Pick a Number.

Preparing for the GRE when you’ve been out of the loop for 10 years in mathematics is enough to make a grown man wince. At 27, I wince every day nowadays.

What on earth is the connection between journalism (the normal see stuff, observe stuff, reflect stuff, write stuff genre and not the astrophysics and gene mutation genre) and mathematics? Mathematics? As Thompson would ask, what in the name of crippled, half-mad jesus are they trying to pull?!

“That’s it,” I told my mom a couple of days ago. “Im not giving the GRE. What’s the connection between journalism and maths? It makes no sense”. I threw my mobile down and sat on the cot.

My mom is a chemistry major — no, wait — but she’s also my mom, so she understood. However, I’ve been banging my head against maths for a month now and she said I might as well give it a go.

So Im gonna give it a go, one-hard-spank-in-the-ass and that’s it.

In other news, here are two other articles I managed to push through for IBNlive.in.com. I had to blank it in one of the intervening weeks due to the ridiculous power outages in Tamil Nadu, thanks to dear old lady J. As Dame M would say, “you got a bloody cheek”. She can say that.

1) http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/arunpradeep/3389/64098/serie-a-capricious-milan-roll-over-mighty-juve.html

That went up today, and it was a fantastic match. Milan had looked lost as recently as two weeks ago, but they’ve started showing encouraging signs since the 2-2 draw with Napoli on Nov 17. Ricardo Montolivo has finally been handed the opportunity to play for a big club and he’s come of age this season, emerging as one of the real leaders of a still-evolving Milan. El Sharaawy, who has 12 goals already this season, didn’t score against Juve but his energy seemed to translate to the entire team. I still can’t believe he had scored only 4 top-flight goals before the start of this season.

2)  http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/arunpradeep/3389/64080/la-liga-atletico-madrid-gatecrash-realbarca-party.html

This was a tribute to Atletico’s brilliant start to the season, in which they trail Barcelona by just three points. Falcao’s certainly the headboy of this team but they also got some serious talent like Arda Turan, Raul Garcia and Diego Costa. Add to that a coach that doesn’t seem to have a price, they’re certainly on to something.

Outage and Outrage

Tamil Nadu, one of India’s most industrialized states, has been suffering power cuts of 16 to 18 hours a day lately. By ‘lately’, I mean the past couple of weeks. This is inexcusable, and a similar callous government in the West would have been sued by now. This is a State — with a population of over 70 million — that suffered no power outage between 1987 to 2007, save for the weekly shut-down that was enforced to carry out maintenance work. Adding to the outrage among citizens here, Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, loses power only 2 hours a day. I mean, I know it’s the capital but this is grossly disproportionate and unfair. It’s even illegal, harming our fundamental rights. As things stand, the present government in Tamil Nadu is busy blaming the previous regime in the State and the Central government of India (we have a federal set up) for this almighty mess.

All of which makes watching a game of football, writing your blog or even taking a long, warm bath impossible. I can’t even watch Seinfeld. Yesterday, I read to my mom funny anecdotes from Reader’s Digest. It was fun, but the rate the power is failing on us I’ll run out of jokes soon. It’s a vicious thing wiling away your time cussing and bitching about your government. After a while, the rage and indignation fade away, replaced by resignation and negativity.

Anyway, I did manage to string along a couple of articles for IBNlive.in.com, and I have no idea how Im gonna turn in the one Im due tomorrow.  They’re killing Independent Arun!

1)The most recent article, on Nov 5:

http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/arunpradeep/3389/64042/rudderless-arsenal-exposed-by-clinical-united.html

It wasn’t a dramatic game, but the fascination lay with Wayne Rooney’s tactical evolution. As I’ve said in the article, he was everywhere. If United keep up this momentum and rate of scoring (Ferguson has targeted 100 league goals this season after 29 in their first 11 matches), they’ll be very, very hard to stop.

2) The previous article on Oct 29:

http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/arunpradeep/3389/64020/epl-david-moyes-brings-new-steel-to-everton.html

For the first time in many a meeting with their illustrious cross-town rivals, Everton looked confident and self-assured. The dramatic fall in quality in Liverpool’s line-up over the years also had something to do with it, but David Moyes would tell you it was more of a “mental thing”. Kevin Mirallas was outstanding on the left flank for Everton, and would surely have been Man of the Match had he not be injured just before half-time.

And Luis Suarez. What an utterly compelling whacko.

The guy’s still a cheating bastard, but seems to be one of those who’s at his best when goaded by the opposition.  He was brilliant against Everton. If only he could stop diving and winding people up — but you would’ve lost a matchwinner then.