Monday, December 21, 2009

My 100th post on 100 - 0

What has the world come to? On Jan 13th 2009, Covenant School took on Dallas Academy in a girls basketball match and ended up thrashing them. Well thrashing probably isn’t an appropriate word considering that the final score read 100-0. The criticism against the Covenant School team includes issues like they continued to make 3 pointers in the 4th quarter (never knew it was a crime to attempt 3 pointers at any point in time of a match) and kept pushing till they reached the ton mark. The Dallas Academy team wasn’t that bad and did attempt quite a few shots, none of them successful though. Fair enough one would say, every team has an off day. So why am I bothered about you a match between two schools which I’ve never heard of?

Apparently a few days after the match, the head of the Covenant School posted the following comments on the school’s web site – “It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened” and that they had made a “formal request to forfeit the game recognizing that a victory without honor is a great loss." He also wrote that the win “does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition. We humbly apologize for our actions and seek the forgiveness of Dallas Academy, TAPPS and our community." (I would like to insert 2 words here – ‘Bull crap’)

The basketball coach though got fired (yeah you read right, fired) for his statement on a youth basketball website – “I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel 'embarrassed' or 'ashamed’”.

Un-freakin-believable. I came across this last week & as I find new articles on it I still cant stop myself from shaking my head in disbelief. What next, dropping Sehwag from the Indian cricket team for going on a run riot against the hapless bowling attack of the opposition? Or asking F1 drivers to slow down in the middle of a race so that they dont lap the weaker teams?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My unknown hero

Its just over a year since the audacious attack by Pakistani terrorists who virtually held Bombay at gunpoint and exposed the inability of our police force & administration to be able to handle such a situation. Bombay is notorious for not letting anything affect its 'life goes on no matter what happens' attitude but the day after probably the longest night in its history, the city stayed indoors glued to the television channels bringing minute by minute updates on the latest news from the ground. A year on, life has returned to normalcy but the print & television media ensured that we havent forgotten. NatGeo aired a very informative documentary that captured several aspects of the attack that were lost in the media frenzy last year. And then I saw a status messge of a friend of mine which said that the media coverage of the attack was elitist and that so much media attention had been focussed on the Taj and hardly anything was mentioned about the attacks on the common man in CST station. And the more I think of it, the more I realise that its true. Add to this the recent allegations of cover ups by the Bombay police and you end up with a bitter taste in your mouth.

A couple of days after the first anniversary of this dastardly attack, my mind was exhausted from work and while sitting back and taking a break my playlist happened to play the song Travellin Soldier by the Dixie Chicks. This happened to be the first time I have listened to the song and the impact on me was akin to running straight into a brick wall. Suddenly everything seemed to stop and I carefully replayed the song while absorbing each word. Is it the simplicity of the story that the song narrates ? Is it the fact that had some things been different it could've been me or anybody like me in the place of the young man in the song ? Is it the haunting tune that resonates in my head long after the song has completed playing ? Is it the knowledge that I am living a comfortable life here while some unknown (to me and you) person is braving the elements while knowing that he would lay down his life for the country and 99.9% of our vast population would never even know about it ?

Download the song. Close your eyes and listen to it. If it doesnt move you there really is something wrong with you.

Two days past eighteen
He was waiting for the bus in his army greens
Sat down in a booth in a cafe there
Gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair

He's a little shy so she gives him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin' down for a while
And talking to me,
I'm feeling a little low
She said I'm off in an hour and I know where we can go

So they went down and they sat on the pier
He said I bet you got a boyfriend but I don't care
I got no one to send a letter to
Would you mind if I sent one back here to you

I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin' for the love of a travelin' soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin' for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier's coming home

So the letters came from an army camp
In California then Vietnam
And he told her of his heart it might be love
And all of the things he was so scared of
He said when it's gettin' kind of rough over here
I think of that day sittin' down at the pier
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile
Don't worry but I won't be able to write for awhile

I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin' for the love of a travelin' soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin' for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier's coming home

One Friday night at a football game
The Lord's Prayer said and the Anthem sang
A man said "Folks would you bow your heads
For a list of local Vietnam dead"
Cryin' all alone under the stands
Was the piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair

I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin' for the love of a travelin' soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin' for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier's coming home

December to remember

Jeez, is it december already? My favourite month of the year is upon us and I havent the foggiest notion of how the last 11 months have raced by. December means two things to me - my birthday and Christmas. Having a birthday which landed smack in the middle of the second term examinations every single year for the entire duration of my schooling and engineering meant that I never really celebrated my birthday growing up. Hence Im far far from the 'Yay! its my birthday, the happiest day of the year, come one, come all, join me in my happiness blah blah' types (basically most other people). Nope, a nice quiet dinner with close friends will do fine for me. Whats so special about a birthday anyways? You realise youve gotten a year older (nice when youre in your teens, not that nice when youre in your twenties) and you have a time based benchmark to list out all the important stuff you achieved in the last one year (in my case usually not much) and then all the stuff which you shouldve done but never got around to (in my case usually a lengthy list). So whats the whole fuss about ?

Christmas on the other hand is something I cannot get enough of. In fact, if I had it my way there would be a christmas every 6 months. And whats not to like ? People finally decide to let work take a back seat and put family first on their list. Theres the whole putting up the star and decorating the christmas tree thing which I vociferously complain about but secretly enjoy doing. Women would of course love christmas cause theres a lot of shopping involved and their cullinary skills get a wonderful chance to shine (avoiding corny comparisons to the shining star that played an integral part in the tale of christmas). For men, with family around the booze flows and the spread on the dining table is always the best on that one day. Christmas music is one of my favourite genres, in fact I dont know how anyone could not like the classic carols. Add to it the customary christmas sweets and (rum soaked) christmas pudding . Bliss. And I havent even mentioned the magic of Santa Claus. Is it any wonder that its my favourite month of the year ?


Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride. The 7 deadly sins. And I dont care who you are, at some point or the other each one of us has exhibited these traits, whether we want to admit it or not. Its manifestation might have been blatant, it may even have been oh so subtle. The fact is that they lurk somewhere deep within everyone.

Take for example our maid, who today suddenly realised that we were moving out of our place earlier than she expected. Before I could even blink she had started collecting newspapers so that she could sell them off for scrap. Having just woken up from a late night, my still fuzzy brain was scrambling like a soldier running to his battle station on hearing the alarms of an incoming air raid. Before I knew it, she was walking in and out of rooms casting an eye on what she felt was valuable enough to take. I had to tell her to leave half the stuff that she had collected thinking that we would be disposing of them. In the one and a half years that she worked for us, I swear that I had never seen her move as quickly as she did today. Of course, the holier than thou attitude in you will point an accusatory finger at me saying "What the f*** is your problem? She's not doing anything wrong, after all she's just trying to make the best of the situation'. Point taken except for the fact that you didnt see the gleam in her eyes which had the 3rd deadly sin written all over them.

Monday, December 07, 2009

For all you anti - gay people out there .....

^^My favourite^^

Random musings

Maybe its just me but sitting & thinking about the multiple twists & turns that life has subjected you to and the many more unexpected ones that it has in store for you (reminds me of the old donkey kong game where he keeps throwing barrels down and you keep leaping over them while moving up levels) at 3 AM on a sunday morning certainly puts things into perspective. All those things that seem to envelope you as you go about life on a day to day basis are suddenly brought back into their rightful (unimportant) places with a resounding thud. The actual important stuff that gets relegated to the backseat all too easily suddenly stands right in front of you and you wonder how on earth did you ever lose sight of it in the first place. (Note: this was typed at 4 AM on sunday morning)

Its a monday now and looking back Ive kinda forgotten whatever I thought about that late on a saturday night. Some people never learn.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Holy cow !

Heres a little gem that was told to a friend of mine - Why do you want to get married ? If you want a glass of milk, you really dont need to buy a cow .......

The truth about cricket

To say that we are a cricket mad nation would be somewhat of an understatement. The manner in which the Indian cricket team's performance is intrinsically linked to our daily lives has to be seen first hand to be believed. The mood in our offices, colleges, schools and homes sways with every fluctuation in our team's fortunes. Modern day kids might want to follow the footsteps of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard but there was a time when emulating the feats of Sachin and his band of merry men was the dream of every young man in the country (A perfect example springs to my mind, you know who he is) . And yet, for all the exploits of our 'Men in Blue' (sounds like a cheap desi rip off of the Will Smith - Tommy Lee Jones flick MiB), the most fascinating, edge of the seat, nail biting matches occur far from the madding crowds and floodlit stadiums. In fact they can be found at your neighbourhood playground.

Theres something fascinating about these sunday matches which is difficult to explain. The rules get modified a bit - theres no LBW (a form of dismissal for which a neutral 3rd party umpire is required) cause the umpire is from the batting side, only tennis balls get used and trees / walls / surroundings alter the boundary line as per the situation etc: Blatant runouts are never given out again cause the umpire is from the batting side but then the favour is always returned somewhere down the line. Almost always its friends playing against each other so win or lose everyone can enjoy a sweaty but jovial round of lime sodas after the match without any bad blood. Which doesnt mean the matches are bereft of competition. On the contrary, everyone plays to win and yes, tempers do rise occassionally. And even if a team loses a match it was supposed to win or vice versa, nobody is going to thrown bottles and cans onto the field and halt play cause nobody has time to watch these sunday battles. Unless youre like me and youve realised that being cricket mad has nothing to do with being stuck with the remote in front of the idiot box.