This week on football

Football have been a part of normalcy in my life. Club leagues, FIFA EA Sports, 5-a-side and what not. Many friendships were made from hearing one word that was uttered even with utmost silence among the crowd; football. I spared nobody that had similar interest. The routine with football always turned me on and kept me high. When I was in my school up to grade 10, I had tough time to figuring out to be a bowler or a batsmen or a fielder or an outstanding spectator. In the phase of figuring out, I found out a rookie footballer in me. To my memory, I remembered watching the world cup 2002 when Ronaldo took Brazil to lift the World Cup against Germany’s Oliver Kahn. May be that was a moment the adrenaline in me had woke up. I don’t remember exactly.

But then, I had tough time in convincing my mom to go play the game, because mom was a true lover. She was very protective of me and I had no regret of that. But with the game, she almost mocked at me every time I said I’m gonna play a game. I had to sneak out, lie, find reason to play somehow but didn’t work that well until I joined in high school and stayed away from home and then found myself an ardent fan of Manchester United and the story goes on.

This week on football:

Barca vs Bayern: Messi was a joy to watch.  I love watching players that make so much impact on the game; confidence, passing and ruthless dribbling. I almost gave up on the game when Messi took a shot that forced Neuer save with no effort. And then the goal, that was awesome. And then the second goal brought the frenzy. Messi was like a shooting star and his finish for the second was effortless finished in a subtle way. And I screamed watching the match. I loved watching the whole 90 minutes of the first leg. The second leg will be much more interesting with both fixtures: Madrid vs Juventus and Bayern vs Barca. Waiting.

Memphis Depay: That’s a great signing looking at his stats and confidence at this age; and an attitude to hurt the opponents. I’m already looking forward for next season. I am impressed with the way LVG is building the team. United are playing a disappointing football at the moment. Despite that, the team building looks promising. LVG had little time to bring so many players in a season. I almost lost my patience during the twilight years of SAF where every player on the planet was linked with a move but then nothing really happened. Going with his antics, Manchester will be Oranje in upcoming years under LVG; yet promising.

Christian Benteke and Aston Villa: The rejuvenated striker has been named the ‘Barclays Player of the month’, with 5 goals in April month playing a good football. He’s been transformed into a threat with pressing football and quick feet. The whole squad had been stimulated by the strong catalystic manager in Tim sherwood. Wotta transformation. The whole team has been charged as if they were fallen in love; desperate to do things. There are so many young bloods lurking around thirsty on the field, for victory. I’m keeping a tab on Villa matches, just because they are so much fun to watch.

Manchester United: We are closing on the end of season with three games remaining. We need 5 points from the last three games. Nail biting as the Scousers are following too close for the champions league spot. The boss very well knows that he cannot afford to lose another match. The next fixture Crystal Palace cannot be considered underdogs. Hence, there are 3 finals left for the season, big games as Mata once said.

5-a-side football on weekend: We play in our neighborhood in an artificially turfed ground. It feels like we are a pack of wolves. All along, so close and so much enthusiasm with the game. Weekend footballers. So, it’s another 2 hours of good game this weekend on Saturday as well. It’s fun.

That’s all for the week with football.

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OK Kanmani, a refreshing love story !

His movies are like summer rain that are enjoyed thoroughly; The movies from the renowned film director, Mani Ratnam. He is well known for his subtle screenplay and portrayal of natural stories with precision. One of the few aspects that I admire in Mani’s movie is that the whole crew of the movie know their expectation in their roles and exhibit sublime quality of acting.

O Kadhal Kanmani (English: Oh Love, Apple of my Eye), also known as OK Kanmani, is another romantic movie, written, directed and produced by Mani Ratnam.

The plot goes like this:

The hero of the movie, Adi, a strikingly vibrant youngster, is a developer of computer games. He lives with an elderly couple Mr.Ganapathy, a retired Bank employee and his wife Mrs.Bhavani, an Alzheimer patient. Thara, a charming young girl, is an architect living in a hostel accommodation.

The story starts with, like-minded, youngsters, Adi and Thara, meeting accidentally and falling in quick acquaintances and becoming closer in relation, faster than the time taken by a shooting star to appear and disappear. They both are like-minded in their perspectives on live-in relationship on contrast to getting married. Soon they realize they fall in love.

I couldn’t fathom out with the desperation of the strangers and their pace of getting along so quickly. It was like a quick uphill in the roller coaster and little I know that there is soon a transition in the movie. And then I waited.

Adi and Thara decide to live together and then Adi approaches Mr.Ganapathy and request him to approve the stay of Thara with him. Initially Ganapathy doesn’t approve but then gets touched by Thara’s musical skill that soothes his wife having mutual passionate interest in music. Bhavani was a famous carnatic singer. That’s when the plot twists with Ganapathy’s decision to allow Adi and Thara to live together. The love blends in and lest we understand the movie has a parallel, matured love story trailed by that of the naive youngsters’. The elderly couple, Ganapathy and Bhavani are the supporting pillars of the movie and the director has placed a gently stream of love flowing between them. There is an unconditional love exhibited between Ganapathy and Bhavani. The interesting but funny story of Ganapathy’s love encounter with the then Carnatic star Bhavani was like an icing on the cake.

“The right moment and the right person dont come in life at all times, but when they do, you have to grab them”, says Ganapathy about his love marriage with Bhavani.

Adi and Thara slowly understand the intense love and dedication existing between Mr.Ganapathy and his wife, Bhavani. They understand that marriage is not a commitment shackling one’s freedom but is about falling in love again and again during hardships and stand for the love of life, forever. Marriage is like a perennial river carrying love and flows throughout the life.

I also liked the natural casting of Adi’s brother and his wife. They are like the fillers in finer crests and troughs in the story that gave a smooth progression.

Notable scenes include the Bhavani sitting under a tree getting drenched in rain. And When Adi and Thara rushed to her, she naively responded that she forgot her way back home. In another scene when Bhavani disappeared from home and Thara and Adi went in search of her. The search was carefully utilized and the director ploys and brings out the intense love of the amateur youngsters and the frenzy of the story kept me on the edge of my seat.

The movie ends with Adi and Thara getting married and then Adi flying to the Americas to pursue his job.

I left the seat with refreshing sense of joy that I fail to explain because the words got lost between my head and the computer keypad, may be because of a sense of happiness.

Women power

Recently read an article in readers digest magazine on how women are influencing the world and the business market. That was the first time I ever looked at women and their power from a different perspective. Then I thought “What if women don’t exist?”, the world wouldn’t exist too. Because my scripture says that God created everything in pairs.

A world without women would be like, The earth without the moon (how dull); The Godfather without Alpacino; French without art (No Mona Lisa !); Germans without cars ( AUDI/BMW); Arabs without oil ( let alone the German-made, forget the cars); Indian police without corruptions (that be better for us. Seriously Wow !).

But on a serious note, When God created Adam, he let him live in heaven; but then he was not happy alone, so God gave a company and created Hawwah(Eve) from within and not a play station. A woman completes a man, that’s why we call them as ‘better halves’. Everything runs of them, by them and for them. A pure democracy  and they should know that !

Here’s a tamil song I’d like to quote,

“இன்பத்தை கருவாக்கினாள் பெண், 
உலகத்தில் மனிதனை உருவாக்கினாள் பெண்,
உலகத்தில் மனிதனை உருவாக்கினாள் பெண்,
விண்ணவர்கும் மண்ணவர்க்கும் விலயற்ற செல்வம் பெண்,
விலயற்ற செல்வம் பெண்”

Which I could literally (or nearly) translate to,

She turned the pleasure into an embryo (in her belly),  Bore men and brought him into the world, She’s a priceless treasure for men (of earth), and the angels (of sky), A priceless treasure, she is ! 

Subtle and beautifully cast. The reason I respect women is that they’ve all the capability to do wonders, because that’s how they’re engineered. I’ve never seen a dumb woman in my life. I’ve seen innocent, illiterate women, but not dumb. Any woman can manage a family and isn’t that enough to prove? But then, they refuse to realize, which is in a way the biggest hindrance. Women should get over these shackles of society and break into reaching summits !

The word ‘Women’ bears the word ‘Men’ and so do they, the elegant creations of God.

Women win arguments

The most predominant conflict still remains as the arguments between a husband and wife. Newly-wed or couples-for-decades, they still argue and end up in a quarrelsome situations.

Even if we go by typicality that women mostly get into heated discussion, men would fail at one point during the course. Because, women simply remember everything ! Everything that happened and told to them. Whereas, the problem for all men lies with what happened in the ‘Past’.

For instance, women would kill the talk with just one question.

Do you remember what you said yesterday?”.

(KO).

The Cinderella Woman

They are still counting; the number of people that fought with my grandmother because she told them to eat, as soon as they finished their meal.

She didn’t make it look like an obligation on others around her. Rather, she always insisted, tortured, urged, asked, ordered, pleaded, blackmailed, demanded, requested the people that visit her, to eat ! And there it started. Because, she is just a heartless woman, because every time she cooked, she melted her heart and blend it in her scrumptious culinary delights.

If she were with Adam in place of Ewe, her first talk would have been, ‘Would you like to eat something?’. And if I were to go to coma, I would wish her by my side sitting patiently and when I wake up, she would hug me with tears and would say those words I’ve waited all years. “You must be hungry, eat this” !

It looked repetitive but it’s that God had blessed and programmed her heart to care and feed people around her. Every time I visit her, she would go like “Breakfast is over now, we’ll be having lunch in another couple of hours. In the meantime I’ll cook something for you”.

Such is the heart of The Cinderella woman, my grandmother.

Indeed, God has willed. Al-ḥamdu lillāh.

And she waited

She looked teary-eyed, Khateeja, the newly-wed wife, as she folded the bundle of pages into the envelope finishing her first hand-written letter to her better half, who departed overseas last week, soon after their marriage. Stretching her arms, she looked down the bed, wearily, as it was full of colorful pens and highlighters and other stationery objects that hurdled her to sleep.

The clock ticked forty five past ten, as she arranged her bed as she went into dream to visualize her longing thoughts. She had been busy for past two days, collating everything in her mind and send in a single letter.

“It’s going to reach him in another 6 days”, she thought.

As she dispatched the envelope the next morning, her eyes are set along the road that connected to the post-office, like a telescope tilted to set on focus by an earnest astronomer anticipating a spectacular space event.

Indeed it’s like a shooting star; the letters from her husband. And she waited.

Valentine’s day and Love? Are you sure?

If you think Valentine’s day is celebrated for a fairy tale happy-ending love story or a symbol of romance and love, you’re living in the days of ignorance and deception. It has no trivial connection with Layla and Majnun or the tragic love of Romeo and Juliet. Valentine’s day is nowhere near Love, in fact.

I’ve an intensely inquisitive mind towards blind following of rituals or mainstream customary practices without actually knowing the sensible cause or history of it. Valentine’s day is approaching and I became nosy about the subject.

According to the Christian literature of biographies of lives of saints in the primitive times, Valentine was a saint who lived sometime in 4th century or earlier than that. There were more than one saint with the same mention of the name as well.

The plot, according to popular hagiography, goes back to the timeline when he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. [This event at least stands close in connection with love]. And in other recordings, he was heading the Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire and then detained in jail for the aforementioned cause. During his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius (no mention of any further detail). An exaggerated decoration to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. Poets are known for these kind of exaggeration.

Another history states that numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. Followed by the death of the saint, the day was associated with romantic love and also the feast day of St.Valentine is also given in the calendar of the Saints.

Although the authenticity of the biography of St.Valentine is not clear, February 14, actually has remarkable connection to martyr-hood and bravery than love, I would say.

So if you are content with the celebration of Valentine’s day with your loved one, you are remembering the death of an ancient Roman saint, whose biography doesn’t have an authentic recording of the actual event. The media and business corporations created the blend of romantic love and February 14. If you want to celebrate love with your loved one, you don’t have to wait for any particular day. Love is 24 x 7 for 365 days, isn’t it? 

And before you intend to ask someone “will you be my Valentine“, think and know what you wish for.

source: wikipedia.org