Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sea and Mountain lovers: 2 distinct species.

We all know that some like the sea and some like the mountains. Invariably such likings become an issue for a couple planning a vacation. What we do not know is the reason behind such likings. Two people , each of whom even when exposed to equal number of experiences of sea-based or mountain-based vacations, can still have different affection either for the sea or for the mountains. And this trait can be so embedded in a person's psyche that it stays forever.

What is perhaps more intriguing is the fact that such characteristics can even draw strangers together. For example sea-lovers seem to find company in other sea-lovers without even knowing that they love the sea. It's quite possible that the psyche of sea-lovers demonstrate similar behavioural patterns and so on for mountain lovers.

In my opinion, people experience the infinity of space around the world in two ways. For sea lovers, they submerge themselves looking outside to the infinity with their back to the material world  while mountain-lovers love to experience infinity at a greater height but without taking their eyes from the world below.

Are sea lovers less materialistic because they look for comfort away from the world ? My experience says so. Besides they are more romantic, sometimes depressive but mostly thinking type. Achievement of challenges in life , for them, is not a passion but just an experience in the journey of life. They are more emotional in nature than rational.

Mountain lovers on the contrary have their feet on the ground and their head in the air while they experience infinity. They seem to be value the usefulness of materialistic world and at the same time love to overcome great challenges. They are more achievement oriented and do not easily give up on the challenges. Depression is less likely to be their forte and more often than not they are more rational.

So, my dear readers, what type are you? Sea loving or  mountain loving  ?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

10 reasons why true friendships never exist

Needless to say that such a "cynical" title might put off a large number of readers . Hence I have taken the unusual approach of starting this post with a disclaimer, which otherwise should have come at the bottom.

Disclaimer: This post is taken from a cauldron of experiences of different people and their stories over a lifetime. What is said is a partial reflection of the miserable, warring, selfish , consumerist world that we live in , a world where values are degenerative but never fully lost. Therefore this post must only be taken as a guideline to avoid pitfalls while strengthening the friendships so that one does not find oneself badly hurt. Readers who are also friends must not take the sayings personally and derive meaning where it is not due.

  1. A friend in need is a friend in deed only when his deed is acknowledged by you. Often the deed is about the superior values of a do-gooder and not necessarily about the plight of the beneficiary.
  2. When someone arrives in your time of misery posing as a friend; beware that could be part of a plot to bust you . The helping hand of such friends often conceal a dagger.
  3. Get-together of long-lost professional friends , such as in college alumni , is mostly a  reality check of who has moved up in life and who has fallen behind & whether that tallies with the perceptions of the younger days. It has nothing to do with renewal of old ties.
  4. A selfless help towards a friend will often be "rewarded" in future with spite and ignorance.
  5. When friends say,  "call me whenever you need anything" , they say that because they really do not know how to react to your present plight and basically mean that "I forgot to tell you that you can call me only when I am not busy but please remember that I offered you help."
  6. Friendship is sustained only through gainful reciprocity and is never unconditional. Multi-million dollar scams always involve work among close friends in power ,sharing the war chest.A friend will not return a call if he doesn't see any gainful value in sharing his time with you.
  7. Sacrifice is a word enshrined in Elton John's song but rarely found in the lexicon of friendship. While you may be considered a fool to sacrifice for your friend, a friend will often find excuses not to do the same for you when you need it badly.
  8. When it comes to friendship between opposite sexes, inevitably complications arise with the other close family members of the friend.
  9.  When a stranger wants to become your friend; it's not because he shares the same value as yours or not because he wants to be  beside you in your times of trouble but because he sees a future value for himself in associating with you without paying for it. 
  10. Lastly friendship is good from far. Hence  a detached association  lasts longer rather than a intimate relationship. The latter can often leave you bruised and hurt for life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Will WC2011 be the high noon for India's cricket?- A midterm review of the World Cup Cricket 2011

It's exactly mid way in the ICC World Cup 2011 cricket tournament & the matches have given their due share of photo-finishes , upsets along with some memorable batting & bowling prowess. The second half is kicking off with the group match between India & South Africa. More about that later.

Below is a holistic review of the how the countries have shaped up and what potential they hold.

  1. Australia:  Fit and fighting , Ricky Ponting's men are cracking ready & expected to sail through to the semis.
  2. Bangladesh : An inconsistent side , Bangladesh will have gained in confidence after chasing out England with 2 wickets to spare and has an outside chance of making it to the quarter finals.
  3. Canada    : Registered their first win against Kenya and will carry home good memories.
  4. England   : The only team to feature in all the three close finishes/upsets  (against India,Ireland, Bangladesh), will require more than pride to defeat the resurgent Windies in their last group match. Broad and KP's departures are not auguring well for the team too.
  5. India    : Unfit and struggling, Dhoni  thinks that the team will peak in the "right time" and hopefully he is right. But facing another resurgent team , New Zealand in the quarter finals in Ahmedabad, could challenge Dhoni's captaincy skill against a confident Vettori's. 
  6. Ireland  : Kevin O'Brien , the star of the first half of WC, scored a 50-ball century to blast England out of the match. Ireland has played all matches consistently well & will go back with the hope of gaining the coveted test status in the next few years.
  7. Kenya :  Sandip Patil or otherwise, Kenya should finally decide whether they mean serious business and hire a world class coach with a 3-5 year plan for improving their game.
  8. New Zealand : Playing exceptional cricket against the Pakistanis, Ross Taylor gave his team what neither Greatbatch nor Wright could imbibe as coaches; the belief in themselves. From this point onward, New Zealand looks set to be the second placed in their group.
  9. Netherlands : Ryan Doeschate gave the team a lot of respectability that they will have to sustain through  their performances in the ODIs.
  10. Pakistan :  Shahid Afridi had led the scandal-ridden team to a level from where they can look forward to peaking in the right time but will have a tough fight possibly against the Windies at Dhaka.
  11. South Africa: The side which truly deserves to win at least one world cup title has to tighten up their belts against world class spin bowling of Muralidharan & Mendis in a turning track in Colombo, if it wants to reach the final. Their impeccable pace battery & world class fielding are assets that will see them through in majority of their matches irrespective of their batting display although Kallis is yet to peak.
  12. Sri Lanka :   The top-heavy team still looks shaky in their middle order and that could be the deciding factor in a do or die match. Expected to ride on comfortably to the semis where they might meet India , just like the last edition in 1996 but only this time in Mohali instead of Eden Gardens.
  13. West Indies : The dark horse of the tournament , West Indies is coasting merrily in spite of a poor form of Gayle not only because they have multiple match winners in the side but also because of  an excellent temperament of their new performing captain Sammy. This is the punters' team just like England was the bookies'.
  14. Zimbabwe : Don't cry for Zimbabwe!! They will overcome some day.
But all of the above were subjective reviews with speculative predictions, which anyway has no relevance once a match kicks in with its inherent excitement and shining superstars .

The  South Africa versus India match today at Nagpur is going  to be a contest between the best all round side against the best batting side . No matter what  the bowling combinations that India might think of (Munaf as the third pacer being one) playing today , it will boil down to the skills of the batting heavy weights against the scorching pace of Steyn,Morkel & Tsotsobe ( a likely inclusion considering his exploits against the Indians just about two months back in South Africa) and mind blowing fielding of the rest of the team. Sachin who was tested time and again by Steyn 2 months back , might hold on to make his point but the likes of Gambhir, Yuvaraj & Sehwag will have raise their games by more than a notch  to prevent being bundled out around  150-200 runs .

The toss is immaterial for South Africa as they would like to bowl first and India , for sure, would like to bat first to give its timid bowlers some respectable total to defend . However, since both the teams are expected to be in quarters , this match could just be a warm-up game for both the contestants with some competitive actions thrown in the last ten overs. Overall, South Africa is favourites to win today but the combined Indian top-order along with Zahir & Bhajji could just make it the high noon for India in Nagpur today.