June 03, 2008

Life after IPL???

This thought came into my mind couple of weeks back, when SRK’s team was making a way out of IPL and those TV Channels had already started asking about his team’s future. SRK said, he is gonna sit with his team and decide what patch work would this team require, at times he sounded like a CEO of age-old Indian Company who just announced a disappointing annual numbers and tried hard to prove his commitment to shareholders. Most of the franchisee owners must have started contemplating on some of the ratios like Dada’s Salary to Total Investment, Total runs taken Symonds to his age etc. I am sure these financial and non-financial ratios will change the face of their next outing. For the owners it would be return on investment, opportunity cost analysis and may be a future IPO.

Players, be it Royals or Chargers, would have started licking the h(m)oney they earned. Some of them would have already started searching marketing agencies for good deal in the next edition. I would not be surprised if The Hindu comes up with a cricket classifieds on Saturdays and on rest of the days. All Dravidians and Dadas will now start scouting for retaining their national team membership. Intelligent ones will now focus on such leagues than an entry into the national team, esp. the ones who are already in the hanging mode (in their respective national teams).

I never knew that cheerleaders exist in this world, I thought they were just a bunch of girls who comes with a dress-code and some crap in their hands just to get camera man’s attention. I am sure next year we will see lots of Indian cheerleaders, I really wish they keep the same dress code as their western counterparts. (Shhhh, don’t tell anybody; I was told by my friend that cheerleaders will be performing Bharathantyam in real cheerleaders’ costume, and that was main reason for me to watch Chennai’s first match in MAC Stadium).

IPL and cheerleaders had become a part of our life in the first couple of week of IPL itself. A recent event conducted by my Bank on one of the most relevant topics and in the best hotel in Chennai was a complete failure. Not many people attended the function just because Chennai team was playing decider that evening. Poor organisers we are, we never thought of this trap. Somebody even suggested, “Let’s call all the invitees to inform that the cricket match will be shown through-out the seminar and there will be cheerleaders, who will dance for flip of each presentation slide”.

We’re in to the second day after IPL. I saw NDTVs and IBNs still talking about IPL and announcing their new programs on IPL. You can definitely expect a program where the camera following new-finds of the tournament wherever they go and asking them is there any difference in the way you shit after playing so well in IPL???

Watching those matches (not all of them) was so much fun. This evening I ended up watching the same murder case probes and stories of fight for justice. Suddenly came this TV commercial of Zapak, with lingo “Cricket Se Aapko Kya Milaaa???”.

I switched off the television.

August 29, 2007

Onam with a difference

Mind was full of Onam ever since my leave got approved in early July. Boss' unfortunate sickness and long leave had thrown shadows on my already approved holidays. Nostalgic Onam memories were back with more clarity when my mallu super boss allowed me four days of Onam at home.

It was a special train, and there was nothing special about it. Special trains are normally treated inferior to regular trains, may be the only context where the word ‘special’ had no significance. I was very excited about the whole trip; I was so happy that I did not even bother to say a word to the auto driver who broke my new bike’s indicator on my way to railway station as against my usual fiercest unparliamentary words in Tamil. I had already started celebrating onam in my heart. I was in the riverside, taking a deep dive into the water and not coming up for a few seconds, and swim across until I get tired, and tried swimming against the flow when I was out of tiredness. After that unusually long bathing session I would run to temple, at same time answering to questions like “when did you come? Will you be there until ‘naalam onam’(fourth day of Onam)?” Etc. I will have quick round of prayer session in temple and get back to home. Amma would be waiting with breakfast. Breakfast will be served with chides for not drying hair properly after the bath. Have a quick bite and go to moola (a place where we friends meet). Then it was full of onam preparations like plucking flowers for next day’s pookkalam, making ‘thrikkarappan’ for thiruvonam, planning thiruvonam activities etc etc. Then rush back to kitchen and help amma in preparing banana chips and ‘pulinchi’(a dish prepared using tamarind), cut vegetables for ‘Aviyal’ and feel the smell of onam special dishes.

I was so occupied in these thoughts that I didn’t realize that my special train has not even come to the station. The delay put pressure on my already tight schedule for next day at home. When the train was rolling in to the platform I was literally shouting at the loco engine for being late. At last train left the station, 2 hours late from the scheduled departure time. The news of strike for new Salem railway division came as a blow to my Onam dreams. I had not even reached Erode when I was actually supposed to be in the bus to my home from Shornur. Somebody said all trains in the route are blocked due to the strike.

Finally I reached home late by 8 hours, Onam excitement had transformed to a kind of happy screaming while entering my village premises. It was 2 in the after noon when I reached home, and I wanted to have a bath in river as against what a normal person would prefer to do at that time. Took towel & soap and rushed to river. There was no water!, Of course there was some, but not what I used to see during Onam, and not something I was dreaming about over the last one month. There was no diving-in or a satisfactory swim to the other side of the river. I somehow managed finish bath and got back. Next in agenda was meeting friends. I Knew that there were not many now, all have started implementing “Quit India” after 60 year of independence. Of late all my friends were targeting jobs outside the county (the Gulf) and many of them managed to get that. I found it real hard find a couple of the remaining. Sad-fully, those Onam discussions and joke sessions were replaced by drink-meetings in the nearby bars and there were nobody at village library and ‘moola’, where we used to spend hours during Onam.
Amma told me with sadness on her face that she did not want to celebrate Onam this time due to grandmother's demise last year. I could see her disappointment for having told that to me, since it was after quite sometime I am coming home. This time she did not prepare onam special banana chips. she had bought it from Devassi’s shop. There was Onam special lunch but it did not have the taste and feel of Onam. Whenever I went out, I hardly saw anybody in the streets, there were no ‘kummaattis’, no friends to plan thiruvonam; everything was missing. I was forced to join the league of those who celebrated onam in front of television. May be next year will also be like, may be the years to come.

I remember to have read this somewhere; “Onam is heart-full memories of how you celebrated it in your childhood than the festival itself. It is best enjoyed when you cherish those days”. How true???

Labels: ,

August 15, 2007

Memories of I-Day

Until I lost interest in sweets (hereafter ‘Mittayi’), Independence Days were so much fun. I used to dream of a divine power taking incarnation just to distribute Mittayi to all kids of which I get the most. Independence days were actually my dream-come-true days. Look at this, everybody down the street distributes sweets of different types, of attractive colors and tastes that too for no reason. At least I didn’t know why they are being so generous “just for a day”. Being ignorant to the reason was ok with me, as long as they distributed the mittayi on time.

“Independence day season” always started with a trouble, in the first week of Aug. Every year, our class teacher used to ask us to prepare a flag/Country’s Map/list of freedom fighters etc. Ingredients for a flag used to be; green leaves (for green color), a white paper, BJP’s flag (for saffron), navy blue color pencil, cooked-rice-as gum to paste the paper to-, and a stick …But I must say, doing it every year was unexciting, even Pingali Venkayya would have found it boring. But the thoughts of the “mittayi day” ahead made me forget the boredom and compete for becoming the maker of the best flag so that I will get a special mittayi as prize.

The function in my school used to start only by 10 AM. By the time it started, we had to cover a large area consisting of NSS Office, BJP/Congress/CPM party offices, balavadi (nursery school), Co-operative Society, Madhavettan’s Tea Shop (Chaaya-Kkada), Jupiter Club, and Pallissery LP School. As I mentioned earlier, these mittayis used to be of different color, flavor and size. The most common of them was an Orange flavored, round one. It was very hard; I liked it very much just because it lasted for unusually long time, unless i crush it as soon as i “throw” it to my mouth. I never faced the problem of plenty; my unending love for mittayis was so irritating for all (sweet-Gods of Independence Day) that I always tried for a second round collection.

That day I normally don’t take lunch. Where is the hunger anyway when you have stomach full of mittayis! Even if I am hungry, I used to postpone it as much as possible. According to Amma Independence Day is only up to Lunch, after that I should go back to my study and prepare for next day’s class. How stupid, no freedom even on Independence Day! I used to think.

I used to miss most of Doordarsan’s live telecast of Prime Minister’s address to the nation in Red Fort. The only interesting thing in that speech happens when the PM finishes it, where he will speak out loud “Jai Hind” thrice which kids gathered around repeated after him. The rhyming was so good that, even now I wait to watch it in TV on Independence Day. Another vivid memory is of watching Independence Day special movies in TV. I remember to have seen “Roja” at least three years in a raw.

Things have changed a lot now. I did not think about making a flag, or attending the flag hoisting ceremony in the beach. I just browsed through TV channels covering the Independence day celebrations across the country, watched the movie “Chak De India” in line with the Independence Day mood, an amazing lunch and pleasant sleep in the after noon,

Just like any other holiday.

February 09, 2007

A long “long-seat” journey!

This post is pending for a long time in my draft folder. Context: My journey to home for Christmas, Scribbled down in my notepad while traveling from Thiruppothur to Dharmapuri.

I refer to the same long seat in buses, which is normally occupied by ladies, in Chennai, and school-college students and established drunkards, in my native! This seat is normally ignored by the pilot, i mean the driver! Regular Occupants of this seat are the real pain takers and victims of the even minutest speed breakers in the roads.

I was always fascinated about this seat. Because it gave a bunch of advantages apart from the natural benefit of getting trained on how to survive or balance oneself in sudden tremors or minor earth quakes. Sitting in this seat will give you a holistic view of happenings in a bus. If it is an empty bus, you can see, what a driver can also see. Being able to see something, which our savior is seeing is really great, isn't it? This view has significant importance if you are traveling in Thrissur-Kodungallur route buses. A rear view is just a turn away, if you are sitting in this long seat. And if the bus is crowed this seating position gives you better access to beautiful school and college girls, who make a back door entry! Better access to girls has nothing to do with what you think right now. This situation used to be really useful in extending your helping hands to those school girls who are standing by holding their huge bags until their destination. To and from school journeys in “Kissan” and “Delight” buses were thus enchanting experiences!

Another interesting thing about this seat is the established drunkards, who prefer to sit here even the whole seats in the bus including that of driver is free. They enjoy sitting there, holding on to an imaginary pole. For each speed breaker, they jumped from the seat as if the liquor inside has transformed to some coil springs on their ass! After each such speed breaker, they will laugh (a clear indication of how it feels to be drunk). This unusually lengthy laugh session will be followed by some ancient, historic unparliamentary words and curses on the driver.

Every year during December end i wished to travel back to home. It is the time of the year i get to meet my old college-friends. This time it was more special since i was itching to see my 3-month old niece, Momo. My efficient time management and planning skills resulted in no available tickets either in buses or in trains. I decided to go to Koyambedu bus stand, thinking that one heavenly ticket agent will fall up on me and offer a ticket to Arattupuzha (that’s my home). Unlike the previous occasions, i did not see any such agents around. I managed to get hold of one of the regular agents. Asked him for a ticket and i don’t how i managed to escape from his exasperating look at me. The only option left for me was the government busses. In this 15-hour journey, I traveled in 9 different buses and I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence or destiny, I ended up sitting in the long seat in all these buses. What an occasion to hate the beloved! I never knew that my fascination towards this long seat would make an abrupt end with this Christmas trip to home.

June 30, 2006

if she needs me....

It’s raining outside, heavily. Atmosphere has become slightly colder, adding to that AC in the office. I used to play in rain when I was kid. But now am bit hesitant in going out in the rain with out umbrella, even with umbrella. I opt to enjoy the rain with out allowing the raindrops touching my body. Went and stood in the balcony to meet my old pal. I remember, last October, it rained heavily in Chennai. It was working day, went up to the Bus Depot, then changed the plan and came back to room. After that, Me Babu, BigM and Kama went for ride in East Coast Road. We drove about 20 kilometer in that heavy downpour. That was the last time I went out in rain. Today’s rain is also tempting, but cannot go out now. It is only 4:30 now and am still in office, have to be here at least until 6. But rain did not let me avoid her. She traveled on the wings of wind and touched me. For each raindrop falling at me, I took one step back. Finally, I surrendered and decided to go back to my desk. Within five minutes after reaching my desk, I shutdown my system and left the office.

Why should I say no to her, if she needs me?

June 16, 2006

India’s Chances of Winning World Cup 2006, Germany!

Indian Fan 1- Khaitan
Indian Fan 2- Crompton Greaves

Khaitan: Da when are the India-brazil and India England match being played??? I am waiting to see I M Vijayan and Ronaldinho playing together. Has
Baichung Bhutia's injury healed?

Crompton Greaves: India's first match is against Tunisia, which is on 11th.
next against England on 15th at 930 in the night. I think I will be able
to watch that match. and the last group match against the Biggie, Brazil
on 19th....am waiting for that grand match. heard Bhutia has
recovered and will be ready for the first match against Tunisia.

Khaitan: Where are these matches being held? Are you planning to go this time?

Crompton Greaves: India's all matches are being played in Munich, Stuttgart, which are
quite far from Frankfurt, where friend is staying...no am not going…may be next WC in South Africa, where India will surely lift the trophy!

Khaitan: Ok... What are india's chances?

Crompton Greaves: We have good chances against Tunisia. But against, Eng and Brazil
chances are 50-50. since India has been performing well these days, anything can
happen...lets wait n see

Khaitan: Yeah..... India will win against brazil also. Jo paul ancheri is playing...
He is better than roberto carlos in free kicks... And all this while he
has been the spearhead for Real Madrid

Crompton Greaves: Bruno Kutinjho and Deependar Biswas are also fuelling great strength to
the Indian Line-up. you should have seen the practice match they played against Italy.
Amazing performance by the Indians, otherwise beating a team like
Italy(with such a great defence) is impossible...

Khaitan: Any bongs in the indian line up???

Crompton Greaves: yeah yeah, there is a chap named Budhadeb Battacharya. He was an amazing dribbler. Anyway better than Ronaldinjho…

Khaitan: Oh... Is it so?? He plays for liverpool doesn't he? Or does he play in
the Italian League?

Crompton Greaves: you're right, he is in Liverpool. Another player from WB plays in
Italian League, I suppose he is in Juventus. don't remember his name.

Khaitan: But no one can beat deep dasgupta, india's goal keeper..

Crompton Greaves: I would say he is total waste, otherwise Poland wouldn't have scored a
single goal in last night's practice match against India. but he is
better than the reserve one's...I think goal keeping is one of the main
draw-backs as far as India is concerned!

Khaitan: The positive thing to note is that ever since maradona became india's
coach we have been doing well. Our world rankings have gone up to 14
now.... The main issue as u said is goalkeeping... They also considered
parthiv patel.. He has been playing in the J league for 2-3 years now.
But still they have taken pullela gopichand as the reserve goalkeeper.

Crompton Greaves: Yeah that's true, Maradona is the man behind this, he is just like
Chappel to the Indian Hockey Team. Heard they are bringing jonty Rhods
as a goalkeeping coach, is that true?

Khaitan: Yeah... The media has been creating lot of unnecessary hype about
rhodes. Yesterday rajdeep sardesai was saying that there is a
sponsorship issue. Dinesh Beedi is the official sponsor of the team but
it seems they have also signed Roja Paakku... There is a court case on
who the rightful sponsor of the team is

Crompton Greaves: I think DBC (Dinesh Beedi Corp) should get it, they have been sponsoring the team for the past 5 years. And moreover it is very important for
them to get this contract through since they are going to launch thier
Low-Cost Airline in second week of this month. Sponsoring Indian team
will definitly give some visibilty for their new business.

Khaitan: Even if india doesn't win this time its ok. It has already won the
football world cup so many times.. I remember the match in mexico 1986
when our strikers dasappankutty and eenaashu almost scored a goal
against argentina in the finals. But the referee showed them the red
card for being lbw and they were out.

Crompton Greaves: CV Paappachan also played really well in that edition of World Cup...
we had many such players in that WC. ……..Kurikes Mathew, Sanjay Gandhi, Kunjaalikutty, jyothibasu, Lala Amarnath and MGR...It was an
amazing line-up..

Khaitan: If u compare the present Indian team with that dream team u will find
that standards have deteriorated. Nowadays they don't even know how to
score a three-pointer and sometimes they also tend to get out too soon

Nanni: kaarnnore

April 23, 2006

Festival of Gods (Contd)-photos