It was 6-45 pm in my clock..I rushed out of my place and started driving my car in an unknown direction..By asking few auto-rickshawallas, I somehow managed to reach the city of Nerul, Navi Mumbai..It was the place where an IPL match between Mumbai Indians V/S Deccan Chargers was organized..The small town of Nerul might not have expected such a huge turn out for the match hence chaos and anarchy were all around as expected…The roads and foot-paths were jam packed with the ocean of people, cars and bikes..The match was about to start at 8 and I reached the stadium at 7-30 hence could not get a parking spot inside, again as expected…I had to park my car 4 KM away from the stadium and had to walk that much distance to get into the stadium…But after all these hurdles, the fun and the masti I witnessed was just amazing !! It made it for all the prior hiccups ..

As I entered the stadium, the first scene that flashed in front my eyes was indeed stupendous…Earth-shaking loud music was going on as like you are in some kind of pub or Night club…Cheer leaders were dancing in their full colours and spirit…People too were shaking their legs to match the tune..I got the seat just behind where the cheer leaders were dancing..Yeah, you got that right!!!..Just behind the CHEER LEADERS !! .. Mumbai Indians batted first…Whenever a boundary was hit, cheer leaders used to come up on the podium and dance..One guy was dancing with his helmet on and a small bat in one hand..One guy in a complete cowboy look with a cowboy hat was trying to match Hritik’s steps…‘Mauja hi mauja’ , ‘Dil na diyaaa’ , ‘Tu yeh to bata, tu dekhta hai kya’, ‘Krazzzyy 4’ etc songs were going on with full volume and the atmosphere at the ground was just mind-blowing and terrific…Crowd too was very colourful and very enthusiastic about the game…The D.Y. Patil stadium was huge and its design certainly looked classical and modern…The field was lush-green and it seemed very quick…The pitch was a complete Batting-Paradise…Poor Bowlers!! ..

Mumbai Indians made just a tiny 154 in 20 overs..Afridi chipped in with two important wickets of RobinUthappa and Sanath Jayasurya and so as RP Singh…When Deccan chargers came out to bat with Gilchrist and Laxman opening the innings, it became mere a cake walk for them, courtesy Gilchrist’s awesome inning…He middled every ball he hit and those were huge hits..They all travelled a long long distance..He completed his maiden ton of IPL in just 42 balls…Fastest to score one..He finished with 109 Not out with 10 massive sixes…Laxman just played a supportive rule…Laxman surely looked a dormant soul in their partnership of 155 runs…Gilchrist single handedly won this match for his team..It was their first win in IPL and an important one too to remain in the league and to qualify for the semis..Even though it was an one-sided match, every single person at the stadium be it children, youth or middle-old aged men-women enjoyed it …I saw one old lady, who must be of the age 80 to 85, she was walkiing in the stadium with a walking-stick and clapping whenever a boundry was hit…Cricket really makes the age negligible and insignificant…

The most astonishing thing to notice here was that even though the people were supporting Mumbai Indians but nobody seemed to care to cheer for a specific team..In contrast, every good shot played or every good delivery bowled or every good fielding done was being appreciated with a loud applause whether it’s from Mumbai Indians or from Deccan Chargers…In short, people loved cricket and not the city or a team…We Indians really can not get divided by region,religion or race…That was really pleasing to observe…

P.S: My favourite cricket Afridi was fielding just in front of me..What a charming sight that was!!..It was even deligted to watch him bowling so fast and furious spin bowling!!

Soham

I was tagged by Bhavin…And as I promised him, I am back with my answers!!!

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?
‘Race’…Excellent movie…Twist at every second..Keeps you at the edge of the seat..In most of the bollywood flicks you will have to keep your brain at home..But here, you have to think, think and think!!..A must watch for thriller-lovers!!

2. What book are you rading?
I have not read a single novel in my entire life..The last book I read was “ASP.Net Step by Step Guide” .. I am not into reading novels or books much..

3. Favorite board game?
I used to play chess,business, snacks & ladders and scrabble..I love all of them..None is my favourite..I Believe in equality, I guess (Arjunsingh, are you reading my blog?? !!)

4. Favorite magazine?
Chitralekha – Gujarati magazine…Sometimes I read ‘India Today’ just for fun…During my childhood, I was fond of reading Chandan, Champak, Safari and Chacha Chaudhry. That was really great fun !!

5. Favorite smells?
Petrol ..
Old Spice and Brut after-shave ..
Drakkar Noir – My favourite perfume ..
The smell of wet earth after rain ..

6. Favorite sounds?
When a cricket ball is hit from the middle of the Sehwag or Sachin’s bat !!
When Shoaib’s yorkers make the stumps walking..I love that sound of timba !!

7. Worst feeling in the world?
When I am about to vomit !! It’s the worst feeling I suffer from..(Were you expecting an emotional or senti answer??)

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Aahhhh!!..I dont want to wake up…Let me at least sleep for more 2 hours!!

9. Favorite fast food place?
All belong to Ahmedabad:
Honest Pau-Bhaji center ..
Havmor snacks corner ..
Choice snacks parlour ..
Freezeland restaurant ..

In USA,
I used to love McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

10. Future child’s name?
Boy : Saajan ..
Girl : Simran / Muskan (Way to go guys!!! .. Just a hypothetical thought !!)

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?
Spend some amount for my family ..
Donate some amount to Indian Army ..
Donate some amount to Blind Men’s Association ..
Donate some amount to the organizations who are working for the welfare of Hinduism and for Indian culture & tradition ..

12. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Naah!! That was a nasty one !!

13. Storms – cool or scary?
Scary !!

14. Favorite drink?
Water – Can’t live without it ..
Buttermilk -Anytime + Anywhere ..
Mango Milk Shake ..
Jal Jeera ..
Pina Colada with an extra shot of Rum and blended ice ..
Spicy Bloody Merry ..

15. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?
I have the time..I jut don’t know how to utilize it in a better way !!

16. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Broccoli !! Yeah…I just love it !!!

17. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Walnut .. I had that in my hair thrice .. It looks awesome !!

18. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Los Angeles, San Jose/San Francisco

19. Favorite sports to watch?
Cricket – Number one ..
College Football (American) – Especially when USC is playing ..
Poker – I just loveeee it !!

20. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
Bhavin – You can not say just one nice thing about Bhavin…He is full of nicest things you can ever find on this planet..He is just too perfect of a human being..That sums up all I guess !!

21. What’s under your bed?
Tiles !!! 😉 ..

22. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
Oh yeah!! but with same parents, same wife, same family and same friends!!
Is it possible???..

23. Morning person, or night owl?
Absolutely night owl ..

24. Over easy, or sunny side up?
Nope!! Totally fried !!

25. Favorite place to relax?
My cozy,comfy bed with AC on !! Cant ask for more !!

26. Favorite pie?
American Pie !!! Cant think of any other pie 😉

27. Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate and Strawberry.

28. Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?
Bhavin has already written the answers so I don’t know as I don’t have many readers of my blog !! I am still a lonely rider !!

Soham

I was reading an article in Times of India which made me thinking about some of the things I used to do while growing up..We all have our own superstitions..Everybody has something or the other that they follow unconsciously, many being funny…We, most of the times, just do not bring them out for the fear that we could be a victim of mockery…I am no exception..I don’t believe in the traditional ones like “Sneezing just when going out for an important task“ or “a cat crossing the path” etc etc..I am an innovator to create my own superstitions…But most of them have been held in reserve for special circumstances like exams and cricket matches…

Some of the superstitions I have during exam times:

1) While taking a bath on the exam day, I used to make sure that the soap should not get slipped from my hand and even if it succeeds in slipping, I should catch it so that it does not hit the ground…If the soap slips and touches the ground then it is a bad omen and I will have to prepare myself for a disaster in that very exam..

2) On exam day, I used to wear left shoe first and then the right shoe…

3) I am a lazy creature..I don’t tie my shoelaces..It’s too boring..But on exam day, I used to tie my shoelaces..It was bringing a good luck for me somehow!!

4) I used to bring the same lucky pencil-box in every exam..I was not using that pencil-box even once through out the year..It used to lie in the junkyard and getting shaggy and dirty the whole year.. but during exam times, it was my best and important companion.

5) I firmly believed that if you write the exam with the same pencil/pen that you used for studying and practicing, that same pencil/pen remembers the answers for you.

6) Some of the shirts were very lucky for me..Whenever there is an exam of the tough subject, I used to wear the same shirt..By the way, for me almost every subject was difficult..So I used to wear those shirts at least in 2-3 exams…If I perform badly in one of the exams then the shirt or t-shirt I am wearing will go for a toss and I would never put on that shirt/t-shirt again at least in exams..

My funny cricket superstitions(I still follow them!!):

1) If our batsmen are scoring heavily and playing really good and fast,I sit in the same place throughout the match and I will also not allow any other persons, who also are watching match with me, to move from their places..Not even for a quick leak(Bathroom!!)…Dare anyone move from their seat!!..T20 world cup win was because of my statue position only !!..Don’t only praise our cricketers!!

2) Whenever Indians are batting and our servant comes in the room, it is certain that our wicket will fall..So during the match time, dad and I have banned our servant from coming to our room..Poor Guy !!!..He can watch the match in the TV which is there in the main hall..No objection to that..Funny, huh??..

Superstitions are fun..Sometimes crazy…sometimes lucky…sometimes funny…Even though they sound as idiosyncrasy, but I still believe in them..Can’t change myself in that aspect!!

What are your superstitions??

[Image Source: images.google.com]

Soham

Yeah, you got that right..I turned 25 today!!..I got one year older…Got more matured..More responsible..And more confused !!!..But the journey from my last birthday to this birthday was really a roller-coaster ride..

Some remarkable things happened in last one year:
1) Chitrali was transferred to Cincinnati office as an on site consultant..Hence we were able to meet several times and could spend some quality time with each other..
2) I got my California Driving License in my last attempt. It was a ‘do or die’ situation for me but somehow I did it…

3) Mom, Dad and Nani came to US for my graduation ceremony. (Just to add, my Nani is 85 but still she travelled so far for me..So nice of her!!!) Love you Mom-Dad-Nani !!!
4) I got my first job and first salary…Miss you my company and the dollar paychecks!!
5) Came back to India and joined Indian software company. Loving my job right now.
6)Got married to Chitrali in the month of January..Wedding ceremony was really grand and marvellous. Enjoying married life now!! Love you Chitrali !!

I will be celebrating this birthday with my parents after 4 years as I was in USA since Aug,2004..It will also be the first birthday after my marriage..I will be completing 25 years hence it means a silver jubilee for me..So I have plenty of reasons to celebrate this birthday with greater zest and enthusiasm..

I have not thought of taking any resolutions for the next year because I never follow them..So let the troubles and problems come on my way and I will face them with all my courage and that too with a smiling face..Aah, that sounds as one resolution, huh!!

Had a surprise birthday decoration and cake-cutting ceremony at 12 in the night organized by mom and Chitrali…Few friends came and had a gala time with them…Thanks mom and Chitrali!!..It was hell lot of fun !!!

Anyways, Happy Birthday To ME !! Can I expect any gifts from my blog readers??
Soham
IPL is going to start from today…Whether you call it “Indian Premier League” or “Indian Paisa League” or “Indian Pawar league” but it certainly has created some hype in the media and also among the cricket lovers all over the world…Huge money involved…So much glamour involved..

Its inauguration ceremony will be held in Bangalore tomorrow..It seems that it will be grand and fabulous…Bunch of eminent film stars are gonna perform on the eve of the ceremony…Cheer leaders are specially called from Australia…Shahrukh, Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif etc will be sitting in the stadium and will be watching the match…Spectators will be in huge dilemma – what to watch for: So many international cricketers on the field, Cricketing shots and awesome deliveries, Film stars in the stands or ‘Hot and Beautiful’ Cheer-leaders near the boundary ropes..It will surely be a stunning celeb-packed night…I hope IPL succeeds and it provides a better platform for other young cricketers..

For IPL News click here – IPL News or IPL Blog
For IPL Schedule click here – IPL Schedule
For IPL Teams Information click here – IPL Teams

I am not at all interested in or concerned about the whole conundrum of meaningless discussion of flow of immense amount of money or the myth that cricketer are becoming film starts and film starts are becoming cricketers or the useless debate about the glamour and cricket’s alliance which are all associated with the IPL..I just want to watch quality cricket while sipping coke or cold-coffee in my cozy-comfy couch..But every cricketer should make sure that their national duty comes first…To play for their nation must be the first and top most priority and they should not betray their country for the sake of money or glamour..Just a small advice to give!!!

By the way, there is no team from Ahmedabad in IPL..So I will be cheering for Mumbai Indians because Mumbai is my work place..It’s the city which gives me my bread and butter…My Karm-Bhoomi..Another reason could be the presence of my favourite cricketers Sachin and Jayasurya in the team…

I will also be cheering for Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad Team) as my all time favourite Shahid Afridi is in it…I hope he proves by his attacking, aggressive and flamboyant batting that he is rightly called ‘Boom Boom Afridi’

All the very best to Sachin, Jayasurya and Afridi – the king pathan..
Soham

Well, no interesting incident has happened over few days..Same routine and same life..Nothing lucrative to pen down at the moment but I can not resist myself from writing on my blog so thought to share one forward email with you…It really teaches a nice lesson..One little tiny small paragraph explains the life..

Let us learn it now:

Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player, was dying of AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: “Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease”?

To this Arthur Ashe replied:
“The world over — 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals, when I was holding a cup I never asked GOD ‘Why me?’. And today in pain I should not be asking GOD ‘Why me?’ “

How true!!!..We always complain to GOD about our sorrows, pains, troubles and griefs…We also complain to GOD whenever something goes wrong or something happens which according to you should not happen or when things are not going your way…We complain when our wishes are not getting fulfilled and even we show our anger to GOD..But when we are happy, we are bound to forget GOD..When we achieve something, we are bound to ignore GOD…When each and every thing is going your way, we always fail to thank GOD..Before exam or before interview, we all go to temples to pray for our success but when we pass out those with flying colours we get so busy in celebrating our success that we forget to thank GOD…I know this is not true for everybody but I have done this several times and I really regret it now…Remember that GOD’s delays are not his denials…When you fail just understand that GOD has something better for you and hence everything that happens, it happens for good and it happens for a reason..So please don’t forget to thank GOD for everything you are getting whether the air that you are breathing or the food that you are eating or the sweet home where you are staying…

A nice quote to end my post:

Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong;
Sorrow keeps you Human,
Failure keeps you humble;
Success keeps you glowing,
but only Faith & Attitude Keeps you going.

Have a blessed and wonderful life ahead !!!

Soham


I was biting my nails as like I was hungry since ages..Sri Lanka playing against West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad..First ODI of the series..Sri Lanka, 49 for 5 at one stage, recovers and posts a challenging 235 for the WI to chase..WI gets a good start but then as usual WI losses wickets one after another and they are in big trouble..Now the game has come to the wire..Last over and 13 runs to win and one wicket left for WI..Chanderpaul and Edwards are at the center and Vass is going to bowl the deciding over..They score a pity 3 runs from first 4 balls and now Chanderpaul on strike with 10 needed in two balls..It is just an impossible task..A massive task to achieve..But Chanderpaul keeps tempramnet and responds with a powerful straight drive..The ball is rolling down and yeah it hits the boundary rope and Trinidad crowd starts dancing..But guys, it is not over yet!!!..Six needed in one ball..Genius and cool minded that Chanderpaul is, keeps his cool again and watches the field changes, which Jayawardene is making, with a careful stare..And now Vaas starts bowling the last ball which can decide the fate..He bowls a low full toss and Chanderpaul flicks it over deep midwicket..The ball is in the air and it is going, going and going..”Has it gone-Has it gone-Has it gone”, Ian Bishop – the commentator is shouting at his full voice !!.. Every one is watching the ball’s journey even without blinking once..And yes, it just lands over the boundary rope into the stands for a massive six..WI has won..Trinidad crowd gets busy in wild celebrations with a loud music and marvellous dance steps..Every single player and official of WI is on the field to congratulate Chanderpaul..He has become a real Hero..”What a Player” to borrow Tony Greig’s words..True Genius, true maestro and an unbelievable match..A thriller at its best..What more an ardent fan of cricket, like me, can ask for..One of the most sansational moments in Cricket history..

Watch out the last two balls of the match in following video:

Soham

The Supreme Court of India upheld the OBC quota in educational institutes run by the Government..It just reminded me the famous dialogue from movie Deewar..

Boy: Mere pass 90% marks hai, gold medal hai, merit-awards hai, communication skills hai, qualification hai. Tumhare pass kya hai??
Other Boy: Mere pass QUOTA hai !!!

I wanted to express my views on this bitter agenda of Congress government and of Mr. Arjun Singh to include 27% OBC reservation in educational institutes and to divide people on the basis of their castes but today morning, I read the articles of Bhavin and Rashmi and they both have covered this topic so neatly and effectively that I really don’t feel like writing anything more…I also fear to be called as a blogger whose articles suffer from plagiarism because I really don’t have any more words to pen down on this issue..

But this step of UPA government has surely taken us back..Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s proposal to include reservation was just to provide uplift to the Dalits who, in that era, were wronged by the so-called upper castes…His basic idea was to continue it for about 10-12 years till the dalits can boost themselves to the level of upper castes and can start living healthier and richer life ..Then as the time goes, start reducing the percentage of the quota and after a predefined substantial period make reservation mere non-existent…I really admire this view of him but selfish and heartless, that out political leaders and political parties are, they never cared to decrease the quota just to pull votes and keep their vote-bank intact and undamaged..Instead, with time they have increased the percentage of quota and today it is around 49% reservation in educational institutes for SC,ST and OBC…No political party and no political leader is opposing this step…If they would have cared as much as they do for their vote-bank, it would have been a different story altogether and we would have been living in a real shining India..

** Hanging my head in disappointment,frustration and shame **
Soham

Nooo..It is surely not that month of the year in which Internet was invented but instead, exactly 10 years ago, in April-1998 I, Soham Shah, got my first PC as a gift from my mom-dad after the 10Th Std(S.S.C.) board exams got finished..My mom-dad were very much confident about me that I will pass out with flying colours so they gifted me my first-ever computer on the last day of the exam and even did not wait for the results to be declared..I also did not disappoint them either by scoring 90%..

Anyways, that was my first tiny little step in the fascinating world of computers..It was Pentium – 1 processor with 128 MB RAM and 2 GB hard disk PC (Today I have Intel Core Duo processor – 2 GB RAM – 160 GB Hard Disk Laptop !!! Quite interesting to note that the storage size I had previously is my current RAM size, LOL !!) .. Then I bought a modem to get connected to the ‘world-wide-web’ and an account with some ISP(I forgot the name).. It was a dial-up connection…The ISP people will give you a list of numbers that you have to dial to get connected..Most of the time, I could only hear engage-tone but when it rang, I felt top of the world..Then there was that most horrific and creepy sound which comes out of modem with black pop-up screen on your desktop and after supplying your user-name and password, you are put into the virtual world of Internet.. In the beginning, I only used to do yahoo chat,forwarding of emails and random surfing..Then I became more interested in the whole conundrum and learned some of the hacking tools and, then I used to crack passwords by hacking my friends’ PCs..By the way, it was all for fun and just to show my supremacy and knowlegde…No malicious intent at all..I used to get the download speed of 1 to 1.5 Kbps and sometimes when it reaches 3 Kbps, I used to call all my friends to convey that I have reached a milestone..But it was fun..First email address, first word in yahoo search, first instant messenger etc etc really take me down the memory lane..

I became so spellbound and attracted to Computers and Internet that my lifelong dream of becoming a Doctor changed to becoming a Software Developer…My medico parents supported me in my decision and I pursued BE in Information Technology and then went to USA to pursue MS in Computer Science…Today I can certainly say that I feel proud to be a software engineer..That little tiny step I took in 1998 has actually proved to be a long leap for me…Today I might be using 2 GB broadband speed, ultra-faster processors and huge-sized storage devices but i can never forget my first PC and my prior Internet experience…

Soham

Look at the following pics..No need to explain anything again..

** Shaking my head again in disappointment **

Soham

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