I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Champ is Here and Great Khali shouldn't be far behind

Kolkata is selling John Cena caps. Actually, there's nothing like John Cena caps, as he used to wear different throwback caps as a heel* and now, he wears his Marine cap at times, in order to boost the DVD sales of his film.

However, that didn't prevent Mr. D from challenging my remaining quizzing pride as well as love by springing a question on me. There are two possible answers. "One is easy and the other one will get you a hug", he said. "What's this cap called?"

I managed to get the answer which got me a hug. My record of not missing a single WWE question still stands.

WWE Today
Talking about the WWE, the Great Khali became the first South Asian wrestler to main event a WWE pay-per-view. He still can't speak, but he has an Indian translator. He can't wrestle, with his entire offence comprising of head-chops and kicks to the face. Thus, the only athletic challenge that he has is the requirement to lift one limb and bring it down on much shorter wrestlers.

There have been giants before in wrestling, but very few who entered WWE so raw that they had to be taken off a PPV in which they were part of the major card. However, recent reports are that he's recovering some ground and winning some fans (as in alienating some of them to an extent that he's booed and Cena gets huge cheers). That's what monster heels are supposed to do.

The Great Khali will never be the most athletic (even Adam Sandler seemed like Joe Montana in front of him in The Longest Yard). The Great Khali will probably never learn to speak English in an accent which makes sense. However, put him next to Snitsky or Mark Henry and suddenly, he doesn't look that bad a choice for a monster heel. However, what he does need is a person with great mic skills to manage him. That is where I think I have a solution for WWE. Let's turn the clock back to the early-1990s.

The Cold War era was over*. The US didn't have any real enemies to fear. While it found itself fighting a war in Iraq, the myth of Saddam Hussain with his WMDs had still not occurred to Baby Bush or his father. 9/11 was far away. Attempts to get heel heat from savages from Africa (Kamala), the Polynesian islands (Headshrinkers) and Haiti (Papa Shango) languished in mid-card or dark match status. That's when an apparently disgraced former Sumo wrestler answered the call. He was actually from Polynesia himself and was the cousin of the aforementioned Headshrinkers. However, with padding in his trunks and a squint in his eyes, he looked remarkably Jap. With an imaginatively named Mr. Fuji and a Japanese flag on his side, he became the Monster heel. Ready to show the Americans their place.

Thus, after dismantling Hulk Hogan, who spectacularly failed to body-slam him in a worked botched repeat of the Andre slam in Wrestlemania 3, and winning the WWE belt, he decided that he wanted a challenge. Since Hulk Hogan had shown that Yokozuna was unbodyslammable, it was going to be a Bodyslam challenge. Thus, Yoko and Fuji rented an American Naval ship and threw open the challenge to the United States of America. Anyone could show up and attempt to bodyslam the champ. Otherwise, Japan would have shown that they rule. Sony, Honda, Toyota, Yokozuna.

Of course, many wrestlers, hockey players, football players and jockeys all tried and failed, till the American hero, Lex Luger answered the call and quickly hip-tossed the monster. This led to Lex Luger donning the American flag on his wrestling gear, a year-long feud and a Survivor Series match pitting the All-Americans vs. the Axis of Evil (Yoko, a Norwegian fundamentalist environmentalist, a Canadian policeman and a Hawaiian surfer-dude).

Of course, Mr. Fuji was there to oversee all of this. Yoko still didn't possess any mic-skills and Japanese sounded menacingly foreign so, Yoko-can't-speak-a-word-of-English-gimmick continued.

Back to Present
So, what's the meaning of all this? For the Great Khali to become really successful, he needs two things. One, an angle which brings menace than "from the jungles of India" and two, a charismatic/ sinister manager who'll be his voice.

First, the angle of "I eat tigers" needs to change. It sounds too close to Snitsky's obsessions with babies. Instead, how about hyping a China-India-Iran axis of evil petulance. Now, China might be difficult to tackle at the moment, considering the currency and trade flows between the countries and can possibly be left out. So, let's concentrate on the Iran-India combine for now. Sufficiently vague for most of the wrestling audience in America (almost similar to the Polynesian Islands) and on-and-off in the news. Considering that Chris Nowinski, the Harvard educated American citizen was booed heavily for criticising George Bush's adventures in Iraq (as part of his liberal gimmick), I can see the Iran-India axis working.

Second, the manager. We should ideally get someone from Iran to play the Indian's manager. However, there's a chance that this'll be too close to Daivari. This would be risky for two reasons. First, Daivari introduced Khali to the WWE and thus, the gimmick will have a been-there-done-that quality to it (not bad in itself but risky). Second, the Islam-bashing angle has been done before in the WWE and I am frankly a little tired of it. So are probably the television networks.
More importantly, with trigger happy Georgie in one hot seat and Mahmoud in the other, one runs the risk of a 7/7 happening again. Vince McMahon will not learn from past mistakes and bring in an angle of terrorism or nuclear tests to aid the Iranian in the axis of petulance. Can't have that again.

Thus, I would continue with my axis of petulance but bring in a vocal Iranian sympathiser from India as the manager. And as I speak, a candidate has announced himself ready for the job. I have heard that he has support from the Left as well.

Last Word
After the rather indulgent manner in which I made the point that Pranab Mukherjee should go join the WWE as the Great Khali's manager, let me also point out the amazingly crazy and increasingly small world that we live in.

Two tourists from Delhi were walking in Aizawl. They happen to reach the Eden Thar locality and stopped at a tea shop. Spotting an old woman wearing a WWE T-shirt on one of the benches, they decided to get some local conversation going.
"Do you follow the WWE?"
"Do you know that Pranab Mukherjee is in the running to become the Great Khali's manager?"
"Yes, and John Cena's my nephew."
"Seriously, I am John Cena's aunt."

* Check out other wrestling terms as well - while gimmicks, hip-toss and bodyslam might be easily deducible, heel, gimmicks, face, dark match might not be. I wanted to retain my cool gimmick of a smark and not explain these terms too much.
* During the Cold War, WWWF/ WWF and the NWA had Ivan Koloff, Nikolai Volkoff, Krusher Kruschev, Nikita Koloff as the
hated Russians. None of them had monster heel gimmicks though.
* Sam Knight, The Times NY correspondent, has a very punny line in his from-the-outside-looking-in deconstruction of Muhammad Hassan, the wrestler who had to be pulled off air after 7/7, "In a sense, Hassan is nothing new. WWE, in its various forms, has always had characters that represent the latest bogey-men in the slightly sub-adult American mind." Emphasis is all mine.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A meal for giants

These days, I have been cooking a bit. Having mastered my version of prawns pollichathu, cooked a decent pasta with meat sauce (with lamb mince instead of beef, as beef mince has proved difficult) and a passable sausage salad in great mustard vinaigrette, I thought I was well on my way to bragging about cooking. That's when I met this blogpost.

On your Desktop

Over the last few weeks, I have been wasting many a desktop hour playing Desktop Tower Defence, a passion shared with me by Mr. D, who incidentally got married last month. After managing to get the top 10 scores in our group, while he was away on honeymoon, I felt bad.

Hence, Mr. D, I have pulled out something from my internet bag to make your blues go away. Or maybe not. Go play for yourself. While at it, try singing in the shower as well as try the downtown open air concert.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Meaningless flights...

... are often rich with meaning.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


... Milan.

Prediction time: Milan 2 or 3, Liverpool 1.

See you in three hours.

Update: Prediction's correct. In fact, it could have been 3 if the linesman hadn't given an offside on Inzaghi when Kaka made a telling run around the 60 minute mark. Plus, I'm on Guardian.

Homage to Tamil culture

... by Rediff.com

While most of the comments on Rediff's articles degenerate into spam or chaddiwalas indulging themselves (what's the difference?), this one is different and refreshing. It's a piece on Rajni's villainous deeds.

It has raised the bar for how entertaining online conversations can be. However, staying true to form, it has its share of abuses,
Rajini got offer from Hollywood

The Ape acted in king kong recently died ...
I think they given the offer to Rajini. 80 Crores. Thanks god . No makeup needed
It has got comments which have no relation to the article.
Rajnikanth is the worlds best actor. Then comes Partibn

1. Hritik doesn't know Tamil, where Partiban knows wary well. Hrithik nows only foreign languages like spanish,English,Urdu and Hindi.
2. Partiban is the second highest paid actor after Rajnikanth.
3. Partban's enumeration for acting is double that of Hrithik's.
4. Part iban has good physic than Hrithik.
12.Partiban has Hollywood girl friends like Sara Lee,Anna smith, Angelina, Pamela, JLo, Carthy Larmoth etc. whereas Hritik has only Bollywood girl friends like Amisha, Katrina etc.
13.Partiban is humble and helps the poor and needy where Hrithik is shellfish and only concerned of his family.
14.Partiban had 8 super mega hits in 2006 whereas Hrithik has only 3 hits.
15.Partiban has good butt, so that jeans are a perfect fit for him, where Hritik is lean like a stick and doesn't look good with jeans.
26.Partiban has MTech as educational qualification, where Hrthick is only a BCOM arts.
27.Partiban has software knowledge(c,C ,Java and oracle) where Harthick only knows VB6.
It also has it's share of righteous indignation.
Kannada Heros
Someone from Bangalore OVERSTATED that Kannada heros are handsome and real heros. By what standards this man thinks these fellows are handsome. All of Rajkumar's sons look like beggers outside the temple. For that matter even Rajkumar is not handsome. Ravichandran, looks like a bald monkey. There are only three good looking people here in Kannada films (one of them permanently left Kannada films). They are Vishnuvardhan (age is catching up with him now, Ambarish (a very good looking man for a villian character) and Prakash Rai(Raj in Tamil and Telugu industry).
If you are wondering, there are also many comments where righteousness and indignation combine to score an own-goal. Replying to a comment which insisted that Tamil people are black, short and ugly and therefore they borrow actors like Madhavan from Kerala...
excuse me for ur info maddy is a tamilian, sakshath aiyangar veetu azhagan. Tamilians may or may not be good looking, but they are brainy, talented. Americans like only tamilians cos of their quick wittedness.
If you insist. Incidentally, there's nothing wrong in being black, short and ugly. Dhoomketu is not far away from that description either.
And finally, a comment on the Rajni known to millions.
Hi its me Thambaram Rajnipuram Mutthukumaran Ajithsekhlam Vijaydekhlam Kaalupuran Bhangipuran Illaiyyam Sekhar
Rajni is is the best, nothing can beat that serial which they aired on DD Channel Rajni wud always be best and Priya Tendullar wud always be remembered too
Please do go read now. Chaddiwalas have started arriving and a major North-South debate (including violent debate comparing the flatulence caused by masur ki daal and roti compared to idli sambhar) is threatening to spoil the fun.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Go play.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sporting News

Even though last few weeks have been depressing, to say the least, I must post about sports. First, Miami then Dallas got knocked out in the first round of NBA playoffs. Second, Yankees haven't been convincing and are pinning their hopes on an middle aged pitcher. Third, Netherlands flattered to deceive once more in European football, this time in Under-17. Fourth, Jeev Milkha Singh's on a slump. Fifth (let me stop counting now), Mr. Kennedy and Undertaker are out for a few weeks and a few months, respectively. Federer is in as bad a slump as any, mostly caused by boredom. He would be best adviced to get Glenn McGrath as coach now that he's split with Roche (in any case, his tennis needs no help) and Glenn's available. Barcelona slumped to a 4-0 loss to Getafe of all teams. Why can't these unfashionable teams realise that this isn't FA Cup and their is little romance in watching inspired second-best players huffing through a Cup final. Remember Porto vs. Monaco in 2004?

Why, even Mohun Bagan, apart from occasionally defeating East Bengal, have been losing to all and sundry. They only play well if Sepp Blatter's watching. Don't even get me started about the World Cup. However, there have been two pieces of news which have brought me joy.

One bright spark amongst all this misery has been Italy and I am not even talking about the thrashing the best club from the best league in the world got in the recent past from a team of Italian has-beens. Next season promises to be promising. Juventus have all but made sure of qualifying and would probably be the hungriest team out there. AC Milan would surely revamp a part of their squad after giving deserved farewells to half of the squad, which contemplates or approaches retirement. Now, it's time to win the treble or something like that, I say. Inter would also be keen to show that it can win in a proper season as well.

Also, I am quite excited by the news that Rock-Paper-Scissor is a thriving sport. Further searches on the net have revealed that all martial arts are a derivative of this sport. However, calling Rock-Paper-Scissor a sport is not right after all. Instead, we should refer to it by its rightful description, 'world's most popular method decision making process'. And like any good decision making process, it has got rules. It's a whole parallel universe out there. To practice, go here. And to imbibe their history, go here. Fun, at least it is.

Talking about the match in Athens, my hope is it'll end up AC Milan 4, Liverpool 0.

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