The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

As a youngster, his name was Jesus to my ears. I celebrated his hundreds with madness, yelled at his dismissals and cried when his tons weren’t enough to canter home. I still remember my mom commenting with a disappointing tone – “your love for him supersedes that ought to be reserved for me”.

“He is made, only to come on earth, bat and go back”. – Ravi Shastri

Fast bowlers bullied him as a 16 year old stepped out to feel the heat of the 21 yard strip, spinners ridiculed him, terming him as ‘too young to play international cricket’. He was picked in the side to fill up the ubiquitous 6th slot and his first ODI ton took 5 years to come since his debut in 1989.

“I have never seen God, saw one today”. – Matthew Hayden

He weathered storms and bowling attacks with élan. 23 years of turmoil, pain, achievements, criticism and spectacular performances. Yet, time never galvanised upon the memoirs of his glorious feats.

Yes. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar will live as God, forever.

He leaves behind, if I may call it, a colossus of perpetuating paranoid that can seldom and probably, never surface in our lifetime. Runs in every corner of cricket bees, plethora of hundreds (not talking about the fifties though!) and the endurance to last for 463 ODIs. His 6 World Cups notwithstanding, he was poignant enough to make 2 of the editions his own (1996 and 2003) with a phenomenal streak that fittingly ended as the unit crumbled in the face of adversity.

“This kid is special”. – Abdul Qadir

“Watched him playing in the nets, couple of cover drives and knew that he would go far”. – Dilip Vengsarkar

I won’t talk more numbers as it’s been written, splashed and spoken over at every moolah. I would rather rave upon his shortcomings. Difficult to comprehend but I found out that he is human, by all means. His failure to lead India as a skipper has been a thorn in his flesh and admittedly, he hasn’t delivered the goods. And, to a large extent, we were looking for a bull inside a cow. Some are just great players and perhaps not meant to be influential leaders. Sachin belonged to that spectrum of vanity. Invincible and surprisingly, perishable.

“The greatest I have ever bowled to”. – Allan Donald

“He bats quite like me and the stance looks very similar”. – Sir Donald Bradman

He has often been accused of playing for himself and not for the country. Well, perceiving facts your way doesn’t alter the church of thought. We need to remember that Sachin’s career spanned in an era when Indian cricket team evolved, fell, evolved again to battle over supremacy. Yet, we were never a great cricketing nation, consistently. Our concerns were genuine, some attributed to culture and numerous towards congestion in ability of percussion elements. Not to mention, the media and the amount of scrutiny that summoned his exploits, on and off the field. To me, it wasn’t jade. We cannot punish a genius for the mediocrity around him.

Talk of the myths surrounding his aura, and I get a tad ferocious to lament the ignorance of those who failed to watch the broader blade of his life.

“The greatest batsman I have ever seen, even better than Bradman”. – Hanif Mohammad

Few that will be him, always.

A filmmaker transcends boundaries, surpasses eras and redefines cinema. Yash Chopra just did that. And yet, to survive with a glimpse of fortitude requires ability and a deep understanding of the connoisseur.

Hailed as the ‘Baadshah’ of romance, my picks would surprise almost many as I believed in his more rustic approach of filmmaking which depicted some magical characters that ever got created on silver screen.

My famed line up of Yashji isn’t a tribute but a celebration of the pentagon-ist whose acclaim stood by times with flair.

* Waqt
A multi star cast with actors like Raajkumar and Sunil Dutt, Waqt was a sure shot churner. A blockbuster with a jaw dropping amalgamation of drama and a preach of social viagra, it still remains his old-chick-off-the-block flick. Bollywood saw the emergence of Yash Chopra.

* Mashaal
Another YC classic that gave away from Bollywood’s conventional rosewood type scripts to a rebellious background that showcases a gunner youth being disciplined by his mentor. Not at his superstar best, but Yusuf ‘Dilip Kumar’ Khan gave a memorable act of valour and Anil Kapoor arrived. In many ways, it remains YC’s path breaking film in terms of treatment in adversity.

* Ittefaq
A raunchy thriller, I find this one to be one of the most interesting films made from YC’s stable. A hatke genre for Rajesh Khanna, it had the svelte Nanda in a glamorous role with dark punches that wooed the audiences with twists and turns in ample. A personal favourite.

* Deewar
The film that probably and by all means, changed Hindi cinema forever. Romance was thrown out of the window and in came gangsters with guns of baron. AB’s signal of domination, Salim- Javid’s scripted mania and Yash Chopra’s mercurial direction made a cult classic out of this Haji Mastaan inspired semi biopic. I still get goosebumps when I watch it in my solemn premises and can’t stop raving. My big buck pony :)!

* Kala Patthar
A film that I consider to be ahead of its time, it was a bold appeal that portrayed the state of affairs in our factory led movements of anti industrialisation slogans. Beautifully penned and knock out performances from its lead actors make this one of the finest from YC’s consulate.

* Silsila
The big daddy of romance. Flowers, Swiss Alps, a suave Bachchan, ravishing Rekha and a relationship that played havoc in 4 lives. Silsila had it all with a stunning intensity that seldom embraces a love story. It bombed at the BO but I loved it with all the oomph of condemned modality.

* Darr
For me, this was SRK’s big ticket to super stardom (before DDLJ surfaced). At a time when Bollywood started venturing in to new age cinema, Darr came up with a loony-toony who looked handsome, proved to be obsessive and could scream for his girl from no where. SRK loses ‘Kiran’ but walked away with the cake and the accolades. I love Darr for its chartbusters (Jadu Teri Nazar still remains a regular in my playlist) and a pretty Juhi Chawla.

Greats in all fields reign supreme and flourish with blemishes of floundering magic. I have seen and admired few, and continue to revel upon couple of them.

Yet, such characters become an inevitable part of our lives, and in sport, we call them legends.

2012 has been one of those years that epitomized solo goodbyes (adding on self to a listless juggernaut :)). Cricket, amongst all, indulged in few classic ones.

When Ponting called it quits, a feeling crept and was descriptive in its own backyard. When VVS and ‘Wall’ hung up their boots, saw a vacuum that was felt as a self obsessed cricket nation would. Rightly so! Alright, Strauss left too but honestly, with all due respect, his was more conventionally drawn and pasted.

Neither do my eloquent first liners hand over a certificate to Punter’s on field exploits. Personally, and dramatically, I have never been a great Ponting maniac. In fact, I have often dismissed his own with lesser known struggles of his self confessed career strokes. A more significant reason ought to be the fact that we have been his most desired nemesis and I have some painful memories that were a cause of immense damage to our winning ways.

To be precise, some of his majestic innings have eluded famous victories that could have been ours. The most disgusting of all was his knock of 140 in the 2003 World Cup final; it was ours, almost, till Indian hopes eroded with a savage innings from Ricky Ponting and we were destroyed. Not that I loved his 242 and 257 in Adelaide and MCG in December 2003, that was probably the closest we had ever approached towards a first ever series win in the Australian soil. But it was not to be. Ponting was sitting in zenith and was determined to deliver guns against one of the finer and fighting Indian sides to play Cricket in the last 20 years. He did so, and I remember those knocks with soiled eyes (Sorry Punter!)

Out of his 71, 14 masquerading tons came against India. Evidently, he loved smacking us and from my side of the pitch, it was a misfortune to acknowledge few of those splendid innings that I have seen in the last 20 years of competitive world cricket.

Coming back, I still feel robbed. Lara left, Kumble and Dada progressed to script a different route for themselves. Still, was content enough to witness a phoenix act. Muralidharan and Jayasuriya hung up, and so did the menacing combo of ‘Hayden & Gilchrist’ and ‘McGrath and Warnie’. VVS, Andrew Strauss and then Dravid put the nail in the right places of the coffin. With Punter gone, Cricket feels a touch poorer.

Yup. I realize that here we are, in the age of ushering talent and hungry youngsters, and Cricket will bloom again. But I was stitched to an era that gave and spent Cricket’s moolah with elegance and master class. We still have a few torch bearers left; yet felt squashed before I sat to pen this down.

As I await the glory ahead, I feel gobbled with the food of vintage and vernacular past that still dances around with those beautiful toes.