Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Dream Come True!

Nothing to cheer about for three months. As a continuation to the loss of Viswanathan Anand to Carlsen, Nadal lost pretty badly to weak opponents at Qatar, Melbourne, Rio and Indian Wells. Alonso crashed at Barcelona, the Indian cricket team lost in the semi finals and Saina Nehwal fell at the last stage at the All England club. But wait, after 88 days of 2015, I, we have got a news to cheer about, one of the sweetest news for me in the last 5-6 years. SAINA NEHWAL's name would be on the top of the Badminton World Federation women's singles rankings which would be released next week.

It might have been a dream come true for Saina. But for me, it is still a dream. In 2010, I promised my friends a party if Saina ever became world number one. She came close back then, she rewrote history by becoming number 2. I hoped she would reach the top spot the itself, but she took her time. It is now 2015. Five years after she came second for the first time. Five years!! No body can continue this streak of form for five years. Not even in cricket! Not even in Integrated Masters programme. Not at all in India. But I knew she would do it one day. Like the PSLV-27!!

When Saina became the first Indian woman to reach quarter finals at Beijing olympics, that was when I first took her notice but then her feat was over shadowed by a gold in shooting for the first time. She soon followed it up with a win at the Indonesia Open, stunning many a people. I started following her. With a lot of victories in 2010, I became her fan and promised a nice treat if she came first. She would, eventually. So thought her coaches, be it Arif or Gopichand or Vimal, so thought her parents and so thought her fans, and I am among those. If doing something out of the box, stunning the world and creating history is one part, winning consistently, maintaining fitness with growing age is tougher. Probably this is why she had to part ways with her mentor Pullela Gopichand. She is a gem. She definitely deserves a bigger Padma award.

Criticism comes. The biggest one was, when she said that she knew she would win the Olympic Bronze at London, many criticised her because the opponent gave her a bye. She flew over to Copenhagen and won the Denmark super series. Cool way to shut mouths. When people criticised her for bad play in the all England club finals recently, here she is, at Delhi, into the finals again. Saina has conquered China long ago. She had also built a "Sainese" wall last year when she won the China open.
All Saina has left to conquer are the ever increasing expectations and her physical body. There is still a lot to win for Saina. All she has to remember is that, win or loss we are behind her. If her eyes are on the Olympic Gold, go for it!
Kudos to a great deserving player!!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Match of the Tournament

Even as Virat Kohli is practicing to perfect those square drives, Rohit Sharma sleeping for probably the last ten hours at least and Mitchell Johnson practicing all the swear words he could just in case, to be handy on the ground tomorrow, I still haven't got out of the brilliance of the first semi final between South Africa and New Zealand.


What a match! Easily the best match of the tournament so far. Made its mark in history books. Wow that was close. That was really close. It was not that one team was the better one. The cooler team won. That is it. There is definitely the effect of rain on the South African batting. But then it is in such circumstances that a captain like Ganguly is needed. There always was a fear of rain, so South Africa should have realised that they had to maintain a competitive run rate from the beginning. New Zealand was better prepared in that aspect and they got their calculations right, huge runs in the beginning. Result, even though their run rate dipped to around six in the middle overs, they kept their cool and the required run rate was kept in check!

One most important factor why New Zealand won the match is definitely "the grand old man of New Zealand," Daniel Luca Vettori being at the crease in the last over. Years of experience will certainly inspire one himself and the partner too. Even in the final over, Vettori was rotating strike! New Zealand would want to give one of the most favourite all rounders of all time a grand farewell! Well done Elliot, you deserve the man of the match.
No body choked. New Zealand too dropped a lot of catches. Just because the word chokers is long used for South Africans, it is improper to say that they have choked at the right time. The match would have belonged to either side. What if the blind swing of Grant Elliot's missed the ball? Would South Africa have worn off their chokers name? Most of the stops on field by the South Africans were just brilliant, including Hashim Amla's!!

I once said that I have been looking forward for a New Zealand-South Africa final though deep in my heart I always support India. This was a feast, a final in itself. Such was the match. Just gripping. We were all in the laboratory, doing our experiments or rather all watching the match on phones. The five minute delay was too much for me and I ran to the research scholars room and follow live commentary on ESPN cricinfo and Yahoo cricket! None of the New Zealand supporters (all the Indian supporters would definitely have supported!!) jumped after the gripping match. We could not!! Not after we saw ABD, Faf, Morne and Steyn cry. Cry loud for the world cup. You will do it one day!! #Proteafire

All those who want to #GoGold today also will #BleedBlue because, #wewontgiveitback


Monday, March 23, 2015

Circle has no Ends

This is the first of the series of articles involving a young, passive, educated Indian who only does anything but think of bettering the country. This series is a tribute to the "common man" of one of the most imaginative and not silent cartoonist, Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Iyer Lakshman. You said it sir!
The name's Rajnikanth! Naam tho sunaa hoga! But then it would be routine, so I will use my favourite name, Mahati

Mahati like every other day, stood on the platform waiting for her never-on-time local train from Vidyanagar to Lingampally. After a long wait which included watching the same advertisement on the television on the platform for 23 times, she got into the train and obviously had to wait till two stations before the destination to get a seat. As Mahati sat down looking at the passing buildings and dump yards, about to drift into thoughts about the fate of the country, the train stopped at a station and passengers poured in.

Mahati's attention was caught by a beggar who entered the train along with the crowd with her 3 year old child singing famous songs hijacked by beggars in the local train. After successfully reproducing the songs in a most repugnant way, she sat down on the floor in front of her, counting the hour's earnings, bundling certain things and carefully tucking them below her elbow, staring out of the door. Mahatis attention turned to the child.

It was obvious that the kid though is quite well fed, was growing up in poor conditions. There was no proper clothing and it did not seem that the child would be ever sent to school, forget getting quality education. Mahati's thoughts drifted again. What if the kid was given proper clothing and sent to school? The biggest problem is at the grassroot level. Primary education. If that is achieved, the country reaches heights unknown before. Just then, the child started spitting on the train floor and making designs. The mother was still in her thoughts, looking out of the door. Only if children are well directed and properly taken care of, Mahati thought, he/she could be anything hem wanted to become. Who knows, the discipline lacking child could become like the trim bodied, neatly dressed policeman standing in one corner of the train compartment, only if educated. Every body in the country should go to primary school, high school and later get atleast a degree for the country to prosper, concluded Mahati.

The train stopped at her destination - the final stop of the journey. Mahati was walking towards the exit as the policeman from the compartment crossed her, walking briskly. Mahati felt proud as she saw an elegant public servant and hoped one day the kid would be like this and would not grow into a person who spit at the wrong places.
The policeman turned his face left and smoothly spit on the platform.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Last Generation!

Living with, interacting with and being a youth is really irritating. I guess that might as well be the reason for a lot of crazy results. At this age we either screw it or do it. Naturally, it feels funny yet special to interact with people who we had just been. I went to meet my friend's younger sister who is just about to finish her senior secondary school.

It was special. I know the luck that comes with having an elder sister but it is only today that I got to see through her eyes; to see the younger generation. I saw, standing in a corner, my friend and his sister discussing things. He trying hard to present himself as a gentleman to his sister so she gets 'inspired.' It was fun. More fun since she is in her 12th grade in a corporate college and stays in a hostel. It is not like I was reminded of my childhood days or something, I am still fresh from them. But some feeling. Probably because that generation is the last one of its kind that might be.

A 12 year old kid now studying in the same school I studied once owns a smart phone as huge as my face. Today, we met the hostel girls and offered our 4 inch 'smart phones' to them so they can talk to their parents and siblings. It was a treat to watch those 17 year olds see in awe these dabba phones. When one girl could swipe the screen to answer a call, the others were stunned. "Wow, you know a lot!!" was their response. And in the evening as I returned to my room, I got a message from my cousin in the same class on whatsapp.

It was a beautiful evening, seeing innocent aspiring-to-be doctors. No smart phones, no whatsapp, no "the country has become smart. did you's!!" Sadly, this might be the last of such generations!