Category Archives: Diary

Letter to Virat Kohli

For the uninitiated, here’s why Kohli was in the eye of a storm on Social Media yesterday. The 30-year-old was reading out tweets when he came across one which described Kohli, currently the top ranked test and ODI batsman, as “overrated” and that Australian and English batsmen were more pleasing to watch than “these Indians”.

“I don’t think you should live in India then,” Kohli, who has 27.1 million followers on Twitter, said in a video posted on his new app to sell exclusive merchandise.

“You should go and live somewhere else, you know. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don’t mind you not liking me but I don’t think you should live in our country. Get your priorities right,” he added with a wry smile.

 

Now, here’s my letter to Kohli in this context.

Dear Skipper,

First things first. I am one of your biggest ever followers/fans. I track your records very closely and I carry immense sense of pride that an Indian is currently topping the ICC ODI AND Test Rankings at the same time. Your run of form over the past 3 years has been INSANE to say the least. Please keep it going and bring us glory at Lord’s in 2019.

I do not think you are “over-rated”. I think you deserve all the praise you’re getting and more. You’re the best thing to have happened to Indian Cricket since Dhoni. Under you, Indian Cricket is in safe hands.

While this is my opinion and many millions of Indians might agree to it, there is a possibility few 10s of thousands could have a contrary point of view. All of us as humans have our own likes and dislikes. I like Chole Bhatoora, while my friend from Chennai living in Delhi might not. He might like Idly Sambhar. It is unfair to ask him to go and settle in Chennai because he doesn’t like Chole Bhatoora. We’re a diverse country after all and that has been one of our biggest strengths.

I follow Tennis and Roger Federer is my Idol. He is not an Indian and I don’t like Leader Paes as much as I like Roger Federer. But Leander Paes cannot ask me to go and live in Switzerland because I like Federer more than him or other Indians.

You follow Football. Don’t you think Germans, French are more pleasing to watch when compared to Indians? By thinking so, basis your own logic, you should settle in Paris or Heidelberg.

Let’s take your own example. There are millions of non-Indian Cricket followers who idolize you. Do you expect them to abandon their country and come and settle in India?

You’re the best in the World when your bat does the talking. Let it be that way. I hope you have a great tour of Australia ahead. Wishing you only the best.

 

Cheers,

Nitin

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#SriniStats – Rohit vs Virat in ODIs

Does the Blog title sound funny to you?

If yes, you’ve probably just not noticed what Rohit has done in ODI cricket in the last 2-3 years. With 3 double hundreds and 7 150+ scores, both World Records as of today, Rohit Sharma the HitMan is already an ODI Legend.

The objective of this post is not to compare Rohit with Virat. We all know Virat is leagues apart from any other ODI cricketer, not just Rohit. Objective of this post is rather to show how impressive Rohit’s been in the format over the past few years.  No wonder he is #2 ranked ODI Batsman at the moment.

How have the cumulative batting averages of Rohit and Virat fared over the years? Here’s a snapshot:

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I have 2 key observations from this snapshot

  1. Virat Kohli’s Career Average started teeing off from around this 150th innings (late 2015) – his career average has increased from ~ 50 to ~ 60 in a matter of 50 odd innings. INSANE stuff!
  2. Rohit’s Batting Average at the halfway mark (his 90th innings) was ~30, pretty poor; mainly because he was batting at #4, #5 or below till 2013. From ~ 30 in 2013, he’s managed to pull up his career batting average to 47.5

Batting Average by Batting position will help put things in better perspective.

Rohit’s average opening the innings for India is a mighty impressive 58.4, which is comparable with Virat’s 63.6 batting at #3.

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Batting average by Year also gives a similar perspective. Rohit’s ODI career can be split into 2 parts. Pre-2013 and Post-2013. Numbers in table below speak for themselves. Rohit 2.0 has consistently averaged 50+ over the last 6 years. In fact, he’s averaged ~ 70 from Jan 2016. Staggering numbers by themselves. Just that they’ve been dwarfed by another man who’s playing at a different level (Virat).

Since Jan 2017, Rohit has scored 11 hundreds against Virat’s 12.

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Let’s come to the important aspect of consistency. Who gives you good starts more often than not? Given a start, who converts them into a big score?

Here’s the summary.

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You have the answer. Half the time Rohit comes out to bat, he gets out below 25. Virat’s starts are far superior. 3 out of 4 times he comes out to bat, he scores at least 25.

But Virat’s supremacy ends there (compared to Rohit). Once they reach 25+, Rohit fares better compared to Virat in every further funnel (25s to 50s, 50s to 100s, and 100s to 150s).

Conclusion: If you let Rohit score 25+, you’ll regret it

Rohit is susceptible to LBW earlier in his innings. You know why. He has the tendency to freely swing across the line with utter disregard for the bowler/line of ball.

Rohit averages a paltry 14 on matches where he gets out LBW. If you are a non Indian bowler, here’s the secret sauce to get Rohit out early on –  bowl over the wicket, target the stumps, keep the leg side field open and wait for Rohit to miss the line while swinging across the line.

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Hope you liked this edition of #SriniStats. Feedback in comments below, please. What are the other cuts worth looking at?

#SriniStats – Indian Centurions

Yesterday (29th Oct, 2018), two unusual events happened in the 4th ODI between India and West Indies, at Mumbai.

  1. Virat Kohli did NOT score a hundred
  2. An Indian batsman whose name is not Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan, scored an ODI century; Ambati Rayudu achieved this special feat

Let’s set aside Event 1 for a separate blog post. Why is Event 2 unusual/rare? Do you remember the last time an Indian batsman NOT named Kohli, Rohit or Dhawan, scored an ODI century? I thought long and hard about it. Was only able to recollect Yuvi and Dhoni’s 100s in the same match in Cuttack against England in Jan 2017.

I analysed centuries made by Indian batsmen in the last 4 calendar years (2015-2018) and collated list of all 100s hit by Indian batsmen apart from “King Kohli”, “Hitman” and “Gabbar”. Here’s the summary.

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In the last 4 years, there have only been 10 centuries hit by other Indians. 10 centuries in 4 years. A closer look and you could observe that 4 out of these 10 hundreds came against Zimbabwe, which is not quite the ODI side it was during the time of Flower Brothers, Olonga, Campbell, Streak and Merillier.

Now I am sure you appreciate why Rayudu’s century yesterday was special, unusual and rare. Most of us would like to believe Ambati Rayudu is India’s answer to the “No. 4” conundrum at least till WC 2019. Let’s hope he carries his good run of form into the World Cup.

Coming back to the centuries list, in the same time duration (2015-2018) when other Indian batsmen scored 10 centuries together, any guesses on how many centuries were hit by Kohli, Rohit and Dhawan?

20?

25?

30?

35?

40?

All wrong. It’s 42! Kohli, Rohit and Dhawan together have hit 42 centuries in the same duration when all other Indian batsmen together have hit 10 (or 6, excluding Zimbabwe).

Kohli – 17 centuries

Rohit – 16 centuries

Dhawan – 9 centuries

Stats say these guys together have put up 18 150+ Partnerships in the past 4 years. Possibly one of the greatest Top 3 in ODI Cricket (Hayden, Gilchrist and Ponting) have 7 among them.

Is this the best All Time Best Top 3 in history of ODI Cricket? I think yes, already, and all three have a good few years of ODI cricket still left in them.

If Dhawan doesn’t smash you, Rohit will.

If Rohit doesn’t smash you, Kohli will.

If Kohli doesn’t smash you, *WAIT WAIT WAIT*, Kohli can’t not smash you. Kohli WILL smash you.

Dear WC 2019 contenders, make way! The great Indian batting powerhouse is here for the Cup!

World Cup season is almost here. #SriniStats is back. Stay tuned for regular posts in the run up to World Cup 2019.

 

SriniTravels – Europe 2018 Part 3

Having spent 3 days at Paris, Aarav and I were in no mood to leave the beautiful city brimming with History.

The photograph below was clicked when we were just about to leave Paris for Brussels.

Brussels, the Capital of Belgium, was not a big line item in our agenda. We just spent about 3-4 hours in the city. On our arrival in the city, our Coach halted near a majestic cathedral (I later came to know as the Saint-Michel Cathedral). With an impressive facade and tall towers on either side, the cathedral stood out completely from its surroundings which looked like modern day buildings. After a brief photo-op outside it, our Tour Manager took us straight to the city center of the Brussels Old town.

Right in the heart of the Old town is the city’s main plaza, known as the Grand Palace. Stand in the middle of the square and you could literally feel like you’re back to the 17th century. The horse carriages, buildings, sculptures all give you a feeling of medieval Europe.

The highlight of the Grand Palace to me was the ornately carved stonework with rich golden decoration.

We then walked down a street bustling with tourists from all geographies thronging the restaurants and cafes on either side. Brussels is famous for Belgian Waffles, Belgian Chocolates and French Fries (which apparently originated in Belgium and not France as the name suggests).

We treated ourselves to some authentic Belgian Waffles topped with melted white chocolate and headed to see Brussel’s most hyped landmark – the Mannekin Pis; nothing but a small 2 feet statue of a baby urinating. There are multiple Legends associated with this boy and how he went on to become a symbol of people of Brussels. It also embodies their sense of humour and independence of mind.

After a brief photo-op at Atomium, we headed straight to the sin City, Amsterdam.

To be continued…

SriniTravels – Europe 2018 Part 2

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ” – Walt Disney.

One look at the sprawling Disneyland Paris campus and you get to understand what this young little teenager Walter Elias Disney might have dreamt about, when he started taking his passion seriously.

On an overcast morning with rains imminent and without carrying umbrellas, we stepped into the Disneyland Park. It was the first experience of visiting an international Park for all five of us, and we had all day at our disposal. “Neraya nadakanum polrukkey?!?”, my mom sighed! “Looks like we’ll have a lot of walking to do”. She was right. The park was huge! Disneyland Paris Android App, the maps and signboards helped, but it was difficult for all of us to stay together and not get lost.

Disneyland Park entrance

Aarav enjoying the “Small World” ride

Just near the entrance of the main Park, I noticed a statue of Snow White, Disney’s first princess. Hair as black as ebony, lips as red as the rose, skin as white as snow, she was wearing a bright smile with a pose gesturing a welcome.

As I pushed the baby stroller forward to start making a move, I was thinking to myself, “Snow White, if only you could guide us through this Park!!!”. I noticed someone’s hand on my shoulder when I heard a sweet voice from behind. “You are an honourable guest of this fabled park. I’ll guide you through it. Don’t worry”, said Snow White, as I turned back, stunned. And so, we entered the park, ably guided by Snow White, enjoying all the rides that were worth their salt. After what seemed like hours, Snow White bid adieu to us. “I’ll have to get ready for the evening Disney Parade. I’ll see you all there. Don’t miss it”, she said, as she seamlessly disappeared into the crowd.

We wasted an hour in the afternoon owing to the drizzles which had picked up by then. After having a sumptuous packed Indian lunch, we went ahead and explored a few other rides in the Park, mostly suited for my 1 year old son. He was the hero of the trip for us afterall. By the expressions he gave (he can’t speak yet), we gathered that he had a great time. I made a mental note to myself that we’ll come back to Disneyland (not necessarily Paris) when he is slightly older (5-7 years old).

Parade

To be continued…

SriniTravels – Europe 2018 Part 1

Europe has something to offer for all (or should I say “most”) kinds of people – history lovers, foodies, pahaadi ladkas, city explorers, leisure seekers, among others.

On June 8, 2018 (on the eve of my son Aarav’s first birthday), the five of us (mom, dad, wife, son and me) left for a 2 week long trip to Western Europe. The preparations began in Jan 2018 with the usual suspects (mom and wife) doing most of the planning and work related to the trip. The fact that we had booked a fully loaded package through MakeMyTrip helped ease the load a bit.

As the weeks rolled by and the start date of the much anticipated trip came closer, the excitement built up. I had only visited one country outside India before, and we were about to visit 7 countries in this trip (8 if you count Vatican City separately). Also, this was the first long travel for my one year old son; we were anxious if he’d be able to manage the conditions there continuosly for 2 weeks, outside his regular daily routine (sleep, eat, play, sleep, eat, sleep).

Our first destination of the trip was Paris (not to be confused with Parry’s in Chennai). We spent the first day at leisure, just going out for an Indian dinner and a lazy late evening walk in the locale surrounding our Hotel. We had a long day ahead the next day, June 10 (which also happened to be the day of French Open Finals).

“To your left guys, is the first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower” said our Tour Manager. The 324m tall wrought iron structure took me off guard while our Coach Captain slowed down the Bus for us to absorb the first look of the majestic structure. We eventually spent a couple of hours with the World Wonder, going up to it’s second level to get a bird’s eye view of Paris. Aarav had a good time chasing pigeons underneath the Tower, once we were back down.

Aarav in front of the Eiffel Tower

Aarav Playing with birds, below the Eiffel Tower

Second Level, Eiffel Tower

We then moved to Louvre Museum, home to “Mona aunty”, the world’s most photographed and visited painting. As I walked on the corridors of the historic museum, I strangely recollected scenes from Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.

The museum was HUGE! We had only about a couple of hours to spend there (limitations of booking a tour package). So we headed straight to catch a glimpse of the painting which currently has an insurance cover of $800M, the Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa

I looked at Mona in the eye and said “You look beautiful!”. SHE WINKED, as if to say thank you. And then she added, “All credit goes to Thala da Vinci, for making me immortal”. I couldn’t believe it. Paintings talking and moving. Happens only in the Harry Potter world. I dismissed the incident as just an imagination in my head and continued clicking pictures when my wife came running. “Mona wants a selfie with Aarav” she said, unable to control her excitement.

We had enough time to barely cover only one section of the museum. There are 3 sections. Our Tour Manager told a stat “Even if you spend 1 minute in front of every exhibit in the museum, you’ll need about 3 months to view all the exhibits”. That put things in perspective.

Later in the evening, we went on a cruise on River Seine, the main river flowing through the city. During the hour long cruise, we got a glimpse of many a landmark of the city. There were bridges, bridges and more bridges for as long as we could see. Around the time our cruise ended, I got the news that Rafael Nadal won the French Open, yet again. Well yeah, Sun rises in the East. Delhi is the Capital of India. Nadal wins French Open. In 2009, Sun rose in the West.

After dinner, I was just walking in an area near the Eiffel Tower when I saw huge crowds gathering nearby. I didn’t know what the fuss was about, till I saw Rafael Nadal. He had apparently come to the Eiffel Tower for a photo shoot with the French Open trophy. I couldn’t believe my luck. I found my way through the crowd to reach Nadal. “Rafael, big fan! Can I have an autograph please?!”, I requested, panting for breath. “Ofcourse”, he said, grabbing my cap. While he was about to leave, I blurted out, “You are great Nadal, but Roger Federer is the Greatest Tennis Player EVER! G.O.A.T”. He smiled back, as if to say “I know”, patted my back and moved on.

To be continued…

Sachin vs Kohli: A Different perspective

In this post, I try to compare the ODI careers of Virat Kohli (till July 2017) and Sachin Tendulkar.

The summary below shows how the batsmen fared compared to their Top 50 counterparts in their respective eras.

As one can observe, Kohli averaged 14 more than his peers, while Sachin averaged 7 more. This is an indirect indicator that Kohli is better than Sachin when it comes to ODI batting.

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The graphs below show cumulative runs and batting average since ODI debut for the 2 Legends.

Notice Sachin’s graph taking a steep climb in Year 9? Right. 1998 it was.

Dream year for Sachin with a whopping 9 ODI Centuries (remains a record till date) and an average of 65 with 100+ Strike Rate.

At around Year 10, in terms of absolute runs, the graphs more or less coincide.

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I’ll leave for you to decide who is the better batsman among the two.

And Kohli is not done yet. He scored 2 more centuries in 5 matches against Sri Lanka after these Stats were compiled.

#SriniStats

Bitten by the #Sarahah bug

Sarahah, the online anonymous messaging app recently hit the market. I liked the idea, for multiple reasons,

We Indians (most of us) many a time are hesitant to give feedback on the face, be it positive or negative (“Constructive”). When under a mask, it becomes all the more easier.

I created my Sarahah account to see what my circle has to say to me. Got quite a few responses – some good, some “constructive”.

Sharing few of them here.

Having said that, Sarahah is just a wave (for may be a week or two) which has swallowed curious people on its way. Come September, people might not remember it.

 

Srini’s Favourites – 70 Movies

I’d like to quote Kamal Haasan before I start. “This is not a bucket list – 70 films you should see before you die. I’m not trying to recommend movies, or impose my choices on other people. The way I react to a film will be different from the way other people would. I’m sure I will probably notice nuances other people may not. Finally, it’s like falling in love! Why do you fall in love with someone? Who knows? It’s the same with movies.”

Let’s get started. Here’s my list, not in any particular Order.

  1. Nayagan
  2. Mouna Ragam
  3. Thalapathy
  4. Roja
  5. Iruvar
  6. Kannathil Muthamittaal
  7. Mudhalvan
  8. Anniyan
  9. Annamalai
  10. Baasha
  11. Padayappa
  12. Mullum Malarum
  13. 16 Vayathinile
  14. Rhythm
  15. Aboorva Raagangal
  16. Yennai Arindhaal
  17. Pudhupettai
  18. Vaali
  19. Mugavari
  20. Ramana
  21. Ghajini
  22. Vaaranam Aayiram
  23. Karnan
  24. Thevar Magan
  25. Salangai Oli
  26. Dhuruvangal Pathinaru
  27. Bahubali 1
  28. Bahubali 2
  29. Lagaan
  30. Rang de Basanti
  31. 3 Idiots
  32. Aashiqui 2
  33. Chandralekha
  34. Thirumal Perumai
  35. A Wednesday
  36. Taare Zameen Par
  37. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
  38. Happy Days
  39. Mozhi
  40. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
  41. Papanasam
  42. PK
  43. Rockstar
  44. Vasool Raja MBBS
  45. Panchathantiram
  46. Michael Madana Kamarajan
  47. Thillu Mullu
  48. Virumaandi
  49. Anbe Sivam
  50. Chandramukhi
  51. Naattaamai
  52. Suryavamsam
  53. Ek Duje Ke Liye
  54. Sindhu Bairavi
  55. Subramaniapuram
  56. Chennai 28
  57. Mankatha
  58. Deiva Thirumagal
  59. Aadukalam
  60. Moondram Pirai
  61. Ko
  62. Ghilli
  63. Thenali
  64. Avvai Shanmukhi
  65. Saamy
  66. Appu Trilogy
  67. Pasanga
  68. Madrasapattanam
  69. Thani Oruvan
  70. MS Dhoni, The Untold Story

Indian Cricket Team is not Paneer Butter Masala

I was one of the most fortunate souls today. 

Firstly, today was my first Father’s Day as a father; completely different feeling to have an innocent tiny bundle of joy in my hands. 

Secondly (and related to this post), I could not watch or even follow a single ball of the Indian chase and collapse in the Champions Trophy final today against Pakistan; I was flying the entire duration. I got all the shock at once, after I landed in Delhi at around 9.30 pm.

Yes, it’s disheartening to see our Men in Blue lose a Final. We were the favourites to retain the trophy, especially after India were to play Pakistan in the Final. We had beaten them comprehensively on June 4; they are also No. 8 side in the World and barely managed to scrape through and qualify for the tournament. 

But, over time, we have realised that it’s easier to understand even Quantum Physics but not this Pakistan side. Who’d have thought they’d come up with such a complete performance? And what a day and stage to up the ante. Complete credit to this young Pakistan side for lifting this Champions Trophy when everyone were thinking South Africa, England, India.

They have not only surprised the cricketing world, but also themselves. 

Where is Thissara Perera hiding? His dropped catch in hindsight defined this tournament.

Coming to India’s performance, today was a day when all departments collectively failed. Bowling discipline and batting specifically. It so happened that Pakistan also simultaneously produced their A game. Result is there for all to see.

But take nothing away from the Indian side. We could have done a few things better, but it’s unfair to expect them to produce best results every day. 


Indian Cricket Team is not Paneer Butter Masala. They cannot make us happy everyday. The fact is, they make us happy most days. We should cherish and savour those moments. On days when they don’t, we should take them in our stride and continue to support this champion side. If Champion sides can win all championships, then there is no excitement in watching. The unpredictability of this sport (or any) is what makes it fascinating to watch/follow.

Men in Blue, we stand with you. Now go clean sweep West Indies and Sri Lanka and come back. 

Congrats to Indian Hockey Team on the 7-1 win against Pakistan. Congrats also to Kidambi Srikanth on the historic win.

Virat Kohli has matured as a person hasn’t he? His post match pressers/interviews are a treat. 

Documentary Review: Sachin, A Billion Dreams

What’s a harder job than being Sachin Tendulkar? Making a film on him. 

Sachin is an open book to Indians and cricket fans across the world. What more, there’s also an autobiography out in the open; “Playing it my way”. What then can a movie about the great man add on? Director had a tough job at hand indeed. 

Did he succeed? Nope. “Sachin, A billion dreams” is a good documentary at best. There is no need to go to a Cinema hall to watch this documentary. Cinematography credits for 50% of the movie goes to Anjali Tendulkar. The movie is replete with personal moments of Sachin as seen through her handicam. 

The movie could have been shot in 12 hours, and thus adding another record to Sachin’s already loooong list of records. Not sure what took them so long to get this movie together. 

No scope for Rahman. Where can he score when most of the film has people talking to the camera? 

There are goosebumps moments in the film, but very far and very few. 

This movie is not meant for Indians or people who know Tendulkar. It’s meant for people who know nothing about Sachin or cricket. It might seem entertaining to them. Not for us Indians or Sachin fans, who know Sachin in  and out. Maria Sharapova might enjoy it. 

You can’t blame the Director too. There’s no scope for him to create any sort of suspense. 

What about screenplay? Last thing we wanted was Sachin’s story told in chronological order. That’s exactly what the Director has given us. 


“Sachin, A Billion Dreams” is like a good documentary on Cricket you would want to sit in your home and watch on Star Sports. Not a movie you need to go to Cinema halls for. 

“Fire in Babylon” is a better made documentary on Cricket. Watch it if you haven’t yet. 

I hate you, Rajamouli Sir!

Dear Rajamouli Sir,

I hate you. I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I truly do. And there is a reason for it. 

I happened to watch “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” for the third time today. Two times in Tamil and once in Hindi. I was stunned to see that you’ve managed to create the same impact as the Originals (Telugu and Tamil) in a dubbed version (Hindi). When I walked out of the cinema hall today, spellbound as I was, just like the first time, the reality slowly sinked in. That’s the end of the Bahubali series, at least on the big screen. That’s why I hate you. 


I know “The World of Bahubali” will continue to exist, through book series, comics, TV series, games, virtual reality, etc. like you have been saying in interviews, but none can match the impact created by your magic on the big screen. 

There is a dialogue in your movie where Sivagami says, “Once in a while, even God who sits in his temple has to come out to the streets to hears the sukh/dukh of the people.” It applies to you too. Once the Bahubali 2 wave is over, take some time out to hear what people have to say. Open your twitter account to see the comments. People are thoroughly gutted that this series has ended in just 2 movies. Why oh why? Why can’t you take another movie as a prequel to tell us the story of Amarendra Bahubali’s dad? Or may be the story of Mahishmati under its current Ruler Mahendra Bahubali. I sincerely hope you do. Take your time. Take a long, well deserved break. But take a good decision. We need more of Bahubali on the big screen. 

Bahubali franchise can give the likes of Marvel, DC a run for their money. I am not joking. 1500 Cr is not a joke. 

Till you come up with Bahubali 3, we shall make do with stuff like “Rise of Sivagami” and other books, media to stay connected with the Bahubali universe. 

But remember Rajamouli Sir, like Devasena waited for 25 years for Mahendra Bahubali, we will be waiting for the return of Bahubali. 

I hope this letter reaches you.

Yours truly,

Nitin

Jai Mahishmati 

Movie Review: Baahubali – The Conclusion (No spoilers)

Author’s note: Don’t worry. This post doesn’t have the answer to why Kattappa killed Baahubali. Nor does it have any other spoiler about the Epic. But I am assuming you’ve at least seen the first part since I will be using certain references from it.

Having seen how the first part of the Epic ended, with Kattappa (Satyaraj) narrating Sivudu (Prabhas) on the legacy of The Great Amarendra Baahubali, we all knew what was going to be the eventual conclusion.

Sivudu (alias Mahendra Baahubali) would rout Mahishmati with his army and kill (burn to death) Bhallaladeva in the pyre in the presence of his mom Devasena (beautifully played by Anushka), as vowed by her. 

We knew this was going to happen. Despite that, Director S. S. Rajamouli manages to keep the audience hooked, throughout the movie well into the climax. That’s where the success of the movie lies.

The love sequences in Kuntala kingdom between Devasena and Baahubali could have been released as a separate movie in itself. Beautifully scripted. 

Anushka was the perfect choice to essay the bold, strong, gorgeous, righteous, caring, lovable Devasena, Princess of Kuntala Kingdom who falls for Baahubali. 

Ramya Krishna will now have Padayappa as the number 2 film in her career. Baahubali her best. No better person to play the pivotal Sivagami role. 

Rana Daggubati as Bhallaladeva is not the traditional villain you’d see in Tamil, Telugu cinema. His characterisation based on jealousy, inferiority complex sort of blends into elevating Baahubali’s character too. Key role.

Kattappa essayed by Satyaraj gets most screen presence in the movie, after Devasena, Baahubali. Powerful role played to perfection by veteran Satyaraj. Humor in certain scenes in first half equally laudable as the emotional, pivotal scenes.

With Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishna, Satyaraj and Rana, SSR has got the casting spot on.

There are many people who have essayed the role of Karnan. But when you think of Karnan, you think of the Great Sivaji Ganesan. Similarly, Kattabomman – Sivaji Ganesan; Bharathiyar – Sayaji Shinde.

After Baahubali, when you think of a great Warrior King, the first image that might strike you could be of Prabhas. What a man! His 5 years dedication to the movie and script shows. The film is flooded with scenes that will give you goosebumps. SSR might have written them, but you still needed Prabhas to carry that on screen. Stand up and salute Prabhas for that. 

Watch out for the scene where Kattappa introduces Baahubali to the Kuntala Kingdom or the court scene where Baahubali gives justice to the Senapati. Cinematic peaks. Excellent scripting, bgm and camera.

Appreciable effort from Art Director Sabu Cyril and Music Director MM Keeravani for bringing mythical Kingdom Mahishmati to life. 

The Conclusion could have ended at the place where The Beginning begins, i.e. when Sivudu (Mahendra Baahubali) is born. Audience could have easily guessed on their mind as to what was in store.

SSR takes the pain to picturise that part too. 

Amarendra Baahubali is immortal. He will live on as long as people in the World talk about cinema. Hats off SS Rajamouli.

P.S: Utterly gutted this series had ended in just 2 parts. 

Zapwheels customer testimonial

There are no Vespa service centres in Gurgaon. Yes, not even one. There was one in Sector 14, but then they shut shop. If I were to service my Vespa at a service centre, I’ll have had to take it all the way to Dwarka.

Frankly, I haven’t been up to speed with respect to automobile service start-ups. When you don’t have an answer to a question, reach out to Google. Google can’t say no for an answer. You can even try your luck asking Google why Kattappa killed Bahubali, if you can’t control your curiosity for another week. 

Google threw up Zapwheels as a plausible solution. Their website is fairly simple to use and very well guided. Fill in some basic details like Two wheeler model name, your name, email, phone and tadaaaaa, you are done. You can also book time slots for service basis your convenience. You are then informed via email and SMS on order confirmation, service guy details, etc.

They do a compete regular service at your doorstep for Rs. 249 all inclusive, without you having to move an inch out of your home. I hadn’t serviced the bike for 9 months. The service guy easily spent close to 2 hours on doing the 24 point check mentioned in their website, very diligently. 

Overall experience. 4.5 out of 5.

Will I recommend Zapwheels to friends and relatives? Big yes. 

Will I book my next service with them? Most definitely yes. 

200 not out

I started this blog in July 2012, almost 5 years ago. Today, WordPress reminds me our journey together has exceeded 200 posts. For me, that’s not a small number. It averages out to one post every 8.5 days. I am happy to know I have been a fairly consistent blogger. 

What started as a personal account of my life in IIM Shillong now comprises posts on a number of topics of my interest which include travel, music, books, movies, photography and sports (cricket specifically). Cricket Stats deep dives have been a recent addition to my blog where I randomly pick one aspect of the game, dig numbers from ESPN Cricinfo and make a post out of it.

I write out of my own interest. It’s a great feeling. Creating your own content. There are no other intentions of maintaining this blog. Feedback from friends and family on ways I can improve is an added bonus. 

There have been days when I have published posts and there’s hardly any readership. Other days, when there are few 100s to even 1000 visits. Remember one such instance when I wrote a letter to MS Dhoni and posted it on Twitter. The Official CSK handle had retweeted it, leading to massive readership. That was a memorable day in my blogging journey. 

I would like to thank Bhaskar NH, my friend from Undergraduation, who was the motivation behind me starting this blog. I have thanked him many times, and I will keep thanking him in the future, with every milestone. 500 posts. 10 years. 1000 posts. 20 years. A million views. 

Until next milestone, it’s goodbye. 


P.S: Sachin was the first to reach there. I have reached the milestone too. Next target, Brian Lara.