Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oops... They Did It Again

A lot of credit must go to Team India... It MUST take a lot of planning, preparation along with dollops of "experiments" to lose and keep losing. Even better is the Ostrich-with-head-in-sand mentality of not learning from ones stupendous "experiment" failures and keep redoing the same thing again and again. (Maybe the Indian team is secretly endorsing Microsoft Windows, where if for some reason, something doesnt work, closing all your windows and restarting your PC, and redoing the operation solves the problem.)

The BCCI should probably provide Sehwag and Sehwag ki Maaji with Lifetime free calling cards, so that Sehwag can make calls to Maaji in the free time that he gets between Overs 5 and 50 (since he is usually back in the pavilion by then)

To Irfan Pathan, it would be a good time to ask for a hike in his next Performance Appraisal. Tell BCCI: "Yaar, you chaps want me to bat. You want me to bowl. I am doing the work of Sehwag and myself in each match. I want a 100% hike. Nahi toh, I have a very good offer from New Zealand to join their team..." Probably, then Dravid and Chappell can sit with Irfan and give him some gajars... "Dekh beta, you have a very good future in front of you. Wait it out a little bit, and we will send you onsite to Nepal to learn wicket-keeping. It will be a good skill addition to your already impressive resume."

The Indian selectors want to put out fast moving fielders on the field in ODIs so that runs can be saved. Hence, apna Very Very Special Laxman is Very Very Sad. Last heard, he was trying out for the Prabhu Deva Dance Troupe and the Indian Athletics squad, in the hope of finding the flexibility and speed required for the modern One Day game. What happens to batting and bowling, you ask!!! How dare you?

Mumbaicha Mulga, Ramesh Powar must be feeling like someone who goes from an Indian IT company to work for Microsoft. From the big fish in a small pond (Mumbai) to a small fish in a big pond (Team India), must have been a real culture shock for him. Last heard:
Ramesh: "Deva re Deva... Mee chal-lo Mumbaila... Ithe kantal yete mala... Drinks gheun jaycha hota tar mee Pepsi kinvha Coca Cola chya field manager aslo hoto..."(I am going to Mumbai... Im bored... If I only had to carry drinks, I might as well have become a field manager with Pepsi or Coca Cola.) Vroom...Vroom... Is that a truck I hear in the background? And is that Ramesh at the wheel???

The selection policy of the BCCI is really skewed. They have a host of young, promising openers like Robin Uthapa and Shikhar Dhawan to choose from. Yet, they pick a Sehwag, who didn't score any runs in the earlier matches and then in the last game before selection, went and scored a patient 65 to retain his place in the team. They drop Ramesh Powar, who has performed well for India in the limited time that he has gotten and is a known fighting player for Mumbai, who always gives it his all. For the No. 3 slot, they would rather have a bowler go and slog, while we have class batsmen like VVS and apna Dada available, with all their class and experience. They left out Sreesanth for the Champions Trophy for whatever reasons best known to them only. They left out our best bowler, Anil Kumble after lablelling him a Test player, when he could have used his experience and talent to keep one end bottled up and the pressure on the opposition. And if you wanted a class wicket-keeper batsman, you only have to look at Ambati Rayadu, who has been the Junior Team captain for India.

On CNN-iBN, I heard Raj Singh Dungarpur say that Dada is finished and he is just hanging around too long. I think one should remind Mr. Dungarpur that his blue eyed boy, Dravid was considered a very poor One Day player and he has managed to resurrect his game and reach where he is. For the comment that they need good, fit fielders in the team, which is the reason why VVS is out, one must remind them that irrespective of the modern game, its the batting and bowling skills that come first. And mind you, VVS is a very good slip fielder and a boundary runner.

I do feel that there are a lot of personal biases at work, but that's just me. With all due respect to Dravid, which isn't much from my side, the nucleus of probably the best team that India had (World Cup of 2003 and the Australia Test series of 2003), was laid by Dada. And today, Dada is paying the price for taking on the higher authorities, trying to remove the regional bias from the game and backing players he believed in. Alright, he might be a bit out of form, but as I always believe, you are always only an innings away from greatness...

For all of this, whichever way it goes, win or lose, maine apne Dada ki baat sun li and there will be only 1 team I support: Team India...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Passion...

"In Sport, there is fear and there is passion. I chose not to be afraid. I chose passion. If I had been afraid, I would have made mistakes. I chose not to be afraid of failure. I was calm and composed then and I knew what needed to be done and I was taught to do it. I wanted to share with the world the grace and beauty of Gymnastics..."
- Li Xiaoshuang, Olympic Gold Medallist of 1996.

While channel surfing between the India-WestIndies game tonight, I came across this show called "Difference" on ESPN. Amazing...

The show was a profile of Li Xiaoshuang, an Olympic Gold Medallist from China in the field of Gymnastics. It truly was an amazing show and I felt wonderful seeing it. I even remarked to my mother: "Maa, see how we spend 60 seconds watching a routine and consider it regular and these people spend their entire life in pursuit of that perfection."

Amazing...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What A Wonderful Finish :)

To top the day off, India managed to experiment it's way to victory. And dinner with Shru rounds off an amazing day :)

Tonight I was reminded of the time when I used to walk around with 10 bucks in my pocket and feel I had everything in the world :) Drink ganna juice off the streets, masala soda from the railway canteens and just live life happily :) Those were the good old days... Walking upto the Sardambal temple, then the OLPS church and saying silent prayers... Tonight all those old memories came back, as I again walked down the road... "Somethings don't change, somethings do change" is a conversation I had had someday in the past...

I asked myself what has changed? Does money matter? Hell yeah it does. It's nice to have money... But have I really changed because of it? Not a bit. While I can afford to walk with a little more than 10 bucks in my pocket today, I don't feel inclined to drink scotch instead of ganna juice or beer instead of masala soda... I still don't follow the norms or conventions that I am supposed to... All I can say is that I am very thankful to the God above for whatever I have and all that I have been through... I treat life as a lesson to be learnt and improvements to be made at every step... So far so good...

Ya, what has changed is that now I feel it is time to make things count. This is because, professional success isn't guaranteed, just because you are good. There are a lot of variables and quality of work is just one of them. The work part is easy. Any person can work hard and become good. It is the rest that determines how high a person can reach.

But, as always, I take comfort tonight in the words of my 10th standard teacher, Mrs. Lasrado. She told us before our 10th Board Exams: "Boys, in life everything evens out." Whenever I lose faith in myself, that is the advice I turn to.

Anyways, whatever happens, happens. Come what may... I shall play the Game of Life with all I have. Win or lose.... let's see where I land up... But as some words I have put up on my work desk say: "A good project is like a boxing match. Always aim to finish stronger than you started."

That is all I am aiming for and amen to that :)

Happy 23rd Birthday to me... :)

It's A Beautiful Day

I have woken up today with the song "Beautiful Day" by U2 playing in my head :)

None better than the words of Ozzy God to express how I feel today :)

Stanza I
I've been the king, I've been the clown
Now broken wings can't hold me down
I'm free again
The jester with the broken crown
It won't be me this time around
To love in vain

Stanza II
And the weather's looking fine
And I think the sun will shine again
And I feel I've cleared my mind
All the past is left behind again

And to round it up, some lines from the melodious song Aadat by Jal :)

Zindagi se koi shikwa
Bhi nahin hai
Ab toh zinda hoon mein is neelay aasman mein

It's a beautiful day... :)

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

- Bob Dylan

A Night For Prayer

Tonight my prayers are with Periappa and Anshum...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Amma

It's my mom's birthday :) Truly going to be one of the happiest days of my life :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What Society?

I was talking with Omi a few days back about the issue of women getting married early and generally about the practice of marriage - the dynamics in the relationship, the respect factor and the impact of societal views. We talked broadly, without going into details, about the situations that exist today in some places. We basically agreed on many points, though there were a few points of disagreements.

My views are a bit stubborn and if anyone feels they are better off not reading them, Id recommend them to stop now to avoid any misinterpretation or accusations of malice.

I have seen women getting married straight out of Engineering school. While I am not questioning someone's choices, it makes me wonder about a few things. I have known girls who had marriage on their minds, even as we were in Engg. Why must one go through a degree for name's sake or with an objective of getting married without working? I feel that is a waste of a scarce Engineering seat, which could have been better used to educate another almost equally deserving lady or gent, who might respect and make good use of the opportunity to do good for themselves and their families. We protest against Reservations, but is anyone tracking such wanton wastage of education?

It's not even like these have been love-at-first sight instances, where people might move into marriages for various reasons. This was pre-planned and well thought out, which makes atleast me wonder the point of going through four gruelling years of Engg to end up married.

Some people will raise their hands threateningly at this point and tell me: "Hey Slim, you don't know a thing, do ya punk? Do ya know how many of them continue their careers? Do ya know what you talking boy?"

Probably I don't. Maybe I do. But my view is that, stop telling the world that you do this coz society feels it's to be done that way. I also think one should learn to live by one's decisions instead of regretting them in hindsight or complaining about the hands that life has dealt us (where in my opinion, people walk into marriages with their eyes open or atleast they should)

I fail to understand this carping of the word "Society". To me, society comprises of all the wrong people, saying all the wrong things and basically taking pleasure out of someone else's misfortunes or bad luck or something such. I have never heard one good situation where "But what will society think..." has meant that the person is not doing a good deed.

This is the same society where (as Omi and myself concurred), women are treated as wallflowers and men act as dominant brutes. On the overall picture, the women are required to be "tall, fair, goodlooking, virtuous" and the men are presumably supposed to answer to the call of "well-settled, rich, educated at a fancy institute." As Omi very rightly pointed out, it seems like it is a cycle that deserves both ends.

I had a discussion once in college, where a girl told me that if you weren't married by a certain age, people in the community would question the girl's parents, asking why isn't she married yet? While I respect any community's practices, I think I am allowed to question the relevance of community in our lives. Rather, the "community's opinion" on something so personal as spending the rest of my life with someone meant to be special. In this modern day and age, must we bow down to what 10 people will talk about or rather more pertinently, "gossip about" at social functions? We say that we are an educated, modern, empowered society. Sadly, we are none of all that we claim to be. We are nothing more than a self-pompous set of hypocrites, who blindly do and blindly believe that we have boldly gone where no wo/man has gone before.

If a woman studies further, her parents are met with the fears that she will be "over-qualified", whereas the more educated a boy is in certain communities, the more the dowry he can command... I have nothing but contempt for such thoughts or behaviour and guess what! I am not even ashamed or afraid to say so. A lot of the "diplomatic" people will say: "Hey Slim, pipe down, will ya punk? Live and let live brother. Peace." Well, peace is the goal ultimately, but hypocricy is hypocricy. I can't help it. I am not built to look the other way.

I feel that a lot of my attitude towards life is shaped by the way my parents are, as is the case with almost all of us. My mom is more qualified than my dad. She's a BSc, MSc in Mathematics and a BEd. My dad is a BSc Engg.(Hons) My mom is a housewife, while my dad is in service. Mom teaches kids at home in her spare time now a days. She gave up a (possibly)lucrative teaching career to look after me and my sister. My dad was 33 when he got married and my mom 26. Pretty late even by current standards. However, I bow with reverence to their ways even though they never put on the pretensions of being a "truly modern, emancipated, worldly-wise" couple. True, my mom gave up teaching, and I have asked her many times why she did that? She has a gift with children that is inherent to women and even more so with teachers. She said that since, in those days, dad was posted in remote townships and she, being a girl from a small town, she wasn't confident of what to do. Also, since we were born, and with us being in remote parts of India then, there was no one to look after us and a small gap in career ended up being a permanent one.

Now, it would be the easiest thing in the world to call me a blackguard, a hypocrite and say: "Look into your house before pointing fingers." My arrogant retort, as usual, would be: I did. My mom didn't study with one eye on getting married to a rich, well-settled boy. My dad hardly had a rich background and was broadminded enough not to accept any dowry. Infact, as my mom said, the only reason grandpa accepted him was because he was well educated(Studied on a scholarship and stood 2nd in his State). Infact, he used to accompany her and drop her to her BEd classes at her college himself and was pretty supportive of her all along.

Not just that, my mother has retained her maiden name after marriage and till this day, she is Mrs. P.S.Annapoorni. My dad always addresses her as "Neengal" meaning "Aap" in Tamil and they share a special bond, which someday I will be privileged to have with my companion.

To me, this is what a marriage is. To me, it isn't about looks, education, attitude or anything else. To me, it isn't something you go looking for. It isn't about impressing someone with my educational degrees or bank balance or charms. To me it is a meeting of souls.

To me, it is and has always been about truth in it's purest form. Probably, this is the immature mind of a 22 year old speaking. But, no matter what I become, I hope I never change this dream of mine...

It's like something just struck me right now: "One shouldn't learn good lessons to forget them..."

Self-Truth, Freedom And A Woman's Worth

When you have been talked about as much as I have, you'll realize how little it matters. Just think, there's not a home in Charleston where I am received. Not even my contribution to our just and holy Cause lifts the ban.

You talk scandalous!
Scandalously and truly. Always providing you have enough courage - or money - you can do without a reputation.

Money can't buy you everything.
Generally it can. And when it can't, it can buy some of the most remarkable substitutes.

Above all else, my favourite:
The Confederacy may need the lifeblood of its men but not yet does it demand the heart's blood of its women. Accept, dear Madam, this token of my reverence for your courage and do not think that your sacrifice has been in vain, for this ring has been redeemed at ten times its value.
Captain Rhett Butler.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What A Day

Sat last night till 3.30 in the morning reading. Gave up a quiz and spent the entire day reading. All, completely well spent. Amazing book. Amazing story. It's a real privilege to be able to get the chance to read such stories.

It's amazing...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Guess what I presented myself with tonight :) It's the book "Gone With The Wind." I had come across this story 2 years ago and somehow, it's story was something that impacted me very deeply.

And today, as I was browsing at Crosswords, and this book just caught my eye. I had avoided wanting to buy this book since I felt that it was too long and I might not have the time to devote. Besides, I already knew the story and therefore, what was the point? Yet, somehow, some things are just meant to be...

P.S: Also placed an order for "The Complete Works Of Feluda" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" :) Can't wait for them to arrive :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eric Clapton Ab Door Nahi :)

The biggest news for today is that I have (finally!) joined Music Classes at the Chembur Fine Arts Society. It is a 3 month workshop to be held on Saturdays for an hour and a half. So becoming Eric Clapton is just about 15 years away :)

To slightly modify and quote John Lennon:

You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one.

It is but love, that has kept me going,
Slowly, but surely, this dreamer shall rise.

The simple desires of the heart,
All I seek, is to fulfil them.

I was caught up in the games of life around me,
But salvation is near.

Sa-Ri-Ga-Ma-Pa are all the notes,
They are all that I wished from life.

Life is so near.
It has taken time.
Slowly, but surely, I am coming back to life.

Slowly, but surely, I am putting my past behind.
Life's roads await me.
The journey has begun.

This time I shall be a lone traveller,
Guided by his own sights and loves.

Stopping to smell the roses has become my norm.
Life is my game and I seek to emulate the greats.

With the power of blessings, I dream...

I dream of Life, I dream of Greatness.
Though, I shall be happy to settle for much less.

And yet be a winner,
Because I walked, I walked with humility, learning things as I went along.

Truth and love shall be my pillars,
Simple yet powerful to sustain my life.

It's all in the eyes, my friends, I tell them.
Most choose to not listen.

But what will win us the game is that...

You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Greatest Day Of My Life

Today is by God's Grace, the best day of my life on Earth. Thank you very much God :)