Sunil Chhetri did what the football federation never could: ‘Give Indian Football hope’

To begin with, let me congratulate Sunil Chhetri on winning the Intercontinental cup by beating Kenya with a comfortable margin. As Chhetri equals Messi as the joint second highest goal scorer in International football this year, it is a proud moment for all Indians. But today my dad questioned, how many of these goals did Chhetri score against the top teams? A very valid question to which I answered that an international goal is a goal, doesn’t matter against whom it comes!

I am a Manchester United supporter. A club over a hundred and fourty years old. A club which boasts of championship titles, European titles. A club with a history and probably the world’s largest fanbase. But, did all this happen overnight? No. This is only an example… Take Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, these clubs too were at sometime in history nowhere but today they are the giants of their respective leagues.

The point to note is that there’s always a beginning.

Indian Football team has neither got the history nor the quality of football that can make a difference. Our FIFA ranking is 97. We are 97th in Football out of a total 211 countries. Chhetri himself admits the team is nowhere close to the quality of football played by the European clubs. Below is the link to the video he shared!

But Chhetri has a very valid point. He wants us to join them in their journey, he wants us to come and see them play, abuse them, criticize them. He wants our attention and he is so right to demand it.

The European clubs are powerhouses, the media gives them ample of coverage.The matches telecast on online platforms with their paid subscription model. The team’s jerseys sell like hotcakes… But the only coverage our National Team gets is that India slipped a few positions down in the FIFA ranking. There are neither big sponsors associated with the team, nor do they have a cash rich Football board. All this because football, in our country, doesn’t have the visibility which it so badly needs… Can you tell the name of four players from our national Football Team? Oh wait, if you are thinking of Bhaichung Bhutia, then think twice. He retired a few years ago.

Sunil Chhetri so gracefully requested us to come to the stadium, criticise them on their face instead of venting out the frustation on Twitter. He mentions two very correct reaons. First, football being the best sport and second, that they play for the country. This shows the team’s maturity, they are ready to take up the pressure, they are ready to struggle but are we ready to go in the stands and watch a 90 minute game of football with passion..?

They want the attention because it is necessary for improvement. Higher the viewership, better are the revenues, and greater the revenue quicker will be the progress of Indian Football… But responsibilities rest on Chhetri’s shoulders. He has to remember that people will come with a certain expectation and a lot will be required to keep them all hooked. In all senses this video appeal will touch many and make us realise to give equal respect to all the sports.

Sachin and Kohli, also re-emphasized Chhetri’s message and it will certainly give the message more visibility, but why not take the initiative and be there in the stands to cheer the team? It’s time that influential people like celebrities and cricketers also go to the stands and show their support instead of only dropping a video on Twitter!!

I’m leaving below the link to our football team’s Wikipedia page, we do have an exciting history let’s try and catch up on it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_national_football_team


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Kaala : Rajni’s swagger meets a strong screenplay

Kaala‘ (black) and ‘safed‘ (white), the two colours which are antithesis to each other, are at conflict. Kaala (Superstar Rajni) and Safed or Nana Patekar as Hari dada, have old scores to settle as Hari wants to get hold of the land of Dharavi, a place of the proletariant, of the working class of Mumbai. But there’s one man standing against Hari’s dream of cleaning up Dharavi, Kaala, the leader choosen by the people, for the people, of the people.

The highlight of the movie is it’s inherent conflict. The oppression done on the poor by the people roaming in air conditioned cars. Such themes have been widely explored in Hindi cinema and Kaala is no different. What’s different is Kaala’s crisp screenplay. No scene resembles a drag, ample of time is given for characters to develop in the first half. Kaala is a family man, has three sons, a loving wife and an old flame.

Kaala’s swag and style is what sets him apart. A man with a big heart whose action speaks more than him. A man who is widely respected in Dharavi and people are willing to give up their lives for him (many indeed give up). Some of the most dramatic moments are so brilliantly handled by Rajni sir. Also it’s astonishing to see him do amazing fight scenes at his age. No wonder why he’s treated as a God down south.

Nana Patekar, too, is one fine actor in a negative role. You know he’s acted well when you begin hating him by the end of the movie. He’s evil drapped in white, who looks all clean from outside but carries enough filth within.

Only if the movie could have been 20 mins shorter, the impact would have been much more.

A special mention to the well thought and stunningly shot climax. As Hari claims that your black symbolises your poverty and filth, Kaala firmly replies ‘Kabhi meri chawl me aa kar dekh, gandagi bhi rangeen dikhayi degi’ and that’s what he makes him show in the climax. It’s the highlight of the movie.

Go watch Kaala for the amazing Superstar Rajni and some spine chilling confrontations between Nana Patekar and him… On a lighter note, Kaala indeed sets the tone for Rajni sir’s entry in politics. It strikes the right chord to connect him with the biggest votebank of the country.

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Avengers: Infinity War – The most ambitious Marvel movie ever!! (Spoiler Free)

Dread it… Run from it… Destiny still arrives. The mighty Thanos has arrived to strike a balance in the universe by wiping out half of the universe’s population. Standing in his way are, in Thor‘s words, Earth’s mightiest heroes The Avengers. And they are not five or seven but twenty seven in number (or even more).

Avengers: Infinity War is more about Thanos than the Avengers. It’s fair to say that he is at the center of all the events happening in the film.

Thanos, the mad Titan, ready to destroy the entire universe by the snap of his finger has his own reasons to do so. In one of the scenes when Dr. Strange asks him ‘What will you do when all of this is over?’, Thanos softly replies ‘I will sit, and watch the sun-set’… The Russo brothers did the right thing by staging the entire movie from his perspective. Time and again taking us in his past and making us realize why Thanos became so mad about bringing balance to the universe. He is the beginning and the end.

It’s significantly important to point out Gamora‘s character, how she handles the pain her step father, Thanos, brought upon her. Some emotional scenes are very well handled by her (Zoe Saldana), given that Thanos is actually a computer generated purple giant.

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Russo brothers entirely play on the strengths of the Avengers. Each one has a special trick up his sleeve and each one gets a try to contain Thanos.

Tony Stark, the man who still has nightmares about the incidents of New York which happened in the first Avengers movie, portrays the fear, helplessness and rage in the correct proportion as he fights in a new nano-tech Iron Man suit. With his quirky one-liners and almost constant ego tussle with Dr. Strange, some of the finest moments are between them. A special mention to Stark and Spiderman‘s chemistry, a mentor and his ward fighting side by side!!

But then, most of the other characters are underutilized at the cost of giving Thanos sufficient run-time. Black Panther, Steve Rogers barely get a few lines to speak. Black Widow has no dialogues at all. Vision and the Scarlet Witch have pivotal roles but they are not too convincing, trying really hard. The Guardians of the Galaxy are enthusiastic and have no inhibitions about bringing out their madness. Everyone else are just come and go.

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But there’s one guy who stands out. Thor, the son of Odin.

In one of the interviews, Joe Russo mentioned that Thor has one of the most exhilarating role to play. He, filled not only with his rusty sense of humour, but also with vengeance and rage, in one of the scenes exclaims valiantly in Thanos‘s face ‘I told you, you’d die for that!‘. There’s anger in Thor‘s voice and belief in his heart… Watch out for what he is up-to, Thor‘s story is the most amazing of all.

With a large number of battles happening in the cosmos, the movie revolves across planets, switching back and forth. It can be difficult to match up with the pace of the movie. There is so much to grab, every frame is enormous, every character is larger than life. There are innumerable suspenses. One after the other, particularly in the second half. Especially there was one moment in which I was literally out of my seat, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I exclaimed ‘No, he cannot die!!!’

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Watch out for that sudden change in music and you will cheer that the movie is going to take you to Wakanda, also for Bruce Banner‘s exquisite relationship with his inner Hulk and Peter Dinklage‘s cameo (Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones). Oh, this movie has so much to offer that the review can never be enough. Go, watch it in 3D and feel the chill. Will the mighty Thanos get all the infinity stones? Will your favourite Avenger remain alive? This movie will answer it all…

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A Quiet Place review: Who had thought silence can be so terrifying!

A Quiet Place is chilling and terrifying and I got pretty scared watching it, imagining what all could go wrong. Surprisingly my imagination was never enough and the movie has such instances which will raise your heartbeats and send shivers down your spine. Well, I watched it at night so I may be over-exaggerating but it was definitely scary.

A hidden element which is so efficiently used is silence. Because as you must be aware the aliens here are super receptive creatures; miles away a bottle might break and they can, not only trace easily where it happened but also reach the exact spot within minutes. That’s what makes the movie so thrilling, that there is so much to do but no noise to make, there is so much to say but no voice to say. Surprisingly it compels us, as viewers, to remain silent and take in the sound of the character’s breath, heartbeats or the free-flowing river. A fascinating read on what challenges their sound designers faced can be found here.

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The entire second half of the movie is a roller coaster ride, when shit starts going crazy we see Emily Blunt in a brilliant role, carrying a baby in her womb and defending herself from the aliens at point-blank range. Probably the most amazing thing about the screenplay is that no frame is useless. Every scene helps, every characters is polished, be it Millicent Simmonds as the deaf girl, John Krasinski as the fighting father or Emily Blunt as the mother trying to save her family.

Probably it’s all about building up the plot, showing how the Earth has been a lost planet and the dominance the extra-terrestrial species has, going to how someone has survived and the challenges they are facing. Then things go wrong and everything changes. But A Quiet Place is certainly more than that.

The film is also about a family going through an existential crisis. The kids wanting more from their father, the mother having her moments of regrets and how they eventually realize that each one will have to stand up and save the other!!

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There’s one thing common in all alien movies, the aliens are so very creepy (like in Independence Day as well as War of the Worlds). They make very irritating sounds and senselessly kill humans. Man, are we so hated as a species? Nevertheless, watch A Quiet Place to see a refreshing and scary tale of post apocalyptic survival of a family trying really hard!! This one is very different and a highly entertaining movie…

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Ready Player One : An adventure like no other!!

Its the year 2045, a dystopian world where humans no more enjoy the reality but instead live in a virtual reality, the Oasis. Without disclosing much I can tell you this place will stretch all the levels of your imagination. There is so much to comprehend, so much to gasp at; that, as a viewer, you would never want to come out of the Oasis. In fact, the real hero of the film is this place, the Oasis, created by an eccentric scientist, James Halliday (played by Mark Rylace), who devises a big puzzle of finding an ‘Easter Egg‘ (the total and ultimate control of the Oasis).

Spielberg begins the movie by showing the grim side of the planet of our future, but then invites us to the Oasis through the eyes of Parzival aka Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan). A gunter hunting the easter egg and trying to find the glory which he would achieve but not before risking everthing he has.

As the film dangles among reality and the virtual reality, Spielberg creates an enticing drama, never leaving any threads disconnected by making sure you remain at the edge of your seat till the end. A crazy reference to the movie The Shining (with the sequence running almost for 15 mins) or the disco bringing back the Bee Gee’s classic Staying Alive gives an amazing aura to the film.

Almost seventy percent of the movie is shot in the Oasis, or to say, completely animated. But it looks astonishingly real. Watch out for the amazing car race sequence and the fight in the climax, it crosses all the boundaries of thoughts. Also, the cool gadgets that Parsival buys, and uses at the most appropriate times. Besides all this, I appreciate the movie for the freshness of the entire adventure it creates. It reminds me of the Indiana Jones series or also Tintin. Ready Player One is at par with it.

Above all, watch Ready Player One to be part of an adventurous ride which will leave you wanting more and more of it. This one is for repeat viewing!!


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May be ‘Everything’ just wasn’t enough!

Harder … Sometimes giving everything in the world is not enough, sometimes being desperate doesn’t always assure your desperation will fetch your wishes. Call it luck, call it the ‘right time’, it comes when it wants to. Irrespective of how hard you push, the door won’t open until it wants to. But then have I pushed it as hard as I could? Now I’m asking myself the right question.

Blood, sweat, rage, pain all accompany me today. I had the urge, I had the time and I put in everything. You see, ‘everything’ is quite perspective. It cannot be quanitified. My ‘everything’ would not necessarily be equivalent to yours. That might have been the reason. My ‘everything’ was just not enough.

Image courtesy: Jordon Whitfield (unsplash.com)

Compromise, it’s a killer. It has killed many dreams, it has made many weak hearts cry. It’s contagious. The people around you, they indirectly influence your limits. But I don’t want to compromise. I’m ready to even pay the price. I want to cry today for what I didn’t get but come back stronger. The ‘compromise’ will always be there but why not give another shot. There’s only sweat and hours to spend but glory and satisfaction are the ultimate prize.

Three hundred and sixty five days from today, I will get what I desire. Each day will be a battle, each moment will be a test. I am up for it. I know I can do better, I can redefine my ‘everything’ and fight for my desires. I’ll achieve it, not by sheer desperation but because I would deserve it. If today I burn, let me. Tomorrow I’ll come back stronger.

I’m reminded of an Elton John song ‘The measure of a man‘ how subtly it captures the essence of human struggle and inadvertently motivates me.

Sharing a stanza below:

You’ve come full circle, now you’re home
Without the gold, without the chrome
And this is where you’ve always been
You had to lose so you could win
And rise above your troubles while you can.
Now you can love, now you can lose
Now you can choose
That’s the measure of a man’


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Naam Shabana <- One of their best!!

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As Manoj Bajpayee, who with his slim mustache and an android phone, assures his boss that we are sending one of our best, it takes you back to the movie Baby. The sleek action thriller with some witty one-liners and fast-paced story-line, Naam Shabana is no less than Baby.

Neeraj Pandey, with films like Special 26, A Wednessday and of course Baby in his kitty, now has many dimensions open to try out his hand. He goes back in time to 2011 and comes up with bringing up one character from Baby, the girl who came in a flash and impressed all of us with her action scene.

At one point of time in Naam Shabana, it seems like we are playing a computer game where one has to clear missions. The way Manoj Bajpayee gives him order through a single most important medium of communication , a cell-phone. It keeps us on the edge about what’s going to happen.

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Yes, the first half of the movie is a bit cliched until Shabana gets a call from Manoj Bajpayee. It’s from this point that the movie takes a quick turn and begins to take-off. From Vienna to Mumbai to Germany to Malaysia, there is enough instances which keeps you glued. There are bad guys, good guys, and lots of punches and kicks. The action is raw, no slow-mo scenes, no blarring guns or chase sequences, pure fist fight.

But the most inspiring part of the movie is Tapsee Paanu. To carry a movie single handedly with that tough look on the face is really audacious for a not-so-famous actor. Probably Naam Shabana might someday will be considered as the turning point in her career.

I think Shabana got the bold look on her face from Akshay Kumar, the character of Ajay portrayed by Akshay is made up with precision. There is no extra emotion on the face, there is a level of confidence which can give anyone a feel of security. Yes, he doesn’t have much role but we can say that Akshay is at the right time in the right place.

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There is Shuklaji, the ever-annoying Mantriji and all those references which made Baby such a fresh movie. Naam Shabana is new, bold, a bit-slow in the beginning but with a really strong second half. Watch out for Akshay’s entry, Tapsee’s fight scenes and the complete second half.


I know the review has come a bit late but then go for it, especially if you enjoyed Baby, Naam Shabana will not disappoint at all….

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Office Affairs

3. Bad is the new good!

( Office affairs deals with the basics one should be prepared to learn as soon as he enters the corporate world. How each one goes on to give us a life lesson. Pardon me, if I.T. professionals could relate more to it… )

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I could see him roam around. Going from one Veteran’s (people more than three yrs older in the O.D.C) desk to another. He didn’t crawl like a snake, but his walk bore the purest venom.

Thoughts filled with disgust, eyes filled with slyness and voice filled with honey. Oh boy, the demon was indeed here, and he had two eyes, a nose and two hands.

The ultimate manifestation of garbage was draped in front of me in shirt and pant just like me, just like anyone else. But he was Bad (yes, I’ll be calling him that).

Bad seemed good initially, before the clout actually got cleared. He noted when I came in, when I went out, what I read, what I said. Bad was really clever.

Bad always said to me ‘I’ve got ample of work to do’ but the next moment, he went after the Veterans , wagging his tail. He obliged them by hurling heaps of praises. Bad knew how to get up the ladder by pushing others out.

This is an ode to him who bore a smile when you shared your happiness but within his self, he got burned. This is an ode to Bad. Oh so well I know him now.

But then, its time to thank Bad. Thank you, I understand you more than you. Bad is no more bad, instead Bad has become the new good in my life. I can smell a Bad and laugh at his face. I can look into a Bad‘s face and never blink.
Thank you Bad you help me keep my eyes open!!


Have you ever met a Bad ? I think everyone meets a Bad , please share your thoughts on the Bad you happened to meet in your life.

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Office Affairs

1. Acronyms everywhere

( Office affairs deals with the basics one should be prepared to learn as soon as he enters the corporate world. How each one goes on to give us a life lesson. Pardon me, if I.T. professionals could relate more to it… )

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‘Vyas, raise a CR from Ultimatix and remain in touch with that guy… Abhijeet, from the IS team.’ -said the guy who was helping me getting settled in my new (also, my first) ODC(Offshore Development Center).

I was shocked, surprised.
“Boss, yeh chal kya raha hai?”. Without feeling ashamed and being completely frank I asked him to communicate the same to me in simple, understandable English.

He smiled, I could see his last teeth, the one lost deep inside. He again said,
“Vyas, raise a Change Request from Ultimatix and remain in touch with Abhijeet from the local Infrastructure Support.”

This was just the beginning, everyday from there onwards I got bombarded by varied acronyms. Some of which went like APAC, GBL, CORP, SBG, SBU, DWP, KBA, KT, KSS etc.

One of the most amazing ones was OOO. When my colleague asked me to set OOO before going on leave, I was like ‘Whaaatt…? What’s three zeros for?’. He laughed loudly, then clarified its Out-Of-Office.

It’s difficult, every acronym is so different from the other. I met people here who didn’t know what the full-form of any acronym, even after they have been there for months. They never tried to look or ask what it’s significance was. I pity them. These are just acronyms they never asked to know, imagine the stuff each one of them would have swallowed without ever asking or inquiring about.

We’ve done it. Each one of us. There is so much stuff we all have gulped down but have never been too inquisitive to ask about. Why? May be we all have been taught the following lessons

  • Badon ki baat nai taala karte, beta!!
  • Arey samne sawaal karta hai, tameez nai hai kya tujhe!
  • Mai tujse bada hu, muje zyada pata ya tujhe?

Argh. Our poor brain never questions anything anymore, accepts whatever is served… Sad isn’t it? Can’t we come out of it and start questioning..? Do give it a thought.


I know you are busy, but whatsapp pe ek do msg kum bhej dena, let people know what you think by writing a few words below, in the comments 🙂

And till next time, keep in mind that OOO is Out-Of-Office. 😛

‘Raees’ justifies its tag-line word by word.

There’s one moment in the film where in the background you can hear the old Vividh-Bharti slogan on the radio. The are moments related to a cup of tea. Then a moment where we see a scene from Amitabh’s Kala Pathar and the same scene being replicated by Shah-Rukh. Moments that seem too small but are surprisingly effective. It’s where we can see the director’s finesse.

To most of us who feared that Rahul Dholakia’s movie will glorify a criminal, it fell wrong today. The movie shows us the underworld, the politics, the ever-continuing battle for power but more than that Raees is a story of one-man who stood for the people who, actually, made him Raees.

The screenplay is pretty crisp. Dialogues are hard-hitting. The confrontations between Nawazuddin and SRK are gloriously portrayed. You could feel the tension. Making it difficult to choose sides. Similar to what you would have seen between Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh in Salim-Javed’s classic Deewar.

There is one man who is still underrated in Bollywood, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He’s one gem of an actor. Playing the solid copy who justifies it when he says ‘Raees ko nai chodunga mai’, his face never losses the cool but showers the intensity as it should. He’s simply perfect!

Baniye ka dimak, miyanbhai ki daring‘ No one could have done justice to this role except the Badshah himself. He’s flawless, he’s brave, he’s audacious in the attempts he make and above all a man with a lion’s heart.

The style of film-making used by Rahul Dholakia is very similar to many Bollywood pot-boilers which keep us on the edge of our seat and we keep guessing what will happen next. Yes, the second half could have been a bit shorter but that said, Raees is SRK’s return to the type of cinema for which he is most appreciated.

There are many Gujarati dialogues as well as places which, me being from gujarat, made me feel really nice. Watch out for Nawazuddin’s entry, the Laila song (esp. towards the end), the rally scene and of course the trickery used by SRK in the climax.

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