Saturday, 7 November 2009

Greatness is not an exaggeration

He stands as the perfect contradiction to the statement "Greatness is an exaggeration".

(This short piece is just a mention of a few aspects that add glory to one of the finest batsmen cricket has ever produced)

Let me begin by telling you this :
Indian audience indulges itself in hero-worship. That's a fact. You can see it everywhere. But we are ruthless too. When it comes to being worshiped, you have to keep winning hearts, keep restoring the faith, and the pride. There have been many whom I don't want to name, who appeared to be climbing those stairs, only to find that the junta has lost faith in them. You drop from a superstar to just a star who was once close to being idolized. To be in such a country and in such a state for about twenty years is, simply, superb. (Don't hold it against me when I miss some statistics. My piece doesn't deal much with it)

Sachin is someone who deserves such a worship. He has stood against generations of bowlers. Generations of those who analyze his every match, his every move, his every mistake and then come up with a strategy to constrain him. In spite of that, to come up to bat to the satisfaction of over a billion hearts, and to surpass the expectations each time, is nothing short of amazement. May be to come up to bat can be termed as a mandate. To play is what he is expected to do. But the difference is not in the decision to play. It lies in the way he responds to such expectations. He has to thwart the tricks of each and every bowler and their captain. His every analyzed weakness must be controlled, and not merely controlled, it should shock the opponent. It is not a case of "should" but it just has been. His weaknesses to some of the offside deliveries had to be worked upon to result in a boundary. Its not ordinary and its not common to outplay the cunning opponent.

Rarely do you see a player who is watched by so many. And mind it, success brings its own share of rivalry and jealousy. Every Henry Olonga, Andy Caddick or whatever their names are, come to the scene of international cricket stating that they would be the ones to send him to the pavilion, only to find that it was their deliveries that went there, faster than the time spent in running to deliver them. It is so common. They are flawed not in their bowling techniques, they bowl some good balls. But in assuming that they have the master all sorted out, that is foolishness. There's really a great difference between confidence and over-confidence. We hear too many dialogues about this in the movies. But its true. The master copes with his weaknesses, with the so many heads that try to out-think and out-wit him. That he has been successful in doing this is not just evident from his successes, but from the knowledge that the faith of those billions is only growing. Here is a man who is standing against all, constantly foiling their plans.

Here's a thing. Ricky Ponting is currently the man who is atleast in the vicinity of looking at the records that Sachin makes, albeit miles, or rather, hundreds of miles, away from them. But Ricky enjoys a rare advantage that Sachin does not. He isn't under so much of analysis. He needn't carry an onus of expectations. Sachin has to, every single time. While stating facts, it is important to add that Australians have been those who analyze their opponents to the highest degree. Its quite evident. The amount of tricks they come up with almost sometimes makes the game more of a kind of chess rather than cricket, but all's legal. Now, would Ricky have lasted so long had he not been an Australian? Would he have been able to deal with his weaknesses, some of them propping up as he gets older, if he were under the scrutiny of the Australians ? I guess not. Yes its true that he has come up well against his weaknesses to spin. But you see, his opponents are not as cunning as hist team were. Now don't get me wrong here. It's perfectly alright that they plan the demise of the opposition. Its essential. But I would only want to point out that Ricky just isn't subjected to the enourmously tiresome, gruesome tests that Sachin went through. That's a very big advantage, if you know what I am talking about.

Now there comes a talk about India not winning matches when Sachin scores. It would have been probably okay for a boy to state that the word "psychology" is spelt without the silent letter 'p'. We could have at least patted the boy who answered that a better-luck-next-time. It's just lack of knowledge, but not here. The comparison isn't apt. But that exactly is the point I'd like to make. It isn't appropriate to state that its bad omen for India when Sachin scores. Tell you what, if Luck had ever to choose an adversary to work against, it would mention that the name Sachin would be in the last ones in its list. This may be exaggeration. But we all need luck. Not just to play well. But luck to evade bad luck from coming up. Last time I heard was that Liverpool lost their match against Sunderland this season because a beach ball showed up just in between the ball and the goalkeeper, the result of which was a deflected goal to take up 3 vital points away from Liverpool, or rather 2 vital points. This is the sort of bad luck that you don't want to happen. Here in comes the importance of good luck. To stop keeping the bad luck from popping its head up.
There may be a certain amount of take-it-for-granted in the Indian team because even though the master has amassed half the 350 single handedly, the rest of the ten couldn't contribute enough. It's a shame(read pity). For someone who has fought so well, this is the sort of anticlimax that is least appropriate. Our team surely owes an apology to him. But he will still play. And will still outclass the opponents. And it wouldn't be much news when he does that, because that is what is expected. And he will still keep raising the bar.

This is one who stands out to let us know that greatness is not an exaggeration, but a virtue, which, though seemingly impossible, is actually possible.

Just to let you know, there was one guy who was holding a poster the other day during the 5th ODI between India and Australia. It was comparing the gold rates per carat to the number of runs Sachin has made and he usually surpassed the rates. That was an awesome idea of his to show that statistic up. :)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

I don't want the multiplex

Damn these multiplexes!!
They are legally robbing us and we are letting them.
I dont want to pay in full when I sit in the front row to watch a movie. I dont want to pay for the overpriced popcorn-thums up-sweet corn during the intermission. I cant stand the attitude they display at the theatre.

I love the ordinary theatres. They are big, have a bit overpriced rates for the popcorn (what's movie without a popcorn, huh?), they have different prices for different seating locations and mostly, they have the crowd that boos, cheers and comments. That's fun! I don't know wat we'd become when the movies don't hav such crowds. Without the newspapers being torn and thrown high, without the whistles and comments(read "nasty"), without the dances, without the difficulty of getting to hear and/or watch the movie on the first day of its release (obviously, of a bigger star). Hmph, thats one sad life without all of it.

Seriously, I mean, I can't pay so much for a flop movie, right? Plus these guyz form these alliances and then decide which to play and which not to. Where are the PEOPLE ? The juntha. The population. The power holders in a democracy. Well, they are busy watching pretty girls. We are the ones that run the movies, not these multiplexes. Apart from the pretty girls over there, what else is so worthy? Unless it's an IMAX screen which is the largest screen in India, the rest of the mutliplexes, often, fall short in quality to the regular movie halls.

Somebody somewhere should be sharing my views. With all the english films being screened only in the multiplexes, I miss watching them in the regular ones and stopped buying popcorns.

Monday, 24 August 2009

What I am listening to...

Just wanted to write about stuff that I am listening to.

Right now, I am addicted to (In no particular order) :
1. Use somebody - Kings of Leon.
This was a serendipitous discovery. One that I wouldn't have dwelled into without the help of
youtube or my lousy workplace which drove me desperate to find something new to listen to.
Of late, I've been searching for songs, artists or music that I haven't heard. It's simple, actually. First you have to like something. Then enter youtube and search for it. You'll be shown a list of "recommendations" and you just need to explore that category.
"Use somebody" is good. It has a different feel altogether. The lyrics are good too. The voice reminds me of James Blunt and, needless to say, its a bit inclined towards sounding "haunted". This song inspired me to write up a little stuff of my own and it shaped into Painting a picture, in one sitting.

2. Romeo and Juliet - The Killers.
Again a serendipity. I stumbled upon this band when I came to "Use somebody" on the youtube. Heard to a song and thought of getting the entire set of songs that they composed. I googled and finally heard to their discography and found a few songs that I liked. This one, in particular, had a different set of lyrics. Like someone just started writing up something and then set tune to it.
The rhyme caught me. "Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start. And I bet, you exploded in my heart", etc.

3. The Scientist - Coldplay.
The connection with Coldplay is through blood. What I mean to say is, I came in touch with them through my cousins. They had come to visit us during the winter of 2005 (they stay in the UK,
and ofcourse Coldplay is an english band). They thought of buying us some stuff and I asked them to buy me a music album of their choice. They were arguing over Radiohead and Coldplay and found "The rush of blood to the heart" over there. This was Coldplay's hit album and it had "Clocks", the presence of which, on the cover, made my sister to insist on buying it.
It also had "The Scientist", which made my brother feel likewise. So there I was, listening to the clocks and the scientist. At first I heard the scientist only twice and lost interest in it. After a couple of years, in 2008, it caught me by storm and didnt quite leave me, if ever for small intervals. Right now, I still hear it regularly. Great guitar, a different depth to the lyrics (mostly it cant be explained). Nice video, but I am talking about the music anyway. It's an amazing song to me.

4. For reasons unknown - The Killers.
Great lyrics. Love the combination of music and lyrics.

5. Ruby, don't take your love to town - The Killers.
The way this song goes, just love it. The way the music goes till it says "Oh Rubyyyyyy" and then it stops and it says "dont take your love to town" and the music starts again. Saw somewhere that it was sung by Kenny Rogers as well, but have to google that up.

6. Buy me a rose - Kenny Rogers.
Amazing. Nice with a guitar. It's a slow one, but has nice lyrics plus slow music. My brother introduced me to this. He has a set of songs to which he's practising guitar and this is one of them.

7. Priyatama - Guna
This is dubbed from a tamil movie to telugu. Greatt lyrics. Heard it on my way home, on the radio. Instantly liked it.

8. Povodhe prema - Oye
Nice one. Telugu.

Also listening to are :
Tum agar mujhko na chaho - Dil Hi To Hai (1963. Raj kapoor's hit)
Dooriyan and Aaj din Chadeya - Love Aaj Kal
Pehli baar mohobbat - Kaminey
Nayan tarse - Dev D
Nenu nenuga lene - Manmadhudu (Telugu)
Til I collapse - Eminem
Leave out all the rest - Linkin Park

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Painting a picture

Walking on the road
I see the sun shine
I couldnt tell if it was sinking or rising
Lots of birds chirping
I think its sinking
Evening time
More than a gentle breeze
Trying to disturb by unruly hair
I reached a park
Small one near our place
A swing there was, another broken
A slide there was, with a ladder to climb onto it
Children were on the swing
There were some on the slide
Some climbing up
Some sliding down
And both happy
Sun is behind the trees now
Hitting my face through the spaces
I think I can paint a lovely picture
But realize its incomplete without you.

Some were playing cricket
With stones as wickets
The others just sitting on the wall
Chatting about the movie tickets
There sat a couple
Looks like they are in love
Whether lovers or brother-sister I dont know
Whichever love is love after all
I think I can paint a lovely picture
With the sun sinking in
And the sky growing golden
With the kite flying above
And the one holding the thread
But I realize its incomplete without you

Now where should I put you in
On the wall ? its quite silly
On the slide ? still the same
Playing cricket ? its mad (sure love is)
In the swing ? looks right
Beside me ? Oh wait,
I wouldnt be painting if you were beside me
All I would do is to stare

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Disgrace and injustice and what the media says about it

I really didn't think that I would, at some point of time, support Chelsea FC. I quite dislike them. Its just that feeling you have against someone without any reason. Partly attributed to prejudice. Anyway, this is what this entry is about. Its about the recent outburst over the indecent exit of those eleven from the Champions League.

If Tom Henning Ovrebo had been dragged into court and sued for the millions (they might have been crowned The Champions, who knows ?) that Chelsea has lost, he'd have nothing to plead but temporary insanity, if at all temporary insanity could count for more than ninety three minutes at a stretch. Turning down what many see as clear penalties, and not one or two but a full four of them is really over the bar and over the bar a lot. Agreed that if Drogba hadn't dived game in and game out, there'd had been pretty good chances that Ovrebo might have given the penalty. Agreed that Chelsea could have scored when there were good opportunities and all Drogba did was to keep Barca's hopes alive (and probably the ref's as well). Agreed Chelsea havent taken the advantage of the twenty odd minutes when the visitors from across the sea had been reduced to ten (owing to another misjudged red card. Now whose side is he anyway?). But still, four penalties is way too much to disallow.

What followed after the match was a thing that the media was happy to pounce on. Drogba termed it all a "f*king disgrace" which most would say is true. One, from the guardian, was voicing the fans when he said that "Ballack should have gone all the way to do a Zidane". Ha ha. One leading Barcelona newspaper also sported a cartoon where a kid asks his mom that he needs a Barca shirt. But which one," his mother replies, "the goalie shirt, the home shirt or the referee's shirt?"

John Terry must have kept his calm and talked to his jumping mates. But the leader was far from it. Its really a shame to see such world class players act that way but one can only say that one can understand it. But that doesn't mean that they should go unpunished. It speaks of the quality of the team when one faces such adverse situations. "Character" is what should be shown here, at a time when the scenario least demands it. And thats what makes players great and a team great. I just don't understand how they couldn't do this one act. A team of the class of Chelsea should have kept calm however emotional they might have become. Anyway, being normal isn't bad at all. The ref. really deserves a full Zidane done to him.

It has to be mentioned that Chelsea really didn't play football at Camp Nou. All they did was "par k the bus". It was almost a 10-0-0 formation. A f*cking disgrace too, I dare say. All they did was pass, pass, pass. Only one good chance that was ruined by (no prize for guessing it right) Drogba. The rest was really frustrating to any football lover. Hence, the Spanish press were quoting this debacle as justice done, even if they find it delayed (till the 93minutes, that is).

At the end of the day, it was a bit of clumsy effort by Chelsea and a big big hand of the ref that made them see the end of the road to the final. A 1-1 was on the cards, but the way it drew is a shame.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Reclaim your life : The Tata Safari Dicor Ad

You must watch it to know what I am speaking here. Once in a while when we are changing the tv channels, we stumble across an advertisement that is worthy of our attention. Quite fewer times we come across one that makes us feel all nice and gay - there a few ads that make us happy everyday, but these fewer ones make us feel entirely happy from inside. And fewer times, 'rare' can be the word to describe it, there comes an ad that grips your attention, that dictates terms, that more than lives up to what it is advertising. Some ads stand a class apart. Way way apart. This ad is one in that league. Its almost solitary being in that league because there are too few that sit up there.

I love this ad. The way the music stops at the right moments and then carries on again. The way the whole thing is shown. The way different scenes are portrayed together. The way the whole music plays. The way that guy looks up as the waves crash on his feet. The way the Dicor drifts and mud rises. The way the Dicors background is. The way the rain drops fall on the spectacles and on the mud.

This is one ad that made me feel that I should buy this Tata Safari Dicor. Maybe one day I will. And if someone asks me why, I might just smile and open the door and get into it and press the pedal and watch his outline becomes smaller in my rear view mirror. Brilliant ad ! Really no words can mention how brilliant this is.

Kudos to the ones involved in the ad production and design, and the sound track maker ofcourse. Wonder if anything can get a better video for promotion !

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The devils are vanquished, at home

Note: This piece is just a waste of time for those who do not know what football is and what a good laugh against an opponent is. ;-) Even though you may find arrogance and evil in this piece, it's just an attempt to write up lines about a wonderful opponent with no such intentions. Just for fun. This also serves as a statutory warning to the Manchester United fans.

"The time has come," the Walrus said
"To talk of many things:
Of goals -- and penalties-- and red cards--
Of when the final bell rings
And whether Man. Utd. have wings."

It was a dull day for most of the Manchester United fans, atleast duller than the past times that they've been vanquished. Losing a match by a telling margin of 4 goals to 1 to an adversary, of whom they despise, of whom they talk about while playing cards, while sipping hot tea on a saturday morning, would bear upon their feeble minds an onus that is well worthy of itself. The last saturday, with their full strength, their eleven men, Manchester United lost the match at their home ground, the Old Trafford, to the Reds, the Liverpool, by the scoreline 1-4.

Much has to be said about their complacency and arrogance. So much that if one has to go on writing, it would well be reaching the end when a book of Ramayana started parallely would have had the Lord Rama constructing the mythical bridge to the Lanka. The comparison isn't apt. More so because of the hard work that the monkeys and others had gone through to build the bridge. United here, for one, did nothing of that sort. They were just bewildered by the audacity with which the Liverpool forwards and midfielders have surged through their vaunted defence.

A passer by, when prompted to watch the match, would have said that the scoreline would have been much heavier on the latter side with some khatarnak goals just having missed the blessing that master Fate holds its reign on. United are not wonted to having being thrashed at home. Maybe this would wake them up from their day dreams and their habit of stating that the Premier League is unka baap ka jaagir.

There are some things that only one can experience. Those that someone of the calibre of Wodehouse or Sidney Sheldon can describe with their hold on the language but would still fall short of giving one the actual experience of it. Like having garam channa or pani puri on a winter evening, or having a garam chai on the rainy day watching the rain through the window sills, or dancing in the rain with your loved one. One can speak much about them but would only be succeeding in communicating that one would enjoy such things. But to actually let you know how it is to feel those things, is quite impossible. The same can be said about a casual football lover that watches a wonderful game on a saturday evening. That it is between Man Utd and Liverpool , the old rivals, needs to be mentioned here. That I couldn't watch it is not a matter of chance, but speaks of the tragic lives that people in BSNL project are leading. Atleast with the feeling of unable ot watch the match, I felt it hard on my conscience. ;-)

Enough of this obituary for now. I have exaggerated a few things here, but would be happy to have written the same stuff again. Especially contemplating on the match through the red tinted glasses that I am wearing. (Liverpool are called 'The Reds') Whatever might be said, it is evident that unless Man. Utd. fails to win a few of the easy matches, Liverpool dont' stand a chance for the title. Man. Utd., with this scar, would be quite formidable and thrilling to watch, as ever. Whoever wins, the football each of these teams play gives one a quite-a-smug feeling and that's what it is all about. Let there be love. Let there be football. To hell with Indian fourth estate and their mania for cricket that has driven me to stop watching cricket.

PS: All the Manchester Utd fans sorry to have disappointed you. It was just a wakeup call for your team. Next to Liverpool, I love Man. Utd. Apart from Christiano Ronaldo, of course.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Where is the Love ?

(This one hasn't any particular direction. Just some musings put together.)
The valentine's day has passed. No news of bombings anywhere. Thank god, I say to myself. Valentine's day. The day that sells many greetings. Many flowers. What about the ones on the other side of the line ? The ones that wreaked havoc lately, with their bombings and shootings. What would the valentine's day hold for them ? The boss says it's a holiday for us today. He's going out with his wife to a dinner tonight. ??? What about these guys ? Quite young. With frequent rushes of blood to the heart. The adrenaline rush. Cold blood to the heart or blood to a cold heart ?
It's not like they have thought it from the time they came to senses. What would they have thought when they were 10yrs old ? What would you have thought of when you were 10yrs old and one amongst them ? You look at the grocery store wondering how lucky his children are because they need not work much because they already knew what they would do when they grew up. Owner of the grocery store...the place where people get vegetables from, their daily essentials, not guns. Yes knives. Only that they are used for cutting vegetables.
You look at the ice cream walah. Like a magician who takes a rabbit out of the hat, he takes the ice-crotes from his dabba. Look magic. Smiles on the faces of the children surrounding him. I want to be a magician, make people gasp, make magic. Look magic. Everyone claps. Nice show, sir. What show is this now, where's the rabbit ? Only that its not a rabbit, it might have been an AK or a grenade. No claps. Only hands, detached from their masters.
You watch the television. Big cars and smiles all around. Enough dough in their pockets to buy lots of icecreams and chocolates. I want to have them too. Except that on their way up, they forgot the things that gave them satisfaction, the things that they wanted. Aspirations grow. People change. But when you listen to a wrong voice you make a wrong choice.

How does it work? What you think is wrong, is right for one. What brings you tears brings a smile for someone. How does it work? How does one know what's right ? What's right need not always be good. What's good or right need not always be the thing that should be done. Who decides these? Who dies and who lives? You there, you are wearing that blue pants that I despise. You will pay for it. Is that it ?
What about their valentine's ? They say everyone has a someone who thinks they are the angel on Earth, the blessing from above. Everyone has a someone who has robbed of their hearts. And in some cases, minds as well. That one girl that used to grin, through the veil, when she sees you.What about the one for these guys? Holding roses instead of guns. A bunch of roses for you miss. You stole my heart. I am heartless now. Sarcastic, no. Tragic. Maybe there are the only ones who can stop them frommarching ahead.

So, where is the love ? In the world, is growing unrest. My darling son, you are home. How was the school ? He's safe today, she says to herself. One more day of being safe.
We went for a small trip to Basar, to visit a temple. On the way, we stopped to eat the puffed rice, lemon rice and chapathis that mom made. We stopped near a lush green field. It was an onion and potato field. There was water running through the pump that was in the field and we thought it good to stop there. We had just finished eating the food and had taken a few snaps and were contemplating on leaving when a little girl arrived. She was the daughter of the farmer that owned the field. She was all smiles. She stretched her right hand and we saw that there were a couple of roses in it. There were two of my sisters with us. It was for them. They were only too glad to accept it with a smirk. Her dad had plucked those roses (there were a few rose plants on the far side of the field and we didn't notice it. Probably he planted them for his daughter) and gave it to her daughter to give it to these girls. No one has asked for it. It was not at all needed. But it was love. Love for his daughter as well as these daughters of some father that he didn't know. An act of good will.

One can blast such people. Can grind bullets through them. But cannot touch what's within. Of what one holds inside.They can make love take a back seat for some time. But cannot destroy it. It's here. It's all over the place. It's everywhere. For we are, still alive now. It wouldn't have been without enough love to hold on.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine times

He was awestruck. At that particular moment, he felt that life is beautiful. It was not often that he feels like that but with his princess around, it is more often than not. If someone would have said that there was nothing noticeably special about her, he would reply that everything was. He only saw that she was radiating warmth and love. That the trivial act of adjusting her ear-ring on her right ear would evoke such an abundance of love, he had no idea. That he was feeling it, he was more than aware. It was running through each of his nerves. That feeling of exaltation was all that he was aware of, apart from her presence. Not even his presence. Just a set of feelings put at one place. That he was unable to put logic to it did not bother him.
"You want to say that you love me ?", asked the princess.
"Yes. A lot. A lot, lot, lot. I love you a lot". Presently, he just saw a dark outline of a pretty face and some strands of hair on an ear and it was shining. What it was that shined was inexplicable to him. He was entirely lost in his own thoughts. It was as though he was blinded by the light that was hitting his face. Little did he realize that it was really the sun that was shining behind her. It was becaue she tilted her head to the other side. She came in between the sun and his face. And now that she tilted it to the other side, he felt the brightness on his face. She didn't look surprised and that told him that his face was not showing that surprise either.
"This is the fifteenth time today that you've said that and it's not even noon yet"
"That's a small number. I would say it a hundred times a day"
"That's not enough. I want it to be said Nine hundred and ninety nine times"
He moved a step forward. Her eyes widened.
"You're not going to..."
His face was bent and he landed a burning kiss on her uplorn face. He was a bit taller than her and she had to look up when he did that. The kiss was right on the top of her forehead, above the black tikli. It was too gentle. She felt as though she could be there forever in his presence, with him so close, so close that his heartbeat was almost audible, and that it was beating for her, with her name resounding in a rhythmic fashion.
She tried to control her smile, but she was already grinning.
"You said more than what I asked"
His fingers entwined with hers in acknowledgement. Her head was resting on his chest. And she was sure of her name resounding now. It was as though they were one, made more prominent by their entwined fingers. And he was now looking at the sun, and she was in his arms.
"How would a wide eyed beauty like it, if it was Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine times ?"
"That would mean that they both would be quite hungry and thirsty in the end. What with how long it would take to tell it or show it"
"You stole my line, princess"
"And you stole my heart"
"That's even then", he said. He was now passing his other hand through her hair.
"No. I haven't kissed you back yet", she giggled.
"Oh ! When you give it back, I need the actual one plus the interest on it"
"How does a hundred percent interest sound ?"
"Suits me well"
"Then I'll give you more than that"
"That would be more than fine", he said, "And I would be more than happy".