Posted in Cricket

Swinging Slinger

There are some moments in the game you should watch live. I didn’t do that yesterday. But from what I have been reading, Malinga – the Slinger has proved that cricket is indeed a game of glorious uncertainties. He reminds me of the incredible Greg Thomson for some reason..Is that because of the round arm action & flowing hair?
This one’s for you Lasith!! Cheers!

Posted in AR Rahman, Cricket, Travel

If only

Let us just say, it didn’t work out this time. There were two crucial wickets that pretty much showed where the exit door was to the Indian cricketers last Friday. If only Tendulkar’s feet had moved a shade quicker…if only Yuvraj Singh’s feet hadn’t moved from his crease…Ha! How wonderful a choice it is to live in an “if only” world!
If only, we could. If only…!!

We got on to our car right after the formalities were done that evening – this just helped me not to think about the game & sulk over the loss. Guess I was a little more inanimate that day for my normal cricketing emotional state of mind. Well, trying to stick to the ‘it’s only a game’ philosophy! We had promised these good friends that we would make it to Milwaukee for their little one’s birthday retreat, not just because we like (!!) driving 350 miles in a short weekend, but the social outcasts we are, we really wanted to see these friends after they moved out of the dying Michigan economical pit. Sometimes makes me wonder – if only the Big 3 had made some smarter decisions at the beginning of the decade and not let the slump hit them as hard as it did…If only…!

The toll collecting system around the Chicago highway loop is poorly designed – not a great discovery, I know!! But have to make this point. It was so annoying even at 10 PM to be driving and stopping at a toll booth every 10 minutes. If only there was just one entry point and one exit point in that entire stretch of the toll way…it would have saved us so much time. If only…!

There is hype and hoopla everywhere around the music release of “Shivaji” and even more of that around the leak. “Oruvan” from “Muthu” eventually became Rajini’s best ever opening song and Rahman’s most favorite concert opener for a while and come to think of it, it was not an instant hit on the charts, as soon as it was released. So got to tell you – “sstyle” could be up there in the same league. May be it is a good thing that some of the songs have leaked even before the official audio release – because there are many unofficial reviews out there and by the time the official audio releases, the music should have grown on those who tend to trash a piece of art before giving it time to sink in on them. Specially Rahman’s art work – If only, they can do that….If only…!

Posted in Cricket

Magic of Cricket

As events unfold in any major sports championship, there is always a hope of expecting the unexpected. There is always a fear of seeing your favorite team (or player) lose. There is the most inexplicable sadism in minds to see the strongest of the teams or the individuals lose – and then there is a tenable feeling to root for the underdogs. A cricket world cup tournament cannot be dispensed from coming out of the above mold. In fact, world cup cricket may be the third largest viewed sporting event after world cup football (or “soccer” to my dearest & selectively ignorant American football fans who want to label something just because ….) and Olympics. So it is only apt that such a “boiler plate” of adage was developed, only after analyzing the outcomes of this cricket tournament. Well…at least it is the most logical and the most intelligent conclusion one can arrive at, after having followed all cricket world cup tournaments so far.

Week two in the Caribbean islands – and boy Oh boy! Haven’t we already seen some drama and tragedy? Without dwelling too much into the India-Bangladesh game itself, it was evident that there were aspects to the performance of both teams that clearly evoked extreme emotions in the subcontinent. The glorified demigods and the superhuman cricketing icons suddenly were looked down disgracefully and were painted as betrayers or as having committed some murderous act of treason in India. The same neighborhood ‘rowdys’ who were heaping praises on their local hero, turned mindless mobsters and galloped to their local hero’s house to ransack, in a matter of hundred overs. A very similar, yet more violent emotional cords were stuck across the border in Pakistan, when the Haq boys got a heavy beating at the hands of Guinness drinking green boys from Ireland. All these underline a sad truth about the general states of mind of the subcontinent cricket fans. Most of us have taken cricket as more than a sport into our lives. There are sports fans everywhere around the globe – There are passionate & violent fans in all sports like the hooligans of European football or English Rugby. But to deify the sportsmen so much so that they become so emotionally involved with you at a personal level to result in such an outburst is incomprehensible and makes you wonder where the fault lies and how it all began for you don’t see such outbursts anywhere else.

If the minnows thwarting their bulkier opponents were the real upsets on-field so far in this tournament, then the untimely death of Bob Woolmer brought the unexpected tragedy that the event did not need off-field. Autopsy results will become great media fodder and there will be something to chew on, other than just cricket after the tournament ends. All that apart, it is a misfortune to lose an extremely savvy coach who understood the game from angles not perceivable easily and always thought out of the box. The Pakistan cricket players will be under tremendous stress in the coming months to deal with the wrath of their fans(?!) back home as well as to deal with the loss of their ‘hated’ coach in unusual circumstances.

But, Cricket must go on. It is a great game that has no parallel in terms of the sheer entertainment value that it can offer for long durations. Celebrations and Tragedies will continue to be part of this beautiful game where weaker teams will have their good days and stronger teams will have their bad days. World Cup cricket will continue to be a hosting ground for lesser known players and for underdogs to stage their celebratory parades. For, all this defines the magic of Cricket.

Posted in Pictures, Travel

A couple of days…

The most absorbing fact about going on a vacation is that I invariably come back home tired more physically than mentally – It just has become my routine & I am used to the dreary eyed looks on Monday mornings. My latest experience changed it all, for we were on a true vacation, meaning we were on stress control – less work physically and even lesser work mentally.

Caribbean sea couldn’t have looked more beautiful – Even after seeing so many pictures and videos of this absolutely sparkling blue ocean, only naked eyes in front of the naked ocean could do justice to its sheen. Yes. Cancun is a very touristy (read it as ‘american touristy’) town – and for some stretches on the main hotel road, it reminds you of the Miami south beach – but only two decades ago. The town is a man made marvel set near the rim of the caribbean zone, engulfing all that nature has to offer, boosting it with all that a winter tourist would want, packaging it smartly and delivering it to the dollar spender who does not think about the currency conversions at that moment when he is paying for his serenading margarita delivered to the pool (while he is floating) by a bikini clad bartender. But….you walk a few feet away from the easily addictive pool/spa recreations – step on to the white sand beaches and look at the indefatigable persistence of the waves, as the azure horizon and more within your reach, the gorgeous blue bottom echo the splashing sound, you just want to stand there and breathe the fresh air that you so rarely get to. That’s what I did..

Of course, my son was a joyous baggage. This was more of a vacation for me to be able to spend some unadulterated family time with my wife and son. I think we managed that with a little bit of sucess for a couple of days.