Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My eye on Chennai...

A few immediate thoughts that pealed my mind, as I strolled around the city:

1. I love all the one-ways that has been newly introduced.

2. The first sight of G.N.Chetty road devoid of trees, wriggled my heart. G.N.Chetty road looks many times pathetic than I saw in Newspapers (One of my friends KK told me that over 130 trees were cut - shit!). I only hope that this appearance would turn into neat flyovers soon, paying a decent homage to all the trees. (As of now, I'm trying to avoid G.N.Chetty, one of my fav roads in Chennai and using alternate routes)

3. The AC MTC Volvo bus looks cool - the driver sporting whites and cap, comfy seats, low-floor entry, L.E.D display and pick-up equivalent to a car. More of such luxury buses are being introduced in the city. But I was told that a lot of local bus services (with cheaper fares) are being stopped, inducing inconvenience to many people who can't afford. That is totally unfair.

4. And finally, I want to nuke all the auto-rickshaws. They really drive in "cycle-gap".

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Push push..

"Dham lagake aaishaa, zor lagake aaishaa..."

What are you looking at? I'm trying hard to push the hour hand in the clock, all by myself.

Why don't you help me?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Letting go! Again!

You may want to read this before you proceed:

Three years went by.

Today, I somehow couldn't sleep. Something was disturbing. Maybe the last night's "Banana Payasam" tried by my wife for the first time. Or maybe the movie that we watched together last night. Or maybe the thoughts of the customer-presentation that is scheduled for today. Whatever is the reason, it hindered me from sleeping strongly. I got up, had a glass of water and came back to my bed. I looked to my side. She was sleeping like a baby. I smiled and I looked up the ceiling. Thoughts ran across my mind.

I heard somebody asking hurriedly "Excuse me, has the flight BA035 departed?" Just then, I was cursing myself at the London Airport as my connecting flight was delayed by 3 hours. I sighed and looked up and started "No...The flight is dela..." and I stopped. It was the look of the princess. C'mon it just can’t happen again. I was kind of awestruck and before I could think of saying anything, she said "Oh Ramji! What a surprise?" I was still blinking, as she continued "I never expected to see you again!" I took a deep breath and slowly said "Sandhya!!...I never expected too". She smiled. The same smile of the princess. That reminded me of the previous times I died because of her smile. She told "I just can't believe we are meeting yet another time in just 6 months". I smiled and tried to look outside thru the glass at the runway and she asked again "Did you say the flight is delayed?" I tried to remain casual and said "Yes. For 3 hours they say. Some technical snag it seems". She said "This is crazy. In one Information display, it says the 'Flight Departed’; another says 'Flight Delayed'. I had to rush, as my previous flight was delayed. I thought I almost missed the Chennai flight. Thank God, it was delayed. Maybe it was delayed for me only ". She winked and laughed heartily at her own joke. I couldn't appreciate or even say if it was a joke. But I smiled too in accordance.

She then continued "I presume you going to Chennai too". I said "Yes. I am". She asked "So, Coming back from US?" I said "Yup. And you?" She replied "Yeah, me too. I'm coming from Philadelphia. Where did u fly in from?" I said "New York". She asked "Hmmm...So, where is your wife?" Damn! She remembers. That was the question I was hoping wouldn't come. After all, how can she forget? I thought for a while and slowly replied "No. She is at Chennai. I'm going to meet her". She smiled and said "So, you happy to go and see her?" I smiled dryly. After a few minutes of silence, I asked "So, what are you up to in Chennai?" She replied "I'm going to meet a guy that my parents were talking about for sometime now. They say he is too good. I had a couple of chats with him and he looks like a nice guy. If everything works out well, we'll have our wedding in a month's time". That settled like an arrow straight into my heart. It shattered me. I felt as if I would never forget those words from her. My mind was completely blank. I cursed myself yet another time. And I felt damned as to why should our roads cross at all.

I thought moving on in life was simple. But it wasn't. Her thoughts were disturbing me for nights together after I met her last time. And now I get a chance to meet her, but only to find out that she's going away from me. I felt stupid. I opened the book I was reading and tried to see thru the sentences. I felt like Dharsheel from ‘Taare Zameen Par’ movie for the words in the book were literally dancing in front of me. Maybe i caught up with some temp dyslexia or something. She was listening to music in her iPod. I occasionally looked at her thru the corner of my eyes. She appeared normal. I simply couldn't understand that. I closed my eyes and thought for a while. It all slowly occurred to me: How can I ever expect her to wait for me, and that too after blurting out such an idiotic lie last time? Even if she had liked me, even if she had fell in love for me, even if she had waited for me, how can she ever continue to do that after hearing from me that I already got married. It would have shattered her too. I had a lot to tell her but nothing did I tell her. We both did not talk, except for occasional glances and fake smiles.

We heard the flight announcement. She casually asked "What’s your seat number?" I bumbled for the boarding pass, located it in my shirt-pocket and told her "35A". "Oh okay, mine is 19C. Looks like we are separated enough!" What? Is that some kind of a symbolic movie-kind-of moment? I sighed. Then she got up and said "Ok Ramji, I'm tired and I am gonna sleep well in the flight. Maybe I'll see u in Chennai before I say final bye to you!". She walked away after offering that final smile. That killed me for the millionth time. There I was, looking at her go once again in my lifetime. I wondered if it would become a habit for me.

In-flight, I sat down in my seat and looked outside thru the window. The day was sunny and bright. The pilot announced that the flight will be taking off in a few minutes. I tried to catch a glance of Sandhya from my seat. There she was adjusting her hair, the pillow and getting ready to get some sleep. The flight took off. Unlike normal days, I couldn’t enjoy the flight gaining altitude. Rather I was looking outside like a loser and at the Sun directing rays at me. The sun rays were shooting at me, asking what am I doing to myself in life. One ray happened to ask me "should a single lie decide your whole life?" Another one asked me "Is there not a way you can undo this?" Another one replied "There are a lot of ways to get over this. Opening out the mind and talking would solve everything". One more ray asked "Are you gonna let her go again and seek solitude. There is still time to save yourself!" I looked at her, she was already asleep. The talks of rays continued. I said "No, thanks" to the flight attendant, when she came with breakfast. Then when she came with lunch. Then when she came with the snacks. I didn't feel like eating and all that I was thinking was "Should I let her go?" The pilot announced that we'll be on our descent shortly. I couldn’t believe 10 hours passed by. My hearts raced, my pulse paced and I stood up. I walked straight towards seat 19D.

She was up by then, sipping a cup of coffee. She looked at me and said "Hii...how was the journey for you? I slept so well I didn't even know I skipped food. Now am starving". I grimly told her "Hey Sandhya, I need to talk to u". She sensed the seriousness in my voice and asked "Hey, what happened?? Is everything ok?" I said "Hey listen. There are a lot of things I need to tell you" And I started from the school play, our last meet, the after-effects of that meet, about the thoughts I had during this flight and finally the stupid lie. I couldn’t believe I looked at her eyes and spoke for over 5 minutes in one-shot. If it was a movie, I would have got applause from the crowd. I was breathing heavily when I ended my flow with a hush-voiced "I love you". Her face was reaction less. She looked at me. She then slowly said "Well Ramji! It took you over 15 years to tell me that you love me, huh? You know something? After we met last time, I couldn’t believe you. I went home and called a few of our school-mates I am still in touch with. Nobody was aware of your wedding. Then from a few of your other friends, I confirmed you were single. I had a look at your Orkut profile too. From your friends, I also found that you liked me. I was going to get in touch with you anyways, but God played the game a little differently than I had thought and made us meet today. And on my part, I lied about that guy my parents had seen for me". I was completely flabbergasted and struck with awe. I couldn’t say a single word. I swallowed and asked slowly "So, you are not getting married to that guy your parents told?" She smiled and calmly said "There is no such guy you silly fellow!" She added "And by the way, I love you too!" I would have hugged her so tight she would struggle for breath, if it wasn't for the Air-hostess who asked me to get to my seat as the flight is about to land. I danced on my way back to my seat and from that day on, there was no looking back.

I looked at Sandhya. She was still sleeping like a baby. I slowly said to her ears "I love you". She moaned something sweetly and she went back to sleep. I don't know why all of a sudden I thought about that flight incident today. But it only made me love her more now. I kept looking at her.

Given a chance, I would keep looking at her that way all my life.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cricket, Tennis, my sleep and my future!

After dinner, I sat down to sparse thru the TV channels till my brain screams me to hit the bed. I happened to see that Sania Mirza is playing Venus Williams in the third round of Australian Open and the match is expected to begin 7.30pm Melbourne time. And that means 3.30am Eastern time - I thought for a while - Sania's face flashed across me - I decided in an instant that I'm gonna be awake and watch the match. I was as well following the Ind Vs Aus 3rd test cricket in Cricinfo online. If Indians don't win this match, I thought they can better call themselves 'Unfit for International cricket'. But they did peform decently well and that gave me all the more reasons to be up.

I was completely obsessed with nothing but Tennis and Cricket from 10pm to 7.30am EST. In addition to the happy feeling for India ending the Aussies' streak, I saw three interesting Tennis matches - 1. James Blake def Sebastian Grosjean(5 setter), 2. Roger Federed def Janko Tipsarevic(5 setter again) and 3. Sania Mirza lost to Venus Williams. Federer's match was a real entertainer for me, as I was somehow hoping that Federer would lose since I did like the way Tipsarevic played. But poor him, he lost in the 5th set 8-10. And this match prolonged to delay the Sania's match up until 5.30am EST. And then came the sights of Indian flag and Sania - the lone Indian woman tennis star. It's been two years since I watched Sania live. And in this match against Venus, I noticed that she has clearly matured into a whole-different player, displaying more aggression, cool sportsmanship and the attitude of 'Nothing to lose'.

She would have won the match, if it was anyone else than Venus. I did enjoy Sania's forehand volleys, back-hand returns, her innocent smile and her occassional 'oh_no_why_did_I_hit_that_shot' kind of screams! She had the charm and the charisma and she has all the potential to be the number one, if she works hard. Overall, it was a pretty good night for me.

Also, I hereby declare that I do like Sania and I wouldn't give a second thought to accept, if she proposes to me! ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Patriotism and Blogging...

I have quite a few questions that make me scratch my head:

1. Does Patriotism mean staying in one's country and not step out at all?

2. Isn't Patriotism more a feeling pertaining to one's heart than the place one stays or where one comes from?

I define Patriotism as a feeling that every person who can 'think' is bestowed with. It is present in the hearts of all those people, who are considered more as normal human beings than morons. I find it a little difficult to understand when some people (especially in India) take ownership of 'patriotism' and claim that as an indigenous feeling, inside them. Inside only them! They also strongly believe that once somebody steps out of their motherland, they are no longer patriotic. And as per them, such people can't even talk of patriotism. I find it a little disturbing. Just because somebody stays out of home and away from parents, he/she does not lose the love and affection for his/her parents/home. The same applies to country as well. And I can positively say people who step out of their home-country at least once have got a better patriotic feeling than those who stay within the country. To be honest, I should say that I realized the specialty/greatness of home (both my home and country) only after I got a chance to go places.

I started this blog as I simply like writing and most of what I write gives me inexplicable happiness. That being said, most of my blog-posts needn't be completely true or reflect what I exactly think. I write some of my posts, just for the sake of fun for myself and for the reader. And as per me, blogging itself is more a medium to give vent to your thoughts and a good “while-away-time” concept, most of the times aimed at fun. And so are the comments that are being posted to blogs. A couple of days ago, I left a comment in one of the fellow-bloggers’ blog-spots and she hit me back with a reply that was a little skanky. And she made sure that she gives me the same sort of comments in all the other blog-spots that I comment regularly. And one of the comments were about Patriotism and as per people like her, guys like me shouldn’t talk about Patriotism, because we don’t stay in India. How silly is that? I still can’t figure out what makes people jump to baseless conclusions like that. And most people who move to other countries for career (esp. IT folks) would have spent a minimum of 20 years in their home country during childhood and education. And that’s enough to instill patriotism in them!

It is indeed weird how people take things. Everyday I get to meet different people and 'that' person who commented is one among them. Here, as I type this I smile thinking of this world, our country and the people!

Kiss better than handshake!

A team of international researchers has carried out studies and found that while greeting people, it is healthier to settle for a kiss on the cheek than handshake, Times of India says.

Western countries need not bother at this study. But we Indians got to. I have always wondered why hugging and kissing is a major tabu in India.

I hereby recommend all you readers to greet people only by a hug and a kiss!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I hate...

...those who lock their photos and scrapbook in Orkut. It hinders my research work.

Why should they upload their photos and still hide it?? I dont get it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Me?? Getting killed??....What???

"How many people are killed in Road accidents?" asks one villager, Sify reports. And this question propped during the talks about the ban levied on "Jallikattu"(Bull fight in Tamilnadu, India) by supreme court. It is funny to think when people compare the deaths in road accidents to Jallikattu casualties. And most of the villagers have tonsured their heads, went on hunger-strike, road rokkos and even offer a threat to immolate themselves. Ha! Do I call that spirit? And they argue that their villages have become world-famous because of this sport! When from killing people and torturing cattle have become sport? And they argue that it is many times safer and less-cruelty-imposing to the bulls, when compared to "Rekhla", which is a form of bull-cart race. And after all, they say they celebrate "Maatu Pongal"(a function dedicated for Cattle) and bulls are sacred for them and they wouldn't harm them no matter what. Quite funny!

Well, like kids crying and getting a bad-quality chocolate that might affect their health, these poor villagers have done all "nataks" to convince Supreme court to lift the ban(sort of) and have the "Jallikattu" go on under Government supervision!

Namba aalungala adichukka mudiyaathu pa! (Nobody can beat us!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Snow Skiing" is the best medicine!

This weekend was quite good - the right combo of excitement and rest. Yesterday, myself and venky set off and tried our hands(or rather legs) at Skiing here. It was a pretty good experience I should say. I have done Ice-skating once before, but this was many times nicer and easier. I knew we aren't experts and this is nothing like driving, to start straight without lessons(yaa, for all of you out there, it's me bragging in a silly fashion that I started to drive myself - like Elakaivan..err....Ekalaivan!). So we started our skiing experience with one-hour lesson. The first thing we did was to rent the ski-equipments, which included the shoes, the ski and the poles. The shoes, once wore made my legs look nothing less than an adult elephants legs. A stature like mine standing on elephant legs - wow! that would have been a "delight-to-ridicule" for many on-lookers! And as I tried to walk, every step made me feel, as if somebody was holding my legs from behind and begging me not to go skiing. (Yaa, I should accept that those shoes were a little heavy!). And the second thing was to get onto the ice and wear the ski. Yup! now, my legs has grown 3 to 4 feet in length from front to behind. With those things on, I couldn't even stand - let alone skiing. But my instructor taught us easy ways to start balancing, moving, stopping, turning and even manoeuvring. And I tried. And fell once. And twice. And thrice. Though it was a little embarassing to keep falling that way(like a "Always-falling-out-of-balance-yet-to-walk-kid"), I looked around and noticed that I wasn't the only one who was falling. Since we were in the learner's trail, every soul there was learning and invariably falling. Wow! isn't that a nice sight to watch? It was more like a live and a personal episode of "Laughs:just for gags" or "The planet's funniest videos" being telecast for me.

After our lessons and saying "bye" to our instructor, I took refuge onto the bench and relaxed, as "Mr. Cant-control-himself" Venky continued on his try to ski. I should admit he skii'ed decently well, except for that "first-time-big-fall", where looking at the way he fell, I thought he had his specs shattered, arms broken and ankles twisted. But nothing happened to him and that fall didn't stop him either. As he kept skiing to downhill and taking the 'rope-tow' to go uphill and again skiing to downhill, I was watching the rest of the people. They were trying and hoping desparately that they would one day ski with ease. And most of them fell down atleast twice in my sight. Have you ever sat down in a relaxed manner and watched somebody keep falling(that too in "repeat" mode)? That was what I got to see yesterday. Wow! That made me laugh. And at times, I laughed my heart out with my eyes drenched. Everybody was having fun. And since it doesn't hurt to fall there, those who fall down would invariably laugh embarrassingly before they get up. And that made me laugh all the more. And if there was something called the "best-fall" award, some deserved that for sure. You simply can't imagine that! And with the ski shoes on, they find it difficult to get up and that gives us the extra-understanding of how they fell and the after-effects! I was on the "laugh-roll" for almost 20 mins!

I almost decided that if I go skiing regularly, l would be the happiest person in life and in turn end up an healthy person. As they say "Laughter is the best medicine", which triggered the post of this title too!

Little stars in the world...

I happened to watch "Taare Zameen Par" this friday. Though I normally watch such-hyped movies on the day of release, I deferred it as I read in reviews that it is one of those "senti-types"(And I don't like to pay to get senti!). But now I gotta confess that the movie was a fine one, in the likes of "Anjali", "Kannathil muthamittaal" and other exquisite movies directed by professionals like Mani Ratnam. And as a debutant director, Aamir Khan has done a pretty decent job. It was a neat subject, delineated with finesse. I know it is too late to write a review, but I'm sure this movie belongs to the cadre of movies which has no-heroine, no-love, no-nonsense, no-dream songs and only sensible sequences. It is a must-watch for parents and for those others, who need a smile on their face and as well, a lump in their throat for full of the second half of the movie!

[Update : "Tujhe Sab hain pathaa hain na Maa...." is the song that plays in my ipod in repeat. - that song wriggles my heart!]

Thursday, January 10, 2008

President - To join an IT company?

This being the election season in the US, this title might appear as though I'm referring to Mr. President (of USA). But the president I’m talking about here is the Hon’ble President of India. I read in the news today that salaries of the president and the vice-president of India have been hiked. Actually, "salaries hiked" would be an under-statement, for their salary has been amazingly doubled. Our president would now draw a lakh per month (in INR) and our Vice-president 85000 per month (in INR). And president of USA draws around 400,000 USD an year, which is more than 12 times of what Indian president draws. I know this comparison isn't straight, as they both hold their responsibilities and the power at totally different levels.

About the power and responsibility of president of India, I find it a little challenging to understand the whole concept, because India's top governmental position wouldn't stop at the president's level. We have a Prime Minister following closely. Then we have all the cabinet ministers. And Prime minister is the one, who looks like he's really running the country. I have argued many a time with many of my friends and colleagues that whoever is the president of India wouldn't make much of a difference to a civilian. And I naively used to argue that Mr.Abdul Kalam did not make any commendable difference to the country, except for winning the hearts of many youngsters. Indeed, he was a great source of inspiration to many youths of India. But then he could have achieved that, just by continuing as a scientist. And the buzz of Ms.Pratibha Patil being the first lady president of India and all that died down in weeks and her name rarely comes in the headlines these days. I’m sure Ms.Indira Gandhi, being a PM made her presence remarkably felt more than Ms.Pratibha Patil. But I know I’m missing something here.

Thanks to googling, I later understood that the responsibilities of the president lie at a much higher level. Precisely the major responsibility is to uphold the constitution of our country and to be the Supreme Commander of the Armed forces. And in addition to that, president is the one, who appoints the Governor of states, chief justice of High-courts and Supreme court, the Chief election commissioner and the Ambassadors, to list a few. This means the president holds heck a lot of responsibilities and remains a true head of country and "first citizen of India". (In the course of my googling, I also found out that president, in spite of being the head of state can be removed from power through impeachment and for any violation of constitution. But the interesting part is the president would receive no other penalty than impeachment.)

The prime minster, on the other hand appears to be (and is) the most powerful person in our government. He decides the policy of our government and advises the president on all important matters. He appoints the council ministers, who technically run the country. Maybe that's why the prime minister is more visible to people than a president. Well, it is an apparent fact that heading a country is nothing close to an easy job. And that too, heading a country like India, which is replete with corruption and bribery and at the same time, is growing at a tremendous pace in the global front is a mammoth task.

I only wonder how come most folks in IT (especially the top management people) draw more than twice, thrice and even 5 times of the salary of our president. Maybe managing people in IT is complicated than even heading a country. Or maybe facing a customer in IT is difficult than facing foreign delegates. Or maybe swimming thru SDLC is tougher than the five-year ruling term. Or completing an IT project within budget is unmanageable, when compared to managing our country's five-year plans. Phew!

I agree that our country is still poor, still developing and a lot of areas needs concentration, before we compare ourselves to many other countries. But then, the pay to such governmental posts (like president or prime minister) should be better that what it is today. Though I’m sure that people who opt for presidents’ chair wouldn’t care that much for money, I feel they should be paid in much better scales, for more reasons than one.

Well, on a lighter sense, I only hope the president or the prime minister don’t compare themselves with IT project managers. Leave alone their thoughts of getting into IT!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tata and 2500 dollar car!

I become extremely ecstatic whenever I read about India in the international dailies. And that too when they laud about India's efforts to make a difference in the international arena, it makes me rapturous. The days where people think of snakes and poor people, when talked about India have gone. India is a much better country these days in technological advancements, education and research. I felt a trivial pride in typing the previous line. Many countries are looking upto Indian education system and I read a week ago that quite a few of Japanese schools are trying to adopt the Indian education system. Japan is known for their technological innovations and hardwork. Now, they look upto India for their basic education methodologies. And a lot of students from foreign countries come to India for education, which is yet another thing to be proud of(The fact that people used to come Nalanda univ in those days and the same thing reviving now is definitely a good sign for us).

And coming to the title of my post, the whole world is looking for the "1-lakh car" that tata is planning to release in April'08. And it is codenamed "People's car" by Ratan Tata. There was an article in New York times today and it said that the cost of this car(2500 USD) is cheaper than an in-dash DVD player that is found in luxury SUVs in US. That comparison sounded a little funny to me and I smiled. Back in 80s, when Japan concentrated on the small and economy cars, the whole world was contemplating on their success and the technology they were adopting. Today, it is India, who's making the other countries to look at us. And our roads, our economic condition, population, etc., have made this "People's car" a highly-potential car for success in India. When two-wheelers cost around 60-70k INR(around 1800 USD), a four wheeler for just 2500 USD is definitely a deal for many people in India.

If Tata is from Germany or US of A, he would not even have thought about this idea. It is made, just for India. The car holds a 40 bhp/600CC engine and clocks a top-speed of 75 mph. It lacks Air condition, Radio, power steering, power windows and many other features which are found in 90% of the cars today. But who cares? It was primarily designed for those two-wheeler families in India, who don't have to get drenched in rain or wither in the shine. Tata has also used cheap plastics for the car's body and welding in place of rivets. And a lot more "little out of conventional" manufacturing standards. The major downside would be the safety norms and the emission standards(for India is expected to conform to Euro IV norms by 2010).
This car is not designed for Autobahns or Freeways and am sure it would be ideal for Indian roads/conditions. Whatever it is, this car marks a great revolution in the automobile industry and the whole world is looking forward to it!

One more reason to be happy about India :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

India in Australia - Rats in Lion's den

In the last 15 years, how many times have I hoped that Indian cricket team would win those matches that is to be won. Or atleast those in the brink of winning. Or atleast stop the opponent team from winning. Or atleast for God's sake, make it difficult for the opponent to win the match. But all my hopes would invariably end up in vain. I can easily count the occassions, where India has won the match in an unexpected and a startling fashion by completely crushing the opponents(not considering the simple and easy wins). I just sit back and imagine how would it feel like, to be an Australian and supporting such a team, where winning is just a habit. They only try to taste victory in a better style than the previous time. They try to break their own record, for not many records from other teams are left to be broken.

And coming back to my hopes, I wasn't hoping that India would win the 2nd test in Australia. That too after the results of the first test, I reminded myself that Indians are nothing more than rats in Lion's den. And after the 1st innings mammoth score of 600+ by Aussies, I knew it for sure. But thanks to a "Greece-God" type of a century by Sachin, my hopes were kinda resurrected. And my hopes(a typical desi one) weren't to win this match, but atleast to draw this match. Just atleast to stop the Australians from equalling their own record. But Australians were so surefooted that Brett Lee said after the third day, in the press conference said that he was sure that Ponting would declare after the right juncture and give Indians a trying shot. And things turned as they expected with "yaa_he_hits_another" century by Hayden and "just_to_screw_the_hopes" century by Hussey. Australians declared for Indians to thrive for meagre 72 overs. And our guys screwed it up royally!

I keep wondering if a team of 11 international players can't just stay put and hang around for less than one day in a test match. They are not asked to score runs, not to take away this match. Just save the wickets for some 5 hours. Who to be blamed? Six players scoring less than 20 and four out of that, with just single digit scores. And one more person worth mentioning and who played a major role in this test match - Steve Bucknor. If an umpire makes a mistake once, the fact that"Human Beings are prone to mistakes" back them up. But if they keep doing the same mistake and that too in favour of one team, then it props up quite a few doubts. Ideally, as my friend Vijai said, Steve Bucknor should have been the "Man of the match" for he scored over 200 runs(thru Symonds) and took 3 wickets for Australia.

Why is there something not done by ICC about this kind of blunders? I would suggest just a camera with a sleek tripod in place of the umpires. And bowling team can pretty well appeal to the camera and it would give a Green Light or a Red light in reciprocation. The camera can pretty well take care of the dimissals - be it run-outs, caught behinds and even LBWs. An intelligent camera can surely give a counter of no of balls bowled, etc., Why do we need an umpire after all?? Can't we have a sensor to decide if it is a wide or a no-ball? The only reason an umpire maybe needed would be to handle sledging or hand-fighting among players(if at all). So, we can just have a single person(as the fourth umpire) on the field. Let the cameras and the computers do the umpiring job, for we would have fair results and ofcourse less cost. I guess it's time ICC does something of this sort.

Poor Indian cricket fans - all they could think of is to burn the effigy of Steve Bucknor(in Kolkata and Kanpur). How can they be blamed? When it comes to sports where India wins in the global arena, I could think of only Chess, Tennis, Hockey and Cricket. Vishwanath Anand has been a great chess player, but chess is not a game which can attract ardent fan groups. As far as Tennis is concerned, we spoilt ourselves(thanks to Paes and Bhupathi for their comradery, Sania - the lone star in the constellation). Coming to Hockey, we have never performed to catch the headlines in leading dailies atleast in the recent past(or atleast for as long as I have known). Other sports like Soccer(India never goes beyond the West Bengal tournament wins) and F1(only challenger is Narain) can't be expected to pull crowds. So, cricket is our only hope because of our more frequent wins. In spite of what happens to the results of matches that Indian cricketers play and irrespective of shameful loses that we come across, fans are always there for them. And to the extent that if not read in history subjects, Cricket would be thought of as India's National game by many youths. They simply wait and hope that India shines.

And I do too!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Chocolate and Sex..

Rediff says Chocolate and Sex can boost the brain. The theories of the researches are contained in the book called "Teach Yourself: Training Your Brain." They say elements of dark chocolate increases the supply of oxygen to the brain and thereby keeping the brain fit. Sex by the way has a very positive impact and increases the brain's functional ability.

Well, I do eat a lot of chocolates - but my brain isn't boosted all that much. Figuring out why...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My bedroom Ceiling talks...

I wonder how long can a person keep looking at the ceiling of his bedroom without getting distracted? I presume not more than 30 seconds for a normal person with my level of concentration (yeah you read it right - a normal person!). And I tested my presumption once (involuntarily though) and it brilliantly proved me wrong. I did not realize I was looking at the ceiling for a full 20 minutes, until I heard something.

This is how it all happened:

As I lay in my bed last night, I tried desperately to get some sleep and not to think of anything stupid. But I invariably succeed in the latter every night. And this time, I unknowingly switched on my virtual time machine and went back in my life by 6 years. I still don’t know why I did that. And I was entering my college. I saw the tea-shop at the entrance. People used to rank it 7 on 10 vis-à-vis our college canteen, which scored a pathetic 3. The tea-shop certainly brought back the memories of those worth-less chats I have had with my friends, those special “Bajji” the tea-shop “Achi” makes for us, those of my friends from Mech dept who spend most of their day at this tea shop, and my religious thrice-a-day visit to accompany my smoking friend. There were other benefits in being a passive-smoker in a tea-shop – you get to hear all latest gossips, get to know a lot of seniors (who you can never see in the college campus) and a free chewing gum for accompanying my friend.

I then look at the college buses and it brought back the memories of how I used to deliberately miss the college bus in the morning hours to take my bike to college, how we used to find inexplicable pleasure in speeding up while over-taking the college bus, how some of my friends contemplate before getting into the college bus about bunking college for a newly released English movie (with mallu star-cast) and how our college bus served as the conducive arena for ragging. College bus taking students to college has always appeared to me like a nerve carrying blood to the brain.

I then entered the main block and walked into my class-room. What a sight that was? I saw guys who were completely oblivious of what’s happening around them when they get busy chatting with girls (in spite of the fact that guys and girls had a virtual wagah border in their seating arrangements, some never missed these "before-class" and "after-class" hours to cross the borders and have "intellectual" interactions). I saw those sports guys beyond the last row, who were busy discussing how India lost to Australia last night (they get into the shoes of Geoffrey boycott and harshey bhogle to analyse) and the guy who supports Australia was screaming triumphantly at the top of his voice. I saw those people who were busy completing their 11th hour assignments, those girls chatting pointlessly among their coterie, those guys wondering if they still have a chance to bunk the class and finally those silent-sitters just hoping desperately that the classroom would settle down some-day or the other.

The very thought of my college brings back a lot of memories to me - those victorious inter-college competitions, planned (but still screwed) college tours, tensed semester examinations, startling university exam results, weekend evenings at Besant nagar beach, night-study at friend’s place, hours of silly-cricket at the terrace of my house, birthday celebrations, first day first show movies, Christ ma - Christ child game, paper-presentations, study holidays, incomplete assignments, running short of pocket money and so on.

I just simply would give anything to get those days back in my life.

Years pass by. I am no longer a student. I'm supposed to be matured and responsible. I don’t have time or the company for sarcasm, poor jokes and entitlement to a responsible-free life. I only dream of such happy days - those days of absolute fun and real laughter. Those were what I would call "bustling" days. But life is a roller-coaster, experts say. I try to have fun with that too. I make calculated jokes. I maintain "limits" in my sarcasm. I still enjoy my life. Just that at times, I don’t get sleep and I try to challenge myself on something like looking at the ceiling for prolonged duration. Thats when I heard my celing talking and it said something like that:

"Enjoy every moment of your life

Tend to dream wide-awake

Simply write a blog-post

And it'll bring a smile, which is not fake :) "

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dinosaurs and me!

History channel says Earth will dry out to a desert in about 2 billion years. Our planet will be nothing more than a barren land and would be devoid of any living being after that(expect for cockroaches maybe!). Human beings would be extinct for sure. Looks like that’s what marks the end of 'Kali' yuga. Or maybe the takeover by 'Kalki' avatar.

Whatever…I'm better off than Dinosaurs, for they did not even know they would be extinct!