Warning: This is a blog that lacks intellectuality. My levels of IQ stand as lofty as that of Paris Hilton's pet pomeranian and my knowledge of current affairs is as deep as Mandira Bedi's of cricket. I mostly ramble about the trivialities of my everyday life, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, friends n family, movies, cricket; basically thoughts that would enter the mind of any Sita, Gita or Rita.

Note: I was busy drooling over the pages of Playboy during my English classes in school. So please bare with any grammatical blunders or the obvious lack of classic literary writing. (I was a little confused between the selection of 'bear' and 'bare' in the sentence above so I resorted to my favorite inky-pinky-ponky routine)

If you happen to pass by, feel free to register your presence. coz yeh duniya bahot chhoti hai aur yeh zindagi bahot lambi. Kya pata, someday somewhere, you and I might end up discussing about it over a cup of garam garam masala tea.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ding dong...

I am not able to open blogger. So I am currently typing this post in Billu's Notepad. There are better softwares but I just wanted to check if Old is Gold. Apparently not. I mean, common! Notepad! No ways yaar.

Yes, so I am not able to open blogger. For a matter of fact, I am not able to open anything else that is availabe the World Wide Web. There seems to be some problem with the optical lines that are the lifeline of all programmer's in the company. All I am able to do is open Google(thanks to the neat-and-clean-no-fussy look it has) and search for things that I don't even want to in the first place. In the process, I discovered that Google does not return anything for the following standalone searches - $,@,+,-,%,!,~,#,^,*,(,),=,{,},|, [,],\,;,:,',",<,>,?,/ (even though these are used by programmers almost every second).

I am not able to access my mails. The company's goddamn security policy does not allow access to external mail services like Yahoo, Gmail or others. Hey you, Larry and Sergey, are you hearing this? Your Google may have become a necessity to the world but you are still something "external" in my company. And on top of all this, the company's server has been behaving erratically(I can hear Joey laughing on that one too). So either I don't get most of the mails or they are delayed and arrive in one helluva fished(Oh no, I hated SRK saying it in OSO; but I still think it's a good substitute for the F word) up order.

Today has been that kind of a day. I got up really late for office...

*Voices in my head*
Voice #1: Ya right! What else did you expect ass. You start watching a Hindi movie past 12 at night..
Voice #2: But,..
Voice #1: I know it was Taare Zameen Par, but were you not watching it for the 2nd time..
Voice #2: Umm,..
Voice #1: And then you could not stop following it up with another one..
Voice #2: HEY! I followed it up with AMERICAN PIE - 6. You can't argue with that.
Voice #1:
*It could not argue with that*

So I had to skip my morning tea. And I am one of those fellows who can't do without it. So today my head-neck were going to be something like a spinning toy top. Just as I readhed office, I got a call from mom telling me that there was a theft attempt at our house. Maybe I should have seen that as a sign for the kind of day I was about to have.

So I settled down in my cubicle and figured out that I would be better off reading some ebook and listening to songs. So I made a playlist of some of my fav songs - Jal, Strings, Junoon, Parikrama, Bryan's and a few others.. I started with Zeest ka Sutta and just as they were swearing at the top of their voices, some wierd sound started coming from inside the pc. Some real squeaky sound like a sparrow that was struggling inside. I just did not have the will to find out what was wrong. (Of course I took out the headphones and inserted them again. That does not count as 'doing something'.) So I took them off and tried to concentrate on what I was reading. And then I remembered why I had developed the habit of listening to music in office. Basically three reasons:
1) To make an attempt (but-almost-all-the-time-futile) to avoid the chitter-chatter giggly stuff going on around me.
2) To stay away form the 'Jalebi' languages. (No offence intended. I have heard people who speak the langauge themselves use this word.)
3) To avoid the really loud guy who is in vicinity of my cubicle. Thank god, he does not overlap with category #1.

So with all the messing up going around, it is almost lunch time. And I am still typing in Notepad! I go up to the guys with whom I have lunch..

Me: *standing at one of the guy's cubicle*
Guy #1: *empty thought bubble*
Guy #2: *empty thought bubble*
Me: *empty thought bubble*
Me: Umm,..
Guy #1: Hmm..
Guy #2: Mast Kalandar
(Guys are generally not too much into communication. But it works out fine.)

So we are about to cross the road. We are walking on the right side of the road. I look to my right and see no vehicles coming and so take the plunge onto the road from the walkway.

*Frantic voices inside the head*
Voice #1- .. : IDIOT! Its a goddamn one-way.. Look to your *BANG*

Oh no, I am all right. But the voices in there thought all was lost. I don't blame them either. An SUV doing something like what seemed the speed of light zoomed past my body parts. Let me tell you one thing; if there had been the slightest of contacts, I sure would not be able to do the thing that Joey follows up with ' How u doin' ' :) . We reach the restaurant and guess what's the first item on the menu which my eyes fall upon - 'Ghantaghar ke kadhi chaval'..

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A beautiful day... a new beginning

Worli sea face apartment: 87 lacs
Mercedes Benz E-class: 39 lacs
Durian recliner massage chair: 3 lacs
Sony plasma tv: 1 lac
Someone telling you 'I am there for you': Priceless

You know how there are days in everyone's life when one realizes that its the beginning of something new, something wonderful. It just happened to me yesterday. A friend from office asked me if I wanted to volunteer for a noble cause. I had always thought of doing something like this but somehow had never taken the initiative. At the end of the day, I realized that I owe bigtime to her.

We visited an orphanage named 'Asha Nilaya' where around 30 children stay. Various activities had been planned for the day. We had a flag hoisting ceremony where we all stood in lines similar to good old school days and sang the national anthem. It had been quite some time since I had saluted the national flag. It felt so great to do that as the morning rays fell on the fluttering Indian tricolor flag.

The children had prepared a couple of dances and a skit. There was a group of six little girls who had come dressed up in little baby pink dresses and danced to 'I am a barbie girl'. Gosh, they looked so very adorable. Then we had various games for the kids. We had a quiz, lemon-spoon race, running races, one legged race and a few others. At the end of the competition for the children, all the volunteers too lined up to outrun each other. I was standing in a corner as I watched adults become children once again. Its so very true that there is a child in everyone of us. As we were about to leave, the lady who stays with the children at the orphanage came up to us and told us 3 simple words which I will always remember - Don't forget us. You will sometimes hear those words from people who are close to you, but when a complete stranger tells you something like that, you will definitely feel just more than a lump in the throat.

And thats when it struck me. Life takes you through a lot of things. It is one hell of a roller coaster ride. And there will be times when things seem to be falling apart. And in times like these, you will need people to be by your side. Just to tell you that they are there for you. And realize it or not, but your parents will always be there for you. And that too in the most unique of ways. Because, your problem is their problem. It has always been like that. Ever since the first time you held your mother's finger in your tini-tiny hands, ever since you took your first step, ever since you uttered your first word, ever since your first day at school when you could not stop crying, and so many moments like that. Its because your mom loves you more than anything in the world. No matter how much you grow up, you will always be your mommy's little baby. You will always be her world.

You can always fall back on your parents. And that I have realized is the greatest luxury of life. A luxury that was missing from the lives of those little angels. And I cannot alter that reality but what I can try is to add to whatever happiness they have in their lives. Yesterday was probably the most meaningful day of my life. And I am glad that there will be many more to come...

I know it may sound cliche, but this world would be a better, happier place to live in if we all did little bits here and there. And remember, don't get too lost in the race for success. Take out time for people that are close to you - your parents, your true friends. Because, believe it, these are your most precious jewels. Here's one of my favorite lines from the novel 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari':
John, on your death bed, you will not wish that you had spent more time in office...

Friday, January 25, 2008

' Hum Hindustan ko galat haatho mein nahi jaane denge... '

Today was the original schedule date of Jodhaa Akbar. And I am very disappointed that it has gone terribly off schedule. Because this is a movie I have been eagerly awaiting. Firstly because it has been written-directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar. It is so refreshing to see someone actually make movies in such a simple, non-fussy yet so successful a way. And then it has Hrithik Roshan, an actor whose talent I highly respect. (Mainly because of stuff like Koi Mil Gaya, Lakshya, Mission Kashmir.) And there are very few like him. The other prominent male actors that I highly regard would be Big B and Aamir. I even thought highly of SRK until he went and did something called Om Shanti Om. I even had the misfortune of sitting through this 3 hour long skit directed by the just-completed-the-transformation -as-the-ultimate-spoof-specialist (Phew!) Farah Khan. (And thats all the movie is all about. A spoof here, a spoof there, spoofs all the way.) And what was all the hoopla about the 70's era. Just making guys wear bell-bottoms and girls put on hair bands is not enough. If you want to talk about how to actually capture the essence of the olden era, watch stuff like Parineeta.

What I have been looking forward with Ashutosh's Jodhaa Akbar is that how the film is going to deal with a bigger, grandeur plot - Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar, the greatest of the Mughal emperors. His last 2 movies both revolved around plots that were not that huge. Lagaan was about a small province and Swades was more about an individual's choice. Sure, the way the movies were made make everything look big. But here we are talking about Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar (I love saying the name in my head. If only one could hear it in Amitabh's voice) himself. I hope Hrithik has been able to capture the intensity that is demanded from these kind of roles. And I so very much pray that at no point of time I draw even the remotest of comparisons between this and the likes of Gladiators and Troys.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Aaila !

When Sachin plays, big-city roads are easy and trains and buses ply empty at rush hour and the markets take a beating...
When Sachin plays , busy, ambitious executives ignore their calls and cancel their appointments and avoid their clients and miss their deadlines...
When Sachin plays, college Common Rooms are dense and tense and hushed as an entire generation sits on pins and needles...
When Sachin plays, school-yards are silent and playgrounds are deserted because those who normally make such a racket imitating their hero are all too busy watching him make batting look so ridiculously easy...
When Sachin plays, fathers who want the news and daughters and mothers who always want soft stuff and brothers who fight for action, for once all agree on what to watch...
When Sachin plays, India forgets its differences and divisions and teeters between tensions and exhilaration and breaths and laughs and cries as one, as its heart fills with pride and joy...
When Sachin plays, all else is irrelevant...

Written above is what I had read in a sports magazine a long time back. But it is something that holds true for eternity. Just today morning when I saw him come to bat at the Adelaide Oval, getting up at 5:30 seemed all worth it. He was once again greeted to a standing ovation. The respect the man draws all over the world is truly astounding. No other recent player(maybe Lara to some extent) comes close to that. Watching him come out to bat made me a bit nostalgic. It reminded me of India's '92 tour to Australia. I was hardly 7 when this little boy who was not even 20 came out to bat at the WACA. I did not know much about cricket back then, but I found something very crickety romantic about him. It was indeed a treat to watch a guy 5'4" stand tall to the fast bowlers. The world could not help but take notice of him. The little boy had become a man. It was just the beginning of what was to come in the years thereafter.

He has come a long way since that innings. He has broken like a zillion records but what has been more satisfying is the way he has achieved them. Australia too have broken records but we all know how much they have lost on the way;they have lost the respect of the people. They might be a cricketing powerhouse that keeps on producing mechanical champions but they no longer have role models. Sachin on the other hand has been an ideal ambassador for the gentleman's game and the perfect role model for millions of budding youngsters the world over. There have been many legendary cricketers who have done wonders on the pitch; Shane Warne for instance. The man who revived the art of leg spin bowling in an era when youngsters wanted to steam in hard and tear apart batsmen with pace. He made leg spin look catchy and sexy. And that was his greatest contribution to the game of cricket. But if a boy walked up to his dear daddy and told him that he wanted to be like Warny, the father would have to impart some wisdom on what-to-dos and what-SO-not-to-dos of Warny's life. And there would be quite a few things on the not-to-dos list. Not being too friendly with bookies, always making sure that mommy does not make you take pills that might ban you, making sure that your SMS text messages have the correct recipients, and who knows what not. Sachin has not only been a great cricketer, but more importantly, the greater person. A champion on the field, and also off the field.

Speaking on cricketing terms, he is always a delight to watch. No matter if he is on song like against Pakistan in the world cup or crafting his way against Australia at Sydney(his highest Test score). Even when is he is playing a defensive shot, there is something very authoritative about it. The way he brings down his bat, the perfect manner in which his elbow is lined up, the way his front foot moves to come in line with the ball; its a picture-perfect image for any textbook on cricket. And then there are his signature shots. The backfoot-on-the-up cover drives and the straight drive past the bowler. Aah.. life seems so beautiful at times like these. Just if you could have Harsha Bhogle in the commentary box. That would be like the icing on the cake.

I just have 2 wishes when it comes to him. I want to see him take India to a World Cup ODI victory (even more than I want to see India win the world cup). Its not that I am not patriotic or anything but its just that India has been blessed to have the most complete batsman of all time and it would be the most fitting tribute to India's favorite son.
And whenever he decides to call it a day from Tests and ODIs, I want him to play Twenty 20 cricket. I want to see the no-holds-barred vintage Tendulkar once again. To see the helplessness in the bowlers as he tries to innocently ridicule them. To see him come charging down to the fastest of bowlers and mercilessly pull them through mid-wicket, to stand tall and effortlessly play the upper cuts over the keeper, to have the audacity to slog sweep spinners against the turn, to have the class to hit them inside out over the covers, and all the while innovating with his blade the way one cant imagine.

When I try to recollect moments from the past, a couple of 'em vividly come to mind. The 2003 World Cup clash against arch rivals Pakistan. The stage was set. And he decided to make it his own. Not only did he play an electrifying innings, but he gave us one of the most memorable moments in history - sending the ball sailing into the crowd over backward point. It was one of those 'I was there' moments. Everyone who was present at the ground and the millions who saw on their TV sets will tell their children and grandchildren - I was there.. I was there when the little master smacked the man they call the 'Rawalpindi Express'.
The other one that flashes across the mind is the Sharjah blitzkrieg. The back-to-back hundreds against Australia. Oh, and the look on Warne's face. The utter shock out of sheer helplessness. There was a sandstorm in Sharjah but far greater was the impact of Tendulkar who stormed the Aussies. I still remember the instance when Tony Greig was on commentary and Sachin had just hit another six. And all he said was 'What a player'(in his typical style with all the excitement in the voice). They are 3 very simple words but they sum up everything. And they are words that you don't hear about other players that often.

If I had to pick a batsman to pay my money to watch, there would be no second thoughts. Yes, I know that Lara-on-song is a class apart, but he does go through in-form out-of-form patches. (And when in-form he more than makes up for the lean patches.) But Tendulkar is always a treat to watch.

When Sachin plays, the world watches in awe.. India comes to a standstill...
Go commit whatever crime you want.. It will go unnoticed.. Because, even the Lord is watching...

Please note: this post has not been inspired because of news that Gordon Brown wants to honor him with knighthood. It has only been written out of my love for cricket and my most admired sportsperson.
Today is one of my best friend's birthday. Happy birthday dear. And Sachin just made a hundred. Hows that for a birthday present :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sweet 16... all over again

In all the years that I have watched cricket, I have never felt prouder. Sure, winning the Twenty 20 World Cup was a huge thing. Just today I again saw the highlights of the India-Pak finals. Even after so many months having gone by, I can not stop having goosebumps when Ravi Shastri announces - India are the Twenty 20 champions. That entire tournament was exhilarating stuff. But what happened at Perth was something on a totally different level. I am a purist when it comes to certain aspects of cricket. The pitch and the weather report for instance. I have always preferred it the Geoffrey Boycott way rather than with all the facts and figures about the humidity and the temperature. Technology will tell you that its 30 degrees with 40% humidity. Go hell with that. Check out if Geoffrey is wearing his hat.
Yes he is. Oh, then it must be hot out there. And then there is the pitch report - Geoffrey with his famous key. All you need to know is how deep the key goes into the pitch. And you can pretty much figure out on which side to put your money.

So, as a purist would say, Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket. It is the true test of one's character. That is why it has been so difficult to beat the Australian side in Tests. Because you need to play good cricket throughout. Not just a session or two. And that is why I believe that the win at Perth was a very commanding one. When you think of India's recent historic wins, Kolkatta immediately comes to mind. That was a miracle that happened thanks to the greatest innings I have seen. And then there is Adelaide the last time India went down under. However, that was an even contest between the 2 sides. But Perth was different. India had dominated Australia in the Twenty 20 semis and they dominated them again in the longer version of the game. Australia were thoroughly beaten in their own bastion. It probably was not a typical Perth wicket but just imagine the scenario if it had been. The Aussie batsmen would have fallen like ninepins! India's trio of seamers was surely more impressive than the Kangaroos' all-pace attack. The Indians outplayed the Aussies and stopped them once again. Its sweet 16 all over again. 16 for the Aussies and sweet as nectar for the Indians.

Here are some words of wisdom for the Australian think tank:
  • When an India team is ready to pack their bags and go home, let them do so. Don't order nails and wood for your own coffin.
  • The Aussie management should make sure that they don't play India when they are nearing their record breaking streak. (If necessary, bribe the ICC for altering the schedule. If you want, ask the BCCI to lend you some money. They have plenty of it.)
  • I pray that the Australians will not babble about any kind of charges against Ishant Sharma. (He gave a hell of a time to Mr. Ponting. And thats what Bhajji had done. So I hope they don't try that angle once again.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chakk de phatte

Just back from lunch. It was one of those perfect lunches that you can think of. The weather was just perfect. A cool breeze was blowing while the sun was trying its best to pierce the Bangalore clouds. Walked down to a place called 'Mast Kalandar' with a couple of friends. This place I think offers Punjabi food with the the most wholesome taste. See its not that easy finding many restaurants where you have the food to your liking if you come from "North India" (actually I come from Gujarat but anything above the 4 states over here is referred to as North). Well so I had the Chakk de phatte - Sarson ka saag n makke di roti (ah, the land of spices has so much to offer) while watching on a 14 inch tv the Indian tail wagging against the Aussie quicks. It was so thrilling to watch R.P.Singh stand up to them and annoy the hell out of Ponting. India are now in a very strong position. Australia are 16 unbeaten. Last time they wanted to make it 17, India had other ideas. Can India do the same again. Can India hit them where it would hurt most. At the WACA. One can hear Bhajji shout from the dressing room to his teammates - Chakk de phatte.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hop Hop

So the 3rd test begins tomorrow at the pace paradise of cricket. Mr. Bucknor has been "rested" while Ponting's nemesis has been allowed to stay on. The man India does not know how to get out will miss the test. The out-of-form Yuvraj is going to be replaced by the ex-out-of-form Sehwag. Australia are going in with an all seam attack. Maybe Kumble too should think of bowling his seamers. We will have to wait n watch how the test unfolds. One thing though most likely to happen - its the Aussies that are called the Kangaroos.. but during the next few days, it will be the Indians doing most of the hopping around at the mercy of Mr. Lee and company..

Rain rain, come again

It is the middle of January. I have been shivering all night because my stupid roomie forgot to put off the fan. Hold on, but I don't have a roomie. So it would be stupid me again! Grr.. Well, so I wake up early morning (7:30 is very early for anyone who sits all day in front of a 17 inch TFT monitor) hoping to catch some nice warm sun rays. I walk out of the house only to find out that its drizzling outside. Rain in January! Damn you Bangalore weather. Its not that I don't like the rains. But how I am supposed to muster the courage to go to office if it rains on a Monday morning. And this is also not the first rain of the season so that I might look forward to the sweet smell of the earth. Thinking about the first rain, there is something that I have always wondered. Why is that one is always reminded of his/her beloved when it rains. Why does one not think of one's mother whose love for him is so pure and selfless. Why does everyone think of eating hot spicy pakodas(fritters) when it rains. Why don't pizzas come to our mind - hot n sizzling double cheese with extra toppings of spicy olives and jalapenos, soft n sweet slices of baby corn, crispy onions and capsicum. Hmmm.. My mouth is already watery. I think I need to calm down my taste buds. I better grab a glass of tea to go with some garam garam pakodas :)