Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It was interesting to say the least. The day started like no other Diwali. Usually am woken up relatively early and have to take my bath and get ready and everything. This time round it was different. I was still sleeping when my parents gave me a call at 3 in the afternoon ;P
After watching the latest episode of Heroes and cursing over the non availability of those of PB and HIMYM, I decided that it was time that I went and had a bath. After all you can't afford not having a bath on the day of a major festival... ( ab itna gaya guzra bhi nahin hun main :P... vaise another secret.. the bath would have probably been delayed even more, had it not been for the fact ki hostels mein garam pani nahi hai... :X .. aur mujhe beemar hone ka koi shauk nahi )
Anyways, Sobu and I had decided that we would go to CCD... Server was asleep, and after contemplating for a while, both of us decided that it was best that he be allowed to rest, lest the Server become unstable and start querying everyone in sight ;P ( something worth mentioning here... yours truly had, the day before, observed signs of instability and heightened activity when Server started querying about Sobu in the bathroom... not the washroom.. but the lil cubicles with a shower and 2 taps in it :P )
Anyways.. coll se nikalte hue, the two of us saw a banner advertising the opening of The Chocolate Room at Infocity... u r tempted, isn't it.. well so were we... after gorging upon the delicacies at CCD, we decided to look for it... we went as far as CP... but our efforts were in vain... sala mil hi nahi raha tha... thinking that it was probably towards the offices, we decided to turn back.. (G ne beech mein phone aur sms pe Sobu ko garyana shuru kar diya tha.. :P) And lo.. there was the Chocolate Room, right beside CCD... Sobu had an interesting observation to make.. ' bekaar marketing and placement strategy... jab hum dhundne nikle the, tab nahi dikha, to logon ko vaise kaise dikhega...' hmmm.. i wonder....
By the time we returned, it was time to light the firecrackers... That was a lot of fun.. As expected not everyone got hold of the firecrackers.. and the admin got quite a bit of verbal stick for giving us sub standard crackers... a pleasant surprise was that like me, there were quite a few who voluntarily said No to crackers... yeye... We going Green.. :)
Now we come to the most interesting part of the day... After playing cards for a while, we decided that it was time to hit the roads and check out the Diwali decorations ( Infocity had already disappointed us by the lack of the same). I had bugged Sobu enough about the magnificent illumination back home... We managed to obtain a Kinetic and began our journey... Our initial plans of going to Ahmedabad were put to rest by the mileage of the vehicle... So we decided to hit the capital city itself... Considering that it houses quite a few govt. offices, there were enough reasons to expect it to be well decorated... but man.. we were in for a surprise... there was hardly any decoration and illumination! You had to see it to believe the lack of it... We hit one sector after another... 11, 16, 24, 21... but the result was the same... no decoration! Even the main market of Sector 21 was without any decoration. In fact the most decorated places were the petrol pumps!! The brilliantly decorated images of Joahri and Bapu Bazaar back home flash in my mind... It was such a shock that it has got me wondering if Diwali is indeed the Festival of Lights...
We still could afford to travel quite a few kilometers, so we decided to hit City Pulse... Bhains auntie had once told me that the City Pulse vala road ends in a broken bridge or something which is quite a spot... so well we decided to check that out.... we kept on going.. par no broken bridge was in sight... finally we came upon a semi haunted temple... ;P ... seemed like a palce worth checking out sometime... we had encountered an auto on our way and it had told us ki twas just a village ahead... maybe Bhains aunite had meant some other road... maybe Bridge ke upar road ban gayi ho.. who knows... but yeah... we discovered a new place... that semi haunted temple... and how can i forget... we also came across one of the few decorated buildings.. a radhaswamy ashram :)... did u know that a such a place existed in our vicinity? i didn't!
We decided to head back towards college... On our way back we came across the Swaminarayan temple and it too was decently decorated... We were planning to hit Shrey Ashram next when it happened... the kinetic wobbled a bit... i felt something was wrong with the front tyre... Sobu got down to examine... he decalred the tyre to be hit... but alas! everything can;t be so perfect.. something had to be wrong... and it was... I was right about something being wrong with the tyre.. the only thing was that it was the rear one... :S
Well the next phase of the journey involved Sobu and I taking turns to drag the Kinetic back to the college... Thankfully it happened just around a kilometer away from the campus.... And that brings an end to the tale of my first Diwali away from home... one of the more interesting ones to say the least... but yeah.. i missed the decorations...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Despite all this a few things have emerged over the last couple of days. I now understand why people crave to be with their families at the time of the festivals. At the same time it has got me thinking of those who, by a quirk of fate, are forever destined to stay away from their families even on days like today. Just think of those soldiers who patrol the borders so that we all could celebrate a prosperous Diwali. I wonder if their hearts don't ache for their loved ones, or if they don't feel a longing to be with their families on this day. Then there are millions of those who have nobody whom they could call their own in this world but themselves. I wonder what Diwali means to them.
I am away from my family on Diwali by choice and not by compulsion. And now i realize what a lot that choice means. There are so many out there who would give anything to just have that kind of choice. Its strange that i never thought of these things all this while. All these years when i was with my family celbrating Diwali, these thoughts never crossed my mind. I guess sometimes you just need a different setting, a different sort of environment to stimulate your mind. You tend to appreciate and cherish things more when they aren't with you.
And one more thing. Try going Green this Diwali. For a change let us celebrate Diwali and allow Mother Nature to enjoy the occasion as well. Say no to crackers.
And when you are gorging upon all those sweets and mindlessly forwarding text messages to those scores of numbers in your phonebook, do spare a thought for all those for whom Diwali is just another day at the office, for whom Diwali is just like another day, a day that has to be survived, for whom Diwali is yet another challenge to be overcome...
Happy Diwali :)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
- Synapse: This one should have been written a long time back. I have learnt a lot from it and some of my happiest memories relate to Synapse. Quite committed to writing it.. :)
- The Chosen One: This would be a piece on Sachin Tendulkar. Since I have to in any case write it for Entelechy, so I guess this too would be done!
- The Date with Destiny: Most of my loyal readership already knows the story. But just for the sake of the writer in me, would write it...
- Hmmm... dunno wat else ! ;P
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The upcoming test series against Australia would mark the end of the career of India's most successful captain, the Prince of Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly. Sourav Ganguly, the man who along with John Wright transformed the face of Indian cricket; the man whose cover drives could find the fence even with a 7-2 field; the man who along with Sachin Tendulkar formed one of the most potent opening partnerships that the world of cricket has ever witnessed.
After a forgettable ODI debut on the tour of 1992 in Australia, Ganguly spent the next four years in the wilderness till he was chosen for the Indian team to tour England in 1996. Ganguly made his Test debut at Lords and oh boy what a debut it was! After making an imperious century at Lords, he followed it up with an equally impressive one at Trent Bridge in the next test. Later that year, in an ODI at Jaipur against the Proteas, the world, for the first time, witnessed the greatest opening pair of all times in action. Both Sachin and Ganguly helped themselves to fifties as they put up first of their many several century plus stands.
The next couple of years saw Ganguly at his imperious best as bowlers all around the world watched in awe as Ganguly threaded the off side field with nonchalance and deported spinning deliveries over the bowlers' heads and into the stands. However more than Ganguly the batsman, its Ganguly the captain that the fans would cherish. In Ganguly, India was lucky to have a captain who wasn't afraid, who had the self-belief to go out there and beat any and everyone in the world. Most importantly he was a captain who galvanized a number of talented individuals into a competitive outfit.
Ganguly was passionate and wore his heart on his sleeve. Though it would be feats like stopping Steve Waugh's juggernaut in 2001 and leading India to the World Cup final a couple of years down the line that would define his career. It were small things like making Waugh wait for a toss and waving his tee shirt at the Lord's balcony that endeared him to his fans.
Ganguly came from Bengal, and was made captain in times when Indian cricket was dominated by the troika of Mumbai, Delhi and Karnataka. The fact that today a young lad from Ranchi is leading the Indian one day side wouldn't have been possible had the Ganguly era not unfolded. Under his captaincy Indians became better travelers. He backed the youngsters in his team to the hilt. Harbhajan, Yuvraj and many others owe their positions in the Indian team to their then charismatic captain, Sourav Ganguly. He ushered in what could rightly be called the Golden Age of Indian cricket.
Ganguly was perhaps at the nadir of his career when Greg Chappell was India's coach. Ganguly wouldn't have imagined in the wildest of his dreams the impact that his decision to support Chappell against the wish of his teammates would have on his career. The last year of his captaincy was marked with batting failures and more batting failures. Captaincy was wrested from him and in no time he found himself out of the Indian team. But Ganguly was a determined man, determined to win his place back, determined to prove that he still deserved a place in the team he had so patiently built.
The determination was for all to see when Ganguly made his comeback in South Africa. He was composed against England, and when South Africa and Pakistan visited India, he was once again at his imperious best. He notched up his maiden hundred at the Eden Gardens and followed it up with a magnificent double hundred.
After an indifferent summer in Australia and a forgettable failure in Sri Lanka earlier this year, doubts began to surface again. His ODI career had been brought to an end in Australia and there was a question mark if Ganguly still had the hunger to go on. It's ironical that the last chapter in the Ganguly saga would perhaps be written at Nagpur, where he drove the first nail in the coffin of his captaincy by withdrawing from the Test against Australia. He has one last chance to do what he does best, getting under the Australians' skin. But no matter what happens in the series, his legacy would remain intact.
Good Bye Dada...
Friday, October 03, 2008
Why am I doing this now? Now, after all this time; when it's all over, or at least that's what I am made to believe. What I have been forced to believe. Forced to accept as truth something I know is wrong. But then, just because it's right doesn't make it true, isn't it?
I never really expected it. In most cases you know what is coming and when it happens, there's a sense of inevitability about it. But with me it was the proverbial bolt from the sky. I never knew what hit me. I never knew why it happened. What I knew, was that this was not how it was supposed to end. But then, we don't always get what we want.
There were pitfalls. But then there always are. For most part they were negotiated without any damage. Hardly any in fact. And that made it even more hard to believe. What I believed in, what to an extent defined me, completed my existence was no longer around. Exactly one month after that memorable morning I found myself alone, out at the high seas, with the lights of the life boat getting dimmer and dimmer. But then, I wasn't supposed to drown, not yet anyway.
Over the next couple of days I alternated between trying to cry and salvaging the dream. And at neither did I succeed. The eyes had dried, how and what for purpose I don’t know and I guess I never will. While the non-existent yet ever-present tears had run dry, my efforts encountered a wall of steel on the other hand. The voice was cold, the emotions absent. It was as if there had been a transformation overnight. I screamed that it was wrong; I pleaded. But then, all pleas are not meant to be answered, all screams not meant to be heard; some of them fall on deaf ears.
What was it ? Was it a beautiful dream with a tragic end ? Was it a betrayal ? Would I ever be able to forget, and more importantly, forgive ? I wish I had the answers to these questions and many more like them that keep rearing their heads. But then, all wishes are not meant to be granted.
I have come to accept it in a way. But not in a way it was hoped I would accept. That could never happen for that would have meant that everything that led to it was nothing but a bunch of lies. And that is not the case. But I have changed. Rather, I have been changed. A part of me died that evening. Faith has been shattered, trust has been broken, beliefs have been belied. More than anything, love was denied. But then I ask myself, what really is love ?
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
- In the wake of the recent terrorist strikes, our hon'ble Home Minister was in the limelight quite often. And you just couldn't help getting pissed at his comments. Strike after strike he came up with comments like 'we will not tolerate this..' , 'they will be punished' and blah blah blah... Again and again he repeated those statements without ever bothering to back them up with actions. Hail the Home Minister!
- Recently it was in the news that a mob of fired employees atatcked and killed a CEO of an MNC. Guess what one of our Ministers had to say? According to him the CEO had it coming! Oops!!
- And yeah this is the biggie! Its not exactly a statement but more of a decision taken by our Telecom ministry. A few months back they sold 2G spectrum licences at the prices determined in 2001. And you don't need to be an Einstein to guess that the private companies who got those licences are not making a killing. Recently a private operator sold its licence at a premium of 600%. Estimated loss to the exchequerer: a whopping 44,000 crores.