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The Wizard

Let me get a quick word in. This isn't the Manchester United he left in 2008. This isn't the Ronaldo the club bid adieu to more than a decade ago either. Both have changed. Both are different. Ole is not Sir Alex. The club has struggled to repeat its glory years a la the 2000s. Ronaldo's aura is still bright but not as incandescent as before. He's in better shape at 36 than most of us will ever be in our lives and yet he's 12 years older. Okay, he scored a lot of goals at Juventus, but Ronaldo hasn't picked up major honours/titles since leaving Madrid. The Italian job wasn't as successful as he and the team would have wanted. (*Edit: I was wrong. See PPS) Heck, Dybala may just have heaved the biggest sigh of relief in Italy because Ronaldo has a tendency to eclipse everyone else in the team. Kind of like Messi, but not in the Argentine's cunningly understated manner. Ronaldo's voracious appetite for personal success is as subtle as an uppercut.    
Recent posts

Little Trinketry

I recently made a bizarre personal discovery. By which I mean that it's probably common knowledge for the rest of you but new news on Planet G.  Radios have gone completely missing from brick & mortar stores. Why in Beelzebub's name do you need one, you ask? The father is hankering for a radio. Not just any fiddly variety but one which has a clock feature as well. A decade ago, in one of his occasional Marie Kondo moments, our clock radio, in perfect working condition of course, was shown the exit. Now, father can't find the right one for love or money. A piece by Sony which came close is only available at a price that suggests it should be able to pick up radio stations on Jupiter. Now cease and desist with the "tch" and eye-rolling for a minute and hear me out. There are 6+ stations on the FM band in this city and many more across the country. Surely that's enough customers to keep manufacturing radios? On the other hand, an irritatingly learned friend i

Space Oddity

I started writing this on Friday, the 6th of August but couldn't find the clarity of thought or right words to communicate my feelings. Now, a week or so later, I'm giving it another go.  The Friday was the last day of my 2-year stint at yet another advertising agency. It was only the second time I was voluntarily walking away from a job and the previous incident took place 7 years ago with me very much on the right side of 30. Then, it was a case of choosing to live, eat and sleep normally after a horrible year of work. Earlier that year (2014) I'd actually pushed myself to take a pay cut and move into mainline advertising from healthcare. 11 months later, I didn't care if I ever worked in advertising again, so disheartened was I by the whole game. It took a 2.5 year stint with a good team and a great (eccentric) boss before it felt like I'd turned a corner. Yet, watching the clock tick over to 6:30 pm, I couldn't even fake a smidgen of regret about what was my

Some things just stick in your mind

I came across this picture on Twitter . It's an ad that ran in Target, a magazine published in the 80s. Being in the advertising racket, I couldn't help but notice the plainness of the text; a simple announcer for new packaging. Us copywriters are told to inspire readers with the communication like they used to before , though from the looks of it, direct, no-nonsense stuff was being published back in the 80s too. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose , and all that. While many facets of the picture triggered of a deluge of nostalgia amongst friends, it was seeing the second bar from the top that caused a familiar dull ache in my chest. Any time I see the old Amul Fruit & Nut pack, I'm instantly transported back to an extremely humble, 1-RK in Bombay. I am sitting on a pink, mosaic marble tiled floor, the kind that's sadly gone out of fashion now, impatiently waiting for my Pati to open the front door and welcome my Thatha back from one of his mysterious (to

Old School Yard

Last night, European football's domestic calendar culminated in an improbable, yet thoroughly deserved Champions League title for Chelsea. Improbable because the team and their manager Thomas Tuchel were up against a great Man City team coached by Pep Guardiola, one of the best in the modern game. Chelsea had already beaten City twice in the past 6 weeks. Yet, for Pep, third time lucky, it was still not to be.  Say what you want about his crazy intensity, the man's a serial winner, with his City teams closer to collecting a unique quadruple (CL, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup) than any other side. This year, they seemed destined to pull it off but came up against the razor-sharp tactics and expensively assembled Chelsea of Tuchel. Yes, him not Lampard whose (same) team were struggling in 9th place in the EPL when he was sacked. Frank could not have done in 2 years what Tuchel has pulled off in 5 months - winning the CL, losing the FA Cup finals and finishing 4th in the EPL

Guaranteed

I am thinking of samosas. Piping hot off the wok or fresh-from-the-fridge cold. Masaledaar (does the word even have an English equivalent? Can it?) and spicy. Lathered in cooling mint and tangy date chutney or dipped in ketchup. With green chillies fried in oil and sprinkled with salt, or pav if you're still brave enough for carbs. Leaving behind an after-taste (or pleasurable belch) of sauf. For a hungover "what's left" breakfast, as a small lunch starter (Shabari, Panchavati Gaurav, I miss your thaalis so!), accompanying a cup or more of late afternoon, hottish masala chai and when you have late night munchies.  Or, man, just whenever you feel the fuck like you want one . That last bit is what I miss. And I think when I bite into a sweetshop-bought samosa again, will it be like before ? Maybe one day. I'm thinking about sandy-brown, flaky-crusted samosas. It keeps me going. Song for the moment: The boy in the bubble - Paul Simon

Ain't that a kick in the head

Just wanted to get a few quick thoughts in about the shambles that was/is the European Super League (ESL). I won't get into the economic aspects because, frankly, this guy would do a fabulous job. However, I've lived for a fair bit in the U.S., a country that has influenced a number of aspects in this post and the situation in general and kind of understand what those jokers were thinking about. First, let's get this off the chest - UEFA, FIFA, FA, SKY and the rest are no innocent lambs . They are as power-hungry and manipulative as the cabal that dreamed up the ESL. Their smoke-n-mirrors way of working, devious & dubious television deals, invisible, unaccountable distribution and terrible ideas for the 'new' Champions League format (where imaginary coefficients give some teams an advantage) are the reason European football was thrown into a roiling shit-show for about 48 hours. And no one has been flushed out yet. Except this asshat .  Americans have been in