Thursday, December 18, 2008


I love Subway!

There was a time not too long ago, 2-3 years ago to be precise, when I was no great fan of Subway food. I wondered what the big deal about Subway was! After all, they just sold sandwiches. I felt they were over-hyped because they were an American chain and because of the “yuppie” factor associated with “health food” such as sandwiches, suchi etc. Besides, I always found Subway to be overpriced. I mean, 100 bucs for a sandwich…no way!!

But about 2 years ago I got converted! I don’t know exactly when or how I started loving Subway, to the extent that I sometimes get Subway cravings & I’m satisfied only after I get myself a sub!!

My favorites are Chicken Seekh Sub, Subway Melt (turkey, ham & bacon), Italiam B.M.T. (ham, pepperoni & salami) & Spicy Italian (pepperoni & salami). They also have chocolate chip cookies to die for, and they’ve recently introduced rich dark chocolate truffle pastry that they serve hot!!

I absolutely love the Honey Mustard & Southwest sauces.

They also serve breakfast all day, which makes them even more endearing. They have these awesome cheese & egg, ham & egg and bacon & egg subs. Don't you just love to have such breakfast food for dinner or in the middle of the night?

I have still not managed to become a fan of Subway salads, and I doubt I ever will because I generally feel eating salads is a royal waste of time & digestive juices that can be used to digest other far more evolved & delicious forms of food.

The most enjoyable part of having a sub though is getting the sub made as per your specifications. You get to choose the ingredients that go in your sub. I get such happiness once my sub is ready, it’s like I made it myself!!

I think I can have Subway for lunch everyday…..

Sunday, November 23, 2008

David Gray Comes Calling...

I can’t stand to fly

I’m not that naive

I’m just out to find

The better part of me

I’m more than a bird…I’m more than a plane

More than some pretty face beside a train

It’s not easy to be me

I wish that I could cry

Fall upon my knees

Find a way to lie

'bout a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd…but don’t be naive

Even Heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed…but won’t you concede

Even Heroes have the right to dream

It’s not easy to be me

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Do You Have Someone In Your Life You Can Sing This To?

I don't mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay a while
'Coz she will be loved
She will be loved

PS: You can replace the 'girl' with 'boy' & 'she' with 'he' :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Want!!

Christian Louboutin Anemone Pumps

I Like!!

Christian Louboutin, Paris


Is there already a smile on your face or need I say more? J

Remember playing with LEGO when you were a kid? The bright red, yellow, green & blue building blocks that you used to construct towering buildings with? Remember fighting with your siblings for blocks?

I randomly thought of LEGO the other day when I was getting bored at work and logged on to their website. They now make a lot of other toys and even offer online games such as Batman & Star Wars. But the true fun of playing with LEGO was in making buildings with LEGO bricks….the taller the better!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Amar Akbar Anthony Revisited

One of my favorite AB movies is ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’. It’s as masala as a Bollywood movie of the 70s could get!

It’s the story of an ex-convict who must flee his mob boss, leaving his family to fend for themselves. His wife goes blind and he abandons his three sons at a park. They are found and raised separately, the eldest by a Hindu policeman, the youngest by a Muslim tailor, and the middle son by a Catholic priest. The Hindu-raised son (Vinod Khanna) grows up to become a policeman; the Muslim-raised son (Rishi Kapoor) becomes a tailor-cum-singer; and the Catholic-raised son (AB) becomes a happy-go-lucky local goon. Years later, they meet again at a hospital where they are all donating blood to the same woman. Following this reunion, they find their respective lady loves and their lives become entangled in a series of hilarious coincidences & furious action sequences interspersed with songs. In the end, the blinded mother recovers her sight, the evil mob boss is punished, and the family is re-united.

Can you get more masala than this?

My favorite scene in the movie is the fight scene between AB & Vinod Khanna inside a hut. Everyone thinks AB, being the goon that he is, would be beating Vinod Khanna to a pulp, but the latter comes out with AB hung over his shoulder.

All the actors have done a marvelous job in the movie. I loved AB’s portrayal of a Catholic hooligan & Rishi Kapoor for his charm & affability.

I like all the songs in the movie but my favorites are ‘Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyar Kya Karen’, which is a happy love song that puts a smile on my face every time I hear it, ‘My name is Anthony Gonsalves’, a peppy fun song, and the title song where the three brother are trying to rescue their lady loves from the clutches of the evil Robert.....Kickass!!

I have seen the movie countless times – the latest being this past weekend – and love it every time I watch it. Hats off to AB & Manmohan Desai, who is as instrumental in the making of Amitabh Bachchan as Yash Raj are to the making of Shahrukh Khan.

Friday, September 5, 2008

War of the Worlds

So which do you like more….Cricket or Football?

Ask any self-respecting lover of both games & they’ll look at you as if you’ve asked them the most forbidden question of all times.

Their quandary is understandable too….for a person who loves both the games, choosing one over the other would be as difficult as choosing between coke & heroine (not that I have done either but going by their popularity, I’m assuming they give comparable kicks).

I started watching cricket about 12-13 years ago. For the wrong reasons of course! The reason being Ajay Jadeja. Probably like every other teenaged girl at that time. I say wrong reason not because of the match-fixing controversy he got embroiled in (unfortunate as it was, it didn’t take away an iota from his talent)….but because when I look back on it now, I feel it’s always a shame to start watching a game for a particular player. After all, no player can be bigger than the game. But then again, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. That is why we have “stars”.

Gradually I got addicted to cricket, much to the chagrin of my mother who, like all mothers, was worried about her daughter failing the tenth boards. I started understanding the game, and today I can have a conversation over cricket with any guy.

My favorite team, apart from India of course, was South Africa. Unusual choice, I know. But then, they had Jonty Rhodes!! And Hansie Cronje. It was really disappointing when Cronje got implicated in the match fixing case too, and even more sad when he died in a plane crash. South Africans were the perfect “gentlemen” playing the “gentleman’s game”.

I didn’t like England because they have been thanda for as long as I can remember. They were responsible for the genesis of the game but they lost it somewhere along the way.

Didn’t…and to this day I don’t like the Australians because they are too aggressive & virulent, except for a few players like Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee - among the ones I have grown up watching.

Then I moved to the US for college and lost touch with cricket. When I returned, I realized I had very little left of my old love for the game.

UNTIL Twenty20 happened!

That got me right back where the action was. The world is full of doubters but I feel T20 is the best thing to have happened to cricket since one-day cricket was invented & it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Then came the IPL that put India right in the center of the cricketing map. These are glorious days for Indian cricket. The sun is shining on India and any player who is worth even a dollar is wallowing in it! Wonder what the English have to say about what the world has done to the game that was literally THEIR “baby”, and that they took with them wherever they went. They must have spent considerable time thinking up the game, and even more time & resources teaching people across their colonies how to play it! It’s like having a child that you have given birth to and raised as a conservative for 20-30-40 years, and one fine day some outsider comes along and changes her/him into a hippie overnight!!!!

I got initiated into football as a kid. I remember kicking the ball around with my dad in our huge green lawn when I was all of 2 feet tall. Then life took over….I got caught up with studies, we moved, we lost the football somewhere in the process & a new one never made it home. I have no subsequent football memories.

Years later I rediscovered my love for the game. And I loved it for the right reasons. For the sheer beauty of it. For the skills required to hold on to the ball & score a goal.

Football is pure skill and stamina, whereas cricket is more about precision. It’s like the tiff between the head & the heart. Cricket is played from one’s head….keep a cool head, keep your eyes on the ball, try to get inside the head of the bowler & guess what kind of ball he’s going to throw next etc.

Whereas football is ALL heart. Just go out there & play. Give it all you’ve got. Pass, dribble, block. Do whatever it takes to score!

Football requires skill which is mostly innate & not often acquired. What can be acquired is honing the skill. Take for example, the Brazilians & Argentines. Every child in these countries grows up playing football on the streets. That’s what they know and they are brilliant at it! If you look at the way Ronaldinho, Kaka, Ronaldo, Robinho, Messi, Riquelme etc. play….or the way Maradona & Pele played….you HAVE to agree that they were born with it. It can’t be purely acquired.

Cricket, on the other hand, is learnt. You can learn to put bat to ball, you can learn to think like the bowler who is bowling to you. I think one is born to be a footballer but I’m not sure if one can be born to be a cricketer.

So I like football for (not necessarily in this order) :

• The beauty of the game
• The moments when goals are scored
• The brilliant passes
• The tenacity and athleticism of the players
• The hysteria it generates
• Brazil
• Kaka
• Cristiano Ronaldo
• Fabio Cannavaro
• David Beckham’s free kick (and his drop-dead gorgeous looks, of course!)
• Manchester United
• And most importantly, the memories it brings back of my dad teaching me how to dribble in our lush green lawn, of picking me up every time I fell and scraped my knee, of asking me if I had ever seen a tiger cub cry when it got hurt….

Notice I haven’t mentioned Zinedine Zidane. But then, you can’t touch him. He’s right up there with the Gods, that’s how talented & blessed the man is. Is it possible not to love a game that has given the world a Zinedane Zidane?

This post is more a labor of love than a post on cricket or football. It has been as emotionally satisfying to write as it is to think back of the times my dad taught me to play ball.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bang On!!

Al Ries, one of the most prominent marketing gurus, who along with Jack Trout coined the term ‘positioning’ as we use in marketing today wrote in one of his books on branding that a second brand can enter the market and gain share by staying far away from the leader in terms of mind space, or by taking an opposite positioning.

Perhaps ITC borrowed a leaf from his book when they were working out the positioning strategy for their packaged snack brand, Bingo!

While Lays was selling its American Sour Cream & Onion and Spanish Tomato flavors, Bingo! was positioned with its Indian flavors such as Tandoori Paneer, Tikka, Spice Paneer etc. We all know how the North Indian market (in fact, all of India except the South) loves all things Punjabi. And to appease the South Indian market, Bingo! had flavors such as Chatkila Nimbu Achaar, Achari Masti etc. In fact, Bingo! comes in 16 flavors to cater to the taste buds of different regions of India.

Bingo!’s advertising follows the AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). The clutter-breaking ads with their slapstick humor and irrelevant themes garnered enough eyeballs to create awareness of the product and generate an interest towards the product in the minds of consumers. The ads are simply insane & nonsensical to the point of being bizarre & utter crap. And that is why they are so funny!! This resulted in high product trials.

Take for instance the Glad Bangles ad with the Caucasian model complaining about her life being so pathetic that even her cat walked out on her!!

Or the one where the scientists at the Bingo Mad Labs issue a pregnancy certificate after feeding you Bingo! Mad Angles. The procedure, the ad claims, to test whether you are pregnant is fast, simple and painless. The scientists will offer you Bingo Achaari Masti, and if you are driven crazy by the tangy "achaari" taste of the snack & chase the scientists for more, then congratulations you have tested positive!!

Or the one where a guy says he has tried his hands at making a combination of his lazy brother Jignesh & a toaster!!! Posing for a family poster, Jignesh jumps up in the air even before the photographer could click. In another shot, his girlfriend gets the shock of her life as he springs up from his motorcycle leaving her alone on the running vehicle. These incidents lead the guy to conclude that unlike Bingo’s Mad Angles combination, his combination was a failure.

There are many other attention-grabbing Bingo! ads such as the Vango Pango ad etc. but what's interesting is the fact that Lays uses a brand ambassador approach with mass appeal celebrities such as Saif Ali Khan, Juhi Chawla & M S Dhoni whereas Bingo still doesn't have an ambassador. Finding one that can match its image would be quite a task!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Branding in the shampoo segment

It has been seen in the fast moving consumer goods category that brands that focus on projecting one or two aspects of brand imagery have been more successful than those that try to stand for too many things. The latter end up with a diffused imagery, therefore losing out on brand registration & recall in the minds of consumers.

Take for example 3 of the leading brands of shampoos in India – all in the premium category.

Proctor & Gamble’s brand of shampoo, Pantene, has harped on ‘shine’ through its communication, most recently through its ‘Shine Pantene’ campaign. As a result, the moment someone says Pantene, one thinks of shiny hair.

At the same time, Garnier Fructis has adopted the extreme imagery route, the focus being on ‘strong hair’. In their ‘If you want it long, it’s got to be strong’ campaign, the models wear unrealistic hair & are shown breaking objects that their hair gets tied to, rather than the hair giving way. It’s far-fetched but it works with the audience as suggested by the sales of the brand.

On the other hand, ITC’s Fiama di Wills shampoo has a very diffused imagery in the market. Their proposition is ‘gentle yet effective…through a combination of nature & science…for a beautiful you…today, tomorrow’. There are too many things they try to say through their communication. As a result, the ads have failed to register with the audience & trigger brand recall.


An interesting piece of trivia about shampoos…transparent shampoos are not accepted as much by Indian consumers as opaque (non-transparent) shampoos. This is the reason there are only two transparent shampoos available in the Indian market – Pantene Lively Clean & Garnier Fructis Oil Repair – while the rest are all opaque. The misconception among Indian consumers is that opaque shampoos produce a higher amount of lather as compared to transparent shampoos, and therefore clean better.


An interesting insight into the marketing strategy of Proctor & Gamble (P&G)….P&G plays only in the premium segment of the market, at least in India. They have concentrated only on 7-8 brands in the Indian market - Pantene, Olay, Head & Shoulders, Ariel, Vicks, Pampers, Whisper to name a few - all of them in the premium segment. Rejoice is the only P&G brand that is present in the economy segment while Tide plays in the mid-value segment. HUL, on the other hand, operates across all price segments.

Given that India is such a price-sensitive market, P&G’s strategy has been to wait for HUL & other FMCG companies to develop the premium segment in India, before they launch their own brand in the segment, so that there is already a market for premium products & the chances of their brand facing rejection are low.

For instance, Head & Shoulders was introduced into the Indian market immediately after HUL came out with it’s Clinic All Clear range of shampoos (not to be confused with Clinic Plus that straddles the mid-value & economy segments). Pringles was introduced after Pepsico had already created a market for Lays range of potato wafers. Olay was introduced after L'Oreal & Garnier had introduced various enhanced face creams in India. Similarly, Ariel was introduced to compete with Surf Excel.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Phelps, The Phenomenon

  • Michael Phelps was just 11 when his coach Bob Bowman called in his parents to tell them the boy could become an Olympic champion if he just applied himself

  • His policeman father Fred & school teacher mother Debbie separated when he was only 7. Elder sister Whitney, also a swimmer, has written that she used the swimming pool as a refuge from the yelling

  • Phelps' physique is perceived to be his greatest advantage. He's got broad shoulders coupled with a huge torso tapering down to small hips & strikingly short legs - a combination that provides minimum resistance under water

  • Unlike most people, Phelps also has an extraordinarily long arm reach, with his arm span about 3 inches longer than his 6 ft 4 inch height. This means he has extra long "oars" to propel a shorter body through the water

  • When Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe said he did not think anyone could win eight races at a single Olympics, Phelps memorised the quote to motivate him for Beijing

  • Phelps' underwater turn is supposed to be his signature style - he tends to go down deeper to the wall than other swimmers, performs a dolphin kick & rockets back to the surface, leaving the other swimmers behind

  • While most swimmers tend to specialize in one or two events, Phelps has entered eight races in Beijing

  • Phelps averaged 75km a week in training & took not more than 4 days off in the four years leading up to the Athens Olympics in 2004, none of them holidays

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nothing short of fabulous

Abhinav Bindra wins the Gold for INDIA in the men's 10m air rifle event. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, BABY!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Starbucks Success Story

The original Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971 as a store that sold coffee beans & equipment. In 1983 Howard Schultz joined the company and after a trip to Milan, advised the founders that the company should start selling coffee as well as coffee beans.

His idea was rejected by the three founders as they thought that getting into the beverage business would distract them from their primary business which was to sell coffee beans. However, Schultz believed that there was enormous opportunity to sell coffee to ‘pressed-for-time-on-the-go-Americans’ and he started his own chain of coffee shops called ‘Il Giomale’. Subsequently, the founders of Starbucks sold their chain to Schultz, who re-branded the consolidated business as Starbucks.

Starbucks then experimented with food but realized that it had to contend with high materials cost and stiff competition from low-price fast food chains such as McDonalds, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts etc. that also sold coffee. So they decided to shift their focus back to coffee and started the process of re-branding.

Rather than communicating a set of images that Starbucks wished to stand for, they adopted the ‘Experiential Branding’ route where they tried to create an atmosphere inside their stores that would not only draw people to the store but also make them linger and return. They decided to spend very little on advertising & instead create a brand image through their stores. They made the following changes to their stores:

1. They discontinued the use of pre-ground coffee as grinding of whole coffee beans within the store would add aroma to the store

2. Smoking was prohibited inside stores & employees were asked to refrain from wearing strong perfumes as the smell of smoke & strong perfumes was believed to adulterate the aroma of coffee

3. They introduced the concept of “Coffee of the Day” as well as seasonal beverages such as ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ (served around Halloween) & ‘Eggnog Latte’ & ‘Christmas/Holiday’ blend of coffee that is sold during the Christmas season

4. They introduced Starbucks ice-cream for coffee lovers who also loved ice-creams & Frappucinos (sealed bottles of cold coffee)

5. They introduced the concept of the “Third Space” – the space besides home & work. This essentially meant that people could spend time at Starbucks outlets studying, working on their laptops, writing, reading, meeting friends, holding formal meetings etc. They were not kicked out of the stores or the bill thrust in their faces as soon as they finished their cup of coffee (unlike in Indian coffee shops)

6. The store format varied depending on the location of the store…downtown buildings, college campuses, shopping centers, bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Borders etc. The stores had fireplaces, leather chairs & couches for those who wanted to lounge & tables with hard-backed chairs for those who wanted a more structured environment to study/work etc.

7. Starbucks began selling special Jazz & Blues CDs, which in some cases were special compilations that had been put together for the company to use as background music inside its stores. The idea for selling the CDs originated with a Starbucks store manager who had worked in the music industry and selected the new "tape of the month" Starbucks played as background in its stores. Customers liked what they heard & started expressing a desire to purchase those CDs. The Starbucks CDs thus became a significant addition to the company's product line.

8. Employees would know the names of the regular customers along with their order, INCLUSIVE of the “decaf venti 0% no-whip no-foam extra-hot extra-cocoa mocha” bit

For a person that loves Coffee, Starbucks indeed is a God-sent. Once exposed to Starbucks & the likes, the coffee shops in India seem to be a sham!!

Think I'll leave you with these. "Drink" for thought? :p

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Apple Story

We know Apple for it’s Macintosh computers (lovingly called ‘The Mac’), iPods, iTunes and iPhones.

Apple iPods stand out from the other brands in their respective categories because of their style - the lovely vibrant colors accompanied by a white wire connecting the earphones to the gadget - that has become a signature of the brand.

Just a little bit of history about Apple first. In the mid-80s, one of the co-founders of Apple, Steve Jobs, was asked to resign from the company as a result of an internal power struggle between him and the new CEO John Sculley. The board of directors of the company sided with Sculley & Jobs was asked to leave. After his departure in 1985, Apple’s stocks started plummeting, partly because Apple had two incompatible platforms that it was selling to different sections of consumers and partly also because IBM was making its presence felt stronger in the PC market. After twelve years, in 1997, Jobs was asked to join back the company as CEO, a position he serves in till the present.

Steve Jobs took a number of steps to get Apple back to the position it was at. Apart from strategic moves such as tying up with Microsoft software (rather than trying to compete with Microsoft), he also re-designed the Apple products and the company’s marketing, communications & branding strategy. Thus Apple came up with the transparent, brightly colored iMac computers, and more recently the pink, green, orange, yellow, red, blue iPods!

The re-designing of the products was not just to make the product stand out on shelves. It was more a result of understanding & segmenting the consumers. And indeed, today there are two types of consumers – there are the Apple consumers & the Dell-IBM kind of consumers.

So what does Apple stand for today? It stands for simplicity, user-friendliness, style, personalization & “coolness”. Apple isn’t about the latest technology in computers, phones & music players, and yet it has changed the way people listen to music or use their phones & PCs!

Apple is about people having fun, and their advertising campaign too is in line with this image. Take for example these print ads. Simple & fun!

Another very interesting concept Apple has adopted, that has borrowed right from the heart of Experiential Branding, is that of the Apple stores. They created these stores because the kind of brand experience they wanted customers to experience was not possible at third party retail outlets. The interiors of Apple stores are completely white, and they have something called the ‘Genius Bar’ where Apple “geniuses” help you repair your iPod/iPhone. The layout of the Genius Bar is like a bar – it has bar stools where the Apple “geniuses” sit with you while fixing your gadget & in case they can’t fix it on the spot, they call the Apple service center using red phones – an allusion to the Cold War between the United States & Soviet Union before the latter disintegrated, when red telephones were used for confidential, top level talks between the heads of the two countries.

So Apple has tried to create this “cool” image among its customers which, along with the revised product line, has done wonders for the company.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Two best friends, a boy & a girl, who spend ALL their time together, can't live without each other, yet do not know they are in love. In fact, they vehemently deny being in love with each other whenever someone suggests they are. That's one of the most common, hackeneyed & done-to-death story lines in Bollywood, idn't it? The first movie that comes to mind is Karan Johar's 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' (gag!)

However, what separates Jaane Tu...from the other movies made on this subject is the way the movie has been handled by debutant director Abbas Tyrewala. There's no over-the-top melodrama as we saw in KJo's movie. The story has been handled in a straight-forward, youthful manner with TONS of humor and college banter. Sweet (I hate the word 'cute'), funny and most of all, REFRESHING are the words I would use to describe the movie.

As for the lead actors, I don't find Imran Khan all that cute but he's a package deal. He can act reasonably well and has good comic timing. Maybe he'll go the Aamir Khan way, playing the "romantic chocolate hero" before carving out a niche for himself as a "thinking actor", for he surely can act. Genelia might not fit the bill of the conventional Hindi movie heroine (she's too much of a pao for that, no offense to my pao friends :) but is quite apt to play a college-goer.

I haven't stopped singing 'Kabhi Kabhi' & 'Pappu can't dance' since I saw the movie last night. Especially 'Kabhi Kabhi'...I don't remember the last time a Hindi movie song had the name of the protagonist in its lyrics, showing how customized the song is to the situation in the movie. And ofcourse, there's A R Rehman's music! It's lilting, catchy & flows perfectly with the mood of the movie. Good stuff.

I think the last time I left the theater with a smile on my face that came from the heart was after watching Jhankaar Beats. I've watched funny, even hilarious movies since then but none that has put me in such a mellow yet happy frame of mind.

The movie isn't college-goer nonsense that only college going kids would enjoy. It's a movie that can be watched & loved by people of all ages. Irrespective of whether you had that one special friend in college, you would still identify with the movie because it's also about friendships. It'll make you call/SMS your closest friends to tell them how much you love them. It surely made me do that!

One more thing I loved about the movie was the shots of Bombay. I ABSOLUTELY love movies that are shot in Bombay, Life in A Metro being a case in point. Jaane Tu...had Marine Drive, Bandstand, Bandra Fort, Asiatic Library & the Fort area all through. Places I've spent 5 years hanging out at.

Watch the movie if you haven't yet. It's worth it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We love you, Roger...

...for the game you play...for your elegance...for your class...for your sportsmanship...for your spirit...for the respect you have for your contemporaries...for your magic on court...for being ROGER FEDERER

Lionheart tames The King

The commentator, at the end of the marathon 5-set Wimbledon Men's 2008 Final between Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal, said "What we have witnessed here tonight is something very special, very extraordinary..."

His words couldn't have been more apt. After five successive Wimbledon Championships, Federer had to hand the cup over to Nadal. We all love Roger. It was very sad to see him lose last night, but throughout the match I was supporting Nadal...because he has always been touted as a player that can win only on slow clay surfaces. He was perceived not to possess the calibre to win on grass, and we've read enough about how much he wanted to win on grass. But the bigger reason I wanted Nadal to win was because he has worked really hard on his game on grass & the way he was playing yesterday, he totally deserved to win. Not that Roger deserved it any less. He's a player of a different class altogether but Nadal gave him a fight on every ball.

Yesterday, while Nadal held the champion's trophy, Federer held the runners-up trophy. Am not sure when Federer saw himself holding the runners-up trophy last!

What's extraordinary is the respect the two players have for each other. While Federer said that Nadal was a deserving champion, here's what Nadal said about his great rival :

"Well, it is disappointing for me I am in the same time as the best player in history, Roger Federer.

...I just congratulate Roger, because he always fights unbelievably

I lost the last two finals, close finals. But he's still the number one. He's still the best. He's still five times champion here."

If watching Federer & Nadal stand side-by-side on Center Court, holding trophies that the other generally holds, and reading the words above didn't touch your heart and put you in a mellow mood, I don't know what would.