Monday, September 26, 2005
The day you held her in your arms,
Years of waiting, years of prayers,
Had finally brought the smiles.
The man above chose a wonderful day,
To let her walk into your world of two,
The same auspicious day,
He had chosen to unite you two.
Home of two,
Now abode of three,
Two faces smiling and glee,
A little toddler binding thee.
Little lady growing into a brat,
She was your raja, beta and a champ at that,
Driving her mom crazy and mad,
You would convince her mom she wasn’t that bad.
You held her little hands,
Taught her to walk and run on the sands,
Sands of time they were to be,
She knew you would always be there to guide thee.
Every evening she would wait at the door,
For the bell to ring twice,
The unique bell to remind her,
You had come to make her day twice as nice.
Mom knew she was becoming you,
A little version she said,
How will she be without you,
She worried and said.
She would often ponder how you would react:
At her graduating into a young rebel lady,
At her independence in thoughts,
At her getting her first salary,
At her friends who were lovable brats,
At her choice to live away from home,
At her choice to marry the guy she loved,
At her constant arguing with mum,
At the values and principles she developed,
At her every little thing!
She still ponders over and over,
She tries to gauge your reactions,
From the 17 years you spent with her,
Would it be similar to what her mind mentions?
She questions and finds no answer,
Why did god love you so,
To keep you with him forever,
Why was he unfair to take you so.
She is treading carefully on the sands of time,
Looking up to find your assuring smile,
She reaches home and waits aside,
Hoping someday that doorbell will ring twice!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Kasto Maza from Parineeta; when traveling in the crowded Mumbai Trains and taking a peek at the surroundings (They comprise of garbage, filth and slums, no scenery there)
The Heat is On; when traveling in the B.E.S.T. Bus along the western express highway and it is pouring cats and dogs!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
- Sachin has clearly hinted his displeasure at Ganguly's behaviour
- Sachin is not on Ganguly's side
- Clearly, there is trouble brewing between the two.
We had 4 options which said:
- Statement 1 suffices
- Statement 2 suffices
- Both statement 1 and 2 are required
- Neither statement 1 nor 2 suffice
Sunday, September 18, 2005
- Einstein said that talking to yourself is a sign of intelligence. Answering yourself, however, is a sign of insanity
- Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
- Quitters never win, and winners never quit, but those who never quit AND never win are idiots.
- If you're not part of the solution, be part of the problem!
- We should eliminate doubt, I think!
Thursday, September 15, 2005
It all began with the famous comeback of all times against Australia in 2001 till the fine victory on Pakistan soil in 2004. There have been moments in between the two, that we will always cherish:
- The Natwest Final 2002 chase of 324 marked by young guns Yuvraj & Kaif
- The Headingley victory, Rahul Dravid will vouch for a fact that the hundred in those Day 1 conditions was worth a triple
- The string of victories at the World cup post the debacle in NZ. We actually looked good to beat the Aussies, but never mind the final loss
- The fine battle with Aus in 2003 to retain the Border -Gavaskar Trophy
The loss against Australia in 2004 at home started it all. Frankly, we haven’t come anywhere close to what we were from 2001-2004. The worst part was the farewell we gave to John Wright, the one man who was responsible for the change in our attitude along with you, the loss to Pak in the ODI series at home and the draw in the test series. It has just been downhill since then. Obviously, we know it is collective failure on the part of the whole team and not you alone.
It is a testing time for Team India, a time when it is adjusting to a new coach, trying to see off its past demons and unsure of the captaincy. You are back in charge for the Zimbabwe series. You have lead the team for 5 years now, seen the worst and best performances. This was not the appropriate time to make the statements you did yesterday. It bodes well for none. As optimistic as I can get, I’m hoping though that it’s been hyped by the media but surely there is no smoke without fire.
I have to disagree with some of the statements you made. We support you but not blindly! The one thing you had which other Indian captains lacked is the quality to speak your mind. But this time you have gone needlessly too far.
"A hundred is a hundred".
Agreed. But if you are going to count this one, as the one from which your team should seek inspiration and look up to you, you have got it completely wrong. Just as no one will hype your hundred against Zimbabwe’s current bowling attack (It is mediocre at its best), no one will thrash you down if you fail against the likes of McGrath, Warne or Harmisson. You are expecting us to hail this innings of yours? Even you know, you were not at your best, actually you haven’t been at your best in a long time. Consistency is getting a century in every series. If not that, atleast three-four 50s in the series. Sachin and Rahul have achieved that.
Cosistency Dada, Consistency is the key! And consistency is not about getting runs against weak bowling attacks and getting a hundred in 2 years!
"I have scored close to 1000 runs in last 16 innings."
To give you benefit of the doubt I shall exclude the innings where you did not bat. India does not play as many tests as Australia does. And the last 16 innings mean that one is looking at the last two years. In your last 16 innings (excluding the ones where you DNB) you got 630 runs which include the hundred runs against Zimbabwe yesterday. You got five 50s, of which 2 have come against Bangladesh.
Statistics do not reveal all, but they certainly do not lie. 630 is no where close to 1000. If you think it is, then you seriously need to go back to school and get your Maths straight. Three 50s against Aus, Pak and SAF is not a great achievement. If you were not captain of India, you know you would have been on your way out by now.
Here is your batting performance year-on-year and opponent wise. I’ve not made it up. What is missing is the big performances against the big guys of international cricket. An average of 32 against Australia and that of 27 against Pakistan and South Africa.
"People had asked me to step down as the captain"
So people wanted you to step down as captain. As if you cared? What happened after your debut ? You came back in 1996 and slammed everyone in their faces by a memorable debut. People were after your life post the Mumbai test in 2001, what did you do then? Gave the Aussies back in their own face and stood by your team and led India to victory. The Natwest final, when your team was down and out, you still had the belief and finally gave back to the Poms, in the same manner as they had when they were here in 2002 Jan-Feb series.
You have never brought out the negativity surrounding the team or internal matters to the press. Why are you doing it now? What do you want to achieve? Your supporters will support you no matter what, but this sort of careless behaviour is not expected from you! You will lose the few you have, if go on making such statements. Don't get into a self-denial mode. That's the worst one can do. You have a problem on hand, go back to the classroom, and deal with it. You have not yet sorted out the short-pitched delivery, see your last few dismissals. Deal with your problems, and show the improvement on field.
No individual is indispensable in cricket. We lost Gavaskar & Vishvanath, we gained Tendulkar and Dravid. Aussies continued to win post Steve Waugh era. A captain is as good as his team. If this game relied on individual brilliance, India should have been at the forefront during Tendulkar’s captaincy. You of all the people should know that.
Not one supporter is ecstatic about our performance against the minnows, in fact we feel the team has been listless. The real challenge is up against SL & England at home. Hope you last till then. The acid test will be the series against England, especially post their current Ashes victory. Hope you saw that? Hope that you and your team will seek some inspiration from them. If you don’t want to do that, go watch your debut series, the series Vs Aus in 2001 and 2003, your Brisbane hundred, and the series Vs Pak 2004. Hope that will ring a bell or two, that you and your team can perform!
Answer your critics through your performance on the field. This is the right time to keep quiet and let your willow do all the talking.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
I did not know a single soul who gave this team a chance to beat the Aussie Team. We were sure though that the Aussies will not have an easy victory. At the end of the drama, that began on 14th July, 2005 and lasted for one and half months the Poms were having the last laugh at all of us. They can laugh their heart out, they deserve it and they have earned it thanks to the stellar performances they put up.
Before I reminisce the series, I shall add one more person as Sunil and Michael pointed out to my Take a Bow list. Kevin Pietersen. What a knock! He completely mesmerized me. He and Flintoff make me wonder if I’m watching the Aussies in action or the Brits. Aggression and more aggression. They personify it. Yesterday it was that precise attitude that killed the Aussie hope of sneaking a victory on the last day of the match and keeping the “Ashes Urn”.
158 in 187 balls, 15 fours and 7 sixes. This, when your team was reeling at 126 -5, with only Collingwood and Jones to follow, before the tail began. He rallied his team along with Collingwood and Giles to 335! Unbelievable! What a moment in history to get your maiden century. What a series to debut in and most important of all, leave a fine mark on it! A debut that will be cherished by his countrymen for a long time just as we cherish Gavaskar’s debut in 1971 against the WI.
I must give a hand to Giles in this series. I’m no fan of his, he was run down by the media and critics alike but, he showed exemplary grit while bowling and batting. He added precious runs along with the tail and was instrumental in frustrating the Aussies.
The Aussies gave it all, McGrath, Warne and Lee (His figures don’t show, but how this man has fought in this series, that’s when you know you should not trust the numbers alone.) but they fell short.
Ponting has some serious thinking to do before he heads his team for the Super Series. So do Gilchrist and Damein Martyn. The Aussies have to go back and prove in the Super Series that they will go down as the Greatest Champions ever. None of us have doubts, but that will be one acid test and the failure to keep the Ashes will hit them hard. Not today, but once they land on their own soil. It really hurt to see the team down and out.
A Last Thought:
I don’t know if this thought crossed any one of you. When around 38-40 overs were left, England was at 258/7. If they had declared at that point; the Aussies would be left to chase 265 in 38-40 overs at a run-rate close to 7. It would be tempting enough. I would have loved to see what Aussies would have done in that situation. On the other hand getting them to bat and getting them out giving their final chase for the Ashes, Vaughan’s team would have dealt the final nail in the coffin.
Nice prospect. It would have been one hell of a scenario, a fitting end to the fantastic series. I was just imagining the scene.
But the Ashes victory was too precious to take that risk. Sigh!! We are left with the Ifs and Buts of the game and pondering what could have been. That for you my dear friend is the beauty of this game. The uncertainty that it has. The fact that it is a great leveler and no one is superior to it!
For the time being let’s join the celebrations with the Brits, celebrating Test cricket at its best!
Yesterday, Australia looked good to take the lead. However, they were undone by Flintoff, Hoggard and bad-lights. A risk they took to force a win for themselves was not fruitful. Up against a resurgent English side and Flintoff lead a fine fightback bowling 15 overs unbroken from one end. He was relentless in his bowling and what a spell that was. It broke the back-bone of the Aussie batting! This should go down as Freddie’s Series. It has to!
Will Pietersen be the hero today? He has had a torrid time against Warne but, he is looking good to make up for it today!
Australia has not given up. They are fighting hard but, is it too late? Or will it be ‘So near but yet so far for England?
We will know today. Till then stay tuned! The heat is definitely on in the Ashes.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Andrew Flintoff : Finally we have a genuine all-rounder. What a fine entertainer! I simply love the way he goes about his mission quietly and smiles back at his opponents innocently. I also love the way he looks back at his opponents straight into the eye, it has unnerved them quite a bit.
Andrew Strauss: He got out to a delivery similar to the ball of the century, bowled by the legendary leg-spinner in the second test. He was almost close to being labeled as the spinner’s bunny just the way Daryill Cullinan was. It’s not easy to face the Aussie tongues in the middle and certainly not easy to break the shackles of one’s mind playing against Warne. Cricket as we know is played in the mind too. But he tried and he fought hard. Two centuries in the matches to follow. The second one helped to pull his team out of trouble along with his other namesake. Certainly had a point to prove. 7 centuries in 19 matches is no mean effort.
P.S: This scene was particularly disturbing: No slips when pacers were on. 301/7 scared you to go into a defensive mode? Aussie Captain giving way too much respect to Giles & Jones. What do I make of it?
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
The advantage of living in a huge colony is that we get to celebrate the ‘Sarvajanik (Public) Ganeshotsav’. Every year Ganeshotsav was a huge celebration for us kids. First of all, the huge idol of Lord Ganesha that would be kept in our community hall. The lovely decorations and yes but of course the Aarti (Holy Prayer) and the Prasad. We would hurry up our dinners to be in time for the Aarti. Then roam around in the colony to be back at the hall for the programs to begin at 9.00.
We were a trio of girls who merged with the other groups of kids across various age-groups. We got together to perform at the competitions held in the colony, our first tryst with glory on stage :-) Among us three, A always swept most of the sports awards and the creative awards in the flower decoration, drawing and rangoli category. S and I were envious of her as we were complete duds in these fields, but we used to beam with joy and pride when she won. She was tremendously enthusiastic about these events. S & I on the other hand were absolutely lazy. Our mothers tried hard but gave up on us!
The programs were a joy for us. However boring they turned out to be, it was the only time in the year when we got to hang around till 12.00-1.00 in the night without our parents blasting us. As kids in school it was a huge privilege we got, else it was the usual, ‘7 Chya Aat Gharat’ (Home before the clock strikes 7.00.) Getting up early the next day to go to school was one ordeal, but somehow we seemed to sail through it during that period.
Our gang would sit in the last row away from our mothers and we were a riot when it came to commenting on the performances. More than the programs I think we enjoyed that part more. We would get to hear some colony gossip and it was nothing but cheap thrills, as we would forget about it the very next moment.
The events had it all, fancy dress competition, dances, skits that were never so funny, poetry recitals, housie and what not. It was one hell of a get together, where moms fought over whose kid deserved the prize better, young girls fought over dance costumes, recordings went haywire, orchestras sang out of tune, mikes never worked during plays making us miss most of the dialogues(which was good for us;-) cause then we scripted our own lines for the same), it was one big chaotic world.
It was fun, it was innocent and the people enjoyed it in the right spirits. There was no competition or professionalism and it was purely for the spirit of coming together and enjoying as one big family. We all liked it that way despite the chaos, the disco-ordination, the bickering, the confusion, the friendly banter. And we looked forward to the same old things year after year not wanting it to change.
The Visarjan (Immersion) was the most depressing part. Seeing the Ganesh idol being taken away for immersion evoked a huge wave of sadness among us. The pleasant face that we saw for all the 5 days, would just not be there for another 360 days, the thought was really depressing. I dunno what it was, but those 5 days used to be the most pleasant days in the colony. Even the Navaratri time did not come close to it. We all would dance, and offer our final good-bye to Lord Ganesha. We would try hard to smile so that he leaves us with our smiling images in his mind. As he left, it seemed that he kept assuring us that he will be back bigger and happier the next year, so start preparing for him right away.
I’m back to my colony this year after marriage. A and S are not around this time too. I did not go down for the program for the last two years as none of us were around. We had got busy in our jobs, careers and studies. Most of my friends and families I was close to, have shifted to other places and we still miss our dear colony a lot.
As I’m meeting my colony friends and families, I’m getting the feeling that somehow it’s not the same as it used to be when we were kids. Kids are fighting over who gets to dance on what nos., the choreographers (who are girls residing in the colony and not professional ones) are charging fees for choreographing dance nos. for kids aged 5-10. Directors for plays are charging fees, and there are skirmishes between the younger generation and the colony committee over organizing issues. It’s becoming too professional, and people are not enjoying the right spirit and the moment of the whole occasion. It’s just becoming another event for them.
Just another event.
As I walk down to take blessings from Ganesha this year in my colony, all the memories come flashing into my mind. I’m in my 7th Std, eating hurriedly, mom shouting for eating so fast. I’m practically gulping down my food. Run down to call S, then we run down to call A, who is waiting for us.
I wish to see the same every year, I wonder why things change? I know A and S are wondering the same too…
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Since on that topic, smiling was indeed easy yesterday.
Sania: Magnificent Mirza, Smashing Sania. She is making us proud as every tournament goes by. For a change the newspapers had her win covered before our beloved Indian Cricket Team. She is surely making everyone sit up and take notice of her.
And she is only 18. This little lady is on her way to stardom (If she already isn’t one!!).
Steady Kaif: Solid innings, gritty one, a stark contrast to his previous and something he and his team will be proud of. Stellar performance from the young man.
Shane Bond: Why am I including him? His absence was surely responsible for our easy win.
P.S:I saw the highlights and Ganguly was disappointing again. Why does he go for the hook shot? Somebody please answer me. He gets into the most awkward position. Why can’t he resist the temptation, especially at a time where he needs to get a good innings against his name? That shot took away my smile for a moment!
Friday, September 02, 2005
- Bumper sticker on a Toyota - my other car is a Real ota
- There are a lot of head colds going around because flu germs attack the weakest points
- Give her an inch and she thinks she is a ruler
- All the world’s a stage and all of us desperately unrehearsed
- God give me patience –but please hurry