Tuesday, 31 May 2016

lPL 9 - Oh no RCB, not again

Another IPL season comes to an end with an unexpected twist, SRH, becoming the champions for the first time. This time we had two new teams GL and RPS, instead of the most-loved and most hated team in the IPL CSK and RR.

SRH, the only foreign captain standing at the end of the season, at the start we had two, but Miller was replaced, Warner lifts the cup. Warmer single-handedly took his team to the victory line in most of the games, supported by his bowling unit. Bhuvi was back to form and Nehra kept delivering till he was injured, especially his last over to Dhoni. And, Mustafisur is the find of this season who proved he was a difficult bowler. His yorker to Russel was one of the best delivery of this season. Dhawan's struggled in the beginning, but gained his confidence in the shadow of Warner. And, Yuvi played a few scintillating innings. It was Ben Cutting who had a good day on the finals to get them the cup. Nobody gave them a chance, but they proved they are worth it and happy for Yuvi. CHAMPIONS.

RCB, a team with too many star players like an Avengers team. But, they had a worst bowling line up. Virat was in form of his life scoring almost a 1000 runs supported by ABD. Rahul, surprisingly adapted to T20. And, Gayle was more miss than hit. The team was struggling at the bottom, but it was their inspiring batting led by Kholi placed them at the top. But, they should have won the finals easily. After scoring more than 100 runs without any loss of wickets they choked. Third time in the finals and all while chasing, not good. It was ABD and Watson's fault this time. RCB deserved to win, feeling sad for Virat again after WT20. DESERVED TO BE CHAMPIONS.

GL, a new team with half of the CSK players led by Raina really surprised everyone and finished on top in the league. It had quite a few big hitters Mac, Smith, Finch and Raina. Also, Bravo's death bowling won them a few games especially against DD where Morris went bonkers scoring fastest fifty of this season. His slow yorker to bowl Miller in their first match was one of the best deliveries, next to Fizz's yorker. It was like straight out of EA Sports. A fantastic debut season for a new team and Raina's not as good as he was while wearing yellow jersey. EXCELLENT DEBUT.

KKR, once again they qualified for the playoffs after missing out last year. With a settled side they won few matches comfortably, but Uthappa wasn't as good as he was in last two years and Narine as well. Surprisingly Yusuf played well most in most of the matches. And, Russell was their match winner and they really struggled to win once they lost him to injuries. Still hate this team for Gauti's attitude, but he proves he still has it to make to Indian side. USUAL BUSINESS.

DD, with a bunch of fresh talents and a new captain DD started of poorly by getting bowled for 98 against KKR. Zak told it was one bad day and they proved it after winning few games continuously which they haven't done in the past few years. But, they blow their chances by chopping and changing their winning combination in every match. DeKock, Morris, Zak and Nair were good, Shreyas Iyer disappointed after a fantastic IPL8, so is Negi who was the costliest player of this season who didn't even make it to the playing eleven in most of the games. Better luck next time and . WASTED OPPORTUNITY.

MI, so last year champions didn't even qualify for the playoffs much like KKR last year. They were on and off for most of the season. Rohit was fantastic during chases. Hardik Pandya was biggest flop in their team, but his brother Krunal Padiya is a find of the season for them. Their batting failed miserably in few games which cost them a place in the playoffs. Pollard scored a fastest fifty in his 100th match, but not much of a contribution in other matches. I still have a soft corner for this team cos of SACHIN. UNLUCKY.

RPSG, right from the team's name to jersey color everything looked funny, but they started strongly with a win against the defending champions MI. Everyone thought this new Pune team's fate will be different from the older one. Dhoni, who likes to play all the matches with the same eleven was forced to change his side every match due to the injuries. It was funny to see every foreign players get injured one after the other. Overall a disaster season, but their last match was interesting. Fighting to save some pride to avoid the last spot, Dhoni scored 23 from the last over to win the game. It was like a bad movie finishing with an interesting twist and promising a sequel. Will the sequel be good, let's wait and see. DISASTER DEBUT.

KX1P, another disaster season, they relied heavily on the M&M and both of them were out of form. After handing over the captaincy to Vijay, the team did play some better cricket, but it was too late. Their campaign never took off just like RPS and finished last. I hope they pick some good players in the auction next year. BAD TEAM.

Impressed players are Fizz, K L Rahul, Chahal, Morris, Krunal Pandya, M Ashwin, Zampa, Stoinis. Disappointing players are Naman Ojha, Uthappa, Negi, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ashwin, Dhoni, M&M.

Since there will be a fresh auction next year, I hope the teams like KX1 and RPS pick some best players. Just one more year and CSK will be back, the whistles will be back, but will Dhoni be back as well?

Friday, 13 May 2016

Tamil Nadu Elections - VOTE WITHOUT FAIL

Another election in the mid of another IPL season. This time TN state election. This must be the first time I am seeing too many prominent teams playing here rather than two the big DKs.

So, ADMK is once again contesting in maximum number of seats as good as going solo. After a uninspiring five years and failed campaign, JJ took last best shot in her manifesto, freebies. Right from electricity, smart phone, scooter, etc. going to be free. Once again I hope our people don't get fooled by this. And, now JJ decides to prohibit liquor in our state "padi padiyaga", after keeping mum for the last few years when there were too many agitation against it. This is taking people for granted. The last five years were really worse phase and when she was in jail everything collapsed here and ADMK's failed to impress me with their sticker atrocities and incapable ministers who won't or can't make a decision on their own.

DMK, they have done few good when they were in the power last time, but once again they get them into numerous scandals. Also, they will not be able to control their own party members once they come to power. And, the biggest facepalm this time is joining hands with congress again after trying hard to bring in Vijaykanth. And, still not able to announce Stalin as their CM candidate. Their manifesto looks good, looks like they have done their homework. But, they don't give a feeling like they are going to win big this time.

The third front was usually nothing in the past, but this time time we have quite a few parties here. So it's more than three this time. First, the MNK, MDMK + two  communists and VC joined and started this election's work together, but once they brought in Vijaykanth they have handed him nearly half the seats and announced him as CM candidate. He's even struggling to speak a few lines properly. And, Vaiko has decided not even contest after forming this front. They don't even bring any hope as an alternative to the big DKs.

Next, we have Anbumani Ramadoss, who is more confident of becoming the next CM than Virat Kohli during a chase. And, PMK are the first party to start the groundwork for this election and they have really turned few heads around this time and decided to go solo after being in either one of the DK team till now. Looks like Anbumani has a few good schemes, but not sure whether he will get a chance. And, the biggest black mark is, they are always referred as a "Jaathi Katchi".  Even now Ramadoss fails to comment on that honor killing happened few months back during a press meet. It will be hard to remove that tag from their party. Let's see whether they have any part to play in this election if nobody wins big and PMK wins a few seats which could decide the ruling party. Will there be a "Maattram, Munnettram", lets see.

Seeman's Naam Thamizhar is a new and an interesting party to watch out for this election. Some of the schemes they have promised are really good and some of them terrifying as well. And, it will take them at least 50 year to implement everything he has promised. And, they have researched thoroughly on every department before preparing the manifesto. It will be good if they manage to win a few seats or at least Seeman to win and show what they are capable of and maybe they can play a bigger role next time. I hope Seeman doesn't go Vijaykanth way in the coming years.

And, few others like BJP and others are contesting just for the sake of it like our Minnows in every world cup. It's highly unlikely that they will upset any big team's candidate.

Going by the history this time DMK should win, but lets see if the history repeats or there is some new surprises in the store.

So, election commission is conducting a vigorous campaign for TN100Percent. Let's see how that goes. I hope we set some example for other states to follow. Everyone should analyze their candidates in their constitution and choose the best person irrespective of their party. And, I feel if you don't even vote you lose your rights to complain against the government. Don't give excuses, vote without fail.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Wedding Photographer - Sakshama Puri Dhariwal

The Wedding Photographer is the debut of author Sakshama Puri Dhariwal. I got this book via Flipkart Blogger Review Program. Thanks to them or else I would have certainly missed this.

The Wedding Photographer, is light weight rom-com novel by the debut author. The plot is when a part-time wedding photographer and a full-time journalist Risha gets upgraded to business class in her travel from America to Delhi she meets a real estate tycoon Arjun, who hates journalists. And, coincidentally Risha's next big assignment was Arjun's sister's wedding next week. Risha got this big gig through her friend and colleague Nidhi. They both get to know each other during their time in the flight. And, what happens during the wedding and after that. The fun, fight, misunderstanding, romance fills the novel.

The book has three parts, the first happens in the flight, the seventeen hour journey. The second is the Big Fat Punjabi wedding. The third part is after the wedding. The first two parts are mostly fun. Risha's experience in the flight with the kid Bunty in the next seat and her fight with the air hostess Bitchika, who hates Risha for no reason. I wished Risha and Arjun had more interaction during the flight time.

The second part was the big fat punjabi wedding. It gets bigger and bigger each day and we get to know about the ceremonies through the lens of Risha. And, it was mostly fun as well with the different characters from the wedding. Especially Arjun's Nani, who was like the boss of the family. Then Risha's friend Rishab, who was a gay. I haven't seen a gay character in the few books I have read so far that too from our Indian authors. It was good to see his character wasn't treated differently. And, also one Priye Ma, goddess lady and her actions were hilarious. Everyone seems to be boozing most of the time during the wedding.

Few misunderstanding happens between Risha and Arjun right from the start. When they overcome one by one and finally gets together the final and biggest misunderstanding happens during the third part of the book. And, Arjun thinks he was cheated again. Even this wasn't like a biggest unbelievable forced conflict to move the story forward.

The book looks authentic, you can relate every scene and they are believable. It has many interesting characters, especially Risha's friend Nidhi's husband Vikram, who's a cricket player. I think his character is based on Virat Kohli. Vikram is team's vice captain, got man of the series in India's tour to Australia and he travels to Srilanka for his next assignment. It is definitely Virat ;). And, Risha shot to fame after shooting Nidhi and Vikram's wedding. Who doesn't after shooting Virat's wedding?

Those who love rom-com and bollywood movies must try this. It's fun and makes you laugh or at least smile every two pages and very lighthearted. It won't take much time than a movie's time to finish this. The writing was very simple just like the plot. The author didn't make anything complex, not much of big twists. A simple, neat and straight forward rom-com by Sakshama Puri Dhariwal on her debut.

Grab your copy here http://bit.ly/1WTQUD0

Saturday, 7 May 2016

24 - Basically a good movie

24, Surya’s ambitious sci-fi movie directed by Vikram Kumar and music by none other than ARR. Surya plays triple roles twin brothers Sethuraman and Athreya, Sethuraman’s win son Mani.

Mani is basically a watch mechanic and everything is “sarvasatharanam” to him. And, by everything I mean everything, he can suddenly become a scientist too. After, a fight between the bros where Athreya kills his bro and his wife in search of that watch we get to the present where Mani gets to know about that watch which was with him all these years. 

The first half was filled with romance and fun. Mani tries to woo Samantha with his watch. Few sequences were hilarious, the one where Surya tries to puncher Sam's scooty was damn funny.  Especially the Time Freeze concept and the way they have used it was a real treat to watch, should applaud Vikram Kumar's writing here. The second half is where Athreya tries to get back the watch and it has enough drama than thrills. And, he isn't deadly enough, he gets back to play Sethuraman in a wheelchair for most of the second half so once again he acts like a good guy. 
Surya as usual brilliant as a good guy, scientist, Sethuraman and watch mechanic Mani. His Athreya role was good as well, but it isn't deadly. I felt Athreya had very little screen time, but the posters like "Villathi Villainai Surya" and all little too much. Samantha was so cute in each in every scene. Saranya as Mani’s mom, another cakewalk for her. And, Nithya Menon just did a cameo and she was good.

The movie’s technical team delivered a knockout job. The VFX were brilliant and the art direction department as well. And, Thiru’s camera work is stunning, especially the initial sequences and chases. I'm slightly disappointed with ARR’s BGM, it really stayed back in every scene. I never went wow in any scene which was really unbelievable, But, the songs Mei Nigara and Naa Un was brilliant and pictured beautifully as well. 

For a movie with time travel concept 24, isn't confusing at all . And, they didn't have too many restrictions and rules as well. The director’s vision was clear and he didn't deviate from it. There were enough twists and turns as well once Athreya comes back to Mani’s life to get back the watch. And, a sci-fi film with a lot of drama and sentiments was how good they managed to fit this to local taste. And, the interval block was really a high point in the movie.

The romance portion in the second half was a bit lengthy followed by a song which really drags the movie. It could have been trimmed. Mani, basically a watch mechanic, who adds some feature to that watch which was invented by a scientist was really too much. And, the climax looked rushed could have been more detailed with some more twists maybe.

Overall 24 wasn't disappointing at all. It has its moments which really worth a WATCH. I must say Project 24 is a success. Vikram Kumar once again comes up with an exciting project after 13B and Manam, really looking forward to his next, but definitely not for Surya's next S3. I would be really disappointed if people didn't support this movie as much as they supported Vedhalam or Theri.

My Rating - 3.5/5.0.