Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Australian factor..!

By this time, I guess it is pretty clear from my diary entries that I am a "Late to bed, late to rise" person, but I don't mind waking up early if I have a Cricket Match to catch up..;). Jokes apart, saw the English Premier league decider, and interestingly the season is all set for a nail biting finish, with both the Manchester Clubs vying for the No. 1 spot! Coming back to cricket, I guess it's time Dada needs to sit down and think what's best for him. I hope he doesn't end up kicked in the midst of the series from the Pune franchise. He is simply not working for them, and being on the wrong side of the thirties, he certainly is not fit for the format (I know there are exceptions, but he certainly is not one!).
On the other end, the BCCI needs to ban Sehwag from playing the rest of the IPL. He is simply killing all the competition and fun! Initially it was believed that he is not a player who follows the textbook, but what the hell!!You are not supposed to hit 5 consecutive fifties in and that too at a strike rate of over 160!! He has to think about the other teams as well, who are fighting hard to be on the remaining upper half of the table.
The new entrants in the form of Australians, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson, who both returned from the Australia-West Indies series, could not do anything spectacular with both ending on the losing side. Never mind, hope to see a more competitive encounter tomorrow!

Signing Off
Nirvaan Baid

Another Day, Different Pitch, Different opponent, Same team!l

The feeling of the win over the last year runners up, at our home turf was yet to sink in, but guess what we were already up against the title defenders, CSK! The Knight Rider’s good form and confidence was obviously making me believe that this match’s going to be a delight for the eyes. The day was as usual more about cricket, with me trying to get in more and more out of the newspapers, which could provide some fodder for a good story for us to cover for the Fan station. Stuff, about the fan’s favorite teams which probably they would like to read and watch. By the time I am done with this research work (which includes an afternoon naps and a few meals), the buzz of the match is already huge to switch on the TV . The same thing happened today and that’s what made me sit down and enjoy the match without much ado. Not to mention, it was this Gambhir’s innings and Debabrata’s cameo, which was yet again the turning point of the match. So overall, another day ended on a happy note for a KKR fan like me @ The Fan Station!

Signing Off
Nirvaan Baid

Diary-April 28th

Frankly speaking, I could not have a proper night's sleep, as it was supposed to be my first experience of IPL 5. First experience in the front of camera. Excitement and nervousness were the two emotions I could very well feel. Woke up at around 7, and started practicing in front of the mirror, sporting the fan station jersey. First headed towards the crowded streets of New Market, Kolkata. Trust me, in the beginning, it was actually a hard time getting people to speak for us, but then we went all out, running here and there, and voila! We got absolute fan frenzy, people ready to do anything we ask them to, sing for SRK, scream for KKR, dance, pose, and what not. The shoot went good, considering it was our first time. Thereafter, it was time to catch the fan frenzy outside the Eden, and that was probably the easiest thing! You just need to show them the camera, and then it was left on the cameraman to capture! 3 and half hours of pure fun and an even fitting result brought a perfect ending to the day..!

Signing Off,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Experience @Eden..!

The experience was mind blowing, mind boggling, terrific, spectacular, tremendous, awesome etc etc., i guess I'll finish the entire dictionary but not get the right word for the emotions that were brewing inside my mind sitting right there, inside THE EDEN GARDENS, watching KKR take on the mighty RCB. What better could it have been than KKR registering a comprehensive win over their rivals. The atmosphere was electric, The pom poms, the face paints, the balloons, the placards, the wigs, and of course the cheerleaders (only the Bangalore ones, I did not like those of Kolkata) all making the environment all the more lively and colorful. 
Hardly a seat seemed empty and man, you must have been there to witness the crowd at a single glimpse of SRK. It went totally mad. I was seated in a fairly decent position, near the cover boundary and thereby could see players like Zaheer, Dilshan and Brett Lee up close! There were some candid moments which I tried to spot, (it was not so easy to get it from the naked eye) during KKR's batting I saw Brett Lee bringing in a full meal in a tray, from the Dressing room to the dugout, whereas Vijay Mallya was spotted eating a mere piece of bread (I hope his team's plight is not same as his airlines company). 
I also happen to remember a few tracks which were played during the over breaks. Mostly SRK no.'s they were, right from Criminal to Chammak Challo. Apart from them there was Wo sikandar hi dosto, Dhinka Chinka, along with some peppy punjabi no.s, Mundiya to Bachke, Sadi gali, Let the Music Play and also I am sexy and I know it..;) Not to mention the innings of Gambhir was indeed too good and so was Kallis' all rounder performance. Overall a well deserved victory for the Knights and a life time experience for a fan like me..!

Maza aana banta hai boss..!

Another lazy day, however researched a bit for the match to come tomorrow. Who knows, I might get lucky and end up with some cricketer, and get a chance to interview them! Nevertheless, Dada couldn't get the better of DC yesterday, but it's alright, they can still come back. Of course it;s the high intensity match between DD and MI today, and yes till now it promises to live up to the expectations of the fans. A 200 plus score to chase, and with a batting line up, consisting of Sachin, Rohit , Peterson, maza to aana banta hai boss..! The schedule for the tomorrow match has just come up, and yes excitement is at its peak. Just hoping to get everything right and hoping to meet more and more fans, *correction*, crazy fans!

Signing Off,

Diary-April 25th

Back to the City of Joy, saw the desolate look of the Eden Gardens at 2 in the night (or morning??whatever..), on my way back (could not get a click, battery died:(..). The lobbies donned the "New Dawn, New Knights" posters, raat me bhi mast lag raha tha. Anyways, as soon as I reached home, caught hold of the remote and checked out the result of the matches of yesterday. Damn, I missed a hell of a match...A last over finish, a "Ashish Nehra" act by Piyush Chawla, and what a waste of what promised to be a cracker, ye baarish bhi RCB vs.CSK wale din hi honi thii. 
Guess what, slept for around 10 hrs, to compensate for the last three days.:P..par sapne me bhi mumbai hi aa rha tha, I am missing the fun.. :( Now watching the DC vs. PWI, hope DC gets thier first win..!

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's not aisa waisa pur, its Wasseypur!

Yes, it is the epic saga of Indian Coal Mafia, running over three generations, with power packed performances, a taut script and and excellent,fresh dose of music and background score!(In fact Sneha Khanwalkar was certainly the champion of this movie) It did not have a single ingredient of the making of a blockbuster, but then it surely will go on to be one! No big stars, no romance, not a  typical masala film, but then yes it had innovative ingredients, the rustic feel, and of course performances by the lesser known actors Richa Chadda, Tigmanshu Dhulia (a great director), Nawazuddin etc, and trust it works wonders for the movie, atleast it worked for me.
The uninhibited mouthing of Galis, double entredes, the skin show, all prove that Bollywood has certainly come of age. The fact that the director has dared to shoot almost a six hour long movie, and have already shot the sequel without even waiting to see the reactions of the audience goes on to speak how much belief he had in this script and the taste of the maturing audience. It was no less than a gamble to shoot almost a 20 crore film in this fashion, and moreover this has never been done before! This film obviously got the much needed popularity, when it was the first commercial Indian movie to be premiered at the Director's Fortnight .
The character of Manoj Bajpayee as Sardar Khan was that of a revengeful son, who is out on a mission to finish his father's killer. I know it sound's cliche, but that's only until you go and watch out this movie. He murders ruthlessly and has an insatiable appetite for sex. After a point even his wife accepts and asks him to eat well "Khana khao, takat aayega, bahar jaa ke be-izzati na karana". He gives those lecherous looks to Reema sen, is a womanizer, yet he is lovable! The music is just too unique and more importantly is good with the rendition of "Teri keh k lunga" by Sneha stealing the show.
However, the movie was just too rushed, and although Kashyap has a very strong script but it seems like he has fit in just too many characters in it. I won't say that they are not good, but then you need to be on alert while watching. If you happen to miss anything, you would remain confused till the end as to who this character is!
Nevertheless, there is so much and more, and wait...this is just the 1st part! The movie ended with a twist and I believe Nawazuddin will have the major part in the second part. But till its release we can only wait..!!

Signing Off
Nirvaan Baid

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The P(olitics) connection!

A statement made by English Prime Minister David Cameroon certainly will be a slap on the face of all the anti Sachin Tendulkar creatures. In a recent event, the first citizen of Britain did not hesitate to announce in public that the bat autographed by Sachin is one of his most prized possessions. In a nation where soccer is the big thing and footballers are considered to be the Megastars, the Prime Minister making such a statement is indeed incredible. That just goes out to prove the immense fan following of  “Brand “Tendulkar”. It’s not just the British Prime Minister but also the Indian PMO who is in such awe of the Master, so much that they have gone all out to offer him a nomination to the Rajya Sabha. These gestures certainly go out to prove that this entire world can be divided into two kinds of people- The Sachin Fans and heartless zombies. (Trust me, it’s not a exaggerated statement!) :P

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

KKR - Expectations in season 5

Ever heard of a roller coaster ride…??? I know most of you must have experienced it at least once in your life but guess who’s had a hell of such a ride, the Kolkata Knight Riders. The team which started its journey with extraordinarily strong players on papers, the team which showed what strength it possessed and what all it can do in the very first match of the IPL edition-1 went on to be a team which struggled even to manage a spot in the upper half of the points tally. Yes, this is the journey of Kolkata Knight Riders, the team with the maximum fan following, the franchisee which was the only one to reap profits right from the beginning of the saga of Indian Premier League. Things kept on changing for KKR and it changed quite dramatically.
Though the team has shown a remarkable recovery in the last edition and if truly cricket is the real blend of ‘form’ and ‘class’ then the team is one of the most favorites to make a place in the top 3 in IPL edition-5. The captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, the inclusion of Yusuf Pathan and many more amendments makes KKR the front runners in this edition and more probable for a winner than it ever was. Now, when the stage is all set for the battle of the title to begin, the expectations and hopes of Kolkata fans is at its peak. Their captain is performing extremely well. He has brought a new energy to the team and now this team is not only with a new logo and a new marketing campaign but also with a new attitude.
The team has been one of the most unpredictable and unfortunate teams among all others in the same category. Who can forget the innings from Mccullum which is still one of the greatest innings in IPL history, who unfortunately could not live up to the high expectations he generated, in any of the further editions. The same Gayle, who played a series of a lifetime for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, could hardly do anything substantial for the KKR’s. Who can forget the unavailability of many foreign cricketers at the most critical of times for the team? But now this team of Mr. Khan is creating new hypes after the performance in IPL-4. This time no one will dare take KKR lightly because the team is now having players, full of energy, class and more importantly, form. Team is not at the top but it is all set to make a difference. May be the performance of KKR in this season can give SRK a new life (G-One). So, as the IPL is getting closer and closer, the team management and administration is leaving no stone unturned in order to live o the expectations of the fans and finally win it for them!

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

Return of the Dark Knight...!

Brendon Mccullum, whose name itself is enough to send down shivers across the opposition is the comeback guy for the Kolkata Knight Riders. The ex-captain of the same team in the 2rd edition of the IPL, he certainly knows the tricks of the trade. He has the record of highest run scored by an individual in a Twenty20 match to his name. The better part is that this score of 158 came for the same team, the Kolkata Knight Riders and that too in the very first match played in the history of IPL. McCullum singlehandedly gave the IPL the sort of high voltage start-up any business would cherish. One might say that with the presence of Brad Haddin, (also a classic wicket keeper batsman) in the side, and his not-so-brilliant performances in the recent past, there was no need of whiling away such a huge amount on him, but then as they say "Form is Temporary, Class is permanent"!
Moreover, another advantage of having a player of his stature on their side is that he has a got huge experience and a typically aggressive frame of mind, which is an extremely important element of any T20 match. He is also going to bring in the much needed stability in the side as they now have two regular world class openers in the form of Gautam Gambhir and Brendon Mccullum. Having played three years in this franchise it would not take him much time to adjust, and being the ex-captain, and a swashbuckling batsman he is certainly a big crowd puller too.
The other team players are also excited about him joining the side, as stated by Yusuf Pathan in the recent interviews “He will be a great boost to the team. He can score runs quickly at the top of the order and can keep wickets - an asset to any team. His inclusion will surely make KKR more formidable”. Another reason which for absorbing him in the squad is that there are no matches of New Zealand team during the IPL season and he will be available throughout. The critics might still find flaws with this selection as his earlier stint with the side was not a memorable one, barring a handful of innings. So, Brendon Mccullum would be hoping to put his criticisms to rest and prove that even after being on the wrong side of the thirties he can contribute handsomely with bat, and finally help them win the elusive IPL trophy

The Mystery Bowler..!!

The shy, lanky, unknown guy from the Caribbean was no doubt one of the most sought after players in the Indian premier League Auction 2012. Sold at 14 times his base price, the auctioneer had a hard time to carry out his bidding. From one franchise to another his hands just went going up and down and finally the hammer was put down by the 700,000$ bid by Kolkata KnightRiders! The slow right arm off break bowler who took all the ten wickets in a match in a trial match and got a call from Trinidad and Tobago, but did not get any match, however he proved to be a great pick in the inaugural edition of Champions League in 2009, with an average of 10.50.
Initially people did criticize Kolkata for their choice, but then after his good performances in the recently concluded Australia-West Indies ODI series, he has silenced all his critics. But the outcome of these performances might get him a berth in the West Indies test series as well, and if that actually happens, it is not going to work out well for the Kolkata Knight Riders who would certainly be having him in the thick of the plans. If we are to evaluate how important he is going to be for the team and whether spending so much on him was justified I would say that being a foreign players and with the limitation on the foreign players allowed to play in the side, he might not even get a game. With the likes of Brett Lee, Shakib Al Hasan, Jacques Kallis, Eoin Morgan, Ryan Doeschate, Brad Haddin, Brendon Mccullum, there are very thin chances of him being included in the playing eleven. But still, whatever be the case, the recent performances of Sunil Narine can totally justify his selection in the franchise.
All said and done, (I know I would sound a bit selfish here for the team), but then all the Kolkatans would be hoping that somehow Sunil Narine doesn't make it to the West Indies test squad and is available for selection for the Knights!

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

Analysis of KKR..

Now, that I am done with the internship,let me put down all the blogs and the diary entries right here, site development you see..:P
KKR, the Kolkata Riders, are the strongest brand name in IPL and also financially the most profitable team. As the IPL 5 is nearing and the frenzy is reaching its top, let’s have a look at where they stand on the big platform. First of all let’s talk about the marketing mix adopted by the parent company Red Chillies entertainment. In the 1st four editions of the Indian Premier League they positioned themselves as the team who will fight till their last breath, till they succeed, come what may! I would say that they did fight out till the end but did not have much to their credentials to testify it. However, in this edition of the 5th IPL T20, they have come with a new marketing campaign of “New Dawn New Knights”. In an attempt to revamp their lost image and connect more with their home crowd they have repositioned themselves and their fresh team as the knights with a shining armor (well, in this case bats) of the new dawn. They have decided to cover up their cheer girls and they have taken a bold step (considering the fact that cheergirls are synonymous to glamor, pom poms and miniskirts) of draping them in full nine yards and make them sway to the tunes of Rabindra Sangeet. The flavor will also be improved with a fleet of dhakis, the Bengali drummers and traditional dancers. Even if this change doesn’t go down well with the beer-guzzling and the cuss words-mouthing young IPL followers, it is certainly bound to impress Mamata Didi and Co.
Apart from that the new look logo was also revealed by Shahrukh Khan, which retained the original purple and golden of the KKR’s. Now talking about the team, we have a very good and aggressive leader and captain in the form of Gautam Gambhir, A good, well balanced side some excellent batsmen in the top order, outstanding all rounders like Jacques Kallis, Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakid Al Hasan,  and of course some good seamers and spinners as well. The latest addition to the team, Brendon Mccullum, the dashing wicketkeeper batsman and the promising Sunil Narine also looks a great addition to the already good-looking side. The new coach Trevor Bayliss, under whose guidance Sri lanka went on to the finals of the ICC World Cup 2011, is also expected to improve the game of the Knights and bring stability to this side. I would in fact say, that barring maybe a few good seamers, we have arguably the best team on papers. But, to prove the same they will have to give themselves all out on the field. 
With a wonderful franchise owner like Shahrukh Khan and Jay Mehta, with the best marketing strategies, the Bollywood tie-ups, a huge home stadium, Eden gardens, and of course some of the best players in the world of this form of cricket, they have to deliver and at least aim to be in the top four.  Last year there was a bit of bashing by the fans, but they managed to bring them back to the stadium with a good overall performance. In the end, let us all keep our fingers crossed and hope they do emerge out to be the best team in the competition.

Signing off,

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Childhood Rath...

No, I am not a follower of Lord Jagarnath, but then I loved to be a part of the Rath Yatra in my puerile days. Yes, it was amazing to have your own RATH!!There used to be a proper shopping session when me and my sister used to go out to buy a Rath, "No this is too small","This is too big", "There is no place for Lord to sit","The string is too short, I won't be able to pull it","The colour is so bad". Our Rath had to satisfy so many criteria. More than any religious festival, it was an occasion for us where we would be able to flaunt our newest possession.
Last night I saw a kid also running around with his, and all these thoughts just poured in. How stupid we were to have never understood the real significance of it (although our guardians did try explaining us, but I never bothered:P). That child was accompanied by his mother, and she too was trying to explain him the nuances of the festival, but I doubt he even gave an ear...Anyways now that I have grown up and am officially an adult, all these memories do come back and bring a smile on my face...

Signing Off,
Nirvaan Baid

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Insider...!!

Hi, this is Nirvaan from the Insider Gang for Coca Cola The Fan Station, and I am a part of the KKR squad. This used to be my opening link each time!! Sounds cool?? Well, it sure was. The fact that I was one of the squad members, chosen to represent the KKR squad itself was a big thing for me and made my chest swell with pride. Not to mention, my friends being jealous of me was the icing on the cake! Coming to the experience, I first want to say a big big THANK YOU to the Fanstation team for giving me such an opportunity and for a chance to interview THE SUNIL NARINE himself. Initially I blanked out and just blurted out whatever came to my mind. I could not hear anything he said and was actually having goose bumps seeing the likes of Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary and Iqbal Abdulla from an arm's length.
What a feeling it was!!! People actually treat you as celebs and vie for you to get them on camera (although they were a bit disappointed on knowing that we were not from SET Max). In fact the Insider Gang gave me the license to talk to the most beautiful ladies (even in presence of their male friends and parents), without the fear of getting bashed up (so what if it was just about cricket:P). Had the privilege of watching Gayle and Dhoni live at the ‘mecca’ of cricket, asking fan to do crazy stuff, move around Kolkata, have writing sessions from Arvind, learn the tricks of the trade from the horse's mouth, from the people who know it all! A three day rigorous training session in Mumbai was hectic but was totally worth it and will always remain etched in my memory. Met some really wonderful people with whom I would always love to stay in touch with. Never in my wildest dream did I think I would be a part of a professional photo shoot session. There were times when we had to jot down the script on-the-spot, work behind the camera, persuade the people on the roads to do stuff, someone would normally never do, and all this was super fun. At times, I did feel, "how will I do this, I am not cut out for it", but then, Good or Bad, ultimately I did it, and that definitely is a good feeling. I do regret missing out on the last few days because of some other priorities, but then can’t help it.
So, in short, this was an experience of a life time and trust me these were the best days of life, (I also feel, that I am a lucky mascot for KKR, considering they reached the finals for the first time ;)).

Signing Off,
Coca Cola Insider Gang