Deja Vu

Almost a year back I had written about the doping scandals that had hit the last year’s Tour De France. And I was hoping this year would be better and cleaner.

But no. Team Cofidis has pulled out due to Cristian Moreni’s doping saga. The doping scandals, like Dementors, loom large over the sport I have come to love so much, ready to suck the soul out of it. Vinokourov is out, along with entire Team Astana, and Kloden. And so is Michael Rasmussen. With Robbie McEwen already out, it’s like all the top contenders out. I think the sport is at the lowest levels of credibility. I do not think I will be watching it any more until something drastic is done. Who wins the Tour remains to be seen, but does anyone really care anymore.

Will this be the final kiss of death for this century old event?


Blog Updates

I have made a few updates on this blog. Some on the administration front (which you can’t see), and some on the presentation front.

There is now an archives page which is the result of an awesome plugin. Do check it out. I am still trying to solve the Hindi fonts thing. Hopefully will be able to sort it. Any comments and feedback welcome.

There is also a live preview of the comments just below the comments field. I need to figure out how to change the colour of the preview font though.

Books Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2)

Some spoilers ahead.

So I am finally done with Deathly Hallows and my verdict. Awesome.

There were so many questions in my mind before reading this book that I thought that all of them could not be answered in a single book. However, I must say that Ms. Rowling has done a fantastic job and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of the best books of the series.

The shocker first. The book does not belong to Harry Potter. It is all about Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore. Yes, Harry does most of the job, but it is Dumbledore and Snape that provide the real meat to the entire story. This is not to take anything away from Harry, Ron, and Hermoine.

The entire story of the brilliant yet enigmatic Dumbledore is poignant. He is a genius, yet human. He is perhaps the best wizard but even he falls to the philosophy of “greater good” for a wrong purpose and his desire for glory. I had this writing on the walls of my school once, “The greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.” And that is what makes him so great. He learns from his mistakes and becomes the champion of people (Muggle) he once scorned. Equally touching is the story f his family.

Snape is altogether a different story. I had almost killed myself thinking why would Dumbledore trust this fellow. But Rowling provides perhaps the most convincing reason. Love. His undying love for Lily and his dedication to saving her last belonging moved me to tears. That one mistake of calling her a Mudblood, him begging Dumbledore to save her, and his insistence that Harry never knows the truth. Very believable and incredibly sad. Would things have turned out different had he been in Gryiffindor? Maybe. It is about choices. Between love for Lily and hatred for James. Between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Between Voldermort and Dumbledore. He sure made some wrong ones initially. But in the end he made the correct choice, a tad bit late though.

The book moves at an incredibly fast pace and still there are a very few loose ends. Rowling almost magically weaves the different threads together that you believe most of what is happening. The wandlore is a slight disappointment to me though. Also, I think I expected a lot more from Prof McGonagall and the Order of the Phoenix.

All in all a very well written piece. One complaint though, Albus Severus, very bad. As rahul said, have two kids instead.

Quote of the book:

You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon. . .

Books Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I got the book yesterday and read for 5 hours at a stretch, and again got up in the morning and read for another hour and a half. I am more than half way through the book and expect to complete the entire book by sometime around midnight today, and will then post a full review.

Meanwhile, Misra has completed reading the book and you might head over to his blog and read his review. Beware though, it contains spoilers. Also, though I had laid my hands on the ebook on Saturday itself, I waited for the actual book to arrive. Did not want to spoil the fun, and thankfully none of my friends messaged any spoilers.


Online Shopping Blues!

I have finally received the book. Shipped in perfect condition, but just a little late. But I have lost faith and I am not ordering important stuff off Indiaplaza.

I hate! Stupid people. Definitely my worst online shopping experience ever. You guys suck! I wish I could Avada Kedavra you.

I had ordered the final edition of Harry Potter some ages back and they have not yet delivered my book . I am furious and angry. On top of all this, they do not take calls, and their support has not been responding since morning.

Also, the last book I had ordered through them – Excel 2003 VBA – was delivered in 17 days. Can you frickin’ imagine that!!

I think I want to kick some ass. But the problem is, whose?

Can someone provide me with any other number to call them on? 080-41303030 does not work.

Indiaplaza has mailed back with the shipping details and it seems that I should be getting the book today. Also, they have sent me a Rs. 100 gift voucher, for filling some feedback form, and I am sure I am going to provide some feedback for the last two books I purchased.