and lost out somewhere in Cincinnati. Again lost to Djokovic in the U.S Open in the finals, lost in the 3rd round in Shanghai and pulled out of Paris due to injury. He finally lost in the  group matches in the World Tour Finals.

3 titles. The only time he won less than that was in 2004 when he won 1 title. Then again, in 2004 he was 18 so you really can’t blame him for winning just one title. Since 2004, he has won 11(2005), 5(2006), 6(2007), 8(2008), 5(2009), 7(2010). But if you look at the times he has been runner up, he finished as finalist in 1(2004), 1(2005), 1(2006), 3(2007), 2(2008), 3(2009), 2(2010) and 7 this year. So overall if you look at the number of times he has made it to the finals, its 2(2004), 12(2005), 6(2006), 9(2007), 10(2008), 8(2009), 9(2010) and 10 times this year. That is as good as any of his previous 5 years. 5 sets here and there made all the difference.

Every sport need rivalries. Tennis has had its fair share of rivalries in the past. A lot of pairs would fight for the title of the greatest rivalries. For me, the greatest rivalry was and is continuing between Nadal and Federer. But I also feel that the Nadal Djokovic rivalry will be something to look forward to in the next few years. Nadal-Djokovic have played each other 29 times to Nadal-Federer’s 26. Nadal has a 16-13 record over Djokovic and a 17-9 record over Federer. Nadal-Djokovic have met in finals 10 times before with Djokovic winning 6, all of them this year. Comparatively, Nadal-Federer have met in finals 19 times with Nadal winning 13 times in these. The only person before who had a great rivalry with two different men was McEnroe and that was against Borg and Connors.

Nadal will be playing in the Davis cup this week against Argentina and that will be his last tournament this year. I can only hope that he gets back his past form next year. Or that Djokovic remains injured throughout the year. Or that Federer clinches those damn match points when they come his way. An Arsenal review will be coming along later this month.