Monday, 26 February 2007

Rang De Basanti triumphs at the Filmfare awards


Rakeysh Mehra's Rang De Basanti won both best picture and best director at this years Filmfare awards, which were televised on Sony TV last night. The Aamir Khan starrer was one of the biggest box office successes of the year. Aamir Khan was once again not present (he never attends these functions).

Other winners on the night were:

Best Actor: Hrithik Roshan (Krishh)

Best Actress: Kajol (Fanaa)

Best Supporting Actor: Abhishek Bachan (KANK) - I was surprised at this choice, as i thought one of the new guys from Rang De Basanti were more worthy of this award. Maybe thats why alot of people think these awards are fixed!!!!

Face of the year: Kangana Ranaut (Gangster).

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Saint Soldiers Website coming soon....


A new Sikh site, which looks quite good.

I found this advert in my edition of Sikh Digest.

The advert in the back of the Sikh Digest is mindblowing, it shows a warrior and the caption "1= 125,000". Then there is Gurmukhi text, which is translated as follows:

"The Khalsa goes into battle and never runs away from it. With firm belief he fulfills his warrior faith. He is never without weapons. He is a Khalsa or real Rehat. He never gives up his Rehat and the sangat of Khalsa. In battle he fights head on andnever runs away from it. Khalsa refrains from eating meat, smoking tobbaco and hemp (bhang). Smoking cannabis, using hubble bubble, taking any form of drugs. He who never even looks in the direction of the above is indeed a great Sikh who lives by Guru's Rehat. The true Gursikh when he speaks, he speaks Vaheguru, He contemplates on Vaheguru all the time. When he sees a Sikh approaching he repeats VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA,VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH."



Ronaldo produced a bit of individual magic today to basically get Manchester United out of jail. He picked up the ball in his own half, before running past two Fulham players, cutting inside the box, and firing his shot into the bottom right hand corner. On his day Ronaldo is the most destructive player in the Premiership, arguably even in the World.

Fulham must be ruing the missed chances, particularly in the second half, when in all fairness they should have killed off the game. And how they were made to pay in the 88th minute, thanks to Ronaldo's magic.

Fulham were much the better team for much of the game. They deservedly took the lead through McBride in the first half, following some awful defending by Vidic and Van Der Saar. United never looked at the races, but like all great teams they managed to turn it around without ever threatening to play the kind of football that we have come accustomed to. Giggs hit a volley just before half time to pull United level.

In the 2nd half Van Der Saar denied his former employers un several occasions, and probably deserved as many laurels as Ronaldo for this victory. It was certainly a lacklustre performance from United, but we should not take anything away from Fulham, as they were excellent, and did not let United settle into any kind of rythm.

You don't always get what you deserve in football, Fulham deserved more from this game. However, thats why Footballs a funny old game.

When will the time come O Lord


When will the time come O Lord, when my eyes will see thee and nothing else.
When will the time come O Lord, when my tongue will sing thy praises and nothing else.
When will the time come O Lord, when my ears will hear thy praises and nothing else.
When will the time come O Lord, when my mind stops wandering in four directions and fixes on your name.
When will the time come O Lord, when my feet will walk towards thee.
When will the time come O Lord, when my hands will serve thee and nothing else.
When will the time come O Lord, when i can rid my soul of sins.
When will the time come O Lord, when you will bestow thy grace upon me.
When will the time come O Lord, that i can escape from the cycle of chaurasi.

The answer is simply when i stop seeing all these body parts as "mine" and realise that they all belong to "thee"

Friday, 23 February 2007

Eklavya - Something different


Last week saw the release of one of the most awaited bollywood movies of this year - "Eklavya - The Royal Guard". The critics gave it the thumbs up, and the verdict overseas was also very encouraging. However the masses in India are not taking a liking to it. Maybe the fact that it was about only 2 hours long and only had one song may have played a part in that. It seems that whenever a director tries something different, the desi audience in India just are not willing to accept it. Perhaps they've got used to the mediocre, run-of-the mill trash that is produced, and are not used to top quality production - which would not look out of place in Hollywood. I sometimes wonder why a director in Bollywood even bothers to stray from the magic done to death formula of "girl meets boy, they fall inlove, sing 10 songs, the family objects due to status difference, but it's all a happy ending".

The rebab of Shri Guru Gobind Singh


If asked what is the greatest Sikh relic in existence today, few people would suggest a musical instrument. Yet, the Rebab of Guru Gobind Singh qualifies strongly for this title. To start, the musical tradition of Gurbani (religious writing) ties the instrument directly to the center of the faith -- Sikh prayers are done as vocal music and written in standard musical modes (scales) of North Indian classical music.

Further, this particular item is the only known musical instrument from the time of the Gurus that is still intact. We know that Guru Gobind Singh himself played this rebab, making this a particularly valuable and rare find. The Guru gave the instrument to Maharaja Sidh Sen of Suket Mandi (located in today’s Himachal Pradesh) as a gift. The rebab was later donated to the Sikh community and is currently housed at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara of Mandi. Unfortunately, none of this information is available on site and most of the visitors are local residednts. Fortunately, the Gurudwara is only a short walk from the main bus station and easy for outsiders to find.

The instrument connects us with a past that is quickly being forgotten. Less than a hundred years ago the rebab was in common use in Gurdwaras (place of worship). But today, few Sikhs have ever heard kirtan (musical religious recitation) performed on one. Kirtan is now performed on the harmonium, a British instrument. The single-stringed rebab (also known as a rebec or rebek in the West) is referred to in literature of India, Persia and even in Arabic poetry. It is still in use today in derivative forms from the Middle East to South East Asia. It may even be the predecessor of the modern violin.


I for one would be really interested in seeing someone play this instrument.

A Battle Of Wits


Review: In 370 B.C., China was separated into seven nations and several other small clans, one of these being the city state of Liang. The nation of Zhao is led by the terrifying commander Xiang Yangzhong (Ahn Sung Ki) who orders his troops to launch an attack on Liang in a bid to conquer the small city. Leaping to the defence of the cowed people of Liang is a warrior (Andy Lau) who goes by the name of Ge Li from the Mo-Tsu tribe, renowned for its defensive skills. He is their last hope as the terrors of Yangzhong's troops are unleashed. The future of Liang now hangs in the balance, with all their hopes pinned on the mysterious Mo-Tsu warrior.

I watched this movie, and couldn't stop making comparisons between the Mo-Tsu warrior and a Nihang Singh. There are startling similarities between the two, except for the obvious physical appearance. I'd like a second opinion on my thoughts, so if anyone has seen it maybe they'd be able to shed some more light on it.

Brett Lee out of the World Cup


Well it seems that Brett Lee will not be playing in this years cricket world cup due to an ankle injury. Thats a big blow for the Aussies. I don't think they will win it this time, i think it maybe South Africa - who seem to be clicking into form at the right time. Should be a good tournament, may the best team win.

Update - 01/03/07:

And they continue to drop:

Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif join Abdul Razzaq on the sidelines. The trio will not be participating in this years world cup. Pakistan will most definatley miss the trio. It's really opened up the world cup.

Austrailia will have some key players missing, same goes for Pakistan. Looks as though this could be the year for the Proteas.

The fun and games begin on 13/03/2007.

Update - 14/03/07:

Well the hosts got off to the perfect start, by comfortably beating Pakistan in the opening match of the tournament. I think both teams should make it through to the knock out stages, however i can't see either lifting the trophy based on yesterdays performance.

Austrailia at this moment look as if they are going to trounce Scotland, and kenya look home and dry in the closing stages of their macth against Canada.

I think some of the minnows may cause the odd upset in this tournament. I can see Kenya, and Bangladesh maybe giving the more fancied sides in their group a run for their money...

Update 17/03/07:

Well it's been a few days since i updated this thread. Since then we've seen Sri Lanka comprehensivley beat Bermuda, and Ireland sneaked a draw with Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe were coasting with 10 overs to go, how they ended up drawing i will never know).

Yesterdays macthes saw Sout Africa thrash Holland, with Herschelle Gibbs producing the magic he is more than capable of (a maximum over six 6's). What a turn around for that man, he was out of form earlier in the year, he was banned for making racist comments against Pakistan, and now he's flying. Well ok i know alot of people will say "it was only Holland", but hey give the man some credit for hitting six 6's in a row, which has never been done in international cricket before. Take a bow Mr Gibbs - well done.

Yesterday's other match saw New Zealand cruise past England by 6 wickets. Basically the collapse by the English batsmen left their bowlers with very little to defend. Monty Panesar made his World Cup debut and took a wicket, could have been another if Pieterson has held on to the catch.

Todays Matches see the Indians making their first appearance against Bangladesh. I think Bangladesh will push them hard, as i have them down for springing a surprise in this group.

Pakistan will be looking to bounce back from their defeat by the Windies, against the little fancied Ireland, who themselves must be overjoyed with their performance against Zimbabwe. Could be tricky.................

UPDATE 24/03/07

Well what a last few days we've experienced. As predicted above, Ireland and Bangladesh produced the shocks of the tournament. The real shocking news from all this is the "suspicious death of Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer. Police have recently revealed that he was infact murdered. RIP Bob. Lets hope those responsible are brought to account swiftly. The incident brings back memories of Escobar the columbian footballer who was shot to death following Columbia's exit from the football world cup back in 1994.

India now have to rely on Bermuda beating Bangladesh, in order to get through. Which i can't see myself.

The England camp has also been in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Andrew Flintoff was dropped for 1 game for his part in a drunken incident. Apparently he has been warned about his behaviour before. Former cricketer Ian Botham not surprisingly, thinks the 1 game suspension is an over reaction. The way i see it is that players have a responsibilty, as they are representing their country. England had just lost to New Zealand, and they thought lets drown our sorrows by going out on the lash...

BTW congrats to Ireland for qualifying for the super 8's. They are already joined by the Windies, South Africa, Austrailia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. The remaining 2 places are still up for grabs, as England and Kenya face each other today, and Bangladesh play Bermuda tomorrow.

Today also sees South Africa playing Austrailia, in game which could easily be the final.

Is Sikhi in the Panjab flourishing?


Every time i go back to Panjab, i am saddened to see how many youth are abandoning their kesh. Out of all the places in the world, i'd expect the land where our beloved Gurus walked, to be blessed with sikhs who could at least keep their hair.

Obviously there are alot of dedicated Gursikhs there. However it is very difficult to see non amritdhari sikhs with turbans there. I think the recent Harbhajan Mann movie "Dil Apna Panjabi" hit the nail on the head, when they said that you can hardly see anyone in the village wearing a turban. I reckon in my village only 10% have grown their kesh.

After the events of 84 alot of sikhs in the west were drawn back to the religion, and started to wear the articles of their faith. I'm not too sure wether it had a similar effect in Panjab. But my point would be, would it take another event of similar magnitude as 84 for us sikhs to go back to sikhi, and why? I sometimes feel that the Sikhs in the west are more dedicated than those that reside in Panjab. The Panjab based Sikhs only seem to think of one thing - "When can i go abroad to valait".

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Sikh Movie


Just seen the DVD - "Anokhe Amar Shaheed Baba Deep Singh". We need more films like this to educate the next generation. It's always very difficult to make such historical movies since we have the limitations of not allowing anyone to play the role of the great sikhs in our history. I really await the day when we can make a movie about our history, which is on the "lord of the Rings" scale - that would be great.

I'm also a great fan of the animation movies such as "sahibzaadey" and "The Rise of the Khalsa". I eagerly await their next installment.

The Baba Deep Singh DVD can be purchased from here

Inspirational Shabad


Tera kiya mitha lagei
Hari nam padarath Nanak magai.
Hari ka nam hride nit dhiai .
Sangi sathi sagala tarai .
Guru mere sangi sada hai nale .
Simari simari tis sada samale.” sggs-394

Over the last few days i have been listening to a beautiful rendition of the above shabad, by the acapella Jatha.