Dear Luis Suarez

Luis

 

Dear Luis Suarez,

Now that your transfer to Barcelona been confirmed, about time we should have this talk.

You know when Kenny Dalglish introduced you as substitute against Stoke at Anfield for your first appearance, I did not know much about you other than your hand ball heroic in the World Cup. But you made a great start by scoring on debut, and gave hope to the hearts still recovering from departure of a certain Fernando Torres. What actually made me take notice of you was your fourth appearance for Liverpool, versus Manchester United where you tore them apart and became my Man of the Match despite Dirk Kuyt getting a hat-trick. I knew we have a new star, a new rage and a new darling of the Kop.

We both know our time together has been a bit of up and down. You just can’t keep your self out of trouble, can you? Even if I do give you benefit of doubt for the whole Evra scenario (you know a benefit of doubt for you these days is rather difficult), your constant battles with authorities of the game were a regular feature. We, the fans at Liverpool saw it as competitiveness of someone who came up from a tough neighborhood and as ‘win-at-all-cost’ quality. You know we loved you. we loved you for that audacious dive on the feet of David Moyes’s, it was hilarious Luis. Brandan described it as ‘scouse humor’ and you became one of us if you weren’t by then. We loved you for that half line blinder of an goal against Norwich which left Steven Gerrard fuming because you didn’t pass it on him. But he forgave you because the ball went it. And you know, my heart sank when you sobbed after that draw against Crystal Palace this year, after all you brought us so close to title and back in the elites of game.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Liverpool - Goodison Park

But Luis, as much as I understand your reasons behind this transfer to Spain, you should have thought more about it. Four years in Liverpool and you did not hear about the ‘curse of Kop’. You see my friend, when ever our darling strikers leave, they miss us terribly. So much so, great Ian Rush came back from Juventus after 18 months to re-discover his scoring form. Even our (not so) good friend Paul Scholes suggested that you should have had a word with Owen and Torres before taking this call. Really.

But it is not just the curse. I really think you have made a wrong choice in terms of your new club. Barcelona? Really?

Perhaps you forgot they have a habit of buying central strikers and playing them on flanks. Thiery Henry, remember? Won 6 tor 7 titles for them including Champions League but playing on the left wing. David Villa left recently because he wanted to play in the centre. Forget him, if you would recall, Number 9s, dont really last long there at Catalan land. Zlatan and Eto are two more cases. By the way, Neymar hasn’t settled as much, he is playing on the left (your preferred position if not centre) so that leave only right wing for you Luis. You see things start getting ‘Messi’ if you want to be at centre of the attack in Barcelona. Why do you think Sanchez left?

You see Luiz, there in Barcelona, if you have to make a 6 yard pass to Messi, you make it. If you don’t, it is not forgiven. You see Luis, You, Neymar, Iniesta and all are there to support Messi. He is the darling of the crowd. He is the main attraction. Rest of you are just a crowd. Remember how you got all that great service from Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Coutinho and Sturridge. That is exactly what you have to do there.

Anyways, that is all done now. You won’t hear crowd chanting your name for 90 minutes but so what? You get to live near your wife’s relatives. I understand.

That letter you wrote for fans, I find it hard to believe because I have been a PR man myself Luis, but I hope you mean it.

Regardless. Luis Suarez, We had great time as long as it lasted. Enjoy Spain. Best of luck.

Best,

A Liverpool Fan.

P.S: Rest your teeth a little, your next bite might be your last one on the ground.

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London Street Performers


Distant guitar plays rhythmically through the tunnels of London’s underground walkway system, or on various spots in Central London, growing louder with each passing step.

That has always been one of the most charming aspects of London for me. I am always tempted to stop and listen to them. Lot of times I actually do it. You get variety of genres and instruments to listen to if you spend a day walking in London.

This gentleman I saw playing clarinet at Southbank.

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This rock band played a great set during rain at Trafalgar Square, sitting under a tree. It gives you great feeling to see random strangers passing by suddenly break into dance moves.

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I must admit I have not seen too many string quartets perform, but this one at Covent Garden did a very good job. I speacially liked the way they kept engaging audience .

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You unexpectedly hear a favorite track walking down the bank, like this guy was covering John Mayer’s version of ‘XO’

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Or you end up listening to an Avril Lavigne song right next to London Eye.

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Another great thing about London is it’s versatility in terms of adapting and opening up to other cultures and sounds. Since World Cup is flavor of the season, I saw this band play famous Samba tunes

10259990_10152086086150493_1993689717200168397_nOr this guy playing a great reggae version of  ‘a’int no sun shine’

10330471_10152086086495493_7677076148112963308_nAnd there is always bit of Bob Marley influence everywhere

1525059_10152086086295493_8280583701669126512_nAnd last but not least, you will find something amusing which will keep you wondering.

10414928_10152086083710493_1777880844454535307_nThese are just some of the reasons, why I will keep going back to London.


90’s Pictorial Film Rewind: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Warning: Fits of laughter to follow.

ImaanSheikh

I know, I know. I am attempting to ruin your favourite film; don’t kill me. I like it too. It’s every desi’s favourite film. And, well, why shouldn’t it be? It’s over three fucking hours long, and god knows how we love to make up for the short things in our lives with long ass movies.

I have decided to rewind Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

DDLJ opens with a sad shot of fobby store owner London dad Baldev (Amrish Puri) feeding birds while reminiscing about India after having reached the stars in Vilayat.

Oh, and he’s totally trippin’ balls.

While uncle is busy seeing shapes in the sky, let me introduce you to his family.

Meet annoying smartass 12-year-old Chutki, who ideally should have been killed by Paresh Rawal in King Uncle, and max Punjabi mummy jee, Lajjo.

Of course, this family is uninteresting as shit without Simran, the teenage…

View original post 1,280 more words


Friends

This is post is basically…I am not sure what it is, but here it is.

I have 319 friends on Facebook. 319. Big number, for an introvert like me at-least. Many of them I have never even met or spoken to in real life. Some of them I have met occasionally, but never interacted with. Friends? Really?

Friends were what I had in School. We grew up together. 11 years in same school, mostly in same class. First day of new academic year meant you would know which friends would move to a different section. There used to be a tinge of sadness and sometimes surprise at the point of finding out. Little did we know this was beginning of what we would be going through most of our lives. About moving on.

Now that I think about school, it had various groups. A group which just played cricket. A group which watched and discussed cricket. A group which loved music and movies. A group which discussed politics or books. And somehow I was part of all of them. When high school finished, I ended up losing contact with most of them. Some lucky ones went to same college as me, rest dispersed. Most, I am not sure where they are.

Then there were those who friends outside schools. Neighbors or family friends. They tend to stay longer with you.  I don’t know if the bond is stronger because you bunk classes together or what, but somehow, we have managed to stay in touch. At least in the sense that I know their whereabouts, if nothing more.

University and onwards I have had even fewer friends. It has never been a conscious decision, but I guess I am not good at making them, or more so at not retaining them. The ones I am still able to call friends (and there aren’t many) are basically ones who have gone out of their way to stay in touch with me.

Yes, I am not right person to be friends with. I don’t follow up. I don’t catch up. It’s not like I don’t care. But I am just too lazy (you can also read douchebag).

At some levels, it is rather sad how we are not able to retain contacts despite these techy advances. Lots of friends have moved abroad. Having lived abroad I know how difficult it is to take time out from daily chores. These are valid excuses.

Worse excuse would be to realize we are not from same sect. It didn’t matter when we were young. Perhaps this is why they say ignorance is bliss.

Then you enter professional life and from time to time you meet people with whom you can sense a connection immediately. Sadly, like school, moving on part comes there too.

So, this is just to say thank you to everyone who has ever been a friend. To those who come in all the above mentioned categories. And to those who cannot be categorized at all.  

To those I have borrowed school lunches or cricket bats from. To those who have lent or have made music tapes for me. Also to those who never returned my audio/video tapes.  To those who picked up their phones just to be told that I have figured out a particular riff or chords of a song. To those who appreciated my writings even though I knew they were not worth much. To those who were there when there wasn’t much, and to those who were everything.

 Thank you guys, I may never say this to you on face (because we hardly ever meet, and figuratively also), but I do appreciate it. Life would not have been same without you all. May you all be happy, wherever you are. 


2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Waar (Movie Review) – Sort of.

Trailors for Pakistani movie ‘Waar’ surfaced more than a year ago and immediately generated curiosity and enthusiasm due to it’s slick promo. After a delay which seemed like forever, ‘Waar’ finally released on Eid. Last few days I have been reading public opinion on the movie on various social media platforms and they were usually on extreme ends.

There is a section which calls this movie another example of revival of Pakistani Cinema. They think we have outdone Bollywood, heck also Hollywood. While other side claims ‘Waar’ is sponsored by ISPR (Public Relations wing of Pakistan Army) and is as dumb as – well insert whatever you like here.

The truth for me is somewhere in between. While the director Bilal Lashari has come up with a beautiful body, it sure lacks a soul (screenplay). Director for sure knows how to constructs a beautiful shot, ‘Waar’ has a grand look to it in terms of production values and one wonders if it really is a local produce.

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Credit should be given where it’s due. ‘Waar’ is definitely the best looking movie to have come out of Pakistan. But that is not the end of it. There are some geneuinely good moments in the movie and stunning shots. The murder sequence just before Interval stays with you due to it’s timing and excellent choice of background score (Song ‘Saathi Salaam’ by Indian artists Sawan Khan & Clinton Crejo). Also the scene where Ali Azmat is standing alone in a balcony imagining an applause. But they are too less to make an over all impact.

‘Waar’ has a major sore point, and it’s the storyline. Full of cliches and stereotypes, it unfolds at a slow pace and tests the audience. Major Mujtaba’s background unveiling takes forever to complete. It also throw’s a possible political debate, is India really responsible for all of Pakistan’s problems? Shouldn’t Islamic extremism share some of the burden?

As for performances, almost every actor’s accent is forced. I understand the urge to make movie in English, but why accents? Apart from accent, Shan gives a natural performance. He underplays his character, restrains from being over the top and looks suave. Shamoon Abbasi as the bad guy is adequate. Ali Azmat and Mishal Shafi surprise you while Ayesha Khan doesn’t gets much scope. Hamza Abbasi has some genuine moments.

Background score is to the point and leaves impact. Director Bilal Lashari exceeds in cinematography and editing departments, but falters badly as a storyteller. Over all, I would give it 2 and half out of 5 for it’s visual appeal.

‘Waar’ fact: 6 (Six) – is the number of times Shaan takes off his Ray Ban glasses only to put them on again in the movie.


Besharam – Movie Review

Not only one has to be a ‘Besharam’, but also a ‘dheet’ to complete watching the movie ‘Besharam’. Half of the crowd in the cinema hall left during Interval, and one wonders, why did it take them so long?

Besharam

It is difficult to describe genre of this Ranbir Kapoor starrer. If it is a comedy, it should have been funny (forced toilet humor is vulgar, not funny), if it is a romantic affair, where was the chemistry between lead pair? As for script of the movie (if it had one), I suggest for any future assignments director Abhinav Kashyap  (Dabangg fame) should assure Rajive Bharnwal (Writer) of payment, because this script for sure was either churned out for free, or as a favor.

Usually Ranbir Kapoor’s movies include several chart busters. The fact that ‘Besharam’s songs didn’t even make it to my brother in law’s  mehndi’s dance list last week, says it all. Lalit Pandit (Music) has given a mediocre score to the movie which in most departments was even less than mediocre.

I did wonder why Ranbir Kapoor chose this movie. Sure he does not have dearth of offers. Perhaps it was a desire to play something different (read ‘Tapori’) from his usual ‘growing up’, ‘getting to know himself’ sort of up-market roles. One cannot really blame his effort. He did act as per brief. Pallavi Shardi, who plays Ranbir’s love interest (I must confess I had to google her name) was plain average.  Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh were okay, but one expected more. Javed Jaffrey left an impact in a negative role.

I am not sure what to say of direction, some action scenes showed hangover of Dabangg, difference being it was Rishi Kapoor playing Salman Khan. Within first half an hour, you get the feeling you know what is going to happen next. Over all, ‘Besharam’ is a down trotted version of a typical 80’s masala fair, to be avoided at all cost.