Monthly Archives: August 2010

Breaking News: Arsenal Players demand bonuses for Training

In an unprecedented move, all Arsenal players, without exception, have demanded that they be paid bonuses just for showing up for training. While the move has drawn widespread criticism, the Arsenal players appear to be fully convinced about their stand and have even threatened not to show up for training or play any matches until their demands are met.

When contacted, the Arsenal players put the entire blame on Arsene Wenger‘s new contract in which the club retained his services for 3 more seasons while increasing his salary by 20%.

“We are not complaining about the fact that Arsene Wenger is now the highest earner at the club. It is the fact that he is getting bonuses for taking the club to play Champions League football every season that has got us upset” said a visibly fuming Theo Walcott.

There does appear to be truth in Walcott’s statement as the club have confirmed that they are indeed paying a bonus  for Arsene Wenger to steer the club to Champions League qualification. When pressed further, Theo Walcott said that this was totally unfair.

“We have been qualifying for the Champions League continuously for more than a decade now. In fact, we have not missed out on Champions League action even once under Arsene Wenger. The coach is getting bonuses for doing something he has been doing all the time. And so even we the players feel that we need to get bonuses for something we have been doing all the time” explained Walcott which drew strong nods from fellow Arsenal players.

When asked why the players wanted their training to be given bonuses, Abou Diaby replied, “We did not want to ask bonuses for playing every match. That would not be fair because at the rate that we are getting injured, we cannot guarantee we will be able to play all matches in the first place. Hence we chose Training for bonus as we train almost every single day and we have been doing it for as long as we can remember.”

Arsene Wenger was non-committal in his response. “It is true that I am getting a bonus for taking the club to Champions League. But I cannot respond to what the players are asking. It is a matter between the players and the management.”

When reminded that he himself was the manager, he said, “Whatever happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room.”

Experts on the other hand are already giving their ‘expert opinion’ on the matter. Shebby Singh, appearing with John Dykes in his trademark grey suit and pronounced smug, called for the football fraternity to look for the deeper meaning in this extra-ordinary situation.

“You see John what we should observe here is not just the behavior of the players. What we should not overlook is what the gesture from the board actually implies. The Arsenal board are giving Arsene Wenger a bonus JUST for getting them through to Champions League football every season. This is a clear indication of their expectations and the targets they have set themselves. If your only incentive is to just qualify for the Champions League, then who will make any effort to go ahead and actually win the Champions League?” Having so explained, Shebby Singh sat with an even bigger smug and with a firm belief that he had just made the discovery worth a Nobel.

Back in North London, the players have now taken to a demonstration outside the Emirates Stadium demanding that they also be given bonuses for something that they have been anyway doing for the past how many ever years. The players were parading with placards which read “Bonuses for all”, “Reward all who can keep doing the same thing” etc. However, Fabregas’ was parading with a placard that read “I love Barcelona!” When pointed out by some journalists, Fabregas was quick to dismiss any rumors about him wanting to go to Barcelona saying “Yes I was born there and Barca is one of the biggest clubs in the world. But right now I just want to win more trophies for Arsenal.” After a few seconds he added “Wait…take off the ‘more’ part from my last line.”

An interesting consequence of this protest was felt not too far away at Stamford Bridge where the players were getting restless after hearing the news. Having suffered a cut in all performance oriented  bonus which does not result in a trophy, the Chelsea players suddenly felt they have been given a really bad deal.

Skipper John Terry was the first to complain, “You see the lads actually winning something here. We won the double last season- you know like actually lifted the trophy and stuff. And what does Abromovich do? He gives us a cut in the bonus! Says we will get bonus from next time only if we win some trophy! I guess he needs to look at Arsenal to see how the players and the coach are being rewarded. They hardly win anything yet Coach gets bonus just to take them to Champions League!  Now players seem to be getting bonus just for showing up for training! This is ridiculous! Call my friggin’ agent! Rich owner my ass!”

Back in the studio, Shebby Singh was going to overdrive mode with his ‘in-depth’ analysis.

“The idea of a bonus is to give someone the incentive to achieve something that is beyond  what they usually achieve. So in that sense, this bonus Wenger seems to be getting is totally invalid. You see John now what this will do to all the clubs in the long run is to make them set their standards and targets much lower than earlier. This will lead to lower performances and football as a whole will take a beating.” John Dykes had sent the program on a commercial break as soon as Shebby Singh started talking.

Meanwhile, in Milan, the new Inter manager Rafa Benitez had some very strong words to say.

“What the hell is this I say? If any of the other BIG 4 clubs do not get into the Champions League, they just get fired!!! And if Arsenal doesnt get into Champions League, the only thing Wenger is going to miss is his friggin BONUS??? This is totally unfair! Look at me. I WON the god damn Champions League and I went to one more final! And I still got fired when I failed to finish in top 4! Arsene Wenger has not won anything for the past 5 years, let alone the Champions League! And he is only missing out on Bonuses?? Even Scholari got fired- and that too even before the season got over!! This is totally unfair. I just needed more time with Liverpool. The same way I need more time here at Inter Milan too.”

It has to be seen if this protest by the North London club will yield anything for the players and if this will be the end of football’s standards being lowered every where as predicted by Shebby Singh.

Breaking News: Man Utd renew Own Goal’s Contract for 2010-11 season

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Own Goal has renewed his contract for the upcoming season after putting pen to paper just hours before the game against Fulham. The evidently delighted Ferguson could not hide his enthusiasm and revealed that he had always expected Own Goal to sign up for one more season even though his contract was due to expire by the end of the month.

There was speculation linking him with a move away from Old Trafford but the prolific goal scorer said in an interview just after the Fulham match that he had always wanted to stay at Utd and attributed his decision to the support the fans showed him throughout last season.

“You know you are good when you score goals for your club on a regular basis and in very crucial situations. But its only when the fans show their support and love towards you do you feel wanted and appreciated at the club” said the United player who seemed to have mastered the art of consistency.

Sure enough, the Man Utd fans have reciprocated the feeling by chanting Own Goal’s name repeatedly after their side were put ahead in the final 6 minutes by (who else??!!?) a vintage Own Goal goal. The chanting grew even more intense when Fulham equalized and the fans turned to Own Goal to help them get all 3 points at Craven Cottage.

Speaking after scoring his first goal for United in the new season, Own Goal described his preparations for the match. “Obviously I was lacking in match practice before this (the Fulham match). So I decided to make a guest appearance the previous day for Bolton Wanderers and help them get off the mark against West Ham.”

That match practice eventually proved very crucial as Own Goal helped secure at least one point from the match.

“Obviously I would have wished to win it. After I had scored, I thought Nani’s penalty should have sealed it but then it happened to be one of those days when things dont go well for your team as a whole.” said the dejected goal scorer.

Asked if he would make guest appearances for United’s main rivals-Chelsea, Arsenal, City or Liverpool- Own Goal was very clear cut in his reply: “Well I would be lying if I said I dont like to make guest appearances. It sometimes feels good to have other club fans cheering you as well. But even if I do make a guest appearance, I will ensure that the goals I score for rival teams will be totally inconsequential. I will probably score a goal when the team is already winning by a big margin or losing by a big margin so it wont make any difference anyway. Lesser restrictions will apply for lower ranking teams. I did this last season and I will repeat it this time too. So that way my loyalty to United will always be preserved.”

However, Sir Alex Ferguson was all praise for him in spite of the dropped points. “I’ve been telling from the beginning that Own Goal is a very important part of my team and my plans for the season. He is a good lad who can score goals and get us points in very crucial situations. Its like doing what Macheda did against Aston Villa but Own Goal had been doing it week in and week out. “

“I am very happy that he has decided to extend his contract with the club which is the greatest just because it has a vast history and all. Other clubs who may be the reigning champions but who are not worth supporting just because they dont have any history have to now acknowledge our most powerful weapon- Own Goal.”

Own Goal echoed the importance attached to him by Ferguson by pointing out that he was the top scorer for the club after Wayne Rooney last season.

“Sure Wayne got a lot of goals. But that should in no way prevent football fans to see who their second top scorer was. I would have got even more goals but many goals were eventually awarded to other United Players even though they just gave me the assist. “

When a journalist pointed out that his name was never mentioned on any goal scorers’ statistics table, Own Goal was visibly frustrated and said that he would take up the case with FIFA to include his name in all goal scoring compilations.

Experts are already pointing out that his contribution last season to United’s push for the title, though vital, was always in the presence of Wayne Rooney and hardly ever in his absence. But looks like Own Goal has already proved his critics wrong by scoring with Rooney not even featuring among the subs.

“Who said I cant score without Wayne Rooney giving me the assist? I can score on my own many times you know” said the United frontman.

We will only have to wait and see how United’s potent weapon of last season will fare this season.

The Arsenal fan’s Tipping Point

First of all, let me first fully clarify that I am NOT an Arsenal fan. In fact, I am a very passionate Chelsea supporter (right from the pre-Abromovich era if you are concerned). Now before you go all “Rediff-Comment”-ish over me and begin to declare me guilty of sacrilege, I first suggest you actually READ the rest of the post and THEN form whatever opinion you want. The objective of this post is not to be judgmental or pass comments on the Arsenal fan or the team or on Arsene Wenger. Instead, I aim to go into the typical Arsenal fan’s mind and see WHAT it is about the team that drives them to support it the way they do. And also, as the title suggests, I want to know when, if ever, the Arsenal fan experiences the Tipping Point. So Read on.

Of the many Arsenal fans I have come across over the past many years, most of them belong to one predominant kind. And that is the kind that I am going to be exploring in this post. And again, before you get all short tempered over me, let me assure you that I totally respect each fan’s choice for supporting whichever team they want to. I mean seriously, what fun would it be if everybody supported only the team that you support? But I digress.

So why do Arsenal fans support the club the way they do? But before that, I believe the question to be asked is what is it that drives an Arsenal fan to continuously support the team in spite of its inability to land silverware? The answer to this is a combination of many factors-the first of which is the brand of football they play. And I have absolutely no qualms in admitting that they play the most free flowing passing football among almost all of the Premier League teams (and perhaps next only to Barcelona in Europe). It is always a delight to watch a game of football being played with such fluid like motion and ease. Maybe there is a pass too many at the end of it, but lets not go into that. Now couple this brand of football with perhaps the most vibrant and productive youth policies in all of Premier League. And again, I do not contest it here. The Gunners’ youth policy has been in place for as long as I can remember and it has almost always generated players to watch out for. Add to this picture a man like Arsene Wenger- someone who generates some minimum respect among any football fan whether they like to admit or not. He is someone who has never lost his faith in the policies he has helped put in place. There is something about this man that makes people stop and listen to what he has to say. And my respect for him got cemented when I saw him in an interview with John Dykes. In response to what it is that drives him to keep going as a manager of a football team, this is what he said:

There are times every now and then when the team really comes together and clicks as a unit. Those moments when the team clicks and everything falls into place, the football that comes out as a result is truly beautiful. And it is that joy that drives me to keep going no matter what.

I havent quoted him verbatim but that is what he effectively said. And the way he said it, you know for a fact he means it. And when you realize that, there is really no way you cannot respect this man.  And consequently, when you have such a man as the manager of the club you support, your support can only get stronger.

The combination of the brand of football, the vibrant youth policy in place since ages and having a man like Arsene Wenger as the manager of your team will certainly drive any football enthusiast to WANT to support a team like Arsenal. But these factors only explain why anyone would WANT to support a team like Arsenal. It does not, however, explain the WAY the Arsenal fans support their club. And frankly speaking, it is not too hard to understand the reason for this as well.

You see, times are changing in the Premier League and in Europe in general. There is a lot more money involved nowadays than what it was a few years ago. Transfer deals worth $25 million are pretty common place  now and you have a lot of clubs ready to pay a lot more for key players. And so in an environment in which more and more clubs are ready to pay for key players to make an impact on their team’s performances, Arsenal remains one of the very few teams which still have their policies centered around youth academies, low player wages and low budget transfers and at the same time keeping their faith in this system to produce the results on the pitch. It almost gives one the feeling of a “David vs Goliath” situation: with Arsenal at one end making a title challenge with very limited resources-young players and a coach showing full faith in them- and all other clubs mounting a title challenge with significantly larger resources, bloated transfer kitties and player wages at the other end. And in fact, for some Arsenal fans, this almost translates into a good vs evil battle.

In the end, it essentially gives a feeling that Arsenal is the last remaining hope for earning success through, what the Arsenal fan sees as, the fair way. And THIS, is what I  believe gives the Arsenal fan his/her identity. And taking this a bit further, one can even say that the Arsenal fan desires to win and feel good about the win BECAUSE of the way the club is run-which I believe is totally fair and good as long as the Arsenal fan keeps this passion to himself and does not judge other fans on the basis of the way other clubs are run.

Make no mistake. It is not all sugar coated as I may have described.  I have also met and interacted with quite a few Arsenal fans who mistake their arrogance for passion and believe that Arsenal is the only club worthy of support because of the way it is run and the kind of football that they play. And I sincerely despise this. (Of course it would be totally unfair of me if I didn’t say that every club has supporters like these judging other teams by their own parameters). The way the club is run and the kind of football they play is a good reason for supporting the club; but it cannot and should not be the ONLY reason for supporting a team of one’s choice. I am not going to stereotype the Arsenal fan that I have described in the paragraph as I know there are many more genuine fans around.

The Arsenal story is almost like a fairy tale. It is not at all difficult to imagine a movie being inspired by any success Arsenal might come up with in the near future. Think of it:

One football club having very low resources and trying to be self sufficient challenging for the title along with a horde of other teams with a lot more resources and big name players; players getting injured every now and then but then they keep fighting and keep in pace with the other clubs; they lose their momentum somewhere in the middle and noone gives them a chance of success; but the coach sticks to his players and they mount a late title challenge and eventually upsetting all big clubs to emerge victorious!!

Definitely makes for one heck of a movie surely! Everybody loves to root for the underdogs. The point I am trying to make in all of this is that the reason why an Arsenal fan supports his club and the explanation as to the WAY he supports it  is a combination of the way the club is run, the manager and the type of football that they play. Which brings me to my next question:

HOW MUCH LONGER IS THE ARSENAL FAN READY TO WAIT FOR THEIR NEXT SILVERWARE?

It has been what 4-5 seasons since Arsenal won anything? Every season, the Arsenal fan hopes to see his team win some silverware thereby hoping to reinforce their faith and belief in their players and manager and to also validate their reason for supporting Arsenal. But as has been the case for a while, there has been no returns for their support. And the situation does not look extremely promising this season either. But perhaps an Arsenal fan may differ here and I wont enter into a debate there. Either way, the question to be asked here is how long before the young, “talented” players with “promising potential” come of age and begin to make the necessary impact? Or in other words, when are the youth policies, the system, the very WAY the club is run, begin to pay dividends? Continued failure of the present system and crop of players to bring in silverware will no doubt come under criticism from the fans themselves. But I am not interested in the criticism. What I am interested in is something even more fundamental. Which brings me to what I have mentioned in the title of the post (finally!).

If the club continues to bring in no trophies, how much longer is the Arsenal fan going to wait till he calls for a change in the very way the club is run? How many more trophy less seasons is it going to take for the Arsenal fan to call for big name signings or proven players? How many seasons with no silverware is it going to take for the Arsenal fan to call for replacing Arsene Wenger? Or in other words:

What is the Arsenal fan’s TIPPING POINT?

Will the hope of the present players gaining more experience every season prove sufficient to keep supporting the club for the same reason they have been doing so far? Will almost-winning-the-title feeling prove enough to continue to support it forever? Even if star players who have been brought up in the club leave (Cesc for example), will the Arsenal fan continue to have faith in the system? Star players leave, new “talents” are spotted and are played without resulting in any silverware, they gain more experience and become good, and are bought by some high profile club, Arsenal then begins to look for new “talents” and the vicious cycle begins all over again.

So you see, what I am interested is right at the root of the Arsenal fan’s reason and pride for supporting his club. What I have written here can and should not be looked at as criticism. This is more of an enquiry and curiosity into the psyche of the Arsenal fan. I have not made any judgment or passed any unwarranted comments here.

And so if you still find the strong urge to post profane “Chelsea supporters have no right to say anything about Arsenal” type comments, consider yourself to be the lowest form of the football fan. Make no mistake. I will allow those comments! After all, if thats going to start a thread, my blog only gains in popularity!

Your Address in the USA

All of us have our own addresses. If an Indian is asked where he lives in their city, the response ranges from Bandra to Basavanagudi, from Gurgaon to Gorguntepalya, from T.Nagar to Thodesandhipalya (Ok that last one was made up). And if you are familiar with the area given as a response, you ask “Where in Basavanagudi?” or “Where in Thodesandhipalya?” (You really dont have to answer the last one). And if you are familiar with even the second response, you keep narrowing the location until you have convinced yourself that the other person is your long forgotten neighbor.

However, in the USA, things, as always, are a little different. Say you approach an American living in New York City, one of the largest cities in the world. And you ask him where he stays in New York. The most likely response you are going to get is “Oh I stay in Perry Street” or “My house is on Graves Avenue” or “I live right by Richmond Lane”! You see, the address of a house in the USA has just two things on it that help you to locate it in a given city: the house building number and the street where the house building is located. Thats it! So in an area of about 800 square kms, all you have with you to locate one single house is the name of the street its on??!!?? That surely helps doesnt it??? Its equivalent to saying “My house is next to my neighbor’s house” or “I am my father’s son” etc. It doesnt tell you anything useful.

Yes we all know there is this invention called GPS which can take you from anywhere to anywhere with just the street name as input. But seriously, what if you dont have one? Let me elaborate on this a bit. Imagine you have just arrived in New York City and take a cab to get to your apartment. You tell the cab driver “Take me to 4800 Eastland Drive” and just expect to be dropped off in front of your house? Well if the cab driver does just that, then either he has an awesome memory or his house is within a 2 block radius of your house. But then what happens if neither of the above “totally-possible” situations prevail? Then I guess you have to start looking for a map. Imagine this. You are in a cab and the cab driver spends the first ten mins just figuring out which part of the city he is supposed to be taking you!

Not implying that this is the only way things happen around here in the US. But seriously imagine something like that happening in India. I mean, you go and ask a Bangalore Auto Rickshaw dude to take you to 8th Cross Road, WTF do you think he is going to do? Of course he is going to look at you like you were born a retard and stayed that way for good!

Perhaps one of the direct consequences of American addresses having such small number of characters in them is seen when you are trying to fill out a form online- like an application for the college, GRE, TOEFL or any other thing that is based out of the US. You see the website creators make this sincere and totally pointless effort to restrict the number of characters in which you enter your address. So when your address goes into describing just your house number and street name, there really is no problem. However, unfortunately for all us Indians, this poses a problem. Especially if your address involves your house name, house number, Cross Street number, Main Street Number, Layout, Stage, Near some landmark, Block and lastly Area name- as is the case with most Indian addresses- you are in for a small problem! And it is really amazing how I have learned, over the years, to express words in much smaller forms without failing to convey its intended meaning!

Getting back to ground reality, more and more people are having GPS in their cars and it is available for dirt cheap prices at WALMART. But that still doesnt justify having only one street name to describe the location of your house in a mega metropolitan city. ( You might argue that the Pin code narrows it pretty well but seriously who knows about the postal code apart from the post men?) I sincerely hope I dont have to go through any circumstances involving hunting for ONE street name amidst hundreds if not thousands in a city.

Feel totally free to get fully emotional and sentimental about the American address systemand pass judgment on my assessment of it- but make sure you do that on your own blog.

Linux N00B

This is some thing that I witnessed a while back at a friend’s house. I would have preferred to make a comic strip out of this but then my laziness (as always) got the better of me. So here is a small conversation that took place.

Guy 1: What are you doing?

Guy 2: I am installing Linux on my computer.

Guy 1: Why does it take so long?

Guy 2: There are a lot of things you have to do yourself in Linux thats why.

Guy 1: Ok.

Guy 2: Have you ever installed Linux?

Guy 1: No never. But I am still confused. Why use Linux at all? Isn’t Windows sufficient?

Guy 2: Its a lot complicated than that. You wouldnt understand.

Guy 1: But I want to know. Why do you use Linux instead of Windows? What are the advantages?

Guy 2: Ok here is the thing. You can see Windows files from Linux but you cannot see Linux files from Windows!

Guy 1: Wait! I dont understand…

Guy 2: What dont you understand?

Guy 1: I mean…if you wanted to see Windows files, why see them from Linux? You can see Windows files from Windows itself right?!!??!?!

Guy 2: Its not like that…

Guy 1: I mean think about it. If you are going through all these painful and time consuming process of installing Linux in order to see Windows files through Linux, dont you think you are just wasting your time? If I wanted to see Windows files, I will access them through Windows itself!!

Guy 2: *Facepalm*. Make that *Epic Facepalm*

How I Watched Inception…

After being subjected to a hype exceeding that of anything I have seen in the past 5-6 years, I decided to see for myself what the fuss was all about. INCEPTION it was. The Monday of the first week of its release. But the problem was that I was in Indore. And in Indore, you speak in Hindi, you think in Hindi, you listen only to Hindi, and as I had found out a few days earlier, you get to watch movies only IN Hindi or dubbed in Hindi. And thus Inception became CHAKRAVYUHA. (Knight and Day was called Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. I thought there was already a Fardeen Khan Hindi movie by that name.) So I had sufficient reason to believe that I would have to wait till my return to Bangalore to watch the original English version. But thanks to the advent of Capitalism in the form of PVR Cinemas in some <Insert Stereotypical Mall Name> Mall, there was ONE show per day being screened and since it was NOT Bangalore, it was priced at a lowly Rs. 50. So I found myself purchasing tickets at 1130 AM for the 1155 show and I got myself a seat right at the centre of the top row.

After loitering around aimlessly in the mall (is there any OTHER way of spending time there?) for the remaining 25 mins, I found myself sitting in the top row of the cinema hall. It was not long before some random Amit came to me and told me ,”Boss, can you please sift to the next seat?” I didn’t see any reason not to so I just moved myself one seat while some Jewelery ad was being shown on the screen. Soon the guy who was supposed to sit in the seat I “sifted” to showed up and demanded that I go back to my designated seat. The other dude then told ME to remain where I was. It took me a good 2 mins to make both of them realize that they needed to be talking to EACH OTHER rather than to me if they wanted the seating arrangement sorted out. In the end, I found myself 5 seats away from a designated seat, sitting between another guy who had come alone and a girl who had come with her boyfriend.

Fast Forward to movie. The lights dim. The screen goes dark. Warner Bros logo appears on the screen. You can sense the anticipation in the theater fully thronged with college goers. And then, the title appears on the screen. But wait! WTF is that? The screen shows CHAKRAVYUHA as the name of the film! It takes about .5 ms for the entire crowd to start screaming that they had come there to watch the show in English and not in Hindi. (Of course the irony was that they were swearing at the projectionist in authentic Hindi slang such as Madar/Behen-C**d) And in the meantime, I had embarked on a thought process that would begin with me walking out of the theater and end with wasting my money trying to sue PVR. But not to worry as the movie turned out to be in English itself and the angry crowd who had been given a reason to get angry suddenly seemed to feel cheated off their anger and eventually stopped playing their parts in the herd mentality.

You see Inception is a movie that NEEDS you to THINK in order to understand it. And remember that there is a girl next to me. Ok. Did you make the connection? No? Sure? Isnt it obvious? Just suffice it to say that the girl found the urge to “inquire” from her boyfriend what level of dream was going on every 5 mins among other things. But perhaps the thing that was really ticking me off was not WHAT she was asking but the way in which she went about showcasing her (in the words of BORAT)’ retardation. ‘

And somewhere half way into the first half, the dude who had made me change my seats decided he was not in the acoustic sweet spot and so embarked on the process of convincing half a dozen of his ‘neighbours’ including Yours Truly to ‘sift’ two more seats to the left. The frown on everyone’s faces at that very moment got me thinking. What if anger in a group was accumulative in nature as opposed to being normalized to the most angry person in it? That would have surely cost the dude some teeth and a lot of money. But alas, group mentality doesn’t work that way and so the dude watched the movie from the place where he wanted to.

The Interval was totally uneventful as I simply did not move from my seat. And when the movie resumed, so did the girl’s badgering of her boyfriend for ‘answers’. Considering the fact that the guy then began to give her B.S explanations as to what was happening, two things are possible:

1. The guy’s retardation was also significant.

2. Or the guy might be super intelligent to realize that he could tell anything to the girl and get away with it! Hell! He could say that DiCaprio was doing quadruple acting with a different person in each level and that they were brothers seperated at birth or some shit like that and she appeared to be someone who would still go “OMG!! That is so complicated!”

And so the movie got over and I was feeling overwhelmed, until that time when I joined the crowd leaving the theater. You see, unlike me, most of them had come in big groups to watch the movie. And in every single group, you always had 2 dudes who were discussing and passionately disputing each other’s interpretation of the movie, as if Nolan had flicked the script from either of them. Here, sample one such conversation I heard:

Amit1: Arey yaar! That was so awesome! I had never known ki yeh itni amazing hogi! You understood the plot properly no?

Amit2: Of course man! The entire thing was a dream! That ending was just too good! Did you get that?

Amit1: Han Han! Woh tho I understood. It was like the main story line was in Level Zero!

Amit2: Nahi Yaar! The main story line was in Level -1!

Amit1: How can it be -1 man?

Amit2: You see………

And it is at this exact point that I decided not to dive into ‘retardation’ and so just moved away from the conversation. Within 2 mins, I had walked out of the mall and was in a rick headed back home.

And that was how i watched Inception.

And as far as the movie goes, there is no question it is a good movie. Is it a great movie? I am not too sure. It has a mind numbing script and structure agreed. But it is not a movie that I will end up watching over and over again. You see it doesnt have a bunch of sequences which are truly memorable- like Pulp Fiction or As Good As It Gets or Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans or that Tipping Discussion in Reservoir Dogs or even John Malkovic’s scenes in Con Air. Inception doesnt have anything like that and so it does not make it into my Great Movie list. Feel free to express total disgust and shock at that revelation of mine. This is public domain after all…..

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