A tribute to
By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
A characteristic shuffle across the stump and a wristy paddle to fine leg off, ironically, Glenn McGrath for a single saw Brian Charles Lara charter his path into cricketing unknown in the early morning hours of the 26th of November 2005.
It meant that Lara moved on to 214 not out and thus became the highest individual run scorer in cricketing history. The paddle which fetched him his 11, 175th run in a career spanning 15 years saw the man from the tiny village of Santa Cruz in Trinidad establish his reputation on top of the cricketing world.
In a long and controversial career that is fast approaching its end, Lara has amazed and disappointed in equal measure. That is the beauty and charm of Lara. The fact that he could be so immortal and yet, so flawed at the same time.
Let us therefore take a moment and toast the achievement of a man who has done so much and who has provided us with so many cricketing highlights in the last fifteen years.
For better or worse, Lara's cricketing career has reached its eve.
There can be no denying that he has, above all else, provided us with entertainment we so crave.
Whether we liked it or not is a different matter altogether.
As for me, I had the time of my life.
Why do we find fictional characters so alluring? Is it for their personality or their enormous might? Is it the many gifts that they're bestowed with, that make them extraordinary? Whatever the reason, we still find them more interesting than real people. Speaking of which, they always seem to lead parallel but completely different lives from us. And of course another factor that deviates them from us is that they got more style. When it comes to vehicles, it's no exception. They know how to ride in style. Here's a look at some of the awesome vehicles that make sure superheroes stay punctual. I know loads of guys who'd go head over heels for a Mazda RX or a Porsche GT. I wonder what they'd do for these babies.
First up is that 70's van from Scooby-Doo. Freddy, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby sum up one of the best crime solving groups back in the 70's. The before they bought the Mystery-Machine, it belonged to a pop band. The band eventually flopped and had to sell their tour van for a minimal price. The fledgling investigators were more than glad to purchase it. Since then this van has been a part of the team. Be it a haunted mansion or an eerie farmhouse the Mystery-Machine trekked with them everywhere on 70 mph. The team really wouldn't be complete without it.
Ah, the old Turtle-Van. Owned by NY's only crime fighting ninja reptilian quartet, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It originally belonged to hotshot Channel 6 reporter April O'Neil, but she gave it to the turtles after she joined them in their fight against crime. They then painted the van yellow and put a turtle shell on the bonnet (I hope it didn't come from any of their backs). It serves as an excellent means of transportation for the turtles and a fast way to get away from Shredder and his Foot Clan.
One of Reed Richards most prized inventions, The FantastiCar is fantastic. No. Honestly, it's sort of weird. It's a flying car, but unlike any other car with a single large compartment for all the passengers it has four separate compartments, makes more space for Ben Grimm though. The four modules that make up the whole thing can even fly separately. Mr. Fantastic sits in the front, Invisible Woman in the back with the Thing and the Human Torch on either side. The Fantasticar looks nice since it has an innovative design.
The Batmobile has to be the best fictional vehicle ever in terms of design and function. Though the 60's Batmobile was a disappointment. The ones featured in the Batman animations and first two and the latest movies were awesome. The one in the 90's animation was extremely stylish with an extended bonnet and a two-seater body way in the back. It was later on turned into Bruce Wayne's limousine in Batman Beyond. The Batmobile in Tim Burton's movies was nice too, they emphasized a lot on thrust and shielding. The Batmobile in the new Batman Begins movie however had an aesthetic design resembling raw power, to hell with the Hummer.
The Invisible Jet
Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet plane. Before the 1980's WW couldn't fly and since girls and cars just don't go that well, she decided to get an ancient Amazonian jet plane (???). The best thing about this aircraft is that it has an awesome cloaking device, which allows you to only see the outlines of the craft and the person piloting it.
In other words it's an invisible jet bordered with white lines that reveals WW wearing kinky clothes and getting high from all the G-force. It also has a formidable weapons array including tail firing plasma cannons. After DC gave WW the power of flight she ditched this dandy jet. But the jet came back in Justice League the animation where it wasn't invisible and again in Justice League Unlimited where it was really invisible and didn't reveal the pilot. This Jet can hit the highest speed of mach10 (the speed of light).
The Millennium Falcon
This is space-pirate Han Solo's ship. A YT-2400 model made by the Corellian Engineers Corporation, especially designed for smugglers. The ship is 21 meters long but carries a lot more cargo than it's suppose to (150 metric tons to be precise), all the better for Han and Chewbacca. The ship has two laser cannon turret pods on the right side with one facing the front and the other defending the tail. It has an excellent design with two escape pods, one adjacent to the cockpit and the other in the middle of the center saucer. The ship can go for hyper-drive in other words travel faster than light with powerful ion engines.
In the beginning there was only one X-Jet. Now Professor Xavier somehow managed to gather some more. Soon there'll be an X-Squadron just to fly these mean machines. The X-Men use the X-Jet to fly around the world and kick major evildoer buttock. The original X-Jet was a model of the Black Bird, which was modified into the current X-Jet. With missiles racked in the bottom and each wing of the ship this aircraft can easily take out a dozen of JSF or F-22s in one strike, even though it's less maneuverable in a dogfight. If it wasn't for Star Wars I'm sure Stan Lee would've named this the X-Wing.
Unlike any other superhero transport this one is a surfboard. It's not just any other surfboard. It's an intergalactic-surfboard and it belongs to the Silver Surfer (imagine a metallic bald nude guy who doesn't have a reason to wear clothes or the Oscar guy statue guy only in silver). Before he was Silver-Surfer, Norin Radd used dream of surfing the vast void of space like a godlike entity. After the planet devouring Galactus attacked his home world and made him his warrior he gave Radd the powers he dremt of as a child. Recently the Surfer started surfing the skies of earth and fighting crime alongside superheroes like the Fantastic Four.
It's obvious, Superman's bike. Now why the hell would Superman need a bike? I mean he can fly for crying out loud, you say. But that's only on earth. Remember the last city of Krypton, Argo City? Well, they still have the red sun. Superman doesn't have superpowers under the red sun. So when the last son of Krypton goes to the last city of Krypton, he's always late for work. That's why he gets the Super-Bike. It's a cross between Cloud Strife's bike and Kaneda's, but better than both. And with the new costume of his, black and red with metal gears, Supes will put any biker to shame.
Last but not the least the Radical Squadron's jet, the Turbo-Cat. The Swat Kats built this plane out of scrap they got from the Enforcers'. With a sleek design and three afterburners like the Euro-Jet this baby hits a top speed of mach5. It also has added shielding facilities, which come in handy when it goes to space. The Turbo-Cat always survives in any battle, what with array of state of the art weaponry it's sure to. There are bikes for both T-bone and Razor in a compartment under the cockpit. The whole aircraft is a beauty.