Monday, July 30, 2007

India’s answer to John and Paul...

Richard Hobson at Times Online

If the India middle order are the equivalent of the Fab Four, then their latest album was a worthy, three-star affair. There was no easy genius of Eleanor Rigby or ground-breaking shift of Sergeant Pepper. But it had enough to satisfy fans, who will feel confident of finishing in the No 1 position by the end of the second npower Test.

A stand between Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly is the same as a Lennon/McCartney collaboration. Tendulkar is Paul: melodic, clean-cut and brilliant in an orthodox fashion. He needed only to wink and give a thumbs-up on completing his half-century for the comparison to be complete.

Ganguly is John, a hero, if not of the working class. He, too, loves nothing more than to sneer at authority.

That leaves Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman to fight for the George Harrison role. Neither would appreciate being cast as Ringo Starr – though the much-maligned drummer’s finest moment of Octopus’s Garden, with its couplet “I’d like to be/Under the sea”, can now be reassessed as a prophetic insight into life after global warming.

After the criticism that followed the near-defeat at Lord’s, these chastened batsmen must have longed for yesterday. They scored 261 runs between them, 63 more than the entire England XI in the first innings. Suddenly the idea of tearing up the record deal to make space for younger artists seems to be somewhat out of key.

Greg Chappell, the former coach, tried and briefly succeeded in dropping Ganguly from his playlist, citing musical differences. That is one reason why he is a former coach. John Wright, his predecessor, had the right idea, avoiding battles that he could not win and unleashing frustration on the pages of his private diaries instead.

One newspaper yesterday carried a report about Shane Warne helping England by offering his thoughts on young players. He has been doing this for years, in an informal way, but he probably did Ganguly a favour last week by suggesting that the former captain represented the weakest link in the batting lineup.

With a pointed retort that would have impressed Lennon, Ganguly answered suggestions of weakness against the short-pitched ball by hooking Chris Tremlett for six. To underline his superiority, he then made the bowler wait before he had admired his own shot on the big-screen replay.

Things were more tricky at the other end. Tendulkar managed to score from only three of the 48 balls he faced in Ryan Sidebottom’s first spell, a ratio that he would not have been allowed earlier in his career. Batsmen, like musicians, move with the times; even Bob Dylan is in the process of being remixed as rap.

Nobody has accused Tendulkar, unlike his partner, of being awkward. Nobody has accused him of much, other than being past his best as a batsman. Even then it is couched in favourable terms because he is considered too nice for full-on criticism. Any Frog Chorus moments – a lax shot here and there – are lamented with a quiet shake of the head.

Eighteen years on from his Test debut, Tendulkar can no more bat with the freedom that enabled him to score 177 on the same Trent Bridge stage in 1996 than McCartney can write another Penny Lane. The question that should be asked is not whether these people are as good as they were, but whether they are still good enough.

The audience and marketing men clearly think that they are. According to one Ganguly website, calling itself “the home of the Bengal tiger”, he at present has 16 commercial endorsements, while a section of tributes presents a never-ending list of accolades from the great and the good of cricket, Bollywood and family.

It is a curious roll-call where Steve Waugh and Nasser Hussain mix alongside Sunil Shetty and Dona Ganguly, who says of her husband: “He is a nice person, though he is a bit quiet.” The suggestion of timidity may surprise those who credit Ganguly with giving India the aggression that enabled them to beat Waugh’s Australia.

Nevertheless, this must amount to a farewell tour. India are not due back here until 2011, and even their own board, with a capacity for filling every spare day with a concert of some sort, will go easy on their commitments from now on. The ICC World Twenty20 in September is to proceed without Tendulkar and Ganguly. Let it be.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New "Last Supper" theory ...

A new theory that Leonardo's "Last Supper" might hide within it a depiction of Christ blessing the bread and wine has triggered so much interest that Web sites connected to the picture have crashed. It is already the focus of speculation after author Dan Brown based his "The Da Vinci Code" book around the painting, arguing in the novel that Jesus married his follower, Mary Magdelene, and fathered a child.

Now Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist and amateur scholar, says superimposing the "Last Supper" with its mirror-image throws up another picture containing a figure who looks like a Templar knight and another holding a small baby.

In the superimposed version, a figure on Christ's left appears to be cradling a baby in its arms, Pesci said, but he made no suggestion this could be Christ's child. Judas, whose imminent betrayal of Christ is the force breaking the right-hand line of the original fresco, appears in an empty space on the left in the reverse image version. Pesci also suggests that the superimposed version shows a goblet before Christ and illustrates when Christ blessed bread and wine at a supper with his disciples for the first Eucharist.

The original Da Vinci depicts Christ when he predicts that one among them will betray him.

Here's a attempt to see this by Australian News.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nice Review of Harry Potter 7

MTV News' Potter expert says spoilers don't matter: Rowling's masterful storytelling is what counts - 'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows': Sad And Satisfying

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Visitor

A nice forward...

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors - Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?...
. .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . We just call him, "TV."

* *Note: This should be required reading for every household in America!**

He has a wife now....We call her "Computer."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mauli Dave, Texas, on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge

Superb performance by Mauli Dave from Texas on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007. The reaction of the celeb judges (after the first stanza) says it all! Vishal, Shekhar look like signing her right away.

Other fabulous Sa Re Ga Ma Pa performances

Karle Pyaar Kar Le

Albela Sajan

Average performance - Soniye

Yeh Waada Raha pop

Here are a few other of her performances clips:-

Live with Band Sargam:


Baahon Mein Chale Aaoo

Kaisi Paheli

Lag Ja Gale


Vande Mataram