Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Wandering Soul

This is the story of a wandering soul. 

Seeking a shore, the soul struggles in water, trying to stay afloat. 

~~~~
Without a direction,
Unaware of the way.
Lost its path,
In the skies grey.

Looked deep, looked inside,
Found something, a nadir hollow.
Seeking a bright sun,
All it got, some cold snow.

Lost around with feet of clay,
When everything seems faraway.
Warped in a timeless roll,
This is a wandering soul.
~~~~

Wandering Soul
And for lack of better words, I could borrow the below lines.

~~~~
Lekar Hum Deewaanaa Dil 
Firate Hain Manjil Manjil
Kahee To Pyaare, 
Kisee Kinaare, 
Mil Jaao Tum Andhere Ujaale..
~~~~

~~~~
Kaisi teri khudgarzi
Na dhoop chune na chhanv
Kaise teri khudgarzi
Kisi thor tike na panv.

Ban liya apna paigambar
Tar liya sat samandar
Phir bhi sookha man ke andar
Kyoon rahega..
~~~~


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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Cortana And Me

Cortana has been in the news recently. 

Hope you are not wondering Cortana Who? Cortana is the intelligent personal assistant on the Windows Phone 8.1.

And what has been her claim to fame in the recent weeks?

Cortana
It was this news article in The Economic Times, a week back.

~~
Microsoft's Cortana should consider a career in professional gambling.

The virtual assistant for Windows phones is six for six in predicting World Cup outcomes since the beginning of the elimination round, including the United States' tragic loss to Belgium on Tuesday.

Cortana's predictions are coming from Bing's Prediction Engine, which makes assessments based on each team's previous record as well as a number of other factors like weather, type of grass, and home field advantage (for Brazil).

Cortana's prediction abilities are one reason some have begun seeing the virtual assistant as a legitimate threat to Apple's Siri.

And finally, if you're into gambling, Cortana has Germany beating France and Brazil edging out Columbia in the quarterfinals on Friday.
~~

This caught my eye, leaving me impressed with her abilities.

Cortana has been a trail blazer since then. She has predicted the results of all matches since the Round of 16 correctly. This includes the shock defeat Brazil faced against Germany. Read here. In total, she has predicted the winner of the last 14 matches correctly.

Even Google's prediction engine has not been able to predict the results correctly. It incorrectly predicted the results of the Germany Vs France Quarter Finals.

But is Cortana alone? No, she isn't. Giving her tough competition is Yours Truly.

In my blog titled Football World Cup 2014 Knockouts (read here), I put down my line up for the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals ( after the first day of Round of 16)

~~
However, if all teams play to their strengths, I would put the following line up for the next stages.

Quarter Finals
Brazil Vs Colombia (Already Decided)
France Vs Germany
The Netherlands Vs Costa Rica
Argentina Vs Belgium

At this quarter final stage, the countries are just 3 matches away from holding the Cup.

My Semi Final Line Up is as below :-
Brazil Vs Germany
The Netherlands Vs Argentina

If indeed the semi final line up comes up as I say, it will be delight for each and every football fan. The biggest countries in world football, with the most talented players, will take on each other to win the World Cup 2014.

After this, it is anybody's game. The team who plays the best on the given day, with a bit of luck on their side, and with lots of God's blessings will come up trumps.

Germany vs Argentina is my choice for the Finals.
~~

That makes it 12 matches in a row for Yours Truly ( 6 from the Round of 16, 4 Quarter Finals and 2 Semi Finals).

Call it sheer coincidence, or extreme luck. I would call its God's grace, and teams playing to their strengths.

While Cortana has put forth her name on the line by predicting Germany as the winner of the Cup, Yours Truly has decided to step away from this prediction business for the penultimate and the ultimate game of the World Cup. 

The idea is not to jinx any one team. And let the best team win.

Enjoy the game. Enjoy the Football World Cup 2014 Finals on Sunday night.


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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Do We Need A War?

Jerusalem, we all know, is one of the most holiest place on earth.

It is the capital of Israel. At the same time, the State of Palestine also stakes its claim on Israel as its capital.

The prolonged conflict between Israel and Palestine has led to death and destruction. Rather than maintain peace near the holy places, all that we have is pain, sadness, resentment, and helplessness.

Religious conflict has resulted in man made conundrum, escalating tensions and loss of life and property.

Israel is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Yet, this technological advances are being used for military improvements and associated destruction.

This is what has happened in the last one week - when Israel pounded the Gaza strip.






See the pain and the helplessness in the eyes of the people. Their lives are destroyed. Living earth has become living hell.

Do we really need a war??

Make peace, not war.


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Monday, 7 July 2014

Made For Each Other

Time and Circumstances reminded me of this one.

Made For Each Other
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.
~~ Albert Einstein

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
~~ Dalai Lama

Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.
~~ Henri Frederic Amiel

The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.
~~ Eminem

Roses by thorns. And the bright moon by the dark sky. All united by destiny. Made for each other.
~~ Yours Truly


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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

August Company

August Company

From left to right you have Wasim Akram (Pakistan), Brian Lara (West Indies), Shane Warne (Australia), Kevin Pietersen (England), and Sachin Tendulkar (India). 

These men influenced cricket, their nations and the world in their times, and beyond.

Can we have a more August Company !


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Monday, 30 June 2014

Hope Floats

As millions of people across the world fly in style on super jumbos, a few hundred of them huddle in a small boat, making their way from stricken coasts of Africa to the hopeful shores of Europe.

Hope Floats

Risking their lives, aspiring for a better future, they have just one word on their lips - Hope Floats.


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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Football World Cup 2014 Knockouts

The FIFA Football World Cup is past the group stages now.

After a scintillating 48 matches between 32 top countries across the world, the battle lines are drawn between 16 nations in the knock out stage of the tournament. From now on, the mantra is clear - Win or Go Home !

World Cup Football 2014 Knockouts

The battle has already started last night with the first two knockouts.

Brazil had an exceptionally tough game against Chile. The score was tied 1-1 at the end of full time and at the end of extra time. This led to to he first penalty shoot out at the 2014 World Cup.

While Brazil had the experience of multiple penalty shootouts at the Cup, it was the first one for Chile. Both Brazil and Chile faltered and kept their nerve equally in the shoot out, scoring 2 goals each from the first 4 kicks.

Neymar took the last kick for Brazil, and scored a goal. Jara took the last spot kick for Chile, and hit the right post. Chile had faltered on the last step, and Brazil was into the quarter finals, sending the entire nation into frenzy.

Uruguay entered the knock out stage with their talisman Luis Suarez cooling his heels at his home, following a "biting" incident in the last group match against Italy. Colombia came up trumps in this encounter, beating Uruguay, with James Rodriguez scoring two goals. 

Football World Cup 2014 Emotions
It has been a tournament of goals, with a total of 140 goals being scored till date. This makes it almost 2.8 goals from each match, making it a spectator's delight. 

The next set of matches promise to be cliff hangers.

Holland take on Mexico. Both countries are in great form. The Dutch will have to keep their cool in the hot and humid Brazilian weather to make it to the next stage. They have their star striker Van Persie back in the fray to take them to the next stage.

Costa Rica Vs Greece is a match between two teams who started the Cup as long shots. While Costa Rica have played fabulous football topping the Group of Death which involved Uruguay, Italy and England. Greece have played ultra defensive, scoring just 2 goals in their group stages. Costa Rica have an upper hand in this match.

France take on Nigeria on the 30th of June. The French are in sublime form having scored 8 goals in the group stages. Considering the form book, they are expected to beat Nigeria.

Football World Cup 2014 Fans
Football World Cup 2014 Fans

Germany take on Algeria in another battle between an European and African nation. With an exceptionally strong team, and a superb bench strength, the Germans sailed past Portugal, Ghana and the US. Germany should go through in this match to keep up the excitement at the cup going. Algeria will have to display immense skill and a much larger temperament to play giant killers.

Argentina Vs Switzerland promises to be a battle royale. Argentina won all their 3 matches, relying heavily on their star striker Lionel Messi to take them past the post in each of the 3 matches.  Argentina scored 6 goals with Messi scoring 4 of them. Switzerland have scored more goals than them - 7 of them in the group stages. Argentina will be looking up to the heavens and Messi to take them into the quarter finals.

Belgium and the US take on each other in the last of the round of 16 matches. Both are underdogs in the knock out stages of the tournament, with Belgium holding a slight upper hand. However, with German coach Klinsman guiding the fortunes of the USA, the US could spring a surprise to setup a quarter final date with Argentina.

World Cup Football Emotions
All said and done, the next few days promises to be extremely exciting. A single mistake can send a nation into despair. A single move of sublime football will send a country into frenzy. 

These are the days of big match temperament. The ability to keep your cool & the art of keeping heat butts and bites out of the way, can take a nation to the doorsteps of glory. 

Of course there can be giant killers lurking on the sidelines. The super substitutes can come onto the field, and take the game away from the opponents with a fabulous long ranger, or a close header.  If their opponents play strong football, the Dutch, Argentina and Germany may even be on the way home.

However, if all teams play to their strengths, I would put the following line up for the next stages.

Quarter Finals
Brazil Vs Colombia (Already Decided)
France Vs Germany
The Netherlands Vs Costa Rica
Argentina Vs Belgium

At this quarter final stage, the countries are just 3 matches away from holding the Cup.

My Semi Final Line Up is as below :-
Brazil Vs Germany
The Netherlands Vs Argentina

If indeed the semi final line up comes up as I say, it will be delight for each and every football fan. The biggest countries in world football, with the most talented players, will take on each other to win the World Cup 2014.

After this, it is anybody's game. The team who plays the best on the given day, with a bit of luck on their side, and with lots of God's blessings will come up trumps.

Germany vs Argentina is my choice for the Finals.

Am I correct? Only time and tell.

Until then, you can sit back and watch the matches.

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