Monday, January 10, 2011


Blaž Kavčič (Slovenia)
On 7/1/2011 I got this marvellous opportunity of watching an outstanding match between the famous Czech republican Tomas Berdych and the lesser known Slovenian Blaž Kavčič at the Aircel Chennai open. Thanks to Arun I could make it to the match without much hassle. I was elated the moment I stepped into the centre court though the stadium was nearly empty, the Indian express (Lee-Hesh) had just finished a practise match and were relaxing along with Tipsarević pacing up and down the court. Gradually people started filling in with their placards for the match at five. Announcements were made and the heroes were welcomes. A towering Kavčič made the entry in a florescent outfit followed by the crowd's favourite Tomas Berdych. Blaz raised the heat in the court, trying his best to overpower Berdych, he did manage to garner in a few points and won a game or two but his numerous double faults added on to Berdych's winning streak. Though Berdych was the much loved one, Kavčič won the spectators heart with his style and technique of playing as well as sent the crowd hoisting up their seats. Berdych was proficient in his tactful aces, exquisite forehands making the match delightful. His planned strategy gave him an astounding straight set win over Kavčič taking him through to the semi finals. Berdych was definitely boosted by the loud Chennai மக்கள், particularly a boisterous middle aged man who just couldn't cease screaming 'easy now tiger, we want more aces Berdych'. Thanks to, I would like to call him 'easy tiger', if not for him the evening wouldn't have been as entertaining as it turned out to be. The court was chock - a -block by the end of the match, waiting eagerly for the next, Indian express show. The players, the umpire, the crowd & easy tiger animated the stadium making it a day that will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Game of Badminton?!?!

This winter vacation has been immensely refreshing, starting off with being kicked out of a house party.... Chennai is enjoying a cold, lazy winter which just makes it difficult to propel yourself out of the bed, unless until jabbed into. My maa has always been an amazing energy package, a very dynamic woman herself she keeps me wanting to do the same. She prodded me to do the household chores which I did out of sheer exasperation and to please maa but i always retired back to my good old books. As a kid I was always out on the roads, boisterous & an avid sportsperson. Since moving to Chennai I have been denied the very joy of sweating my heart out at any kind of sport. I have always had the greatest regard for sportsmen, big or small. Sports always keeps a person balanced, generates positivity & helps take life as it comes. Just these thoughts alone bubbled up my energy. I finally ended up asking maa for a game of shuttle badminton for which without any slightest hesitation I got an affirmative yes. Badminton has been really close to her heart during her youthful days. We decided on a game of badminton every evening, it started on a great note. I could feel myself & maa transform into lively kids and directing our whole energy & heart into the game. I was amazed at my maa's liveliness & the focus on the game, badminton for sure made her powerful & hungry for more. We played till we drained. A game after nearly four years refreshed me totally & I had a whole new take on everything. The first day was accompanied with a painful arm but i enjoyed it as well. Badminton shook up the child in me who had been hibernating all this while. The tremendous joy that comes from it cannot be put up in words. My dear friend Arjun doubled up my joy by throwing his soul in putting up a tough match making it all the more exciting. I have seen sports bringing about a whole new dimension into a person's world be it maa or anyone else for that matter. It leaves you yearning for more. Badminton of all will remain the closest to my heart as it was the first sport I learned as a child. I have a lot of memories with this wonderful game that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. Sports must be made an integral part in everyone's life for their own betterment and the Indian government has to take an enormous step towards making it happen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Evolution of the 2 minute noodles

It has been more than 25 years since instant noodles Maggi was introduced to India. With its impressive tag line- 2 minutes noodles 'fast to cook good to eat' slashed across the wrapper it captured the Indian hearts who welcomed the new western attraction with open arms. It has since then become a staple across the Indian homes. It has since then come a long way going through many makeovers and ups & downs in its journey. It all started with the basic Indian tadka masala noodles which was relished by the young & the old. With time it faced competition when the Japanese giant Nissin brought in the Top Ramen Smoodles. Top Ramen seemed to have overtaken Maggi but lost out soon with people returning back to their desi roots. With the increasing health concerns, Maggi noodles started vanishing from the Indian homes but it was back with a bang with the maggi atta noodles. It started getting back into the shopping bags of the generous Indians. Young girls were the potential customers with their concern of maintaining an anorexic body & cooking in 2 minutes. However people still preferred the old one and i was one among them. More brands started venturing into the instant noodles business & Maggi started coming up with various flavours which all have failed to impress me as much as to even take them off the shelf. One brand which made a huge impact on me was Horlicks with Foodles - 'noodles without no'. It came up with great harmonious flavours & very healthy multigrain noodles, first of its kind. The various Indian curry taste makers further added onto the glory of Foodles. This started piling up in everyone's kitchen & this imposed a huge threat on Maggi. Maggi brought in the counterpart's multigrain specialty which was a complete catastrophe. The noodles were sticky, small & the taste maker definitely didn't match to the formers. Matters worsened when ITC introduced the Sunfeast yippee round wheat noodles in two flavours. This was a welcome to me & i guess to many others as well. An incredible taste maker with extraordinarily long noodles that blended well with the vegetables, making it a perfect healthy snack. It sure has given Maggi a run for its money. I have watched Maggi evolve for a decade now & it definitely has made a mark, but with preferences varying time has come once again for Maggi to evolve further in its quest of excelling in the instant noodles business with something new & wondrous. I wish Maggi good luck...