Sunday, June 06, 2010

FIFA 2010 – The Fantastic Four !!

logo The most exciting event on the planet – FIFA World Cup 2010 is about to start in another 5 days. The next one month would see lots of discussions, time, energy, etc being spent on discussing, debating, supporting, arguing and what not on the matches, the errors, the goals, incidents, etc. Though India does not have a high ranking football team and may not make it to the World Cup in years to come, Indians are no less passionate about football especially the world cup. There are 3 main regions where football is still a passion – Bengal, Goa and Kerala. While most Bengalis root for Brazil, most malayalees root for Argentina (ever since Maradona scored this famous goal ; infact there is also a milk shake named after Maradona :)). Being a mallu by origin, I have also caught on to this following and since the 1986 world cup (which was the first world cup that I watched religiously along with my dad), when I was just 8 years old, I have been supporting Argentina, no matter they win or lose. I just like their style of play …

There are some rituals that most people practice ahead of the World Cup – and one of them is announcing is your favorites. I had done a similar exercise for the World Cup 2006 (read the article here) and one of the teams went on to win the world cup (ahem !!).

Now for the four teams that I would be supporting this world cup.

Favorite 4: Netherlands

netherlands The Netherlands are the dark horse of this world cup. They have always had talented players but havent been able to convert the potential to victories. Somehow the killer instinct has been missing and this time could be no different. However, I like the orange jersey and will be supporting them this time and hoping that they beat the odds to make it to semi-finals.

Possible obstacles on the way (if they make it till finals)

  • Group Stage: Denmark
  • Quarterfinals: Brazil
  • Semi-finals: England
  • Finals: Argentina

Players to look out for

  • Robben
  • Sneijder
  • Persie
  • Van der vaart

Favorite 3: Italy

italy One of the boring teams, they were the surprise package of last world cup playing precision football to win the world cup. Defense is their strongest forte and it is a treat to watch them execute their strategies. Though they are the title defenders, it might be difficult for them on their road ahead.


Possible obstacles on the way (if they make it till finals)

  • Round of 16: Denmark
  • Quarter Finals: Spain
  • Semi-finals: Argentina
  • Finals: Netherlands

Players to look out for

  • Buffon
  • Cannavaro
  • De Rossi
  • Gilardino
  • Pirlo

Favorite 2: Spain

spain Spain amazed everyone with their display of skill, aggression, defense, etc during the Euro 2008 tournament and ever since they have been one of the favorites to win World Cup 2010. If they continue the same level of play as in Euro 2008, they can definitely lift this years world cup.


Possible obstacles on the way (if they make it till finals)

  • Round of 16: Portugal
  • Quarter Finals: Italy
  • Semi-finals: Argentina
  • Finals: Netherlands

Players to look out for

  • Casillas
  • Puyol
  • Villa
  • Xavi
  • Torres
  • Fabregas

Favorite 1: Argentina

argentina They have been my all time favorites and even though they are not in the best of their form, they would continue to be my #1 favorite. Argentina is known for aggressive soccer and for me, they play in the most stylish manner. Their hopes are primarily resting on Messi and this could put more pressure on him and could be their downfall.


Possible obstacles on the way (if they make it till finals)

  • Quarter Finals: Germany
  • Semi-Finals: Spain
  • Finals: Netherlands

Players to look out for

  • Rodriguez
  • Heinze
  • Messi
  • Tevez

My favorites aside, Brazil and Germany could easily make it to the semi-finals. These two teams know how to pace up their play and make it to the semi-finals and have real good chance of making it till the semi-finals. Interesting WC on hand. The best part is that there is no group of death and hopefully the best 16 would make it to the knock-outs.

Who are your favorites ? Let me know ..

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another Re-factoring!

Another re-factoring ?! Yes, unfortunately true ! Another blog and I would mostly be moving over to that blog. The desk of Satba would focus more on travelogues and reviews on travels. Also dont be surprised if you find more "vertical-blogs" surfacing ...

Catch you soon with something from my travel diaries !


Thursday, April 23, 2009

My First Vote ... Finally !


I voted finally ! The excitement was uncontrollable as I came out of the polling booth. I had a wide grin on my face and could not control the excitement. This was after I had almost given up on getting my name into the voters list for the Loksabha 2009 elections.

It was beginning of March 2009 when an advertisement in the newspaper announced that it was still possible to get your name into the electoral roll. After giving it a pass initially, I decided to take it seriously and atleast make an attempt to get my name into the electoral list. The process was simple and hassle free. After getting the necessary documents, I decided to give it a try. My wife also joined me after the initial hesitation. She decided to join me after realizing that I was serious about it and the fact that I might end up voting and she might not !!

April first week and a couple of trips to the voter facilitation centre only led to disappointment as we could not locate our name in the voter's list. The last date had passed by and I thought to myself, "this was another election that I had missed." In an interview to NDTV the other day, Shashi Tharoor had mentioned that he had also cast the vote for the first time and that too for himself. May be I would also do a similar thing !

With just one day to go for elections in Bengaluru the election commission updated the online electoral roll and now we had the chance to search for our names ourselves and voila ... our names were present !! It was my first real chance to take part in the democratic process and did not want to miss it.

April 23rd 2009 11:12 AM; as I pressed the blue button in the EVM to register my vote, I had got one monkey off my back - of not being able to vote! I had cast my vote and I was proud of it !

Indian Ink on Satba's finger DSC00123

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Exclusive picture from Vishu 2009!

It is exactly a week since we celebrated Vishu. Here is an exclusive picture from the Vishu celebration.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Healthy Life ...



A picture often speaks a 1000 words. For me, this indicates a healthy life .. life that requires a healthy body and soul and filled with varying colors that are both bright and subdued but beautiful...

This picture was taken at the Botanical Gardens in Ooty (Tamil Nadu, India) in the month of December, 2008.