Month: November 2009 Page 1 of 2

In Memory of My Mumbai – My Beloved Bombay

This blog was quiet on the one day when every other blog was not. Though the first thing that I wanted to do was write – I refrained. It causes me too much pain – to revisit the blood bath of those 3 days, recall the nightmare through the eyes of those who survived and relive the torture that the victims went through.

I’ve personally not come to terms with accepting 26/11 attack and I know I never will. Yes my life did go on normally maybe because I was not among the ones directly affected – I did not lose any loved ones in that attack and I was not present in Mumbai then. But every gory detail I saw on the television set those 3 days, left me a nervous heartbroken person from within. Helpless and hurt – almost a victim; cause in my capacity there was nothing I could have done to help reduce the mayhem caused on that Black Wednesday night in Mumbai. People at least took the streets to join in the candle night vigils and support the ones who sacrificed their lives in this attack – I was simply at home far away from my city and my country – helpless.

I know there are ways that I can help but I wonder how much of help would that be. The perpetrators of the crime are still living scot-free and the one man who is held captive, still awaits a ‘fair trial’ despite millions having seen him live in action on television and at the CST murdering millions. Yes, we are a great democratic country with a fine judiciary system. I cannot change it, nor have I tried to, so I won’t blame it. I’ll just be patient and wait, just as I’m still awaiting those numerous decisions on the bomb blasts that have shaken my city in the last 16 years.

People talk about her undying spirit, her indomitable soul. Earlier she was beaten and she was hurt but last year she was raped. Brutally raped by 10 cruel demons in full view seen by millions and yet none of us could save her. She has got back on her own feet – forgetting the scars. A rape is the worst crime of all and cannot be forgotten – not for the victim and yet my darling city has managed to do that – lift herself up and resume normality yet again. How she has managed to do it, I do not know, but I do hope she knows that we have not forgotten and we will never ever forget.

Every year, every day we remember her and the ones who died saving her. We don’t need an anniversary reminder to remember that pain – it is living within us every single day since it happened.

I pray for the victims and their families that they will someday be able to find the peace they have been longing for and in the effort we all will too.

My beloved Bombay, My Mumbai, you make me proud – for all that you have endured. One day I promise you will be proud of us – for I know we will somehow figure a way out to get our revenge, we will in some way or the other – all your kids will find that way out.

Why is it that…

Why is it that –

  • What you expect from a person is not similar to what you will return to the same person
  • When a person chooses to be silent over issues, you treat it as his acceptance and not defiance
  • When it comes to family matters you allow only one side to prosecute and the other never to defend
  • You forget old friendships because you now have new relationships
  • The very people who hurt you once suddenly become dearer to you than the ones who have never hurt you
  • You are so self-centred that you expect people to be in touch but you will not reciprocate the same
  • You can choose so easily and take sides without giving it a second thought as to how your actions will impact the one whose side you chose not to be on
  • You cannot take delight in seeing your near-dear ones prosper
  • You are perpetually competing and cannot be content
  • You put on such a façade especially to the ones who know you inside out
  • You call yourself a dear one, but are never there when it matters the most

Wishing and Hoping…My Bucket List

Starry-eyed how can I not take up a ‘tag’ from you. Her blog is one of my favourites – for her simplicity, straight from the heart talk, for the stuff she has done in her personal and professional life ( I dream of it – someday I hope I can!).

So here goes my bucket list:

To do:

  1. Spend the last chapter of my life doing social service for kids – teaching or funding their education. No child deserves to lose the right to his/her education, no matter what the circumstances. If we educate them, we educate our next generation.
  2. Build my own library – Books, music and movies. A must have. I’ve laid the first brick of its foundation.
  3. Start a nice homely restaurant. A small one – no branches & no expansion. One that serves your simple home made delicacies, the original recipes of my family – grand mom, mom, mom-in-law, sisters and aunts.
  4. Retire at 50 in Goa. I want that dream house so badly – a small bunglow by the beach. Spend the rest of the life hassle-free amidst nature with my adorable GUY.
  5. Have kids – Yes it is a must in life. That little one changes everything about your life – it is much needed.
  6. Adopt – I want one of my own and adopt another. I so do believe in it.
  7. Travel – Europe, USA, NZ, Australia, HK, Bali, Maldives, Hawaii, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya. I’ve made plans and cancelled them but I need to visit these places before I retire. The beauty of earth needs to be explored not just watched in photographs
  8. Catch a cricket match live @
    a. Lord’s – England
    b. Sydney Cricket Ground – Australia
    c. Johannesburg – South Africa
    d. Eden Gardens – Kolkatta, India
    e. Chepauk – Chennai, India
  9. Start our own venture. Be my own boss and keep my company clear of the “corporate culture”. How, when, what, why – no answers found yet –hence no action taken!
  10. Try and learn the maximum I can – Cooking classes, Creative writing, Reiki, Classical Dancing, Salsa, till the day I breathe my last
  11. Publish my recipe book – I’ve inherited it from my granny and mother, I do a good job of it!
  12. Own a cricket column in a magazine or newspaper – Wishful thinking I know, but what the heck!

The journey so far:

  1. I’ve been a good daughter to my parents – It’s the most satisfying feeling.
  2. I take pride in my friendships – The ones I’ve nurtured and built.I’ve been true and loyal to each one and loved each one dearly,I still do.
  3. Together with MDH, we both have not let my mom or in-laws struggle again in life – Their smile of content and hearts swelling with pride are priceless and remain my most treasured possessions.
  4. Been a good mentor to my younger cousins, nieces and the next gen. I feel proud and happy when they seek my advice; even more when their parents set my example before them. The kiddos hate and love me at the same time:)
  5. Had my cricket articles published on the internet and newspapers, made it through ‘Harsha ki Khoj’ – Small things that maybe inconsequential when compared to achievements of others but, they still make me beam with pride.
  6. Did a fair job at my studies and career, made it to the best colleges and to the best companies – Fairly happy about that.
  7. Never thought I’d get back to dancing after I quit grad school – I’m proud I gave my first Kathak Performance last month. I gave Bharatnatyam performances on national TV at aged 6 and 9. I was the youngest in my batch then; I still regret the fact that I never pursued dance seriously.
  8. Got my Driving License in Dubai a year before MDH got his. Drove him around – played the official chauffer without complaints; he was so proud of me. I still continue to be the official chauffer for my wonderful ‘Girl Gang’ here! Always wanted to own a SUV since I stepped into Dubai. Our first car is my big baby – my mini-dream come true.
  9. MDH and I’ve done our small bit in helping a friend achieve his dream. His journey has just begun but every little achievement of his makes us proud – It’s like we are living his dream! I hope one day he will make the world his own.
  10. Got a chance to interact with my only idol till date thanks to MDH – I’ve still preserved his mail in my inbox.
  11. I’ve been extremely clear about the principles I’ve been brought up with, no conflicts there ever. I have never compromised on them and I know that sticking to them will pay-off, may be a little late but it will. Ethics come first, everything else follows.
  12. My inner strength amazes me every time I’m shaken up. I have realized that I’m bloody strong & independent – that confidence helps me tackle anything and everything that I face in life.
P.S: Some amazing bucket lists from some terriffic bloggers I’ve met recently:

20 random thoughts from 20 years of Sachin

Loads of tributes were up on the net, television, radio and every possible media yesterday, and it got me wondering if I should chip in my two cents or probably even lesser. I thought I should not, just be a good reader, after all who am I to comment or even write about the Maestro. I’m no cricket journalist nor have I played the game – I’m just a small fan among the millions, that the game and God have.

But Siddhartha Vaidyanathan – one of the finest young cricket writers I’ve seen and met, goes ahead and writes ‘20 random thoughts from 20 years of Sachin’ (He wrote it on FB – Notes – once I figure how to link it up I’ll put it up); temptation enough for me to come out of my small ‘No post on SachinTwenty’ hibernation. With Siddhartha’s due permission to continue the tag – here goes my list of ’20 random things from 20 years of Sachin’.

Forgive the repetition, if any innings mentioned in Siddharth’s post are referenced below. Most Sachin fans will have at least 5-6 common ones. Those were defining moments for us – a generation that grew up with the Fab Five – Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble.

1) A short young bloke – all of 18 years of age hammered the Pakistani bowling of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed and Waqar Younis. Some 50 odd off 40 balls and a partnership with Sanjay Manjrekar. I had just started watching the game, he is one of the reasons why my interest in the game has not faded away.

2) 1992: Sydney –148 * and Perth – 114 Vs Aus. India had a disastrous tour down under. Sachin ensured Warne had a forgettable debut . I woke up early every morning along with Papa, to follow his innings live on the radio. I still have the recordings of the highlights. Sachin, according to my mum managed to do the impossible – wake me up in a jiffy without an alarm and her yelling. That mesmerising innings of 114 tops my list of his best knocks. I cannot forget it, that image of him, all of 5ft4in. standing tall and hitting straight drives off the likes of Merv Hughes and McDermott, will never fade away from my memory.

3) His disappointed face after getting out at 88 in Napier in 1990. He was only 16 then. I saw the recording later – I did not know to react! Heck most guys don’t even know what to do in life at that age – and this bloke understood the importance of a 100 in a test match.

4) 59 in his second test against Pak in Pakistan after a bloodbath! Guts, determination, rock solid concentration, man of steel. The nation knew a star was born, the kid knew he had passed the acid test. Still have the newspaper cuttings.

5) 1992-93 tour Vs SA – What I remember is he was given out in one of the ODIs when he was batting well on 20 odd. I cannot recollect the match or the umpire – he was given out caught when he had not edged or gloved the ball. I saw a small tear in the eye of a 19 year old then. The only time I think he reacted as a teenager.

6) I had seen him play live at the stadium before but this one was special. I had bunked school and gone to see him bat. On a dreadful Wankhede pitch, he played a gem of an innings of 85 against the WI in 1994. He showed why he is a class apart. His knock and partnership with Manjrekar – inspired Srinath to play havoc with the bat and ball later.

7) 1994 Vs NZ. The Kamikaze Kid -he was called after that innings hit NZ real hard. 82 of 49 balls which changed the way India approached opening batting in ODIs. I’m glad I was wide wake- I’m glad Papa had the VCR on. I watched that knock a million times later. And again when he got out , he had the regret of not getting the century. That hunger for runs is still alive – 20 years on.

8) Wankhede is the only place where they cheer the fall of Indian wicket; that is until Sachin arrives to bat. They are a fair crowd appreciating a good game, but they are only human and they are hugely flawed when it comes to Mumbai’s favourite son.

9) As Siddhartha mentioned in his post – Gods had descended on the cricket field in Cape Town 1996-97 SA tour. Azhar and Sachin had murdered the SA attack in the most delicate manner one could visualize. The array and beauty of the stroked played that afternoon will remain unparalleled for a long time. Adam Bacher pulled a stunner out of mid-air. and Sachin did not move for 2 whole minutes. He was the last to get off the ground – stunned by the catch and not able to believe that his dream run was foiled at 169.

10) 1993 – Hero Cup Semi-final Vs SA. I need not say more – that last over he bowled. His eagerness to come on to bowl when SA needed 6 runs and people call him a choker. Blah!

11) 1998 Vs Australia – Chennai. He hit a first ball 4 of Warne and was out the same over. He was in crackling form and he messed up – the anger showed. The brunt was borne by Aus in the 2nd innings – that 155* will make to any best innings list in the world

12) 1998 Vs Australia – Sharjah. 1998 was his year – his year of complete dominance in world cricket and over Australia. No player has as many runs and centuries as he does against the Big Daddy of international cricket. A reason why he is so loved and revered Down Under. I rate his innings in the league match much higher than the one in the final. India came out to bat needing 8 per over to qualify, after the sandstorm break. Aussies would’ve preferred to have been hit by the sandstorm than the Sachinstorm that hit them later. Again given out erroneously – he wasn’t looking to qualify he was looking to win!

13) 1999 Vs Aus. LBW or HBW ( Hand before wicket). That whole dismissal is replayed a million times in my mind and even after a decade I cannot fathom how weird it was. I hated Daryl Harper for that!

14) 1999 Vs Pak, Chennai – 136. We were in our college following the match on the radio. Cheering and shouting every time he got a run. My heart skipped a beat when he got out and I almost died when we lost the match. I came home mouthing all possible abuses the guys had taught me against those 10 buggers who could not get the balance 49.82% of the victory target. I came home and cried – the only time I recollect doing that after India’s defeat. I know Sachin too cried after that defeat. He proved why he was ‘GOD’ in cricket and a mere mortal like us at the same time.

15) 1999 WC Vs Kenya–England. Grit, courage, determination, concentration, patriot, team player, awesome role model, obedient son. That one moment defined all of that for me in him – Sachin kissed his helmet, looked up and waited a moment, then wiped his eyes and got onto his business of decimating the Kenyan attack. Of all the centuries against all the best attacks – this one is my sentimental favourite. It’s not easy to deal with the loss of a parent and get on with your work in a matter of days. I’ve been through it so I know – not comparable to his feat but I could relate to his psyche then.

16) 2001 Vs Australia – Kolkatta. You cannot keep him away from contributing to famous wins. His 3 wickets in the second innings were as valuable as Laxman and Dravid’s knocks! His delight after getting Warne out to a googly was as innocent as a child getting his favourite chocolate. Sachin remains that little innocent 16 year old still at heart.

17) 2003 WC – 98 Vs Pak. Phenomenal. He slaughtered and butchered the Pakistani bowling and along with what was left of their confidence. He made them mere spectators as he unleashed terror all around. I loved his comment at the presentation – never seen him rub salt on opposition’s wounds so hard – “Well they are yet to beat us in a World Cup”. How true!!

18) His run of 90s in ODIs in 2007 – He would’ve amassed 50 centuries by now had he converted those 6 ( 2 each against Pak,SA, and Eng). I’m not getting any young to handle these heartbreaks, I told my husband then.

19) 103* Vs England , Dec 2008. Following close after the worst terrorist attack on Mumbai – Sachin, Sehwag and the rest gave the country and Mumbaikars a reason to smile. It did not wipe out the scars but it did lift the spirits of millions a little, just a little, but it did. Dilip Premchandran summed it up for us

“Those that aren’t Indian struggle to fathom exactly what Tendulkar means to so many millions, and it’s doubtful whether even those that live here really comprehend just how much a part of the national consciousness he has become. He is such a unifying force, a personality capable of stirring the emotions in every nook and corner of a vast land. And in these times of distress and anger, it was so very appropriate that it would be Tendulkar who put the smiles back on at least a few faces.”

20) His recent 175. Almost, almost there again. Sigh! Heartbreaking and scintillating at the same time. Brought back memories of his old knocks – Vs NZ 82 of 49 and Sharjah ‘98 Vs Aus.

Sachin has given us more than 20 reasons to smile and cry in the last 20 years – it’s difficult to sum up only 20.

My favourite tributes here – Harsha Bhogle, Peter Roebuck, Dilip Premchandran and The Great Bong.

My favourite quotes to end this tribute:

“I’ve seen God, he bats at no. 4 for India” – Mathew Hayden

“Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don’t know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their television sets and switch off their lives” BBC Sports

Do you do a ‘Home Audit’?

“The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. The goal of an audit is to express an opinion on the person / organization/system (etc) in question, under evaluation based on work done on a test basis.

The in-laws and mumma are arriving ‘Together’ in the last week of this month. My niece is arriving the week before that – which effectively means I have only this weekend to be prepared for my yearly ‘Home Audit’.

I undertake the internal audit task once a month – mini sub-audits happen every weekend but the overhaul happens once a month!

When the family visits, I need to re-do the spaces at home. Make certain cupboards empty, make place for the big bags, ensure they can keep their medicines etc at arm’s length and more importantly see that the kitchen is stacked up with all the relevant items.

So I go on my ‘Home Audit’ and that requires planning. Audit planning is developing an overall strategy for the audit. The nature, extent, and timing of planning varies with the:

a) size and complexity of the entity home set-up for arrival of guests/family, weekly-daily chores

b) experience with the entity which is currently at 5 months,

c) knowledge of the entity’s business  – a comfortable abode for all

In case the family is visiting, acceptance sampling is a strict no-no. (Acceptance sampling is sampling to determine whether internal control compliance is greater than or less than the tolerable deviation rate.) The entire entity will be scanned and re-scanned to ensure everything is in compliance with GAHP (Generally Accepted House Principles – which is a manual compiled from mom and mom-in-law’s rules and regulations over the years)

The first step in my audit is the asset classification which takes up maximum time. I have a tough time determining non-current assets i.e. clothes that I no longer need, dusting cloths that need to be thrown, utensils that are not being used regularly, bills and receipts of ages ago that have been and will be kept in drawers for as long as we live.

I find every excuse in the book and outside of it, to keep every single clothing I have in my wardrobe. Now that we have our own wardrobes, I find it even more difficult to decide which clothing I can do away with. But I will need to empty at least 2 compartments – some will be done away with in our luggage bags or given to charity with a heavy heart. Yes it hurts – Not only the fact that some favourites have got old but also the fact that you no longer fit into the fairly new ones owing to the newly found pounds in your body.

I do not as an unwritten rule venture into classifying MDH’s possessions – he is even more indecisive than I’m, especially when it comes to the matters of the cloth. The fact that he is on a weight losing spree has meant that the luggage bags have been opened to bring out the old clothes which still look brand new. Necessary disclosures for the above will be provided to the home advisories when they visit in 2 weeks time.

Compliance to the Kitchen & Bathroom Laws is mandatory. Fortunately I’m most finicky about these 2 places in my house. I can still manage to stand messy wardrobes & cluttered desks, but I need my kitchen and bathroom to be spick and span at any given time of the day; therefore, inspection of these places will pass the audit test even if surprise visits are thrown. Just that that additional sets of towels and napkins need to be unearthed from the cupboards, as they will be changed more frequently than I do. The fridge though needs to be visited to check for any expired items which need to be done away with immediate effect; unless I’m dying for a lecture from the advisories. I do a frequent check but at times I tend to forget as well.

Masalas and all other food items need to be re-arranged, cans and bottles need to be filled up with the requisite pulses, dals, raw materials for breakfast items etc. I also maintain inventory tags especially for the masalas – I now recognize them fairly well but I can get lost at times – Chilly Powder with Dhana-Jeera in it, Plain Chilly Powder, Goan Fish Masala, Chicken Masala, Kala Masala ( all look similar – trust me!) I don’t take the effort to remember when I have an easy way out.

Provisions for future assets will be recorded as additional shopping is warranted for quilts and bed-sets since some old ones were disposed off when we moved recently. Plus we expect additional guests along with the parents – sister-in-law and husband, friend and his spouse, cousins in short spurts for the next 3 months – I need to ensure ‘the entity’ is well-equipped and well stocked to handle these peak periods.

The joint director of the entity i.e MDH will be put on a high alert in terms of ensuring that the newspapers are kept in the designated slot, the other joint director is not hurried in the mornings so that she does not forget her routine checks, clothes are not scattered in and out of the wardrobe, things are kept and not dumped into the drawers so that when required finding necessary things is an easy task, and not a project in itself and that he does not lose the encryption key, which he often tends to, when the tasks are delegated to him.

The other employees i.e. the cook and the cleaner will be given clear instructions once the advisories take custody of the entity for the next 3 months.

The purposes of these audits may be varied, but they all yield unique value to the auditee. Such purposes may include:

a) Gaining an understanding of the area’s operations They don’t need to understand they are subject matter experts in this area!

b) Evaluating the adequacy of the control structure for potential key issues and areas of concern – However perfect I maybe, mom and mom-in-law will always have their concept of perfection. I don’t think they agree with Aamir when he said in DCH that, ‘Perfection cannot be improved!’

c) Providing on-going feedback to area management I’m not sure this has ever stopped and it will ever. However, this time around I secretly hope that the other joint director gets it more

d) Validating and reviewing data for completeness – Numerous visits to shopping malls and supermarkets will evidence that all is still not ok with the data provided.

e) Accuracy, and authorization, benchmarking, or assessing a data centre for security, operations, application maintenance, and system implementations – Ok I compete against super high standards – my home in Mumbai – done up my mom, is one of the most neat ones I’ve seen. Her sense of arrangement, colour co-ordination and utilization of all spaces in the house is impeccable. My mother-in-law, well she could be a contender for Monica’s mom when it comes to cooking and cleanliness

However, I think I’ll still come out with flying colours, after all I’ve taken the best of the both worlds. Moreover if it comes to comparability (Users evaluate accounting information by comparison. Similar companies account for similar transactions in similar ways) at the end of it all – I still think I’ll pass!

Reminiscences from cricket fans – 1

In response to this, my friend ‘Ramster’ of college days sent me this in an e-mail! The more I get hold of such pieces from the blokes I knew in college – the ones who helped enhance my knowledge of the game and had the patience to indulge in endless cricketing debates – the more posts will follow randomly. Most of these guys are currently in oblivion and I have hope that they will write in bits and pieces sooner or later! So let’s sit back and enjoy these interesting reads.

A bit about Ramster – rarely spoke in college but post-college, online discussions proved interesting and was pleasantly surprised to receive this long mail from him.
I could not, not post it on a blog because this one needs a wider audience. With his due permission here it goes, verbatim from his mail.

——————————————————————————
It is hardpoint to pinpoint turning points because fandom evolves but I will try my best.

First up, I would rather play than watch. I am not sure if that makes me less of a fan but going in with 100 to win in 12 overs even in my college edges out watching India try to do the same. There is a certain magical feeling about trying to achieve something individually for a bigger team but maybe that why I always fared better in individual sports than team sports. You cannot replace the feeling of being out there all alone against an undefined force.

I think I love cricket more than IPL, test cricket, ODI and whatever. I truly believe any sport surpasses the stage on which it is played. I love sport. Any sport. I think sports have the ability to bring vast masses of people together for a common cause. I respect every athlete no matter what level they play because as a very bad college player I know how hard it is. The difference between good and great is so small in terms of results but so large in terms of effort. I have watched people way less talented than me make it and I love them for it. I remember losing a soccer final in penalties in Azad Maidan to St.Francis, Bandra and crying for 1 week because of it. I have watched Dennis Xavier be the brightest young tennis star in India and die at 22. I have watched his dad coach him way into sunset at Chembur Gymkhana.
I believe sports gives you a natural setting to experience these emotions like no other. Some events that enhanced my cricket fandom, in no particular order of effect, they are:
1.Vivian Richards 100(77) in Rajkot.
I remember it was some Nehru centennial celebration. Centuries were not supposed to be scored in 77 balls in those times. There was nothing elegant about batting that morning. It was pure violence and maybe thats why I like to watch boxing. I don’t think I ever missed Vivian Richards batting after that. The chewing gum, the front-foot hooks and pulls, the utter disdain for the ball but much respect for the bowler. Although the sport is what attracted me, I quickly realized in sport…No Heroes, No game. Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards changed the way I looked at all sports and maybe what it takes to be successful in life…you must look to dominate or you will lose, it is kind of cliched and I don’t follow it all the time, but I do while playing any sport 🙂 I never paid for posters except one of his, a big Sportstar poster of him chewing gum – Rs.2

2.Australian TV and commentary
There was something magical about waking up with my dad at 4 in the morning and watch Terry Alderman/Mike Whitney/Craig Mcdermott (ok and everybody else) run in to wreck India. Maybe it was Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and the gang. I hated waking up in the morning to watch India lose but I did it anyway.

3.Sachin Tendulkar

For what he does off the field – nothing, is what makes him so great. His batting isn’t too shabby. To be able to make a billion peoples moods swing along with your willow is a little hard to understand.

4.Wasim Akram 1992 World Cup final vs England
I remember he scored around 40 but there was a cover drive which he hit which is etched in my mind. The ball was hit so hard that the sound of leather on wood and then leader on bill boards was at the most 2 seconds apart. Of course, Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis are still wondering where the 2 balls came from. I hate Wasim Akram, I hate Pakistan but I can never forget those 2 deliveries.

5.Venkatesh Prasad knocking off Aamir Sohail’s off stump, 96 WC QF vs Pak

Prasad is enshrined in my hall of fame for that one ball. He needn’t do anything else to impress me.

6.Mumbai – Hyderabad Ranji Trophy semi finals, Wankhede, forget the year

Lots of stories, Tendlya losing captaincy to Azhar, Laxman possibly taking over the mantle as India’s top batsman, maybe Tendulkar should stop opening since he has lost aggression. Some Hyderabadi bowler got rid of Samir Dighe – biggest mistake in his life. Tendulkar score 124 not out by stumps. It was unlike 1. There was no violence, just a gradually asphyxiation of the opposition. I can recall nobody compared Laxman with Tendulkar after that. My respect for him increased even more because he was advised to rest in that match. Again, the ability to dominate never ceases to inspire.

I think that’s it. But my favorite player is still Steven Waugh.

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Collective Conspiracy against GOD

I have mixed feelings today. I could not see THE GOD in action today so I was miserable but feeling glad that I was saved of the heartbreak that the remaining 10 caused us!

He has amassed 17,000 runs in ODIs in 435 matches with 45 hundreds and 91 fifties and yet we question him.

Today was a repeat of the 1999 Chennai heartbreak. Opponents different , the situations the same. Sachin singlehandedly had led the chase then and the rest could not manage the 16 runs. Today he actually made us believe that 350 could be chased and he almost did. 175 of 141 balls and he had singlehandedly almost demolished the Aussies.

We, his team and us fans, failed him yet again. His team cause they could not chase the balance 19 runs of 17 balls and we fans who at the end of the match complained – But he did not complete the target again!

Damn you all dimwits! Yuvraj and Dhoni have never chased a target of 350 – they don’t have it in them. So don’t give me that crap about see how these two stay till the end! They have come into the team where they grew under the shade of the GOD, the WALL and the PRINCE. Give Dhoni and Yuvraj a target of 250-300 and they are fine but give them 300+ and they are down mentally.

There is only one man in this Indian team who for the last 20 years has believed that nothing is impossible and has given it his all. He is the sole person today who believed that 350 was achievable and almost proved it.

Sigh! I’m convinced it’s a collective conspiracy against this man that is going on for the last 20 years. Whatever he does is simply not enough – for his team and for his fans.

There will not be a greater player than him ever – I’m confident of that. At 36 years today he put all those young 20 some things in his team to complete shame. Sixers straight down the track, cheeky runs of the third man area, scintillating cover drives, trademark straight drives. He played every shot in his repository and after 20 years, still manages to enthral us every time he sets his foot on the ground. Tell me who in the current lot is capable of carrying his legacy forward? NONE!

Sachin ‘GOD’ Tendulkar we take a bow, again and again and forever! For last 20 years you have given us so many moments to treasure, so many moments that make us smile and so many moments that make us proud that you belong to us , you belong to India.

And on behalf of all those dimwits who doubt your commitment and feel that you did not stay till the end to achieve a victory – I apologize.

Please forgive them my Lord, for they know not what they do and speak.

Art of Living

I’ve joined Kathak classes in Dubai again after a gap of 10 years. So far have thoroughly enjoyed the experience – even had a stage performance! I have a lovely set of friends there and it is a good break from the daily routine.

We were practising today and at the end of the class were casually chatting. I happened to mention about the Reiki course MDH and I are planning to attend this weekend.

The 5 year old daughter of my friend who was listening to us walked up to me and asked ‘ Aunty what is Reiki?’. I told her it is a Japanese art which teaches spiritual healing – yeah I realised it was too heavy for a 5 year old , so I said it’s an art of living.

The young one looked at me and asked ‘Oh so do they make you do ‘Art and Craft’ there? My friends were in splits while I did not know what to say!

I seriously am at a loss in tackling today’s kids. So much help will be needed when I have one of my own!

Down with Plagiarism

I cannot fathom how people can pass of other’s work as their own. Sure I see it a lot in my offline world but this is not acceptable.

My thoughts and opinions make me unique so don’t ttry taking them away and publishing as your own.

IHM we love your blog and all your blogposts – your thoughts which are only yours and none not even ShetalShah can make them their own!

In the fight against plagiarism with you – you know you will win this one!

How I Became a Cricket Fan

Prem Panicker shares this interesting bit here and asks us all to write about our initiation into the cricketing fandom.

How could I resist this one? Those who know me – know it’s my first love. It’s also the single most important reason for my biggest regret in life – of not being a good athlete!

How did I get hooked onto to the game? Well here’s my story!

Circa 1991-92

Sharjah series in October where India played tri-series against WI and Pak. I think it was the Wills Trophy. We did actually manage to beat Pak in one of the league games and triumphed fairly easily over WI. Azhar taking some awesome catches in the gully, Sanjay Manjrekar and Sachin Tendulkar messing around with all bowlers. Manjrekar was the man-of-the-series and that also commenced the beginning of my very first crush:-)

The perfectionist that I’m, I gave my father a harrowing time in understanding the game. Papa what is LBW, what is an outswinger, how does the pitch assist, what is a googly, tell me the statistics of Wasim Akram and how the hell is a young lad who is only 18 years old taking the the cricketing world by storm!( Little did I know then that I would be a witness to the birth and entire cricketing life of a prodigy whom I only term as ‘GOD’)

Too many questions and too many tournaments to follow that season. I remember getting up in the wee hours of the day to follow the Ind-Aus test series live on radio – only highlights were shown then on DD in the night. That was also the beginning of following my only idol – the charming commentary of certain Mr. Harsha Bhogle.

Not to fall short in my knowledge – I read up voraciously on the game from whatever I could lay my hands on – World Book Encyclopedia, Cricket magazines – Sportstar and Shatkar( Marathi word for Sixer), Subscriptions to the two followed, Reading the sports page first on both newspapers – Times of India and Loksatta. I have all the articles and newspaper cuttings collected till 2002 ( After this I switched to the world of internet for my article collections!). I devoured cricketing books and watched every damn game. Papa even recorded all the World Cup matches of ‘92 which I would miss owing to school. I still have those recordings – including Sachin’s 84 of 49 balls when he first opened in NZ in ‘94 and Jadeja’s hammering of Waqar Younis – 40 runs in 3 overs – Jadeja hitting 45 off 25 balls in the ‘96 WC quarter-final against Pak in Banglore. I played and replayed them to understand every ball bowled and every shot played.

I fell in love with the game. It is a game that gives you much joy. Test cricket is all about strategy , all about mind games, all about resilience, all about application, all about solidity, all about grit, all about team-work and all about some fascinating stroke play and relentless bowling.

To take my love to new heights, my  uncle and papa took me to Wankhede in ‘93 for India’s match Vs England and there began a new love affair. I love the place, I love the atmosphere, I love the crowds there are none elsewhere. They are intelligent students of the game who appreciate a good game no matter who is playing. I did not miss a single match at the stadium until I moved to Dubai in 2006.I can recall every single ball bowled and every shot played till date, of all the matches I’ve seen live at the stadium.

I’ve bunked school and college. Caught matches between lectures when my MBA college was a ten-minutes walk from the stadium! Heck I did not even miss the ‘96 WC day-night match against Aus at the stadium a day before my final XI exams when my entire group was slogging it out at home! I still did fine in those exams;-) I even completed my MBA CET in time and reached Wankhede for the second innings – India chasing Eng’s target in the 2002 match. (I did well in the exam and made it to one of the best B-schools in the country)! Cricket never hampered my studies! I’ve watched matches alone at the stadium and not got bored at all!!! Yeah that’s how crazy I can be!

Cricket gave me my best friends in college, it even gave me a little bit of fame, and a chance at my dream job. It’s a topic on which I can write forever. Of all the joys it gave me, it gave me my most precious gift – MDH. If I were not a cricket fan I wonder how our conversations would’ve begun!

So there is my long story of cricket fandom cut short – go ahead tell me yours!

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