Elusion!!

Possibly the biggest mistake you make in your life is to get great marks in your 10th standard board exams. In India, if you get great marks in 10th standard, you automatically study science. Mediocre marks means commerce, and terrible marks means arts. Never mind that you may be interested in Shakespeare. You got 90% in 10th. Study calculus.

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You foolishly listen to your parents and the rest of your family when they press you to study hard for that most “important” year. After this, everything is set, they say. Not really. A year later you have to study even harder for the “crucial” year 12th standard. Repeat your performance in 10th. Do it even better. Then you will have nothing to worry about. Then you will be happy!

So you slog it out. 12th standard – super grades. Crack the JEE and get into IIT. Here is where the happiness is supposed to start. The first thing that happens to you when you get into most IITs or Colleges is you get 15 pairs of dirty undies to wash. As you wash those undies, a smile lights up your face as you think, next year someone is gonna wash my undies. Next year everything will change. Next year I will be King. I will be the boss. I will be happy.

It’s next year now. The authorities have made it very clear that if a senior even breathes near a freshie, they will take drastic action, which could include expulsion, even worse than that, fines of more than Rs 50k! No more Ragging is the new motto of your College.

No one to wash your undies. Doesn’t matter. You decide, College sucks anyways. I will be happy when I get out of here. 3 more years to freedom. Freedom from dumb profs, idiotic assignments, petrifying exams and most importantly horrible, terrible, appalling, grisly, ghastly mess food and not to mention the terrifying crowd!

Fast forward 4 years. The last exam in Engineering. Come back to the home in utter euphoria which quickly turns into anxiety, coz you don’t have a job, a call to an IIM or an admission in that university in the US. I will be happy if I get any one. Please God, just anything. Even Infosys or TCS will do.

Prayer answered. You got a fabulous job. Great money. In a month, you realise college was infinitely better. Your boss definitely had past lives as a prof in college. Maybe, even the food was better. I will be happy when I get my dream job.

Dream job road sign

 

Got it. Bad dream. Nightmare actually.

I will be happy when I get a P.hD. So apply, get into a “prestigious” institute. Slog another 5 years or so. I will be so bloody happy when people call me Doctor. They do. And then they sneer… oh, you are not a medical doctor. Not even a dentist. Hmmmm…

Need a wife/husband now. I will be happy when I can legitimately have sex. (fun part right?) I will be happy when I get married. Ok, so get married. You are deliriously happy for about 4 hours. Good food finally!!!

Marriage-is

Then the fight happens. And another, and another, and another… There are tender moments of course, and love and all that… But the predominant question in your head is “Do mother in laws have past lives as college profs?!”

Everyday it’s the same thing. Happy for a few seconds if you are stars are behaving themselves, otherwise work, eat, sex (if you get lucky), sleep … Rinse and Repeat.

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I am sure we will be happy if we have children. 3 years later, 2 bags with cute faces, beautiful eyes and an amazing smile… whose sole purpose seems to be to leak. They leak from everywhere. I will be happy when these kids stop leaking. Or at least go leak in the right places.

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I will be happy when they start to walk and talk…

3 years later: Sit down. Sit DOWN!!! SIT in one place. Can’t you sit still??!!!

And keepyourmouthshutdontopenitshutshutshutshutshutshutshut.

OH GOD! I will be happy when these kids go to school and I have my life back. School is God’s gift to parents. When will they go to school?!!!

I will be happy when their homework is done.

I will be happy when they pass out of school.

I will be happy when they get into IIT or into a University in USA. I washed undies, they should wash undies.

No way young man, no way are you getting married to that girl. I will be happy when he chooses someone I like to get married to. What?? You want to get married to him? You are bisexual. Bisexual?!! Right…

I will be happy when… I retire and all this will be behind me. Woody Allen says Comedy is just tragedy + time. I want the + time NOW!

Time-Flies

I will be happy when I have grand children.

I will be happy when they are grown. What a fine young man he is!

I will be happy when.. when… when…. How come it’s all dark?

And now it’s sooooo bright…

We have always wondered if the expression on a dead person’s face is that of surprise (wha… it’s over??!!!) or that of peace…

Be happy now. Not later. Not tomorrow. Not when you get that promotion. Not when you go on a vacation. Not after this last exam. Not after your mother in law dies;) Not after retirement… Right Now. That’s all you really have. Happiness is never in the destination. It’s in the journey.

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Smile. Now! Right Now!

Let bygones be bygones:D

Cheers.

Love

Ss

Posted from my MacBook

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Manchester United 3:0 Sunderland

Manchester United went top of the Barclays Premier League after dispatching a stubborn Sunderland outfit by three goals to nil with strikes from Memphis, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

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Memphis put United in front deep into first-half injury time following a tricky opening period, before captain Rooney doubled the Reds’ advantage shortly after the break. The hosts then enjoyed a comfortable second half, with Juan Mata wrapping up the result in the 90th minute, as United leapfrogged rivals City to take pole position for the first time under Louis van Gaal.

The boss made five changes to the team that started against Ipswich Town in midweek, with Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis and Anthony Martial all given the nod to start. It was a strong, attacking XI, and the Reds began the game very much on the front foot.

Two of the players reinstated to the line-up – Memphis and Martial – were heavily involved early on, linking up well with Rooney and Mata, the other half of United’s attacking quartet. The fine opening from the home side yielded its first opportunity on six minutes when a Matteo Darmian cross into the box skimmed the head of Anthony Martial, who was on the hunt for his fifth goal in five matches. A further half-chance followed only minutes later, but Memphis could not bring Carrick’s arrowed reverse ball under control.

Sunderland responded well to United’s bright start, as the Black Cats – wearing their bright green away strip – began to assert themselves on the match. Still, a John O’Shea header aside, chances remained at a minimum for the visitors as van Gaal’s men continued to probe for a break through.

The Reds were almost given an enormous helping hand midway through the opening period when a breakdown in communication between Black Cats stopper Costel Pantilimon and defender Younes Kaboul resulted in the giant keeper handling the ball outside of his area having hoofed the ball aloft and away from the prying Martial. A free-kick was awarded just outside the 18-yard box, but Juan Mata could only fire into the wall.

Frustration had begun to seep in around Old Trafford, just as Jermaine Lens caused a fright at the Stretford End as the forward forced David De Gea into a stop with his feet at the near post. A tepid free-kick from Memphis did little to ease the growing sense of tension in the stands, but the no. 7 went on to redeem himself with only seconds remaining of the first half.

United responded to a colossal roar from the Stretford End to launch one last assault on the Sunderland rearguard, as Blind picked out Mata with a pin-point ball into the box who – in turn – cushioned the ball to the Dutchman to tap home. The noise that greeted his first domestic strike highlighted the importance of the strike, with the Reds now sat in the box seat as they headed to the changing rooms for the interval.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat brought Steven Fletcher on for Adam Johnson at the start of the second half, seemingly with the hope of giving the visitors an improved goal threat. It was United, however, who were again much quicker out of the traps and were rewarded for such tenacity with a second goal only a minute after the restart.

The ever-threatening Martial received the ball from Mata on the right flank, before proceeding to outfox Younes Kaboul, allowing him to fire a pass across goal. The direct cross hit the on-rushing Wayne Rooney, directing the ball – via a slight deflection off Pantilimon – into the back of the net.

Unsurprisingly, the goal prompted a response from Sunderland who began to press United for the first time in the game. The Black Cats won a succession of corners which briefly caused the Reds some hassle, but thankfully were able to clear their lines after a Yann M’Vila free-kick landed dangerously at the far post. Another chance soon followed, but Patrick van Aanholt found De Gea in the way once again after fashioning an opportunity on the left side of United’s area.

Thereafter, it was the home side who were undisputedly in control and should have wrapped up the three points on 67 minutes. The excellent Martial evaded his marker to rush through on goal with only O’Shea and Pantilimon to beat as Memphis sprinted to join him in support. The Frenchman played in his team-mate, but the Dutchman could only aim his shot straight at the keeper.

As the game neared its conclusion, van Gaal replaced Carrick, Blind and Memphis with Schweinsteiger, Jones and Young over a ten-minute period, freshening up his side whilst also guarding against any late Sunderland threat.

That said, it was United that continued to push and Mata’s effort was expertly tipped round the post by Pantilimon. Undeterred, van Gaal’s men continued to throw men forward and Juan eventually got his name on the scoresheet in the 90th minute, firing into the roof of the net from an Ashley Young cross to set the seal on a fine day at the office for the new leaders of the Barclays Premier League.

GGMU!

Top of the Table!

Ss

Southampton 2:3 Manchester United

Anthony Martial enhanced his burgeoning reputation by scoring twice in a 3-2 win over Southampton that moves Manchester United up to second in the Barclays Premier League.

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The French summer signing executed two impressively composed finishes either side of the half-time break to overturn Graziano Pelle’s opener at St Mary’s. Juan Mata enhanced the lead and Italian striker Pelle bagged his second to set up a tense finale, though the Reds held on to claim an excellent result that closes the gap on leaders Manchester City to just two points following their home defeat to West Ham.

Luke Shaw was unavailable to play against his former club after breaking his leg at PSV Eindhoven and Louis van Gaal selected Marcos Rojo to fill in at left-back, allowing Daley Blind and Chris Smalling to maintain their promising partnership in the middle. Wayne Rooney and Morgan Schneiderlin were recalled to the starting XI, with Martial also making his first Premier League start.

The match began at an even pace with both teams enjoying separate spells of possession in midfield, although it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when Pelle pounced on David De Gea’s parried save from a Sadio Mane effort to shoot underneath the Spanish goalkeeper. The towering Italian, who scored in this fixture last season, then hit the outside of the post with a low shot just moments later that prompted a visibly angry De Gea to berate his defenders.

Memphis saw a looping header arc over Maarten Stekelenburg’s crossbar on 24 minutes as United – wearing the black adidas third kit – attempted to restore parity on the south coast. But it was far from easy against a home side that was defending with all 11 men behind the ball, while pressing high up the pitch with an intensity that has earned plenty of praise during Ronald Koeman’s reign as boss.

Thankfully, van Gaal’s men broke through the mass ranks to equalise in the 34th minute and it was our new no.9, Martial, who did the honours, receiving the ball on the edge of the six-yard area before showing impressive composure to execute a low finish past Stekelenburg.

United almost took an unexpected lead prior to the half-time break when Memphis intelligently played in Mata from a corner kick, with the Spaniard then slipping another pass inside for Blind to shoot wide from close-range, wrapping up an intriguing and entertaining opening 45 minutes at St Mary’s.

The second half began with both managers making tactical changes as Matt Targett replaced Cuco Martina and Antonio Valencia usurped Matteo Darmian, although Martial picked up exactly where he left off by scoring his second goal of the game on 50 minutes. This time, the 19-year-old livewire latched onto a sloppy backpass from Saints defender Maya Yoshida to execute another cool finish to inspire repeated chants of “Oh Anthony Martial” from United’s ecstatic travelling fans.

The away end was quickly singing the name of De Gea as well after the Player of the Year produced an astounding one-handed save to claw Jose Fonte’s off the line ahead of the hour mark, when van Gaal made his second substitution by introducing Bastian Schweinsteiger for Michael Carrick.

Southampton appeared to tire as the clock ticked on and United took full advantage as Memphis struck the post with a powerful effort that bounced back into the direction of Mata, who guided a neat finish into the bottom corner to bag his second goal of the season following his first at Swansea City.

Although United appeared in complete control in the final stages of Sunday’s match, as several Southampton players went down to ground with cramp, the hosts did manage to hit back and set up a tense finale as Pelle rose admirably to head Mane’s cross past a helpless De Gea.

The Spanish no.1 was then required to produce another acrobatic save to repel Victor Wanyama’s long-range effort, as van Gaal’s Reds kept their calm to secure an important victory that provides a welcomed confidence boost ahead of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash with Ipswich Town.

GGMU

Ss

Manchester United 3:1 Liverpool

Manchester United earned another victory to savour against Liverpool with Anthony Martial scoring on a dream debut to ensure a 3-1 triumph at Old Trafford.

The visitors looked to have set up a nervous finale when Christian Benteke’s spectacular strike replied to earlier goals by Daley Blind and Ander Herrera. However, Martial took centre stage by announcing his arrival with a superb solo third.

David De Gea made his return in goal but was a bystander for much of the first half as United dominated possession but, without injured skipper Wayne Rooney, failed to test Simon Mignolet.

The visiting keeper still looked edgy with Juan Mata intercepting an early clearance and presenting a great chance to lone striker Marouane Fellaini, who lifted it well off target. Unfortunately, that proved to be the only opening of the half with the Merseysiders content to hold United at bay.

Nathaniel Clyne mustered a rare attempt from long range on 19 minutes and a Memphis Depay cross was diverted behind Mignolet’s goal but there was little in the way of genuine excitement. For all the Reds’ dominance of the play, there was a sigh of relief when Benteke broke clear on goal and the offside flag was raised, even if the striker screwed his finish wide in any case.

As in the last game at Swansea City, the Reds started the second period with a goal. Half-time substitute Ashley Young, on for Memphis, was fouled by Clyne on the edge of the box and Mata rolled the free-kick to an unmarked Blind. The Dutch defender directed an unerring finish into the top corner of the net with Mignolet well beaten.

The crowd erupted and the players responded with a spell of concerted pressure but Bastian Schweinsteiger was unable to control the ball when in a dangerous position. Back came Liverpool and De Gea’s poor clearance eventually led to a Roberto Firmino cross that was well cleared by Chris Smalling. De Gea made a superb stop when clawing away a Danny Ings effort at the far post, following great chest control by the ex-Burnley striker, and, after Young sent a free-kick over the bar, Blind had to clear off the line when Martin Skrtel’s header bounced goalwards off Firmino.

Martial was introduced for his debut in place of Mata and the hosts soon went further ahead when Michael Carrick’s astute pass fed Herrera inside the box. The no.21 was felled by a reckless sliding tackle by Joe Gomez and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. With his friend Mata off the pitch, up stepped Herrera to smash the ball past Mignolet.

Benteke headed over as Brendan Rodgers’ men tried to find a route back into the match and substitute Jordon Ibe worked his way past Shaw only to find a diving De Gea equal to his powerful drive. It did not stop Liverpool pulling one back as Benteke launched into an acrobatic volley that ensured he scored in his third successive match against United following his exploits with Aston Villa.

Thankfully, any tension was soon lifted by the majestic Martial who danced through the Liverpool defence and planted the calmest of finishes wide of Mignolet to spark wild celebrations in front of the adoring Stretford End. It was a moment of sheer genius and promises much for the future, instantly affording him hero status with the fans.

The manager left the field to the cries of “Louis van Gaal’s red-and-white army” at the end after a day to remember at the Theatre of Dreams.

What an end to a beautiful day!

GGMU

Ss

Being Content … A Thought?

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How to be content?

If you are not content, it means you have some unfulfilled desires. Right?

Do you have the faith that these desires will be fulfilled? If you do, then there is no problem, your mind will become calm and contentment will dawn.

For many people this is not the case. They have so many unfulfilled desires and have absolutely no faith that these will be realised. In this case, you have to learn to drop these desires. You are going to die. What difference is it going to make, if a particular desire is fulfilled or not?! If you can take your mind to this place, you are done. The remembrance of your own “mortality” will calm your mind and you will instantly start to appreciate what you have in life and contentment comes to you.

If you can’t even do this – well then, Pray. A sincere prayer is definitely answered. It’s quite amazing to know that unfulfilled desires can lead you to prayer and surrender to the Divine Almighty!

Pray, work for whatever it is you desire, and wait, and know that your desires and you yourself will be taken care of.

If you see any of the Gods in the Hindu pantheon, you will see that they have many arms. One of these arms is usually held up, with palm facing outwards, another held down and blessings coming out of it. Ever wondered what it means?!

It means – Wait, Wait … It’s coming to you… Wait, Wait … I am giving!

Ask, Pray, Work, Wait.

Don’t forget to Smile!

 

Love

Ss

Posted from my MacBook

Manchester United 3:1 Club Brugge

Memphis Depay scored twice and notched an assist for Marouane Fellaini during a magnificent performance to help Manchester United secure an important 3-1 first-leg victory over Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League play-off.

Although Louis van Gaal will be disappointed to have conceded a potentially disruptive away goal, via an unfortunate deflection off Michael Carrick, this night belonged to Memphis and a summer signing who looks set to enjoy the adulation of Reds supporters following a mesmeric display.

United could have taken a lead in the very first minute after Juan Mata released Adnan Januzaj on the right with a carefully lofted pass, which allowed the Belgian to run at his marker before hitting a cross that almost found the lurking Wayne Rooney inside the Brugge penalty area. Memphis then hit a deflected shot at goal to round off a slightly frantic opening five minutes at Old Trafford.

Despite the Reds’ energetic start, the visitors took a shock lead in the 8th minute and in the cruellest of circumstances. Victor Vasquez, who was praised by van Gaal before kick-off, hit a 25-yard free-kick that cannoned off Januzaj in the wall before Carrick diverted the ball past a helpless Sergio Romero. Crucially, it gives Brugge an important away goal to take home to Belgium.

United responded brilliantly and almost instantly restored parity with a moment of individual brilliance from Memphis, who expertly controlled Carrick’s powerful pass, knocked the ball over his marker, dribbled at the defence and smashed home a low finish in front of a jubilant home crowd. It was the Dutchman’s first competitive goal for the club, and it could yet be of great significance.

The former PSV Eindhoven forward saw another deflected effort bounce wide on 25 minutes and, fresh from receiving a round of applause from the fans, his resulting corner led to Rooney hitting an acrobatic volley just off target. Januzaj was then played through on goal via a sumptuous pass from Mata, though the no.11 was shepherded away from a scoring opportunity by a Brugge defender.

The travelling fans in the away end were unrelenting but they were temporarily silenced on 42 minutes after Memphis cut inside from his position on the left wing to curl a sensational effort into the far corner, before celebrating in front of the United fans who undoubtedly have a new number 7 to worship.

The second half began with Bastian Schweinsteiger replacing Carrick in midfield, but United were not affected by the change as Mata almost instantly stung the palms of the goalkeeper with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Star man Memphis shot wide moments later, before unleashing yet another long-range effort as he continued to torment Brugge.

There was a moment of slight controversy on the hour mark, at least from a Belgian point of view, when substitute Obbi Oulare latched onto a weak back-pass from Matteo Darmian to force Romero into a poor clearance, which was then knocked into United’s goal by Brugge. However, German referee Deniz Aytekin had pulled play back for an apparent foul on United’s Argentinian goalkeeper.

Memphis could, and perhaps, should have sealed his hat-trick soon afterwards when he blazed over the bar from close range. Javier Hernandez later replaced Januzaj on 71 minutes to make his first appearance of the season and the Mexican’s arrival was greeted by an ovation from the fans.

Brugge were reduced to 10 men after Mechele received two yellow cards in quick succession, with the second coming after a badly-timed challenge on Chicharito, and the Belgians subsequently dropped deeper into their own half as United chased a third goal. After applying pressure, the Reds eventually found a breakthrough as substitute Marouane Fellaini rose to head Memphis’ cross home in added time, wrapping up an important 3-1 victory ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg.

Here we come UCL!

Ss

Aston Villa 0:1 Manchester United

Adnan Januzaj justified his recall to Louis van Gaal’s starting XI on Friday by scoring the only goal in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds are now unbeaten in 20 top-flight matches at Villa Park in a run that stretches back to September 1996. The victory also means United have tallied six points from six available following two tricky opening fixtures, five points more than the total registered at this stage of the last campaign.

The match was notably moved to Friday night due to a heavily-policed event in Birmingham on Saturday and, although many fans were late to the stadium following traffic issues, most supporters at Villa Park appeared to enjoy the novelty of the change in schedule judging by the raucous atmosphere.

Van Gaal made just one change to his starting XI by selecting Januzaj in place of Ashley Young, with the Belgian forward playing in the hole behind Wayne Rooney, while new signing Memphis Depay performed out wide on the left, a position in which he excelled for PSV Eindhoven.

United created the first chance on 15 minutes as Memphis hit an inswinging free-kick that evaded all Villa defenders and bounced towards Morgan Schneiderlin at the back post, where the French midfielder shaped his body to glance an awkward header wide of Brad Guzan’s goal.

The Villa goalkeeper was called into action again moments later as he beat Memphis to an important 50/50 challenge. The Dutchman was active throughout the first half and created another opportunity for himself on 22 minutes when he drifted inside from the left wing to exchange passes with Rooney before hitting a deflected shot wide of goal.

United dominated possession in the opening half an hour and deservedly broke the deadlock from an excellent passing move. It began with Januzaj switching the ball to the left and ended with the recalled Belgian latching onto Juan Mata’s through-ball to calmly round Micah Richards and slot a deflected finish into the bottom corner, vindicating the manager’s decision to start him at Villa Park. It was Adnan’s first competitive goal since the 4-0 win over Newcastle on 5 April 2014.

Neither manager made half-time changes but Villa played with much more urgency after the break and could have levelled when Jordan Ayew pounced on an unusually wayward pass from Mata and wastefully blasted a shot high over Romero’s goal. The Argentinian goalkeeper was then forced into his first real save on 55 minutes as he impressively grasped both hands around Gabriel Agbonlahor’s powerful header.

With Villa in the ascendancy and the home fans in fine voice, Tim Sherwood intervened and sent Rudy Gestede onto the pitch in place of former Manchester City midfielder Scott Sinclair. Van Gaal also made two changes on the hour as Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger came on for Januzaj and Carrick, perhaps with a view to regaining control of an increasingly frantic match.

Memphis could, and perhaps should, have scored his first competitive goal for the club when he was put through by another delightfully accurate Mata pass, but the Dutch forward’s first-time shot flew just wide of Guzan’s left post before Ashley Young took his place on 82 minutes to the familiar sound of boos he receives at Villa Park, his old stomping ground.

In the end, despite Villa’s late push for an equaliser, United held on to another relatively straightforward win that will boost the players’ confidence ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League play-off match against Club Brugge, an occasion that is of great importance to the club this season.

Ss