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Where has the innocence gone?
Why has life stolen those precious smiles?
Who cares for those teary eyes?
When will He hear our pleas?

Where has the courage gone?
Why are millions left gutless?
Who cares for those lost lives?
When will He hear our pleas?

Where has the optimism gone?
Why is devil ruining our minds?
Who cares for those flustered souls?
When will He hear our pleas?

Where has the honesty gone?
Why does deceit leave us coldblooded?
Who cares for those bravehearts?
When will He hear our pleas?

Where has the love gone?
Why can’t hatred be controlled?
Who cares for those dying emotions?
When will He hear our pleas?

The first thing one tell you if you go on a diet is to avoid ‘Chocolates and Cheese’. But I say, don’t even care to listen to such people instead just indulge ūüôā All you need to know is when and how!!!

The worst thing for one to do is give up their temptations and deprive themselves of all the emotional craving for yummies like choc & cheese. Out of experience I have learnt that nothing can replace the taste and feeling of putting a delicious chocolate pastry in your mouth and some melting cheese… Sounds delicious right?

To make life simple, I have realised that no food is actually bad food. All we need to know is how much is good enough and when is the right time to consume it. For all those who have struggled to avoid their craving for such treats, while on a diet, the funda is very simple — Have it guilt free at the time when your body is like a fat furnace!

Have your chocolate pastry as a whole meal. Don’t have it as a desert. This way you ensure that your limiting your calorie count to around 400 for that one meal. The best time to have your pastry is in the first half of your day. You can have it for breakfast or for lunch… at the max you can consume it before 6 pm. After that avoid consuming chocolates since the only way it will be stored is as fat… and no we don’t want that ūüôā

As for cheese is concerned… remember every diet tells you to have 5-6 mini meals throughout the day ūüôā does it ring a bell? well just include a cube of cheese as your mini meal.. SIMPLE!!! Have it as your mid-morning meal or have it with your sandwich in the morning… it really wouldn’t do much harm. Infact according to research including dairy products in your diet enhances your calcium intake.

So, don’t worry too much. For all those who love the feeling of chocolate oozing out of a pastry and cheese melting from their garlic breads… don’t ignore that temptation and instead live with it at the right time ūüôā

FYI — If you just let your body and brain know that you are going to consume something calorific, believe you me it will accept it more willingly. On the other hand if your brain keeps¬† saying no to one ingredient then your body will not accept any amount of that food. So let your mind be ready for the indulgence and just enjoy the treat ūüôā

Cheers!!

A billion dreams accomplished.
A zillion hearts won.
Indian tigers roared aloud.
All for the love of cricket

The dawn of April 3, 2011 marked the emergence of a revived India. An epic night where the Men in Blue brought the entire world to their feet, gave every cricket loving soul ‘moksha’. For 28 years a nation, where cricket is religion, waited for Gods above to bless them with World Cup glory… And what a time did the blessings shower!

The eyes of captain MS Dhoni following the ball, after he smacked it over the stand for a maximum, said it all. An expression of victory, an expression of retribution, an expression of pride… so fitting was it for Mr. Ice, Mr, Midas Touch to clinch the winning runs for his nation.

Despite all the criticisms he faced for his captaincy, his batting etc, Dhoni remains the master of his own destiny. MSD, who is the owner of many firsts, has won the Cup that counts and has ended a nation’s 28-year-old wait.

Being the leader that Dhoni is, he dedicated this win to every Indian around the world, but most importantly to the God of cricket in India — Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

The legend, the icon, the master… rejoiced a long pending dream last night. Images of the Little Master with tears of joy in his eyes will be embellished in the minds of every single Indian cricket fan for years to come. Winning the coveted glory on his home turf — what more could Sachin have asked?

The memory of Sachin Tendulkar being chaired around the Wankhede by team mates, while he waves the Indian tricolour, will go down in history as the master blaster’s cherished moments.

‚ÄúSachin has carried the burden for Indian cricket for 21 years and it‚Äôs time we carried him on our shoulders,‚ÄĚ young Virat Kohli put it aptly.

This very attitude by Kohli gives Indian fans an assurance that future of cricket in the country is in secured hands. For boys who have grown into men overnight – courage, grit, maturity and substance reflects in their personalities and they surely have it in them to keep India at the No.1 spot.

What’s encouraging for us is that gone are the days when the Indian team would choke while chasing and gone are the days when TV sets would get switched off after Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. The likes of Kohli, Raina, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Gambhir etc have given a new dimension to this team, which will leave millions with the hope of India carrying on this dream run.

At this juncture, I cannot help applaud one man’s effort, who was nearly written off by many. Yuvraj Singh — the man who has emerged as India’s ‘definitive’ allrounder this tournament, will be the one to watch out for in the coming season. For a player who has shaped into someone who can score a century, bowl 10 overs and field like a champion — he surely deserves all the applause today. Without his purple patch this season, I am not too sure if we would have witnessed history unfold. Kudos to him!

After the 2007 World Cup, Indians felt that our cricket team would achieve nothing enormous. The faith was just lost forever. Cut across to 2011 and we are ruling the game in Tests as well as ODIs, all thanks to two men — MS Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten.

If ever I meet the two of them I would like to tell them, “Thanks for being such selfless people. It makes a huge difference to us that icons like you are leading the game in India.”

I will for one be ever indebted to Kirsten. He changed the face of this team and he changed the personalities within them. He got the best in each and every one of our players and silenced many critics. Thanks Gary for sharing your cricket dream… every Indian will miss your services.

As the song ‘I got a feeling… that tonight’s going to be a good night’ was being played at the Wankhede stadium on Saturday, flashes of priceless moments surface in my mind.

The controversial toss, Zak’s dream first spell, Sangakkara’s classic coverdrive, Yuvraj Singh’s crucial 2 wickets, Mahela Jayawardene’s century under pressure, Sri Lanka’s powerplay magic, Viru-Sachin’s quick dismissal, Gambhir’s gritty performance, Kohli’s matured innings, captain Dhoni’s game changing move, the final six of the match, Yuvraj Singh breaking down into tears, Sachin running in from the pavilion, tears of joy in the eyes of many, Yuvi bagging man of the tournament trophy, Dhoni & Co lifting the World Cup, Celebrations across the world… every single second of April the 2nd is picture clear.

I am absolutely certain that these memories will be engraved in every Indian’s mind. Forever will this nation be grateful to Dhoni and his men. I am proud to say that the ‘World’ has finally come to India’s feet and I belong to a nation where cricket is RELIGION!

A Wednesday!

Age old politics assumes back stage,
Cricket fever spreads across borders,
Unmatched passion colour enthusiasts,
With bated breath two nations await… A Wednesday.

The moment Yuvraj Singh smashed a boundary off Brett Lee to clinch India’s quarter-final clash against Australia, national euphoria sparked across borders.

Come Wednesday… passions will be running high on both sides of the border, when India take on Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semifinal at Mohali.

The drums of war are being heard again as the subcontinent virtually prepares to come to a halt for the game this Wednesday.”

The hype and anticipation over the match has surely converted the status of the first semifinal clash between Sri Lanka and New Zealand as that of a ‘sideshow’.

For two nations who take their cricket way too seriously, this high-voltage contest assumes an undertone of antagonism that flows from the tension in ties since the Mumbai attacks of 2008.

The Indo-Pak clash will be the first in India since the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, which was carried out by Pakistan-based militants.

Ever since the dastardly attack on India’s financial capital, tension between the two countries has been unimaginable. And with Pakistan PM accepting Manmohan Singh’s invite to watch the clash — all of us wonder if this is the right time for cricket diplomacy?

On the cricket pitch, rivalry has always been fierce and intense for eternity now.  Without concrete statistics I can very well claim that the number of people who would watch the mouth-watering clash on Wednesday between the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar will exceed the entire population of possibly Europe!

The batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is one century away from 100 international tons and on March 30th,¬† 30000 fans who will occupy the seats of the PCA stadium and millions of viewers across the globe will be hoping for the ‘God’ of cricket to come alive again!

The combination of Sachin & Virender Sehwag will be keenly watched by every Indian citizen and hopes to thrash the Pakistani bowlers out of the park are soaring high.

As for Pakistan, every citizen across the border will be hoping that skipper Shahid Afridi continues to carry on his sparkling form with the ball.

With players from both sides backed by unimaginable support, billions will look heavenwards for a peaceful, yet special game.

Yes for every Indian and Pakistani, this match will be the virtual final of the World Cup. However, what will matter is the gesture on-field amongst the players… something that should leave an example for every citizen of both India & Pakistan.

Lets hope that divided borders & egos are left aside come Wednesday… all for the love of cricket!

I hear her call

A painful scream resonates my nightmare,

Her voice drowned with agony awakens me,

Battling nature’s culminated fury,

She yearns for support, as I hear her call.

 

Battling unimaginable depths of crisis,

A constant fear grips her soul,

Caught in shackles of helplessness,

She cries for existence, as I hear her call.

 

Tremors of anger ripped through her heart,

Unkind oceans washed away her home,

Gasping for breath amidst unknown faces,

She vows for revenge, as I hear her call.

 

Unfortunate tears swell her eyes,

Shivering lips spell a strong prayer,

Folded hands pleads for a miracle,

She hopes for survival, as I hear her call.

 

Countless shoulders offer her immense courage,

Precious souls give her the power to fight,

A flash of hope erupts in a troubled smile,

She binds humanity, as I hear her call.

 

Strong rays of revival breaks her ill-fated myth,

She retains to be land of the rising sun,

Turning heavenwards for unmatched kindness,

She  promises resurgence, as I hear her call.

— Sunita Iyer¬†

I hereby dedicate this poem to all those people in Japan, who have been battling the crisis. Hope God gives them courage and strength to emerge out of this massive crisis. My prayers will remain with them.

ÔĽŅ

The first murder I commit is that of waking up at 5.30am on a SUNDAY! only to realise that in no time I become a SERIAL SUNDAY KILLER.

I cannot remember the last time I woke up at my own sweet time on a Sunday morning. Whom do I blame for this state of mine? My work, my colleagues or my life in totality!!!

No matter how much I try to avoid paying too much attention to the relaxing Sunday moments… it is so tough to not think about what I might be missing.

Sitting at work on a Sunday with only your computer for company… my mind thinks nothing more than all those people who are super lucky to get a much deserving SUNDAY off!!!

What makes matters worse for me is that¬†most of India’s¬†World Cup matches this year are played on Sunday… making me firstly work more and secondly miss a lot of cricketing action!!!

The feeling of sitting comfortably on your couch with a packet of calorie-filled chips and watching an India WC encounter on a Sunday… is all together different.

I at times feel fortunate to have been working for a news channel, which gives me a chance to see a lot of cricketers and experts… but on the flip side I have to work on match days!!! This is not fair especially for someone who is a cricket lover… and also a SUNDAY lover!!!

Hoping to convert my craving for a perfect Sunday into reality… Fingers Crossed!

Will India lift the 2011 cricket World Cup for the first time in 28 years? My answer would be — I would want them to,¬†it is possible, but I am not too sure. Looking at the current form of the team, which has been struggling to gain momentum just ahead of the competition, a lot of prayers will be offered for Dhoni¬†and Co. when they take field from February 19 onwards.

Barring the team’s performance at the 2003 WC and the our triumphant streak at the first T20 WC, Team India have not really shined at the global stage. The worrying point this time around is the lack of a concentrated effort to build a complete team for the mega event and considering that the sub-continent is playing hosts to the WC, a lot will be expected out of the Men in Blue.

So the question is¬† — does this squad¬†¬† — MS Dhoni¬†(capt), Sachin¬†Tendulkar, Virender¬†Sehwag, Gautam¬†Gambhir, Yuvraj¬†Singh, Suresh¬†Raina, Virat¬†Kohli, Yusuf¬†Pathan, Harbhajan¬†Singh, Praveen¬†Kumar, Zaheer¬†Khan, Ashish¬†Nehra, Munaf¬†Patel, Piyush¬†Chawla, R Ashwin — have it in them to lift the coveted crown?

Being an Indian and being a Sachin Tendulkar fan, I would want this to happen.

Batting woes for India

At one point of time, cricketing experts always lauded the Indian batting line-up. While growing up, all I heard was that India had the perfect batting line-up on paper to combat any international team. Cutting across to 2011, with the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir and Tendulkar coming out of their injuries and with the rest of the batsmen letting the team down in their absence (especially during the South Africa tour), Team India surely have something to think about.

At the international stage, cricketing fans will hope that¬†our one time star performer Yuvraj¬†Singh, who has been having a tough run offlate, comes good. To be honest, I could not have imagined a team without Yuvi¬†in the side —¬†only¬†because he has the skill to take any opposition to the cleaners¬†and looking at his recent successful stint with the ball, I am sure the southpaw would bring in that confidence in his batting.

Even though a couple of our batsmen are struggling to find form, what is encouraging is the likes of Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli coming good at the right time. Raina and Kohli have the ability to build partnerships and also are clean strikers of the cricketing ball, but their inexperience on such a big stage should not put them under any pressure. If they continue to play their natural game, I am sure that India will hold a steady middle-order line-up.

However, what every Indian will be hoping is that the two big names, who¬†are keenly watched¬† — Sachin¬†Tendulkar¬†and Yusuf Pathan — continue to create¬†magic.¬†We all know what both of them can do to any bowling line-up and their present form will definitely be a smiling factor for each one of us.

Will Sree’s non-inclusion hurt India?

Former Indian skipper Sourav¬†Ganguly¬†believes that dropping pacer¬†S Sreesanth¬†from the squad was a huge mistake by the Indian selectors. I may, unfortunately, agree to some extent. Keeping in mind Sree’s¬†current form, I would have wanted him to be a part of the bowling line-up. However, our friend Munaf Patel’s 4-wicket haul against South Africa ¬†just days before the final selection gave him an upper edge.¬†

Though some may feel that Sreesanth’s aggression is at times unwanted, I feel that a little bit of drama does irk the opposition. What India might just miss is his ability to strike early, hope the selector’s decision does not cost too much.

Barring this hiccup, our bowling line-up looks relatively competitive and balanced. With Zaheer Khan leading the attack from the front, a lot will be expected out of the pacers. The worry, ofcourse, is the fact that they have continued to struggle to get their act together during the death overs. If they manage to unleash the yorkers, the reverse swings and more during the last five overs of a match, India will surely be on their way to stop an all out opposition attack.

No matter how ‘notorious’ he may come across off the field, spinner Harbhajan¬†Singh will hold the key to India’s overall success. His experience will definitely assist¬†Ashwin and Chawla while they bowl in the crucial middle overs of a match.

Bhajji’s¬†performance with the bat, which has made given him the title of a match-winner offlate, has given the team an added advantage. His heroics and guts will definitely boost the tailenders to perform well enough to save India some matches.

Allrounders in the squad — is there such a thing?

The perfect all-rounder is someone who has the ability to produce qualitatively with the bat and the ball and also hold the ability to produce the odd match-winning performance at any given time. The only name who comes to my mind is Yusuf Pathan. But is one all-rounder really enough?

We do have guys like Yuvi and Raina, who can bat well and bowl decently enough in the middle overs. But still they are not genuine all-rounders. With the shadow of explosive batting followed in a T20 format taking centre stage in a 50 overs match, playing a part time bowler may prove risky as well. At such a stage, is India ready to take a risk?

Where is our reserve wicketkeeper?

What if MS Dhoni injures his back or tears a ligament on the even of the World Cup. Who replaces him?

With no names of the likes of Parthiv¬†Patel, Dinesh¬†Karthik, Wridhiman¬†Saha¬†featuring in the final squad, India will hope that their only wicketkeeper¬†in the line-up remains fit throughout. Guess the selectors literally believe that Dhoni is ‘Superman’.

Yes Virat¬†Kohli¬†can wicketkeep, but having a genuine wicketkeeper¬†makes a huge difference — especially when you have stars like Bhajji spinning the bowl away to glory on various sub-continent tracks, which mostly favours spinners.

The final laugh

I would have loved to see more names feature in the squad, however, our selectors are restricted to only choosing a 15-member armoury. Though I am a bit unsure, if we have the perfect team, I will back our players to play to their skills and keep up the competition level throughout. Being a true Indian cricket fan, I would not want Team India to bag anything less than World Cup glory ūüôā after all Yeh Dil¬†Hai Hindustani!

Here is wishing Dhoni and Co. all the best for their WC campaign. Chak de India!