Thursday, May 28, 2009

Favorite 25 Hindi movies

And very predictably, I come up with this one.

1. Sholay
2. Guide
3. Pyaasa
4. Jab We Met
5. Andaz Apna Apna
6. Deewar (old one)
7. Amar Akbar Anthony
8. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
9. Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
10. Abhimaan
11. Jewel Thief
12. Golmaal (the original one)
13. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
14. Swades
15. Lagaan
16. Rang De Basanti
17. Dil Chahta Hain
18. Chak De! India
19. Anand
20. Roja
21. Ghayal
22. Dil Hain Ki Maanta Nahi
23. Satya
24. Vaastav
25. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar

Heights of vela-giri I must say…

Favorite 25 English movies

Another random post with a random order.

1. The Godfather – Part 1
2. Casablanca
3. Roman Holiday
4. Gladiator
5. A Beautiful Mind
6. Sleepless in Seattle
7. Notting Hill
8. A Few Good Men
9. Black Hawk Down
10. Blood Diamond
11. Forrest Gump
12. French Kiss
13. LA Confidential
14. Munich
15. Rocky I
16. Serendipity
17. The Truman Show
18. Remember The Titans
19. Departed
20. North By Northwest
21. Goodfellas
22. Raging Bull
23. Taxi Driver
24. An Officer and a Gentleman
25. Saving Private Ryan

I think I am aping Facebook…God knows what will I come up with next.

Favorite 25 books

I could not think of any other post…I started to write about why United so horribly lost yesterday but then I have had umpteen discussions over the phone and other social forums. And since I just got done reading a book (Anything for you, ma’am by Tushar Raheja), I decided to put this one up.

I have been an avid reader since childhood. I love fiction and mostly spy thrillers. So this list will definitely be dominated by those kinds. The order is random.

1. HMS Ulysses – Alistair Mclean
2. The Godfather – Mario Puzo
3. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat
4. Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsythe
5. Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
6. The Class – Jeffrey Archer
7. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse, especially the Jeeves and Wooster series
8. Love Story – Erich Segal
9. The Day After Tomorrow - Allan Folsom
10. Bourne Identity – Robert Ludlum
11. Harry Potter series
12. Maximum City – Suketu Mehta
13. Three Men In A Boat – Jerome K. Jerome
14. The Last Frontier – Alistair Mclean
15. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
16. Thirteen at Dinner – Agatha Christie
17. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
18. Count of Monte Christo – Alexandre Dumas
19. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
20. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
21. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold – John le Carre
22. Talkative Man – R.K. Narayan
23. The World of Nagaraj – R.K. Narayan
24. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea – Jules Verne
25. Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Manchester United vs. Barcelona

25 minutes to kick off...a battle between two footballing institutions...two clubs who play football the way it should be played...

I pray it turns out to be a great game...with lots of goals and attacking play.

Glory Glory Manchester United!!!

Over and out...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

25 Year Timeline: Part II

Sleep as usual evades much so that now I am afraid of even trying to sleep. Nevertheless, part II of the timeline of my life...

1. August 2000: Joined Ruia College for FYJC…it was a seamless move from school to college. Frankly seemed like an extension of school life minus the uniforms...
2. April 2001: Got 62.5% in 11th standard….my lowest percentage ever (well, till that point it was the lowest…later on I became adept at just nudging the 60% barrier). Hardly remember anything of these 2 years in junior college...spent most of the time away from college and made some great friends for life.
3. May 2002: Got a good enough PCM score and secured admission to DJ Sanghvi COE in the Electronics stream. It was the best choice I ever made. I had intended to take up Chemical engineering but don’t know why on the day of the admissions, I selected Electronics ahead of it…wise choice indeed as time would prove.
4. January 2003: Easily made it to the college football team and was soon a regular starter…won zilch in the first year but then was played out of position (not making an excuse here but still…).
5. March 2003: Secured 53% in Semester I…lowest ever but was simply happy with the score of 41, 42, and 41 in some dreaded subjects (although never have I ever needed grace marks to get through in any subject).
6. September 2004: Was selected as the Sports Secretary of the college for the year 2004-05 and was made a member of the Students Council.
7. April 2005: Won the Intra-Class Football tournament with my class - DJ Elex. It was a tournament that we deserved to win. After all we had the best players and played the best football…some of our scorelines were simply amazing…I remember drubbing a team 13-1 or something.
8. August 2005- May 2006: My final year in engineering college. It was my best football season with the college team…we made it 6 finals but converted just one…my performance throughout was decent…lots of assists and every penalty converted.

I aim not to sleep today...seems like a pretty good thing to do...I mean atleast I have something to do

Monday, May 25, 2009

25 Year Timeline: Part I

As said before, here is the first part of my 25 Year timeline...covers my schooling days.

1. 16th May 1984: Born on an extremely wet and rainy Wednesday dawn. Second child to proud parents and a brother to a wonderful sister.
2. May 1988: Gave my first viva at the age of four…answered almost all questions and got admitted to Christ Church School.
3. 1992: First crush - my Scriptures teacher…she was 24, I was 8. She wore minis and I wore shorts…we shall leave it at that.
4. April 1993: Finished top of my class in 3rd standard…never gave up a podium finish till the 10th standard. It is all so meaningless now…
5. 1993-2000: Some of the best years of my life…from hating girls to discovering teenage love to doing crazy things…school was the best.
6. June 1997-April 1998: 8th standard…best year in school. Realized that biology was not all about mucous membrane, liver and kidneys…an interesting subject in more than one ways. Also, went below 90% for the first time but it was worth for all the fun I had…
7. December 1998: Made the move from Pepsi to alcohol…I think it was Kingfishers…not really sure on that but it was great fun. I remember being shit scared when returning home.
8. June 1999-April 2000: Final year in school…some really good times but all good things come to an end and so did this one.
9. May 2000: Secured 90.5% in ICSE Boards…I had slogged for a month and had been written off by most people…but frankly was amazed at these marks. Also, last time I ever crossed the 90% barrier.

Next parts should follow soon...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday boring Sunday

Sporty Sunday turns to Boring Sunday…I can’t watch TV because mom has to watch the French Open (Ana Ivanovic does have beautiful legs…but how long can I keep staring at them?). The game of football that I expected did not materialize. And so I am let with nothing to do but surf aimlessly, play Crazy Taxi, read football sites.

My remedy over boredom is to eat…but after two rounds of paani-puri and mango milkshake I still am bored. I have this really killer craving to have some home-made bhurji but I also have a feeling that this craving of mine will only remain that…an aimless craving.

After endless trips to the kitchen, my mom has now banned me from entering it. My sister has taken up battle-stations near the fridge in case I manage to escape mom. But now I am bored to even go to the kitchen.

So I contemplate sleeping but no sooner does the thought enter my mind, I discard it. I can’t sleep now because if I do, then I shall stay awake the whole night…and it really is not pretty to stay awake till 4 A.M. counting sheep, goats, donkeys, ants till you fall asleep.

Boredom is a slow killer…and right now I feel like I am slowly sinking in quicksand (people will argue that me being featherweight, I would not sink…but I feel like I am sinking and that’s that). I just don’t know what to do…I can see myself, over the next few hours, losing what little semblance of sanity is left in me.

I am now too bored to even continue this post…so I shall cease and desist. Ya, and by the way was nice to see Kimi Raikonnen back on the podium after a long time…Go Kimi go…

Over and out…

Sporty Sunday

Monte Carlo GP, French Open, Survival Sunday in EPL, IPL 20-20 Finals…seems an overload of sports for most but not for me. It is the perfect Sunday to beat away the blues of the week gone. Also, today morning I finally managed to wake up on time to go down and play cricket in my colony (not an easy task considering the fact I was up till 4 A.M. waiting for a message).

However, let’s get back to the cricket. I have never been a fan of the game…simply because football is my raison d’ĂȘtre. I have never played cricket that well…though in school I was a pretty good player of the rubber and tennis ball. The season ball still leaves me cold and scared…

Today after something like a couple of years I went down to play cricket. Two years because on a Sunday I can never wake up before 1 P.M. Most of the crowd was new, enthuastic kids who were eager to please us seniors who had consented to play with them. We seniors meanwhile were just not interested in the game…we had come simply to relive some of our childhood memories, once again go back to being kids.

And so it was great to be back…I played 4 matches in all. My personal scores: 0, 0, 1, and 0. Each time I got out in my usual fashion…a wild and reckless swing of the bat with no eye for the ball…timing all haywire. When playing football, my feet can move with all the grace of a ballerina in her prime but the footwork required for cricket beats me…no wonder I am called the Sadagopan Ramesh of Finlay Towers.

My major contribution, and this is where I really excel, was to sledge opposition batsmen, slowly break down their concentrate, rib them on every false shot, every mishit. No wonder we won all 4 matches on the trot…

Now I await a nice game of football in the evening…when I will be in my own elements, feeling that rush of blood when you have breezed past your marker and have only the keeper to beat…the beauty of seeing the ball nestling in the back of the net...

However, the day does not seem complete without a game of badminton...but then you can't have everything, can you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A 25 year timeline

I turned 25 a few days back. Hmmm...I have been around for 25 years on this planet. They say you can see your entire life in a second before you die…and that second seems an eternity. I am not dying but nevertheless a few hours after I turned 25, I suddenly felt the need to go through my life…from childhood to adulthood…from wetting bed sheets to falling in love. Surprisingly it was a very pleasant journey…trying to remember some memorable incidents in your life…and trying to put away the memories of the not so good ones…

Life as someone rightly said…is a rollercoaster…it goes up and down…what makes it worth it is how you ride the troughs and the crests (a pretty positive statement coming from someone who is ever the pessimist)...

It is a pretty long timeline and hence am dividing it in parts…should be up anytime soon…

Glory Glory Manchester United!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Manchester United: Champions again

And while I was busy walking around the streets of Bombay and helping out with a bit of shopping, back in Manchester, an expensively assembled team of superstars battled Arsenal for a solitary point that confirmed Manchester United as Champions of England for the 18th time.

We are level now on league titles with Liverpool though they have more European Cups (2 more…) and now I believe this will be Sir Alex Ferguson’s next aim (we have the potential to bring in a 4th European Cup come the 27th of May…just that we have to nullify the a team of Total Footballers in Rome).

I heard Rafa Benitez crib that United were not the best team…I can see Liverpool supporters arguing that they had already won the league when they did the double over us. Strangely none of them want to agree that they were not consistent enough or that they were too dependent on Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres (some Liverpool fan told me that Yossi Benayoun will get more better next season…ya right).

So the United juggernaut roles on…three titles back to back. I’ll like to highlight a few contributions here:

1. Sir Alex Ferguson: For mastering the art of rotation and for taking mind games to another level

2. Nemanja Vidic: Simple attitude towards any opposition player…stay out of my f****** box (though Torres owned him at Old Trafford but every good player is allowed a blip or two).

3. John Oshea: Ohh ya some might be surprised to see him at No. 3 but for me he has played a massive role…he has been employed right across the back four and would even play as a goal keeper if needed. If he wants he can leave United for any team and can be guaranteed first team football but he loves the club…and I love him for that.

4. Darren Fletcher and Park Ji Sung: Will sorely miss Fletcher in Rome but Park should be capable of shutting down either Iniesta or Messi.

5. Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra: Carrick for being an excellent shield ahead of our back four and Evra for those marauding runs forward.

6. Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez: Nothing to say here…their actions on the field say it all. Just the sour note of Tevez not wanting to stay anymore at OT.

7. Rest of the team: So many players here actually …Giggs, Scholes, Edwin, Dimi, Ronaldo, Rafael, Anderson, that boy Macheda, Neville.

8. Red Devils: For being the most awesome supporters ever…

Over to Rome, bring us the 4th European Cup...

Glory Glory Manchester United...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Change of name...

Well...I changed the name of my blog. I was tinkering around with the settings and found out that there was no need to be stuck with the earlier name (agentgsn...God, what was I thinking when I came up with that...).

So, I changed the name to: sleepyreddevil

The "sleepy" because I perennially am in sleep mode (trust me, I only appear sleepy and washed actually is not so). The "reddevil" simply because I am die-hard Manchester United fan...will eternally be so.

So, please do note the change in name...

Child of the night...

The bells ring twice. It is a strange, hypnotic sound...a reminder of how deep is the night.

It is 2 AM. I walk to my kitchen window...and stare into nothingness. Outside it is dark and deliciously warm. I can see the workers from a nearby construction site sleeping on the pavement...the taxi-men sleeping with their feet up. It was a long day...and is a long night for me.

Why am I awake at this unearthly hour? Ya, sure, they say Mumbai never sleeps but from my window I can see the city smothered by darkness, enveloped in slumber. Surely people must be sleeping...but sleep will elude me.

I try and listen to the sounds of the is a very silent night. An occasional car goes screeching past, the hoot of an owl and the shuffling of the feet of the night watchman...slowly these sounds blend into the silence. Then, a calmness descends that I can never feel during the day.

They say insomnia is an oasis in which those who have to think or suffer darkly take refuge...but I don't fall in this category (not entirely true but more of this some other time). I believe I simply am at peace during the long hours of the night...a true child of the night.

I think what I have written is crap...Diamond would surely agree (but she would also agree that it is refreshing change from all those Manchester United posts...won't you Diamond??)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A week after the music died

A week has passed since I finished B-school. How fast time flies?

The moment I handed over the answer sheet with the carefully stapled supplement to the invigilator and walked out of the room, I felt a void, a sense of having lost something. The last time I felt like this was 9 years back, when I left school to enter college, when I stepped out from the protectiveness of teachers to get into the groove of bunking lectures en masse.

And now here I was, all of 24 years old, stepping out from a B-school to the real school. God knows what lies in store for me; going by my track…it surely is not going to be pretty.

Well, this last one week has been horrendous for me. Obscene amounts of sleeping (off late even that has come down) followed by an equally obscene amount of watching television or playing idiotic games on Facebook. And yes…those Facebook quizzes. The stupidity of these quizzes is beyond question…I mean one quiz decided on the basis of some answers to some stupid questions that I am Albus Dumbledore. It went on to describe some traits of my nature:

“You are wise, kind and still ready to fight for what you think is right…so just don’t keep too many secrets so when you're gone, people won’t think that you were shady…”

As a good friend of mine would say: "Watevr!!"

The only sense of calm in this oasis of madness has been this friend of mine who is striving hard to maintain my sanity (not that I have any left but atleast I won’t get certified for sure).

Cheers to you Diamond!!! The music is gone and the silence remains…but maybe in this silence I might hear your voice.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Should United sign Tevez?

"Argentina....Argentina"...such chants can be heard from the terraces of Old Trafford quite often. Fans waving the blue Argentina flag can be seen in hordes...the player they cheer - Carlitos Tevez.

Tevez joined United from WHU on a 2 year loan deal. And he was an instant hit with the fans. A bundle of energy, he is never averse from getting stuck in. He always wears his heart on his sleeve...will chase back everything...even if it is a lost cause. He is not a typical No. 9 that is, he really is not your Ruud van Nistelrooy or Didier Drogba but he is something different. He can't play as a target man but can very easily play behind the target-man.

His goal return has been steady...not spectacular but he has got us some really crucial goals. What he brings in is his dynamism...his love for the game...his passion...his endless running around and the fans love him for that. They all want him at Old Trafford...he himself wants to stay.

But the main hitch is...his buying price is £22 million and simply put...he does not get that many goals. Yes, he does put in a tremendous shift everytime he pulls on the red shirt...but is that worth £22 million. Not in my We have Darren Fletcher, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves to do that dirty job....we dont need a £32 million striker for that!!!

So should he be signed? In my opinion, no...let him leave and knowing Fergie, Tevez will leave for Italy or Spain. He wont be going to an EPL club. I'd love to see him stay...would love to see him give his 200% everytime...would love to see the professional behaviour that Cristiano Ronaldo can learn from...


The Manchester Derby

It is the Manchester Derby again...the world's most famous club versus the world's richest club do battle at Old Trafford.

Last season City did the double over us...worst was they beat us on the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster. So this is revenge time...

The line-ups are out. United have made several changes from the line-up that massacred Arsenal midweek. Tevez gets a rare start...feel really sad for him. He is such an absolutely joy to watch...chases everything down...even lost causes...scores some vital goals and does not feel scared of getting stuck in. Too bad if we lose him and worst if he goes to another club in the Premiership itself. Sad.

Anyways KO is minutes away...laters.

Glory Glory Manchester United!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Steel vs Poetry

I am right now watching Barcelona trying to glide their way through Chelsea's defence....for all their exquisite passing, non-stop one-touch football, good movement off the ball....thay can't muster one shot at Petr Cech's goal...sad.

Barcelona simply does not have a Plan B....whenever Xavi, Iniesta, Messi get the ball, there are 5 blue shirts ahead....tactically Guus Hiddink got it right over both legs and Pep Guardiola for all his philosophy of Total Football, failed to break down these tactics. But he will learn...he has a lot of time.

Both the Chelsea-Barcelona legs were dead football...absolutely dead. Not a single moment of was all Barca trying to pass their way through the a wall...Chelsea just kept defending....maintained their shape...but alas to no avail.

As I said before...Barca could not get a single shot at Petr Cech. But they did get one shot and that too on target...Andries Iniesta in the 93rd minute cracks the ball past Cech to put Barca through on away goals.

The end of the match was not pretty with all Chelsea players confronting the referee who did not really have a good game....he gave quite a few decisions against Chelsea and a silly red card.

Anyways....Manchester United meet Barcelona in Rome, May 27th. Hopefully should be a good game.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Manchester United go to Rome...Arsenal go Home

Well...I predicted a 2-0 win for Arsenal but United were 2-0 up in the first 11 minutes itself and added a third in the 61st. Arsenal got one back via a penalty (an absolutely dreadful decision by the referee, I must say) but it was game over by then. So, all United your tickets for Rome...27th May.

SAF got the tactics correct....played Ronaldo up front to stretch the Arsenal defence. But the goals were from absolute howlers. I wont blame Gibbs, he slipped and there is nothing to do about that but what was Almunia doing there. And some say he should be England's No. 1. Crap!!!

United got the third on a blistering took 13 seconds for the ball to travel from United's penalty area to the Arsenal goal. Unselfish play by Rooney...he was subdued today but understandable...was one booking away from suspension.

Meanwhile, Darren Fletcher joins 11 players who have missed the UCL finals because of picking up cards in the semis. Scholes and Keane are also part of this unlucky group. Why did he just not let Fabregas go and score...why did he have to make that tackle...why, why, why??

And the answer is that this is how United play....this is what is our philosophy....we wont let anyone score if we can prevent it....and we dont mind picking a card for that

Anyways....we go to Rome...Arsenal go home....all Arsenal fans - "Next year will be our year..."

Glory Glory Manchester United!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Manchester United vs Arsenal: UCL Semi-final

Tonight United and Arsenal do battle at the Emirates for a place in the final of the UEFA Champions League. United are looking to defend the title they won last year after a heart-breaking penalty shootout in Moscow, while Arsenal are looking to win this competition for the first time. United will have a slender lead of 1-0 (thanks to Almunia....he saved the day for the Gunners) to protect.

What makes this game fun for the neutrals is the fact that these are two good footballing sides who really look to play football. Both are going to go for it...Arsenal a little more as they have to score. This will definitely allow United to attack on the counter. Hence, we can expect an open game.

Key players:

United: Wayne Rooney

Arsenal: Fabregas

Looking forward to a superb match. My prediction 2-0 to Arsenal and 2-1 on aggregate.

Glory Glory Manchester United!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Year Long Project Viva or is it?

I have my Year-Long Project (affectionately called YLP/DLP/WLP and probably many more variations...) viva scheduled today. To begin with, I must give an accurate description of what is a Year-Long Project.

University of Mumbai states the following objective of the YLP:

"The objectives of the project would be to see that a student does research work in any “Area of Management” related to the field of specialisation."

Basically, we are required to sign up under a guide, select a topic, carry out primary research, come to certain conclusions and then proceed to take viva-voce. All this has to be carried out over a period of two semesters. Right.

Students of MMS-II JBIMS define YLP/DLP/WLP as:

"The objectives of the project would be to see that a student cuts-copies-pastes someone elses acknowledged work in any “Area of Management” even if it is vaguely related to their field of specialisation."

The objectives that we need to follow are:
  1. The topic should have enough material to make a 50 page report.
  2. There should be enough gas or management terminology to dazzle the interviewer into believing that a fantastic piece of research work sits before him.
  3. Revision of the entire topic should not take more than 30 min prior to the viva (for some, the requirement maybe that no revision is even needed).
  4. Maximum marks must be guaranteed.

A comprehensive list of requirements is pretty much difficult to compile as they vary from student to student but these 4 form the gist.

As I open my report, I feel proud that my YLP is actually my original work. I have worked for a full 6 months on it. The work done is rudimentary and might not stand a full-fledged viva but should get me through.

Enough said...let me get back to a last game of Crazy Taxi before I dive into the world of "Selection of a Daily Settlement Pricing Methodology for the Clearing & Settlement of Options Contracts".

Till then...