Posts

About Watching Movies...!

Image
Movie watching has always been a passion with us, particularly anywhere in India, ever since the discovery of motion pictures. This passion has always been independent of the conditions of the movie theaters or the environment of viewing. All of the cinema halls in India were single screen till about two decades back when multiplexes and malls came up in the major cities. In the small towns cinema halls or movie theaters were abysmal—people smoked and spat inside; they talked and roared with laughter anytime; seats were congested and there was an acute problem of craning necks; there was no air-conditioning and the wall or ceiling fans made it all the more noisier; no lounges outside, only holes around and most of the theaters looked like warehouses. However, we never complained about the lack of such amenities, mostly because we had no access to better environment to compare with. Of course, in the metros or in the major cities the theaters were much better, and once in a while we en…

“You Are Invited...!” Part-2

Image
Deben was not surprised when his old colleague Bedanta phoned him in the morning asking if he could come over for a social duty. Bedanta told him sometime back that the marriage of his only daughter was coming up, and that Deben must be free to attend on that date. Bedanta was not just a colleague, but also a friend thanks to their long association in work. There were family-level interactions too at various opportunities. His daughter, a sweet child, was known to both Deben and his wife Anjana. He already discussed it with Anjana not to miss that occasion and to buy a nice gift in advance. So he said yes immediately, and informed his wife that Bedanta would be visiting them in the afternoon.
His afternoon nap had become mandatory since his retirement a few months back. For the past one month he had been mostly sleeping or lying down in the daytime too because of his road accident when his right hand was badly fractured. He was still having his right hand plastered and strapped from t…

The Festive Call!

Image
I was disturbed by various ‘business’ calls during work on that day. Since the Indian festive season was in full bloom such calls were not that unnatural. Getting exasperated with a plethora of telemarketing calls from banks, insurance companies and the like I ignored one from an absolutely unknown mobile number. When the same number called again, I answered thinking it could be an important call from someone not at all connected to the lot. I cursed myself as the lady voice spoke up on the other side...
‘Hello Sir, I’m calling from xyz finance company...” “Yes?” I responded. “Sir, our xyz finance company is giving you an overdraft facility...” “Why?” “Sir, half of your monthly salary will be given as overdraft to you...” “Why?” “Sir, the amount will be totally interest free...” “Why?” “So Sir, where do you work and what is your monthly salary?”
And then I hung up. The audacious lady tried several times later on. However, I decided to follow the age-old dictum ‘once bitten, twice shy’ tooth an…

The Burpy Blues!

Image
The big boss seemed to be exuding benevolence of the highest order as he took in his company team members seated in front of him in the conference room. He often prided himself in knowing every member of his team on first name basis, and always listened to their views or problems in a very friendly way. Recently he initiated an office procedure to improve the overall quality of performance and operations. True to his nature, before implementing this procedure he wanted to know how everyone felt about it. He wanted free and frank opinions and also meaningful suggestions. So he called for this particular meeting. Although I was the latest addition to the team I had already gathered useful bits of information about my new boss.
Again, true as always to his nature he never wanted to make it a predictable affair with members standing up and speaking in a monotonous serial order—one by one row wise. Instead, he decided who would speak at what time. He would announce names at random and s/he…

Kumartuli—The Workshop Of The God Makers In Kolkata! And Durga Puja!

Image
Kumartuli or Kumortuli is located in the northern part of the city of Kolkata. The locality is a traditional habitat of the potters for nearly three hundred years. The potters or the artisans or the artists settled here during the restructuring of the Kolkata colonial region by the British East India Company. Earning a livelihood by making earthen pots and utensils first they gradually shifted to the making of the idols of Gods and Goddesses for various festivals round the year. 
With increasing demand and quality of their creations over time the artisans became famous and Kumartuli came to be known as the hub of idol makers supplying thousands of idols, particularly of Goddess Durga, to whole of the state of West Bengal and to NRIs of around 90 countries across the globe.
At least three months before Durga Puja, the biggest festival of West Bengal and one of the biggest across Eastern India, more than five hundred workshops come alive with hyper activity day and night. First, the arti…

India Asian Champions Again, Lift Unimoni Asia Cup-2018!

Image
It is only logical that the unbeaten team of the Unimoni Asia Cup tournament become the eventual champions. India was the only team that remained unbeaten and in the Final tonight became the worthy champions beating an upbeat Bangladesh by 3 wickets. However, the highly competitive match was not without its moments of worries or even scares. First, it was a risky toss to win owing to India’s decision to field first, because in the slow pitches of UAE a total around 250 often proved to be insurmountable. Second, Bangladesh did show the promise of running away with the match while batting. Third, in the Indian innings loss of Dhawan and Rayadu early and the departure of Rohit while in full flow raised scares for an Indian conquest. And then the fall of Dhoni at the score 160/5 put the onus of a victory on the bowlers again.
Put into bat Bangladesh started a brilliant opening partnership of 120 runs in just 20 overs and looked set for a total of over 250 runs. However, all the Indian spi…

Unimoni Asia Cup-2018: No India-Pakistan Final, It’s Vs Bangladesh!

Image
In the last Super Four match of the Unimoni Asia Cup-2018 played in Abu Dhabi tonight Bangladesh played like tigers overcoming a spirited-in-splits Pakistan by 37 runs. It was a virtual semi-final with the winner set to meet India in the Final to be played in Dubai on Friday, 28th September, 2018. Seemingly Pakistan could never recover psychologically from the dumps inflicted by arch-rivals India, not once but two times. Their batting was lackadaisical and painfully slow this time too. More importantly for millions of fans all over the globe, a possible third encounter between India and Pakistan in the tournament was snuffed out.  Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first. After a shaky start they finally managed to put up a competitive 240-run target for Pakistan thanks to a glorious but unlucky innings of 99 by Musfiqur Rahim and a dashing 60 by Mohammad Mithun. Pakistan bowled them out in 48.5 overs. In reply Pakistan also tottered at the start losing three wickets quickly. T…

Asia Cup Cricket: India Pulverize Pakistan, Enter Final of Unimoni Asia Cup!

Image
India enter Unimoni Asia Cup Final to be played on 28th September, 2018 beating Pakistan by 9 wickets, their second win against the arch-rivals in the tournament. Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma hit a scintillating partnership of 210 runs and Pakistan had to engineer a run-out to separate them. In the process Shikhar hit his second century of the tournament with other consistent good knocks. Consecutive explosive knocks by captain Rohit Sharma is wonderful as compared to his earlier habit of following a terrific knock in one innings by a failure in the next. His century too was brilliant and worthy of a captain making the win a mere formality. 
Never saw such an extremely one-sided India-Pakistan encounter and such severe Indian mauling against Pakistan. Their first encounter was also one-sided, but that was largely due to an absolute Pakistan batting collapse. In this match Pakistan started shakily or rather over-cautiously, but finally put up a total which could be cal…

Asia Cup Cricket: What A Relief, India In Super Four!

Image
Yes, it is indeed a huge relief that India have reached the Super Four stage of the Unimoni Asia Cup-2018 and that they are going to play Pakistan at least two times, the big one coming up tomorrow in Dubai. Because, Team Hong Kong has suffered two losses--one at the hands of Pakistan and the other to India tonight, the latter being a most unwelcome thriller for Indian fans. This sense of relief owes its origins to two basic reasons, like it or not.
First, after the ODI series loss and the Test series disaster in England Team India has suffered a telling loss of credibility. There, only captain Virat Kohli played with some of the bowlers in tandem, and now here in UAE even the captain is missing with the one day specialists brought in again. Therefore, you never know who in Team India will play and who will play how. Upsets are common in tournaments, and last night Afghanistan eliminated Sri Lanka, one of the main contenders for the Cup despite everything. Tonight's match was almo…

Cricket: Asia Cup-2018 Begins, Bangladesh Crush Sri Lanka in Inaugural Match!

Image
The 14th edition of Asia Cup of One Day Internationals (ODI) between cricket playing nations of Asia began tonight, the 15th of September, 2018 in United Arab Emirates. UAE hosts this tournament for the third time due to well-known reasons. In the inaugural match played at the Dubai International stadium Bangladesh crushed Sri Lanka by 137 runs. Bangladesh, batting first, innings was built mainly on a superlative 144 runs by Musfiqur Rahim who was the last man out setting a competitive target of 261 runs. Sri Lanka began very shakily and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals including a  run-out, the whole team finally getting bowled out for a mere 124 . With its string of successes in last two years Bangladesh has become the team to watch out for in this two-week tournament. It was nice to see Lasith Malinga back in the Sri Lanka team and also among wickets again.
Asia Cup this year has six teams with Hong Kong joining the five full ODI members—India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangl…

A Curious Case For Delays!

Image
I made a discovery of sorts recently! You know, we have certain likes and dislikes, and we have been traditionally used to the reactions concomitant on these. However, I found out that such likes and dislikes are specific to the prevailing situation or circumstances. Depending on the prevailing situation or circumstances our traditional likes could very well convert into unconventional dislikes or our traditional irritation could translate into new-found pleasure. I do of course run the risk of suffering from naiveté as you all may know this or be experiencing such deferential distinctions. But somehow I am hell-bent on propagating my discovery to one and all.
Our crucial keyword here is ‘delay’. Almost always, delays cause irritation or dislikes, and fury in extreme cases. You hate when your train or flight is delayed; you hate waiting when somebody’s train or flight is delayed; you hate to be kept waiting for a meeting; you wholeheartedly dislike late comers in office; you get furio…

Test Cricket: Team India Where Only The Captain Performs And Selects!

Image
There was a lot of hue and cry about the humiliating loss suffered by India at Lords in London against England in the second Test match during 9-13 August 2018. Tremendous expressions of anguish surfaced at every possible public platform and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) even threatened to take the team captain and coach to task. However, it was much ado about nothing. It was just a loss like many other such losses over the decades due to absolute team failure, more pertinently batting failure. Furthermore, the match was severely affected by rains with the first day and few other sessions washed out. India was put into bat under heavy overcast conditions that hastened the end of an already battered batting line-up. Curiously when England in reply started their first innings it was bright sunshine, and with an impossible target when India replied in their second innings it was again heavy overcast conditions. So, it was an aberration or rather a freakish match not li…