Sachin the virtuoso Tendulkar

This post was long due, a tribute to the man, who still gets me in frenzy about cricket. More than 100 times he has composed the lyrics, sang the tune with his rhythmic flow of bat and provided the spectacle unmatched and unparalleled in its beauty in any sports arena. The swift movement of legs and a gentle glance towards the on-side, those down the track moves and a nonchalant bottom hand lift of the bat, the ball flying over the bowler’s head and the bowler looking back in awe, wondering how to respond to this genius, with a quiet return to his bowling mark or a well deserved bow of head.

He has woven magic over and again. On mention of his name, my heart has swelled with pride, never needed a reason or an occasion, every day, in and out for the past two decades simply because he is an Indian. He has been a figure constant in the ever evolving world, he has been a name associated with my life since my year of birth. 1989. Yes, the year when this humble fan was born, fortunately sharing it with the debut of the figure that would in coming years be revered as God.

When I think about cricket for last 21 years, and cricket has been my first love in sports forever, not a moment, not a picture comes to my mind which is not shared by the genius. A punch in the air after each of the five wickets against the mighty Australians in Cochin or the blizzard of two centuries that he brought to get India, the Sharjah cup in 1998, these are not mere calendar events. These are emotions that bring you the nostalgia of the time when a man would jump and make you jump with him. For whom the country of a billion hearts pray together, the man can’t be just a sportsperson. He is a phenomenon to have inscribed in three generation of Indian life. One lucky person happens to be me.

The 200* in ODI was not just a stats for record book. It was an experience of life time. The whispers among friends in classes to update with the score, those unexplained exclamations and jubilations which caught the teacher’s attention, and then the sudden rush to watch it happening, on the television. This feeling followed by a search of the nearest TV set, those friendly pushes in the crowd to be able to get a glance of the 21 inch screen and in it the giant figure of a tiny man. To bear the heat and crowd, yet cheering out loud with every gesture of the man, and those profuse use of obscenities if any opposition fielder as much as looked back to the genius in his eyes.

Win or loss will never matter after sometime, no one would bother if we were in the finals of the 2003 world cup, but the memories which will last with me are those blatant strokes of indignity that sent many bowlers wondering if they really deserved the shame. That enterprising pull against Andrew Caddick, which sent the leather way past the ground, those upper cuts and drives against the speedster Shoaib Akhtar which ruined his reputation. Those more than 600 runs in that world cup fest, each and every one of those will stay in memory, for those are not mere statistics, those are the experiences attached with this sport.

The legend has not stopped, the story has only reached its climax, and the end has just begun. Only if someone could defy the mortality of human body, this man deserves to get that grace. Not for the sports, not for his team, but for the billions, whose hearts throb and miss a beat with every ups and downs of this man’s fantasy world and with every win and his defeat. A salute to the mammoth that is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who was born to play a humble sport of bat and ball and take it to the ranks of divine, in the country where religion and caste are the basic fundamentals of his identity.

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Mixed Curry

Since I own this place, I thought I may as well use it once in a while. Now there’s nothing interesting happening in social sphere, apart from the here and there good news and terrific news (I tend to ignore the bad one’s. Too upsetting for my taste.), I looked around the political sphere. Quite surprisingly there are no notable events in that domain too. Apart from the usual corruption charges on the men in power (oh, its always the power which corrupts), there haven’t been juicy scandals or sensational political statements to talk about. Have the political leaders decided to mind their conduct in this holy month of Ramadan? Must be, I guess. The sports arena is also quiet. Sachin’s scoring as usual in cricket and there is always a debacle around the corner like the one against New Zealand. And as usual all other sports are suffering, a bit extreme this time around with the non-existence of Hockey Federation of India or whatever that was called.

Ah ! There’s one event worth talking about, the movie – Inception. What movie, boss. All I can pray is that no Bollywood actor/director/producer (there stays no distiction between them of late with actor becoming director, some producer becoming actor and all actors becoming producer), so I was praying that no actor and all others, who have the authority to copy a movie, tries to make a Bollywood remake of this movie. I would kill him. Now then you can have an original story to make a movie into. A deranged fan of a foreign movie kills the indigenous actor/director/producer, alleging the deceased that he was involved in defacing the work of art, the greatest art of probably this generation.

Umm, so this is basically what these times are all about, nothing out of ordinary. Hopefully that 15th of August is near, there would be a rush in patriotic feelings, some politician would also get jingoistic(Stay wary Pakistan! ), and ofcourse as nothing lasts forever, this feeling will wear away with time (a bit sooner in this case), and if not, will definitely shrink in proportion, that people showing their love for motherland will get a bit more concerned about their states, language and culture and hunt anyone down who would wander by on their pastures looking for more greenery. Isn’t it so, Mr. Shiv Sena? But that later, for now, I will find that dose of patriotic drug from nearby store. To those who are monetarily concerned, just take ample amount that lasts at most 20 minutes between flag hoisting and anthem singing, you can get back to your usual corrupt methods later.
Thank you and …umm…Jai Hind. (Flavour of the season isn’t it ?)

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Post match analysis of the confusion

The Battle : Most of the Arab world (read Iraq and Iran) remained sceptical about much talked about battle of America and England, however were relieved when they found out that the two countries were pitched against each other. The wiser of the lot attributed this to the British Petroleum oil spills. The flame was only fanned by the talks about US military hero by Clint Dempsey.
Football or Soccer : The American fan who were expecting a match of football as promised by FIFA were surprised to see their team playing soccer instead. Reportedly the players were confused about the same which is why they conceded the goal in first 5 minutes. Then some messenger from the White House passed the message of Mr Obama of kicking ass. The US players luckily got only the kicking part and started kicking everything and anything around.
The Green Effect : Obama was categorical when he said that the Goals must be achieved only by Green means. The Britishers are facing the heat for oil spill (though they insist that BP doesn’t stand for British Petroleum and is only BP). Green somehow inferred that President Obama was referring to him and delivered the goal to the US. For the rest of the match, Terry stayed wary of him and did his best not to let the Goal keeper get his hands on ball.
The Yellow Card : To compensate for the Green Effect, Yellow cards were distributed freely to members of both the teams. However Howard the US goalkeeper insisted that he had successfully compensated for the bad goalkeeping by making a dozen saves and hence was excused. Steven Gerrard received a yellow card in the match and he was confused about it. He tried to explain to the referee that he already had a “Yellow band” (for he is the captain) and hence he wouldn’t need a card. The referee could not understand for he was only trained to know the swear words in English.
Wayne Rooney : He stayed the happiest of the lot for he accomplished what he never did before. He did not receive a yellow card or even fouled.

PS: Though this post is filed under Light moments, the events in the real time gave really tense moments.

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Bash-less Allegations

This seems a season of allegation, Mamta Banerjee alleging the Left to have a hand in the sabotage, for which the Home ministry and every one around is alleging the Naxals. Indian army has decided to make into the daily news even in peace time and has been on forefront in getting involved in allegations , and of course Lalit Modi has a 10000 page thesis, God knows how many allegations he has put up, or wait he is already an accuse on many counts. The greatest allegation of the season has been on God Himself of having sent Adam and Eve away from heaven due to reasons other than the Apple controversy (No not the one which smacked Windows, the one they ate ). So, celebrating this season, here I am panning out some of my own allegations.

1. Naming my first accused- the famed BCCI for not sending the team to Asian Games.
Unlike most of the people, I have no qualms of losing a medal, it was hard to come by any ways, but what pissed me off is that, now the players will be treated as demigods once they have beaten the poor Kiwis in the home series on super turning tracks. Oh, and one more thing which I will miss is all the gossips that would have followed after the debacle in the asian games. Sad day indeed for media!

Accuse 2- The Ambani Brothers -Why on earth did you have to make up? You made so good headlines, now will have to stick to Ekta Kapoor’s series for the dosage of opulent industrialists and their family row- crying mother, fighting sons and all that. Passing note- Heard that Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi got scraped? Sad day indeed for the media, again.

Accuse 3- Arundhati Roy…hmmm have to be careful, dont want Naxals running around my home looking for my head. Heard recently they looted some nice rifles from CRPF!
Madam Roy, I tried reading your book “God of Small Things” but you have cramped way too many complex character name to be able to enjoy (speaking strictly for myself, don’t give me that booker winner shit)! Got inspiration from Illiad, eh ? No doubt your life is always so complex, you fail to understand the basics, like try this one “Naxals are a threat to everyone! ” Never mind she wont understand, but I shall wait for her new novel “Gandhians with Guns” (All right she alleges the media to have framed the word for her, she never said that.)

*Update — I read the book and its one of the greatest I read but doesn’t change my stand on her.*

Accuse 4- Marcus Tulio Tanaka for injuring the great Didier Drogba.
Sad indeed for football fans !

After so many allegations, the risk stays of being slapped with a law suit as it happened in the case of poor facebook-er, however I am sure that my friends will bail me out.

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Leisurely Sunday morning and the newspaper.

The morning started pretty late today, and as usual with the Hindustan Times. The front page covered the tragic plane crash at Mangalore and once again I felt aggrieved but having read all the articles and followed the news the whole of yesterday, there could have been nothing new that the newspaper could report.
So as I looked through other articles, I was overjoyed to see the students from Bihar board scoring more than ninety percentage, for they always suffered at the hands of examiners who for some reason never marked them above 90, the highest until the last year was around eighty-five and thus the students would always be at a loss compared to their peers from other boards.
The editorial consisted of a few good articles with the inimitable Khushwant Singh ruling the roost. His article All in a (Hot) Day’s work provided the best possible start to a day, and the humour on Barack Obama and the Queen was all you can ask for to refresh yourself and thus setting a real good mood to read. Having read the articles by Karan Thapar, Vir Sanghvi and the special guest columnist Carla Bruni Sarkozy, all of which were very refreshing, as I moved from one page to the next, I came across the leisure/listings sections (could not find an internet link) which consisted of the Tarot Power predictions by Ma Prem Ritambhra.
That I am enjoying the luxury of free time, I thought of reading this as well (on other occasions I would prefer a gossip column to predictions). My star sign predictions started thus :
“You tend to think negatively and torture yourself endlessly by imagining the worst about major decisions and changes this week.”
I had to read it again to understand its implications, and thus it caught my interest. I was determined to know, how or what instigated such an accusation on my otherwise joyous and positive pattern of living!
Proceeding further, I found out that I would connect with a special friend this week and celebrate privately. This sounded interesting, but still did not make sense. All I am to do this week is stay indoors, away from heat and read. The only time I would go out would be to the gym but then meeting someone and above all celebrating “privately”, is definitely not on my mind. Also it did not explained the first allegation of negative thinking so I was a bit disappointed.
“You can also get in touch with family and parents as you are sentimental and caring”
Don’t know about the qualities but I am at home because it is vacation.
“You can over analyse situations, confuse yourself and miss opportunities”
Ma Ritambhara would chuckle and point out to this article and say “See ! I told you, analysing a tarot card prediction? common get a life! “, to which I had to respond that madam, it is you who got me to analyse this by pointing out that I am to think negatively and torture myself, for me these are as worse as suicidal tendencies.
However Ma Ritambhara, must have decided to give me a respite and went on to say how I can achieve anything I desire to and that I should consider aiming higher. Thank you ma’m. Your encouragement is noted and well appreciated.
The last line again got me to thinking: “Take time out of your busy schedule for some introspection and alone time”– I wondered whether to sacrifice couple of hours out of the 10 hours I sleep or some other time when I am reading some thing or the other which I consider a luxury of long vacation. May be I will sacrifice the reading time (and ‘analysing’ time) I spent on this tarot card prediction.
PS: My lucky colour is creamy white, hoping some one buy me a vanilla ice-cream.

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Story that lies behind Lies

Liar ! Oh, this word had once assumed astronomical proportions when we were young. Every child wanted to be seen in the light of truthfulness.Once who were not found adhering to these parameters, or at least were not found ‘trying’ to adhere to the parameters were automatically labelled as ‘rotten apple’ of the lot. Ah! As the adage goes ‘Rotten apple spoils the lot’, so it were no different. People discovered the benefits of lying. They discovered that speaking truth is angelic but the lies that helps you are your true angels.

Then came the discovery of another kind of lie. The lie that helps you please others. “Oh, Sara, you look lovely today.” “Oh yes you are the most beautiful girl I ever met” and things of those sorts which would never hurt others but please them and may be sometimes help you cheer them up a bit. This was followed by the lies that help you when you please others. “Sir I think you are the best boss in the whole of corporate world”. Seriously dude? The ‘best’ boss? I thought that bosses are only supposed to be classified as variations of bad (worse or worst).

Lies that would help you be the greatest braggart. You could spin tales of your dare-devilry and people can stay amused and amazed. It really may help you earn some dough among your peers. Of course you needed to have enough lies to substantiate your first lie. In passing by, I just wanted to add that I am most likely to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize next year.

Then came the lies that would give hope. “It will get better tomorrow”. Yes for sure, psychic. Why don’t you tell me exactly why do you think so? Naah, better don’t. Reasoning can sometimes spoil a lie. That is where you know that sometimes one lie should stand on its own and too many would probably spoil the taste.

Okay. What about those lies you told to offend someone? “Hey, did you know I am better than you any day? If you don’t believe me ask Sara, that’s what she would tell you ” In all probability if the second person calls up Sara, she will never substantiate your lie, unless she is some obnoxious person. But then you could always say that she may want to be Not Rude to you. “She said that yesterday man, why did you have to be such a big loser to try to hear it again ?”

Lies to win trust, lies to betray, lies to hurt, lies to simply start a conversation, lies to end conversation, lies to the court house, lies to the offenders. Too many lies float around and we still hold the same opinion-“Liar !” with contempt, but that is not at all condescending for it is only condescension, for if you hold a liar in contempt and you lie, you basically have not your thoughts straight or you lie even when you thinking, that is what makes you the greatest liar !

Dietary choice – do you need to justify what you eat?

A very interesting debate has ensued of late, about “vegetarianism”. Its like people will actually form a religion if they are given a leader and stay preaching everyone to “go veg”. It would be very interesting site. Group of people will roam around telling their nomadic stories and will add after each motivational note that they are vegetarian and since they are so active and righteous, obviously that is the right way to live. And hence people who will be awed by their agility will emulate them and hence the clan will grow. There would be a time when people who eat chicken and fish will be considered “un-cool” and ungentlemanly. There would be black tie events held where the menu will range from different dishes of salad to more different dishes of salad. Need for anything like chicken will be replaced by soya and anything like fish by cottage cheese.

This will move a step forward by nations adopting vegetarianism as their state dietary choice and prohibition will be extended to anything made up of animal. Then there would be sanctions on the countries which still consume plenty of non vegetarian food and a new faction of countries will be formed where the sole uniting principle will be to fight against the hypocrisy of vegetarian countries. There would be attack on the black tie parties by radicals holding roasted chicken and fried lambs, the vegetarians would stand against them strongly but ultimately the delicacies would be the winner. After all no one can resist temptation of the palatable and delicious food.

Don’t be so amazed. I am merely rumbling for the frenzied people who have taken the mammoth task of saving the earth (on a side note doesn’t it sound a bit arrogant to be saving the earth while the Earth would be saying “I’ll be al right dear, Save yourself first!”) and getting excited that they have done their bit by giving up eating living beings and munching merely on the natural and green plants, they are bent on changing every one around them !
Good for you Monsieur/mademoiselle that you have changed, and I appreciate your freedom of speech and your good will, but do not keep on ranting in and around me. Thank You.

On a more serious note, what is this spectacle about “Go Veg”? Its my dietary choice that I like non vegetarian food and I would like to stick by it without having to explain to people the reasons or be looked upon as a sinner against the environment. You talk about my health? Hey look at your paunch, at least if I stuff myself with more of protein I can work out more.

But why am I explaining to you, I shall wait until eating animals is made illegal and I am prosecuted for that offence. I shall be happy to represent the millions who go by their taste buds. Till then stay with me.