Friday, 30 June 2006


What can I say? Mascherano booked for simulation when he was clearly fouled by Lahm within the German penalty area. Klose won the match for Germany by kneeing Abbondanzieri out of the match. Bravo Germany. Bravo Lubos. May Germany qualify for the finals and lose in Berlin, where they should have lost today.

Feeling: heartbroken
Listening to: Hans Zimmer - Elysium

Wednesday, 28 June 2006


After almost four long years of service, kray V1 (1.1 through 1.3, yes unimaginative, and extremely ironic, but the nick was fresh then) finally rests in peace (may God bless it's super-slow processor). Despite having been the humblest of PCs, it had brought joy to many, not least to me as my constant gaming companion, provider of music and movies and (occasionally) a helping hand at work. It's life as part of the IITB LAN was far from uneventful. Notable of course were certain long periods of illness and inactivity during which yours truly had to rely rather heavily on alternative resources (including the takeover of M's-B's room for a period of time :P).

My sorrow at this loss has of course been substantially overcome by the appearance of the successor :D.No more NFS U like Max Payne slow-mo >:).

Currently: extremely pumped!! :D
Listening to: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Throw away your television

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Of refereeing debacles and a quiet milestone

Should have posted this a couple of days back maybe, but since then the instances have piled up ending with Italy's 1 - 0 win over Australia through a last second penalty, literally. I'm not overly a fan of the 'socceroos' as they call themselves, but it's terrible to see any team exit the World Cup because of a wrong decision. That was so not a foul!Then there was yesterday's Portugal - Netherlands match with 4 expulsions! A Group of 16 match with only 9 players in each team! What are you kidding me?!!!! Good thing I didn't stay up, but I still can't believe Portugal won with just 38% of possession :(. Even last night's other match between Ukraine and the Swiss wasn't free from questionable decisions. But what a cracker!! Looks like everytime I stay up for the 12:30 (IST) match it goes into extra time :). I was hoping Ukraine would win actually. But that chip shot in the shootout was altogether too much :D! In the end it was down to these two men:
Shovkovsky saved,Zuberbuehler didn't.
It must be hard to exit the World Cup despite having not conceeded a single goal! As for the first two matches in this round, Germany proved once again to be simply too strong! That was perhaps the least hard fought match this round! Mexico's opening goal against Argentina almost gave me a heart attack!! Crespo struck soon after of course, to level scores, but those four minutes in between were absolute torture!!
Then for all of eighty minutes the teams played fiercely, but the scoreline remained. A minute or so into stoppage time at the end of the second half Leo Messi scored. Yes, he scored, because the offside call was plain wrong! But redemption was not far away, when 8 minutes into the first extra-time Maxi Rodgriguez scored a truly outstanding goal!It's becoming a habit with this Argentina team, scoring dazzling goals :). But the next match has me seriously worried. With the exception of maybe Spain, no other team has looked as solid as the Germans. I have my fingers tightly crossed.
On a more 'daily-log' note, this morning saw the end of a year that has brought more by way of fascinating new experiences for me than the better part of the rest of my life :). Some absolutely fabulous, some not quite so... fabulous :P. Till a year back, I had never stepped outside of this country. That hardly holds true now :). The best part by far have been the people I keep running into. For a month, a couple of weeks, and then we go our different ways, probably to never meet again. What never ceases to surprise me though, is the wide variety of nationalities attributed to me, South African and Arab being the newest in an ever increasing list :D.

Feeling: reminiscent
Listening to: Bon Jovi - It's my life

Saturday, 24 June 2006

Seasons, abbreviated.

In the last 3-4 weeks the word season has stopped meaning things that occur at regular times of the year. For ten days in Perth it was the beginning of winter. As a matter of fact, I landed on the day they officially declared the beginning of winter. For the next ten days in KL it was the end of the rainy season. Though the rain never really showed any signs of letting up :|. And now the two days back in Kolkata have been the last few days of summer! A chap can seriously muddle up his seasons this way :(.But now the thunderclouds are gaining ground here as well. And rains are the way they should be, thunderous bursts that wash the dusty city clean and leave a fresh coolness in the air. Yes, it's good to be back :). Especially now that my kid cousin brother from Asheville's here, it's all a little extra good!

And in the 'Cup, now that all the group stage matches are over and all survivours declared, tonight it all starts in earnest: win and you are in, lose and you are out! What a way to start off the second stage with Germany playing Sweden and Argentina playing Mexico tonight. I definitely didn't see Australia or Ghana going through, and I didn't want France to get through, but it's football, and anything can happen! ;)

Current Mood: happy
Listening to: 3 Doors Down - Away from the sun

Thursday, 22 June 2006


Did manage to put night-out and watch the Argentina - Netherlands match. Was disappointed with the goalless draw. Managed to stay awake for most of the hour-long ride out to the airport, I think, as the sky turned from black to streaks of red splitting the grey. Then had the gathering sleep jolted rudely out of my system when the lady at the check-in counter went - *gasp!* "Uhh! You have connecting flight?!! But the first flight is delayed by 2 hours, you'll never make the change in Bangkok!!"

So now I'm still waiting at KLIA hoping that I will indeed get home by tonight at least, if not this afternoon :-<. Ah yes, also discovered that KLIA has free access wireless LAN :).

Feeling: hopelessly sleep deprived
Listening to: The Waifs - Highway one

I'm finally home!!!!! :D

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Fast lane!

Life's been quite a blur these last few days! Good fun it is, and now I'm finally going home tomorrow! Had the choice of a late-night flight tonight, but that would mean almost certainly missing the final Group C Argentina - Holland match! Unthinkable!! :D
The first of the simultaneously played deciders were pretty good I thought! And while Germany looked extremely commanding against Equador, England, despite playing their best game this World Cup, were held off by a very strong display by the Swedes! Too bad the England - Germany showdown was averted though :D.Been watching movies in theatres these days \:D/. End of last week watched Pixar's latest offerring: Cars. Totally god as ever :D. And followed that up with the latest in the Fast and the Furious series: Tokyo Drift a couple of nights back! Do not be deceived by the low IMDb rating, this is one kick-ass action movie! A whole lot better than the second movie, and the totally awesome drifting action takes it a notch above the first one as well :D.
Mustang Vs 350Z Fairlady >:)
Okay, so I'm a car junkie, especially when it comes to crazy road races and car chases. But believe me, this is the ultimate NFS-Underground-in-real-life thing! And no, don't go looking for a storyline! Do that and you are missing the point :).

Currently: wrapping up
Listening to : 3 Doors Down - Going down in flames

Sunday, 18 June 2006

Country roads

Second time in KL means I haven't taken a single picture of the twin towers, yet :P. But sight-seeing on weekends is happening as usual. Headed out of the city for a completely unplanned tour of some places we'd heard of! Top of the list was Batu Caves, an hour or so by bus from KL.
Watching the scenery turn from cosmopolitan to almost rural so quickly reminded me of the drive out from Kolkata. The sight of the world's tallest Murugan statue against the sheer weathered walls from afar was really something! But you had to get close to realize exactly how huge it is :).On the way up the steep stairs to the cave my European and Central Asian friends were totally mesmerised by the hoards of small monkeys eager for any titbits offered by the tourists! Obviously, monkeys aren't exactly a common sight in Poland, Romania or Kazakhstan :).
For once I was the most knowledgable amongst the bunch 'cos the temples in the Batu caves are Hindu with easily recognizable religious motifs, and my grandmas had made sure I know my epics rather well :). The thunderclouds swirling darkly overhead, a steady drizzle that sent water seeping down cracks and crevices to patter down from the mighty inverted pinnacles, the eerie light of lamps and candles within the cavern mixed with the chants of prayers from the temples... quite an atmosphere!By the time my friends had had enough of the monkeys, and I'd had enough of the caves and temples, the sun was out again :). After a lunch of dosa in a South Indian restaurant we went looking for an Orang Asli settlement. Armed with a Polish guidebook and absolutely no clue whatsoever that the name was that of a tribe and not of any location, it was quite a miracle that we got anywhere at all! But vague directions and a helpful cab driver got us not to the settlement, but to a museum set deep in the hillsides where the faintest indications of big-city living would have been completely out of place!Quite a nice day in the end! And it is so much more fun with chatty, enthusiastic company :D. Haven't yakked this much since the last time I was in B'bay :P.

Current Mood: waahaa, weekend over :(
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Last kiss

More pics here.

Friday, 16 June 2006

Football unleashed!!

A R G E N T I N A - A R E - G O D S !!!!!!!!!!!
They are the gods of football today! Who could have thought! Who could have dreamt of a match like this! It breaks my heart to say I missed the first half hour :(. But the combination of bread and a notebook conspired so I had to see a scoreline of 1-0 on a giant screen on the road! Then I heard the scream when the Serbia and Montenegro net shook a second time as I almost dove for the remote. I caught the immediate replay of a simply fantastic blur of deft touches!And then I thought I'd missed the major chunk of the action :)). The completely blind decision of the referee to call Crespo offside and then book him must have enraged fans all over the world! But Argentina had the perfect balm, another goal by Maxi Rodriguez!
That was hardly the end! Teenage sensation Lionel Messi (yes, not Theo-I have never played a first class game-Walcott >:P) and Carlos Tevez coming in late in the second half, saw some of the most spectacular goals this World Cup: Crespo, Tevez and Messi - pure magic!!Aaaaaah!!! What a game!! And who said this was the group of death? I think everyone did! Serbia and Montenegro, by no means minnows, were made to look like they were being taught the game :D.
Argentina 6 - 0 Serbia and Montenegro. Even he would be impressed :).

Feeling: E C S T A T I C !!!
Listening to: Rob Dougan - Furious angel (OST - Matrix Reloaded)

Meaningless nothings on a lazy Friday afternoon

The grey is stifling. It blots out colour, dampens the bright and hides the happy Sun behind a sad veil. How did it come to this? Nothing is as it was. I find clear memories blurred, not 'cos memory failed, but because the reality changed.

Can I stop please? Let me step out of this one-way street to catch my breath! Too many seconds ticking away too fast. A sudden, slow anxiety burrows it's way through the wall of calm I'd built so carefully. I feel old.

Why do I always end up here? A hollow somewhere, where I can't reach in. Looking around for a reason to smile. Vaguely remembered thoughts. Reaching out for wisps from the past when the present refuses help.

Currently: coming down with a cold.. I think
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Nothingman

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

It's different!

Got to KL last night! Yes, got the visa, flight tickets weren't missing (they were actually, I was told at the airport, but it worked out eventually, so), flight landed up on time etc. etc. It's almost been a whole year since I'd last been here but I managed to recognise roads and buildings pretty easily! Of course, things like the Petronas Twin Towers or the Menara Kuala-lumpur are difficult to forget.The contrast with Perth is close to complete. It's a Monday night, it's close to midnight, the roads are buzzing with people outside nightclubs! There are lights all over the place and it's also the middle of summer, as against the middle of winter :|. And here I was handed the keys to a condo on the 18th floor that's larger than any 3-BHK flat I have ever seen! It's seriously scary staying all by yourself in a place that huge!!

Most importantly, verified that all World Cup matches are shown live on a dedicated channel :D.

Currently: was actually busy for most of the day :P
Listening to: Moby - Machete

Sunday, 11 June 2006

And so it begins!

The biggest event for the world's greatest spectator sport is finally here! Matches are aired rather late here in Australia with kick-offs at 2100, 0000 and 0300 hrs. But till now there's been no bother of waking up for office the next day. The very first match with Costa Rica taking on hosts Germany was a superb show of exactly why football is what it is! Barely 6 minutes into the game and Philipp Lahm gunned a long-ranger home in spectacular fashion for the first goal this World Cup!As if that was not enough, another 6 minutes, another goal, this time from Costa Rica. And then Germany leaping ahead once again after barely another 5 minutes! No other sport could possibly hope to keep the audience absolutely on the edge as the pitch simply explodes in a hurricane of action! But yeah, I also thought 6 goals in a single match was a little too much :).

I missed the second match and found out that the South American team had upset Poland only when I tuned in for England's opener against Paraguay! Despite an even more explosive start thanks to the Bekham free-kick, the much hyped England team came up with a rather poor performance, I thought. At least they won the match, which is more than can be said for Sweden! Facing minnows Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden were held to a goalless draw!!
Old man Shaka Hislop (above) was of course by far the most valuable player for TnT making over half a dozen major saves. But the boys from the Caribbean simply frustrated the relentless Swedish attack by packing the defence with numbers and extremely consistent work at the back, especially since they were down to 10 men barely into the second half! Not a single goal, but what a match nonetheless!! Final word as far as that match goes: TnT totally rock!! :D

And finally it was time for the match I had been waiting for, Argentina's opener! Frankly, I didn't expect Ivory Coast to have the faintest chance! But the way they played, especially Premier League player Drogba, things were getting pretty scary! It got worse when the CIV goalie fished a ball back from behind the line early in the game with the linesman denying Argentina a goal, but then Crespo struck!I was a little disappointed to see both Lionel Messi and Pablo Aimar left out of the starting line-up, but Saviola soon put worries to rest with a second ball in the Ivory Coast net! If ony there hadn't been so many offsides, the scoreline would have looked much more spectacular! The way CIV, the least regarded team in the group, played only goes to show that Group C is indeed a group of death. If only Serbia and Montenegro and the Dutch were to conveniently draw their match tonight, thing's will get so much simpler for Pekerman's boys!--Well, I'm hopefully into my last day in Perth. The last few days I've been content with walking around downtown, with the occasional foray into dreamier, quieter parts every now and then. Now it's time to pack up again. I'm planning to check out tomorrow before actually getting my visa. So I have my fingers firmly crossed :).

Current Mood: mixed
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror

Football pics from here and here.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006


Currently trying to cope with a 9 to 5 job for the first time in my life :(. Large workspace, nice view out of the big glass window, but I'm thankful this is a temp situation. The few people I know at the office are really nice. The rest regard me as something of a species out of the wild (read offshore vessel) :|.But I love the fact that the office is barely 5 minutes from King's Park, so after work I can happily go watch the city skyline transform from bright blue-gold to sparkling lights set in pitch-black :).

Oh, and it was totally thrilling to see the youngster advance into the semi's at the French Open last night!!

Currently: 'at work' :D
Listening to: Pearl Jam - I'm open
Quote: ' magic for fact, no tradebacks. So this is what it's like to be an adult. If he only knew now, what he knew then...'

Monday, 5 June 2006


I have had a g-r-e-a-t weekend :). Of course that has a lot to do with this being the first weekend I've had at all for a while. But the place has turned out to be really awesome! Today I went off on the long walk towards Heirisson Island a little further north along the Swan river. It's a long but nice walk along the riverside, and I'm not exactly short on time.
One half of the island is fenced off as a sort of reserve. Almost as soon as I got there, I noticed these heads bobbing amidst the bush!
It's a really nice place, so near the city centre, yet it surrounds you completely with it's trees and water (there are ponds within the tiny island :|) and birds and kangaroos... :).During my walk and again on the island I came across many of these birds with wings spread out in the sun. The reason became obvious when I noticed some of them diving completely underwater to grab fish that seems to be abundant in the river. Fishing's a really big thing here. Everyone, from 6-7 yr old kids to 60 yr old ladies, they all go fishing.
Finally, as I headed back off the Island I decided I'd give the 'roos another shot. And this time I was better rewarded! Six of them, probably the entire population of the tiny island reserve, were out in the open and didn't seem particularly distressed when I went closer and closer, trying to get a better picture! That of course resulted in a series of pics with the animals growing progressvely larger, until I finally got this one :P.So the extended weekend has worked out really nicely :). Thanks also to Valentino Rossi and 17-yr old Nicole Vaidisova for making my weekend even better by winning the Italian MotoGP yet again and defeating Amelie Mauresmo in the French Open, respectively :D. Tomorrow I shall have another go at my Malaysian visa. This time hopefully I'll at least be able to lodge the application.

Feeling: optimistic!
Listening to: Switchfoot - Stars

More pics here.

Sunday, 4 June 2006

The river and the ocean.

My Aussie 'vacation' is turning out quite well actually! Watched X3 last night in a theatre nearby. Was a little disappointed with the wholesale death and destruction theme, but still, good fun to watch.
Swan bells, Perth
And as planned, went off to Fremantle today. It's a town an hour down the Swan river and on the coast. It also boasts an ex-maximum security prison that's been turned into a really interesting tourist attraction!
Fremantle prison
On the way to Fremantle I decided to take the ferry instead of the train, and that turned out to be a rather inspired choice :D. It was one of those really great trips with occassional commentary that's informative but not an overdose :). And of course, great views! I'd been reccommended a trip to an island off the mainland as well, but that's where I drew the line. Ferry in fresh water, down a totally calm river is already kinda pushing it. Ferry in open sea, with the tide supposed to be coming in?!! I've had enough of the open sea to last me roughly till mid-July, thank you very much :D.
Tomorrow I'm planning to check out this island in the middle of the river not too far away from here. It has 'occassional wildlife' marked on one of my maps!! If that doesn't some up with more kangaroo sightings, I'll have to find my way to the wildlife park I located, which is rather far away /:). But I have another whole week to go, so possibilities exist :).

Feeling: hungry :|
Listening to: Natalie Imbruglia - City

More pics here.

Friday, 2 June 2006

A long story.

So be forewarned :).

The first and second halves of a single day could not have been more different! Having only had one meagre croissant since morning, by 3 my stomach was playing a full band, so that was priority one. Thereafter I set off first on a cursory tour around the few blocks around my hotel, smack in the middle of downtown Perth. In the rush of the morning I was forced into an uneasy familiarity with it, now with tons of time and no deadlines, I chose to lazy by the traffic lights when they were red, watching the fairly mind-boggling mix of people milling around busily in streets I'd found almost completely empty at 9 last night! Perth is a really pretty city, with lots of old-style architecture mixed with tall skyscrapers, big wide roads. And more importantly, big wide sidewalks :).
bow and arrow :)

Feeling surprisingly at home with the streets thanks to a map I'd been given in the morning which turned out amazingly accurate, I headed for King's Park. On the map it's almost half the size of the entire city! It's situated on a hill pretty much on one side of the city, and the panoramic view of the Swan river with the city sprawled around it is totaly awesome :).The long walk finally got me back to the state I was in yesterday, pretty much ecstatic :D. Despite scares of worsening weather conditions and an hour-long delay, we finally managed to get on the choppers and get off at Barrow Island! With all the clouds and rains it seemed to have become a lot greener :). Anyway, that's where I saw kangaroos!! As the small fixed-wing swung onto the runway to take off there was a huge roar! Someone had spotted two tiny kangaroos watching the takeoff with grave expressions :D. Got no pics sadly, with the extended stay here, something might just turn up!
Watched the wide river turn from blue to deep purple and finally an inky black while I kept walking down the narrow paths with dense bushland on one side and the river on the other. Finally I settled down in front of the eternal flame that burns before the monument to WW I soldiers. It was nice, dunno quite why. Very quiet, didn't notice the all too familiar ckickets :). I guess it was just nice to be able to sit down and relax, without having to continually adjust, anticipating a pitch this way or a roll that way. To be able to watch a flame without having to worry about a possible fire drill :D.
The walk back was really slow! The city lights were just too beautiful, I didn't want to disappear into their midst. The incessant traffic on the freeway seemed to melt into one S of bright white headlamps and another of winking red taillamps. And this time I made sure I made my way back over the 'bow and arrow' bridge :D.Anyway, make my way back to the city I did! Thankful that this was a place I could come back to. I wasn't flying away in a plane, not sailing off on a ship, I'm staying right here for another 10 days!

A surprise was in store for me! It was dark, but the malls, squares, streets were live and kicking with loads of people out on a Friday evening! Rather unusually for me, I decided to go looking. There was even some shows in the mall.. an exhibition of a rather vague looking martial-dance sort of thing accompanied by the kind of primitive drums you'd expect to see on Nat Geo, and another of 'how loud can I scream' by a bunch of really enthusiastic young orators :D.

The totally best part of the evening was of course getting my new black-silver 60 Gig iPod >:). I figured since I'm going to be moving around a lot, and given the complete absense of company, there couldn't possibly be a better time! And now since I've gotten back to my room and opened the box I'm scared to touch it for fear of leaving my horrible, horrible fingerprints all over the back :P. I also got myself milk and cereals :D. Thanks mainly to the fact that I completely hate eating out alone, it's been McD's and Subway's take-outs for me till now :(. And the milk has already come in handy given that I had an early dinner.Of all the things in the day though, this image I found the most familiar! For those who know, I'm telling you, it's so totally like the bridge at Ram's place in Andheri!!

Feeling: touristy!
Listening to : John Mayer - Back to you

More Perth pics here.

Waahaahaaa :((

I hate having to think of a totally beautiful day like this with such regret :((. It's really beautiful! Perth's a pretty place, and I had the whole weekend kinda set up with locations to check out and all that! But another visa debacle led to a very harried me :(. Unexpected documents required, delayed arrivals, a frantic rush down 5 city blocks only to find "CLOSED - working hrs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m." I SWEAR it was still only 12:55 :((. Life is a B@@@H!!!! I know it might just have helped if I'd caught one of the very few empty cabs I saw, but they were all stopped at red lights!! Every single one of them! And as soon as I'd go past the light, it'd go green and the cab would go wizzing past :-<.

One saving grace, I actually didn't have one of the lesser important sounding documents, so I might not have got anything done anyway.

Neways, **** it! I'm off to see the city, the water front, Kings Park. Expect tons of pics uploaded in a later post :D. Ah yes, I saw k-a-n-g-r-o-o-s!!!!!! \:D/. Details later.

Feeling: PISSED... as in angry X-(((
Listening to: Avril Lavigne - Nobody's home