News Roundup  

Posted by Aayush Sharma

7:36PM, Bangalore

The past couple of weeks have been quite eventful - we returned from a fun vacation in Thailand, had a minor flooding incident at home, got a new PS3 from my wife, got her a new scooter, broke a toe-nail and worked on my first DW project!

Pattaya's Walker's Street is a must-visit destination for all sorts of tourists, more so for young men wanting to get laid (for a price of course!) with its myriad collection of a go-go clubs, strip bars, roadside cafes, street performers and a genial holiday mood prevalent throughout.

I loved the signs on hotels proclaiming rooms were available for "short-stay (2 hours)"!
I loved the big bikes available for rent!
I loved the cute Thai girls!
I loved the prices of clothes and shoes!
I loved seeing a Lamborghini parked next to a McLaren SLR in a dingy garage on a lowly side-street!
I loved the Italian food (yes, you read that right)!
I loved the way Thai people call 15 "one-tee-five"!
I loved the way a calculator was used as a bargaining communication tool!

I hated the hot and humid weather.
I hated the grasshoppers, bugs, slimy worms and other equally gross stuff available as fried snacks. Yech!

Bangkok was primarily our destination for shopping. We just roamed around aimlessly; never realised it could be so much fun! Experienced shopping from both ends of the "hipness" spectrum - visited massive malls adorned with Prada, Giordano, Versace and the like and also shopped along the street markets which were reminiscent of home.

Couple of days after returning home, we had a burst pipe in our home, leaving Uma and me in ankle-deep water. Fortunately, nothing major was damaged. Except a carpet. And a mattress. The house did end up getting spring-cleaned in the aftermath!

On our first anniversary, she got me a PS3 while I got her a scooter (disc brake and all!). Now I dont have to drop her off on saturdays anymore - instead I can play video games!
While unpacking the damn thing I managed to stub my toe against some furniture and ripped a toe-nail half off! Highly unpleasant experience - I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
I will recommend buying a full HD LCD TV and watching Blu-ray movies on it through a PS3. Very pleasant indeed!

Finally, got to work on some stuff at work that'll actually be used. Can't really disclose details but it was really satisfying to stop practising and actually start working! Hope to see it in India to earn boasting rights!

History is Made!  

Posted by Aayush Sharma in , , ,

10:50PM. Bangalore

India have rewritten history books with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over defending champions Tajikistan in the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi in what is being hailed as the golden hour of Indian Football.

A goal from captain Baichung Bhutia and a brilliant hat-trick by local boy Sunil Chhetri sealed a glorious win for the men in blue. Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev scored a consolation goal for the Tajiks.

The win came in some style, with India scoring three goals within the first 22 minutes to put the match to bed. Both teams played a solid attacking game with plenty of chances on and off target and three shots finding the woodwork. There was never a dull moment in the game as the first goal, which initially seemed to have come under controversial circumstances, proved to be a shot in the arm for the Tajiks.

After the whirlwind first half in which Chhetri scored twice, Bhutia once and Fatkhuloev brought one back, the Tajiks continued to pile on the pressure to keep the game interesting right till the 75th minute, when Chhetri put away his third and India's fourth goal and finished the game off.

The match was a hard-fought affair with a few edgy moments - Bhutia was elbowed in the teeth and had to be taken off with a bloodied face. However, the Uzbekistani referee Valentin Kovalenko had a flawless game and ensured that the football remained free-flowing, opting to use a stern word rather than a card in most cases.

The quality of football at display was decidedly lower than what is displayed by higher-ranked and better teams from Europe and rest of the world. Nonetheless, as a contest it was top-notch - great footballing moments in an exciting match. The goals were all quality affairs, reminiscent of some scored in the best leagues in the world.

India have now qualified for the Asian Cup Finals to be held in Qatar in 2011 alongwith Tajikistan and DPR North Korea, who finished third in the tournament. Indian coach, former Fulham player Bob Houghton, has an excellent record with the men in blue with 29 matches and 15 wins. This is his second major trophy with India after the victory in the Nehru Cup in Aug last year.

It's celebration time once again for football in India. The Indian cricket team have been thrashed in Sri Lanka and this victory should bring to the forefront, new sporting heroes for youngsters in the country, the likes of Bhutia, Chhetri, Dias, Pal and more.

New Look!  

Posted by Aayush Sharma

10:34AM. Bangalore

I've updated the site to have a wider view and better color harmony. Big thanks to Derek Anderson for his help!

If anyone has any inputs about this please let me know and I'll see if I can change things.

Manchester United vs Portsmouth : FA Community Shield  

Posted by Aayush Sharma in , ,

9:48AM. Bangalore

Last night United took on Portsmouth in the most uninteresting match on the English football calendar: the FA Community Shield at Wembley.

Nonetheless, the chance to watch United in action again after a long layoff since the end of last season was a welcome change!

United won the match 3-1 on penalties after creating a slew chances. No wonder Sir Alex Ferguson is looking out for a striker. With all due respect to other Portsmouth players, it has to be said that the match was more like David James v United! The man was inspirational and single-handedly kept Pompey in the hunt for well over 90 mins.

Portsmouth seemed to have understood what it takes to keep United at bay. This match was reminiscent of the FA Cup match last season at Old Trafford where United must have created at least 20 chances and still managed to lose.

Fletcher and Nani were brilliant in mid-field along with Tevez delivering another monster performance. The defence was hardly troubled and it was good to see Gary Neville back after forever. Nani's play reminded me of Ronaldo's game 4-5 years ago when he had joined United and I'm relishing the prospect of Nani blossoming into a more mature and controlled player in the weeks to come.

Frasier Campbell got a run-out and looked promising as well. Hopefully youngsters will find a way into United's first team starting lineup for a few games this season to showcase their talent.

The match was by no means United's best performance but a win and an unbeaten pre-season will help the team's confidence with 5 days to go to for the Premier League start. United take on Newcastle on 17th Aug. If last year was anything to go by, expect a flood of goals from Man Utd!

News Roundup  

Posted by Aayush Sharma

5:48PM. Bangalore

Cristiano Ronaldo is staying at United. I am glad that saga is over. A visit to the dentist is less painful than watching players and clubs hold each other hostage. Still, I feel Ronaldo will not be the same player he was the past two seasons. Hope United bring in Benzema or Berbatov at the least to bolster the weak strike-force.

I'm waiting for Diwali to buy a new motorcycle. I've always loved bikes and cannot wait to get my hands on a new one! Wife wants a scooterette but that has never stopped me before. Probably cause I never had a wife before. No, honest. Had almost decided on the new Apache RTR FI but then heard that TVS is bringing out a new bike this Diwali called the Menace! If the new Apache is anything to go by, the Menace will be a beast and a looker!

Vacation time! The wife and I will be off to Thailand for a vacation next week! She needs it more than I do, seeing how my life has been a vacation since the end of May when I joined DreamWorks. However, things are looking brilliant on the job-end, what with new CP work headed our way. I've been out of production too long and am looking forward to the new challenges.

More after the break.
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