Posted in Cricket

Modi Vilaiyadathae!

That roughly translates to “Don’t get into an encounter (with me!)” or “Don’t clash (with me!) while playing”..or..a few more potentially advisory phrase of sorts to either warn the opponent or just to loosely throw a piece of recommendation to the guy who is ready to play cricket with you.

Cricket – Who could have escaped the scintillating (and blinding) appearance of the colorful IPL lightning on the cricketing skies of South Africa? Even if you are in Jackson, Mississippi, I am sure you were hooked onto for getting the latest feed on the recently concluded (Yes!!) IPL 2 series, brought to you live for the first 2 hours by Bajaj, Surf Ultra and HDFC, while the remaining 2 hours were successfully sponsored by Dabur India, Pepsi and Godrej.

T-20 is entertaining and was certainly looked down upon as rebellious as the Kerry Packer series a few decades ago. But within a couple of years, we have a form of cricket that is ready to take over ESPN’s channels for 8 hours a day. This format is entertaining without a doubt. But seriously, I thought IPL 2 was an absolute embarrassment to the traditionalist while being a boring anaesthetic to the modern aficionado, thanks to Lalit Modi’s continuous enhanced treatment techniques applied to the rules of the game from ball 1 of over 1 to ball 240 of over 40. This includes commercialization of the game in all forms.

I was trying to root for CSK although I knew that the team probably had only 3-4 Chennai players in the playing 14, much like the eventual champions who had to search for someone with a Hyderabadi dialect in their 14.

In summary, Modi ensured that the tournament will be forgotten in a very short time, only to reappear next summer in a mutated form to infect us, if at all, to bite the consumer palate of average Joe like you and me. Although what I hope is for someone to stand up to Modi and tell him “Vilaiyadathae!”

Posted in Books, Miscellaneous

Kindling the Past

5:30 AM – The sun is yet to break its first streak and the winter clouds of South India are still actively settling their dew, on top of the bushes & trees that formed a nice roof for our backyard. I, a 9 year old boy, yet to come to senses with adulthood, but in my own way, every bit of a teenager that I am not, walk down the stairs to get down to the first order of the day – brushing my teeth. Although, I have to admit, this would not be my first order had I devised the rules in the house. The second order of the day, approximately at 5:35 AM  is to take a short walk towards the iron gate, that perceivably gave us a sense of security, by being the line of control between our house and the busy street corner, which at this time of the day, is still recovering from the abuses of alcoholics from the previous night, but is ready to welcome the spiritual souls of the morning who walk past it to the nearby holy river.

Normally, from where I am, right after I step out of the washroom, I can see the silhouette of what I am looking for. I still walk all the way to go near the gate and wait for it, even if I am unable to see the object from a distance. These moments at the waking phase of the day, are spiritual for me in their unique way. No, I am not talking about spiritual from a religious context. Then, it happens. My moment of spiritual salvation. I hear the sound of a rusty cycle chain clinging on to the brake pedals, as the newspaper man jumps off his bicycle, letting the cycle rest on his waist, as it falls down, while his right hand goes inside the bag hanging on one handle bar of the cycle. He picks the newspaper (“The Hindu”) and switches it to his other hand, if needed and tosses it right through the openings of the iron gate. I run towards the gate and reach for it. I know my mom is awake by now and I know no one else is. So, I quietly carry it to the verandah and turn on the light, to awaken the mosquitoes that swarmed the bulb while it was dark for what seemed like a secret meeting, to plan their next attack for the following night. I pay no attention to any of these. I impatiently open the last page – Page 16. Flip one paper – I am on page 14. The Sports Page.

There have been many days, many months, many seasons (winter and summer alike) and many years, when the above routine continued, only that I continued to grow older. Even if I cannot simulate the same environment nor the coverage of Cricket in “The New York Times”, even today, I try to walk down my driveway on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings (ok..not always at 5:30 AM), to pick that piece of object to satiate my desire to know what is going on around me in this world.

I am one of the early adapters of technology in all forms – internet, gadgets, blogging, etc. So, certainly, I am not complaining that digital news has killed the Newspaper industry in the US. In fact, I will be the last one to do so because I dwell in the middle of multiple news streams, constantly updating me throughout the day, with everything that I need to know. But it is very heart-wrenching to read about the folding of so many local newspapers, who probably were/are symbols and icons of their respective communities. This not only is killing the very routine that brings back such good memories from my past, but also is apparently killing thousands of jobs – The newspaper delivery boys and men, the traditional journalists and many more.

As the country struggles with its share of woes from all corners, as newspaper companies, small and big alike, continue to find ways to survive this digital age onslaught amidst all these, they say to people like me, that Kindling the past is not going to bring anything worthwhile, instead asking us to accept “Kindle” could be the future. I have not used it yet, but am inclined to try it, just not to be left behind but also to be fair to my own claim of being one of the early adapters of new technology & gadgets. Even if Kindle turns out to be an useful product that I may actually enjoy using for convenience sake, I guess, I will always remain a purist when it comes to protecting the Fourth Estate.

Posted in Travel

Notes from the Road – Orlando in 30 hours

Before I start, here is the only picture from my recent trip to Orlando, that is even worth sharing – And the sad part is that this was taken inside the airport.

Atrium at MCO

1) Orlando can be a frying pan during the months of May, June, July, August and September – If that’s not your kind of heat, then you can enjoy the hurricane showers you could get in August & September for the cooling effect.
2) If Vegas can be atrociously touristy, Orlando can be super-atrociously touristy..! When I am on a business trip for 30 hours here, don’t think I prefer that.
3) Don Henley is a talented singer. How can he do song after song for 75 minutes without cracking his voice or bleeding from his his age? It is just that I went for his concert and this note has really got nothing to do with Orlando.
4) I could feel the effect of economy at the conference – Pre-packed cold sandwiches and salads taking the place of some warm meals they served us last year at the conference. The saddest part of course, was the dessert selection. No real fat content! Phew..Talk about learning to live slim during tough times.
5) Airports or TSA should introduce “Clear” kind of express lanes for frequent travelers at all busy airports. Not everyone would want to spend the “Clear” kind of money to go through the express lanes. I saw a guy in suit soaking with sweat, as he stood in the security line ahead of me, while the girl behind him was dancing to her iPod tunes in her flip-flops, tank tops and shorts! Not fair.
6) 30 hours later – I am where it all started. The Orlando airport! I have successfully spent 29 out of the 30 hours, indoors in Orlando. With Delta Crown club lounge packed with noisy business travelers like me, the chatter echoing through the air around me has a common flavor to it. Guess what? Alcohol…!

Posted in Videos


Sony Bravia – Not a big fan of the brand or the product ..but I think I am becoming a big fan of their commercials.

Check this out..Brilliant concept!

Posted in Cartoon, Miscellaneous, Pictures

Atchoo Atchoo with Oink Oink

It has pathetically been blown out of proportion – The Swine flu scare.!..

And the whole world now is on a Bacon alert! I actually like the fact that people will stay away from eating pigs for a while. Quite like the Mad Cow disease and the ban on Canadian beef, the Avian Flu and the ban on Kung Pao chicken, I am hoping this will result in Swine Flu & a ban on Bratwurst or Swine Flu & a ban on Tamales..Ha..Ha..

For PETA and not-yet-PETAs like me, this kind of an outbreak is the natural order of evolution. So, instead of shopping for masks and gallons of Astringents, I am going to have some fun at the cost of the Swine madness. Pardon my lack of empathy.

Winnie and Swine Flu
Winnie and Swine Flu
In God's own..sorry Gordon's own country...
In God's own..sorry Gordon's own country...
Land of opportunity (for those who like to panic)
Land of opportunity (for those who like to panic)

Copyrights due to where they rightly belong ..