The Monarch Gets His Share of The Pie.. Finally..

He has belted every record with phenomenal ease and an effortless display of authentic batsmanship. Today, was no different. When Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar touched the 200 mark, we all witnessed history in Gwalior. The man possessed with almost every record in the cricketing fraternity (A triple century in tests and highest individual test score still eludes him), achieved this feat in an incredible fashion. Every shot of his was class and punctuated with all his favorite strokes in the book. The wagon wheel displayed the true picture, he was there everywhere. The Master eclipsed the long standing record (13 years) of Saeed Anwar (which was later equalled by Charles Coventry in 2009) and the great sigh of relief was evident. If someone could surpass it with style, it had to be him. And he delivered with a bang, which eventually sealed the series for India.

Sachin, as we all know, never displays his emotions explicitly. Even this monumental occasion could not invoke reactions out of the great man and the only gesture was his usual way of thanking god, raising both his hands and closing his eyes for few seconds, while the crowd went berserk.

I don’t think the ‘Guru’ of cricket will ever have disciples, simply because his exploits can never be emulated, superlatives are just not enough for the batting maestro.

Hail Tendulkar!

Drama & Euphoria at the Eden..

It was a stupendous test match on a perfect platform, ‘The Garden of Eden’. India scripted a historic victory when they were almost on the verge of losing it out to the weather gods. But fortunately, rain stayed away on the final day’s play and it was left to the Indian bowlers to chop the remaining of the proteas line up. And did they do it in style..?? Oh yes. Despite losing Zaheer, we kept the momentum up and the fantastic bowling performances added to the glitter (Bhajji was back to his exploits in Eden and Amit Mishra played havoc with his leg breaks).

Earlier on, the South Africans lost their last 7 wickets for just above 30 runs and that for me (and MSD) was the biggest turning point of the game. And from their on, our in-depth batting line up came to the foray and we simply batted south africa out of the game. The last time we had 4 centurions in an innings was way back in 2007 in Bangladesh. That, in itself, is a testimony to our performance and control over the proceedings. Laxman continued his run feast at a venue which became his own in 2001. The visitor’s biggest asset and take away from this tour was the phenomenal run feast from Hamla’s willow. He was nearly invincible and would not forget his exploits of this tour in a hurry (except the outcome of the last test). But after the swashbuckling win in the first test, the visiting team didn’t do too many things right at the Eden.

A great advertisement for test cricket, this victory helped India retain the No. 1 spot in tests, but how long will they sustain it is a debatable subject to ponder on. For now, we are basking in Eden’s victory josh and let’s all live this moment to applaud the Indian team. Way to go!!

Rann – Intensity with Panache

I always watch RGV’s films with a sense of unpredictability. He is one of those few maverick filmmakers who can make an absolute gem one day and a disastrous dud on the next. Rann, fortunately, falls in the first category. And in the process, has ended up in creating a classic from his stable.

The very serious and sensitive battle of media, politicians and the middle men has been portrayed with an impeccable sense of responsibility and controlled aggression. The characters have shown discipline and have delivered their parts with conviction. It is not easy to make a film on a subject which is not only global, but equally invigorating, yet an enigma. More than the story, the treatment of the subject has been terrific (as is the case with most of RGV’s flicks).
Now, coming to the casting and technical aspects. Most of the cast is well etched but the biggest disappointment for me was Rajpal Yadav. He is a very talented actor, but off late, he has got in to the wrong side of the wall, I thought he was wasted in his role here, anybody could have done this, why him? I don’t think a film like Rann needs such characters to survive. Others are all their in frames and have done their job decently. Ritesh was restrained, Paresh Rawal was at his usual self and Sudeep was okay. The ladies of Rann were subdued (understandably) and though all of them looked ravishing, special mention for Neetu Chandra. It was nice to see Suchitra Krishnamoorthy on screen after a long time and Gul Panag was just about there. Mohnish Behl probably landed up on the role of his lifetime, and he comes up with a strong and arguably, the finest performance of his career. Last but never the least, I don’t think I have much to say about Mr. Big B. He was definitely towering above everybody else, and needless to say, comes up with yet another performance which could be touted as one of his most admirable. The last 30 minutes belonged to him and he proved why he is the Baap of bollywood.
In all, it was a film made with lot of sincerity and RGV is back after a series of not so impressive flicks. For me, Satya still remains RGV’s finest ever, but Rann is definitely up there with few others.