Sunday, December 25, 2005

Vacation time

On a break till next monday , Wishing you all A Very Happy Christmas and A Wonderful New Year...

Happy Birthday Mumma

Two years ago:
Me: Where is my white Punjabi?
Her: How am I supposed to know? Should be in your wardrobe
Me: Well it isn’t there; that’s why I’m asking
Her: Did you check in the trolley below or on the bed where your clothes are generally lying about, with you bothering to fold them
Me: Do you always have to bring it up when I’m getting late; I’ll do it when I get back in the evening
Her: That moment never comes
Me: Anyways found it, it was in the trolley and don’t say I told you so. What’s in the tiffin today
Her: Baingan Bharta
Me: Why, no other good vegetable?
Her: You don’t eat many that I can have a variety
Me: Where is my water bottle
Her: Here, you can’t even fill it
Me: Bye…see you in the evening
15 years ago:
Me: The plaits are not symmetrical
Her: Minu your bus will arrive in 10 minutes they look fine
Me: No they don’t, undo them and tie them again
Her: There done it
Me: Still not in line
Her: Minu the school bus is waiting, and I too have to leave for office. Here is your lunch basket, go properly
Me: Bye, but they are still not in line

I am an only child so you were my sister and my friend. I fought with you, threw tantrums and harassed you.
As a kid when I had holiday from school and you had to go for office I would not stop wailing. I know how guilty I must have made you feel.

After a tiring day at work I’ve seen you enter the kitchen without a crib and cook the best food in the world day in and out. Make hot hot chappatis for me as I loved them. You would set my tiffin, prepare my lunch basket, tie my hair, dress me up and pack me off to school. You would take me around for my dance and singing classes. You would take my Hindi and Marathi language lessons and I would give you a horrendous time over the grammar. My shopping visits were incomplete without you, still are! We both used to have a great time eating outside though you would always complain that I ate too much of outside food; but whenever we went out you made it a point to take me to my favourite places.

As I grew up I started spending lesser amount of time at home and more in college and with friends. A new world was beckoning me and I was enjoying it. You on the other hand were letting me do so despite missing my presence in the house. We would have umpteen fights over numerous issues and then I would not talk to you until Papa came and made us two patch up. I enjoyed that because you would just let go of all the anger and pamper me again. Saying sorry even though not your fault came so easily to you and why is it that I find it so tough?

You had a tremendous sense of discipline just like Papa which both of you inculcated in me. I was scared to go away from home for my first job and you gave me the courage to do so.

You just let me be, with all the faults and all the flaws. You missed Papa but you took care of us just fine. You were just glad he had been around till I was a grown up little lady. There are times when I’ve not been there for you and I feel really sorry for that. You would complain and then come back saying you understood that I had other things to do.

Now that I’m married, I know where I keep my clothes, my wardrobe is never a mess, I do my own cooking (they tell me I have inherited your taste), my room is as spic-n-span as you always stressed it should be. But when I get back to our home I will always need you. It’s not about doubling your work, but it’s about getting to see you do those things for me day in and out without tiring; which just about explains the love you have for me.

I hope someday when I have my own little one I’ll be able to do half of what you have done for me.

No daughter in this world takes her mom for granted even though all moms feel that, especially not a loving one like yours. I might not say it often but you are the best mom I could have ever asked for. I don’t need a special day to tell you this but since I don’t express often, I thought why not today?

So that is your little present and here is wishing you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMA

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Much Awaited Rivalry

'The Ashes' have a history and this year England and Australia brought it alive. But the India-Pak rivalry surpasses all. For whatever reason if a person tells me he does not enjoy the bitter rivalry between the two sides, I'll be damned!

I love to see the die-for attitude rather than 'healthy rivalry'. Come on, you will take away all the excitement!

The excitement begins 14th Jan, 2005 and here is what India's coach had to say about the upcoming much-awaited Pakistan tour:

'We have a tour of Pakistan coming up. In terms of the number of people following it, think of an Ashes series and multiply it by 100. It’s huge.'

He has a good idea about the importance of this series. Will we repeat a 2004 or will the Pakis thrash us as they thrashed England.

We can only wait and watch...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chameleon Calling...

If this is true, God save the Indian team! He is the worst chameleon I’ve seen; forever changing his stands and comments. Not that any one sane here really cares. All that his presence can do is ruin the Indian team. For heaven’s sake I hope Chappell, Dravid and Co. take a stand and refuse his appointment as the manager to the Pak tour.

Well known for the statements he has made:

Here are few to refresh your memory:

Ok, assuming that the 1983 world cup was a fluke. I’ll welcome the fluke any day. Does WI losing the match make our victory any less credible? Is his memory poor or what? India was consistent throughout the tournament having beaten the WI at their home ground before and even in the league match of the tournament. Surely it was anything but fluke.
If this was a fluke then so were Australia’s 1987, Pakistan’s 1992 and Australia’s 1999 world cup victories. None of the above champions were consistent in the league matches and could have been very well on their way out before the finals. I don’t see their countrymen citing these victories as flukes and undeserving. Then why is ours? It is men like these that really hamper Indian cricket.

When Wright and Ganguly were building a young team trying to wash off the ugly ghosts of match-fixing instead of rendering support he came out bad mouthing both of them. I really wished he would shut up but that is not a quality he has.

On the Ganguly-Chappell Saga

He has hated Ganguly’s guts right from the word go. Well Saurav committed an offence, he paid for it and now has been unceremoniously sacked. Dungarpur has an opinion on everyone and everything. How BCCI should be run, how the selectors should go about their jobs, how the players should be playing, how the coach should be coaching.

If I’m not mistaken he was in the BCCI in 1990 and responsible for Srikanth’s ouster after a decent Pak tour (Before the 1989 tour no Indian team had gone to Pakistan and returned without losing. We did not win but we kept our pride intact by not losing either) The manipulator that he has always been he was quick to spot the shy Azhar as the ideal bait for a captain. Shrewd wasn’t he? If my memory is correct, India did not exactly enjoy the greatest of periods until we won that series at home against England in 1993 where we got back to our winning ways. But our performance abroad remained pathetic until things began to take shape under the Wright-Ganguly leadership. So surely Ganguly has done Indian cricket a world of good than Mr. Dungarpur has!

In the above article I cannot believe Wright would have disclosed things to this man, I think it’s purely his biased observations. Of all the people in the world, Dravid need not turn to him for his batting problems of getting bowled often. He has some good people in Gavaskar, Vishvanath and even his team-mate Sachin to get some answers.

Does anyone really care for his opinions that he goes about mouthing them. Does he care for Indian cricket at all when all that he has done in his lifetime is take pot-shots at the teams when they have performed well and undermine Indian victories?

No one who cares for Indian cricket needs to listen to this guy and now the Pawar-run BCCI intends to put him up as manager for the Pak tour. Did they get impressed by this? Should they not know it better?

No wonder whoever is in power seems to be making any difference to the state of cricket in India. Along with the selectors even the Board comprises of nothing but a bunch of jokers. What would you call them if they consider appointing this man for an all important tour!

All he is capable of is bringing about a rift by his inane talk among the team rather than help build the team Chappell is trying to put together. The sooner they realise their folly the better.

On another note I sure as well would like to see Chappell shoot another mail to the Board on how competent Mr. Dungarpur was as a manager. I’m sure Ganguly would be pleased as well and wait for that moment too.

Kumble’s 100 is a memorable one…

This was surely his test although the Man-of-the-Match was Harbhajan. The test began with Kumble getting felicitated for his 100th test appearance which is no mean feat for an Indian bowler. He was his usual polite and modest self and felt bad that his Karnataka team-mate, Rahul Dravid who had played in every match with him since his debut in 1996 could not be there on this occasion.

However the Indian team was not going to spoil the occasion for their match-winning spinner despite a horrendous start on day one. I mean on a day one track, although not that conducive to batting, how can you be reeling at 125-5? But I’m really glad they have picked up that fine Aussie trait of one batsman batting with the tail to give a healthy total. I did not expect India to land up with 398 after their showing on day one. But Laxman, Dhoni, Pathan, Agarkar and Kumble had other plans up their mind. I really enjoyed their batting. Relaxed and calm, none of them seemed in any kind of hurry and hit the ball on merit. Laxman’s hundred has got to be the slowest till date but it will rate very highly for standing by and batting so well with Pathan and Dhoni to get India out of the doldrums. Whatever Agarkar and Kumble got later was a neat bonus.

My shot of the innings was Kumble’s straight six of Murali. What a shot! Tendulkar would have been proud of him that day. Not many batsmen do that to Murali and definitely not tail-enders.! Kumble always had some potential as a batsman and I still don’t know why he neglected it over the years.

Post a 398 from 125/5, SL knew they had lost the advantage and it was going to be a huge fight from then on as Motera track is known for its notorious turn. With Kumble and Bhajji on the Indian side it was going to be an uphill task and none of their batsman apart Sangakarra looked up to it. Attapattu has been getting good starts but failed to convert any to good knocks.

This time Bhajji took centre stage and decided that he’ll pay his tribute to Kumble in his own fashion and I’m sure Kumble must have enjoyed it. 62-7 is one hell of a bowling feat in any conditions.

Second innings was nothing great for India and again the lower order came to the rescue. It’s not a good sign and the top-order has to look into what’s going wrong. Now you see why Dravid is important? His ability to hang in there, concentrate and his level of patience is unsurpassed and the others need to learn a thing or two from their captain when he is back.

Sehwag needs to re-look at himself. I don’t want him to change his natural game but he surely needs to go back to the books and get back into runs else he will soon find himself struggling to keep his place as well. These days you really can’t trust the selectors!

The batsmen need to do some serious thinking as we are welcoming the New Year in Pakistan and with no camp and not much of practice matches I’m wondering how we will fare there what with Pakistan high on confidence after defeating England in both forms of the game convincingly! The things are reverse this year. In 2004, we went there after a drawn series in Australia with our confidence soaring high, now it’s even Steven’s and Pakistan is probably in a much better situation.

Once SL was set 509 there were only two possibilities Indian win or draw. Latter looked highly improbable considering the time on hand and the form of India’s spinning duo. I wonder why Sehwag waited that long, anything above 350 was a winning total on this track. But I think he chose to be safe than sorry and with so much time on hands made sure he would not lose the game.

Kumble ended his game with a fiver. A memorable match for him indeed and he must’ve been glad to have his mother come to the stadium to see him earn his honor. I have really liked t hat fact. I can never forget her face when Kumble-Srinath stole that famous victory against Aus in 1996 Titan Cup league match in Bangalore. That was a moment to remember…and so will this match be for Kumble, his team-mates, his family, his friends and his fans.

Cheers Anil…

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

On this day I wish you…

Every day with you is special but it is really ironic that I’ve not been able to be there with you on your special day in the last three years of knowing you. Hoping someday God will change my destiny…

On this day I wish you…

A special smile,
A laughter bright,

A twinkle in your eye,
A shining light in the day gone bye,

A moment of love,
That’s worth a thousand spun into one,

A world full of brightness,
A year bringing only happiness…

May every birthday that comes; brings in double the joy, double the happiness, double the cheerfulness, double the love for you and only you…

Happy Birthday Sweetheart…
Wishing you Many Happy Returns of the Day.

Hope you have a blast;-)
P.S: Even though I’m far away I still feel I’ll be there today celebrating your b-day.

Monday, December 19, 2005

‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La…

As the week sets in to celebrate Christmas the mind travels back few years to the good old school days. Being in a convent school introduced us to a wonderful phenomenon called Christmas and the celebrations that precede and follow it.

Christmas to us in school meant:

  • Learning about Jesus’s history and the miracle of his birth
  • Enacting the Christmas plays year after year; with the same vigor and enthusiasm. Some girls dressed as shepards, some as the three Kings, some as the angels, someone as the Little Drummer boy, and some as the central characters Joseph & Mary.
  • Party,loads of fun and dancing
  • Chocolate cakes and ice-creams
  • Santa Claus distributing sweets during the party
  • Fun-fair at school before the vacation began

A time to be jolly indeed!

But the most vivid memory that stays along is that of rehearsing Christmas Carols every day after we were back to School from Diwali vacation; in preparation for the big Christmas party. That was the only time of the year we girls looked forward to our assembly session. It lasted an hour and we were more than happy to sing those lovely carols and also miss school studies for half-hour;-)

Most carols celebrated Christ’s birth told stories about him.

  • About Jesus’s birth:

These three remain my all-time favourites, for their tune and the soft background music. Also for the harrowing time we gave our teacher while learning to get the pitch of the Silent Night song right.

  1. The Drummer Boy I loved the Pa-ra-ra-pum-pum, ra-pum-pum part. Different groups sang it in different pitches and the result was fantastic

The carols also taught us small but important lessons about life. Remember Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer . In the most simplistic manner it told us that there is one talent in us that the others don’t have; once we discover it we will find our own little place in the sun. Every person on this earth has that special something; it’s only a matter of time before we discover it.
They also told you to be kind and helpful to the poor and needy: Good King Wenceslas

They really made Santa Claus come alive. As little girls we believed it all, the tooth-fairy, the Angels, and Santa Claus. The little fat man with his red dress and long beard brought a smile on our faces by the mere mention of his name. Sigh! I wish he was true :-)

It was also during this time of the year that we girls were the most-well behaved at school, you know what one carol said about Santa, it’s my favourite.

'You better watch out,

You better not cry,

You better not pout,

I'm telling you why,

Santa Claus is coming to town'

The rest here.

Jingle Bells, the most well-known and the ultimate favourite of all kids; tell me one kid who does not know it, you will not find one! Trust me.

And as always after the end of our carol singing it was time to bid adieu to the old year and ring in the new with two wonderful carols:

As I switched onto FM today all those lovely carols came back. They are still fresh in the memory and not a word forgotten. Every year after passing out of school I make it a point to tune into the radio during this time of the year as they play all the carols till Christmas time is over.

So since it’s that time of the year again and I can’t be at school, I have listed some of my favourite Christmas carols and yes, you are more than welcome to add in yours.

Christmas was a doubly special event for me, with Mumma celebrating her B-day on 25th Dec. This year makes it four times special. To add to the previous celebrations, two of my closest friends will tie the knot this year on Christmas Day. They could not have picked a more appropriate moment :-)

After all, tis the season to be jolly, and have fun and celebrate! Celebrate love and celebrate life!

Does our tail wag?

I was planning to wait till the end of the match to come with a summary of the same but this needed mention.
Dravid hospitalized, Sehwag captains, disastrous start, Tendulkar in that over-cautious mode, 125/5 with the top order gone; in step in two youngsters, the heroes of the year 2005, along with another senior player struggling to justify his place in the side.

Thanks to a patient hundred by Laxman (He is man who can get a hundred in a day, he has done it many a times before. So this one has to be the slowest for him), an almost 50 by Dhoni, yet again a fine knock of 82 by Pathan (Somebody up there grant him a hundred. Painful to see him get out in 80s and 90s) and 50 odd added by Agarkar & Kumble India has ended up with a cool 398/10. Motera is not the best known track for tests in India. Remember this havoc created by Srinath in '96.

Sri Lanka should be cursing themselves right now!

At the end to answer the question, it’s a delight to see this Indian tail wag!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Can You Call My Bluff?

I’m not so sure you would. And that is the USP of the film “Bluff Master”. Some tricks a little too easy and some extremely well executed. There is one guarantee though, you will not feel cheated at the end of three hours. It is a thoroughly enjoyable affair unlike the review it got from the Times of India. I’m really surprised! Every stupid Shahrukh movie gets atleast three star-rating but the others receive two-stars despite being interesting? HT on the other hand gives it a nice review and yes I agree with the latter.

I’m not going to delve into the story much; by now everyone has a fair idea what it is all about. As always I’ll speak about the few things that I enjoyed about this movie. First aspect, the film carries an extremely slick look. The editing and cinematography is top-notch. I can’t recollect the last time Mumbai was shot so beautifully. The Gateway, the Fort area, the Navjivan building at Mumbai-Central, the view from Abhishek’s house; Mumbai has never looked so appealing. Abhishek’s house is also very contemporary. I simply could not get over the plasma placed in his gallery with a pink sofa; and the view of the Mahalaxmi race course behind. That was the best part of his house!

Ritesh Deshmukh impresses as the filmy geek and learning to be a con artist. He has some of the best comic lines and he does full justice to them. References to Ba and Komolika of the K-serials and the senior citizen and chavan prash lines he cracks to Boman Irani. He creates a laugh riot when he goes on his shopping spree along with Abhishek and later in the inane hospital scene; where Boman, Ritesh and Abhishek are all over each other.

Boman Irani over acts at times, but I’m such a huge fan of this person that I shall overlook that aspect. Nana Patekar is simply himself. On his entry, when he is worshipping himself in the mirror, when he sets up Abhishek-Ritesh, when he gets conned by the two, when he seeks his revenge and finally in the last scene. He is super-duper and this time he doesn’t get onto your nerves!

The guys playing Jassi and Omar do justice as well. Do I need to mention Priyanka? Well she does what she has been asked too. Look good, flaunt her figure and smile and cry! She is strictly ok. I don’t think there has been much difference by replacing Aishwarya with her. Fortunately her smile is not as plastic!

I loved the remixed old hindi songs used in the background at various scenes. They were so aptly put. I also liked the way the characters were introduced in the Kodak snapshot. It went well with the whole look of the film. The soundtrack is awesome. ‘Right here Right now’ is the ace of the pack; but you will find yourself swinging to the rest of the tracks as well. It is a must buy.

Am I missing something? Hmmm the star of the show. Abhishek Bachchan. What can I say?
I have been a fan of his since his debut and so forgive me for being a little partial now. He is getting better and better as every film goes by. He is looking extremely confident of himself. His dancing is improving, he rocks the engagement song. Only he seems to carry off those flowery shirts in suits. When he shuts up Ritesh either with his stinging taunts or slaps; there is élan and there is style. I won’t be surprised if he is in the running for the MTV Style Icon next year. He is super-duper hot in this film.
As the ultimate con man Abhishek pulls of his con on us once again or does he? ;-)

I had a blast watching the movie, I think it’s worth a watch atleast once, though I would not mind going again. A comic and fun-film is welcome any day compared to the drab that is dished out 90% of the times! Full credit to Rohan Sippy the director and the scriptwriter Shridhar.

Go watch it…

  • I saw two extremely contrasting trailors: Rang De Basanti and Dosti. Rang De Basanti looks like the movie to watch out for next year. Dosti is one movie you would not want to waste your money on!
  • Can someone explain why Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya Rai were given Special Thanks?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Give a Thought-6?

  • Sign seen in a bar: "Those drinking to forget please pay in advance."
  • Caption for M.T.N.L. Advertisement: "We dig anything , anywhere."
  • Advertisement: Guitar, for sale, cheap, no strings attached
  • "Buffet": A French word that means "Get up & get it yourself !"
  • Andaz: Why make a movie about eggs?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Ideal Grandpa-Uncle

There are very few actors whose performances touch your heart and remain in memory forever. Sudhir Joshi was one such actor. Compared to Marathi films, Marathi Theatre is extremely rich and produces some fine plays every year. The actors therefore have the platform to explore their talents. To add to it, Zee TV by beginning the Marathi regional channel (a few years back) brought home a whole lot of new talented actors and the old veterans as well.

Sudhir Joshi played all sorts of roles in films and theatres. The cunning villain, the comedy uncle, the stern father/grandapa. He acted in Hindi films as well as serials. The one performance that will stay on in my mind forever is his portrayal of Grandfather in the serial Prapancha’ on then Zee-Alpha now Zee-Marathi; the ever-understanding father, the best friend to his grand-children, the caring patriarch. Years after the serial is over his performance still lingers in the mind.

The one play I badly wanted to see and will now never see him perform was ‘I am not Bajirao’. Along with Boman Irani he received rave reviews for his performance and the play was top-notch. He played the quintessential funny uncle in most marathi films to perfection and along with Lakshmikant Berde, Sachin, Ashok Saraf, Prashant Damle (all noted marathi actors) produced a laughing riot.

We as humans are always greedy. You don’t want the good things to end and hope that things will be as is. Fans must have hoped that he gives endless notable performances for them to savour. He could have for a few years more, but God decided otherwise. He left for the heavenly abode a little too early. He will be sorely missed. It’s a tremendous loss for the Marathi Theatre, Television and Film Industry.

May his soul rest in peace…

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Test Series: Advantage India

It wasn’t a flawless victory but it was heartening to see the way our bowlers brought us back into the game. So here are my views on the match:

Rahul Dravid: I was surprised to see Dravid open the innings. All long I have felt that he has never been comfortable at the opening slot. They asked him to do so inthe 1996, SA tour; he obliged since he was a newcomer. In 2001,he blatantly refused. I think he was right in doing so. If you are not mentally prepared, no amount of coaxing and motivation will help. They did not have much of a choice though. Ganguly as an opener would have meant asking for more controversies. Ganguly supporters would see this as the ultimate ploy to kick him out of the test-side if he failed. So that option was out. Yuvraj was out for sure, despite his knock and his shot display, when it comes to tests I would always prefer Kaif. So captain courageous went ahead, started well and failed again! He made amends in the second innings (not as an opener though!) but faced a tragic end.

Sachin held the innings together and made sure he got his long-awaited 35th century. After seeing Laxman’s knock I would be surprised if he did not go and kick himself hard for getting out at 69. He looked in exquisite touch since he had stepped onto the pitch. I can’t figure this guy out, he comes with out-of-the-world knocks against the best bowling attack in the world, and chooses to be mediocre or give up his wicket easily against the rest. Why Laxman why? You know this can be really frustrating!

Saurav Ganguly has secured his place in the third test with his 40 & 39. I was not impressed by his patience and hoped he would convert atleast one of the knocks into a decent half-century. Unfortunately the type of bowling he fancied in his peak days resulted in his downfall. Though, a couple of fours did show a glimpse of the Maharaja’s timing. All said and done, if he gets it right , his off-side strokes are a sight for sore eyes.

Dhoni is all power-play. Reminds me a lot of Bhima with his Gada. I’m dead sure Dhoni visualizes his bat as one. Whack, slam, bang! Simple philosophy, ‘See Ball, Whack Ball!’ (I like that) Played some super shots in the second innings and earned his place in the side.

Irfan Pathan: Should I not be mentioning him with the bowlers? I missed his innings:-( (I’m ruing that badly) But I believed he really killed Murali with his shots. 93 as a test-opener???? Well, if we should not yet term him as an all-rounder what should we term him as!
Please don’t go about saying we will see how he performs on those fast–tracks down under or those seaming conditions in England. For heaven’s sake he might not even open there, but what an option Dravid has if either of the openers is not around! If this effort is not credible, then what is? Hats Off! His attitude, his grit, his determination, his awesome talent; what a natural!
Also he needs to kick himself too, a century in sight and he loses his wicket! He might have got nervous, but he must make himself aware that such opportunities won’t be made available to him too often in the future!
As for his bowling bit, I simply love his habit of getting the initial break-through and every time he does it India more often than not wins!

Ajit Agarkar: Wicketless in the first innings but provided some good breakthroughs in the second. Sangakarra being the much needed one.

Harbhajan Singh: Disappointed. On a pitch where Murali works wonders, Kumble fires up, he did not show any great figures. And I also agree with my husband who mentioned to me during the course of day 2, if Bhajji does not get a wicket fast, his confidence seems to plunge to depths and that is not a good sign if you want to be known as one of the best spinners in India.

Yuvraj Singh: Covered up well for his first innings failure. So now the question the team is posed with is; who should be dropped to accommodate Sehwag? Anyways, but a word about Yuvraj, I am trying to figure out how he is such a pathetic player of spin being an Indian batsman; it is supposed to be bread and butter for Indian batsman, Yuvraj what is wrong with you? He will make the SA batsman look like real pros against spinners! Ok, I’m exaggerating, but for heaven’s sake he makes me want to pull my hair apart when he dances all over the pitch and misses the deliveries.

Gautam Gambhir: The only failure of the match. Deserves another go and hope he pulls up his socks real tight in the next match.

Anil Kumble: I shall save the last word for him. I’m impressed by this fighter. Every time people have doubted his abilities (I too have been a part of it!), he has fought back. He has had his limitations as a spinner but his achievements have been on par with the world’s best. What a dependable bowler especially in Indian conditions.
One point though which has got me wondering. Husband raised it and I’m wondering too, who will be our main strike bowler on Indian soil once he calls it quits. I mean with Kumble there has always been the confidence that he will take a wicket or two every time he comes on to bowl , but who after him to inspire such confidence? Harbhajan has a long way to go.

And finally to sum it up, you do not lose 7 wickets in 45 runs on the morning of Day 2, on not so deadly Kotla track! Murali is a magician and our batsman fools! The bowlers deserve all the accolades for pegging back Sri Lanka to 230 without which it would have been a tough battle to win. The batsmen made amends by batting with restraint in the second innings, here too one bowler takes majority of the credit for showing others how to attack Murali.

In all, a good effort to win the test. Sachin must be doubly happy; more than his record breaking century I’m sure he relished the Indian win more. Congratulations to Captain Dravid, if I’m not mistaken it's his first victory as a captain on the Indian soil.
Update: This is really surprising! I don't know why and it seems pretty unfair to Ganguly in the context of second test. Although, I'm happy that Dravid has been retained for the entire season. That should pump up his confidence further.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Gift for a Record…

He gets his record breaking ton and two days later, I celebrate it when hubby dearest gifts me this.

It is more of a photo album than a book. Very less script and huge pictures citing his every step in international cricket. If you are his fan you can add this for your collection.
As there is hardly anything to read; gulped it down in less than an hour and intend to relish every picture, every moment henceforth at ease.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Prodigy Keeps His Promise...

I was just glad to be home on Saturday evening. I was also a little sad to not have been able to put up the news up on my blog immediately; personal commitments take a priority at times. Watching him get the record–breaking run on the on-side, my mind went through a whole gamut of emotions and memories started flashing back.

  • His baptism into the world of cricket in Pakistan 1989; facing the fearsome foursome- Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir
  • His heartbreak on missing his first test hundred Vs NZ,1990 when he got out at 88
  • His joy on getting his first test hundred at Old Trafford,1990 that helped India draw the match
  • His emergence as one of the world’s best when he made the whole world sit up and take notice of him, through his two scintillating knocks on the tour down under in 91-92. The II4 at Perth, then what was the fastest track in the world, a terror for batsman, will be etched in memory forever
  • His run-out in the first test at Durban, 1992. That made him the first batsman in the history of test-cricket to be given out by the third umpire.
  • Two hundreds in 1996 series in England, the series that saw the emergence of two stars who would be his men-in-arms for the years to follow.
  • The 169 Vs SA, 1996 . The fantastic partnership with Azhar. What a counter-attack! I can never forget his reaction when Adam Bacher plucked the ball out of thin air. He simply refused to budge from the pitch.
  • The attack on Shane Warne in the 1998 series at home. The first round at Chennai went to Warne. He knew he had hurried too fast in the first innings. What we saw in the second innings was a calculated assault. Eden saw a glimpse of the brilliance followed by a masterful 177 at Bangalore. His best year ever, in international cricket.
  • Finally in 1999 his wait ended. It took him 79 ODIs to wait for his first century, and a nice 10 years to get his double in test-cricket. He finally achieved it on home soil in Ahmedabad Vs NZ,1999. A fine knock of 217.
  • But then came the slump. The forgettable 1999 Aus Tour , the series loss at home to SA, 2000, and the test loss to Pakistan at Chennai,1999. Though he remained his consistent self, as a captain it was shattering; especially the 136 at Chennai. Fighting all odds, a stinging back-pain, and seeing the last 4 wickets failing to make the 16 runs left. That was one hell of a heart-wrenching match. For the first time I think he cried and was open about it. I think it still hurts him.
  • He came around it though to make amends, back to his favourite hunting ground. 125 Vs Aus in Chennai, 2001, was as priceless as any other knock of his.
  • He followed with superlative innings of 193 at Headingley Vs England 2002, 241* Vs Aus, Sydney,2004. Such discipline in that knock, held back his natural instinct to hit on the up and to drive the ball, such resilience! 194* Vs Pak, 2004.
  • His 34th century was not Vs an opponent he would have fancied, but nevertheless it was a milestone. He came close to the record breaking one against Pak in the series at home earlier this year but it was not to be; sometimes God has been pretty cruel to him, and some records have not come his way that soon or easy
  • Finally he achieved his record-breaking century in his 125th test match. His reaction was one we rarely see him express. He punched his fist when he was in the middle of the pitch, off came the helmet , hands and bat raised, and kept looking up to the heavens, the bat came down to his chest, a kiss on the bat and there was so much relief and happiness. He had really waited for this moment for long. The whole stadium and the entire nation had erupted to celebrate this moment.
    It was a well paced innings. He started a little edgy but settled in slowly and as he went on to play a little longer he accelerated really well. The three fours of Murali in an over were just the same as he played in his old days; the cheekiness and the confidence was back.

When he made his debut; almost everyone who saw him predicted his greatness. It takes something to live up to all those expectations. There are still some complaints about him, but I’ll keep that aside. It takes a genius to sustain the consistency for 16 long years and yet, he is not finished with the game. He is back with a renewed vigor and more lies in store.

He has kept his promise with the nation 16 years down the line; after he started out as a 16 year-old prodigy. Yes, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, we would simply like to take a bow for providing us such fine moments to be proud of, may you give us some more.
We simply don’t seem to have enough!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Giving Up Your Career?

This question has often got me pondering. I’ve tried and yet I fail to find answers. Maybe you all out there can give in your perspectives. So before I go into the actual question that haunts me here is a short background.

All said and done, with the male-female equality in mind and the female liberalization; even today it is very difficult to expect a man to sit at home and let the woman run the house. On the other hand it’s far easier for us women to give up careers and be the housewives while the hubby gets in the moolah to run the house. I for one agree to neither option. I’m a little traditional where I would not want the husband to be the house-man and a liberal where the wife should work to earn some bucks as well.

So the question here is that I cannot fathom why women who are well educated, have pursued professional courses like medicine, MBA engineering, Masters, PhD, just decide to give it up one fine day and be at home. I’ve seen the most talented of my friends and relatives do it. I’m still trying to reason out why.

One school of thought looks at them as the epitome of sacrifice and generosity and makes career-pursuing women look like villains. The other one simple cannot comprehend what drove them to take such a step and regards it as a decision taken under pressure to cater to everyone’s needs or simply because they were too lazy to pursue their jobs or lost the drive for it.

The housewife is a nice lucrative option for most girls who don’t want to study and pursue careers either. Men sadly do not enjoy that luxury. It’s easier for a woman to find a husband who will take care of her for the rest of her life and extremely impossible for a man to find a wife who does the same to him. Mind you, I’m not trying to sound condescending towards the role of a housewife here. I think it is extremely difficult to be one and really can take its toll. But it is also a fact that your world gets restricted if you are not going find out ways to indulge yourself in things apart from your house, husband and kids.

When qualified women tread the path as well, it sometimes irks me. I have always felt that all you learn in life and gain, should not be wasted. You will pass on the learning to your kids but why not use it to develop yourself continuously. What drives us to give it up?

I’m not asking you to lead high-profile careers, neglect your families. You need not even have a job. But I do ask of you to develop your own identity and adding onto it; even try to be financially independent. It is extremely important to do so. It gives you a sense of individuality, independance, self-respect, opinion and freedom. You discover a world beyond your own, and the experience only enriches your life.
The experiences you gain only helps you see the things at home in a different light as well. You have lived in that world before so why not go back and help to achieve the best of both worlds. And for ladies who have never worked, venture out and experience, maybe you will discover hidden talents and explore them further.

There are so many things you can do.
  • If you like lending a helping hand, volunteer with a NGO.
  • If you are a fine cook, start cooking classes at home, maybe just once a week. You can also supply lunch-dinner tiffins to bachelors/single girls living in the city/town. How they long for home-made food, and you can obviously make some good money from it. If tiffins are too hectic, how about preparing small snack items and supplying them. Who knows your culinary skills mightlead you to the hotel business or to being a top chef
  • If you paint well, start drawing classes. Pottery, fabric painting etc.
  • If you are a trained classical dancer/singer, you could conduct dancing/singing classes or join a class to teach the same
  • If you have a fetish for computers, you could join computer classes and teach there or take up small assignments from home
  • If you love teaching, you could take tuitions for kids.
  • If you love music, love to talk and have a great voice, try auditioning for a Radio Jockey
  • If you love to be in sync with the happening around the world, ever thought of opting for a news-reader’s job on radio or TV?
  • Writing is your passion, try pursuing for a guest column option in local newspapers/magazines
  • If your husband runs his own business why don’t you try coaxing him to let you come to office and understand it and help in some aspect; the finances, the operations, the administration, or the human resource management. You need not always be qualified professional for that, after all experience is the best teacher of all.
  • If you do not want to go work, then you can be a student for the various classes and develop your interests. Join various hobby classes, and maybe that will motivate you to start one of your own. Learn a foreign language, or maybe kick-boxing.

There are so many things to do.

There was another wonderful and unique option I saw my aunt indulge in. All the elderly ladies in her area formed a small group known as 'Bhagini Bhajan Mandal' (Ladies Devotional Song Club) They would perform devotional songs at the house-pooja and at all festivals. They never charged anything. They started it as an interest and with the intention to spend some time praying and praising God. Their songs went down so well with everyone that soon they became well-known and were called to perform at all festivities. They even went on tours in various areas performing with other ‘mandals’ from different regions. It helped them learn about other places, make new friends, learn their life-stories and share their experiences as well. Every time she comes back, she has new anecdotes to tell and her grand-daughters refuse to miss any of her performances being held in their hometown.

Basically the point I’m trying to drive is to find your interests and pursue them. For whatever reasons you might not have been able to pursue a career; due to family pressure or because you were not that ambitious, your priorities were different. Don’t wait for that moment in life when you have completed all your duties and look back, you regret for not taking up those small opportunities which would have helped you develop as an individual. The same opportunities that would have helped you overcome the regret for not pursuing the career of your choice.

Life always presents you with alternatives and it is for us to tap them at the right moment. Life is short and there is so much to learn, why would you want not to?

A career is not what you make in a high-profile pressure job. A career is what you make when you are successful in the little things you pursue. You being a housewife need not always mean giving up everything, you have to look at pursuing the new opportutnites that exist around you. There are many ways where you can do some justice to the education you received and the talents you are blessed with. Prove yourself that you were worth it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Give a Thought-5?

  • There are three dimensions to credit cards, length, width and debt.
  • You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
  • On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.
  • A pat on the back is only a few centimetres from a kick in the ass.
  • If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.