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Saturday, 29 March 2014

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE: Manchester Derby

Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City 

Belated post........

Was that really Manchester Derby?

Sometimes while watching football, I get a feeling whether losing team ever think in the middle of the game- “that’s it! We can’t do it anymore”.

I never thought United players think like that until last Derby match. So many times in past, we have seen them coming from behind but this time, it was regretfully inconceivable. 

Manchester Derby is the most competitive and popular derby in English premier league. Not only there is a competition to become a king of the Manchester but to dominate the English football. Their level of competition has always made this derby even more enjoyable to watch.

Now things are not same anymore. Since United has no hope of getting into top four this season, the plan was to stop loud neighbours getting 3 points. Draw was something I was looking for. Honestly, looking at how United is performing, I didn’t think United would win anyway. 

So, it was a big rivalry night but United looked really vulnerable from the start. It looked like United has no more winning mentality. It was torture to watch them play like that. Around 80th minutes, I actually started feeling sorry for them.

During last 15 mintues of the game, I knew that was it. The game was over. Then fans started leaving even before the match finished. They were disappointed as me. As the supporters, we always want to see them working hard in the pitch no matter what but City totally controlled game and United looked totally lost. It looked like they didn’t want to play anymore. It was really embarrassing.

I have had enough of complaining and mourning about United players and their games. Still, I choose to disagree that was Manchester Derby game. That was definitely not what we know about it. 

All I can imagine was, Bayern Munich players thinking “This is who we playing next? Lets go to pub for pre-celebration."

Sunday, 23 March 2014

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE: West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United

I really wanted to write a post about the match against Olympiacos but couldn't spare a time. Anyway, it was a great come back for United. Who would have thought that they would turn the game like that? Thanks to our goal scoring machine Van Persie.

So back to Premier League! Since United’s living martyrs Van Persie and Valencia are unfit to play, I was concerned about who Moyes was going to pick and how the team will perform without the main striker. 

Today, when I saw the line-up, I was just happy that Moyes didn’t choose Januzaj and Welbeck to replace Van Persie and Valencia. It was time for Kagawa to shine. I had already forgotten he exists in the squad. So, Rooney replaced Van Persie and Mata took over Rooney's place. I must say it’s a great combination because that position was proved to be an effective position for Mata when he played for Chelsea, but Rooney-Van Persie partnership is just too good to let that place go to someone else. Both of them read each other very well and make great connections. To be honest, I didn’t see much of Mata today. I am just waiting for the day when he will score and make United’s investment worth it. Anyway, nothing to worry about, players have other duties to do in the pitch than just scoring. While Fletcher replaced Carrick, he was pushed down to defending position. I really respect Carrick’s all rounding ability. He is just perfect.

As always, Kagawa was very active and showed his great stamina. Fellaini was better than previous games today but sometimes he is just too slow. He takes the ball, holds it and thinks what he needs to do next. I mean, being United’s player, you have to be quick in decision making. I am also bit concerned about Rafael. He just seems to make too many fouls. However, the boys defended very well. Not to forget our great keeper David De Gea. When Rooney scored one of the best EPL goals till date from half way line, David Beckham and Roy Hodgson smiled from the crowd. Beckham was probably telling his son “I did that too” and Hodgson was probably thinking “I want you to repeat that in World Cup”. I am sure fans around the world took long deep breathe and relaxed a bit. Among them was United boss David Moyes. It was again Rooney who scored second goal and secured the victory. Today was totally his show.

Near to the 80th minutes, Chicharito replaced Rooney and Welbeck replaced Mata. I would have liked another goal by Rooney but I was more excited to see Chicharito playing finally. We hardly see him now days. For me, he is one of the most hard working players in Manchester United. When he is in the game, you see him fully focused for 90 minutes. Something I like about him. I also understand Moyes' plan. Since Van Persie might be ruled out for the rest of the season and we don't know how long Valencia will take to recover, we should save Rooney and Mata for future games. 

It was great to watch United scoring and getting valuable 3 points. Boys didn’t show the fear of not having Van Persie in the team but still as a supporter, you get a feeling that had he been there, it would have been more than 2 goals. Anyway, this was Manchester United’s week. Tremendously happy about it :D

It was easy to choose Man of the match today, of course our dear Wazza!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE: West Brom 0-3 Manchester United

Oh my beautiful God!

It was RVP’s left foot free kick and baby Phil Jones’ heading that opened luck for United today. I always knew Phil Jones is a great player and splendid defender. An asset for both United and England.

Actually, it was hard to spot Van Persie in the pitch before the first goal. He was nowhere to be seen around the goal post (his usual place) and the way he was playing was as if someone had forced him to do that job. Utterly awkward to see him like that. I couldn’t help but wonder if the recent speculation about him losing interest in Old Trafford was true. Then came first yellow card for him. Again, he was close to getting second one. This time, Moyes didn’t want to gamble anymore. He thought it’s better to replace him rather than wait for probable distressful outcome that could make the team down to 10 men. If Chicharito wasn’t injured, he could have been an easy substitute for Van Persie and I knew if Van Persie was going out, Welbeck would come in which I didn’t want. And you know what? My prediction was right. Van Persie was out and Welcome Welbeck!

Van Persie should have been replaced immediately with Valencia but Moyes took time to decide. With Valencia in, Rooney could have taken Van Persie’s place and Mata to Rooney’s, and then Valencia to Mata’s. That’s what I would have done if I were Moyes. However, I kind of understand why Moyes prolonged the decision. United had to get this 3 points anyhow today and without Van Persie, it is mostly impossible.

I seriously didn’t understand what Fellaini was doing there. Kagawa would have been lot better than him but Moyes at some point have to prove that he did right by bringing him all the way from Everton. Still it was good to see Kagawa playing later on.

Anyway, lets not mourn much today. As long as they score, that’s all it matters. Then came a brilliant heading by our highest paid player, Rooney. Thank you Rafael for the great pass. That’s all we care about at the moment. Then Welbeck scored, making it 0-3 :D. So now, I take back all I said earlier. He proved to be a good choice after all.

Final remarks- Defenders did great job today whereas passing between the players still needs improvement. De Gea calmly made few great saves and it’s graceful to see Mata adapting into the team so well giving an indication that he always belonged here. It was hard to choose man of the match today. Mata, Carrick, Rooney or Phil Jones. It’s seriously hard. Let's just give credit to all of them.

So, that is Manchester United playing! That’s what we want to see.

Next week is another big and rivalry match against Liverpool. I would like to see few changes in today’s line up. Mata to left wing and Valencia to right wing, and please choose Kagawa over Fellaini.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Man's search for meaning by Viktor Frankl


Review: 3/5
Man’s search for meaning is the non-fiction book by Dr Viktor Frankl, which features sympathetic dark years of victims of WWII in concentration camp. When I first started reading this book, I was willing to drop it down because every time I read it, tortuous sparks ran through my spines thinking what people had to bear that time. I stopped the book and watched a movie ‘Schindler’s list’. The movie centres on how people were killed at that time whereas book, addition to that, focuses more on how people tried to survive. After a movie, I decided to continue the book. This time, every page of the book I read, picture from the movie flashed on my mind.

The message from the book is similar to a book “Veronica decides to die” by Paulo Coelho. More than a novel, I would like to address this book as a diary of a man who was hanging in the middle of life and death and had an uncertain future. Dr Frankl has explained in his diary how brutal Nazis were and how tolerable they were and how their only way of surviving was a hope that one day they would be freed and would meet their loved ones. 'Hope' and 'love' was what I would call “medicine” to keep them alive from what they were going through. Only those who knew there was a task waiting for them to fulfil were most apt to survive but even with surviving, they had suffered from a mental pressure about possibility of bitterness and delusional lives if they were ever going to return to their former lives.

As explained in the book, majority of the people were dead not because of the severe weather condition, lack of proper food and hard work they had to do but because their hope of returning home didn't happen in their expected time. As author quoted ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way’. The chronic continuous torture but no sign of freedom made their bodies weak and irresistant to disease, and they chose to die.

I heard it from someone long ago that life becomes easier when you have a meaning to live it for. If you look at everyday life, people are always running for something. There is always something and someone in people’s life who they run after and for whose sake they are ready to die. They love something or someone and have hope to achieve that. Dr Viktor Frankl’s eye opening book really made me think about the meaning of my own life. Honestly, I am a kind of person who plans life in advance and try to stick to it no matter what. There may be some delays or disturbance sometimes but things get going. At least that’s what I believe in. Sooner or later you will reach to the life you are longing for. You just shouldn't stop loving and shouldn't lose hope.

I dreamt about what I am doing now long ago. So in a sense, it was my meaning of life at some particular point. You should see life as full of opportunities but these opportunities don’t come themselves. You dream them, create them and love them. When you love them, you see meaning in them. They will be close to you forever and no matter what, you will survive to make them happen.

I think about my life quite a lot. Normally my peers find me different because I have this strange habit of following my dream but if this is the kind of lesson Dr Frankl wants to advocate, I must say I am on right track. When you find the meaning of your life, then only you will enjoy the life, after all, at the end of the day, it comes down to being happy.

My meaning of life is to step my feet across the globe and still prove that I am not tired. I dream about being head of the industry for which I desire to devote my life. I also dream about being a perfect role model for my children. There may be some downtime when things don’t go as you wish and you suffer but you should never give up. Otherwise, all this suffering would have no meaning. In your every suffering, you find some meaning because suffering is one way of learning life. So, moral of the story is: little bit of suffering won’t kill you but will make you stronger. Actually, life without these all would be boring.

You will understand the meaning of your life better if you know that there are two races of men in this world- decent and indecent. You will have to suffer less if you can distinguish them. So finding a meaning is basically, finding something that makes you happy, not bored. I find a meaning when I think that one day in future I will tell my juniors or even my own children or husband - ‘My close friend is working in this field’. I don’t know whether those friends will be Nepalese or German or British or Malaysian or Indian or even Chinese or any other nationality but life would be more interesting with friends from different part of the globe. I dream about me going to different international and national conferences and meet likeminded people in future. We will mainly talk about one single topic at which everyone has majored as if that is the only important thing in this world. I think I will enjoy the most when everyone discusses about what they have discovered new in this topic. I also dream about people typing my name in Google to get huge list of my publications. It would be boring for others but I find meaning in them.

I dream about my co-workers growing up intellectually slowly and steadily under my supervision just like I will see my own children growing up at home. I will probably struggle to manage my work and family time in the beginning but that’s a challenge. Once children are grown up and leave home, I would still have a meaning to live for and something for myself because that's what I love doing and besides, whatever you have experienced, no power on the earth can take from you.

As stated in the book, the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day, from hour to hour. Therefore, more than the meaning of life in general, the specific meaning of the person’s life at the given moment is what it matters. Each situation in man’s life represents a challenge and creates a problem for him to solve. So how will you solve it? The answer is in the book- Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you have acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

HAMBURG, GERMANY

Since days are getting warmer and sunnier in Germany now, I thought it is the right time to gear up my travelling schedule. While the weekdays are too hectic, we decided to use weekends for travelling. This weekend, me and my flatmate decided to visit Hamburg, which is located 91 miles north from Hannover. It is the second largest city in Germany. The good news is, since Hamburg lies within Lower Saxony, the travel cost for students is free. What else do you need? :D

Hamburg has the harbour port on river Elbe, third busiest port in Europe. You cannot go to Hamburg and not see it. So, our first destination was by default Harbour port. The first thing we did was bought day pass called "Hamburg Card", which costs 15.50 Euros for group ticket and 9.50 Euros for single. The group ticket accommodates up to 5 people. So, more people you are, cheaper it is. 

Harbour Port
I always have this strange mentality that sea area is peaceful. Although Hamburg Harbour wasn't that peaceful, I found it cheerful. Whether it was people attracting customers to get into their boats or promoting their restaurants, or just observing people wander around the sea area, the atmosphere had carried its own spirit that flashed the popularity of harbour itself. We easily spent about 2 hours there.  


                                                               
Alter Elbtunnel
Alter Elbtunnel located underneath the Elbe river is one of the main attractions in Hamburg. The entrance of the tunnel was bit scary though. We first had to take stairs down to I don't know how deep it was and it was bit acrophobic as well but I really wanted to see it. I literally had to force my housemate to go there. At the bottom of the stair, is the beginning of this delightful 426 m long tunnel, built in 1911 and is used by pedestrians and cyclists to cross Elbe river from south to the dockyard. The tunnel wasn’t scary anymore. It was like a normal road, with many people and cyclists. I really enjoyed the walk there :).

St. Michael's Church
It is the most popular church in the city. There is a lift but if you want to walk, 452 steps will take you to 132m up to the top of the church from where you can enjoy magnificent panoramic view of whole Hamburg. Visit to the tower costs 5 Euros but if you have Hamburg card, it will get down to 4 Euros. The top of the tower was extra windy and because there were just too many people, it was bit too congested. It was even difficult to take picture but the view was worth it.
St. Michael's Church
Hamburg city from the top of the church

MoMo, MoMo and MoMo
One of the reasons, I was excited about trip to Hamburg was, we had decided to visit Nepalese restaurant and eat Momo. I was missing Momo a lot since coming to Germany. Next to Hamburg central station was located one nice Nepalese restaurant called Himalaya K├╝che. Seriously, it was homely feeling to go there and chat with them. We thought Momo was bit expensive though, 6 Euros for 10 pieces but we managed to negotiate it down to 5 Euros, plus we got free coffee :D. 


Hamburg was a great experience. Somehow I found it bit similar to Berlin apart from the sea. People are very helpful but the only thing I wasn't happy about was the direction. The directions weren't properly guided. Especially in the train station, the most common things like tourist information, toilets and even the platform numbers between S Bahn and U Bahn. You follow it and in the middle, it disappears. You probably have to live bit longer in the area to understand them.