Posted in Cricket

Scrape the flakes for game’s sake

It is only fair that I bring a logical conclusion to my previous”plundering thunder” post, by talking about the grand finale. I walked into my 8 AM training session in Las Vegas on Monday morning, sort of oblivious to the fact that I am in a different time zone and not realizing that the T-20 final is underway at the New Wanderers stadium. This guy on my table, let us say Ranjit, gets introduced to me and has a smile on his face the meaning of which sank in only later.
His first question to me was “Do you follow cricket?”. And I go, “Oh....yeah..I forgot all about the final. What is the score?”

A few minutes later, the facilitator had actually commenced the session and we were still busy clicking refresh. Down to the last over – 6 balls and 13 runs with one wicket in hand. Then Ranjit told me India had won. There was cheer around that table – incidentally there were 5 Indians just on that table and there were some high-fives exchanged.

I was able to watch the highlights in youtube. Somehow this version is addictive and may be the right answer to popularize the sport in Americanized parts of the world. But really, do we need to? Even if the answer is “NO” (in my mind it is), I guess there is some charm to the fast paced action that happens on the ground. This being the first world cup of its kind, the teams were trying to figure out the flow of the game and the strategies needed. Very exciting to be watching a new version of an old game evolve right in front of us.

Dhoni has been very impressive in his post-match press meets and in his interviews. Comes across very matured and has been able to speak his mind without being crass. Let us hope he has a long future as the captain of this outfit.

Shoaib Malik – What the heck was he thinking when he apologized to fellow Muslims? Why on earth would fanatics like him try to link a game like cricket with religion and assume that if Pakistan plays, then all muslims around the world “will” support them? Is some kind of terroristic fanaticism creeping into cricket as well? ICC has to yet again act on something swift. It may just be the Pakistani team that needs some clipping. The fact that they lost, clearly shows that their god does not like them winning. A fair enough logic right?
They must be sinners in their own god’s eyes. Well, for whatever its worth, I hope someone nips these religious quips and quirks & lunatic flakes like Shoaib in their buds, before the game takes a blow.

Posted in Cricket

Plundering Thunder

Haven’t watched a single 20/20 game yet on TV. But it seems like this version is here to stay. Like many purists recreantly resenting this form of cricket, I had to sit in the corner and observe quietly. The recent world cup has changed it all. I even know who Allen Stanford is and why he is like Kerry Packer. He may not gain all the credits that Kerry Packer did for his rebellious colored clothing and white-ball cricket invention, nevertheless a 12-ball fifty could only be possible because of the 20-20 version.

Who is Broad? I had not known him till yesterday. The 19 year old lad got to bowl the 19th over of the inning which he sinfully will regret forever in his career. I want to watch the Yuvraj onslaught in youtube soon. Plundered by the strong shouldered vice-captain, the white ball got dithered beyond the ropes for six consecutive times. Mercy on the bowlers!

Posted in Miscellaneous

Wet Landing

The suggestive title has really got nothing underneath – just a simple way to look at two recent tragedies that were attributed to planes landing in heavy, wet and unrecommended conditions. But did the pilots in both the instances really think they could land the planes safely or were they blindly following ATC instructions? Either way, could the loss have been avoided? My heart goes out to all families and friends of both Sao Paulo & Phuket tragedies.

Posted in Uncategorized

Dream Life

So my friend and I have always talked about taking a sabbatical from the rotten pits of the daily corporate life. Well, not exactly – we do enjoy our corporate careers in a way. After all, it pays our bills. But the fact that there are complete fallacies in this incomplete career world, constantly make us sing the song of severance.

“What do you want to do?” I was as objective as could be.

“I think I just want to travel to Tierra Del Fuego and spend a few months there”, he said unassumingly.

Now that was an option I never considered even in my wildest “Verne”-ian dreams.

“Well..may be I will start my one year world tour with a two week trip to Japan to absorb some of its ‘shijou’…and then move on to South Asia…you know..it will be kinda neat to be traveling with no plans. I do however want to end up in Tierra Del Fuego”, he continued as enthusiastic as an Apple fan who just got the first iPhone.

“Hmmm..yeah..that will be kinda neat..”, I muttered the best response I could gather in 2 seconds.

“Great”..

An unplanned silence filled the room which otherwise was reverberating with world travel jives.

“What about your sustenance?” I threw the question out there.

“I have saved for this trip for years…I knew what I would be getting into”, he said quietly.

I could see his eyes rolling over his bank balance in a sort of an imaginary way. He seemed satisfied…or may be his eyes swirled a bit to ensure that the numbers were still ok with the inflation.

In my mind, there were gazillion little thoughts that fluttered through. If I can be slapdash here and just type them as incoherently as my mind processed it…

“Wish I can do it”

“Oh..yeah”

“That’s what I want to do”

“Hmm..lucky guy”

“I am jealous”

“Tierra Del Fuego – Is it in Argentina or Chile..? Actually both”

“Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and ????”

“How many direct flights are there from Detroit to Tokyo?”

“It is impossible for me to do it – Because If I have to do this, I have to do it with my wife and son”

“Mmmm..Wasabi”

“I wish I had learnt Spanish”

“Global warming – sucks – damn republicans!”

“Are you alright”? my friend interrupted my chain of thoughts.

“Absolutely, I was just going through the list of places I would like to visit.”

“Really, Can you share that with me?”

“Yeah..yeah..sure..sure..”, I was taking some time to collect my thoughts again knowing very well, the list is there but is not filled.

“Let’s see – Egypt, Greece, Spain, Eastern Europe, SE Asia, China, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Morocco, Congo, S Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and the whole Amazon belt..and may be central America – and…of course, Australia and New Zealand”, I paused.

“Wow..you know I have been to almost half of these places in your list”, he was clearly being boorish.

“Really”, once again..the best response I could gather in 2 seconds.

“That’s impressive”, I continued giving him the space to glow in pride and giving me the space to hide my disappointment.

“So when do you think you can take the sabbatical? Have you talked to your boss?” – at this point, I was hoping to get out of the conversation because I felt so low and so down.

“I am hoping I can take my flight to Tokyo next month”, he was confident.

“Great!”

“So what about you? You have always wanted to take a sabbatical too. What would you do?

“Hmm..you know I would have liked to do some travel like you..but now that I am thinking about it, with all the stuff I am in the middle of, I don’t think I can do it”

“What?” he was puzzled.

“I like the idea you see..I would love to have the freedom and not worry about my job everyday”, I confessed ..”but don’t think I will ever be able to do this at this point of my career”

“Hmmm”

There ended that conversation by the coffee kabana that day. The thought continues to linger.

“Trrring…Trring…” – the alarm goes off and I hit the snooze.

It was a frightening dream in some ways. A dream, that stretched my subconscious thoughts. But the friend in my dream is not fictional. Well, he may not exactly go to Antarctica but is definitely on his way out to live his dream life. And no, I am not jealous.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Movies - General, Sports - General

Scotch, Tennis and Humidity

Clearly none of the above three is related to any other. But they summarize my stay in Atlanta so far. I am glad that I got a break and I made it to Atlanta for a family get together. Amidst the chaotic kitchen melee with the constant clinkering of urns that keep churning out either oily mirchi bajjis or sambar that continued to feed a party of 12, some of us indulged in good tennis (well good only because of the workout – but really bad in terms of the quality of my game) on a humid Saturday morning followed by Glenlivet and Lage Raho Munnabhai. A great way to unwind during a short weekend like this. In my case, a way to compensate for 4 days of travel this week alone.